Boxing has another Hall of Famer announce his retirement in 2017, with Miguel Cotto officially calling it quits after his December 2 fight against Sadam Ali at Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately for Cotto, the Puerto Rican icon lost the fight, and his WBO junior middleweight title, via unanimous decision, tearing his left bicep midway through the fight.
Now that the Miguel Cotto retirement tour has ended, the boxing world continues to fix its gaze at Madison Square Garden where Vasyl Lomachenko is set to defend his WBO super bantamweight championship against Guillermo Rigondeaux in a clash of styles that has some believing this could be the best boxing fight of 2017. Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux has several big angles in play, from its lack of promotion to the contrasting styles inside the ring.
In this week's newsletter, you'll get a preview of what to expect on December 9, as well as what to watch out for this weekend and a deeper look into the 2018 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees, plus more.
Fightful Boxing Newsletter (12/7) Table of Contents:
- Miguel Cotto Falls In Retirement Fight, What’s Next For Sadam Ali (Page 2)
- A Look At HBO’s Early 2018 TV Schedule (Page 3)
- Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux Preview, Full Card, Where To Watch (Page 4)
- The Latest On The Heavyweight Division, Where Do The Champions Stand (Page 5)
- Results From the World Of Boxing (Page 6)
- Fightful Boxing Rankings (Page 7-8)
- News And Notes From The World Of Boxing (Page 9)
- 2018 International Boxing Hall Of Fame Class Announced (Page 10)
- Rest Of The Weekend Preview (Page 11)
Miguel Cotto Falls In Retirement Fight, What’s Next For Sadam Ali:
Perhaps the most shocking result of the weekend, and one of the most shocking results of the entire year, saw Miguel Cotto lose his retirement fight to Sadam Ali, losing the WBO junior middleweight championship to the 29-year-old New York native. Cotto lost a close, yet entertaining match via unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113, 115-113).
The feeling among most of the attendees and media inside Madison Square Garden believe that Cotto should have won the fight, but the simple matter of the fact is that Ali’s early dominance and winning the last four rounds got him the win.
There is also the issue of Cotto’s performance in the championship rounds of the fight. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks Cotto won two of the last four rounds. Cotto wasn’t able to capitalize on the momentum he gained in the middle portion of the fight because he tore his left biceps in the seventh round according to Cotto in the post-fight interview. He did not appear in the post-fight press conference because he was being evaluated by a doctor and Oscar De La Hoya confirmed the news of the injury.
The fight drew an attendance of almost 13,000, which fell within expectations. HBO, MSG and Golden Boy Promotions had hoped the attendance fell in the 12,000-14,000 range, making the MSG card one of the highest-attended boxing matches in New York in 2017. The fight averaged 944,000 viewers for the live HBO telecast, according to Nielsen Media Research. The fight peaked at 1.012 million viewers. Cotto-Ali is the second-best performing main event on premium cable in 2017, trailing only HBO’s telecast of then-junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s 10th-round stoppage of Felix Diaz from back in May, also at Madison Square Garden. That fight averaged 961,000 viewers. Saturday’s opening bout, junior featherweight world titleholder Rey Vargas’ one-sided unanimous decision win against Oscar Negrete, averaged 697,000 viewers and peaked at 788,000.
Despite the obviously-deflated crowd at Madison Square Garden, the event is considered a success in terms of attendance and ratings.
Cotto’s last hurrah was certainly a melancholic one. Cotto showed a lot of heart and desire to win, but just like with Pacquiao earlier this year against Jeff Horn, we saw a fighter past his prime against an opponent he could have knocked out had the fight taken place a couple of years ago. Cotto had the energy we saw in the fight against Yoshihiro Kamegai, but Ali had two things Kamegai didn’t possess: speed and a killer right hand.
From the beginning, it was apparent Ali was the faster fighter, which already spelled bad news for Cotto as he traditionally struggles against fast-paced fighters such as Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao and Austin Trout. Cotto looked unsteady early on in the fight. Every time Ali’s right hand landed cleanly on Cotto’s face, his legs would get wobbly if even just for a second.
This didn’t mean Cotto had no chance to win from that point. Cotto’s experience allowed him to exploit the fact that Ali gave Cotto space to throw jabs in the middle portion of the fight. Ali also did not follow-up on some of his punches when he had the chance to do so. It’s almost as if Ali was giving Cotto too much respect. Regardless, the torn biceps gave Ali the chance to win the fight in the championship rounds. Had Cotto even won just one of the last three rounds, he would have retained the title via majority decision. But that almost would be even less satisfying, as that would just leave questions and fans for both fighters would leave the arena feeling like they were cheated out of a winner. It happened with the Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight, with Golovkin fans feeling more outraged that their fighter did not get the win in the judges’ scorecards.
But now that the fight is done and over with, the biggest question moving forward is Sadam Ali’s future. One would think that Ali would simply continue to fight as the WBO champion, but that’s not a guarantee. Even Ali is unsure of his future as a 154-pounder, as mentioned in the post-fight press conference. Ali definitely has the size to stay as a viable champion at junior middleweight, but the main issue comes with the likelihood of Ali fighting some of the other world champions in the division. Ali doesn’t possess the power that fighters like Jermell Charlo and Jarrett Hurd possess, nor does he have the technical mastery that Erislandy Lara has.
Ali’s speed will make him a viable threat to most boxers at 154 pounds and if he decides to remain as the WBO champion, he wouldn’t have to worry about unification fights until the second half of 2018. Ali’s first title defense will likely be against Liam Smith, who won a title eliminator on November 11 against Liam Williams. It was a rematch from their April fight which was an interim WBO junior middleweight fight.
The Ali camp definitely has confidence in the young fighter that he can beat anyone at both welterweight and junior middleweight, but of all the champions in both weight classes, Ali would surely be the betting underdog in almost all of the fights, save for perhaps a fight against WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn. Even if Ali were to go back down in weight, the division is so clogged up with other big fights that Ali wouldn’t sniff a world title fight at welterweight until late 2018 at the absolute earliest, with summer 2019 being a more reasonable time for Ali to get that welterweight world title fight. For better or worse, Ali staying put at 154 pounds makes more sense because Ali would get more high-profile fights in the short-term.
Ali vs. Smith in the United Kingdom would be a big-time event that could easily match the MSG attendance with the proper card. That fight would likely be on HBO as Smith’s promoter Frank Warren has multiple fighters competing on the network such as WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Of course, holding the fight in the United Kingdom would be the best move for Ali’s profile, but chances are Ali could be back in action on the March HBO card at Madison Square Garden, which currently has WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev scheduled to headline that card. Any fight Ali has on that card would get slotted into the co-main event spot unless WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, who was in attendance for Kovalev’s WBO title win on November 25, fights on that card and it isn’t a fight against Kovalev.
On the five-fight card at MSG, another boxer promoted by Miguel Cotto won a world title. Angel Acosta won the WBO junior flyweight title when he beat Juan Alejo inside 10 rounds. That fight was originally set to be an interim WBO title fight, but hours before the event took place, then-acting champion Kosei Tanaka, who had been out of action due to an injury, vacated the title to move up in weight.
In the co-main event, WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas retained his title by beating Oscar Negrete via unanimous decision. The fight was entertaining and had a lot of action, but Vargas, who held a massive height and reach advantage, dominated the fight. Negrete held his own, especially in the early rounds, but Vargas was faster and hit harder throughout the duration of the fight. It was fairly competitive fight as far as 120-108 fights are concerned.
The interesting thing to note about Acosta in particular is what his fight future entails. Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of the Cotto-Golden Boy Promotions relationship is the impact it will have on Miguel Cotto Promotions fighters. Cotto’s fighters mainly consist of rising prospects from the island of Puerto Rico and mostly fight on Puerto Rican television cards. It’s not surprising to see that in the first few months after Cotto signed with Golden Boy, two of his fighters won world titles on HBO, a television network that has a longstanding relationship with Golden Boy.
This is what makes Cotto one of the smartest boxers out of the ring in the sport today. Part of the reason Cotto signed with Golden Boy was that it would allow Cotto’s fighters opportunities to fight on HBO and on ESPN, networks with a far-bigger television audience. This would only help Miguel Cotto Promotions’ mission to help groom the next generation of Puerto Rican boxing stars. With Cotto retiring, rising contender Felix Verdejo losing a lot of steam in the past year with injuries and Amanda Serrano potentially looking at a mixed martial arts or kickboxing career soon, there are no fighters that can carry the torch right now.
It’s too early to tell if either Acosta or Alberto Machado could be the next Puerto Rican superstar, but winning a world title at this point in their careers is a step in the right direction. It helps that those are being groomed by Cotto himself, who is smart enough to get his fighters to compete on major television fights.
While this may be the end of Miguel Cotto the boxer, Miguel Cotto the boxing ambassador for Puerto Rico still has a lot of work to do. Cotto will enjoy a nice retirement with his family, but will also be at working helping his fighters achieve a level success that only a select number of Puerto Ricans have been able to achieve. Cotto, alongside HBO and Golden Boy Promotions, will help create a new chapter for Puerto Rico boxing.
A Look At HBO’s Early 2018 TV Schedule:
HBO is ready to roll out several world title fights on television for the first couple of months of 2018, including a major super flyweight television event in about two months. The network’s successful September 9 card, billed as "Superfly," will have a sequel card in February, with the WBC super flyweight title being the headliner.
The "Superfly 2" card, expected to be another card full of major fights in the super flyweight division, has WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defend his title against mandatory challenger Juan Francisco Estrada. The fight will take place on February 24 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, according to promoter Tom Loeffler, who made the announcement to ESPN's Dan Rafael.
"It's very exciting to announce the main event for the second installment of our 'Superfly' series," Loeffler said. "With the tremendous response from fans and media from our first event and overwhelming anticipation to our second, we join boxing fans in saying that we can't wait until Feb. 24 at The Fabulous Forum."
Both Sor Rungivsai and Estrada competed at the first "Superfly" card, with Estrada beating Carlos Cuadras in a WBC title eliminator and Sor Rungvisai beating Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez in the main event, retaining his title.
No other fights has been announced for the "Superfly 2" HBO card, but WBO champion Naoya Inoue could be a part of the card, provided he retains his title on December 30 against Yoan Boyeaux in Japan. Inoue also fought on the first "Superfly" card when he retained his title against Antonio Nieves with a sixth-round stoppage win.
Other names being explored as possible fighters to be added on the card are Cuadras and WBA champion Kal Yafai. Gonzalez is not expected to fight on the February 24 card, which is not surprising to hear. Yafai had been very interested in fighting Gonzalez and he told Fightful last summer he would fight Gonzalez had he beaten Sor Rungvisai for the title in their rematch. Regardless, a Yafai vs. Gonzalez fight was being explored, but negotiations never went deep as Yafai still has intentions to unify titles at 115.
Obviously, Yafai won’t get the chance to unify titles with Sor Rungvisai. Inoue still technically doesn’t have an opponent and will have his mandatory cleared with a win at the end of the year, but the current main event is Sor Rungvisai vs. Estrada and HBO seems content to keep it that way. Putting a unification fight on a TV card and not have it be the main event in this instance would be terrible booking sense. Plus a unification bout of that magnitude wouldn’t be booked with only less than two months of preparation and buildup. If the second “Superfly” card ends up being a success, then a third one could be in place for late summer with Yafai vs. Inoue being a likely main event option.
There is still the possibility of Yafai finding a way to unify titles with IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas, who retained his title with a TKO win over Jamie Conlan on November 11, but again, the issue of a unification fight not involving Sor Rungvisai being the main event just would not work.
Part of the plan of this second super flyweight-heavy card is for HBO to continue grooming stars for 2018 and 2019. Sor Rungvisai is now established as an HBO star with the two wins against Gonzalez and the next boxer at 115 pounds HBO wants to turn into a major star is Inoue.
Inoue is a big star in Japan stemming from his amateur days where he was a successful boxer, but never achieved any major global success such as winning an Olympic medal or an AIBA world championship. As a pro, Inoue has gotten a lot of success, in his short career, winning world titles in two different weight classes.
If the WBO grants Inoue an optional defense for the February fight, Cuadras is a potential name that could be an extremely solid co-main event. Cuadras lost a razor-thin fight to Estrada on the first “Superfly” card which will end up being among the top 10 fights of 2017 and Cuadras is ranked No. 10 in the WBO rankings, meaning an optional title defense between Inoue and Cuadras is completely possible.
Also on tap for HBO is an HBO Boxing After Dark card on January 27 that will feature both Lucas Matthysse and Jorge Linares fighting in separate title fights. The card will also take place at The Forum
Matthysse will fight Tewa Kiram for the vacant WBA “regular” welterweight title that was vacated by Lamont Peterson earlier this year as Peterson will challenge for Errol Spence Jr.’s IBF welterweight title on January 20. Linares will defend his WBA lightweight title against Mercito Gesta in the co-feature of the card, HBO’s first Boxing After Dark event of 2018.
The card has been getting large amounts of criticism for the fact that HBO is broadcasting two world title fights where an unknown fighter will take part in. Despite Kiram being undefeated and holding the No. 1 ranking in the WBA welterweight ratings for almost the entirety of the year, Kiram has never fought any noteworthy boxers, nor has he even fought outside of his native Thailand. Gesta on the other hand, is ranked all the way down at No. 14 in the WBA welterweight rankings. Despite Gesta being undefeated since losing an IBF welterweight title challenge in 2012, Gesta hasn’t fought anybody truly great boxers.
The other major point of criticism of this card is the fact that the WBA is still sanctioning a world title fight for a “regular” belt despite the organization’s internal ruling to no longer sanction secondary world title fights if it is not needed. When looking at this matter, those criticisms do have legs to stand on. The “regular” title was vacated and even though “super” champion Keith Thurman is still recovering from elbow surgery, he is expected to be back in early 2018. Matthysse vs. Kiram could just as easily be a WBA title eliminator and have the winner fight Thurman in 2018.
With the “regular” title still in contention, that leaves the welterweight division with five major world titles, with pundits of the sport calling for less world titles and for the WBA to still have two world titles at welterweight, the governing body’s reputation only stands to take a hit.
The January 27 card does not have any other fights scheduled at the moment, but it should be a decent way to kick off HBO’s 2018. The unfortunate part for HBO is that Showtime still has the edge in terms of having a better television card for the month of January as the January 20 card at the Barclays Center is headlined by the Spence vs. Peterson fight. Showtime also has a card on January 12 in Verona, New York, headlined by budding women’s boxing star Claressa Shields defending her WBC and IBF super middleweight titles against Tori Nelson.
The “Superfly 2” card is the true kickoff to HBO’s 2018, given the fact that the network doesn’t have any other cards announced for 2018. The only two other cards that is expected to take place on HBO for the first half of 2018 is the March card at Madison Square Garden, likely to be headlined by Sergey Kovalev’s first WBO light heavyweight title defense against either Sullivan Barrera or WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, and the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch that figures to still happen on May 5 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas or at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux Preview, Full Card, Where To Watch
In what is certainly the most attractive boxing match since Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin from back in September, Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux is set to headline the final boxing weekend at Madison Square Garden for 2017, headlining a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on December 9.
The fight is an interesting one from multiple angles. The first is the fact how the fight even got made. With Rigondeaux fighting at a weight class two divisions below Lomachenko, it almost seemed impossible for the two to ever meet in the ring, but in the months leading up to his fight with Moises Flores, Rigondeaux took to social media to call out Lomachenko and goad him into fighting him. It almost seemed like bravado and less about a real fight, but the Twitter feud between both men not only caught the attention of the boxing community, but also caught Top Rank’s eyes. With promoter Bob Arum not having the fondest opinions of Rigondeaux, given their rocky relationship in the past, it almost seemed like the fight wouldn’t happen.
Once the fall came, it started to become abundantly clear that the two former Olympic gold medalists would in fact duke it out in the ring t some point. Fans were mostly in the know due to Rigondeaux and promoters giving out hints and updates during the negotiation period until the fight was made official. Like with Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, the power of social media essentially willed this fight to reality.
The fight will take place at The Theater at MSG, which sold out almost as soon as tickets went out. The fight could have easily drawn at least 10,000 if it was done at the bigger arena at Madison Square Garden, but Arum didn’t think a headlined by Rigondeaux would do more than the 5,500 The Theater could hold.
A Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux fight, especially on ESPN, should fetch an extremely high rating, the highest ratings for a boxing fight on ESPN since Manny Pacquiao’s shock defeat at the hands of Jeff Horn. At least the fight should be a highly-watched one, but everything surrounding the fight‘s promotion indicates the opposite.
There has barely been any promotion for the fight whatsoever, stemming from lack of press conferences, advertisement and any real form of extensive coverage on ESPN compared to the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight. This fight should have been a massively-hyped fight considering what the main event is. Lomachenko is arguably the most exciting up-and-coming superstars in the sport in the past couple of years and Rigondeaux is arguably the most technically-gifted professional boxer in the world today. Both men are double Olympic gold medalists, making this the first time in the history of the sport that two two-time Olympic gold medalists fight each other in the pro ranks.
With the proper build-up this fight should have fetched perhaps two million viewers, especially given the fact that there isn’t major college football games to compete against. Now this fight looks to be in danger of not even getting a million viewers on average for the fight on the main ESPN channel. It also doesn’t help that this fight is coming off two straight weekends where MSG had world title fights take place on HBO, including Miguel Cotto’s retirement fight. The hype surrounding the Cotto fight may have taken away attention from the December 9 fight, but ultimately, ESPN and Top Rank has done a poor job of promoting this bout.
Regardless, the fight is happening and is a definite “Fight of the Year” candidate if the fight is as entertaining as most people believe it can be.
Interestingly enough, both men are southpaws, which is somewhat rare to see in super fights such as these. Southpaws naturally have a disadvantage over right-handed boxers due to their unorthodox stance and ability to throw right-handed boxers off their rhythm early on. Both Lomachenko and Rigondeaux have face southpaws in their pro careers, but Lomachenko perhaps has the best win over a southpaw in Gary Russell Jr., whom Lomachenko defeated in his third professional fight.
In terms of power, Rigondeaux, despite his age, has an advantage due to his devastating straight left hand. Just like Miguel Cotto’s left hand being the stuff of nightmares for opposing bodies, Rigondeaux’s left hand is a literal jawbreaker that Lomachenko will have to pay close attention to. Lomachenko does carry a higher knockout percentage, but doesn’t have the consistent killer knockout at this point in his career. Lomachenko is the bigger man and is his physical prime at 29 years old, so in a way, it does offset Rigondeaux’s power just a bit.
Lomachenko certainly carries a slight speed advantage, especially with his feet and reflexes, over Rigondeaux, but it’s hardly much of an edge. Both men are two of the fastest boxers in the world and although Rigondeaux is not as fast as he was in the Olympics, Rigondeaux still possesses fantastic footwork that allows him to find an open and awkward angle for Rigondeaux to throw the left hand. The challenge for both men comes in actually landing anything. According to a CompuBox study in 2016, Lomachenko and Rigondeaux had the top two positions in terms of opponents’ punches and power punches landed on them. The numbers make sense for both men. Lomachenko is a far more aggressive fighter, which does not leave opponents many chances to throw anything at him and Rigondeaux comes from the world-famous Cuban style of boxing, the country that has produced the most amount of technically-gifted boxers. Lomachenko also has a massively-strong chin, having never been knocked out in more than 400 total fights.
Tale of the tape:
Record: 9-1 (7 KO)
Notable wins: Gary Russell Jr., Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez
Titles won: WBO Super Featherweight, WBO Featherweight, WBO International Featherweight
Record: 17-0 (11 KO) (1 NC)
Notable wins: Nonito Donaire, Ricardo Cordoba, Hisashi Amagasa, Rico Ramos
Titles won: WBA “Super” Super Bantamweight, WBO Super Bantamweight, WBC International Silver Super Bantamweight, WBA-NABA Super Bantamweight
Where to watch:
ESPN will handle the broadcasting for all the fights on this card, including the preliminary card, which will be streamed online. Below is the main televised card:
- Vasyl Lomachenko (c) vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux: WBO World Super Featherweight Title
- Christopher Diaz vs. Bryant Cruz: Vacant WBO NABO Super Featherweight Title
- Michael Conlan vs. Luis Fernando Molina
- Shakur Stevenson vs. Oscar Mendoza
Here is the preliminary card, which will be streamed on Watch ESPN:
- Bryant Jennings vs. Don Haynesworth
- Jose Gonzalez vs. Adan Gonzales
- Mikaela Mayer vs. Nydia Feliciano
Prediction: This is an extremely close fight and nearly impossible to confidently say either man will be the winner. On the one hand, Rigondeaux is the more complete fighter and even though he is not that far from reaching 40 years old, Rigondeaux has always stayed in phenomenal physical condition. Lomachenko’s youth and more aggressive style will give him an advantage over Rigondeaux, but Lomachenko still isn’t as technically sound as the Cuban star.
In the end, I think it will be a highly competitive fight, with Lomachenko getting a late stoppage. Despite Rigondeaux’s abilities, he isn’t immune to getting knocked down. We haven’t seen Lomachenko get knocked out once in his boxing career and Lomachenko will eventually exploit Rigondeaux’s age and slightly diminished speed. It’s a virtual toss-up between the two, but I’m sticking with Lomachenko to pick up the biggest win of his career.
Lomachenko wins via 11th round TKO.
The Latest On The Heavyweight Division, Where Do The Champions Stand
As the year comes to a close, we’re looking at multiple unification fights taking place in the heavyweight division in 2018, with Anthony Joshua being the center of attention among the sport’s biggest boxers.
Right now, the biggest heavyweight match would be a unification fight between Joshua, the WBA and IBF heavyweight title, and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. That fight had been in the making for months now, but the main issue boils down to when the fight could take place, the money given to Wilder and if Wilder would be willing to take a tune-up fight beforehand. Some of these issues have varying degrees of importance, but all have contributed in their own way in preventing that fight from taking place any time soon.
The current plan for Joshua is to unify titles with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker sometime in March. Nothing has been set in stone, but there is a soft deadline for when the fight should be signed. If Joshua vs. Parker becomes a reality, expect an announcement to come in between mid-December and early January. No venue for the fight has been decided, but some possible candidates include Wembley Stadium, Millennium Stadium, St. James Park, London Stadium and Etihad Stadium. Joshua vs. Parker will likely be shown on Showtime as the network internally prepares for the likely Joshua vs. Wilder fight in the second half of 2018.
Again, this doesn’t mean the Parker fight will be official. If negotiations hit a snag, then there are a couple of contingency options for Joshua to take. Some of these names include Kubrat Pulev and Dillian Whyte. Those names would still be decent fights, but it would seriously delay the chance of four of the five major titles being unified.
I say five titles because there is still the WBA “regular” championship. Manuel Charr won the title by defeating Alexander Ustinov to win the vacant title, putting another layer into the WBA’s heavyweight title mess. The WBA has made it its mission to cut down the amount of world titles per weight class to one. Unfortunately for the WBA, the heavyweight titles can’t be cut to one because Charr has been ordered to defend his title against Fres Oquendo. The WBA has owed Oquendo a world heavyweight title for years, but many issues have prevented Oquendo from getting his title fight.
The WBA’s “regular” heavyweight title has been a complete joke and non-factor for years, but because of the Oquendo situation, that title continues to exist. Despite Joshua having the WBA “super,” WBO, IBF and WBC titles when it is all said and done (or Parker or Wilder for that matter), they wouldn’t be holding all the major world titles. Eventually, one of those three fighters, as the WBA “super” champion has to fight the WBA “regular” champion, about as close to a death sentence for any television network that has to air a fight involving either Charr or Oquendo.
Now the potential wild card in Wilder’s fight future is Luis Ortiz. Ortiz, still suspended by the WBA and no longer in play to fight Joshua, could still fight Wilder if the champion allows it. In a recent ruling, the WBC made its final decision on Ortiz, abstaining from suspending Ortiz and instead giving him a $25,000 fine as well as reinstatement to the WBC rankings. Ortiz remains the biggest name in the WBC rankings for Wilder to take, but given Wilder’s feelings regarding drug testing and cheaters, it’s a bit hard to envision Wilder openly accepting a fight against Ortiz.
But with the fact that Joshua might be fighting Parker next, Wilder has a number of options open for him. The three likeliest names he will fight are Whyte, Ortiz and Jarrell Miller. All three options offer a hard-hitting slugfest for Wilder.
As for the WBO champion, if something were to happen that would prevent Parker from getting his unification fight against Joshua, there is a chance he could take on Wilder in another unification fight. It wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world to see a Wilder vs. Parker fight in the first half of 2018. Back in January, Wilder did say he would have liked to fight Parker at some point to unify the WBO and WBC belts.
One thing seems to be certain: the heavyweight division will continue to unify titles in 2018. Wilder, Parker and Joshua are all set for big fights next year, which will help the revitalization of the heavyweight division in the aftermath of Wladimir Klitschko’s long reign as the unified champion. It’s still a tall order for the WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight titles to be unified in just one year, even if it technically takes just two fights. Only six men in history has been deemed the undisputed world heavyweight champion, but none of those champions has held more than three governing bodies’ belts, but with the junior welterweight getting a one, true undisputed champion earlier this year, anything is possible.
Results From the World Of Boxing
December 6: Virac Gymnasium, Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines
- Giovanni Escaner defeated Kyota Otsuka via UD
- Claudevan Sese and Danilo Gabisay fight to a draw on PTS
- Robin Langres defeated Jerry Mae Villagracia: TKO, Round 5
- MJ Bo defeated Danny Boy Tan: TKO, Round 5
- Aljum Pelesio defeated Joseph Casil: TKO, Round 1
- Kenneth Alquiza defeated Ryan Fullero: TKO, Round 1
December 6: Ram 100 Thai Boxing Stadium, Ramkamhaeng, Bangkok, Thailand
- Mongkol Kamsommat defeated Toshihiko Era: TKO, Round 5
December 5: Meenayothin Camp, Bangkok, Thailand
- Shin Ono defeated Thanapon Usadee: TKO, Round 1
- Hajime Nagai defeated Panya Sonna: KO, Round 1
- Tetsuya Watanabe defeated Sukda Turata: TKO, Round 2
- Wisitsak Saiwaew defeated Meechoke Tomokong: TKO, Round 1
- Yutthichai Wannawong defeated Songsoem Buangam: TKO, Round 1
- Niwat Kongkan defeated Sangkom Sitthiboon via UD
- Panturak Namtong defeated Natchapol Changto: TKO, Round 3
- Phutthiphong Rakoon defeated Chakkaphat Mungla: TKO, Round 4
- Shinnosuke Hasegawa defeated Natee Maksuk: TKO, Round 1
- Masayuki Ogata defeated Sombun Srisong via UD
- Phanom Phoyaem defeated Winai Kunin via UD
December 5: Gimnasio Mocho Navas, Petare, Venezuela
- Roiman Villa defeated Jorge Oliveros: TKO, Round 1
- Lorenzo Parra II defeated Gilberto Guarecuco: KO, Round 2
- Domicio Rondon defeated Edwin Mota via UD
- Pedro Pineda defeated Alexander Guarecuco via UD
- Angelino Cordova defeated Luis Navarro: TKO, Round 1
- Jeffrey Quintero defeated Rancel Lopez: TKO, Round 1
December 4: Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa
- Rofhiwa Nemushungwa defeated Joshua Studdard via SD
- Youssef Mwanza defeated Khayeni Hlungwane via PTS
- Rowan Campbell defeated Jackson Masamba via PTS
- Chris Thompson defeated James Katende:TKO, Round 2
- Michael Markram defeated Mcloud Nkhoma: TKO, Round 2
December 4: Club "OQ-TEPA", Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- Beksultan Raushanov defeated Asror Sotvoldiev: TKO, Round 3
- Burgut Hodjiboev defeated Ziyaiddin Mamarizaev: TKO, Round 4
- Mukhammadsalim Sotvoldiev defeated Hasan Umarov: TKO, Round 5
- Ravshan Muhammadjanov defeated Umid Soliev via UD
- Azamat Ergashev defeated Sherzodbek Azimov via UD
December 3: Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
- Ilias Essaoudi defeated Kassim Ouma via UD
- Beke Bas defeated Karina Kopinska via UD
- Rafael Bejaran defeated Attila Koros: KO, Round 1
- Dennis Lewandowski defeated Zoltan Csala via UD
- Sebastiano Lo Zito defeated Mazen Girke via UD
- Alexander Pavlov defeated Martin Kabrhel: TKO, Round 1
- Artur Werschinin defeated Vojtech Koncitik: TKO, Round 2
December 3: Athens, Greece
- Pavlos Paisios defeated Panagiotis Kalapodis: KO, Round 2
December 3: Pamphili Village, Roma, Lazio, Italy
- Andrea Pesce defeated Aleksander Lepsveridze via PTS
December 3: EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
- Mark John Yap defeated Seizo Kono to retain the OPBF Bantamweight Title: KO, Round 12
- Yasuyuki Akiyama defeated Koki Tyson to win the OPBF Middleweight and vacant WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight Titles: TKO, Round 5
- Hirofumi Mukai defeated Tanawat Phonnaku to win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight Title: KO, Round 1
- Masahiro Sakamoto defeated Ekavit Songnui to win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight Title: KO, Round 3
December 3: Gwanakgu Hall, Seoul, South Korea
- In Duck Seo and Joong Kyung Lee fight to a technical draw: Vacant South Korea Super Welterweight Title Bout
- Shin Young Park and Chan Mi Lim fight to a draw on PTS
- Bo Mi Re Shin and Milana Safronova fight to a split draw
- Jeong Hwan Son defeated Young Hyun Kim: TKO, Round 2
- Suk Ho Shin defeated Won Hyung Yoon via UD
- Jung Hyun Shim defeated Young Bin Park via SD
- Gun Ho Park defeated Chang Woo Lee via UD
December 3: Hall Sicosport, Rumelange, Luxembourg
- Marie Helene Meron defeated Caroline Andre: TKO, Round 5
December 3: Iligan City public plaza, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines
- Glenn Enterina defeated Jonel Gadapan: TKO, Round 8
- Samuel Salva defeated Jason Mopon: TKO, Round 3
- James Enterina defeated Phil Angcamor via UD
December 3: Turfontein Race Cource, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
- Willis Baloyi defeated Junior Assoya via PTS
- Clement Kamanga defeated Raymond Kupula via PTS
- Shaun Ness defeated Eric Kapia Mukadi via PTS
- Bongani Bhuti defeated Luyolo Magenuka: TKO, Round 2
- Walter Dlamini defeated Dido Mukanya: TKO, Round 3
- Sphamandla Mkhambaphi defeated Gift Baaname via PTS
- Siya Mabena defeated Jules Batale fight to a draw on PTS
- Layton Gloss defeated Lesego Sekao: TKO, Round 1
- Paul Mangxilana defeated Zimisele Magagula: KO, Round 1
December 3: Devonshire House Hotel, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
- Matty Fagan defeated Lee Connelly via PTS
- Luke Willis defeated Andrej Cepur via PTS
- Mason Cartwright defeated Teodor Nikolov via PTS
December 3: Hilton Hotel, Blackpool, Lancashire, United Kingdom
- Lee Clayton defeated Jules Phillips via PTS
- Dylan Moran defeated Sylwester Walczak: TKO, Round 1
- Brett Fidoe defeated George Brennan via PTS
December 2: Estadio F.A.B., Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
- Marcelo Fabian Caceres defeated Jonathan Wilson Sanchez to retain the South American Middleweight Title via UD
- Agustin Mauro Gauto defeated Mauro Nicolas Liendro via UD
- Alejandro Caputo defeated Victor Manuel Oscar Padilla via MD
- Daniel Alejandro Combi defeated Alan Santos Sosa via UD
December 2: Centro Asturiano, Vicente Lopez, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Walter Gabriel Sequeira defeated Pablo Hernan Curbelo: TKO, Round 5
- Nelson Leonardo Devesa defeated Mukhammadyusuf Nematov via UD
- Marcelo Alejandro Farias defeated Nicolas Luques Palacios via UD
- Leandro Daniel Robutti defeated Ariel Esteban Bracamonte: TKO, Round 1
- Lucio Alberto Ayala defeated Rodrigo Jonathan Martinez via UD
December 2: Club Atlético Huracán, Las Brenas, Chaco, Argentina
- Fernando Daniel Cancino defeated Cesar Javier Pandavene via UD
December 2: Club Unión Miguel Riglos, Miguel Riglos, La Pampa, Argentina
- Federico Inostroza defeated Ricardo Daniel Vilce via UD
- Julian Campanino defeated Rodrigo Espindola via UD
December 2: San Carlos, Mendoza, Argentina
- Juan Acosta defeated Giampier Quinones: TKO, Round 3
- Alejandro Cirica defeated Alejandro Weiva fight to a majority draw
December 2: Mansfield Tavern, Mansfield, Queensland, Australia
- Benjamin Kelleher defeated Nikolas Charalampous via UD
- April Adams defeated Kori Farr to retain the Australia Female Super Bantamweight Title via UD
- Reagan Dessaix defeated Jae Bryce via UD
- Jacob Ng defeated Matt McTavish: KO, Round 1
- Billy Limov defeated James Jevons: KO, Round 2
- Kaaden Sloane defeated James Bishop via UD
- Asher Wolff defeated Daniel Maxwell via UD
- Sloan Auckram defeated Terrence Montgomery via UD
December 2: Mediterranean House, Five Dock, New South Wales, Australia
- Brock Jarvis defeated Wichet Sengprakhon: KO, Round 1
- Billy Dib defeated Phum Kunmat via UD
December 2: Lonsdale Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria
- Ivanka Ivanova defeated Dobrina Georgieva via UD
- Georgi Georgiev defeated Trayan Slavev: TKO, Round 3
- Tsvetozar Iliev defeated Ivo Krastev via UD
- Krasimir Tochev defeated Asen Vasilev: TKO, Round 1
- Tayar Mehmed defeated Grigor Karastoyanov via UD
- Danail Stanoev defeated Kotse Blagoev: TKO, Round 2
- Daniel Rashdan defeated Serguey Stefanov via UD
- Borislav Ivanov defeated Ivan Nikolov via UD
December 2: Moncton Lions Club, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
- Nathan Millier defeated Adam Green to retain the Canada - Professional Boxing Council (C.P.B.C.) Middleweight Title: RTD, Round 7
- Annie Mazerolle defeated Martha Patricia Lara Gaytan via UD
- Samuel Vasquez defeated Robbie Cameron: TKO, Round 2
- Stephen Clement and Darren Fletcher fight to a majority draw
- Tom Vautour defeated Mohammed Debbagh via SD
December 2: Sluneta, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
- Lucie Sedlackova defeated Irma Balijagic Adler to win the vacant WBC Silver Female Featherweight Title via UD
- Fabiana Bytyqi defeated Fatuma Yazidu to win the vacant WBC Silver Female Minimumweight Title: TKO, Round 2
- Tomas Salek defeated Laszlo Toth: KO, Round 1
- Stanislav Eschner defeated Jan Malach via UD
- Robert Racz defeated Josef Obeslo: TKo, Round 2
- Juergen Uldedaj defeated Radek Geissmann: TKO, Round 3
- Jorge Luis Garbey defeated Petr Chmelik: TKO, Round 3
- David Hosek and Rudolf Helesic fight to a majority draw
- Jan Henrich defeated Vladimir Fecko: TKO, Round 2
December 2: OC Atrium, Pardubice, Czech Republic
- Ondrej Budera defeated Lukas Skirca via PTS
December 2: Urheilutalo, Salo, Finland
- Jarkko Putkonen defeated Ivan Njegac via UD
- Sanna Turunen defeated Borislava Goranova via UD
- Fedor Vinogradov defeated Igor Faniyan via UD
- Veli Pekka Mattila defeated Mykyta Trubchanin: TKO, Round 4
- Ivan Lysytsia defeated Gennadi Mentsikainen via SD
- Mathias Eklund defeated Pjotr Filatov via UD
December 2: Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dôme, France
- Karim Berredjem defeated Alban Galonnier via PTS
December 2: Salle de la Nacelle, Corbeil-Essonnes, Essonne, France
- Yannick N'Galeu defeated Jonathan Cotteret via PTS
- Rachid Achoui defeated Nikoloz Gvajava: RTD, Round 3
- Moughit El Moutaouakil defeated Gadzhimurad Ibragimov: RTD, Round 2
- Olivier Bangui defeated Gyan Athale via PTS
- Dame Seck defeated Tornike Tortladze via PTS
December 2: Pontcharra, Isère, France
- Mike Diemunsch and Adel Koukbi fight to a draw on PTS
December 2: Nevers, Nièvre, France
- Helene Lascombe defeated AnneSophie Schneider via PTS
December 2: Stockschützenhalle, Kühbach, Bayern, Germany
- Tina Rupprecht defeated Anne Sophie Da Costa to retain the interim WBC World Female Minimumweight Title via UD
December 2: Müggelspreehalle, Hangelsberg, Brandenburg, Germany
- Gianluca Frezza defeated Vladimer Janezashvili to win the vacant Global Boxing Council Intercontinental Super Welterweight Title: RTD, Round 4
- Ashley Theophane defeated Paata Varduashvili to win the vacant German International Super Welterweight Title: RTD, Round 7
- Rodi Kasem defeated Giga Nadiradze to win the vacant German International Super Middleweight Title: TKO, Round 1
- Rene Huebner defeated Tino Froehlich via UD
- Bjoern Schicke defeated Jan Sendrei: KO, Round 1
- Lukas Paszkowsky defeated Artsiom Hurbo: RTD, Round 1
- Nico Venetis defeated Josef Holub: KO, Round 4
- Adnan Oezcoban defeated Talip Yilmaz: RTD, Round 3
- Ali Hussein defeated Jianjing Wang via SD
- Dominik Kosel and Ion Barsan fight to a no contest
- Besim Kilic defeated Sebastian Dawid Wiesniewski: TKO, Round 3
- Kamil Tranh defeated Tarkan Oezcoban via PTS
- Ruslan Muratov defeated Petr Benes: KO, Round 1
December 2: Rattenfanger Halle, Hameln, Niedersachsen, Germany
- Emil Markic defeated Mehmet Karaka: KO, Round 1
- Dilan Prasovic defeated Ionut Damian via PTS
- Predrag Radosevic defeated Yesilat Berkta: TKO, Round 2
- Christian Pawlak defeated Aleksandar Jankovic: TKO, Round 2
- Emin Atra defeated Slavoljub Mitic: RTD, Round 2
- Omar Siala defeated Mario Lenz: RTD, Round 3
- Angelo Venjakob defeated Werner Rauhbach: TKO, Round 2
- Kim Angelina Jaeckel defeated Manja Thies: TKO, Round 2
- Besir Ay defeated Darko Knezevic: RTD, Round 2
December 2: Kreissporthalle, Korbach, Hessen, Germany
- Mario Jassmann defeated Matti Schaffran to retain the German International Middleweight Title: KO, Round 1
- Ahmad Ali defeated Slobodan Vukic: KO, Round 2
- Nico Chatschatrian defeated Mirko Crnovic: TKO, Round 2
- Oezcan Cetinkaya defeated Milos Stevic: TKO, Round 1
- Ufuk Temur defeated Asmir Smajic: TKO, Round 1
- Misto Abdulaev defeated Adnan Hadzihajdic: TKO, Round 1
- Marcel Littau defeated Gergely Antal: TKO, Round 2
- Sladan Janjanin defeated Aleksandar Kuvac via UD
- Tibor Varga defeated Gyorgy Kutasi via UD
- Oktavian Gratii defeated Islam Ashabov: TKO, Round 4
December 2: Glaspalast, Dessau, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
- Sanel Papic defeated Haris Radmilovic: RTD, Round 1
- Steve Kroekel defeated Dino Sabanovic via PTS
- Patrick Rokohl defeated Janos Lakatos: KO, Round 2
- Samir Barakovic defeated Martin Edelmann: TKO, Round 2
December 2: National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
- Eric Donovan defeated Juan Luis Gonzalez via PTS
- Jay Byrne defeated Gerard Whitehouse: TKO, Round 4
- Craig O'Brien defeated Daniel Przewieslik via PTS
- Colin O'Donovan and Stephen McAfee fight to a draw on points
- Bernard Roe defeated William Warburton via PTS
- Warburton cut by the left eye following a head clash.
- Graham McCormack O'Shea defeated Richard Baba via PTS
- Dylan McDonagh defeated Robert Kanalas via TKO
- Niall O'Connor defeated Manuel Prieto: TKO, Round 3
- Martin Quinn defeated Iago Barros via PTS
- John Joyce defeated Imre Simon: TKO, Round 2
- James Cahill defeated Mwenya Chisanga via PTS
- Darren Cruise defeated Janos Varga: TKO, Round 2
December 2: Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
- Emanuele Cavallucci defeated Christian Bozzoni via PTS
December 2: Teatro Principe, Milan, Lombardia, Italy
- Leonardo Faretina defeated Milovan Dragojevic via UD
December 2: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
- Nihito Arakawa defeated Adones Aguelo defeated Hayate Kaji defeated Jun Blazo via UD
- Junki Sasaki defeated Ronnie Campos via UD
- Yuto Shimizu defeated Maxi Yeninar: KO, Round 1
December 2: Carnivore Grounds, Nairobi, Kenya
- Fatuma Zarika defeated Catherine Phiri to retain the WBC World Female Super Bantamweight Title
December 2: Centre Sportif du LNBD annexe Alliance, Dudelange, Luxembourg
- Jean Moraiti defeated Beka Lazarashvili to win the vacant Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) World Super Lightweight Title via UD
- Sadok Sebki defeated Yassine Khedim via SD
- Cedrick Peynaud defeated Amilcar de Jesus Tavares Monteiro: TKO, Round 1
- Mathieu Gomes defeated Mikheil Gogebashvili: KO, Round 1
December 2: Gimnasio Usos Múltiples UdeG, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
- Ramon Alvarez defeated Johnny Navarrete via UD
- Monserrat Alarcon defeated Yesenia Martinez Castrejon via UD
December 2: Palacio de los Deportes, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
- Luis Guzman defeated Humberto Frias via MD
- Enoc Perez defeated Jose Escobar via UD
- Arturo Gomez defeated Jose Guzman via UD
- Carlos Garcia defeated Andres Zamudio via UD
- Irais Dominguez defeated Maria Hernandez via UD
- Domingo Vazquez defeated Victor Cosmopulos via MD
- Luciano Chaparro defeated Jafet Badillo via UD
- Freddy Villegas defeated Manuel Arenas: TKO, Round 3
- Jose Landero defeated Carlos Mario Aguilar: TKO, Round 1
December 2: AMI Netball Centre, St Johns, New Zealand
- Junior Pati defeated Mokai Parahau via UD
- Ruben Webster defeated Rob Ramsey via UD
- Skope Siaosi defeated Nick Hikuroa via UD
December 2: Krylia Sovetov, Moscow, Russia
- Khuseyn Baysangurov defeated Nick Klappert to be the unified IBF International and WBA Continental Super Welterweight champion: KO, Round 1
- Lendrush Akopian defeated Hassan Mwakinyo to win the vacant WBC Youth World Super Welterweight Title via UD
- Khasan Baysangurov defeated Lasha Gurguliani: TKO, Round 5
- Ramil Gadzhyiev defeated Aro Schwartz to win the vacant WBC Youth World Super Middleweight Title via UD
- Shamil Galaev defeated Roman Zinchenko: TKO, Round 4
- Ruslan Shchelev defeated Uladzimir Sazonau: TKO, Round 4
- Umar Tsomaev defeated Alexey Fetisov via UD
December 2: Kempton Park Indoor Sports Arena, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa
- Barend van Rooyen defeated Yanga Phetani to win the vacant South African Middleweight Title: TKO, Round 6
- Jackson Chauke defeated Zolile Miya: TKO, Round 5
- Ricky Tshabalala and Kongolo Tshimanga fight to a draw on PTS
- Roarke Knapp defeated Siyabonga Roloma: KO, Round 4
- Emmany Kalombo defeated Aphiwe Myoyo: KO, Round 2
- Dennis Mwale defeated Sifiso Khuzwayo: TKO, Round 4
- Tristan Truter defeated Pierrot Kaniki: TKO, Round 1
- Etienne van Niekerk defeated Francis Matika: TKO, Round 3
December 2: Club Saga Heredia, Malaga, Andalucía, Spain
- Ronny Landaeta defeated Antonio Pedro Quiganga: KO, Round 4
- Baldo Mira defeated Jose Aguilar via PTS
- Salvador Heredia defeated Rafael Castillo via TD
- Brandon Oertel defeated Juan Francisco Ruiz: TKO, Round 3
- Samuel Molina defeated Lesther Cantillano: KO, Round 1
December 2: Pabellón José Antonio Alemañ Valero, Santa Pola, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain
- Elin Cederros defeated Ester Konecna via PTS
December 2: Frontón Cantolagua, Sanguesa, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, Spain
- Cesar Nunez defeated Giorgi Kandelaki via PTS
- Ander Amatriain defeated Jonathan Fabian via PTS
December 2: Hotel Hacienda Castellar, Villarrubia de Santiago, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
- Joanna Ekedahl defeated Hristina Stojadinovic: KO, Round 2
- Kent Erik defeated Predrag Jevtic via PTS
December 2: Palestra Nuova, Ascona, Switzerland
- Vissia Trovato defeated Jasmina Nad via UD
- Ricardo Silva defeated Sasa Janjic: TKO, Round 1
- Marzio Franscella defeated Nenad Djuric: KO, Round 2
December 2: Manyara Park, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
- Yusufu Kombo defeated Mohamed Kasika: KO, Round 2
December 2: Leicester Arena, Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
- Anthony Yigit defeated Joe Hughes to retain the EBU (European) Super Lightweight Title via UD
- Luke Watkins defeated Mike Stafford to retain the Commonwealth (British Empire) Cruiserweight Title: RTD, Round 8
- Lennox Clarke defeated Jahmaine Smyle to win the vacant International Boxing Organization Continental Super Middleweight Title via UD
- Chantelle Cameron defeated Viviane Obenauf to win the vacant International Boxing Organization World Female Lightweight Title: RTD, Round 6
- Craig Morris defeated Ryan Martin to win the vacant International Boxing Organization Continental Welterweight Title via UD
- Brad Foster defeated Patrik Bartos: TKO, Round 1
- Chris Billam Smith defeated Laszlo Ivanyi: KO, Round 1
- Kyle Williams defeated Szilveszter Kanalas: KO, Round 2
- Josh Quailey defeated Ferenc Zsalek via PTS
- Lee McGregor defeated Kamil Jaworek: TKO, Round 2
December 2: Dolphin Centre, Darlington, County Durham, United Kingdom
- Chris Wood and Jamie Humble fight to a draw on points: Vacant BBBofC Northern Area Super Bantamweight Title Bout
- Richard O'Neill defeated Geraint Goodridge via PTS
- Ellis Corrie defeated David Zubrzycki via PTS
- Terry Tyers defeated Mike Castell via PTS
- Sean Pendry defeated Neil Hepper: TKO, Round 1
December 2: York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom
- Kay Prospere defeated Kristian Patko: KO, Round 1
- Tunji Ogunniya defeated Jan Korec via PTS
- Ollie Pattison defeated Georgi Valevski via PTS
- Chris Davies defeated Robert Studzinski via PTS
- Reiss Taylor defeated Jack Smith: KO, Round 2
- Dalton Miller defeated Lewis van Poetsch via PTS
- Charlie Rice defeated Daniel Bazo via PTS
- Anesu Twala defeated Fonz Alexander via PTS
- Youssef Khoumari defeated Joe Beeden via PTS
- Ellis Zorro defeated Jindrich Velecky via PTS
- Sam Gilley defeated Jan Balog via PTS
- Liam Dillon defeated Jamie Quinn via PTS
- Brandon Thomson defeated Ivan Godor via PTS
- Jack Newham defeated Jack Green via PTS
- Sean Robinson defeated James Gorman via PTS
- Dennis Wahome defeated Alec Bazza via PTS
- Ramez Mahmood defeated Jamie Speight via PTS
- Bobby Woods defeated Anto Nakic via PTS
- Mo Gharib defeated Andy Harris via PTS
- Hamid Sediqi defeated Maksims Dembovskis: TKO, Round 2
December 2: Audley Sports and Community Centre, Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom
- AJ Faizy defeated Innocent Anyanwu via PTS
- Omar Dusary defeated Michael Barnor via PTS
- Shakeeb Ali defeated Gyula Tallosi: TKO, Round 3
- Alex McCloy defeated Victor Edagha via PTS
- Mohammed Rashad defeated Geiboord Omier via PTS
December 2: Holte Suite, Villa Park, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom
- Kelcie Ball defeated Kevin McCauley via PTS
- Don Broadhurst defeated Anwar Alfadli via PTS
- Lee Gunter defeated Kristian Laight via PTS
- Tommy Silcox defeated Duane Green via PTS
- Lenny Evans defeated Naheem Chaudhry via PTS
December 2: DW Stadium, Wigan, Lancashire, United Kingdom
- Lee Boyce defeated Jevgenijs Andrejevs via PTS
- Courtney Chadwick defeated Youssef Al Hamidi via PTS
- Damian Chambers defeated Dmitrij Kalinovskij via PTS
December 2: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
- Sadam Ali defeated Miguel Cotto to win the WBO World Super Welterweight Title via UD
- Rey Vargas defeated Oscar Negrete to retain the WBC World Super Bantamweight Title via UD
- Angel Acosta defeated Juan Alejo to win the vacant WBO World Light Flyweight Title: KO, Round 10
- Ronny Rios defeated Deivi Julio Bassa via UD
- Zachary Ochoa defeated Erick Daniel Martinez via UD
December 2: Tripoli Shrine Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
- Jeremiah Williams defeated James Roe: TKO, Round 1
- Laquan Lewis defeated Justin Gauthier: TKO, Round 2
December 2: Gimnasio Mocho Navas, Petare, Venezuela
- Pedro Verdu defeated Elvis Franco: KO, Round 1
- Jesus Cuadro defeated Jose Guarapana: TKO, Round 2
- Jose Marcano defeated Elvis Negrin: TKO, Round 3
- Ana Fernandez defeated Genesis Pinango via UD
- Joniker Tovar defeated Jose Ron: TKO, Round 1
- David Barreto defeated Oswaldo Baron: TKO, Round 1
December 1: Club Atlético Defensores de Villa Cassini, Capitan Bermudez, Santa Fe, Argentina
- Lucas Andres Dadamo defeated Gustavo Wenceslao Perez: TKO, Round 2
December 1: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
- Naoko Fujioka defeated Yokasta Valle to win the vacant WBO World Female Light Flyweight Title via UD
- Takenori Ohashi defeated Kosuke Saka to win the Japanese Featherweight Title: KO, Round 5
- Keita Kurihara defeated Ryan Lumacad: KO, Round 2
- Kinshiro Usui defeated Hiroshi Niiza: TKO, Round 7
- Tasuku Nakagawa defeated Akihiko Katagiri: TKO, Round 1
Fightful Boxing Rankings
- Terence Crawford
- Gennady Golovkin
- Canelo Alvarez
- Vasyl Lomachenko
- Mikey Garcia
- Keith Thurman
- Guillermo Rigondeaux
- Anthony Joshua
- Naoya Inoue
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Anthony Joshua
- Deontay Wilder
- Joseph Parker
- Luis Ortiz
- Dillian Whyte
- Kubrat Pulev
- Andy Ruiz Jr.
- Dominic Breazeale
- Charles Martin
- Jarrell Miller
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Murat Gassiev
- Krzysztof Glowacki
- Mairis Briedis
- Marco Huck
- Yunier Dorticos
- Firat Arslan
- Tony Bellew
- Denis Lebediev
- Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
- Sergey Kovalev
- Badou Jack
- Adonis Stevenson
- Oleksandr Gvozdyk
- Sullivan Barrera
- Artur Beterbiev
- Eleider Alvarez
- Juergen Braehmer
- Joe Smith Jr.
- Vyasheslav Sharanskyy
- James DeGale
- Gilberto Ramirez
- George Groves
- Anthony Dirrell
- Andre Dirrell
- Chris Eubank Jr.
- David Benavidez
- Jose Uzcategui
- Tyron Zeuge
- Callum Smith
- Gennady Golovkin
- Canelo Alvarez
- Daniel Jacobs
- Jermall Charlo
- David Lemieux
- Ryota Murata
- Demetrius Andrade
- Billy Joe Saunders
- Andy Lee
- Sergiy Derevyanchenko
- Erislandy Lara
- Jermell Charlo
- Jarrett Hurd
- Demetrius Andrade
- Julian Williams
- Austin Trout
- Sadam Ali
- Liam Smith
- Maciej Sulecky
- Erickson Lubin
- Keith Thurman
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Terence Crawford
- Danny Garcia
- Shawn Porter
- Manny Pacquiao
- Jeff Horn
- Kell Brook
- Jessie Vargas
- Lamont Peterson
The rest of the rankings are in the next page.
- Julius Indongo
- Viktor Postol
- Antonio Orozco
- Sergey Lipinets
- Terry Flanagan
- Eduard Troyanovski
- Regis Prograis
- Rances Barthelemy
- Amir Imam
- Tevin Farmer
- Jorge Linares
- Mikey Garcia
- Robert Easter Jr.
- Anthony Crolla
- Luke Campbell
- Dejan Zlaticanin
- Raymundo Beltran
- Denis Shafikov
- Ricky Burns
- Richard Commey
- Vasyl Lomachenko
- Miguel Berchelt
- Francisco Vargas
- Jezreel Corrales
- Alberto Machado
- Orlando Salido
- Robinson Castellanos
- Jason Sosa
- Jhonny Gonzalez
- Masayuki Ito
- Leo Santa Cruz
- Gary Russell Jr.
- Abner Mares
- Lee Selby
- Oscar Valdez
- Carl Frampton
- Scott Quigg
- Jesus Cuellar
- Joseph Diaz
- Claudio Marrero
- Guillermo Rigondeaux
- Jessie Magdaleno
- Nonito Donaire
- Moises Flores
- Rey Vargas
- Daniel Roman
- Hugo Ruiz
- Marlon Tapales
- Julio Ceja
- Yukinori Oguni
- Jamie McDonnell
- Luis Nery
- Ryan Burnett
- Juan Carlos Payano
- Shinsuke Yamanaka
- Zolani Tete
- Lee Haskins
- Zhanat Zhakiyanov
- Takoma Inoue
- Liborio Solis
- Naoya Inoue
- Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
- Jerwin Ancajas
- Khalid Yafai
- Juan Francisco Estrada
- Carlos Cuadras
- Roman Gonzalez
- John Riel Casimero
- Rau'shee Warren
- Luis Concepcion
- Kazuto Ioka
- Donnie Nietes
- Daigo Higa
- Juan Carlos Reveco
- Kosei Tanaka
- Sho Kimura
- Moruti Mthalane
- McWilliams Arroyo
- Francisco Rodriguez Jr.
- Zou Shiming
- Milan Melindo
- Knockout CP Freshmart
- Jose Argumedo
- Ken Shiro
- Ryoichi Taguchi
- Angel Acosta
- Tatsuya Fukuhara
- Hekkie Budler
- Pedro Guevara
- Wanheng Menayothin
News And Notes From The World Of Boxing
1. WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson has had a lengthy reign as champion and his next fight could be announced soon, but it may not be against mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez. Reports indicate that Alvarez has signed a step-aside deal, similar to how WBC heavyweight mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne signed a step-aside deal to allow heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder take a voluntary defense first. It appears that Stevenson will fight former WBA light heavyweight champion Badou Jack who vacated his belt on the premise that he would getting a big fight next.
2. Regarding a potential Stevenson vs. Jack fight for the WBC title, there could be complications with this step-aside deal. The WBC is launching an investigation due to the fact Stevenson has ignored his mandatory challengers for the majority of the past four years. Alvarez has been the mandatory challenger since 2015 and the WBC ordered Stevenson to fight then-unified champion Sergey Kovalev in 2013, but the order was pretty much ignored.
3. Nearly a year after winning a comeback fight in Trenton, New Jersey, former world champion Zab Judah is now working as a nursing assistant. Judah has been working at an adult day care facility during the day and helps teach a class at night. This doesn’t mean Judah has retired from boxing. He may not have fought since January, but he still aims to compete in high-profile matches, according to what he said earlier this year.
1. A rare New Year's Day card from Japan has been announced and it is one that's set to get a lot of attention in Japan, with at least two interesting debuts. One of those debuts will be of Koki Kameda's new protege Joe Vlog, who was one of Kameda's opponents in 2017's special Abema TV event which saw the former three-weight world champion take on a number of non-boxing opponents. Of the opponents that Kameda faced Vlog was the only one to last the distance with Kameda and it seemed like Kameda was impressed with the YouTube star enough, at least impressed enough to take him under his wing and train him ahead of his professional debut. Prior to facing Kameda, Vlog was pretty much known just as a YouTube celebrity with almost a million subscribers. The other debutant will be Kyosuke Kameda, the cousin of Koki, Daiki and Tomoki Kameda. The newest member of the Kameda boxing family will be up against domestic foe Shinnosuke Kimoto.
2. It's not often you get to hear news regarding WBO Oriental & Asia Pacific super middleweight Vijender Singh, who will defend his titles against African champion Ernest Amuzu in Jaipur on December 23. Singh made some interesting comments regarding doping problems in his native India. Singh told the Hindustan Times that some sports, such as weightlifting and boxing are suffering drug problems at the grassroots level, which he believes will hurt the country's future in the long run.
“Since a large number of them are taking performance enhancing drugs to win medals in low key competitions, it’s worrying factor. It will kill potential talent,” Singh said.
3. The International Boxing Federation has given formal sanction approval for the IBF super bantamweight eliminator fight for the mandatory spot between #3 Terence ' TJ' Doheny and #7 Mike Tawatchai. The bout is scheduled for December 20 at the Suanlum Night Bazaar in Bangkok, Thailand. Doheny was initially scheduled to fight Evgeny Gradovich, the former featherweight world champion of the International Boxing Federation, on December 15 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Gradovich withdrew from the contest with his promoter citing an issue with the boxer's eyes, which are reportedly bad enough that Gradovich could be sent to retirement.
4. China's Dancing Sports, an organization at the forefront of sports development in China, and Manny Pacquiao recently inked a comprehensive agreement to develop and promote professional boxing in China. Dancing Sports president Vincent Zhou and Pacquiao signed the agreement in an elaborate ceremony on December 2 at the Diaoyutai Hotel in Beijing which was attended by Chinese dignitaries and representatives from the Chinese media. Part of the agreement was the establishment of the Manny Pacquiao International Boxing Academy (PIBA) in China envisioned to become an instrument to attract, train and develop Chinese world class boxers and to regularly promote professional boxing matches all over China.
1. With James DeGale set to return to the ring and defend his IBF super middleweight title, he's already looking ahead and thinking of possible opponents for his fight in 2018. With the World Boxing Super Series' super middleweight tournament still set to continue all the way through May, DeGale will need to look outside of the tournament for a fight and has stated that he would like to face WBC champion David Benavidez sometime in March or in April. The winner of that unification fight will then get a chance to further unify titles with the winner of the WBSS, who will likely be holding the WBA "super," WBC Diamond and IBO championships.
2. The 2018 season of the World Series of Boxing won’t start for another several months, but Team GB, the British Lionhearts, are getting their travel schedule ready and they will have their group stage matches take place outside of London. The Lionhearts will have their first group stage match against the Croatian Knights at the Gateshead Leisure Centre on February 16, 2018, followed by the second match against Italia Thunder at The Auditorium at Echo Arena in Liverpool on March 2, 2018 and conclude against the France Fighting Roosters at Newport Leisure Centre on April 14, 2018 The World Series of Boxing is a global team boxing competition developed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), made-up of 11 teams who compete in a league format in three regional groups. It bridges the gap between Olympic and professional boxing and participants compete without vests or headguards over five three-minute rounds using the 10-point-must scoring system.
3. Former welterweight world champion Kell Brook will return to the ring as a super welterweight. Promoter Eddie Hearn announced Brook will return at the Sheffield Arena on March 3, 2018, with the fight likely to be screened exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office. No opponent has been named for the fight and no guarantee that Brook will get a world title fight in his first fight since losing his welterweight world title against Errol Spence Jr. back in May.
4. The rematch between David Haye and Tony Bellew has been rescheduled. The fight will take place at the O2 Arena on May 5. If the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight also takes place on May 5, then it gives fan a full day of major fights taking place on that day. Haye vs. Bellew 2 would take place in the afternoon for those in the United States, leaving the evening open for Canelo vs. Golovkin 2. The fight was originally supposed to take place in December, but Haye suffered an injury with only weeks remaining before the fight, forcing the fight to get scrapped and postponed.
1. WBC junior lightweight champion Miguel Berchelt looks to be ready to defend his title in February. According to Zanfer Promotions head Fernando Beltran, a February date in Mexico, likely in either Cancun or Merida, Yucatan, is being looked at Berchelt’s next title defense. The object of Berchelt’s 2018 campaign is to have him face the winner of Orlando Salido vs. Mickey Roman fight on December 9 on HBO.
2. It's no secret that Gennday Golovkin is extremely popular in Canelo Alvarez's native country of Mexico. Although the eventual rematch between the two boxers has no venue, Golovkin has thrown around the possibility of the rematch taking place in Mexico's Azteca Stadium. It's highly unlikely the fight takes place there, but if it does, there is actually a strong likelihood that fight will have one of the largest attendance numbers in sporting history. Given the magnitude between the two fighters, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the fight could attract between 90,000-120,000 people. The Azteca Stadium boxing attendance record was the 1993 clash between Julio Cesar Chavez and Greg Haugen, which reportedly had an attendance number of 132,247.
2018 International Boxing Hall Of Fame Class Announced
The 2018 international Boxing Hall of Fame was announced on December 5 with a strong class among all categories.
In the modern category, the most noteworthy of all the Hall of Fame categories, former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, Mexican legend Erik Morales and former world champion and defensive stalwart Ronald “Winky” Wright were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Also elected were broadcasters Jim Gray and Steve Albert in the observer category and German promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl in the nonparticipant category. Elected posthumously were Sid Terris, a New York lightweight contender in the 1920s, in the old-timer category, and ring announcer Johnny Addie and promoter Lorraine Chargin in the nonparticipant category.
To be eligible in that category, fighters must not have boxed for at least five years but have had their last fight no earlier than 1989. Klitschko, Morales and Wright all fought for the final time in 2012. They were elected by full members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of international historians.
Below are a brief summary of the careers of all the inducted individuals:
Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KO): One of the most dominant heavyweight boxers of the 21st century. Klitschko held the WBC heavyweight title from 2004-2012. Finished his career on a 13-fight win streak since losing to Lennox Lewis in 2003. He and brother Wladimir are the first pair of brothers to hold world heavyweight titles at the same time. Klitschko is 15-2 in world title fights. With an 87.23 knockout percentage, he holds one of the highest knockout-to-fight ratios of any world champion in heavyweight boxing history.
Erik Morales (52-9, 36 KO): Morales was the first Mexican-born boxer in history to win world titles in four different weight classes, having held the WBC super bantamweight title from 1997 to 2000; the WBC featherweight twice between 2001 and 2003; the unified WBC and IBF super featherweight titles in 2004; and the WBC super lightweight title from 2011 to 2012. ESPN ranked Morales at number 49 on their list of the 50 greatest boxers of all time. Morales is also best known for his legendary trilogies against Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao. Morales defeated Hall of Famer Daniel Zaragoza to take his junior featherweight world title and send him into retirement in 1997. Morales also scored notable wins against Junior Jones, Wayne McCullough, Kevin Kelley, Guty Espadas (twice), In-Jin Chi, Paulie Ayala, Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez.
Ronald (Winky) Wright (51-6-1, 25 KO): Owns wins over Bronco McKart, Angel Hernandez, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartley. He is a two-time junior middleweight world champion and remains the last boxer to ever hold the undisputed title at that weight and the only one of the group of undisputed junior middleweight champions to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring and lineal junior middleweight titles at the same time. Has an 11-3-1 record in world title fights.
Sid Terris (93-13-4, 12 KO): Terris had a standout amateur career and boxed professionally from 1922 to 1931, mainly in New York. Terris was a lightweight contender but never got a chance to fight for the world title. The closest he came was in 1925, but he lost a 12-round decision to Sammy Mandell in an eliminator.
Johnny Addie: Addie was the longtime ring announcer at Madison Square Garden and other venues in New York from the late-1940s to the early 1970s. He was the ring announcer for more than 100 world title fights, including the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight.
Jim Gray: Gray is one of the top boxing broadcasters for the past few decades, beginning his broadcasting career in 1977. He began broadcasting boxing in 1978, working closed-circuit telecasts for Top Rank and KingVision and eventually covered the sport for ESPN's SportsCenter and NBC. Since 1992 has been part of the Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast team, serving as interviewer and ringside reporter, known for his hard-hitting questions and being a part of various world championship boxing broadcasts.
Steve Albert: Albert covered major boxing fights on Showtime Championship Boxing for 17 years as the network's lead play-by-play announcer, including the infamous "Bite Fight" between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in 1997. Albert is part of the famous Albert broadcasting family, the younget of the three brothers (Marv and Al)
Lorraine Chargin: Chargin, who died back in 2010, was half of an all-time great promotional team with her husband, Don Chargin, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. They promoted shows for decades, mainly at the old Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles from the mid-1960 to the mid-1980s. They were also largely responsible for a thriving Sacramento, California, fight scene during the 1980s and '90s. Together they helped develop such fighters as former champions Bobby Chacon, Tony "The Tiger" Lopez, Loreto Garza and Willie Jorrin.
Klaus-Peter Kohl: Kohl founded the now-defunct Universum Box-Promotion, which for much of the 1990s through the mid-2000s was the dominant promoter in Germany and one of the most significant promoters in the world until it went out of business in 2011. Kohl promoted numerous top fighters and European stars, including the Klitschko brothers and many other world titleholders, including Felix Sturm, Dariusz Michalczewski, Juan Carlos Gomez, Artur Grigorian, Juergen Braehmer, Istvan Kovacs and Gennady Golovkin throughout the early portion of his career.
As explained previously, if I had a vote, I would have voted for Klitschko, Morales and British superstar Ricky Hatton, but Wright would have gotten a top 5 vote for me. Overall, this is a very good class, but this was was going to be a strong one regardless. Some of the names that missed the Hall of Fame this year include Hatton, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Ivan Calderon, Wilfredo Vazquez and Michael Moorer.
As for what the potential 2022 ballot is going to look like, the list of candidates is going to be extremely deep. Floyd Mayweather is a lock for the Hall of Fame if he stays retired. Vitali’s brother Wladimir, who has a better pro career and slightly better accomplishments than Vitali, will also be a lock for the Hall of Fame.
As far as what the third Hall of Fame spot will go to, chances are the top two candidates will be Andre Ward, if he stays retired, and Miguel Cotto. Both men have strong cases to be first-ballot Hall of Famers, with Ward being undefeated, winning the Super Six tournament and owning wins over Sergey Kovalev, Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Chad Dawson. Cotto’s case, in favor and against, was thoroughly explained in last week’s newsletter, but the key points going for Cotto are the world titles in four weight classes, the many wars and long list of Hall of Fame fighters he has fought.
Other boxers that have retired this year and are eligible for the Hall of Fame starting in 2022 include Robert Guerrero, Nathan Cleverly, Takashi Miura and Takashi Uchiyama. They all have a decent chance of entering the Hall of Fame ballot, but as far as actually being voted in, none of these fighters have a realistic shot of being voted in, save for Guerrero. Guerrero has the strongest case among the aforementioned four boxers, but it will take years on the ballot as well as an overall weak ballot before Guerrero ever gets inducted.
Rest Of The Weekend Preview
Despite an absolutely stacked ESPN card filled with super fights and future stars competing, the rest of the weekend will have several big fights for boxing fans to watch out for. Here are just some of the more notable fights taking place this weekend:
December 8 (Fox Sports 1): Luis Ortiz vs. Daniel Martz: If it wasn’t for a failed drug test, Ortiz could be standing as the WBC heavyweight champion. Ortiz could still have a WBC title fight sometime in the future, but for the moment, Ortiz will fight Martz in a bout that was added days ago with the intention of adding a big name to the card, headlined by Jean Pascal vs. Ahmed Elbiali. Ortiz will get a quick knockout win in this fight that only serves to keep him busy until a bigger fight arrives on the horizon for 2018.
December 9 (Showtime YouTube/Facebook): James DeGale (c) vs. Caleb Truax: IBF Super Middleweight title fight: DeGale will be making his return to the ring since his January unification fight against Badou Jack, which ended in a draw. DeGale suffered multiple injuries in the fight, leaving him resting for the majority of the year. Until the World Boxing Super Series concludes, DeGale will be taking on a minor title defense against Caleb Truax. DeGale should be able to win comfortably, setting himself up for another unification fight in 2018.
December 9 (Showtime YouTube/Facebook): Lee Selby (c) vs. Eduardo Ramirez: IBF Featherweight title fight: Selby’s run as the IBF world champion sees him defending his title against the unbeaten Eduardo Ramirez. It’s somewhat of a step down from his fights against Jonathan Victor Barros and Evgeny Graovich, but Ramirez could still provide some challenges for the 30-year-old champion. Like with DeGale, Selby is biding his time before he gets a big fight in 2018, the likeliest one being against former world champion Carl Frampton, which would be a major fight in the United Kingdom in 2018.
December 9 (HBO): Orlando Salido vs. Mickey Roman: Salido, who is 2-1-2 since beating Vasyl Lomachenko in 2014, nearly got a world title shot earlier this year, but had to settle for a relatively easy fight against Aristides Perez. This fight would have been for an interim super featherweight title, but an inexplicably dumb decision by HBO to move the fight from 12 rounds to 10 rounds forced the WBC to withdraw is sanctioning and thus this fight will be a non-title fight. Roman engaged in a war against Takashi Miura back in January and has since won the WBC FECARBOC lightweight title by beating Nery Saguilan. The winner of this HBO main event will put themselves in decent position to challenge for a world title in 2018. Given each boxer’s lengthy career, that potential world title opportunity could be the last in their career’s increasing the stakes for this fight.
December 9 (HBO): Tevin Farmer vs. Kenichi Ogawa: Vacant IBF Junior Welterweight title fight: After an accident in which he was shot in the hand, Farmer returns to the ring for a world title opportunity. The title was vacated by Terence Crawford shortly after unifying the 140-pound division. Ogawa will be fighting in the United States for the first time in his pro career after fighting all 23 pro fights at Korakuen Hall in Japan. Farmer is a significant step up in competition for Ogawa, whose two biggest wins came against Rikki Naito in 2015 and 2016.
December 13 (ESPN): Jeff Horn (c) vs. Gary Corcoran: WBO Welterweight title fight: In a rare weekday fight, Horn will make his first world title defense since winning the title off of Manny Pacquiao earlier this summer. The fight headlines a morning Top Rank Boxing on ESPN telecast and this serves as little more than to further solidify Horn as a legitimate world champion before the eventual clash with mandatory challenger Terence Crawford. Horn should be able to handle Corcoran and it would serve Horn best to win via knockout or at least via stoppage.