Fightful Boxing Newsletter (8/8/2019): Canelo Alvarez/GBP, Kownacki vs. Arreola Results, More

Fightful Boxing Newsletter (8/8/2019) Table Of Contents:

  1. Latest On Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions (Page 1)
  2. WBC Suspends Dillian Whyte (Page 2)
  3. Adam Kownacki vs. Chris Arreola Results (Page 3)
  4. Michael Conlan vs. Diego Alberto Ruiz Results (Page 4)
  5. News And Notes From The World Of Boxing (Page 5)
UFC Vegas 41: Costa vs. Vettori Weigh-In Results

Latest On Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions:

Canelo Alvarez’s lost his IBF middleweight title, but more importantly, it appears that his relationship with promoter Golden Boy Promotions is at least somewhat strained.

The issue that is causing the rift between Alvarez and GBP stems from the way Alvarez was stripped of his IBF middleweight title on August 1 as well as the overall nature of certain aspects of his nine-figure, multi-year contract to fight exclusively on DAZN.

An article from Gabe Oppenheim claimed that Alvarez never wanted Golden Boy Promotions to promise DAZN a potential third fight with Gennadiy Golovkin when the two sides were discussing a potential deal last year in the aftermath of his contract with HBO being over. Yet, when DAZN announced that it signed Golovkin to a multi-year deal as well, the understanding was that a third fight against Alvarez was a matter of when, not if it will ever happen.

It even seemed like it would be the case in June when both sides entered negotiations for a third fight, but things quickly hit a snag for a number of reasons. The main reason for the fight falling apart is the location. Alvarez wanted the fight to be in Las Vegas, where all parties stood to make the most amount of money, while Golovkin wanted the fight to take place elsewhere because he doesn't trust the judging in Las Vegas when it comes to Alvarez. After all, the first two fights were in Las Vegas and many believed Golovkin won in the cards on both fights, yet the reality was that he was ahead on just one of the six official scorecards between those two fights.

That trilogy fell through (for now), but then came another issue. When DAZN signed Golovkin earlier this year, it came with a promise that there would be a third fight with Alvarez (since Oscar De La Hoya had already promised DAZN a trilogy bout). Now there's no guarantee if the fight will ever happen and Golovkin's team have now sent the streaming service a letter about the violation.

Another issue came with the failed negotiations of the Golovkin trilogy fight being that the IBF would order Alvarez to fight mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko. That fight had been ordered before but it was strictly enforced in early July with a purse bid date already set. It seemed inevitable that Alvarez would vacate the title in order to pursue other fights in the fall and that idea was only strengthened by the fact that, up until the final days before the purse bid, Golden Boy Promotions didn't negotiate with Derevyanchenko's promoter Lou DiBella in any way, shape or form.

Alvarez claimed that Golden Boy Promotions did some sort of deal behind his back regarding the negotiations with Derevyanchenko, but the deadline came and went and there was still no fight deal made or even a step-aside deal that would allow Alvarez to keep his belt and fight someone other than his mandatory.

The IBF then took action (as expected) and stripped Alvarez of the middleweight title. The main twitter account for GBP, released the following statement denouncing the IBF for its actions and threatened to move forward with legal action.

“We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title. We have been in serious negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s promoter. We offered his team an unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his limited stature and limited popularity, but the truth is that I’m now certain they never had any intention of making a deal. But instead they wanted to force us to relinquish Canelo’s belt. This is an insult to boxing and more important an insult to the boxing fans of the world. This decision validates already existing concerns about the credibility of the IBF championship. Canelo inherited a mandatory challenger by defeating Daniel Jacobs, the man who beat Derevyanchenko, so to strip him of his title without giving him enough time to make the best fight possible is truly what is wrong with boxing, and I plan to aggressively consider all legal legal actions possibly.”

Yet, the day after, a tweet from Alvarez’s official account painted a different tale, saying he was unaware of any deal that Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Robert Diaz had made, though did not specify the specifics of said deal.

This prompted De La Hoya to post a tweet in response to Alvarez’s initial tweet, defending Diaz.

As for what is next for the fate of the title, the IBF has officially ordered Golovkin and Derevyanchenko to fight for the middleweight title. IBF championships chairman Carlos Ortiz Jr. wrote in a letter to Alex Dombroff, the attorney for Derevyanchenko promoter Lou DiBella, and John Hornewer, the attorney representing Golovkin's GGG Promotions.

"The IBF middleweight title was declared vacant on August 1, 2019. The IBF is therefore ordering that a bout take place between the two highest ranked contenders to fill this vacancy," Ortiz said.

The IBF title has been in the middle of a near 18-month saga involving all three fighters. Golovkin held the title in early 2018 but was stripped of the belt for also not negotiating a deal with Derevyanchenko in favor of a rematch against Alvarez. Derevyanchenko would go on to lose to Daniel Jacobs last October in New York with the then-vacant title on the line. Alvarez won the IBF title when he defeated Jacobs this past May.

The recent issues that has come to light between Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions have shown that relationship is damaged, though how damaged it is remains to be seen. It's still entirely possible for the two sides to patch things up and work it out, but now it has to deliver Alvarez, and DAZN, a massive fight next that may not happen until December.

Right now, the likeliest scenario for Alvarez's next fight is either a unification bout with WBO champion Demetrius Andrade or against WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Though Kovalev has a fight later this month against Anthony Yarde, Alvarez would be willing to wait until after Kovalev's fight to make that bout possible at the end of the year.

For now, it seems like it will still be a long waiting game to hear anything truly concrete on when and who will Alvarez fight next.

WBC Suspends Dillian Whyte:

News of Dillian Whyte failing a drug test just days before a fight against Oscar Rivas has the WBC suspending Whyte’s status as interim heavyweight champion.

It had been previously reported that Whyte tested positive for epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone, two metabolites of the banned drug Dianabol. After the positive tests were revealed, the British Boxing Board of Control cleared Whyte to fight Rivas for the interim title and a spot as the mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder's WBC title. However, Rivas' camp wasn't made aware of the failed drug test until after the fight had occurred. The WBC has taken action against Whyte and suspended his standing as the interim champion and Wilder's mandatory. Below is the full statement from the WBC:

"An 'A' Sample UKAD collected from Mr. Dillian Whyte in relation with his bout against Oscar Rivas yielded an adverse finding. In light of that adverse finding, and pending the outcome of the WBC’s own investigation and adjudicatory process, the WBC is provisionally suspending the WBC’s recognition of Dillian Whyte as WBC Interim World Heavyweight Champion and Mandatory Challenger of the division. The WBC has notified Mr. Whyte and his team of the WBC’s suspension, and that it will afford Mr. Whyte the opportunity to present its position to the WBC at an investigative hearing which will take place at a place and time to be announced in the near future. Throughout its investigation and hearing, the WBC will afford Mr. Whyte and his team the opportunity to present any available information and materials, and any exculpatory evidence they might deem appropriate."

Whyte would go on to defeat Rivas by unanimous decision in the main event of a Matchroom Boxing card taking place at The O2 Arena in London. Whyte has also gone to social media to vaguely respond to the news, saying that he "won that fight and square."

Adam Kownacki vs. Chris Arreola Results:

If 2019 has shown us anything aside from the numerous upsets that we’ve seen on a seemingly-regular basis, it’s that the heavyweight division is so much deeper than simply Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.

While Andy Ruiz Jr. and Oleksandr Usyk have crashed the division for multiple reasons, Adam Kownacki became the latest to do so with a massively entertaining win against Chris Arreola in the main event of the August 3 PBC on FOX telecast from the Barclays Center.

The fight was a record-breaking slugfest that saw more than 2,000 total punches being thrown between the two and Kownacki won the bout by unanimous decision. Now standing with a 20-0 record, Kownacki has now entered the conversation as the division’s next contender.

While a win over a past-his-prime Arreola doesn’t really tell you whether or not Kownacki can beat the top four heavyweights today (Joshua, Wilder, Fury and Andy Ruiz Jr.), there is a lot to like about what Kownacki did in and out of the ring.

To some skeptics, Kownacki might not still be at the level of those four or ever reach that level. Questions that still revolve around Kownacki such as facing a physical specimen like Joshua, the ability to take a right hand from Wilder, dealing with the deceptively fast hands of Ruiz or keeping up with the very agile and mobile Fury will always be thrown until Kownacki actually faces them.

As for everything else, Kownacki passed with flying colors. He showed that he can fight at a high pace past eight and 10 rounds, can provide incredibly fun slugfest and even worked on his stamina a bit since the Charles Martin fight last year, a fight that I personally enjoyed but got concerned over Kownacki’s stamina.

Outside of the ring, Kownacki proved that he is without a doubt a draw in New York. Kownacki being on the card alone added more than 2,000 tickets, which could mean upwards of $200,000 in ticket sales, which is damn impressive for someone who some still don’t even consider a top 10 heavyweight yet. The FOX broadcast averaged 1.301 million viewers and drew a 0.81 household rating. Those numbers are the highest viewership and ratings for a boxing card televised in the United States since the May 11 PBC on FOX card when Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams averaged 1.385 million viewers and a 0.89 rating.

August 3 PBC on FOX Results:

Adam Kownacki defeated Chris Arreola by unanimous decision (118-110, 117-111, 117-111): Both men ended up throwing more than 1,000 punches each throughout the 12 rounds and landing hundreds of them on each other's face. According to Compubox, the fight broke the record for most punches thrown (2,172) and landed (667). Starting off, Kownacki used the jab to set up a flurry of punches while Arreola simply countered by throwing his own sets of combination punches. Kownacki managed to stagger Arreola in the second round but Arreola was able to recover. Kownacki would also find success in landing the overhand right as the fight progressed. The 12th round saw both men leave everything on the line, throwing big punches left and right and forcing each other to engage in the middle of the ring at times. The crowd at the Barclays Center was on its feet when the fight ended, giving a standing ovation to the two heavyweight sluggers.

Jean Pascal defeated Marcus Browne by technical decision (75-74, 75-74, 75-74) to win the Interim WBA light heavyweight title: After three knockdowns scored by Pascal, it was actually an accidental clash of heads that would stop the fight in the eighth round. With the reason for the fight's stoppage being an accidental foul, the fight went to a technical decision where all three judges scored the fight 75-74 in favor of Pascal. Browne had dominated the fight in nearly all but the two rounds where Pascal dropped Browne. The first knockdown came in the fourth round when Pascal landed a perfect right-hand counter to Browne, immediately knocking him down. Browne recovered and proceeded to outbox Pascal for most of the remainder of the fight until Browne was knocked down twice more in the seventh round. The 36-year-old Pascal, once the WBC world champion, is now the interim WBA titleholder while Dmitry Bivol, the last man to beat Pascal when they faced off in August 2018, is the full champion.

Wale Omotoso defeated Curtis Stevens by TKO, round 3: Omotoso scored three knockdowns on Stevens, ruining Stevens' debut at 154 pounds. Omotoso dropped Stevens in the first, second and third round before the referee waved off the fight. Stevens had one last chance at turning the fight around early in round three when he staggered Omotoso and had him on the ropes until Omotoso landed a counter right hand and end the fight at that point.The fight was added to the broadcast after Andre Berto's fight against Miguel Cruz was scrapped due to Berto suffering a torn bicep tendon. The fight between Browne and Pascal was elevated to the co-main event while Stevens vs. Omotoso was bumped up to the main card.

Michael Conlan vs. Diego Alberto Ruiz Results:

Michael Conlan’s homecoming fight was a success as he continued his march up the featherweight rankings.

Returning to his home nation of Northern Ireland on August 3, Conlan stopped replacement opponent Diego Alberto Ruiz in the ninth round to walk away as the WBO Intercontinental and WBA Intercontinental 126-pound titles. Conlan obliterated Ruiz with body shots, ultimately stopping him right as the round was about to end, improving his pro record to 12-0.

From the opening bell, Conlan dominated Ruiz, outboxing his opponent with body shots and short combination upstairs while making Ruiz miss nearly 90 percent of his punches. In fact, Ruiz had only landed just 32 total punches throughout the bout. Conlan was originally supposed to fight Vladimir Nikitin, who infamously beat Conlan in the 2016 Olympics with a dubious decision, but Nikitin suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw from the bout.

The fight headlined an ESPN+ broadcast that also featured a number of Irish fighters in action. The co-main event was a controversial one as Chris Jenkins ended up beating Paddy Gallagher by technical decision with nine rounds scored. Jenkins walked away from the BBBofC British and Commonwealth welterweight titles with scores of 86-85 across the board.

The fight was stopped due to a cut over Jenkins’ left eye that was ruled to be caused by an accidental clash despite replays showing it was more likely caused by a punch landed from Gallagher. Though nine rounds were scored, the ninth round was only barely halfway completed before the bout was stopped.

Below are quick results of the August 2 Top Rank on ESPN+ card from Belfast, Northern Ireland:

  • Michael Conlan defeated Alberto Ruiz by TKO, round 9 to retain the WBO Intercontinental featherweight title and win the WBA Intercontinental welterweight title
  • Chris Jenkins defeated Paddy Gallagher by technical unanimous decision, round 9 (86-85, 86-85, 86-85) to retain the BBBofC British welterweight title and win the Commonwealth welterweight title
  • Luke Keeler defeated Luis Arias by points (96-91)
  • Sean McComb defeated Renald Garrido by points (79-73)
  • Padraig McCrory defeated Steve Collins Jr. by TKO, round 8 to win the BUI Celtic super middleweight title

News And Notes From The World Of Boxing:

- The highly-anticipated rematch between Julian Williams and Jarrett Hurd for the unified WBA and IBF (and vacant Ring Magazine) junior middleweight titles is expected to take place December 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and televised on FOX, first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic. The fight is nearly 100 percent finalized but there is the matter of drug testing which Williams has been a big supporter of. Based on a tweet from Williams, Hurd has yet to enroll in 365-day drug testing administered by the Voluntary Anti-Drug Agency. Though there is no reason to even suspect Hurd of taking performance enhancing drugs, it should be noted that not many fighters have this requirement that Williams has in regards to drug testing.

The first fight between the two in May did solid viewership numbers on FOX and this was during a period where the network did not have football to use as a marketing tool. With October, November and December being the final months of the NFL regular season, this fight will more than likely be the focus of a lot of FOX marketing during football games. It’s a fact that boxing fights on FOX generally have more viewers when it had FOX market during football season. It worked wonders for the December 2018 and January 2019 PBC on FOX cards that also took place at the Barclays Center. Expect the rematch to end up being somewhere north of 1.8 million viewers with a peak viewership of more than 2 million. As for the fight itself, their first encounter was a tremendous fight and the rematch should also deliver on another potential Fight of the Year candidate.

- First reported by Coppinger, the World Boxing Super Series announced that the bantamweight finals between IBF champion Naoya Inoue and WBA champion Nonito Donaire will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on November 7. This would bring the end of the bantamweight portion of the second season of the global tournament which has final bouts at junior welterweight and cruiserweight set to take place in the coming months, though they have yet to be announced. From a live attendance standpoint, it is a fantastic spot to put the bout in Japan, where Inoue has quickly grown to be arguably the biggest boxing star in the country and Donaire is a popular fighter pretty much anywhere. The combination of Inoue and Donaire in a unification bout will likely draw extremely well. Although this is probably a massive coincidence, but that fight date would be 22 days before it would have been 10 years to the day that Daisuke Naito fought Koki Kameda for the WBC flyweight title in what was one of the biggest boxing fights in Japan of the 2000s and it also took place at the Saitama Super Arena.

From a global live viewing standpoint, this would almost assuredly mean a dreadful morning start time for U.S. fans on DAZN, even worse given that it is taking place on a Thursday. It’s interesting that, although Inoue has yet to fight on primetime in the United States’ time throughout the tournament, he’s been by far the talk of the bantamweight division. If rumors of Inoue possibly linking up with Top Rank if he wins the tournament are true, then they could potentially have a bonafide superstar if they market him properly in the United States. Of course, after the tournament’s done, the only fight that would be left for Inoue to have that would be an absolute can’t miss fight is Luis Nery. The problem here is that Nery is signed to Premier Boxing Champions. Top Rank does have notable bantamweights in Joshua Greer Jr. and Jason Moloney as potential challengers, but the latter has yet to fight on a Top Rank card and Greer is probably best suited to developing himself for another year before facing Inoue. Greer has been getting a good push by Top Rank and ESPN and his gimmick of bringing a custom-made pillow into the ring for his fights is one that both parties love to highlight and hope that puts him as a star. Regardless of what’s next for Inoue, the fight against Donaire isn’t exactly the toughest fight he’s had throughout his career, but it is the biggest name he’s faced, so a win will only further solidify what will undoubtedly be a first-ballot Hall of Fame career.

- With rising Puerto Rican star Jeyvier Cintron becoming the latest boxer to become the mandatory challenger to the WBO super flyweight title, currently held by Kazuto Ioka, talks between both sides have already begun. Cintron’s journey to a title shot this year has been a strange one to say the least. Back in May, Cintron and Koki Eto had their title eliminator end in the first round after it was initially ruled that Cintron was knocked out by Eto. Upon further review, it was revealed that Eto actually headbutted Cintron’s chin which caused him to get knocked out. When watching the fight live, the camera angle made it seem like it was an Eto punch that ended the fight, hence the confusion. The two sides had their rematch in Kissimmee, Florida in early August with Cintron dominating the bout and even dropped Eto early.

The fight will more than likely take place in Japan, unless Cintron’s camp makes a really good offer for the fight to be brought into either the United States or Puerto Rico, where it could potentially be a hot ticket seller (though putting it at the 18,500-seat Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan and expecting to sell out would be too tall a task).

The real battle will be which promotion gets the rights to broadcast the fight. Ioka’s North American promoter is Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions, which would mean a spot on DAZN if he got the rights to that fight while Cintron’s co-promoters are Top Rank and Puerto Rico Best Boxing Promotions, the former of which bats for ESPN and ESPN+. Ioka is almost guaranteed a spot in the International Boxing Hall of Fame after winning world titles in four different weight classes while Cintron is perhaps Puerto Rico’s best prospect after all other prospects either ended up flopping when looking to make the climb towards contendership (Felix Verdejo and Jose Martinez) or ended up winning world titles only to then lose it at some point this year (Jesus Rojas, Alberto Machado, Angel Acosta). Cintron will not only have the pressure of fighting Ioka, but also the weight of an entire country which is not only undergoing a very weak period of boxing, but also a time of extreme political turmoil.

- Oscar Valdez has officially vacated his WBO featherweight title as he will pursue a title moving up to super featherweight. After a purse bid scheduled for last week for a title fight between Valdez and mandatory challenger Shakur Stevenson saw Top Rank won the auction with a $1.5 million bif, Valdez has gone on to vacate the belt instead of fighting Stevenson. The move was expected, however, after Valdez and manager Frank Espinosa have stated that they were not interested in such a fight and would only remain at featherweight if he got a unification bout against fellow titleholder Josh Warrington. With the title now vacant, the WBO has ordered Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez, the next highest ranked available contender, to reach a deal to fight for the vacant belt. Both sides have 30 days from August 6, which would fall on September 5, to do just that or else a purse bid will be issued.

Should negotiations stall and a purse bid be issued, the minimum bid will be $150,000. Valdez, who represented Mexico in the 2012 Olympics, has held the WBO title since July 2016 when he stopped Matias Rueda in the second round. Since then, Valdez has made six successful title defenses with wins over Miguel Marriaga and Scott Quigg. Valdez most recently retained his title with a unanimous decision win over Jason Sanchez this past June in Reno, Nevada. Stevenson, a silver medalist in the 2016 Olympics, had a rapid ascent to the top of the contender’s list with 12 straight wins and a number of regional titles. Stevenson, ranked in the top five by the WBA, WBO and IBF, is coming off a TKO win over Alberto Guevara in Stevenson's hometown of Newark, New Jersey on July 13. Gonzalez, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, is also undefeated as a pro, winning all 23 of his fights. The 25-year-old Gonzalez is coming off a sixth-round stoppage win over Manuel Avila in July to capture the WBA Continental and WBO Global featherweight titles.

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