Fightful Boxing Newsletter (10/10/19): GGG Wins IBF Title, Failed Drug Tests, Spence-Porter Review

Fightful Boxing Newsletter (10/10/19) Table Of Contents:

  1. Avni Yildirim, Tyrone Spong Fail Drug Tests (Page 1)
  2. Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter Results (Page 2)
  3. Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko Results (Page 3)
  4. Fightful Boxing Rankings (Pages 4-5)
  5. News And Notes From The World Of Boxing (Page 6)
Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus Booked For December

Avni Yildirim, Tyrone Spong Fail Drug Tests:

The past 12 months have been a trying time for boxing as a number of notable names have failed drug tests and now two more are added to that list.

Firstly, Yildirim was revealed to have tested positive for DHCMT/methylclostebol. The drug test took place on September 13 in Big Bear, California and VADA reported the adverse finding to the WBC on September 26.

This effectively took Yildirim out of the running, at least for now, for a potential WBC super middleweight title bout against newly-crowned champion David Benavidez. The WBC were making plans to make that fight happen next and likely would have been ordered at the WBC Convention set to begin later this month.

Yildirim was promised a shot at the title after the controversial nature of his fight against Anthony Dirrell back in February for the vacant WBC title. The fight ended in a technical decision in favor of Dirrell, meaning he won the belt. Yildirim and his camp filed a protest, requesting an immediate rematch and a compromise was reached: have Dirrell and Benavidez (who was also promised a title shot after he was stripped of the belt for also failing a drug test in September 2018) fight for the belt and Yildirim will take on the winner.

Now, that has all gone to smokes, but he wasn’t the only one to have a positive test result.

On October 7, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn revealed on social media that heavyweight Tyrone Spong missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime by testing positive for Clomiphene. Clomiphene is used as a fertility drug in women who do not ovulate, but when it’s used by men, it is used to not only increase testosterone levels, but also use as a masking agent for steroids, which is why it is a banned substance.

This took Spong out of the main event for the October 12 Matchroom Boxing USA show in Chicago where he was supposed to fight Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion who wanted to move up and become a world heavyweight champion.

Luckily for Hearn and his team, a replacement was found later in the week in the form of Chazz Witherspoon. Though that replacement is arguably much worse than Spong, the story isn’t the replacement. It’s in how more positive tests have been affecting several major shows, more often than not the main event.

The main event to an October 2018 Matchroom card in Boston was changed due to Billy Joe Saunders being denied a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission after testing positive for banned substance Oxilofrine.

Last December, it was revealed that Willie Monroe Jr. tested positive for what the WBC stated was a “banned steroidal substance.” Monroe was then taken out of a PBC on FOX main event in Brooklyn later that month against then-interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, who was fined by the WBC several weeks prior for missing a drug test.

Maybe the two worst drug offenders this year came in the form of Jarrell Miller and Dillian Whyte. Miller tested positive for multiple banned substances in March which cost him a shot at Anthony Joshua and the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles this past June. Whyte, on the other hand, was revealed to have tested positive for a banned substance right before his WBC heavyweight title eliminator against Oscar Rivas on July 20. But the news of Whyte’s failed drug test came after he beat Rivas and so now the British agencies responsible for the investigation on Whyte’s positive test are handling the case, which currently has no deadline for a resolution.

Now, one can point to the positive drug test results as a sign of the system working and that it will eventually lead to a much cleaner sport. But reality often breaks the illusion of what one wants and this is no different.

While it is better to find out that there are fighters cheating than to have them cheat and go unnoticed, there’s no way of knowing that the system will work for very long at this point. Boxing is a truly global sport and there is nowhere enough resources to do competent drug testing for all fighters across the globe. Take the WBC Clean Boxing Program for example. The program is designed for all top 15 fighters in every WBC weight class to be subject to 24/7 random drug testing, but in reality, the amount of drug tests done to these fighters vary wildly with no real sign that the system is truly carving out drug usage within the sport.

Without the proper resources, there will come a time where VADA, the athletic commissions and the various sanctioning bodies will be stretched too thin to be able to keep up. Fighters, or at least the ones who cheat, take note of the drug tests and will eventually find new methods to cheat the system.

The current system appears to be doing its job, but who is to say what would happen years down the line?

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter Results:

Arguably the best boxing show of 2019 took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on September 28 with one of the best welterweight title unifications in years.

Although the main event between Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter carried its own set of storylines before, during and after the fight, there was really something to behold for the entire show.

The four-fight FOX pay-per-view featured a hot opening that had the crowd roaring in the very first round, a title bout between two blossoming stars at 140 pounds and the return of David Benavidez back at the top of the WBC super middleweight mountain against a tougher than expected Anthony Dirrell.

All of that culminated in a throwback welterweight fight that will no doubt be in many people’s minds when casting their vote for best fight of 2019.

The show drew an announced crowd of 16,702, but more often than not, these numbers are often inflated (even when they deny it), but even if the actual attendance number was off by about a 1,000, it still would end up being one of the biggest crowds for a boxing fight in the United States this year (though nothing will beat Porter’s fight against Mikey Garcia in March, which will end being the highest-drawing U.S. boxing fight by significantly more than 10,000 people).

Now, the buyrate can be a little tricky to figure out. Though there have been reported numbers of around 325,000 buys, the range could easily fall somewhere between 300,000 to 350,000 buys. Regardless, the actual number will more than likely end up being higher than what many expected it to be, which was closer to around 250,000 buys.

About 10 years ago, 325,000 buys would not have been widely viewed as a big success, with several other events doing more than 500,000 buys across both boxing and MMA. But in today’s market 325,000 buys is a solid number for a number of reasons.

Perhaps the two biggest reasons for this being viewed as a success are the buyrate at its price of $74.95 and the rise of illegal streaming. Let’s start with the latter. As technology continues to evolve and the idea of streaming big sporting events continues to be the norm, illegal streaming, depending on the event, can skyrocket into the millions. The show may have lost plenty of buys simply because of illegal streaming.

As for the price, $74.95 is definitely more expensive than pay-per-views in past years, when it was only $59.99. At those prices, a 325,000 buyrate at $74.95 would roughly generate $24,358,750 in revenue, or roughly 406,046 buys if that same show was priced at $59.99.

Another factor that led to the pay-per-view’s buyrate was the marketing and promotion done by FOX in the weeks leading up to the event. It’s no surprise that when PBC Boxing is promoted by FOX in the middle of football season, viewership is higher than your usual PBC on FOX show. It’s no different here as the show more than likely exceeded expectations in terms of the buyrate.

With this in mind, it’s important to note FOX’s next pay-per-view which is the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz for the WBC heavyweight title on November 23 in Las Vegas. The first fight back in March 2018 did more than million viewers on Showtime and with the increased profile of Wilder and FOX handling the marketing right in the heat of the NFL regular season, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the show did at least 400,000 buys, but any talks of a buyrate for that show are way too preliminary nearly two months before the event takes place.

Now, the real story regarding what’s next for Spence is interesting. The fight that boxing wants to see the most at 147 pounds, Spence against WBO champion Terence Crawford, is one that is nearly impossible to make.

The short and sweet answer to that is because Spence fights under the PBC banner, which has broadcast deals with both FOX and Showtime, while Crawford fights on Top Rank, which has its own broadcast deal with ESPN.

There is no guarantee that the two will ever fight each other and if they did, it wouldn’t be for a very long time. While Crawford is likely going to defend his title against mandatory challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas in the next couple of months, Spence definitely has his choice of opponent for at least the next 12-18 months and with the bulk of the welterweight stars fighting on PBC, Spence and PBC isn’t in any real rush to make that fight happen anytime soon.

The fight between those two would be one of the most highly-anticipated bouts among hardcore boxing fans because of each camp’s general belief that their guy is not only the top welterweight but also deserves strong consideration to be a top pound-for-pound star.

Interestingly, each fighter does possess a strong argument as to who is the welterweight’s best fighter today. In terms of resumes, Spence definitely has the better welterweight run but Crawford has a far deeper body of work when factoring his world title runs at lightweight and junior welterweight. Spence is the stronger fighter while Crawford is the more agile boxer. In terms of drawing power, Spence is by far the more proven pay-per-view draw, but Crawford has shown to be a far more successful star on free television.

PBC on FOX PPV 9/28 Results from the Staples Center:

  • Errol Spence Jr. defeated Shawn Porter by split decision (116-111 Spence, 115-112 Porter, 116-111 Porter) to unify the IBF and WBC welterweight titles: The fight was an all-action brawl that had both men viciously attack the body throughout the fight. The two champions continued maul each other and both were hurt and stunned at various points in the bout. But it was Spence who scored a big left hook late in the 11th round which dropped Porter to the canvas. Despite the knockdown, Porter battled back in the final round and hurt Spence midway through the round. The fight ended with the two men trading blows as the crowd at the Staples Center was on its feet, giving both fighters a standing ovation. After the fight, former welterweight champion Danny Garcia hopped into the ring and a brief chat with Spence, issuing a challenge to the newly-minted unified champion. Garcia suffered a close decision loss to Porter back in September 2018 with the WBC title at stake, but now Spence and Garcia could potentially face off on pay-per-view in January 2020.
  • David Benavidez defeated Anthony Dirrell by TKO, round 9, 1:39 to win the WBC super middleweight title: After a back-and-forth four rounds to start the fight, Benavidez would go on to dominate the fight, thanks to a left jab that caused a cut to open above Dirrell's right eye. Dirrell would continue to fight back, but Benavidez landed left hooks on the cut and the fight was stopped after Dirrell was hurt and receiving a lot of punishment while pinned to a corner. Benavidez is now a two-time world champion and won back the WBC title he was stripped off last year when he failed a drug test. Dirrell won the vacant belt earlier this year with a win over Avni Yildirim, leading to the fight between Dirrell and Benavidez.
  • Mario Barrios defeated Batyr Akhmedov by unanimous decision (114-112, 115-111, 116-111) to win the WBA "Regular" junior welterweight title: In the first of three title fights of the night, Barrios managed to score a come-from-behind victory over Batyr Akhmedov and win the WBA's secondary 140-pound title. Thanks to a knockdown in the fourth and 12th round for Barrios, he would go on to win the title bout by unanimous decision with scores of 114-112, 115-111 and 116-111. Barrios started fighting off well, using his length to keep Akhmedov from fighting on the inside and kept his left hand high up to prevent his opponent from connecting on combinations easily. After getting dropped in the fourth round, Akhmedov was able to close the distance and seriously hurt Barrios with body punches throughout the remainder of the fight. Barrios connected on a right hand to knock Akhmedov in the final round to save himself on the scorecards. Fightful had the fight a 113-113 draw
  • Josesito Lopez defeated John Molina Jr. by TKO, round 8, 0:39: This fight got off to a very hot start with Lopez scoring two knockdowns in the first round, nearly ending the fight right then and there. Molina managed to recover and even land solid punches every so often, such as a left hand that staggered Lopez late in the fourth round. Even so, Lopez pretty much dominated the fight by constantly landing big punches on Molina, but Molina managed to avoid getting hurt throughout several rounds of the fight. Lopez dropped Molina late in the seventh round, the third time in the bout, but Molina was still firing back at the end of the round. Ringside doctors and Molina's corner threatened to stop the fight after the seventh round, but Molina managed to persuade all parties that he can continue for one more round. Lopez landed a big right hand to Molina, hurting him one more time in the eighth round, and after Molina was losing an exchange of punches, the referee decided to stop the fight. The action died down a bit after the second round, but the fight as a whole was a solid one.

PBC on FOX FS1 Undercard 9/28 Results from the Staples Center:

  • Robert Guerrero defeated Jerry Thomas by unanimous decision (99-91, 99-91, 98-92): This fight was much slower-paced than the previous fight between Joey Spencer and Travis Gambardella. Guerrero easily outboxed Thomas throughout the 10 rounds, but did not show any urgency to stop Thomas. The ninth round was really the only round where Thomas was aggressive and truly outworked Guerrero, but didn't do anything to turn the tide in this fight. This is Guerrero's third straight win since coming out of retirement.
  • Joey Spencer defeated Travis Gambardella by TKO, round 3, 0:53: Spencer started off guns blazing with a series of big left hooks to the body with the occasional overhead right to Gambardella's jaw. Spencer dropped Gambardella twice in the first round and once in the second round. Spencer landed a series of shots to start the third round, causing the referee to step in and stop the bout. Spencer improves his record to 9-0 as a pro and will continue to have six to eight round bouts for a long while as he continues to develop.

Rest of the undercard results:

  • Jose Valenzuela defeated Charles Clark by KO, round 1
  • Misael Rodriguez defeated Brandon Maddox by TKO, round 3
  • Fabian Maidana defeated Ramses Agaton by TKO, round 1
  • Leon Lawson III defeated Alan Zavala by KO, round 2
  • Alfonso Olvera defeated Amon Rashidi by unanimous decision (79-73, 79-73, 78-74)
  • Juan Antonio Lopez defeated Fernando Garcia by unanimous decision (77-75, 79-73, 79-73)
  • Lindolfo Delgado defeated Jesus Zazueta by KO, round 6:
  • Burley Brooks defeated Fabian Valdez by KO, round 1

Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko Results

The road to Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin 3 may have almost been derailed entirely by Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who gave Golovkin perhaps the toughest fight of his career outside of his two fights against Alvarez.

Although Golovkin won the vacant IBF middleweight title with a narrow unanimous decision win that, fair or unfair, is being branded as a robbery by a vocal minority inside the boxing community. But regardless of how one looked at the fight and scored it, one thing that is undeniable is that Golovkin and Derevyanchenko may have provided us with the best middleweight title fight of 2019 thus far.

Both men fought tooth and nail and had their fair share of chances of hurting each other. For Golovkin, it was a flash knockdown in the first round followed by opening up a cut above Derevyanchenko’s right eye from a left hook in the second round. Derevyanchenko broke down Golovkin with incredible body work and even hurt him late in the fifth round.

Yet, even with Golovkin winning the fight, Derevyanchenko was the one whose stock rose up significantly, perhaps giving him a chance at another title in 2020 or at least some type of big fight. If a rematch against Golovkin isn’t made, then might I suggest a fight against WBC champion Jermall Charlo.

Before the fight, I had asked several questions about Golovkin that I think would be answered:

Will age catch up to him finally? How will Golovkin look going up against a world-class middleweight one year after losing to Alvarez? Can Johnathon Banks help improve Golovkin with a full camp together?

To start, yes, Golovkin did show his age against Derevyanchenko and it nearly cost him the IBF title. Golovkin had been getting hurt more and more often in recent fights and this one was no different. The only difference is that Golovkin didn’t just show his age, but perhaps for the first time, he looked very beatable. The once awe-inspiring aura of the division’s boogeyman that no other top named dared to approach for years had come and gone.

That doesn’t mean that Golovkin can’t face a top middleweight and win nowadays. Beating Derevyanchenko, even by the skin of his teeth, more than proved that. But the real interesting part will be how Banks handles Golovkin moving forward. Although it had been claimed that Golovkin had been sick throughout the entire week of the fight (which does make sense if one were to look at him throughout fight week), it still doesn’t totally excuse his performance. Banks said he takes blame for that, but in reality, there isn’t much he or anyone else can do about it. Golovkin is almost 40 and had been in many wars inside the ring.

At some point, there will be a time when he no longer is someone to be scared of. Already, several middleweights are looking more and more confident in facing him like WBO champion Demetrius Andrade and feel even more sure of their ability in beating Golovkin after seeing that fight.

But, in reality, Golovkin’s next fight might just be already set, depending on a couple of factors. A deal is starting to get locked up for Golovkin to defend his title against Kamil Szeremeta who won a fight on the undercard and is also ranked No. 1 by the IBF. The idea about this fight being would be for Golovkin to be back in the ring in a few months and for it to be a mandatory title defense to hopefully get that out of the way before moving on possibly face Alvarez a third time later in 2020.

But that depends on a number of factors, mainly Alvarez’s interest in facing Golovkin, which is hard to get a read of these days, if he plans on going to middleweight after facing Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title in November and if the IBF would approve Golovkin’s request for an early mandatory title defense against Szeremeta.

GGG Promotions/Matchroom Boxing on DAZN 10/5 Results From Madison Square Garden:

  • Gennadiy Golovkin defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenko by unanimous decision (114-113, 115-112, 115-112) to become the new IBF and IBO middleweight champion: Starting off, Golovkin scored a knockdown in the first round, giving Derevyanchenko flashbacks of his fight against Daniel Jacobs in October 2018 in which Derevyanchenko was also dropped in the first round. Derevyanchenko’s night appeared to be getting worse after he received a cut above his right eye that it was initially thought to have come from a left hook from Golovkin in the second round, but later ruled by the referee that it came from an accidental headbutt. Despite receiving a cut against one of the top middleweights of the past decade, Derevyanchenko charged right at Golovkin and started dominating the next several rounds thanks to his impressive body work. Derevyanchenko’s body work got to Golovkin, especially late in the fifth round where Golovkin was hurt and the cut eventually became a non-factor. Derevyanchenko started stringing together successful rounds to the point the tide appeared to be going his way before Golovkin started to fight back. Golovkin and Derevyanchenko engaged in a high-action 10th round that saw both men land several big combinations at each other. The exchanges continued for the remainder of the fight and once the final bell sounded, the crowd at Madison Square Garden was on its feet in awe of the action those two had throughout the 12 rounds.
  • Israil Madrimov defeated Alejandro Barrera by TKO, round 5 to retain the WBA Intercontinental junior middleweight title bout: Madrimov may have looked his best so far in his pro career, but even then, this was far from a perfect performance. Madrimov dropped Barrera in the first round and proceeded to soundly pummel Barrera with plenty of big shots from both of his hands until the fight was stopped. Madrimov, who is only 4-0 as a pro, is well on his way to getting a world title shot in the next 12-18 months, but there is still plenty to work on. Madrimov jumped around the ring too much trying to force some Lomachenko-esque angles to attack Barrera. Madrimov’s potential is sky high, but there is so much left to polish.
  • Ivan Baranchyk defeated Gabriel Bracero by TKO, round 4 to win the WBA Intercontinental junior welterweight title: Up until this point in the show, this was the most exciting fight on the card, but that is not saying much. Baranchyk was hyper aggressive in the fight and both men nearly went and tried to wrestle each other at times. When both men were throwing punches at each other in the first round, the crowd was very excited for it. Baranchyk soon dominated the rest of the fight, battering Bracero with hard lefts until Bracero was unable to keep fighting. Not much to see here and no one learned anything about Baranchyk that everyone didn’t already know and it is that Baranchyk is a top 10 fighter at 140 pounds.

Rest of the undercard results:

  • Ali Akhmedov defeated Andrew Hernandez by TKO, round 1 to retain the WBC Silver International super middleweight title
  • Brian Ceballo defeated Ramal Amanov by TKO, round 3
  • Kamil Szeremeta defeated Oscar Cortes by TKO, round 2
  • Marco Delgado defeated Joe Ward by TKO, round 2
  • Nikita Ababiy defeated Isiah Seldon by KO, round 1

dsvc

Fightful Boxing Rankings:

Pound-for-pound

  1. Naoya Inoue
  2. Vasiliy Lomachenko
  3. Terence Crawford
  4. Canelo Alvarez
  5. Oleksandr Usyk
  6. Juan Francisco Estrada
  7. Gennadiy Golovkin
  8. Errol Spence Jr.
  9. Kosei Tanaka
  10. Manny Pacquiao

Heavyweight

  1. Tyson Fury
  2. Deontay Wilder
  3. Andy Ruiz Jr.
  4. Anthony Joshua
  5. Dillian Whyte
  6. Luis Ortiz
  7. Kubrat Pulev
  8. Oscar Rivas
  9. Adam Kownacki
  10. Michael Hunter

Cruiserweight

  1. Beibut Shumenov
  2. Mairis Briedis
  3. Yuniel Dorticos
  4. Krzysztof Glowacki
  5. Kevin Lerena
  6. Ilunga Makabu
  7. Firat Arslan
  8. Marco Huck
  9. Lawrence Okolie
  10. Thabiso Mchunu

Light heavyweight

  1. Dmitry Bivol
  2. Gilberto Ramirez
  3. Oleksandr Gvozdyk
  4. Sergey Kovalev
  5. Artur Beterbiev
  6. Jean Pascal
  7. Eleider Alvarez
  8. Marcus Browne
  9. Badou Jack
  10. Jesse Hart

Super middleweight

  1. Canelo Alvarez
  2. Callum Smith
  3. Caleb Plant
  4. David Benavidez
  5. Billy Joe Saunders
  6. John Ryder
  7. Anthony Dirrell
  8. Chris Eubank Jr.
  9. Avni Yildirim
  10. Caleb Truax

Middleweight

  1. Canelo Alvarez
  2. Gennadiy Golovkin
  3. Demetrius Andrade
  4. Daniel Jacobs
  5. Sergiy Derevyanchenko
  6. Jermall Charlo
  7. Ryota Murata
  8. Matt Korobov
  9. Kamil Szeremeta
  10. Jeff Horn

Junior middleweight

  1. Julian Williams
  2. Jarrett Hurd
  3. Tony Harrison
  4. Erislandy Lara
  5. Brian Castano
  6. Jermell Charlo
  7. Jaime Munguia
  8. Liam Smith
  9. Kell Brook
  10. Michel Soro

Welterweight

  1. Terrence Crawford
  2. Errol Spence Jr.
  3. Manny Pacquiao
  4. Shawn Porter
  5. Danny Garcia
  6. Keith Thurman
  7. Mikey Garcia
  8. Sergey Lipinets
  9. David Avanesyan
  10. Yordenis Ugas

The rest of the rankings are in the next page.

Junior welterweight

  1. Regis Prograis
  2. Jose Ramirez
  3. Josh Taylor
  4. Ivan Baranchyk
  5. Maurice Hooker
  6. Kiryl Relikh
  7. Jack Catterall
  8. Jono Carroll
  9. Viktor Postol
  10. Jose Zepeda

Lightweight

  1. Vasiliy Lomachenko
  2. Teofimo Lopez
  3. Richard Commey
  4. Robert Easter Jr.
  5. Devin Haney
  6. Luke Campbell
  7. Anthony Crolla
  8. Rances Barthelemy
  9. Zaur Abdullaev
  10. Javier Fortuna

Super featherweight

  1. Gervonta Davis
  2. Miguel Berchelt
  3. Tevin Farmer
  4. Andrew Cancio
  5. Jamel Herring
  6. Joseph Diaz Jr.
  7. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov

  8. Alberto Machado

  9. Miguel Roman
  10. Masayuki Ito

Featherweight

  1. Leo Santa Cruz
  2. Gary Russell Jr.
  3. Oscar Valdez
  4. Shakur Stevenson
  5. Josh Warrington
  6. Carl Frampton
  7. Can Xu
  8. Jessie Magdaleno
  9. Tugstsogt Nyambayar
  10. Joet Gonzalez

Super bantamweight

  1. Daniel Roman
  2. Emanuel Navarrete
  3. Rey Vargas
  4. Guillermo Rigondeaux
  5. Ryan Burnett
  6. Brandon Figueroa
  7. Isaac Dogboe
  8. TJ Doheny​​​​​​
  9. Ryosuke Iwasa
  10. Stephen Fulton

Bantamweight

  1. Naoya Inoue
  2. Luis Nery
  3. Nonito Donaire
  4. Zolani Tete
  5. Nordine Oubaali
  6. John Riel Casimero
  7. Emmanuel Rodriguez
  8. Juan Carlos Payano
  9. Richard Espinoza
  10. Jason Moloney

Super Flyweight

  1. Juan Francisco Estrada
  2. Roman Gonzalez
  3. Donnie Nietes
  4. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
  5. Jerwin Ancajas
  6. Kal Yafai
  7. Kazuto Ioka
  8. Aston Palicte
  9. Carlos Cuadras
  10. Andrew Moloney

Flyweight

  1. Kosei Tanaka
  2. Artem Dalakian
  3. Moruti Mthalane
  4. Julio Cesar Martinez
  5. Charlie Edwards
  6. Ryoichi Taguchi
  7. Daigo Higa
  8. Cristofer Rosales
  9. Junto Nakatani
  10. Wulan Tuolehazi

Light flyweight/Minimumweight

  1. Wanheng Menayothin
  2. Hiroto Kyoguchi
  3. Ken Shiro
  4. Elwin Soto
  5. Carlos Canizales
  6. Pedro Taduran
  7. Angel Acosta
  8. Hekkie Budler
  9. Wilfredo Mendez
  10. Felix Alvarado

News and Notes From Around The World Of Boxing:

United States:

- Top Rank announced Joshua Greer Jr. vs. Antonio Nieves will be the co-feature bout to the Shakur Stevenson vs. Joet Gonzalez fight for the WBO super featherweight title on October 26. Mikaela Mayer vs. Alejandra Zamora will headline the ESPN+ undercard before the ESPN+ main card. Speaking of the undercard for the October 26 Top Rank, here are the rest of the fights announced:

  • Albert Bell vs. Frank De Alba
  • Andy Vences vs. Mark Bernaldez
  • Jason Sanchez vs. Adeilson Dos Santos
  • Tyler McCreary vs. Matt Conway
  • Xander Zayas vs. TBA
  • Jared Anderson vs. Daniel Infante
  • JJ Mariano vs. Trinity Lopez
  • Diego Elizondo vs. Jose Ceja

- Golden Boy Promotions announced that Garcia will take on Romero Duno in the co-main event of the Alvarez vs. Kovalev card, set for November 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will also serve to unify the vacant WBC Silver lightweight title with Duno's NABO title.

- A number of fights were also announced for that undercard and below is the full card for the November 2 event, to be streamed on DAZN:

  • Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev: WBO light heavyweight world title
  • Ryan Garcia vs. Romero Duno: Unified WBC Silver and NABO lightweight titles
  • Bakhram Murtazaliev vs. Jorge Fortea: IBF junior middleweight world title eliminator
  • Seniesa Estrada vs. Marlen Esparza: Interim WBA Female flyweight title
  • Blair Cobbs vs. Carlos Ortiz: NABF welterweight title
  • Tristan Kalkreuth vs. TBA
  • Meiirim Nursultanov vs. Cristian Olivas: WBC-USNBC middleweight title
  • Evan Holyfield vs. Nick Winstead

- Devin Haney revealed that he is fighting on the undercard of the KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 event that will be streamed on DAZN on November 9, though an opponent had not yet been revealed. This fight is simply there to keep him busy while he and promoter Eddie Hearn try to convince the WBC to order a fight between him and WBC, WBA and WBO champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.

- Top Rank announced that Jerwin Ancajas will defend his IBF super flyweight title against Jonathan Rodriguez on November 2 as part of the Top Rank on ESPN main card headlined by Miguel Berchelt vs. Jason Sosa for the WBC super featherweight title.

- As for the ESPN+ undercard for the November 2 show, a number of fights were announced:

  • Alex Saucedo vs. Rod Salka
  • Javier Molina vs. Hiroki Okada
  • Daniel Lewis vs. Alexis Gaytan
  • Gor Yeritsyan vs. Damien Lopez
  • Elvis Rodriguez vs. Luis Norambuena
  • Raymond Muratalla vs. Arnulfo Becerra
  • Ruben Rodriguez vs. TBA

Japan:

- In the main event of a Harada Promotions card from the EDION Arena in Osaka on October 1, Hiroto Kyoguchi survived an early onslaught of uppercuts from Tetsuya Hisada to win a 12-round decision and retain his WBA title. Kyoguchi won the bout with scores of 115-112, 116-111 and 117-110. The two fighters started the fight with a furious exchange of body shots that would create the pace that they would fight for the remainder of the bout. Hisada then managed to surprise Kyoguchi with a counter-right jab in the second round that hurt the champion. For the next few rounds, Hisada kept up with Kyoguchi's workrate and land several uppercuts that would stagger Kyoguchi, but not as much as in the second round. Kyoguchi got even with Hisada in the sixth round with a combination, stunning his brave challenger and turning the tides of the fight in his favor. Hisada would not have as much success landing clean punches from that point onward, but continued to throw numerous combinations at the champion, including one that ended with an uppercut at the end of the seventh round. As the fight reached the championship rounds, both Kyoguchi and Hisada stayed in the center of the ring and traded more body shots. This was Kyoguchi's second WBA light flyweight title defense after defeating Hekkie Budler on December 31, 2018 to win a world title in a second weight class.

- Former WBC flyweight champion Daigo Higa has been trying to get the Japanese Boxing Commission to lift his suspension for failing to make weight for a title defense earlier this year, according to Asian Boxing. Higa hopes to return to the ring before the end of 2019.

- Rikki Naito defeated Gyu-beon Jeon by unanimous decision (116-112, 117-110, 116-111) to retain the OPBF junior welterweight title.

- As expected, the WBO super flyweight title bout between champion Kazuto Ioka and mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron will take place on the traditional December 31 supershow, taking place at the Ota Ward Gymnasium. Normally, the December 31 show is loaded with several title fights and promising Japanese prospects on the undercard and more bouts are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. As far as this author is concerned, Cintron would be the first Puerto Rican boxer to headline a major New Year's Eve show in Japan.

United Kingdom:

- As expected, Charlie Edwards announced that he is going to vacate his WBC flyweight world title. In a letter to the WBC, Edwards stated that he is no longer comfortable trying to make weight as a flyweight and noted that he struggled a lot in making 112 pounds for his most recent fight. As such, he is looking to campaign at 115 pounds where the current WBC champion is Juan Francisco Estrada. In Edwards' most recent fight, he and Julio Cesar Martinez fought to a controversial "No Contest" after Martinez punched Edwards while Edwards was on the canvas. Initially, the fight was ruled a KO win for Martinez and was briefly the champion. However, the WBC looked at the fight replays after the official result was announced and overturned it from a Martinez win to a "No Contest." The WBC then said a rematch would happen between the two, but that appears to be no longer the case.

- As for the fate of the title, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told ESPN Deportes that Julio Cesar Martinez and Cristofer Rosales will fight for the vacant belt in December.

- An announcement that has been universally panned is Billy Joe Saunders’ opponent for his first WBO super middleweight title defense. Saunders will defend his title against unbeaten Argentine middleweight Marcelo Esteban Coceres on November 9 on the KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 card in Los Angeles. It’s bizarre that Saunders would not only defend his title against a middleweight, but one that is so unknown as he is. Though, it hardly matters who faces Saunders in November for the live crowd given that quite possibly the majority of people attending the fight will be there solely for the YouTubers competing in the main event and they wouldn’t know who Saunders or whomever his opponent would be.

- Here are the BBBofC Award winners with the time period for the award candidates being from August 2018 to August 2019:

  • Boxer of the Year: Callum Smith
  • Trainer of the Year: Joe Gallagher
  • Fight of the Year: Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton, December 2018
  • Commonwealth Trophy: Josh Taylor
  • Overseas Boxer of the Year: Oleksandr Usyk

- John O'Donnell will face Abass Baraou for the WBC International junior middleweight title on the undercard of the Regis Prograis vs. Josh Taylor WBSS junior welterweight finals on October 26 in London.

- After Joseph Parker was announced to have withdrawn from his fight against Derek Chisora due to illness, Chisora will fight David Price on the Prograis vs. Taylor co-main event.

- Royal Albert Hall hosted another Queensberry Promotions card, this time on September 27, with a number of title bouts headlined by Daniel Dubois picking up another heavyweight belt. Below are the results of that card:

  • Daniel Dubois defeated Ebenezer Tetteh by TKO, round 1, 2:10 to win the WBO International and Commonwealth heavyweight titles
  • Nicola Adams and Maria Salinas fight to a split draw (97-93, 95-95, 94-96), Adams retained the WBO Female flyweight title
  • Archie Sharp defeated Declan Geraghty by KO, round 4, 2:14 to retain the WBO European super featherweight title
  • Willy Hutchinson defeated Borislav Zankov by TKO, round 2
  • Denzel Bentley defeated Kelcie Ball by TKO, round 1
  • Dennis McCann defeated Georgi Georgiev by TKO, round 2
  • Jonathan Palata defeated Chris Healey by points (58-56)
  • Sam Noakes defeated Chris Adaway by RTD, round 3
  • Eithan James defeated Fonz Alexander by points (40-36)
  • Mohammad Bilal Ali defeated Aleksandrs Birkenbergs by TKO, round 3

Rest Of Europe:

- French heavyweight prospect Tony Yoka stopped Michael Wallisch in three rounds on September 28 in France. Souleymane Cissokho, managed by Anthony Joshua, won a 10-round decision against Dmitry Mikhaylenko on that same card.

- One of the biggest shockers of September 28 was the result of the rematch between David Avanesyan and Kerman Lejarraga for the EBU European welterweight title in Bilbao, Spain, perhaps one of the most highly-anticipated European title rematches in a long time. The result itself, another win for Avanesyan, wasn’t was shocking, but the manner in which he did it, which was a first-round TKO. Avanesyan has now put himself right back into a fringe contender for a world title, but he’s not touching any of the major titles soon. Shortly after the EBU announced Josh Kelly as the mandatory challenger to Avanesyan’s title, the EBU has now imposed a purse bid date of October 16, meaning the fight will either get done before the end of the year or Avanesyan vacates the title. The former is more likely to happen, however.

Miscellaneous Notes:

- Matchroom Boxing won a purse bid for the WBA “Regular” welterweight title fight between Alexander Besputin and Radzhab Butaev with a winning bid of $505,555 (each fighter gets 50 percent of the winning bid). The fight will take place on the November 30 Matchroom Boxing show in Monaco, likely as the main event.

- Promoter Don King announced that he has signed top cruiserweight contender Ilunga Makabu to a promotional deal.

- A fight between Lorissa Rivas and Gwendoline O'Neil for the vacant WBC Female heavyweight title was originally supposed to take place on September 28, but due to problems with the promotion, the bout was rescheduled for October 26 at the Saith Park Indoor Arena in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago.

- The WBO revealed that a purse bid for title eliminator for Billy Joe Saunders’ super middleweight title between Rohan Murdock (ranked No. 2 by the WBO) and Zach Parker (ranked No. 3) will take place on October 17 at the WBO offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The curious note that some may immediately note is Erik Bazinyan, who is the top challenger for the belt, wasn't included in this, but the reality is that Bazinyan had an injury that kept him from having a full training camp in the summer. The current plan for Bazinyan, the NABO champion, is to have other fights in the meantime with one set to be announced soon.

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