News And Notes From The World Of Boxing:
Golden Boy Promotions has signed WBC minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin to a promotional deal.
The signing gives the company arguably the 105-pound division’s top fighter and gives him a chance to have his first pro bout in the United States. Menayothin, whose real name is Chayaphon Moonsri, not only sports one of the longest active world title reigns, but also the longest active win streak with 53 ever since making his pro debut back in 2017.
In August 2018, Menayothin defeated Pedro Taduran by unanimous decision to win his 51st consecutive fight, breaking a tie with the 50-0 Floyd Mayweather Jr. who retired in 2017. The 33-year-old Menayothin has held the WBC title since 2014 and made 11 successful defenses. His most recent fight took place on May 31 when he defeated Tatsuya Fukuhara by unanimous decision in a title rematch of their November 2017 fight that also saw Menayothin win by unanimous decision.
The company also announced the signing of Romanian heavyweight Mihai Nistor. The 28-year-old Nistor’s amateur career is perhaps best highlighted by a win over former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua during the 39th European Amateur Boxing Championships in 2011.
Nistor also competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in the super heavyweight division. During his impressive amateur career, he has faced the likes of Joshua, Filip Hrgovic, Tony Yoka, Guido Vianello, Zhang Zhilei and more. No date was announced for Nistor’s professional debut.
Kubrat Pulev is now eligible to apply for a boxing license in the United States after complying with the California State Athletic Commission in the aftermath of him kissing a reporter on the lips without consent.
Back in May, after a win over Bogdan Dinu in the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card, Pulev was interviewed by Jennifer Ravala (a.k.a. Jennifer Sushe) and during the interview, Pulev kissed her out of nowhere. After Ravalo hired attorney Gloria Allred, the commission suspended Pulev, fined him and ordered him to complete a course on sexual harassment. The sexual harassment course needed to be completed before Pulev can apply for a license, which he did. On July 22, Pulev went to the commission and is now able to return to the ring.
Ivaylo Gotzev of Epic Sports, the company that co-promotes Pulev alongside Top Rank, told ESPN that Pulev is now focused on his next fight and a potential shot at a world title down the road.
"It was good hearing. Everybody's side was heard again and the bottom line is Kubrat Pulev has complied over and above what was requested of him. The more important part is Kubrat Pulev wants to do more in the future. The whole world has an opinion on this situation and we want to educate and show by example how things should be handled and how athletes should behave. This was a lesson well learned and now we want to help others not make a mistake like this one. Kubrat is a great person and wants to help others. He's going to educate others how they should act in these situations,” Gotzev said.
Pulev is currently the mandatory challenger to the IBF heavyweight title currently being held by Andy Ruiz Jr. Pulev was the mandatory challenger all the way back in 2017, but weeks before he got his title shot against Anthony Joshua, Pulev suffered an injury and withdrew from the bout. Prior to the win over Dinu, Pulev won a title eliminator against Hughie Fury in October 2018.
Jorge Linares is coming back to Japan later this year.
The former lightweight world champion will be returning to the ring on a Korakuen Hall show in Tokyo on September 7, per an announcement made by Teiken Promotions, Linares’ Japanese promoter. No opponent for Linares was mentioned in the announcement.
This will be Linares’ first fight in Japan since December 2014 when he knocked out Javier Prieto in the fourth round to capture the WBC lightweight title. Linares, who was born and raised in Venezuela, traveled to Japan to start out his pro career under the tutelage of the Teiken Boxing Gym and would fight in Japan in 18 of his first 23 pro bouts. Despite the many fights in Japan, Linares has only ever faced two boxers native to the country — Thunder Ito in 2003 and Nihito Arakawa in 2014.
Linares has held multiple world titles throughout his career, winning belts across three different weight classes. After winning the WBC featherweight title in 2007, Linares moved up to super featherweight the following year, winning the WBA title with a fifth-round win over Whyber Garcia. After an unsuccessful attempt at winning a lightweight world title in 2011, Linares got to become a three-division champion in 2014 with the win over Prieto. The 33-year-old then won the WBA title in 2016 and after three successful title defenses, he would lose the title to Vasiliy Lomachenko in May 2018.
Now without a belt, Linares went to campaign at junior welterweight and even won a bounce back fight against Abner Cotto last September. His last fight saw him lose to Pablo Cesar Cano in a shocking first-round stoppage this past January at Madison Square Garden as part of the undercard for a DAZN card headlined by Demetrius Andrade’s WBO middleweight title defense against Artur Akavov.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is returning to the ring for real this time.
After more than two years of inactivity and multiple failed attempts at returning to the ring, Chavez Jr. will in fact return to action on August 10 in Mexico on a card promoted by Zanfer Promotions. The former middleweight world champion will take on journeyman Evert Bravo although the weight class has yet to be officially announced.
Chavez Jr., the son of legendary Mexican fighter Julio Cesar Chavez, has not fought since losing a lopsided 12-round decision against Canelo Alvarez in May 2017. Since then, Chavez has stayed out of the spotlight except in moments where it was heavily implied that he would return and in one instance where he was set to fight only for his bout to be called off.
That one fight was against Alfredo Angulo in December 2018 and was set to be part of a Showtime-televised card that served to lead in to a pay-per-view card headlined by Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury. The fight was canceled after Chavez reportedly missed a commission-ordered medical appointment and his team stated that he was physically ready to return.
The 33-year-old Mexican once held the WBC middleweight title from 2011 to 2012, defeating the likes of Andy Lee and Marco Antonio Rubio only to lose his belt against Sergio Martinez.
Bravo, a 34-year-old Colombian fighter who has competed at both super middleweight and light heavyweight, has suffered three losses, all by knockout, in his last four fights. Bravo did snap his three-fight skid on June 22 with a win over Luis Gonzalez in Colombia.
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