By Allan Fox: Former super middleweight champion Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) will be back in the ring two months from now against #6 WBC 168lb contender Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) in a scheduled 12 round tune-up fight on August 6 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, according to ESPN.
The Ward-Brand fight is not official, but the terms have been agreed upon by both fighters. The contracts are expected to be signed this week. The Ward vs. Brand fight will be televised on HBO Boxing. It’s unknown why Ward chose to fight a super middleweight rather than a light heavyweight for this fight. Read the rest of this entry »
By Jeff Aranow: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder says he’s ready to fight a unification match against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua or IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury if they win their next fights and if they’re interested in fighting him. Wilder says he’s wants to fight either of those guys.
Whether a unification fight takes place between one of those to British champions will depend on them winning, and Wilder winning his next fight against Chris Arreola on July 16. Of course, it also will depend on Joshua or Fury’s promoters being open to letting them fight Wilder in a risky unification match.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to match him against Fury in November. Fury says he would like to fight Joshua or Wilder. Fury would likely take the bigger money fight against Joshua, however. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: Heavyweight Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) now yet another replacement opponent that he’ll be fighting this Saturday night on June 25 in journeyman Ivica Bacurin (24-9-1, 14 KOs) in a six-round fight on the undercard of the title fight between IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Dominic Breazeale at the O2 Arena in London, UK. I don’t expect Bacurin to last more than a round or two against Whyte. The only way this fight goes past the 2nd round is if Whyte wants it to.
Whyte was originally supposed to be fighting Cyril Leonet, but then he couldn’t take the fight and was replaced by 39-year-old American journeyman Danny Batchelder. That fight now isn’t happening either, so the 33-year-old Bacurin gets the call for the fight. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: #2 WBC, #4 WBA George Groves (23-3, 18 KOs) and #10 WBC Martin Murray (33-3-1, 16 KOs) will be fighting in a WBA super middleweight title eliminator this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK. The winner of the Groves-Murray fight will be the mandatory challenger of WBA World super middleweight champion Giovanni De Carolis. That’s kind of a scary thought because neither of these guys has done much to deserve a title shot so quickly after they were beaten in failed world title shots.
Groves’ history of gassing out in his fights is quite evident. He’s a good six-round fighter, but after that point, he fades and implodes. Groves says he’s fixed his stamina issues with the help of trainer Shane McGuigan, and he feels that Murray shouldn’t count on him fading late in this fight.
“I’m looking to steal the show,” said Groves to Sky Sports about his fight against Murray on Saturday on the Joshua vs. Breazeale card. “Neither of us can afford to lose. I don’t plan on ever losing again. I’m looking forward to showing all the improvements I’ve made on June 25.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Gav Duthie: It’s been a throwaway comment for years now that the welterweight division is the best in boxing. After only one year after the highest grossing fight of all time between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao the division has completely transformed with those two retiring, a new set of champions and a fresh batch of competitors.
With the heavyweight division gaining excitement after arguably two decades of decay and a solid cruiserweight division it is up to the new batch of fighters to restore welterweight glory and crown a new king.
This piece assesses the current situation, the top contenders and their willingness to fight each other as well as provide predictions as to the new dominant force. The auditions start next week with Keith Thurman facing Shawn Porter. Read the rest of this entry »
By Jeff Aranow: Jerry Capobianco, the trainer for light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs), would like to see his fighter cash in on the success he had last Saturday night in destroying the highly ranked #2 WBC Andrzej Fonfara (28-4, 16 KOs) in a 1st round knockout at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
Smith Jr., 26, came into the fight with Fonfara a huge underdog, but he shocked everyone by knocking the Polish fighter down twice in the 1st round to get a fast knockout victory. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: #12 IBF heavyweight contender David Price (20-3, 17 KOs) recently came off a year long layoff to destroy an over-matched 3rd tier fighter named Vaclav Pejsar (9-3, 8 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout last month on May 29 on the undercard of the Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu card at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England. Will Joshua give Price a mercy fight or will he ignore him?
The victory for the 32-year-old Price has planted some ideas in his head, because he now would like to fight IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and he believes the fight could take place later this year. I can well understand why Price would want to fight Joshua. The payday for a fight against Joshua would likely be huge for Price if he could get that fight. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) has a tough task ahead of him on Saturday night in defending his IBF strap against an equally big 6’7”, 255lbs challenger Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Not only is Breazeale equally big, but he hits about as hard as Joshua. This is a fight where either of these guys can win the fight, although Joshua has to be considered the favorite going in given his hometown advantage. With that said, Breazeale seems to be the more mature of the two, and seems to have a real keen eye with his observations. Read the rest of this entry »
By Dan Ambrose: Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi sees this Saturday’s fight between WBA World welterweight champion Keith “One Time’ Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) and Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) as a weeding out process between two of the top five fighters in the 147lb division. Thurman will be defending his WBA 147lb title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. the fight will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing.
Malignaggi doesn’t necessarily believe that Porter and Thurman are the top two fighters at welterweight. They still need to prove themselves against each other and the other remaining three top welterweights, which Malignaggi didn’t name.
It’s likely that Malignaggi sees Errol Spence, Danny Garcia and Kell Brook as the three other guys. You could possibly substitute one or those names with Tim Bradley, David Avanesyan, Jessie Vargas and Andre Berto. Those are all quality fighters that could potentially take the No.1 spot, although it’s not likely. Read the rest of this entry »
By Chris Williams: WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) is a little over a month away from his debut on HBO pay-per-view against WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) on July 23 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. With Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao no longer fighting, Crawford wants to be seen as the successor to those two stars as the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Whether the now 28-year-old Crawford can accomplish that heavy task remains to be seen. Crawford is No.6 on Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound rating, and I’m not sure that he’s got the fighting style to beat out the guys above him. Crawford is more of a counter puncher, and he doesn’t put his chin on the line the way you like to see with the No.1 pound-for-pound stars.
“This isn’t just opening night for a new phase of my career. I want this to be the beginning of a long run as boxing’s next pound for pound star and a worthy successor to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr,” said Crawford. Read the rest of this entry »