Fightful Boxing Newsletter (5/31): Eddie Hearn Negotiations, Canelo vs. GGG, Joshua vs. Wilder

Fightful Boxing Newsletter (5/31) Table Of Contents:

  1. Eddie Hearn Negotiating With Several Top Boxers For Matchroom Boxing USA (Page 1)
  2. Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder Talks Hit A Roadblock (Page 2)
  3. Latest On Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Negotiations (Page 3)
  4. Status World Boxing Super Series Super Middleweight Finals (Page 4)
  5. Vasiliy Lomachenko Undergoes Surgery, When He'll Return? (Page 5)
Video: UFC 261 Embedded Episode 4

Eddie Hearn Negotiating With Several Top Boxers For Matchroom Boxing USA

When Eddie Hearn announced that he would partner up with Perform Group for an eight-year, $1 billion deal to stream 16 yearly Matchroom Boxing USA shows, many had initially worried that Hearn would not be able to get the right amount of stars to make this a worthwhile venture in the long run.

Almost a month after the initial announcement was made and although we have yet to hear any real big news on who has joined the Matchroom-DAZN stable, a number of names have seriously considered joining the stable, but none have made bigger news for negotiating with Hearn than Adrien Broner.

Talks between Broner and Hearn began when Broner posted a picture on Instagram saying he wants to talk business with Hearn, referring to a deal to have Broner fight on DAZN. Talks immediately fell when Broner posted a picture of an email on his Instagram account on May 23 that is believed to be from Matchroom USA and it lists what the offer is for Broner. The offer has Broner fight on three DAZN cards starting this September with each fight giving him a minimum guaranteed $2 million purse throughout the three fights:

Fight #1: September 2018: $2 Million Purse

Fight #2: March 2019: $2.25 Million Purse

Fight #3: September 2019: $2.5 Million Purse

On the surface, this seems like one of the biggest offers for a U.S. boxer today given how only a handful of boxers are able to reach a $1 million purse and Broner was offered double that for his next three fights.

Broner did not see it that way.

Despite the lucrative offer, Broner thought it was a very low offer, calling it “a slave deal” and lower than Roc Nation’s offer, referencing the five-year/$40 million contract offered to Broner a few years ago, which Broner also declined.

The offer from Hearn made Broner not only back out of talks but also reassure Al Haymon and Showtime Sports Executive President Stephen Espinoza that he will be loyal to Premier Boxing Champions and to the network, which has received high viewership numbers with Broner fighting in the main event.

With Broner no longer in the picture for Hearn, the British promoter has decided to set his sights on the other big U.S. “free agents” in boxing. The second big name to say no is WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. It’s unknown how far talks between the two sides went, but it’s safe to assume Wilder quickly shot down an offer from the promoter he believes is responsible for stalling talks of a heavyweight superfight between Wilder and unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

As for all the other big names, WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia, WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo and interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, not only have been in discussions with Hearn and are considering joining Matchroom Boxing USA’s DAZN roster, but also revealed they are fielding offers from other promoters.

For Garcia, it was revealed by Robert Garcia that Mikey was in talks of joining Dana White’s Zuffa Boxing, but it’s unknown how far those talks have gone. White did invite Mikey to Las Vegas in order to coax the four-division champion to join the stable. Hearn’s offer to Mikey Garcia, although unknown, should be around the ballpark of what was offered to Broner. Robert also recently said that the offer made to Mikey wasn’t exactly the highest possible offer, but it was described as a very tempting offer.

The Charlo Twins have also been negotiating with Hearn and they also revealed that they have been in talks with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, though a decision on which offer to take will have to wait until after June 9. Jermell will be defending his 154-pound world title on the June 9 Showtime boxing card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles against Austin Trout. Though that fight will likely be a competitive and has the potential to be a “Fight of the Year” candidate, Jermell is the favorite.

Going back to the Broner offer, the big picture isn’t that Broner will not be fighting for Hearn, but the fact that Broner is offered double his usual purse for his next three fights. Although Broner and Espinoza insinuated that Broner makes more than the guaranteed $1 million he’s made in each of his last couple of fights, we don’t know what he makes total in his fights. The number everyone focuses on is the $1 million and the $6.75 million offer for Broner’s next three fights.

If anything, this is perhaps an unintended win for Hearn. With the $1 billion deal for the Matchroom-Perform Group partnership, there will be money to throw for some of the big names in boxing. Broner’s Instagram post confirmed that Hearn is willing to make big offers to anybody Hearn wants to sign.

This also has a trickle-down effect on the younger boxers, whom Hearn will also want to sign. Given that DAZN will be streaming 16 Matchroom Boxing USA shows each year for the next eight years, Hearn will look at U.S. Olympic boxers, highly-touted prospects that he believes he can mold into future stars.

Hearn said we should expect to hear news of who will be a part of the DAZN roster in June with the service ready to launch in the United States later this summer. The first Matchroom show in the United States to be streamed on DAZN is expected to happen sometime in September, but we have yet to hear where and who will fight on the card. The card will likely feature some of Hearn’s fighters from the United Kingdom.

Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder Talks Hit A Roadblock (Page 2)

The heavyweight superfight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder have hit yet another chapter with Joshua recently revealing his intentions to have the fight take place later this year in the United Kingdom even if it means taking a paycut from the $50 million offer Wilder gave Joshua some time ago.

Of course, the negotiations have now evolved into a game of chicken to see who succumbs to the other’s offer and have the fight already. On the Wilder side, Wilder insists that he wants to fight Joshua regardless of the location and Joshua has already said he wants the fight in the United Kingdom even at the risk of losing out on a few more millions.

All in all, this should mean that the fight would be relatively easy to sign right?

Outside of Wilder, WBA mandatory Challenger Alexander Povetkin has been thrown as an opponent for Joshua in case the fight against Wilder does not happen. Whether or not this is a bargaining chip or not for Hearn to use against Wilder is only something Hearn knows at the moment

The sticking point for a Joshua-Wilder fight has been the location. Joshua is making it known that he wants the fight in the UK, even if it means taking up to $20 million less than the $50 million offered by Wilder and his team to come to the United States. Wilder took to social media to discuss the latest on the negotiations, saying that the $50 million offer could soon be rescinded.

"You know, if they still serious, we been serious this whole way through. Joshua said he wanted $50 million and he’ll sign tomorrow," Wilder said. "We did that, exactly what he [said] and he didn’t sign so that shows you his character already. Or his team’s character. I think Joshua wanna fight but I don’t think his team wanna risk what they’ve invest. Their investment bout to go, and they know it!"

Povetkin is more than willing to fight in the United Kingdom, and did as much on the undercard of Joshua’s win over Joseph Parker in March at Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Povetkin would land a devastating knockout of Olympic medalist David Price. Given that the plan is to have Joshua fight either in August or September, Hearn said a decision on the fight will be made in two weeks.

“Povetkin is the likely choice if Wilder refuses to travel. Povetkin is the WBA mandatory so both fights are extremely dangerous. A Wilder fight in the US stands as Joshua’s most lucrative option, but he is willing to accept a lesser payday for home advantage.”

If a deal between Wilder and Joshua is not reached, then the WBC champ is likely going to make a mandatory title defense against Dominic Breazeale. Wilder and Breazeale were involved in a physical altercation at a hotel in 2017 and the two had been feuding on and off. Breazeale won the opportunity to challenge for the title last year when he won a title eliminator on the undercard of Wilder's knockout win over Bermane Stiverne last November.

Latest On Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Negotiations

Canelo Alvarez, Golden Boy Promotions, Gennady Golovkin and promoter Tom Loeffler have entered a crossroads in their negotiations for a September 15, 2018 rematch as Golovkin has now upped his purse demands for the rematch from a 65-35 split in Alvarez’s favor to an even 50-50 split, which Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions adamantly has rejected.

The 65-35 split was the original agreed split for the May 5, 2018 fight until the bout fell through after Alvarez tested positive for traces clenbuterol on VADA tests conducted on February 17 and 20.

The reason behind Golovkin’s demands, according to Loeffler, is that he wants his fair shake after losing out on tens of millions of dollars for something that didn’t even directly involve Alvarez. The first fight that took place on September 16, 2017 netted Alvarez around $50 million, including pay-per-view buys, while Golovkin’s final payday for that fight was around $20 million, or about a 70-30 split according to Golovkin’s promoter.

As such, the possibility of the two fighting in September starts to go from high to almost a coin flip. Whether or not this is a power move, Golden Boy Promotions have started to look at other options for Alvarez’s September 15 opponent with the four names being thrown around being WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, Spike O’Sullivan, Daniel Jacobs and Jermall Charlo.

Eddie Hearn already said that there have been talks between Alvarez and Jacobs, whose goal when he signed with Matchroom Boxing USA in 2017 was to fight either Golovkin or Alvarez. There have also been talks between Alvarez and Saunders, although Saunders did not seem to reciprocate the interest as well, telling Alvarez on social media to “stick to taking PEDs” and that Golden Boy is “all talk.”

If we’re looking at the very real possibility that the highly-anticipated rematch does not happen in September, then there are a choice or two for a replacement opponent for Alvarez that makes sense depending on what the objective is.

If the plan is to have Alvarez get a relatively easy fight in his first fight in about a year, then O’Sullivan would make the best opponent out of all four aforementioned boxers. That’s not to say O’Sullivan is a bad boxer and he does sport a very good record and above average knockout numbers, but compared to Saunders, Charlo and Jacobs, O’Sullivan is in fourth place in terms of giving Alvarez the toughest fight with the other three boxers being Alvarez’s toughest fight for a replacement opponent, depending on who you ask. Alvarez would be able to get some rounds in and prepare for the fight Golovkin, likely in the first half of 2019.

If Golden Boy Promotions is starting to look at maximizing profit in the long run, then Saunders would be the best bet. The reason for this is because Golovkin, who holds the WBA “super,” WBC and IBF middleweight titles, has repeatedly said that he wants to hold all four major middleweight world titles and the WBO title is the only one left. If Alvarez fights and beats Saunders, Alvarez would hold the one title that has eluded Golovkin from being called the undisputed middleweight world champion. A champion vs. champion fight for the undisputed title would likely drum up some additional pay-per-view buys and if done a Cinco De Mayo weekend in 2019, it stands a reasonably good chance to sell more than the 1.3 million pay-per-view buys the first fight had.

When the May 5 fight against Alvarez fell through, Golovkin decided to fight former world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan, which also created another set of problems that could prevent the two middleweight superstars from engaging in a fight.

As holder of three of the four middleweight world titles, Golovkin will have to deal with mandatory challengers from the WBA, WBC and IBF or risk being stripped of his belt. The IBF has already stated that Golovkin must fight mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko or else risk losing the IBF title. This creates a dilemma for Golovkin as he now has to decide whether or not to fight Alvarez for what is likely the biggest payday of his career or stay on course to unify all four belts and get his IBF mandatory challenger out of the way.

The reason the IBF is now so insistent on having Golovkin fight Derevyanchenko now when he was the mandatory challenger since last year is because of the mandatory challenger rotation system in place for unified champions.

If a unified champion has multiple mandatory challengers, then it is up to the governing bodies to work out a system that would have the champion fight one of the mandatory challengers first and then the other governing body’s mandatory challenger would follow afterwards. As it stands, the system was WBA, WBC and IBF (or WBC, IBF and WBA depending on if you count Jacobs fighting Golovkin back in March 2017 as a mandatory challenge since Jacobs held the WBA’s “regular” title). The May 5 rematch was supposed to fill the WBC’s mandatory challenge as President Mauricio Sulaiman issued a rematch order soon after the first fight had ended which resulted in a split draw. After the May 5 fight, it was supposed to be the IBF’s turn to have Golovkin face Derevyanchenko, but Golovkin’s wish to fight Alvarez in September instead of the IBF’s mandatory has thrown the system that was established in disarray.

Both camps for Golovkin and Derevyanchenko did meet with the IBF recently to discuss the possibility of Golovkin keeping his IBF title and not have to fight Derevyanchenko by August.

A decision will be decided soon regarding the IBF and Golovkin, and if the IBF’s initial ruling stands, then Golovkin may be forced to have to hold off on the fight against Golovkin until 2019.

Status World Boxing Super Series Super Middleweight Finals

The super middleweight finals of the World Boxing Super Series will go on with its two original finalists.

First reported by RingTV, George Groves, who had been questionable to compete in the finals after surgery a shoulder injury in his semifinal bout, has been medically cleared to fight fellow finalist Callum Smith. This comes after several months of speculation regarding Groves' condition and the possibility that Chris Eubank Jr., the man Groves defeated in the semifinals, could replace Groves if he is unable to get medically cleared in time.

The report comes one day before Kalle Sauerland was set to make an announcement regarding the finals. As of this writing, no date nor venue has been announced although tournament organizers did say the fight will take place between late August and early September. The finals were originally scheduled to take place on June 2 at the O2 Arena in London.

The news comes after public criticism over Eubank Jr. potentially being in the finals hit social media. Although tournament organizers likely won’t admit it, the fans may willed this fight to reality for the early fall considering that it was understood that the tournament finals will happen by the end of July with or without Groves. The reasoning of Groves not being in the finals stemmed from the thinking that the tournament is bigger than any one boxer and Groves’ injury will not delay the tournament any further than it already has.

Groves, the WBA's "super" super middleweight champion, had been the tournament's top seed won his way to the finals with a knockout win over Jamie Cox in the first round and followed it wide unanimous decision win over Eubank Jr. Smith, the WBC Diamond champion, got to the finals with unanimous decision wins over Erik Skoglund and Nieky Holzken.

With the WBSS super middleweight finals back on track, tournament organizers have yet to make a final call on the date and venue of the cruiserweight finals after WBO and WBC champion Oleksandr Usyk suffered an elbow injury, postponing the finals originally scheduled to take place on May 11 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As far as when the fight could take place, no official date has been confirmed, but the rumors coming out of camp is to have the fight take place on July 21. No one really knows whether or not the fight will still take place in Saudi Arabia, but the country is likely still the favorite to host the fight with Russia being a close second after submitting a major bid to hold the cruiserweight finals.

Vasiliy Lomachenko Undergoes Surgery, When He'll Return?

New WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko will be out of action for the foreseeable future after it was revealed that he would undergo arthroscopic surgery for a torn labrum he said happened early in his May 12 fight against Jorge Linares.

First reported by ESPN, Lomachenko had successful surgery after he separated his shoulder during his fight against Jorge Linares on May 12 at Madison Square Garden. The surgery will took place on May 30 and was done by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

"I couldn't use my right arm, throw my right hook, and it was very uncomfortable to continue my fight," Lomachenko told ESPN.

ElAttrache described the injury to ESPN as pretty extensive and if the surgery goes well, then Lomachenko could be back training sometime in October and fight again at the end of the year.

“A typical tear usually goes from about 2 o'clock if you're looking at the face of a clock down to about 6 o'clock. His goes almost all the way around. I would say he has significant instability of his right shoulder,” ElAttrache said.

With Lomachenko out until November at the earliest, Top Rank will now have to put the brakes on a potential unification bout against WBO lightweight champion Raymundo Beltran. The plan was for both men to fight in California on August 25 with Lomachenko being a big favorite in the bout. The fight was never signed and announced, but it almost seemed like a certainty that the two world champions, both promoted by Top Rank, would eventually meet at some point.

Regardless of the opponent, Lomachenko had been tabbed to fight on August 25 as the WBA lightweight champion. Although Lomachenko is now out, Top Rank will still indeed keep moving forward with the August 25 card on a venue to be determined later. It’s still possible that Beltran will headline that card in a title defense and one possible name could be Jose Pedraza. Pedraza, the former IBF super featherweight champion, recently signed with Top Rank and will fight on the main card of the June 9 ESPN+ card headlined by Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford for the WBO welterweight belt. Pedraza recently was added to the WBO rankings at No. 14 and with a win on June 9, he’ll get the WBO Latino welterweight title.

Winning the regional title isn’t the objective for Pedraza, but it’s a strong performance that will get people excited over a potential Beltran vs. Pedraza fight. Top Rank could also work in the whole Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry that some fans will always gravitate towards to no matter the fighters in place.

Now this is all hypothetical, but there’s also the possibility that Top Rank would add in a second world title fight on that August ESPN card with Jerwin Ancajas defending his IBF super flyweight belt. Top Rank has done that world title doubleheader on ESPN before back in February, although that combination proved ineffective in the final viewership numbers.

The one thing that would prevent Ancajas from fighting in a potential August 25 co-main event fight is the opponent. The plan for Ancajas coming out of the May 25 ESPN+ card is to have him face WBA champion Kal Yafai in a unification bout but that fight has not been set in stone. The only thing that would prevent that fight from happening in August is Yafai electing to face former world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Yafai’s promoter Eddie Hearn did confirm Gonzalez and Yafai have been in talks but so far those talks are preliminary. But if Yafai and Ancajas do get the nod to fight next, it would headline its own show and although I can see it being the August 25 ESPN headliner, it could also serve as the main event for an ESPN+ card later in the year.

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