BLOW BY BLOW: THIS WEEK IN BOXING PART 9
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What started out as a pretty slow news week has ended with a bang, as Eddie Hearn finally announced a schedule for his Fight Camp. Lets’ take a look back at the stories you might have missed, before getting into what might be the best fights we get to see this year.
Wilder’s training partner confirms his main weaknesses
One of the boxers Wilder’s team brought in to help him prepare for his second go at Fury, has confirmed that he isn’t able to deal with boxers who move and feint well. Amron Sands, a relatively unknown but undefeated fighter from the Bahamas, was tasked with replicating Fury’s style to prepare the American.
Of his experiences with Wilder, he told Sky Sports, “Everybody knows Wilder has problems with guys who move. He is used to throwing his one punch and knocking guys out… If they decide to do a trilogy fight and Wilder doesn’t change, Fury will win again. He struggles with movement and that’s what Fury does.” It doesn’t bode well for Wilder’s chances in the trilogy fight, as Wilder’s main task is essentially to learn how to box more technically.
While Tyson’s goal was to bulk up, get a bit stronger and learn to charge forward more aggressively, something that’s fairly achievable in 4-6 months, Wilder’s goal is something that takes years and years of practice. Tyson didn’t become the good mover he is overnight, nor did Usyk improve his technique over the course of a single training camp. For Wilder to close the gap on Fury, is something that should have been in the works for the last 2-3 years, maybe more.
While Sands was describing himself, he inadvertently described the biggest problems with Wilder’s reliance on his punching power, “I put my combinations together. I don’t like the one-punch style. What happens if your one punch doesn’t get him? You miss your opportunity.” It highlights the problem with Deontay’s claims of “when I land that punch, he’s out”, Tyson has already proven he’s an incredibly hard man to hit.
Dubois – Joyce. October date confirmed.
The British Heavyweight clash we all want to see this summer is still on its way but has become an Autumn fixture. Frank Warren announced the fight will be taking place at London’s 02 Arena on October 24th.
Joyce remains confident in his chances, telling ESPN ““It was great news to get the new date so I can finally punch up Dubois. Obviously once lockdown started I had a good idea we wouldn’t meet in July. But I was always staying on top of training. Now gyms are open for athletes I can kick on and just keep my focus on the new date.”
More COVID-19 related announcements.
The WBO Super Featherweight title fight between Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo scheduled for July 2nd had to be postponed after Herring tested positive for the virus. Herring revealed that despite having the virus during his training camp, his performance wasn’t affected so he had no suspicions, “For the most part in training camp I was going through my regular course in training. I pushing myself to the limit. Even though I guess I had the virus it wasn’t taking any effect on how I was feeling and looking in training camp. So, I’m just happy to be here.”
The great Roberto Duran has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19, his sone revealed on Instagram. Robin Duran said, “My dad felt a bit of a cold…That’s why he made the decision to take him to the hospital. He has a lung that doesn’t work 100% due to an accident in Argentina a few years ago. Apart from age factor, the doctors have decided to leave him under observation… My father’s tests have just arrived and confirm that he is positive for COVID-19… Thank God he is not having symptoms beyond something similar to a cold. We have just spoken with the doctor and he told us his lungs are fine. There are no signs of any serious damage.” We wish ‘Manos de Piedra’ the speediest of recoveries.
With no boxing to report on “Inside PBC”, the boxing show hosted by Shawn Porter and Abner Mares, gets cancelled.
Due to poor ratings, themselves a result of the lack of action, FOX has canceled the once-popular program with no details about its return. The show, which first aired on Dec 15th, 2018, provided a behind the scenes look at Al Haymon’s ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ series, as well commentary and analysis of the biggest global fights from Porter, Mares, and main-host Kate Abdo. It’ll be a disappointing blow for Porter and Mares, who were both openly proud of their roles on the show, not only because they’ve lost their spotlight but because of the income they’ll lose.
Unhappy boxers in Golden Boy’s ranks, again.
De La Hoya and Golden Boy continue to have a problem satisfying their contracted stars, with Ryan Garcia hitting Twitter to voice his displeasure this week. To Garcia’s credit, the De La Hoya tweet that originally drew the ire of Garcia is not one we’d expect to see from a promoter speaking about his own fighter.
De La Hoya, completely unprovoked, tweeted “Due to Team @KingRyanG decision not to accept a July 4th bout, we will now return in late July with the future of boxing 🥊 @vergilortiz, more exciting details to follow @GoldenBoyBoxing”. Blaming your own fighter for not accepting a fight is not exactly diplomatic and reeks of unprofessionalism. De La Hoya seems to have adopted the finger-pointing technique of the UFC’s Dana White, seemingly unaware that unlike White, he is not the only promoter in his sport for boxers to turn to.
In response to De La Hoya, Garcia tweeted “You do realise you’re supposed to be my promoter, not hater right?” I think Garcia’s response was completely fair and De La Hoya’s blame-placing absolutely uncalled for. As a promoter, you not only have to think about your fighter’s purses and matchups but their public image. Drawing public attention to private issues is not something to be done lightly and it’s odd to see Garcia, the younger man by 26 years, having a better understanding of this than the head of Golden Boy.
Speaking further on the issue to The Ring, De La Hoya doubled down by blaming Garcia’s adviser, Lupe Valencia, “We couldn’t come to terms. I’m sure his advice was obviously not a good one. It would have been a wonderful event. I was really, really looking forward to it. We’ll see when he fights again… His lawyer, Lupe, made this deal happen, and now Lupe is not satisfied with what they negotiated? It just doesn’t make sense to me… Unfortunately, fighters in this game get a lot of bad advice. That’s the bottom line… And it’s really not Ryan, it’s his lawyer or counsel, whoever he has, just giving him bad advice. That’s the bottom line. I love Ryan dearly because he has the potential to become a great fighter.”
Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin to close-out Fight Camp
Hearn made the announcement we’ve all been waiting for, giving us the full provisional schedule for his weekly August fight cards. Matchroom is offering a great set of fights and Hearn has stayed true to his word that he wouldn’t be putting on fights for the sake of it. At first glance, it blows Arum’s programming out of the water and lays a hard gauntlet down for Frank Warren.
-Week 1- Saturday, August 1st
Sam Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs) vs. Ted Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs)
James Tennyson (26-3, 22 KOs) vs. Gavin Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs)
Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) vs. Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs)
Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) vs. Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7 KOs)
Dalton Smith (5-0, 4 KOs) vs. Nathan Bennett (9-1, 2 KOs)
-Week 2- Friday, August 7th
Terri Harper (10-0, 5 KOs) vs. Natasha Jonas (9-1, 7 KOs)
Chris Billam-Smith (10-1, 9 KOs) vs. Nathan Thorley (14-0, 6 KOs)
Anthony Fowler (12-1, 9 KOs) vs. Adam Harper (9-1)
Aqib Fiaz (5-0) vs. Kane Baker (13-6)
Hopey Price (2-0) vs. TBD
-Week 3- Friday, August 14th
Felix Cash (12-0, 8 KOs) vs. Jason Welborn (24-8, 7 KOs)
Zelfa Barrett (23-1, 14 KOs) vs. Eric Donovan (12-0, 7 KOs)
Kieron Conway (14-1-1, 3 KOs) vs. Navid Mansouri (20-3-2, 6 KOs)
Shannon Courtenay (5-0, 2 KOs) vs. Rachel Ball (5-1)
John Docherty (8-0, 6 KOs) vs. TBD
-Week 4- Saturday, Aug. 22
Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) vs. Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs)
Katie Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) vs. TBD
Martin Bakole (15-1, 12 KOs) vs. Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs)
Luther Clay (13-1, 5 KOs) vs. Chris Kongo (11-0, 6 KOs)
It’s a fantastic schedule, packed full of World, Commonwealth, and British title fights. While it’s easy to think of the highlight as Whyte v Povetkin, we’re genuinely excited about several of these bouts.
We’re especially looking forward to Gill v Belotti in week 1. Also, interestingly in the week-one-headliner, current IBF champion Sam Eggington is the betting underdog to his challenger Ted Cheeseman according to Betfair.com.
In week 2 there’s a lot to like, especially seeing the all-British Women’s headliner between Harper and Jonas. It is the first time two British women have contested a World title, representing a great push for British boxing. For Adam Harper, Anthony Fowler represents a big step up so it will be interesting to see how this one goes.
Taking a look at week 3’s headline, Felix Cash should have a relatively easy night against Jason Welborn in their Commonwealth Middleweight title fight. However, Eric Donovan, who has looked impressive in his last few outings could give Zelfa Barret a harder fight than his ranking might suggest.
Whyte v Povetkin is the big news in the fourth and final week. This fight is going to be a big test for both men and will ask Whyte to prove whether he’s being underestimated by Fury and the other top Heavyweights. The fight I’m most looking forward to from the whole of Fight Camp, however, features Katie Taylor. Taylor will be putting her WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO on the lines in an undisputed title defense and while her opponent is yet to be officially confirmed, the smart money is on Amanda Serrano despite reports to the contrary.
DAZN reported that “Serrano’s manager and trainer refused to accept a pay cut for his fighter because of COVID-19” adding that Serrano’s manager said, “Serrano was offered only half her contracted purse because there would be no live audience to provide revenue via ticket sales.” Eddie Hearn was quick to rebuff these comments as “Absolute rubbish” adding “The fight is on”.
What a week. Why not check out last weeks Blow By Blow Part 8