Fightful Boxing Newsletter (2/7): Latest On Anthony Joshua, Alvarez vs. Kovalev 2 Results, Ivan Baranchyk

Other News And Notes:

- Matchroom Boxing held a card at the O2 Arena in London on February 2 with a main event of Sergio Garcia vs. Ted Cheeseman for the European junior middleweight title. Garcia won the fight by unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 115-114) and I had Garcia winning 118-110. The fight was mildly entertaining but it ultimately boiled down to Cheeseman trying to be aggressive and move forward, but Garcia was able to fight moving back all too well. Garcia, not known to be a very hard puncher, targeted Cheeseman's head throughout the fight and by the end, it was pretty bruised but didn't look too bad. Cheeseman showed heart, but was not on Garcia's level. In my opinion, Garcia is the best European fighter at 154 pounds (I would favor him over the likes of Kell Brook and Magomed Kurbanov), but he doesn't have a lot of notoriety out west. The best hope for Garcia to have a world title shot would be against WBO champion Jaime Munguia provided that Munguia wins his next fight against (presumably) mandatory challenger Dennis Hogan.

- I expected that we would hear some news regarding the Gennady Golovkin free agency sometime this week, but the latest is that Golovkin was rumored to have been offered a two-fight deal worth around $45 million with the idea that the former middleweight champion faces Canelo Alvarez in a third fight in September. PBC offered Golovkin a two-fight deal with each fight paying eight figures and a fall date against interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. In reality, this isn't anything new per se except for the reported figures as it was pretty much common knowledge that those two different fights would be in play for Golovkin should he sign with either PBC or DAZN. As previously written here on the newsletter, it all really comes down to what Golovkin prioritizes more: fighting in front of the biggest television audience out there (PBC) or fighting the best in the middleweight division and win more world titles (DAZN). With that being said, DAZN is still the perceived favorite to sign Golovkin.

- Former world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan announced on Twitter that he is retiring although his retirement tweet was worded very weirdly. Martirosyan said promoter Don King has not been keeping him busy and pretty much put the blame on King since he's only had one fight since signing with him and that was the May 2018 bout against Gennady Golovkin.

- On an interview with Fight Hype, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn stated undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk wants to fight the likes of Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker and Luis Ortiz in a potential heavyweight bout on May 18 in the United States. Usyk still has not formally announced that he is moving up in weight and vacating his cruiserweight titles because he wants to hold on to those titles for as long as possible, giving him some time to think about his future plans. But as it stands, everything seems to point towards Usyk making the jump to heavyweight. That potential May 18 card could also feature Callum Smith's first WBA "Super" super middleweight title defense since winning it last year when he defeated George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series finals.

- The WBA have granted lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko an exception to unify with IBF champion Richard Commey instead of having to face mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla. The idea is that Lomachenko unified the WBA, WBO and IBF titles against Commey in Los Angeles in April, then move forward with the fight against Crolla. The exception will only be valid if the unification fight happens in April and that fight is up in the air after it was revealed on February 2 that Commey hurt his hand in his title win against Isa Chaniev. On February 7, Commey will have a hand scan to find out if he will be able to fight Lomachenko in April.

- In similar WBA news, the organization has also granted super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman an exception to unify with IBF champion TJ Doheny instead of facing mandatory challenger Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Doheny signed with Matchroom Boxing to fight on DAZN and plan out a title unification against Roman for later this spring. One idea is to have the unification fight take place in Los Angeles on the same card that Srisaket Sor Rungvisai makes his DAZN debut. The plan for now is to have Sor Rungvisai, the WBC super flyweight champion, face off against mandatory challenger Juan Francisco Estrada.

- The WBC stated that the super featherweight world title fight between Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas, set for March 23, has been postponed due to a hand injury Berchelt is still recovering from. Right now, the plan is to potentially have the fight rescheduled for May 11.

- As expected, Showtime will broadcast the James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr. fight in the United States taking place on February 23 at the O2 Arena in London. The fight is the first PBC card to take place in the United Kingdom since signing a broadcast deal with ITV. Showtime will also air the heavyweight bout between Joe Joyce and former world champion Bermane Stiverne.

- Johnny Garton will make his first British welterweight title defense against Chris Jenkins on March 8 at Royal Albert Hall. The main event of that card is Daniel Dubois vs. Razvan Cojanu.

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