This week looked like it would be time for Bob Arum to announce that April 14 Top Rank Boxing card at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Arum did a complete 180 and announced the entire card is off after Terence Crawford suffered an injury during a sparring session. Crawford's injury isn't serious but with the card having to be reshuffled a couple of times, the three world title fights will take place on different dates, with one of them taking place on a previously announced card on April 28 in Philadelphia.
It's been a big week for ESPN and Top Rank. In addition to the changes for the April boxing card, the network will have a major boxing card at Madison Square Garden on May 12 with a main event of Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares for Linares' WBA lightweight title. The network also enjoyed its highest ratings and viewership for a boxing card with a boxing card at the StubHub Center in California on March 10.
Showtime also had two boxing cards on March 9 and 10 with the 140-pound division being prominently featured. Several of the division's top boxers, including Mikey Garcia, Regis Prograis and Kiryl Relikh all walked away with titles on Showtime, which has set the stage for multiple world title fights and even a unification fight for 2018.
All this and more covered on this week's edition of the Fightful Boxing Newsletter.
Fightful Boxing Newsletter (3/15) Table Of Contents:
- Terence Crawford Injured, April 14 ESPN Card Postponed (Page 2)
- Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares Set For Madison Square Garden (Page 3)
- Top Rank Boxing on ESPN March 17 Preview (Page 4)
- Showtime March 9/10 Boxing Review (Page 5)
- Top Rank Boxing on ESPN March 10 (Page 6)
- Japanese Boxing Roundup (Page 7)
- European Boxing Roundup (Page 8)
Terence Crawford Injured, April 14 ESPN Card Postponed:
Top Rank’s planned April 14 boxing card at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas just got dealt the final fatal blow, being postponed after Bob Arum announced that Terence Crawford, who was set to headline the show against Jeff Horn, suffered a right hand injury. The announcement came exactly one month before the fight was going to take place, despite the fact that the fight, and the rest of the card for that matter, was never formally announced.
Crawford has been training in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and suffered the injury on March 8 Brian McIntyre, Crawford's manager and trainer, told ESPN. The injury occurred when Crawford was sparring and hit his opponent on the top of his partner’s head gear.
After hurting his hand, Crawford and McIntyre flew to Los Angeles, where they attended the March 10 ESPN card where Oscar Valdez defeated Scott Quigg to retain the WBO featherweight title fight but also saw a hand specialist in Los Angeles. An MRI taken there showed no ligament damage and that Crawford should rest the hand for a couple of weeks.
"The hand is in the process of healing and one thing with Terence is he loves to train so he's been training and running and doing what he can do without using the hand," McIntyre said. "This is a little road bump. We're gonna stay out here in Colorado Springs and once we get word from the doctor we'll be ready to go. We'll see how Terence feels and we'll talk to Top Rank about a new date, but we're definitely going to stay in camp and keep training. The guy he was sparring with has a hard head. When we do come back we'll come back stronger and more determined."
But now the current plan is the following: Crawford vs. Horn will take place in Las Vegas either on May 19, May 26 or in early June. Arum intends to keep the fight in as Vegas and Mandalay Bay will most likely get the nod to continue its hosting duties for the fight. If not, Arum will look towards other venues within the city to do the fight. At the worst case scenario, Arum could look at Madison Square Garden as a possible fallback option for a June date in case Las Vegas does not work out. Madison Square Garden was considered the favorite to land the original April 14 fight after negotiations with multiple Las Vegas venues fell through.
The reason for why the fight no longer was taking place in New York is because Arum did not want to compete with both Showtime and HBO in terms of promoting fights in the same because they have events at the Barclays Center on April 21 and 28, respectively.
Arum had always intended for the fight to take place in Las Vegas, but initially struggled to find a venue. At first, Arum tried to get the T-Mobile Arena to host the event, but they were not willing to commit to that date because of a potential NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, who play home games at the T-Mobile Arena. Mandalay Bay was a backup option, so were other venues in Las Vegas, including the MGM Grand, but after talks with multiple venues stalled and seemed to reach nowhere, Madison Square Garden, who had an open date on April 14, was then seriously considered with negotiations between Top Rank and the Mandalay Bay also continuing.
As for the rest of the planned card, well there were only two noteworthy bouts. The first one was the IBF super flyweight title fight between champion Jerwin Ancajas and mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan in what would have been the first world title fight between two Filipino boxers in almost a century. That fight will either get added to the new Horn vs. Crawford date or get put in the co-main event slot of the Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares ESPN card at Madison Square Garden on May 12.
The second fight was the WBO super bantamweight title fight between world champion Jessie Magdaleno and interim champion Isaac Dogboe. That fight got moved to the April 28 Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card from Philadelphia and will serve as the main event fight. Right now, the current lineup for that television card is the following:
- Jessie Magdaleno (c) vs. Isaac Dogboe: WBO super bantamweight title fight
- Bryant Jennings vs. Joey Dawejko
- Jesse Hart vs. Demond Nicholson
The formal announcement was never made, but the Australian Associated Press first reported that DUCO Events, Horn’s co-promoter alongside Top Rank, were in the process of signing the final papers to make the fight official. According to the report, all sides have agreed on the date and venue.
Although the Australian press had been reporting that the fight is a done deal, there was a lack of coverage of the news here in the United States. When I asked Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, if the Mandalay Bay was going to host the fight on April 14, Bennett told me that is the case. In regards as to why the fight was not made official, that is a different question.
In a way, Crawford’s injury was the best thing to happen to this card. The original plans for the card was to have Manny Pacquiao fight on the undercard and have the top two fights be the centerpiece of ESPN’s first pay-per-view event in this new Top Rank era for the network. With Pacquiao rejecting a fight against Mike Alvarado, Top Rank and ESPN quietly backed off on formally announcing the card as a pay-per-view, electing to instead focus on making it one of the best television boxing cards of the year. That’s when the Ancajas vs. Sultan and Magdaleno vs. Dogboe fights were added to the card.
The fight was still looking to be a really good television card, but then talks stalled, for some unknown reason. Terms and conditions, including blood and urine testing before and after the fight, were agreed upon sometime perhaps between the last week of February and the first week of March. If the fight had been announced on March 14, with tickets being sold on the same day, it’s tough to maximize ticket sales and have a proper buildup in one month. At the very least, by postponing the fight for at least another month, you have more time to properly build anticipation.
There was also the issue of making it a pay-per-view. One month is not a good enough timeframe to promote a pay-per-view fight even with ESPN’s help. Not only would Arum be competing with a big boxing card from both Showtime and HBO on almost every weekend for the month of April, but also would have had to compete with the May 5 HBO pay-per-view bout between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. The timing and card just isn’t right for Top Rank to make this a pay-per-view event, but there was always a chance Arum could still try. Crawford is not a pay-per-view draw at this point and with no Pacquiao fighting on the undercard, Arum is setting himself up for failure if he chooses to not make this a free television event.
Unfortunately, that also means that Arum has to decide on a date and venue soon, but won’t commit until he knows Crawford’s health status. That means a few more weeks without knowing a date and venue for the fight, which in turn could potentially create the same issue of not having enough time to properly build anticipation for the fight. Regardless of the build, or lack thereof, Crawford’s welterweight debut is one of the biggest stories in boxing for the first half of 2018 as we’ll know where he stands in the division and how feasible could Crawford, should he beat Horn, fight some of the other world champions or elite boxers at 147 pounds, given that most of the top boxers in the division fight for Showtime.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares Set For Madison Square Garden
A massive lightweight title fight, perhaps the biggest lightweight in 2018 will feature the 135-pound debut of Vasyl Lomachenko.
According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, Lomachenko, the WBO super featherweight champion, will move up in weight and face WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares. That fight will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card from Madison Square Garden on May 12. In the report, the contracts were signed on March 12 paving the way for another major ESPN boxing card at the venue.
Talks of a fight between Lomachenko and Linares have been making the rounds in the boxing world for weeks, but there were several hurdles before the fight became a reality. Firstly, there was an issue between ESPN and HBO, both of whom televise fights for Golden Boy Promotions, the company that promotes Linares. That issue was that HBO had a boxing card scheduled to take place on May 12 that would have interfered with the ESPN card.
ESPN agreed to have the fight card start at an earlier time (8 p.m. EST) but then a second issue occurred. ESPN was scheduled to televise a college softball game that would run over the 8 p.m. EST start time of the Top Rank Boxing card. It will be the second straight fight that Lomachenko fights at Madison Square Garden. His last fight, which also was televised on ESPN, saw him defeat former WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux to retain his super featherweight world title. Linares has not fought since defeating Mercito Gesta on HBO back in January.
For Lomachenko, his options were somewhat exhausted at super featherweight. The one fight that would have kept Lomachenko at super featherweight for a while longer would have been a fight against former IBF super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis, which would have been one of the best boxing fights of 2018 on paper. Unfortunately for those interested in potentially seeing that fight, Mayweather Promotions, who promote Davis, are uninterested in making that fight happen anytime soon.
The co-main event of the fight has not been decided, but the slot is open in case the IBF super flyweight title fight between Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan gets placed there by Bob Arum. That fight was supposed to be the co-main event to the WBO welterweight title fight between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. The Horn vs. Crawford fight was postponed due to Crawford’s hand injury, leaving the super flyweight title fight in limbo, either ending up on the welterweight title fight or on the May 12 card.
After the win over Gesta, the WBC ordered Linares, who holds the organization’s Diamond belt, to fight world lightweight champion Mikey Garcia after Garcia’s IBF junior welterweight title win over Sergey Lipinets.
Linares electing to fight Lomachenko instead of opting to wait for Garcia to finish up could have some repercussions in regards to the lightweight and junior welterweight division.
Garcia wants to eventually fight at welterweight, but has said he has many options for his immediate future. At lightweight, Garcia has no real options anymore for a fight in the coming months. Raymundo Beltran, the WBO champion won’t be ready to fight until the summer and his first title defense could be against a Top Rank boxer, either new signee Jose Pedraza or Felix Verdejo. IBF champion Robert Easter Jr., who was briefly negotiating a fight with Garcia in late 2017, has been ordered to fight mandatory challenger Richard Commey and Commey wants to have a purse bid happen immediately and will happen at the IBF offices in New Jersey on March 22.
But Garcia will only have a short timeframe to decide on what weight to fight at. Garcia has until March 22 to decide whether or not he’ll fight Ivan Baranchyk, who won his way into a title fight. One way or another, Garcia will most likely have to vacate one of his two world titles.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN March 17 Preview:
ESPN returns to Madison Square Garden for a Top Rank Boxing card with a main event of Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam for the vacant WBC junior welterweight world title. The winner of the fight will then fight interim WBC champion Regis Prograis to unify the two WBC belts later this year.
It’s an interesting fight between two relatively unproven boxers at 140 pounds. Ramirez, who competed in the 2012 Olympics, has been one of the top up-and-coming boxers at 140 pounds and scored wins over the likes of Mike Reed and Manuel Perez. Ramirez has not really faced any top competition throughout his career.
Imam, on the other hand, sports a slightly more impressive resume of boxers faced. Imam, another power hitter in the division defeated Yordenis Ugas and Fidel Maldonado Jr. in 2014 and 2015, respectively. His only loss came in late 2015 when he was stopped by Adrian Granados in the eighth round of their fight. It’s not exactly a bad loss, seeing as how Granados has been one of the more underrated boxers at 140 and 147 pounds.
On paper, the main event may not seem like much and that could very well hurt final viewership numbers, but the fight could actually be the best junior welterweight title fight this month which is saying a lot considering the outstanding performances by Prograis, Mikey Garcia and Kiryl Relikh in their respective title fights this month.
The co-main event of the card is an interim WBC light heavyweight title fight between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Mehdi Amar. The fight is technically the semifinal of a WBC light heavyweight tournament to crown the true WBC champion by the end. The other fight in the tournament, a WBC title fight between Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack, is scheduled to take place in May in Canada.
The non-television portion of the card, which will be streamed on Watch ESPN, has two interesting fights in the lightweight division. The first one features Felix Verdejo taking on Antonio Lozada Jr. with the winner potentially setting himself up to be a contender for the WBO title currently held by Raymundo Beltran. The other fight is the first fight for former super featherweight world champion Jose Pedraza's new working relationship with Top Rank. These two fights are important for the WBO lightweight title as Verdejo, at one point the mandatory challenger to the title, could be back in the title conversation with a win over Lozada. Bob Arum was thinking of pitting Beltran against Verdejo, but if that fight does not happen, then Verdejo could face Pedraza in an all-Puerto Rico showdown (and those types of fights usually are very entertaining fights). If that is the case, then it would be an unofficial eliminator as Beltran, Verdejo and Pedraza are all fighting under the Top Rank banner.
As for the opening bout, Irish prospect Michael Conlan will continue his undefeated start to his pro career. He’ll face Hungarian prospect David Berna, who sports a 15-2 record. Although Berna is Conlan’s toughest opponent to date and has the highest number of pro fights to date, Berna has been a pro roughly the same amount of time as Conlan, if not a little bit longer.
Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam Tale of the Tape:
Record: 21-0 (16 KO)
Notable Fights: Mike Reed, Jake Giuriceo, Issouf Kinda, Manuel Perez
Titles Won: WBC Continental Americas Junior Welterweight, NABF Junior Welterweight
Record: 21-1 (18 KO)
Notable Fights: Adrian Granados, Walter Castillo, Fidel Maldonado Jr., Yordenis Ugas
Titles Won: WBC Continental Americas Junior Welterweight, WBA-NABA USA Junior Welterweight
Showtime March 9/10 Boxing Review
March 9 Event: Prograis vs. Indongo:
Boxing’s junior welterweight division was in the spotlight for Showtime this past weekend, featuring two different cards with big main events in the division. The March 9 card, which took place in South Dakota, had a main event of Regis Prograis vs. Julius Indongo for the interim WBC 140-pound title while the March 10 Showtime Boxing Card from the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas featured two world title fights at 140 pounds, headlined by Mikey Garcia's quest to win a fourth world title in a fourth weight class, making him the 17th man in boxing history to win a major world title in at least four different weight classes.
The March 9 event was a somewhat late addition to the Showtime Boxing lineup, after the Showtime Boxing Upfront event earlier this year. The card underwent a couple of changes, especially to the top two television fights. Petr Petrov, who last challenged for a lightweight world title last year, came in as an extremely late replacement after Anthony Yigit couldn't fight due to illness. Indongo also was a late addition after Viktor Postol went down with an injury, initially leaving Prograis without an opponent for the March 9 main event.
The March 10 event saw two new world champions in the division as Kiryl Relikh dominated Rances Barthelemy to win the vacant WBA junior welterweight title in a rematch from their highly controversial fight last year that saw Relikh lose despite dominating the fight. The other world champion was Garcia, who had another big night in winning the IBF 140-pound title by beating an extremely tough Sergey Lipinets by unanimous decision.
Viewership for the doubleheader was hampered by the ESPN boxing card taking place around the same time. The main event averaged 618,000 viewers and peaked at 689,000 while the opener, averaged 489,000 viewers and peaked at 544,000. Those numbers aren't exactly great and are way down from Garcia's last fight on Showtime. That fight, against Adrien Broner in Brooklyn, averaged 881,000 viewers and peaked at 937,000 viewers. Viewership for the main event of the March 9 card was around 268,000 while the co-main event averaged 225,000 viewers and the opening bout did about 228,000 viewers.
March 9/10 Showtime Championship Boxing Results:
Mikey Garcia defeated Sergey Lipinets by unanimous decision to win the IBF junior welterweight title: The fight started off relatively tame, with both men measuring each other and finding their footing. Garcia managed to land the more effective power punches in the early going, but Lipinets’ own power shots managed to dish out some damage to Garcia, leaving Garcia’s nose slightly bloody by the end of the second round. Lipinets was starting to mount a comeback in the third round, landing vicious power shots to Garcia that kept him off rhythm. Garcia put a stop to Lipinets’ momentum when he started to use his right hand to land several 1-2 combinations to break through Lipinets’ defense. Lipinets’ evening took a turn for the worse in the sixth round when Garcia connected with a hard counter left hook to knock Lipinets down for the first time in his career. From that point forward, Lipinets was never able to truly get back in the fight. Garcia continued to land the hard right hand and 1-2 combinations throughout the rest of the fight to completely bruise Lipinets’ face. Lipinets tried to make it a competitive fight, but Garcia’s technical prowess and experience were the deciding factor. Lipinets managed to make the 12th round interesting when he stunned Garcia for a brief moment, but all it did was have both fighters end the fight with a scintillating exchange of power punches that had the crowd on their feet.
Fight rating: 3.5/5
Kiryl Relikh defeated Rances Barthelemy by unanimous decision to win the WBA junior welterweight title: Relikh dominated the fight by outworking Barthelemy, showing he was the clear aggressor throughout the fight. Relikh’s extremely high volume of punches thrown forced Barthelemy to play defense during most of the fight. Relikh landed 249 out of 1,237 total punches (20 percent) while Barthelemy only threw a little more than a third of Relikh’s punches, connecting 137 of 494 total punches (28 percent), according to Showtime's stats. Barthelemy did manage to land strong power punches to keep Relikh from making it a complete blowout, but Barthelemy was also engaging in a lot of dirty fighting. On multiple occasions, Barthelemy low-blowed Relikh and it cost Barthelemy a point in the seventh round. Despite multiple warnings from the referee, Barthelemy continued to punch Relikh at the beltline or below the belt. In the end, nothing stopped Relikh from avenging his last loss and winning a world title.
Fight rating: 2.75/5
Regis Prograis defeated Julius Indongo by TKO to win the interim WBC junior welterweight title: Prograis started the fight with numerous power punches, putting the awkward-footed Indongo in danger early in the first round. Prograis knocked Indongo down late in the first round and the former unified champion never really recovered. Prograis knocked him down three more times in the second round, prompting the fight to be stopped by the referee. A quick, dominant performance by Prograis should make him the favorite against whoever wins the March 17 ESPN Boxing main event.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN March 10 Review:
Top Rank Boxing returned to ESPN in what was one of the more interesting main events of 2018, a WBO featherweight title fight between champion Oscar Valdez and challenger Scott Quigg.
The fight was a title fight, but only for Valdez after Quigg came in nearly three pounds overweight, becoming ineligible to win the world title. It was a bizarre circumstance since it was Quigg, a man who openly and often talks about his conditioning and good health, who came in overweight. Quigg weighed in at 128.8 pounds and because Quigg was more than two pounds overweight, California state rules did not allow Quigg a chance to drop the excess weight.
There was also the issue of weather nearly canceling the card. Rain showers covered the StubHub Center in California throughout the day, but the fight went on as scheduled with many attending the fight wearing ponchos to cover themselves from the rain. But even with the rain and one half of the main event coming in massively overweight, the fight was an extremely physical and bloody war that had many who watched the fight thinking that it was an early "Fight of the Year" candidate.
Ratings for the card were among the best boxing ratings in 2018, drawing two of the five highest ratings for a boxing fight on cable in 2018. The main event featuring Valdez vs. Quigg averaged a 0.7 metered market rating, while the co-main event featuring undefeated junior lightweights Andy Vences vs. Erick De Leon averaged a 0.8 metered market rating. A quick look at the ratings would bring massive questions as to why the co-main event featuring two unknown boxers had a higher rating than the main event, but that was because the main event was running at the same time as the Showtime Boxing main event of Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets for the IBF junior welterweight title.
Viewership for the fight was way up from Valdez's first fight on ESPN last year. The main event drew an average of 1.1 million viewers, according to ratings released on March 13 by Nielsen Media Research. Valdez’s previous fight on ESPN, a unanimous decision defeat of Genesis Servania on September 22, 2017, helped draw an average audience of 706,000. This is great news for ESPN, who failed to break one million average viewers for its two main events from 2018.
The co-main event, a super featherweight bout between Andy Vences and Erick De Leon for the vacant WBC Americas and WBO International titles, ended in a majority draw. Vences retained the WBO International title but the WBC Americas title remains vacant.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN March 10 Main Event Results:
Oscar Valdez defeated Scott Quigg by unanimous decision to retain the WBO featherweight title: The fight starts off with Valdez outlanding Quigg in power punches in the first few rounds, but Quigg did throw his own head-rattling punches. One of those punches thrown by Quigg actually broke Valdez’s jaw in the fifth round, shifting the momentum of the fight to the challenger at times. Quigg’s extra weight allowed him to handle Valdez’s offense, but both men came out throwing hard punches that left each fighter damaged bruised. Valdez had a broken jaw and Quigg had to deal with a cut over his left eye. According to CompuBox, Valdez landed 238 of 914 punches (26 percent), while Quigg finished with 143 of 595 blows (24 percent). Despite the relatively low punch percentage, almost every power punch thrown by each man left them bloody and exhausted by the end of the fight. A lot of people are proclaiming this fight as one of the best in the year, but chances are, this fight will be on the bottom tier of great fights in 2018, which isn't a knock on Valdez vs. Quigg, but it just shows how fantastic the rest of the year could be shaping up. At best, this fight would only be the fourth-best fight of 2018, behind Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada, Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz and George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr.
Fight rating: 3.75/5
Japanese Boxing Roundup:
Ken Shiro vs. Ganigan Lopez Moved To May:
There is a major change to two big boxing cards in Japan linked to one previously announced fight: Ken Shiro vs. Ganigan Lopez for the WBC light flyweight title. It was previously reported that an April 15 boxing card in Japan would feature that fight, plus Daigo Higa vs. Cristofer Rosales for the WBC flyweight title and Ryota Murata vs. Emanuele Felice Blandamura for the WBA “regular” middleweight title in the main event. Shiro vs. Lopez has now been moved to the May 25 card which only has one world title fight: Naoya Inoue challenging for Jamie McDonnell’s WBA “regular” bantamweight title.
There is no official reason for the change, but my educated guess would be that it was a decision made by Fuji TV, who is handling broadcasting duties for both of those shows. If they had kept the April 15 card intact, then the Shiro vs. Lopez fight would most likely be aired on tape delay (which is not unusual to see from Fuji TV), but with the move to the May boxing card, it insures that both cards will have two world title fights aired live without tape delay.
Luis Nery Banned For Life By Japanese Boxing Commission:
The long-running bad history Luis Nery has with his two fights against Shinsuke Yamanaka has forced the Japanese Boxing Commission’s hand and issued a lifetime ban on Nery from competing in the country. This comes after Nery tested positive for an illegal substance after beating Yamanaka to win the WBC bantamweight title. The WBC allowed Nery to keep the title but forced him to fight Yamanaka. Even with the rematch being ordered, the JBC and Nery’s team were unhappy with Nery’s positive drug test. Two days before the rematch happened last month, Nery came in massively overweight and was stripped of the title. Nery did end up beating Yamanaka in the rematch, but the Commission believed Nery’s actions in the two fights to be unacceptable.
Originally, Nery was given a one-year ban with it later being turned into an indefinite ban. The JBC decided that the weight Nery weighed in at (2.3 kg) was far too much to be accidental, and was malignant to the competition of boxing, especially given that the sport has a weight class structure. The JBC have released a statement in Japanese, and stated things like Nery had committed an "extremely unusual serious breach" and that it could "severely impair social credibility against boxing". The JBC statement also criticized Brito Rodrigues, Nery's manager, and Teiken Promotions, who promoted the bout, for the way they handled Nery. The JBC have also sent their details to the WBA, WBO and IBF as well as the WBC, who have given Nery a punishment of their own and told Teiken to suspend 70 percent of Nery's purse until a hearing is held on the situation. The Japanese Boxing Commission have also reached out in the hope of establishing an international rule in regards to fighters coming in over-weight for world title bouts, which has happened a number of times in Japan in recent years.
Uchiyama And Amagasa To Have Retirement Ceremonies On March 27:
Former super featherweight world champion Takashi Uchiyama and former OPBF and Japanese featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa announced their retirement last year, but both will have a formal retirement ceremony on the March 27 Champion Carnival card at Korakuen Hall. It’s common for recently retired boxers who had successful careers to have retirement ceremonies. This one will be on the card headlined by the Japanese super bantamweight title fight between Yusaku Kuga and Ryo Kosaka. Uchiyama last fought in 2016, losing the WBA super featherweight title to Jezreel Corrales, before announcing his retirement last year. Amagasa, who is perhaps best known on this side of the world for fighting Guillermo Rigondeaux on the 2014 New Year’s Eve show and knocking him down twice before Amagasa ultimately lost the fight.
Next Fight For Masaru Sueyoshi, Juiki Tatsuyoshi Revealed:
Japanese super featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi will defend his title on May 5 against No. 1 ranked Tsuyoshi Tojo in what is Sueyoshi’s second title defense. The bout will headline a Dynamic Glove show, which we expect will be aired on G+ live and will feature a number of other Teiken Promotions fighters. The fight would be the first of multiple Japanese title fights taking place in the month of May, including the May 7 and 15 Korakuen Hall shows, with the Japanese super lightweight and vacant super welterweight title fights headlining each card, respectively.
Juiki Tatsuyoshi, the son of former two-time WBC bantamweight champion Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, will fight on April 30 against Shun Ishibashi. The fight will take place at the EDION Arena in Osaka. Juiki is undefeated at 7-0 and it was at this point where Joichiro won his first world title. Juiki is still nowhere near Joichiro’s level in terms of fighting top talent but a win against Ishibashi could put him in position to fight against top Japanese talent, eventually challenging for a Japanese title.
European Boxing Roundup:
Felix-Promotion New TV Deal:
Felix-Promotion in Hungary have signed a new television deal that calls for six shows in Hungary this year and two outside of Hungary. The first show in the new deal is one of the aforementioned two cards outside of Hungary, taking place in Romania on April 13. Undefeated junior middleweight prospect Ferenc Berki Jr. is scheduled to headline the card while other local prospects Balazs Bacskai (5-0 middleweight boxer), Flavius Bieia (12-1 welterweight) fight on the undercard. Also featured on the card is former WBO European super featherweight champion Zoltan Kovacs, who will fight for the first time since last summer after taking the rest of the year off due to injury.
Erik Skoglund Situation Prompts Changes In Swedish Boxing Commission Policy:
Last December, Erik Skoglund suffered a brain injury during sparring in Sweden which led to him being put in a medically-induced coma. Skoglund has since awoken from his coma and his health has been improving, according to Sauerland Promotions. With Skoglund still in intensive care, the Swedish Boxing Commission has decided to make a number of changes. Among the changes is that a license issued by the Swedish commission is only valid in one weight division. If the fighter decide to drop down in weight, a new license is required and to have a check-up on how the fighter's weight loss program will be made. There must also be two weeks (as compared with one week as it was before the changes) of rest between fights and there shall be a week´s rest after what is called a sparring "sojourn."
Status Of Various Title Fights Across Europe:
Former light heavyweight world title challenger Robin Krasniqi will fight Stas Kashtanov for the vacant EBU super middleweight title on June 2, according to the EBU. The fight was made official although not formally announced by promoter SES. According to the EBU, the fight will take place in Bad Tolz, Germany. Kashtanov was a former light heavyweight and super middleweight world title challenger, but lost both of those fights, the only losses on Kashtanov's pro record.
Micki Nielsen has pulled out of the vacant EU cruiserweight title. There were purse bids scheduled on March 12, but now Fabio Turchi, the man Nielsen was supposed to face for the title, will have to wait for a new challenger to be appointed by the organization..
Loud´N Live Promotions Ltd will promote a high level boxing show with Finland boxer Sami Enbom fighting in the main event. Enbom will fight Tamas Lodi for the WBO European light heavyweight title on May 26 in Lahti, Finland.