BLOW BY BLOW: THIS WEEK IN BOXING PART 10
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We have now reached the 10th installment of our weekly Blow By Blow run through where we cover all of the latest and biggest news snippets, just in case you missed them. All the latest boxing news for the last week all in one place.
Billy Joe Saunders won’t fight Canelo, but Callum Smith might
Saunders has turned down an offer to fight Canelo on September 12th behind closed doors, citing an unacceptable pay cut and a lack of time to fully prepare for his reasons.
Canelo wants his next fight at Super-Middleweight which puts the likes of GGG and Charlo out of the running. With Daniel Jacobs moved up to 168lbs now there could be a rematch to be had or a fight with David Benavidez, but Callum Smith also gains that spot in place of BJS.
Callum Smith is both the WBA Super champ and The Ring champ. A Smith v Canelo match up would put both the regular belt that Canelo holds against the super belt the Smith holds, which could make it a more interesting fight to sell than an attempt at Benavidez’s 168lb WBC strap.
Smith also confirmed that he is ready and willing to take the fight, saying “I had a few weeks off at the start of lockdown and enjoyed the family time because we miss out on that luxury when we’re in full training… but then I got back to training and slowly got myself back to normal. If I do get a date in September, then I’m not just getting off the couch. I’ve already got a strong training base and I’m ready to go into a tough camp right now.”
Lou DiBella doesn’t want Miller banished from professional boxing
Lou DiBella was understandably angry after hearing his fighter Jerry Forrest’s opposition had been caught for PED (performance-enhancing drugs) use just 2 weeks out form their match. However, after having some time to think about it DiBella has given a surprisingly understanding take on Miller’s 3rd, or 2nd depending on how you look at it, failed drug test. Responding to whether or not Miller should receive a lifetime ban, DiBella told Bad Left Hook, “No, what’s done is done… And I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I don’t think Jarrell should be given a lifetime ban. I don’t think a lifetime ban is the right move. I think you want to send a real message, maybe worse than we’ve ever seen in the sport, but not lifetime.”
Miller continues to profess his innocence and has blamed tainted products or other sources for his test results. It is possible that Miller took adulterated substances without knowing as this is very coming in the sports supplementation market, however, it is up to professionals and their teams to check that the off-the-shelf products they are taking are approved by the sports sanctioning bodies. There are a growing number of organizations that vigorously test products and provide athletes with lists of confirmed drug-free supplements, so any pro athlete failing a drug test, unknowingly or otherwise, seldom gets a light-handed response.
Pedraza gets expected win over overmatched LesPierre
After a postponement caused by Mikkel LesPierre’s manager contracting COVID-19, the fight went ahead yesterday on Top Rank’s Thursday night card at the MGM Grand.
Jose Pedraza was dominant for the full 10 rounds, landing 41% of his punches compared to 16% from LesPierre. While got caught by LesPierre in round 5 and hit the canvas, this was later ruled a trip rather than a knockdown. By the end, the judges’ cards were a landslide 99-89 in favor of Pedraza.
Whyte sincerely think he can beat Fury
Dillian Whyte is confident in his ability to cause a huge upset in February. He’s spoken in the past about dropping Fury in sparring but has distanced himself from the idea that he’s basing his current confidence on that session in 2013. Whyte believes that with a decent camp and no injuries going into the Fury bout, he has what it takes to do what Wilder couldn’t.
Speaking about the now axed possibility of Fury dodging him by becoming WBC franchise champion Whyte said, “We’re making the right moves in the right direction, everything is going good. Honestly, I’m glad that the WBC scrapped the idea of making Tyson Fury the franchise champion.” If the WBC had made Fury franchise champion this would’ve left the WBC belt to Whyte who would’ve become the champion as he currently holds the interim title, but he would have missed out on the biggest payday of his career.
It’s understandable then that Whyte immediately took up legal against the WBC upon hearing the news. While the WBC didn’t outright say they changed their plans as a result of the lawsuit, all talk of Fury becoming ‘Franchise Champion’ has now ended.
Ortiz v Vargas in jeopardy following recent COVID spike in California
Golden Boy has set July 24th as the date for a boxing return, with their card headlined by Welterweights, Vergil Ortiz and Samuel Vargas. However, as a result of increased public activity, BLM (Black Lives Matter) protests, and recently relaxed social distancing regulations, California has seen a huge spike in cases that could threaten the security of the event.
Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told Yahoo Sports “We’ve learned a lot from what Top Rank has done with fights falling out and whatnot. We’ve tested pretty much all of our fighters in camp, multiple times. We’re telling them to take their temperatures every day and to wear a mask and to wash their hands as often as possible and to observe the social-distancing guidelines…but you know this is something we can’t predict. It’s a nasty virus and we’re just trying to be cautious and do the best we can.”
WBC sets Campbell against Garcia in eliminator fight
The WBC has said the winner of Luke Campbell v Ryan Garcia will become mandatory to Devin Haney at Lightweight. The fight comes as Javier Fortuna, who was also in the running for the interim sport, opted instead to face Jorge Linares in August for the WBC Diamond belt.
This left Campbell without an opponent and the WBC quickly replaced Fortuna with Garcia. Campbell told The Mirror, “I’m excited to beat this lad, he’s an up-and-coming fighter with a lot of hype behind him… I’m 32 but I feel like I’m the 24-year-old fresh, mature fighter who has a lot to prove and to do in the sport of boxing. He looks big for the weight and he carries power, he has quick hands but that’s all really, I haven’t seen anything else… No-one has seen the best of me yet and it’s coming. If anyone thought I boxed well against Lomachenko, and 90 per cent of the rounds were close and competitive, I can fight miles better than that.”
Garcia has become a fan favourite and frequently takes to social media to call fighters out and show off his skills. While young and outspoken, Garcia is undeniably talented and could prove a difficult match for the more experienced Campbell. The fight has been confirmed by Eddie Hearn, but as of yet no firm date or arrangements have been public.
Hearn sends Serrano the bill, Taylor eyes other competition
With the back and forth arguments between Amanda Serrano, Lou Dibella, Eddie Hearn, and Katie Taylor, the Matchroom boss has decided that he’s done with the games. Despite Hearn agreeing to meet their financial demands and explaining the COVID-19 related postponements, Serrano and her team have maintained that the Taylor contract is not up to scratch.
In response, Hearn has requested that DiBella pay back $10,000 Serrano was advanced as training contributions and he wants it by Friday the 3rd of July, today. While Taylor and Hearn still want the fight, they are running out of time if Taylor is still going to close out Matchroom’s ‘Fight Camp’ in August. On the situation, Hearn told iFL TV, “Subject to them coming on this week and saying ‘fair is fair, we’ll take the fight’ there’s still time…
Absent that, it’s onto the next one… I like the Delfine Persoon fight… we’ve made three offers… It’s close, it’s close… It’s a much bigger fight because of the controversy from the first fight.”
While a showdown with Serrano would be huge for women’s boxing, if they can’t come to an agreement then Taylor is also open to different challenges. OF potentially facing Persoon again instead of Serrano, Hearn told iFL TV, “Katie wants to take that fight because there is doubt in some people’s mind that she won that fight…If you’re a fighter, if you care about legacy and achievement, you have to adapt to this environment. You have to go for it. [Taylor] wants Persoon, she wants Serrano, she wants Braekhus, she wants Cyborg. I’m not saying she’s done after that, but that’s what motivates her. When you look at the world, the only thing I can guarantee Katie Taylor if we can get Persoon over the line is, we can do it now. Can we do it in October or November? I don’t know. But I know we’ve got a slot in August.”
That’s all for this week’s rundown of the latest boxing news, in case you missed any of them. Check back the same time next week for the next Blow By Blow.
Why not check out last weeks Blow By Bow Part 9