By Tim Royner: WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez will reportedly be trained by Saul Canelo Alvarez’s coach Eddy Reynoso. Valdez, 27, suffered a broken jaw in his last fight in beating former super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg last March.
Valdez’s leaky defense in the Quigg fight made it clear that he needs to make some major changes if he wants to hold onto his World Boxing Organization 126 pound title for much longer. Reynoso and Chepo Reynoso have done a good job of making Canelo Alvarez one of the best defensive fighters in boxing. If they can do the same thing with Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs), he’ll be a much better fighter and help prolong his career.
Reynoso has done a good job with Canelo but it remains to be seen whether he can do the same thing for other fighters. Canelo is a special case because he’s very smart, he learns quickly and he has excellent hand speed and power. Reynoso might not have the same results with Valdez, because he’s more of a brawler than Canelo and his punch resistance isn’t that good. Valdez was hurt in his fights against Miguel Marriaga and Genesis Servania in 2017. In Valdez’s only fight in 2018, he suffered the aforementioned jaw injury in his fight against Quigg.
If Valdez is going to be training with Reynoso in Mexico, hopefully he looks out for him so that he doesn’t test positive for the banned performance enhancing substance clenbuteral once or twice like we saw with Canelo recently. Reynoso needs to do a better job of looking out for Valdez if he ends up training him in Mexico.
Rob Brant’s reps win purse bid for Ryota Murata fight
#2 WBA Rob Brant’s reps have won the purse bid for his World Boxing Association ordered title fight against WBA World middleweight title holder Ryota Murata. Murata’s two promoters Top Rank and Teiken failed to make a bid, which begs the question whether the 32-year-old Murata (14-1, 11 KOs) will vacate his WBA title now. The WBA ordered the Murata vs. Brant fight. For Murata to swerve the Brant fight, he’ll either need to vacate his WBA secondary 160 pound title or give Brant a step aside fee so that he can fight someone else. Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin is the main WBA middleweight champion in holding down the WBA ‘Super World’ title. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has mentioned wanting to match GGG against Murata in the near future. Whether the fight will be as important with Murata no longer holding down the WBA ‘regular’ title is unclear.
It looks bad that the WBA has two champions at 160 with Murata holding the secondary belt and Golovkin the more recognized title. Murata won the WBA title in stopping Hassan N’Dam in the 7th round in their rematch on October 22 last year. In their first fight, Murata was beaten by a 12 round split decision last year in May. In Murata’s first defense, he defeated fringe contender Emanuele Felice Blandamura by an 8th round knockout last April. It was a poor title defense for Murata in being matched so weakly. Recently, there’s been talk of Top Rank matching Murata against Brazilian Esquiva Falcao in what would be a rematch of their 2012 Olympic final. Murata beat Falcao by a 14-13 score. A lot of boxing fans believed that Falcao deserved the victory over Murata in that fight. The judging for the Murata vs. Falcao fight was highly controversial. If Top Rank is able to maneuver Murata around Brant, then it’s likely the boxing fans will see the Murata-Falcao rematch. The casual U.S fans won’t care about seeing the fight, as they’re not familiar with them. The only boxing fans that will care about that fight are Murata and Falcao’s fans from their respective home countries in Japan and Brazil.
Shannon Briggs says he’ll attend Tyson Fury’s fight against Francesco Pianeta this Saturday night in Belfast
Former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs is stating on social media that he plans on making the trek to Northern Ireland this Saturday night to watch Tyson Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) fight Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) at Windsor Park. 47-year-old Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) hopes to face Fury in the near future. It was believed that Fury would face Briggs in a tune-up at some point before stepping it up against better fighters. However, with Fury in negotiations to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in November, it leaves Briggs no longer important for him. The only way Fury faces Briggs now is if he needs a confidence booster if he loses to Wilder. If Fury beats Wilder, then there will be no point in him facing an inactivie fighter like Briggs, who hasn’t fought since 2016. Briggs has not been doing a good job staying relevant by keeping his career alive.
Wilder, 32, will be in attendance as well on Saturday at Belfast for the Fury-Pianeta fight. It’s thought that Wilder will enter the ring for a faceoff with Fury after the fight is over. It makes all the sense in the world for Wilder to be at the fight, and none for Briggs. There’s very little chance that Fury will fight Briggs or Antonio Tarver now, because he’s already facing an arguably better fighter than either of them in Pianeta. In their primes, Briggs and Tarver were obviously better fighters than the 6’5” Pianeta. However, neither of them has fought in a long time and they’re not the same fighters they once were.
Eddie Hearn meeting with Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk in Paris to negotiate fight with Tony Bellew
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn met with IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk on Monday in Paris, France to start up negotiations for a fight against Tony Bellew in November or December. Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) called out the 35-year-old Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOIs) last month after defeating IBF/WBA cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev by a 12 round unanimous decision in Moscow, Russia. Bellew immediately accepted the challenge despite the fact that he could likely make a lot more money in facing Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Adonis Stevenson or Andre Ward. Those fights make more sense for Bellew, but he likes the idea of fighting the best fighter in the cruiserweight division in Usyk for all four of the division’s titles on the line. Bellew previously held the World Boxing Council cruiserweight title in 2017, but he was stripped of the belt by the WBC when he chose to move up to heavyweight to face injured David Haye instead of defending the WBC title against his mandatory challenger Mairis Briedis. It’s unclear how much fan interest there will be in a fight between Bellew and Usyk. Hearn is likely going to televise the Bellew-Usyk fight on Sky Box Office pay-per-view. While the British boxing public was interested in seeing Bellew fight the old war horse David Haye twice, they’re not likely going to be nearly as excited at seeing Bellew-Usyk. Usyk isn’t a household name with the casual boxing fans in the UK. Even though Usyk has loads up talent in unifying the cruiserweight division and winning a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics for Ukraine, he still has fought only 15 times as a pro, and he’s not well known enough to interest the casual fans in the UK to purchase the Bellew vs. Usyk fight on Sky Box Office.