BLOW BY BLOW: THIS WEEK IN BOXING PART 6
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Thanks for joining us again as we look at some of the bigger stories from the past week, as well as some things you may have missed.
Manny Pacquiao looking to retire Golovkin?
Freddie Roach revealed Pacquiao is keen to become a nine-weight champ and is exploring a possible fight with GGG at 160lbs, with no catch-weight, for his IBF title. Pacquiao currently fights at Welterweight but has fought at Light Middleweight in the past, beating Antonio Margarito for the WBC belt.
If Pacquiao were to fight Golovkin at middleweight he would likely weight far less than 160lbs but would be willing to take the fight despite surrender a big size advantage. This is not the first time he has done this. For his Light Middleweight fight with Margarito, Pacquiao weighed in at 144.6lbs, which put him 10lbs below the Light Middleweight limit. Against Margarito, Pacquiao was a Welterweight fighting for the Light Middleweight belt.
Roach admitted that fighting at 160lbs might be too much for Pacquiao, telling DAZN, “No. I would not advise him to go 160lbs, that would be a little crazy. ‘But putting him at 147lbs was a risk at one time.” Roach was referring to the skepticism the boxing world showed Pacquiao when he moved up to 147lbs to face De La Hoya in 2008, saying Pacquiao was fighting too far above his natural weight to be competitive. Winning that fight made Manny a six-weight champ.
Should Pacquiao fight Golovkin, it’s very likely he’d weigh in close to 155lbs on fight night, with Golovkin making 160lbs at the weigh-in and rehydrating to closer to 170lbs by fight night. It would be a big weight difference for Pacquiao to overcome, but it’s not an idea he’s adverse to.
The 39-year-old GGG has slowed a lot and starting to show his age, while Pacquiao somehow still maintains a big portion of his speed and power. So, if it does happen, it might not be as much of a mismatch as the scales would have us believe. If GGG lost to Pacquiao, with his Middleweight stock taking a heavy hit, it is possible he would hang up his gloves shortly after.
Derek Chisora uncritical of Saudi Arabia
Much has been made of Saudi Arabia’s use of big-money deals and entertainment events to divert attention away from their widely reported human rights abuses.
Companies and celebrities who have accepted deals to host or attend events there have been targeted by the media and the public. However, despite this, Derek Chisora sees little problem with the situation.
Chisora said, “My belief, first of all, was that Saudi Arabia was not great, but when I went there to see Saudi Arabia for myself, I was like ‘wow, this is amazing… I think more fights should happen in Saudi Arabia… The fighters will fight but they want to get paid more, and Saudi are saying they will pay more. Tell the TV broadcasters in London to pay the fighters more so they don’t have to go to Saudi.”
Further developments with Canelo’s September fight.
It was recently reported that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is willing to fight without fans and that Golden Boy Promotions have been looking for cheaper opposition than Gennady Golovkin to make this possible. The more realistic of the options were Anthony Dirrell, David Lemieux, and Sergiy Derevyanchenko, but now another has been named, Japan’s Ryota Murata.
Murata is the current WBA regular Middleweight champion and has a record of 16-2. This fight would be a huge step up in level for Murata, who has never fought a top-10 fighter.
This fight would also mark another occasion that the WBA, confusingly, has two boxers fighting for a title in the same division. Canelo holds the WBA Super Middleweight title, and Murata holds the WBA Regular Middleweight title.
For Canelo, there is another benefit to taking on Japanese favourite Ryota Murata. Aragon Garcia of Boxing News 24 explained that, “Canelo-Murata is a fight that could prove to be much more critical for Canelo than if he were to face Saunders, who offers very little in return. Murata could be the key to Canelo and DAZN opening up the lucrative market in Japan…With a population of 126 million, Japan has a massive amount of Murata fans, who watch him perform each time he fights. These aren’t necessarily hardcore boxing fans in Japan.”
As a result, despite Murata not matching the caliber of Canelo’s regularly chosen opposition, it’s something for him to consider. The fight will add little to his record, but it could mean a huge addition to his bank.
Omar Rosario, Puerto Rico’s great hope, turning pro.
The hugely impressive standout amateur Omar Rosario has elected to turn pro this year instead of waiting to represent his country of Puerto Rico, in the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It’s a storyline that seems all too common this year. With such a huge amount of effort put into their training and preparation, many great amateurs who would have competed in the Olympic Games this summer, have grown frustrated by the events of COVID-19.
For many, 4 or more years of preparation ending in another year of waiting, is too much to endure. 22-year-old Rosario, who has over 200 fights under his belt, has signed with Split-T Management, who also manages DeAndre Ware and Teofimo Lopez.
Tyson Fury aiming for the biggest deal in boxing history
Fury, ever the showman and big man in the room, has set his sights on a record-setting deal. Speaking on his Instagram Live, Fury said, “I’m coming to the end of my contract with Top Rank, I have two more fights left with those guys. I want to renew it, I don’t want to just walk away after two more fights…I want to get that big, major fight deal. I want to break all of the records…bigger than Floyd Mayweather, bigger than Canelo Alvarez, bigger than Mike Tyson, bigger than everybody.”
For Fury to take the top spot he needs to make more than Canelo Alvarez did by signing a 5-year deal with DAZN, at $365 million. Fury’s current deal, which was a 5-fight deal with Top Rank and ESPN, was worth £80 million, or $101 million. Given that Fury has so far gone 3-0 on that deal, broken into the US and gained a huge following, upset the (now former) WBC champ in Deontay Wilder, and has a potential undisputed Heavyweight match with Anthony Joshua coming in 2021 it’s not out of the question that he could take the record.
Bob Arum wants to erase Dillian Whyte form WBC spot.
The top man at Top Rank has taken aim at ‘The Body Snatcher’. Bob Arum, keen to make as much money as possible from his Tyson Fury co-promotional deal with Frank Warren, has said that the WBC should remove Dillian Whyte from the mandatory position so that Fury can fight Anthony Joshua.
His reasoning is clearly based solely on the contract he has remaining with Fury. Fury has two fights left on the contract, one of those being a contractually obligated rematch with Deontay Wilder, the other being a WBC mandated fight Dillian Whyte. As Fury must fight Whyte by Feb 2021, that would be the last fight on his Top Rank contract.
This would put Fury in a massive power position, as his next fight with Joshua which would likely be one of the biggest PPV events of the last few decades, will fall outside of his contract with Top Rank. Fury would then be in a position to leverage that fight in negotiations with ESPN and Top Rank for a US distribution deal.
For Fury, it benefits him to fight Whyte in Feb, so that he can use the Joshua fight to improve his deal with ESPN or a competitor like DAZN. But for Arum, the Dillian Whyte fight is a huge thorn in his side and could cost him hundreds of millions of dollars if his contract with Fury lapses before the AJ mega-fight and he needs to renegotiate terms.
For this reason, you can expect Arum to everything in his power to pressure the WBC into, very wrongfully, removing Whyte from his mandatory position.
We might have been right about Mike Tyson…
Last Friday we posted an article about Mike Tyson’s return to boxing and his amazing transformation due to ‘stem cell therapy’. We explored the current limitations of stem cell transplants and the possibility that he received some help from more nefarious injected substances.
Some reports, so far unsubstantiated, have surfaced that Iron Mike may be taking steroids to aid him in his comeback. Pride and Strikeforce MMA veteran Sergei Kharitonov told a Russian media outlet, Sports Express, that Tyson’s body is not natural. RT.com translated the interview, “He’s juiced up, but it’s fine. There won’t be any doping-control… He’s taken testosterone… He’s 53 years old. How else could he have got into more or less top shape? Only on steroids, there’s no other option.”
It’s big news that could spell disaster for Tyson if proven to be true. Despite being an off-hand remark by a fighter completely unrelated to Tyson’s training camp, now that the rumor is out in the open, you can bet that any sanctioning body involved in Tyson’s comeback is going to be on high alert.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Blow by Blow. Be sure to check out our more in-depth articles coming each day.
Why not check out last weeks Blow By Blow Part 5