BLOW BY BLOW: THIS WEEK IN BOXING PART 2
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For Part 2 of our new Blow by Blow series, as we did in Part 1 from last week, we take a look back at the boxing news from the past week. We’ll briefly cover the big news, as well as some things that may have slipped past your radar.
The promoter’s and their plans:
All of the major promoters released information over the past week regarding their plans to hold fights soon, during Coronavirus.
Bob Arum revealed he is planning to stage fights in June, in a closed event with no fans. This limits who will be fighting, as Arum confirmed Fury- Wilder wouldn’t be happening just yet, but that we would see Jose Ramirez, Teofimo Lopez, Shakur Stevenson, and others. This is great news as they’re all top fighters.
Arum also explained that the fights would likely be in Las Vegas, as it’s just easier to stage fights there under social distancing guidelines due to the size of the exhibition spaces. This week Arum also spoke about plans to reduce U.S PPV costs to $40, down from $80. This is likely due to the acknowledgment that lower PPV prices will lead to more PPV sales and greater revenue, a key concern during this lockdown.
He cited low PPV costs in the UK as a reason UK PPV fights do so well, despite the US having a population almost 5 times greater than the UK. More people buy the fights here because they can afford to. Fights in the U.S often reach $99.99 on PPV, pricing out a huge portion of boxing fans.
Eddie Hearn has similar plans to stage big fights behind closed doors, by the end of July. Hearn confirmed that Whyte – Povetkin would be one of those fights, alongside Katie Taylor – Amanda Serrano, they won’t be waiting for the arenas to open back up. Hearn did say however that as it will be a fight relying purely on TV revenue, that he still wants to put on a spectacle, some kind of big show to give value to fans.
Hearn also explained that Anthony Joshua – Kubrat Pulev would not be taking place behind closed doors. He said the fight is just too big of a draw to hold purely over PPV, that it would happen later in the year, likely Sep or Oct. Hearn said that they’d be holding the fight as a live event, so territories such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi or Dubai that would allow that to happen, are the most likely.
Frank Warren has plans to bring us fights in July, this time in Britain. Warren explained he would be looking to find hotels, TV studios, or similarly large venues which could be hired out and closed off. The fights being held would British-title level, not international bouts.
Warren ruled out the possibility of holding Daniel Dubois – Joe Joyce or Josh Taylor – Apinun Khongsong would not happen without a live audience, which rules them out until at least September. Those fights are just too big to go ahead without gate revenue, it would be a financial disaster not to wait.
The WBC looking at online judging:
The WBC announced that it was looking into the possibility of bringing back boxing in July, with the judging of the fight being done online via video link. This would reduce the number of staff required in the venue and increase overall safety. Weigh-ins, press conferences, and other events such as medical testing would take place in locked rooms, with minimal staff present.
The British Boxing Board of Control proposes strict guidelines:
Robert Smith of the BBBofC released the proposals for a July return of boxing. The guidelines include:
- Maximum 50 persons present at an event
- All trainers and cornermen to wear masks throughout the fights
- Referees and all event staff to wear masks at all times
- No spit bucket in the corner, and no spitting from fighters during the fight
- The ring, ropes, and corners will be tested for COVID-19 pre-fight
- The ring, ropes, and corners will be sprayed with disinfectant
- No fans are to be present at all
- The boxers, referees, and trainers will be transported to the fight venue wearing personal protective masks
- The boxers, referees, and trainers need to be tested for COVID-19 48 hours before the fight and remain in isolation until cleared
- Vulnerable persons, such as those over 70 years old, those with chronic lung or heart conditions, and anyone exhibiting a cough or flu-like symptoms in the 14 days prior to the fight will not be permitted to attend under any circumstances
Demetrius Andrade wants Canelo, Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders and… Andy Ruiz?:
Andrade explained that his first priority is, understandably, Canelo Alvarez. If he can’t land a fight with Canelo, he wants Jermall Charlo. Charlo – Andrade would be an amazing fight and we’d love to see it happen. If Andrade can’t get either of those two, he said he’ll take Billy Joe Saunders at any weight, which he doesn’t see as a hard fight at all.
Curiously, Andrade also called out Heavyweight Andy Ruiz. It’s a huge weight difference with Andrade last weighing in at 72kg and Ruiz weighing in at 129kg. While Andrade has said he’d happily go up in weight to chase big fights, a move up to Heavyweight is a huge gain. Also, what’s the point in fighting Ruiz? Aside from big money, which he can get from Canelo or Charlo, there’s no reason to call out Ruiz.
Leo Santa Cruz takes aim at Gervonat Davis. Davis responds. Fight on!:
This is hugely exciting news, a matchup that promises to deliver great watching. Santa Cruz – Davis finally looks like it’s going to happen. According to most sources the bout is being arranged for this autumn. Talks have been ongoing since last 2019, both fighters really wanting it to happen.
It will be contested at 130lbs, Santa Cruz expressed he wouldn’t want to meet Davis at 135lbs and give a weight advantage. Davis is happy to come down to 130lbs again, responding to details of the reported matchup hitting the press with “see y’all in the fall”.
In the world of boxing side-shows…:
John Fury, Tyson Fury’s dad, has called out Mike Tyson. After hearing that Mike Tyson was planning to make a comeback to box in 4-round charity events, Big John offered to step into the ring to face the man he named his son after. While John Fury did box professionally and in bare-knuckle contests, we don’t see his fight with Iron Mike ending well if this does happen.
Evander Holyfield, at 57, also announced his comeback to the ring. After hearing the news from Mike Tyson, Holyfield quickly followed suit with similar plans. On top of this, James Toney piped up and said he didn’t want to be left out of any potential charity or exhibition bouts. Again, we’re skeptical about the safety of these older men getting started again.
Eddie Hall, the former World’s Strongest Man, and Hafthor Björnsson, ‘The Mountain’ from Game of Thrones, are set to box in 2021. The two have long been rivals in strongman competitions, but have decided to take their competitive streak to the boxing ring. With Eddie standing 6′ 3″ and weighing around 186kg (410lbs) and Hafthor standing 6′ 9″ and weighing 205kg (452lbs) this is a Heavyweight bout.
Oscar De La Hoya called out Conor McGregor, saying that even aged 47 he could KO him in 2 rounds. Obviously, McGregor responded instantly over twitter accepting the bout. This would be another huge payday for McGregor, but we’ve no idea why De La Hoya wants to do this. He retired too late, blemishing his record with a number of losses that showed the worst of The Golden Boy. He makes a huge amount from his promotional exploits and doesn’t need to expose himself to any unnecessary risk. We’d hate to see a shock loss to an MMA fighter further tarnishing Golden Boy’s record.
While these could be fun events, they’re not exactly the first fights we were looking forward to watching after COVID-19. Apart from Iron Mike. We’ll always watch Iron Mike.
Finally, and unfortunately, we have a sad note to end on. Last Thursday, the boxing world lost a true character, in the form of Jimmy Glenn. Jimmy was well-known and loved in the boxing world, having been an amateur boxer, trainer, cut-man, and promoter. As an amateur Glenn fought the future-great Floyd Patterson in the 1950s, going the distance. He went on to become Patterson’s cornerman and trainer.
He once owned a gym in Times Square where Muhammed Ali trained, later opening a bar in Times Square aptly named ‘Jimmy’s Corner’, which is still running to this day. If you’ve seen the boxing classic ‘Raging Bull’ starring Robert De Niro, you might recognise Jimmy’s Corner, as the final scene was filmed there. Jimmy also promoted fights for the likes of Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, and Paulie Malignaggi. Thankfully he lived to see himself be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2012.
Sadly Jimmy passed away last Thursday, aged 89, due to the effects of COVID-19. It’s the men like Jimmy Glenn, working in obscurity behind the scenes, pouring their passion into the sport day in and day out, who help make boxing what it is. While men like Jimmy go unknown to most of the world, the results of their work take centre stage and inspire us all.
That concludes our look at this week’s boxing news. We hope you’ve been keeping yourselves entertained and safe at home. For a fight to keep you busy, why not watch a fight involving two of boxing’s greats, Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali. On November 22, 1965, the two legends met for the first time and went a full 12 rounds. With Patterson nearing the end of his career, and Ali dominating most of the rounds, it still makes for great viewing.