Fightful Boxing Newsletter (6/14) Table Of Contents:
- Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 2 Announced (Page 1)
- Errol Spence Jr. vs. Carlos Ocampo Preview (Page 2)
- Latest On Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder (Page 3)
- Tyson Fury's Return To The Ring (Page 4)
- Terence Crawford Wins WBO Welterweight Title (Page 5)
- June 9 Showtime Boxing Card Review (Page 6)
- David Haye Announces His Retirement (Page 7)
Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 2 Announced
For weeks, it appeared that the rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, the biggest boxing match in the United States today, wasn’t going to happen. June 13 was going to be the absolute final day this fight would get signed if it would and with the Doomsday Clock on the fight reaching as late as 11:59, the fight somehow was salvaged.
Alvarez and Golovkin, two of the sports’ top stars, will have their long awaited rematch 364 days after their first encounter ended in a controversial split draw. The fight will take place September 15, most likely at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and it will be on HBO pay-per-view.
Oscar De La Hoya tweeted that both sides have agreed to a deal two hours after Golden Boy President Eric Gomez gave Golovkin and his team a deadline to accept the company’s final offer to have Golovkin face Alvarez on September 15. The final offer was a 57.5-42.5 purse split in favor of Alvarez, higher than the 65-35 split originally offered to Golovkin, with the deadline for Golovkin to accept the fight being June 13 at noon PT (3 p.m. ET).
When the deadline came and went, no deal was made at that point. Oscar De La Hoya spoke to ESPN and initially confirmed that there will be no rematch for September 15.
"No fight. There is no fight," De La Hoya said. "We want the fight, Tom Loeffler wants the fight. Clearly the only person here who doesn’t want the fight is GGG. The fans want the fight. We bent over backwards. We've come up and there’s no budge from him so there’s no fight. 100 percent there is no fight."
At that point, the fight could be saved, however, as ESPN also reported Golden Boy Promotions were attempting a “Hail Mary” attempt to have the fight. The fight would headline an HBO pay-per-view as it was intended when the two of them were originally scheduled to fight back in May. The fight was called off in April after Alvarez tested positive twice for clenbuterol back in February.
Golovkin then fought Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 after the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Alvarez for six months retroactive to the date of the first failed test for clenbuterol, February 17, meaning Alvarez will remain suspended until August 17.
After Golovkin's fight against Martirosyan, talks of a rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin resumed but Golovkin demanded an even 50-50 split. After Golden Boy Promotions declined Golovkin's request and the unified WBA and WBC champion refused to budge on his demand, De La Hoya then stated that negotiations to make a fight between Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs were underway. Soon after, it was reported that Golovkin would be willing to accept a 55-45 offer for Alvarez. So why the change of heart?
It most likely stemmed from the IBF stripping him of the middleweight title he held.
It wasn’t that the IBF title itself was worth five percent of the purse, but more so because Golovkin was sticking his neck out to fight Alvarez at the risk of losing his IBF title for not fighting Sergiy Derevyanchenko, the IBF’s mandatory challenger, in August. The IBF stripped Golovkin of the title and it was then when Golovkin was more accepting of the 55-45 split instead of the 50-50 split because he no longer had the pressures of the IBF breathing down his neck.
Even then, 55-45 was going to be difficult for Golden Boy to offer. We’re talking Alvarez losing potentially $6-$10 million and I can’t imagine Alvarez being too happy with that so Golden Boy was not going to budge too much on this.
In the days after De La Hoya said Golovkin would not be fighting Alvarez and that he’s negotiating with Jacobs, Golovkin and Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter then quickly got to work to have Golovkin unify the WBA and WBC titles with Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO title in August. A deal in principle was agreed to and the fight would take place sometime in August, but Loeffler’s and Golovkin’s priority was the rematch against Alvarez so that’s why the unification bout wasn’t signed.
Of course, with this chapter of the rivalry finally being over, you start to get a better sense at where the middleweight title scene currently stands.
The two boxers in this negotiation period that were backup options/negotiation tactics, Jacobs and Saunders, will have to look elsewhere for fights.
For Jacobs, that fight would be against Derevyanchenko, likely to take place in Brooklyn on HBO television for the vacant IBF title if they agree to a deal. The governing body ordered Jacobs to fight Derevyanchenko right before Golovkin and Alvarez agreed to a deal. The one worry that got quickly squashed is that both Jacobs and Derevyanchenko were trained by the same guy, but Jacobs said that wouldn’t be an issue.
For Saunders, the road is a little trickier. Saunders was supposed to defend his title against Martin Murray later this month, but Saunders withdrew from the fight after sustaining a hamstring injury, but now the general idea is that Saunders was injured or at least exaggerated the severity of his injury because he saw the writing on the wall for Golovkin and Alvarez and believed he will swoop in and fight Golovkin. With no Golovkin fight, Saunders will now have to scramble for an opponent and a significantly smaller payday in his next fight.
Looking at the WBO rankings at 160 pounds, the most likely options for opponents for Saunders would be Demetrius Andrade (ranked No. 1), Gary O’Sullivan (No. 4) and Jack Culcay (No. 7). WBO Africa champion Walter Kautondokwo is ranked No. 2, but I’m not sure if Frank Warren would be willing to make that fight as the headlining fight of a major British show.
We’re still a long way from seeing this rematch take place, but it’s now official and the sport of boxing will get a much needed shot in the arm come September.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Carlos Ocampo Preview
After Terence Crawford made a big statement in his welterweight world title bout last weekend, it is Errol Spence Jr.’s turn to have a big performance.
Spence will be facing undefeated Mexican fighter Carlos Ocampo in the main event of the June 16 Showtime Championship Boxing card from The Star in Frisco, Texas in Spence’s return to his roots as he was born in Dallas.
After scoring the biggest win of his career last year against Kell Brook in Brook’s home nation of England to win the IBF title, Spence was inactive until this past January when he knocked out Lamont Peterson to retain the title in Brooklyn. With experience headlining shows in England and in Brooklyn, Spence is ready to give his hometown fans a championship performance which could potentially set up a run of unification bouts.
With the title of top welterweight up for the taking, a win for Spence could mean a unification fight against the winner of Shawn Porter vs. Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC welterweight title or against newly-crowned WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
Little is known about Ocampo, not even Spence initially knew who he was when he was offered the fight against him. Ocampo does have a couple of wins over former title challengers Johnny Navarrete and Jorge Paex Jr., but overall his record seems somewhat unspectacular from the surface. Regardless, anything can happen in boxing and given the nature of the sport, Ocampo still has a chance to shock the world and defeat Spence:
The card will also feature another world title fight in Danny Roman vs. Moises Flores for the WBA super bantamweight world title. After Roman had his first two world title fights in Japan, Roman is ready to make waves in the United States.
Flores will be getting his coveted world title fight after his last fight against then-world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux ended in a no contest after Rigondeaux knocked Flores out after the first round bell sounded last year. Since then, Flores eagerly waited for his chance to once again fight for the world title.
Here is the full card for the Showtime broadcast (June 16, 8 p.m. ET/Showtime):
- Errol Spence Jr. (c) vs. Carlos Ocampo: IBF welterweight title
- Danny Roman (c) vs. Moises Flores: WBA super bantamweight title
- Adrian Granados vs. Javier Fortuna
Tale of the Tape:
Errol Spence Jr.:
- Record: 23-0 (20 KO)
- Age: 28
- Height: 5’9.5”
- Reach: 72”
- Notable Wins: Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, Chris Alieri, Phil Lo Greco
- Titles Won: IBF welterweight title
- Record: 22-0 (13 KO)
- Age: 22
- Notable Wins: Charlie Navarro, Johnny Navarrete, Jorge Paez Jr.
- Titles Won: None
Fightful will be providing live coverage of the event.
Latest On Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder
The long-awaited heavyweight superfight between the division's top two world champions appears to be a reality.
If and when the fight gets signed, unified WBA "super," WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a historic unification bout later this year in the United Kingdom. According to ESPN, Shelly Finkel, Wilder's co-manager, said Wilder accepted the terms presented to him by Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, after several weeks of back-and-forth negotiations.
The terms accepted by Wilder and Finkel is a two-fight deal that starts in the U.K. and then the rematch would take place in the United States. Even though terms have been agreed to, the fight has not been officially signed.
"We have agreed to the terms that Eddie has put out to us for a fight in the U.K. Deontay has accepted his terms to fight in the U.K. Deontay sent an email to Joshua (Sunday) night and I sent one today to [Matchroom Sport founder] Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract," Finkel said told ESPN.
The news potentially ends a vicious cycle of negotiations from both sides that saw the fight being in danger of not happening on multiple occasions. After Wilder was not satisfied with Eddie Hearn's initial offer, WBC champion offered a $50 million deal for Joshua to take. Responding to the news that the terms have been agreed to, Wilder posted a tweet saying that $50 million offer is still on the table but he's also accepted the terms to fight in the United Kingdom.
As previously mentioned, the deal has not been signed and Hearn is expected to send Wilder the contract for him to sign on June 15. Of course, the deal could still go awry and the two champions end up not fighting.
According to ESPN, the key hangup in the talks has been where they would fight. Joshua is a massive star in the United Kingdom, where he has drawn sellout crowds for his past three fights: 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in London and 78,000 for his past two fights at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. He insisted on having the fight there, even if the overall revenue for the event could be greater in Las Vegas.
The Wilder camp held out hope of him agreeing to come to the United States, but on the evening of June 10, Wilder and his team said they notified both Eddie and Barry that they had accepted the terms offered to them.
After Tyson Fury's WBA, IBF and WBO titles were either vacated or stripped as a result of his upset win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, Joshua slowly won all of those titles starting with the IBF title in 2016. Joshua won the then-vacant WBA title when he defeated Klitschko in the 2017 Fightful Boxing Fight of the Year and then added the WBO title this past March when he won a unanimous decision over then-champion Joseph Parker.
Although the fight against Wilder was by far the most lucrative fight Joshua could take at the moment, Joshua and Eddie Hearn were deep in negotiations with Alexander Povetkin, the mandatory challenger to Joshua's WBA title, in case talks with Wilder fell through. The WBA ordered Joshua and Povetkin to fight weeks after Joshua's win over Parker. It remains to be seen if the WBA will take any action against Joshua for ignoring the order to fight Povetkin. If anything goes wrong with the deal between Joshua and Wilder, then Povetkin would get the fight against Joshua, which would still be a very good heavyweight fight, although it will have significantly less appeal to the masses, especially in the United States.
Wilder, on the other hand, had won the WBC title back in 2015 when he scored a unanimous decision win over Bermane Stiverne. Wilder followed that win with an impressive seven consecutive stoppage wins, last knocking out Luis Ortiz in March in a fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that drew highly impressive ratings for Showtime.
Joshua and Wilder, considered the two best heavyweights in the world, will fight in a unification bout with the winner being the first heavyweight to hold all four major alphabet titles. The IBO title Joshua owns and the vacant Ring Magazine are expected to be on the line for the bout, making this potentially the first heavyweight title fight in boxing history with as many as six titles on the line.
Tyson Fury's Return To The Ring
Tyson Fury emerged victorious in his first boxing match since 2015, beating Sefer Seferi after Seferi did not come out to fight after the fourth round had ended in their main event bout at the Manchester Arena.
Before the fight started, in true Tyson Fury fashion, kissed Seferi when both boxers were being given instructions in the ring by the referee. Once the opening bell rung, it was tough to differentiate the bout between a professional boxing match and a sparring session between longtime friends.
Fury started the fight smiling and showboating, barely throwing a meaningful punch in the opening rounds. Seferi's offense ended up being Seferi charging at Fury when he was at the ropes and flailing away at Fury as his punches were barely able to reach the former unified champion.
But Fury's antics extended way past showboating. Fury did Ali Shuffles, turned his back to Seferi in the third round and was even flat out distracted by a brawl taking place in the audience. Despite this, Fury had close to no trouble against Seferi.
This was Fury's first fight since shocking the boxing world by beating then-unified champion Wladimir Klitschko. Since then, Fury has struggled with mental illness and a lengthy drug suspension that seemed to derail his entire career. Fury even retired a couple of times before deciding to come back and attempt to make a comeback.
As for Fury's next fight, promoter Frank Warren announced that Fury will fight on the August 18 boxing card in Belfast, Northern Ireland that is headlined by interim WBO featherweight champion Carl Frampton's next fight. Neither Fury nor Frampton have an opponent announced for August 18.
No opponent has been named, but it most likely won't be against any top ranked boxer. The likes of Tony Bellew and Luis Ortiz threw their hat in the ring, but those fights aren't likely happening until much later in Fury's return.
Terence Crawford Wins WBO Welterweight Title
If there was any doubt that Terence Crawford belonged in the welterweight division's elite, he erased those doubts by defeating WBO champion Jeff Horn in Crawford's welterweight debut.
Crawford dominated, dropped and stopped Horn in the ninth round of their title bout that headlined an ESPN+ card in Las Vegas. With the win, Crawford now adds a welterweight world title to his impressive resume, becoming the latest boxer to win a world title in three different weight classes, after becoming the undisputed junior welterweight champion in 2017 and becoming a lightweight world champion prior to that.
It was a complete domination by Crawford from the start of the fight, switching stances and landing numerous hard left hands to knock Horn off balance throughout the fight. At times, Horn seemed like he was going to get knocked out, but managed to hold on to the ropes and stay vertical.
The same could not be said for the eighth round when Crawford's left hand knocked Horn off balance and Horn wasn't able to avoid touching the canvas with one of his gloves. Crawford followed up the knockdown with more flurries in the ninth round until referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight with 27 seconds remaining in the round, awarding Crawford the win.
The fight wrapped up a crazy week with Horn nearly getting stripped of his title on the scales on June 8. Horn weighed in at 148 lbs., 147.5 lbs. after stripping down, but was able to get to 147 lbs. on his latest attempt, allowing Horn to keep his title for another 24 hours before Crawford beats him.
After the fight, Crawford had said in an interview that he would be up to fight some of the other champions at welterweight, which includes WBA champion Keith Thurman, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and the WBC title which is vacant and being contested by Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
With Crawford now joining the welterweight world championship ranks, the debate as to who is the top 147-pound boxer in the world has only become more divisive. An argument can be made on almost anyone in the top 5 in the welterweight division being No. 1. A year ago, we would have said Thurman as Thurman was the unified champion.
But Thurman has not fought since March 2017 and is coming off multiple injuries. With the rise of Spence and Crawford and bounceback victories from Porter and Garcia, the debate now seems stronger than ever.
June 9 Showtime Boxing Card Review
It was another slugfest between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, but once again, it was Santa Cruz who came out on top in a grueling 12-round world title fight.
Santa Cruz retained his WBA featherweight title with a unanimous decision win over Mares (115-113, 116-112, 117-111) in the main event of the June 9 Showtime Championship Boxing card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The fight was a rematch from their 2015 encounter that saw Santa Cruz win by majority decision in what ended up being a "Fight of the Year" candidate.
Mares started the bout landing combinations as Santa Cruz tried to take the fight up close, something Mares was hoping to see. Mares' best moments in the fight came when he worked Santa Cruz's body, negating the champion's reach advantage, but those moments were few and far in between.
Many brutal exchanges were had in the bout as both men threw close to 2,000 punches, landing more than 500 of them. Santa Cruz used his long arms to get the upper hand after the third round. Using the 1-2 combination, Santa Cruz won most of the rounds as Mares struggled to land anything meaningful. An accidental clash of heads that cut Santa Cruz late in the fight that was initially ruled by the referee to be caused by a punch thrown by Mares momentarily rallied the challenger, but was unable to do much against the champion.
The 12th and final round featured an extremely exciting back-and-forth exchange at the end as the crowd at the Staples Center got up on its feet to cheer on the fight. After the fight, Mares wasn't too keen on discussing the scorecards but did say he would be up for a third fight against Santa Cruz.
"It was a 'Fight of the Year' like I told you. It is what it is. I don't want to discuss scores. The judges decided that, and that's it. I'll do it again. Let's do it again. Mares-Santa Cruz 3," Mares said.
It was the second rematch Santa Cruz has had in the last couple of years. After Santa Cruz lost his WBA title to Carl Frampton in 2016, Santa Cruz won back the title in their rematch in 2017 and with the rematch over Mares done with, the WBA titleholder is looking to unify titles. There is WBC champion Gary Russell Jr., who has expressed interest in fighting the winner of Santa Cruz vs. Mares and there is also Frampton, who currently holds the interim WBO title. Frampton went on social media and said he would like a third go at Santa Cruz.
A third fight between Santa Cruz and Frampton will have to wait until after Frampton's next fight at least. Frampton is slated to headline the August 18 boxing card in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but an opponent has not been named yet.
The co-main event fight of the card saw Jermell Charlo retain his WBC junior middleweight title against former world champion Austin Trout.
Charlo and Trout went the distance with Charlo coming out on top with a majority decision win. Charlo won with scores of 118-108 and 115-111 on two of the judges' scorecards while a third judge had the fight scored even 113-113.
The WBC champion managed to get the win thanks to two knockdowns, one in the third and one in the ninth round, to pull away in the cards. The first knockdown came when Charlo landed a right hand followed by a counter left to knock Trout off balance and went down as he appeared to also be slipping.
The second knockdown came in the opening seconds of the ninth round when a left hand thrown by Charlo hit the back part of Trout's head and Trout went down. Despite replays showing the punch should have been ruled illegal, the referee originally ruled it a knockdown. After the fight, Charlo was somewhat disappointed to not get the knockout victory, but still was satisfied with picking up the win and making a third successful title defense.
"Sometimes you knock them out, sometimes you just beat them. I went to fish, I tried to get some trout but I couldn't catch him on the hook. I know they're used to seeing me knock boys out but at least they saw me take care of business," Charlo said.
Trout, on the other hand, believed he had won the fight had it not been for the knockdowns. Trout has now fought both Charlo twins with Trout losing to Jermell's twin brother Jermall back in 2016. Trout also went the distance against Jermall, losing to him by unanimous decision in an IBF junior middleweight title fight.
"Take those knockdowns away I won the fight," Trout said.
As far as what is next for Charlo, he called out unified WBA and IBF champion Jarrett Hurd to a three-belt unification. The two boxers fought on the same card last October with Hurd beating Trout and Charlo knocking out Erickson Lubin. Hurd unified the WBA and IBF titles in his last fight when he defeated Erislandy Lara.
David Haye Announces His Retirement
After a highly successful career that saw him be one of the more popular British boxers for nearly 20 years, David Haye has announced his retirement from the sport of boxing.
The two-division world champion released a lengthy statement on his website making his retirement official. Some reasons cited that contributed to his retirement were injuries and inability to perform at a world class level. In that statement, Haye also said he had spinal surgery in 2015, a surgery Haye said resulted in him trying to learn how to walk again.
"The biggest physical challenge I had to face, however, was a spinal surgery in March 2015. I herniated a disc in my lower back 10 years ago and years of intense training wore this disc away. This caused fragments of disc to push into my spinal nerve passage, resulting in chronic pain and loss of function in both legs, and an operation was required to put a two-centimetre metal cage between two vertebrae and implant two metal rods with screws and bone grafts to fuse it all together."
When he first turned pro nearly 16 years ago, he came in riding a lot of momentum from his time as an amateur. Haye is the first British boxer to reach the final of the World Amateur Boxing Championships, where he won a silver medal in 2001 as a heavyweight.
Among the accolades Haye has accumulated throughout his career, Haye is the first-ever British boxer to unify the cruiserweight division (WBA, WBC and WBO titles) when he did so in 2008. Haye’s first world title win came in the year before when he defeated Jean Marc Mormeck to win the unified WBA and WBC title, following it up with a win over then-WBO champion Enzo Maccarinelli.
His time as the cruiserweight division’s top boxer was short-lived as he soon made the jump to heavyweight to become a world champion in that weight class. He achieved that in 2009 when he won a majority decision over Nikolay Valuev to win the WBA world heavyweight title, becoming the second man in boxing history to win a cruiserweight and heavyweight world titles.
That fight would be one of the major highlights of his career, a modern day David vs. Goliath fight as Valuev had a nine-inch and 99-pound size advantage over Haye.
After two successful title defenses in 2010 against John Ruiz and Audley Harrison (in which Haye won by TKO), Haye fought Wladimir Klitschko in the biggest bout of his career, losing a unanimous decision in 2011. Klitschko dominated the fight against Haye and it essentially ended Haye’s run at the top as Haye was not at the level of skill as the other world champions at heavyweight.
The writing appeared to be on the wall and Haye looked like he would retire from the sport (after all, he always planned to retire relatively early), but after Dereck Chisora lost to then-WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, Haye crashed a post-fight press conference which led to Haye fighting Chisora in front over 40,000 spectators in London in 2012. Haye won the fight by TKO and it would be the last time we see Haye for years.
After numerous fight cancelations, injuries and even trainer changes, it seemed like Haye would be gone for good. It wasn’t until 2016 when we got to see Haye in the ring. Once Haye bounced back from his spinal surgery, Haye won his next two fights against Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj, but he wouldn’t rise back to true prominence until the end of 2016 when he called out then-cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew.
Bellew and Haye had their grudge match in 2017 with Bellew coming out on top and Haye suffering a torn Achilles in the fight. The two were slated to fight in a rematch late last year, but Haye suffered a torn biceps which delayed the fight until this past May 5. In the rematch, Bellew knocked Haye down multiple times before the referee stopped the bout in the fifth round. Haye entertained retirement talks in the post-fight interview, but wouldn’t commit to retirement, saying he would need to think it over in the coming weeks.
The 37-year-old Haye ends a career that started in 2002 with a 28-4 (26 KO) professional record. In 2008, Haye founded his own boxing promotional company, Hayemaker Promotions. The full statement can be read at this link.