BLOW BY BLOW: THIS WEEK IN BOXING PART 8
The biggest news from the past week, as well as stories you might have missed. Welcome to part 7 of our Blow by Blow.
Tony Bellew backs AJ to beat Fury
A man who knows a bit or two about boxing, former ‘Cruiserweight King’ Tony Bellew, has said he reckons AJ can beat Fury. The caveat is, he needs to get the fight done inside 5 rounds.
Speaking to The Gary Newborn Sports Show Bellew said, “I think he would jump on Tyson Fury and I think he would catch him pretty quickly. But don’t get me wrong, if that fight was to go past four or five rounds, I think Anthony Joshua would find himself in an awful lot of trouble”.
Honestly, I think it’s easy to agree with him. Fury was able to muscle Wilder around from start to finish, but despite his knockout power, Wilder isn’t a strong Heavyweight.
While Wilder’s KO power comes from the speed he whips his arm at, boxers with frames like AJ and Dubois have a lot more natural weight behind their punches. Fury was able to lean on Wilder, tire him out and smother him with his mass, he won’t be able to do that with AJ.
AJ can’t outbox Fury and has shown that his stamina isn’t up to the same level as the leaner man. Fury gets harder to fight int he later rounds because his style is finessed, not force reliant. If AJ can run Fury down from the go, as Fury did to Wilder, he might have a chance. He’ll have to throw everything into that strategy too, really commit to it, because going that hard early on is unsustainable for a full fight.
Manny won’t fight Golovkin, Roach’s quote was out of context.
Sean Gibbons, the adviser to Manny Pacquiao, said that the rumors that Pacquiao could be targeting Gennady Golovkin were untrue and that Freddie Roach’s comments were misrepresented, adding that the fight “is never going to happen in this lifetime.”
That’s probably for the best, even as Pacquiao looks to be defying the aging process and adding a ninth weight class to his record would be a hell of a story, we think Pacman would have his hands full against Terrence Crawford let alone GGG.
Frank Warren confirms summer boxing return
On July 10th, Queensberry Promotions will be giving us the British and Commonwealth super-Bantamweight title fight between champion Brad Foster and unbeaten challenger James Beech.
On the undercard WBO European Super-Welterweight champ Hamzah Sheeraz defends against Paul Kean, David Adeleye fights a yet to be confirmed opponent, as does Lightweight Mark Chamberlain.
Queensberry will be broadcasting a series of fights over the summer months and have so far confirmed two of those fights. Lerrone Richards will defend his British and Commonwealth Super-Middleweight title against Umar Sadiq and we’ll see Anthony Cacace’s first defense of his British Super-Featherweight title versus Lyon Woodstock. Dates of those fights have yet to be announced.
Usyk will enforce his WBO mandated title fight
Usyk’s promoter announced that he plans to enforce his option on the WBO Heavyweight belt. That means that if Anthony Joshua wants to go into his fights against Fury with all of his current belts, he will need to fight Pulev first and then Usyk. As we haven’t been given a date for the first AJ-Fury fight yet, it’s not impossible for AJ to make two defenses beforehand.
However, if AJ chooses not to fight either Pulev or Usyk in lieu of Fury, he will need to vacate either the IBF or WBO title spot. Given the huge amount of money to be made, paired with the historical significance of staging an all-UK Undisputed Heavyweight fight, AJ will be exploring all of his options to keep the belts.
There’s a fair bit of risk ahead of AJ now, with two potential defenses threatening what would be the most important night of his professional career.
IBF offering more leeway than usual regarding date for AJ-Pulev, given the circumstances.
Understanding the difficulty with organizing a venue during the current situation, the IBF has stated it will not enforce a strict deadline for Anthony Joshua to defend his IBF title against Kubrat Pulev. Eddie Hearn is supposedly targeting a November fight at the Royal Albert Hall.
Mikkel Les Pierre worked in a hospital fighting COVID-19, his manager tests positive and the Jose Pedraza fight was called off.
Super-Lightweight, Mikkel Les Pierre was due to fight world #8 Jose Pedraza on June 18 in Top Rank’s ‘Bubble’ at the MGM Grand. While not boxing, Les Pierre has been at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, one of the key clinics fighting COVID-19 in Manhattan, delivering personal protective equipment to doctors and nurses.
While already wary of contracting the virus and jeopardizing his health and upcoming boxing fight, Les Pierre was pulled out of the fight through no fault of his own.
His manager, Jose Tavares, was tested upon entering the MGM Grand on June 14th, along with all other team members. Unfortunately, Tavares tested positive and as a result, Les Pierre and Pedraza’s bout was canceled by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
As a result, the main event spot was given to Gabriel Flores v Josec Ruiz. Flores steamrolled Ruiz for 10 rounds to win the unanimous decision, scoring 100-89 on all three scorecards.
ESPN questions whether Joshua Greer Jr. has peaked
Following his upset to Filipino Mike Plania, Joshua Greer Jr. was humble in defeat and ready to put in the hard work needed to recover.
He was thoroughly outclassed, you should read our piece on it, so much so that ESPN whether he’ll be able to rise any further. The article asked, “Where does Joshua Greer Jr. go after this loss? Have we seen the best of him?”
For the most part, I don’t believe Grrer Jr. has peaked, it just depends on what steps he decides to take next. Until now he’s managed to get by mainly on his power. He’s a good boxer, but right now hardly too much for the top anyone at Bantamweight.
If Greer Jr. wants to move any further up the ranks, he’s going to have to improve a lot technically. While in the lower ranks his power lets him get by in a Wilder-esque fashion, the top boys outgun him so he’ll have to switch roles completely. Whether Greer Jr. is done depends entirely on him and his team.
Billy Joe Saunders could still face Canelo in September, if he doesn’t retire
While Canelo weighs up options for his first fight after lockdown finishes, Saunders has appeared to tease retirement on social media twice in the last two weeks.
On June 7th, BJS tweeted a response to a Conor McGregor quote which read, “The game just does not excite me and that’s that”, Saunders said, “I get what he is saying”.
Then on June 12th, he tweeted “Like to thank boxing for all it has done for me 29/0” followed by the rock hand emoji. Without any more context, fans have taken the tweet to mean that BJS is thinking about hanging up his gloves.
Canelo, who always fights on Mexican Independence Day weekend, will be looking to sign a profitable name to face around September 19-20. With so many hurdles to overcome logistically, Canelo’s options for an opponent might be limited.
If Canelo does end up offering BJS the fight, it would represent a career-high payday for the Hatfield fighter and a contract he’d be unlikely to step away from. Bernard Hopkins also told iFL TV that BJS still has a shot at fighting Canelo this September.
Arum targeting Lomachenko – Lopez for September
For the final bit of news in this week’s Blow by Blow, we have a fight that would be an absolute blinder to watch.
Bob Arum stated that he wants to arrange the highly anticipated Vasily Lomachenko – Teofimo Lopez fight for September 19. While Arum’s current fights are all taking place at the ‘Bubble’ inside the MGM Grand, with other venues such as the Mandalay Bay and T-Mobile Arena opening up again soon, the fight could be hosted elsewhere.
The opening of venues would be a huge boost for Arum, as he would be able to cash in on tickets for what would arguably be one of the biggest fights of 2020. Arum, whose recent Top Rank cards have been widely panned, stated earlier this year there’s no way he would put on such a big fight as –Loma-Lopez without fans. Depending on the situation in the US by September, he might not have to.
Thanks for checking out our round-up of the week. Be sure to let us know if there’s anything you want us to cover, as well to check back with us tomorrow for more articles.
Why not check out last weeks Blow By Blow Part 7