Boxing news: Josh Taylor WBSS final in jeopardy, Andy Ruiz Jr trainer insists they will honour Anthony Joshua rematch

11 Aug

Here is a round-up of the best of today’s boxing news…

Andy Ruiz Jr’s trainer insists Anthony Joshua rematch will happen

Despite reports of a dispute over money, Manny Robles told FightHype: “At the end of the day we’re willing to fight anywhere. That’s what a true champion does.

“If we gotta go to Wales or England or in this case Saudi Arabia, we gotta do what we gotta do…

“We knew it from day one. It’s what we signed up for. There was a rematch clause that of course, if we won, we would have to give Anthony Joshua the immediate rematch.

“We’ve gotta go by what the contact says and obviously we’re gonna give him the rematch because that’s what we signed up for.”

There is dispute over whether the second fight will be in Saudi Arabia as announced
Matchroom Boxing

Josh Taylor’s WBSS final against Regis Prograis is in major doubt

Prograis and his promoter Lou DiBella have filed a lawsuit against the tournament organisers Comosa with the intention of getting released from the contract.

This would mean he’d pull out of the super-lightweight final against Taylor.

The lawsuit states: “Comosa has left a trail of late payments and scheduling delays that, upon information and belief, have put many of boxing’s top promoters and boxers in limbo due to its financial problems and breach of contractual duties.”

In response, the tournament put out the below statement.

Taylor vs Prograis would be a unification fight

Billy Joe Saunders ‘signs with Eddie Hearn’ after amicable split from Frank Warren

Saunders has reportedly signed a promotional deal with Hearn after an amicable split from Frank Warren.

It was announced last week that the WBO super-middleweight champion was parting ways with the man who has guided his entire career to date, and speculation has since intensified regarding his next move.

Now, according to ESPN, it is finalised that Saunders has inked a deal to team up with Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.

A statement put out by Matchroom on Sunday declared that they would be announcing a major signing at a London press conference on Tuesday.

Billy Joe Saunders is the WBO super-middleweight world champion
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‘Upset of the decade?’ – Double Olympic gold medallist Robeisy Ramirez loses pro debut

Two-time Olympic champion Robeisy Ramirez’s dream professional debut ended in disaster on Saturday night as he was beaten against all odds.

The double gold medallist from London 2012 and Rio 2016 battled to leave his native Cuba and turn pro this year, only to end up losing his first fight to the unheralded Adan Gonzales.

Despite being brought in to lose, Gonzales ripped up the script from the opening bell and knocked Ramirez down within the first minute of the first round.

As the contest was only a four-rounder, the favourite then faced an uphill battle to get back into a points lead and was unable to do so.

All three of the rounds that followed were close and competitive, much to the delight of the underdog, who emerged with a split decision victory.

Gonzales is now 5-2-2 (2 KOs)
ESPN

Tim Bradley accuses Errol Spence of ducking his friend Terence Crawford

Bradley told reporters: “I know Terence wants the fight, but Errol ain’t saying nothing…

“Yeah, he’s ducking him. Absolutely he’s ducking him. Yeah, y’all take that, he’s ducking Terence Crawford, he don’t wanna fight Terence Crawford.

“If he wants to be considered the best pound-for-pound, he’ll fight Terence Crawford.”

Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford is one of the best fights to be made in boxing
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Anthony Joshua jokingly hassles shopkeeper after they sell out of drink with his face on

AJ mockingly gave a shopkeeper some grief after they sold out of his Lucozade bottle this weekend.

The former heavyweight world champion, who will attempt to regain his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in December, has a sponsorship deal with the drinks company that sees his face plastered across one of the flavours.

However, when he popped into a corner shop in Golders Green to pick up a bottle on Saturday night, he was disappointed to find they had none left.

Errol Spence vs Shawn Porter officially announced for September 28 in Los Angeles

21 Jul

Errol Spence and Shawn Porter will meet to unify their welterweight world titles on September 28 at the Staples Center in LA.

IBF belt-holder Spence is set to take on WBC titlist Porter with the winner taking home two of the four major crowns.

Errol Spence won every round against Mikey Garcia last time out
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The Americans share a common opponent in the form of Britain’s Kell Brook.

30-2-1 Porter lost the IBF title to Brook back in 2014, while 25-0 Spence travelled to Bramall Lane and beat the Sheffield man to claim the belt in 2017.

On the undercard, Anthony Dirrell will defend his WBC super-middleweight title against David Benavidez.

Benavidez is looking to regain the belt he previously held, but was stripped of after failing a drugs test for cocaine last year.

Shawn Porter beat Danny Garcia to win the WBC welterweight belt
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“He didn’t want me. I wanted him,” Spence said.

“I’m the money fight, so I feel like he had no choice but to fight me.

“Shawn Porter is a guy who’s willing to fight everybody, but he wasn’t in a rush to fight me.”

Porter replied: “Why are we even talking about last year?

“Let’s talk about now, the fight’s coming – September 28.”

You can catch WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in the flesh at the famous ICC Arena in Birmingham on July 27 at the marquee event of his UK tour with Showfighter and Gold Star. talkSPORT will be in attendance so click HERE or more information on the event and get your tickets HERE.

Errol Spence declares Kell Brook is ‘washed’ days after Brit dismisses retirement speculation

24 Jun

Errol Spence believes Kell Brook is finished at the top level and has declared him to be ‘washed’ just days after he came out and denied retirement speculation.

The Sheffield man was rumoured to be considering quitting the sport last week, but quickly denied this with a statement in which he insisted he wants to fight WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford next.

Errol Spence stopped Kell Brook in front of his own fans at Bramall Lane
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Spence, who beat Brook to take his IBF welterweight belt in 2017, reacted to this idea with harsh words for his former foe.

When asked if Crawford should take that fight, Spence told Barbershop Conversations: “He can, but Kell Brook’s washed.

“Look at his last fight, he got hurt and everything.

“He washed, especially at 147lbs he washed.

Terence Crawford beat Amir khan in April
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“I think he’s been hurt and things like that. He can’t get down to 147lbs no more.”

Kell Brook was taken the distance by the seemingly overmatched Michael Zerafa last time out in what he admitted was a sub-par performance.

Errol Spence vs Shawn Porter reportedly a ‘done deal’, September fight in New York possible

19 Jun

Errol Spence and Shawn Porter will fight to unify their world title belts later this year, according to reports.

The IBF and WBC welterweight champions have been talking up a potential match for some months, with an announcement of the contest seemingly now imminent.

Errol Spence won every round against Mikey Garcia in all three judges’ eyes
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It’s claimed by The Athletic that Spence and Porter have finalised a deal to meet in the autumn of 2019.

While no specific date/venue is known yet, it’s understood that the fight is being targeted for September at the Barclays Center in New York and will be broadcast on pay-per-view in America.

Porter initially held the IBF title as he beat Devon Alexander to claim it back in 2013.

Shawn Porter owns the WBC welterweight belt

The following year he was dethroned by Kell Brook, however then rebuilt and beat Danny Garcia to win the WBC belt in 2018.

Spence meanwhile is still unbeaten. The Texas man stopped Brook to snatch the IBF strap and has since beaten Lamont Peterson, Carlos Ocampo and Mikey Garcia in defences.

Neither man has fought a unification before.

Keith Thurman grilled about when he’ll fight Errol Spence as Manny Pacquiao watches on

23 May

Keith Thurman was hesitant to commit to a fight with fellow welterweight king Errol Spence during a strong US TV interview.

The undefeated WBA belt holder appeared on Speak For Yourself alongside Manny Pacquiao to promote their upcoming fight on July 20.

Keith Thurman was out of the ring for two years before his return in January

However, what Thurman did not expect from this chat was to be grilled at the end about a potential bout with IBF belt holder Spence.

“Well, like I said, I need to get the ball back rolling,” said the 30-year-old when initially asked by Jason Whitlock about his 29-year-old rival.

“It’s been four years since I fought twice in one year.”

Thurman was ready to continue his point before Whitlock sharply interrupted and directly asked: “Are you gonna fight Errol Spence?

While Thurman has been away from the sport, Spence has established himself

The fighter responded: “I’m gonna fight whoever they put in front of me. I want more belts.”

However he was then interrupted once again as Whitlock posed a similar but different question: “Do you want to fight Errol Spence?”

Thurman answered: “Errol Spence or whoever’s winning. He’s still got to stay winning.

“I believe he’s gonna win. I believe he is number two and I’m the number one welterweight.”

The grilling concluded with Whitlock making a point about Pacquiao, who was sat across the table watching closely, and his old rival Floyd Mayweather.

Boxing fans had to wait six years to see them meet and Thurman insists we will not endure a repeat situation between him and Spence.

“You’re not gonna have to wait long. Like I said, let me get back in motion.

“I told all the writers from the beginning of this year – We’re not talking about Spence this year.

“2020, we can make it happen.”

WBC claim Errol Spence vs Shawn Porter will happen next, date and venue TBC

26 Apr

Errol Spence and Shawn Porter will meet to unify their IBF and WBC welterweight titles next, according to the WBC.

After both men fought last month, it emerged that the plan was for them to fight in the near future and, although this has not yet been officially confirmed by the promoters, one governing body have already announced the contest themselves.

Errol Spence owns the IBF welterweight belt

“Breaking news,” wrote the WBC, “Porter vs Spence has been announced and we are waiting for a date for it.”

Shawn Porter defended his belt in a controversial split decision win over Yordenis Ugas on March 9.

A week later, Errol Spence shut out Mikey Garcia in order to line up a unification bout.

Shawn Porter owns the WBC welterweight belt

Elsewhere in the division, WBA ‘super’ champion Keith Thurman is in talks to face WBA ‘regular’ champion Manny Pacquiao.

Meanwhile WBO titlist Terence Crawford has been called out by Kell Brook.

The best boxing match to be made in every weight class, including Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Canelo Alvarez

2 Apr

The beginning of 2019 has been a frustrating time for boxing fans, because most of the sport’s premier match-ups simply aren’t coming to fruition.

Aside from in the middleweight division – where Canelo Alvarez fights Daniel Jacobs in a May 4 unification – the best bouts in boxing are scarcely being put together, with a variety of mismatches instead taking their place.

Canelo Alvarez will unify middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs in May

In many cases, promotional and broadcast disparities are at the heart of this issue, with multiple top fighters now signed/aligned exclusively to one side.

A prime example of this is at heavyweight, where Anthony Joshua works with Eddie Hearn on DAZN, Deontay Wilder with Al Haymon on Showtime and Tyson Fury with Bob Arum/Frank Warren on ESPN.

The below list removes these irritating boundaries and simply names the best possible fight that could be made in each of boxing’s 17 weight classes at present.

🥊 Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury

⚖ Heavyweight (200lbs+)

The consensus suggested that Fury beat Deontay Wilder in their controversial December draw. As a result, an all-British showdown between him and unified champion Joshua is the best bout to be made at heavyweight. It would also be a colossal event and the biggest fight in British history.

🥊 Mairis Briedis vs Yunier Dorticos

⚖ Cruiserweight (200lbs)

With the top two cruiserweights – Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev – moving up to heavyweight, the division has opened up. Thankfully, the next best remaining fighters are in a WBSS tournament with Briedis in one semi-final in June and Dorticos in another. If both win, they’ll meet later this year.

🥊 Dmitry Bivol vs Artur Beterbiev

⚖ Light-Heavyweight (175lbs)

Light-heavyweight contains four unique world champions and is stacked with talent, making it one of the tougher divisions to choose from. While Sergey Kovalev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk are both top class, a mouth-watering unification between power punchers Bivol and Beterbiev tops the lot.

🥊 Callum Smith vs David Benavidez

⚖ Super-Middleweight (168lbs)

Both Smith and Benavidez tower above most super-middleweights, but would prove an even match for one another. Benavidez was stripped of his world title last year after testing positive for cocaine, but is now in position to win it back again and could then unify against Smith.

🥊 Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin III

⚖ Middleweight (160lbs)

Quite remarkably, the best fight to be made at middleweight is actually happening as Canelo faces Daniel Jacobs on May 4. Aside from that unification, a trilogy bout between Canelo and GGG is still an incredible match-up because the result of their thrilling rematch was disputed.

🥊 Jarrett Hurd vs Jaime Munguia

⚖ Super-Welterweight (154lbs)

It sounds as if Jermell Charlo will get the chance to regain his WBC title from Tony Harrison in June, with the aim of unifying against Hurd afterwards. While this is a tantalising prospect, a unification with hard-hitting young Mexican Munguia is undoubtedly the best fight available at present.

🥊 Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford

⚖ Welterweight (147lbs)

A match-up between welterweight king Spence and three-weight world champion Crawford is one of the best that can be made in the entire sport. Both are in the pound-for-pound top ten and both hold titles at 147lbs. A potential all-American clash for the ages.

🥊 Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor

⚖ Super-Lightweight (140lbs)

Unlike any other division, the best fight to be made at super-lightweight contains two men who are yet to become champions. Prograis and Taylor are both due to fight for titles imminently. Like with the cruiserweights, the pair are on a collision course to meet in a WBSS final this year.

🥊 Vasyl Lomachenko vs Mikey Garcia

⚖ Lightweight (135lbs)

Despite his recent defeat to Errol Spence at welterweight, Garcia is still an elite fighter in his natural division. Many previously saw the four-weight champion as the only man to challenge three-weight star Lomachenko, although it remains to be seen whether Garcia can return to lightweight.

🥊 Gervonta Davis vs Miguel Berchelt

⚖ Super-Featherweight (130lbs)

Davis stands out as the most eye-catching super-featherweight at present, with Berchelt and Tevin Farmer hot on his heels. It’s tough to pick which of the latter pair would provide the toughest test for Davis, but a unification with come-forward Mexican Berchelt would almost certainly be most explosive.

🥊 Leo Santa Cruz vs Gary Russell Jr

⚖ Featherweight (126lbs)

On current form, Josh Warrington is the best featherweight on Earth, however American champions Santa Cruz and Russell Jr are both elite, long-reigning title-holders. Oscar Valdez also owns a belt and a fight featuring any two of these four would be a must-see. The all-US showdown is probably the best.

🥊 Rey Vargas vs Daniel Roman

⚖ Super-Bantamweight (122lbs)

Super-bantamweight in an understated division in boxing today, with two long-reigning champions and two boxers who only won their titles late last year. There aren’t many huge fights to make in the weight class, but a clash of established rulers Vargas and Roman would be one to get excited for.

🥊 Naoya Inoue vs Luis Nery

⚖ Bantamweight (118lbs)

Mexico’s Nery is hated in Japan due to the drug/weight issues encountered when he twice beat Shinsuke Yamanaka. Now, the Japanese have a new hero in the form of Inoue. If he comes through the WBSS tournament and Nery reclaims his old WBC title, a bout between them would be irresistible.

🥊 Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Jerwin Ancajas

⚖ Super-Flyweight (115lbs)

The super-flyweight division stagnated in the latter half of 2018, but a unification between Srisaket and Ancajas would change this completely. The Thai Rungvisai emerged from obscurity in 2017 with back-to-back wins over former pound-for-pound king Roman Gonzalez. He’s also beaten Juan Estrada.

🥊 Kosei Tanaka vs Charlie Edwards

⚖ Flyweight (112lbs)

At the end of last year, Edwards took Cristofer Rosales’ title with a fantastic performance which put forward his case for being the world’s best flyweight. Tanaka meanwhile was involved in a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender against Sho Kimura and would dispute Edwards’ claim as he’s won belts in three divisions.

🥊 Ken Shiro vs Hiroto Kyoguchi

⚖ Light-Flyweight (108lbs)

Shiro and Kyoguchi are two more of Japan’s rising stars from the smaller weight classes. The former has put together a nice run of wins, although the latter is a two-weight champion and recently stopped Hekkie Budler, a result that thrust him into the light-flyweight big time.

🥊 Wanheng Menayothin vs Knockout CP Freshmart

⚖ Minimumweight (105lbs)

The champion with the best numerical record in all of boxing is Thailand’s 52-0 Wanheng. The 33-year-old brought attention to a much-ignored division last year as he topped Floyd Mayweather’s famous 50-0 slate. He’s held his belt for four years, but is yet to unify – step forward fellow Thai Freshmart.

Amir Khan warns Terence Crawford of ‘big shock’ if he overlooks him in favour of Errol Spence super fight

27 Mar

Amir Khan has told Terence Crawford he’ll be in for a ‘big shock’ if he’s planning future fights before they meet on April 20.

The WBO king is being consistently linked with a unification bout against IBF champion Errol Spence – a potential US super fight.

Amir Khan will face Terence Crawford in New York

However, his British challenger insists that won’t be happening any time soon.

“There’s a lot of talk about Crawford fighting Spence,” Khan said, “Spence has just come off a fight.

“All the people that are talking about that fight; he’s got his hands full against me.

“I’m not just a number. I know when I have to turn it on, I can turn it on.”

Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence is thought to be one of the best fights to be made in boxing today.

Errol Spence won every round against Mikey Garcia in all three judges’ eyes

Promotional/network differences will likely prevent it from coming to fruition in the near future, however Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum has declared he will make an offer to Spence’s adviser Al Haymon, once Amir Khan has been dealt with.

Following Errol Spence’s recent win over Mikey Garcia, Arum even tweeted: “Errol Spence said that he is ready to fight Terence Crawford.

“We are ready to do that next, once ‘Bud’ is successful against Amir Khan on April 20.

“It’s what fight fans want. Al, should I call you, or will you call me?”

In response to this, Amir Khan continued: “Maybe in previous fights I’ve won the fights, but I’ve not maybe looked the best. [It’s] because I know that I belong at the level above.

“I’m one of those fighters that, if I’m fighting a guy who’s supposed to be at the top of his game, that’s going to bring me to the top of my game.

“If Crawford’s talking about Spence, maybe that fight happening, and overlooking me, I think he is gonna be having a big shock.

“I hope he’s gonna be ready in this fight.”

Shawn Porter thinks Errol Spence will be his next fight and is willing to travel to opponent’s hometown

26 Mar

Shawn Porter believes his next fight will be against Errol Spence.

The WBC welterweight king defended his crown in a controversial split decision win over Yordenis Ugas on March 9.

Shawn Porter with his WBC belt

A week later, the IBF champ shut out Mikey Garcia and now a unification bout is being touted between the pair.

When asked about his own next move, Porter told a group of reporters: “I think we got Errol Spence next, man, we’ll see. Oh yeah, that’s a pay-per-view fight…

Errol Spence with his IBF belt

“I’m already back in the gym, I’m already back doing everything it takes to be ready for whenever that call comes for that fight.”

Porter previously held the IBF welterweight belt, but lost it to Kell Brook in 2014.

Spence took the belt back to America by stopping Brook three years later, while Porter beat Danny Garcia to pick up the WBC last September.

Now, both Americans have titles and a unification seems inevitable.

“I might have to go into his back yard in Dallas to get the job done,” Porter continued, “But Marvin [Hagler] did it. I love Marvin, I’mma do it, too.

“Right now, all of it is just talk, I’ve gotta get in there and do it.

“Like I’ve said before, I’m not afraid to get in there and do it.”

Errol Spence next fight: Welterweight champion doubts Floyd Mayweather will come back, eyes Manny Pacquiao instead

21 Mar

Errol Spence believes Floyd Mayweather is too smart to come out of retirement and fight him in his prime.

The IBF welterweight king defended his title with a comprehensive decision win over Mikey Garcia on Saturday and is already weighing up options for his ring return.

Errol Spence won every round in all three judges’ eyes

Both Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were ringside as part of the 47,000 crowd at the AT&T Stadium to watch Spence’s biggest fight to date, prompting questions to the champ about whether he’d like to face them.

“That is where the real money’s at,” the 29-year-old admitted on Speak For Yourself when asked about Mayweather, “But Floyd retired.

“I actually talked with Floyd and Floyd said he has no ambitions of coming back. So Floyd’s gone.

“I don’t think he’s scared.

Floyd Mayweather was in attendance at Spence vs Garcia

“Floyd’s a smart businessman, he’s very smart with how he goes about things, calculated.

“So I don’t think Floyd will fight me, I’m young, I’m in my prime, we sparred before so we have history.

“So I don’t think that he’ll come out of retirement to fight somebody that’s as young, as in his prime and as skilful as myself.”

Manny Pacquiao beat Adrien Broner on January 19 in Las Vegas

Pacquiao, however, is an entirely different story.

The 40-year-old Filipino legend is still active and competing at a high level in the welterweight division, explaining Spence’s decision to call him out after beating Garcia.

“He just beat Adrien Broner on pay-per-view,” Spence continued, “He actually holds the record for the most tickets sold at the AT&T Stadium.

“I feel like it only makes sense for me and Manny Pacquiao to fight back at the AT&T Stadium and break his record, maybe have 70,000 seats there.”