Boxing News And Notes

- Andrew Cancio's first title defense as the sole WBA super featherweight champion appears to be set. First reported by Boxing Scene, Cancio will defend his WBA title against mandatory challenger Rene Alvarado on an upcoming Golden Boy Promotions card on November 23. The fight will headline the event, to be streamed on DAZN, taking place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. This will be Cancio's second defense of the belt since he won it by knocking out Alberto Machado in February. Cancio, who held the WBA's "Regular" version of the title, would later defend the title this summer when he stopped Machado in a rematch. Since then, Gervonta Davis would go on to vacate the WBA "Super" title in order to move up to lightweight, leaving Cancio as the only WBA world champion at super featherweight. A fight against Alvarado was one Cancio had been looking forward to, even before the rematch against Machado. Cancio previously told Fightful that he was going to have a fight against Alvarado given that the two share history in the ring and that Alvarado won a title eliminator against Carlos Morales last year. In their first fight back in 2015, Cancio defeated Alvarado by stopping him in the eighth round. Also on the card is Chinese boxing star Can Xu defending his WBA "Regular" featherweight title against unbeaten contender Manny Robles III. Xu first won the title back in January with a dominant win over Jesus Rojas in Texas, but then defended the belt in May against Shun Kubo on a boxing card in China. Robles has won all 18 of his pro bouts, capturing the NABF title in June 2018. Robles is also currently ranked No. 4 by the WBA at 126 pounds.

- The last 10 months have been eventful for the IBF minimumweight title and now a third man has won the belt in that span. On a boxing card promoted by Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines, Pedro Taduran came from behind to beat Samuel Salva and capture the vacant 105-pound title. Taduran stopped Salva after four rounds and being knocked down in the first round. Taduran, who previously challenged for the WBC title back in 2018, is now the third titleholder since December. The title was vacant after DeeJay Kriel, the previous titleholder who won the belt back in February, vacated it in order to move up in weight and become a two-division champion. Also on that card was flyweight title contender Giemel Magramo stopping Richard Claveras to extend his win streak to seven fights. Magramo was originally supposed to be fighting Komgrich Nantapech in an IBF flyweight title eliminator, but Nantapech pulled out of the fight right before the event due to food poisoning.

- Matchroom Boxing Italy's show is announced, set for October 11 in Trento. Here are the title fights set:

  • Fabio Turchi vs. Tommy McCarthy: WBC International Silver cruiserweight title title
  • Kamil Szeremeta vs. Matteo Signani: EBU European middleweight title
  • Francesco Grandelli vs. Reece Bellotti: WBC International Silver featherweight title

- Magomedrasul Majidov has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA. The former amateur champion will make his pro debut on September 13 at the Madison Square Garden show headlined by Devin Haney vs. Zaur Abdullaev for the interim WBC lightweight title on DAZN.

- Irish amateur standout Paddy Donovan will make his pro debut on an MTK Global show on October 11 at Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The card will be streamed on ESPN+ in the United States.

- Miguel Cotto Promotions will have a card in San Juan, Puerto Rico on October 5 with the following fights confirmed:

  • Danielito Zorilla vs. Mexican Jesus Perez for the Interim WBO NABO Jr. welterweight title
  • Carlos Buitrago vs. Israel Vazquez for the vacant WBO Latino light flyweight title
  • Juan Carlos Camacho vs. Lucas Fernandez

- The rematch between Julian Williams and Jarrett Hurd for the unified WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles, which was planned for December but never officially announced, is off according to a report by Boxing Scene. It almost seemed like the fight was a lock, but one theory that is more of a product of poor timing than it being a concrete idea is that Hurd was not comfortable with Williams' demand for true, random drug testing administered by VADA. Really, the reason for the fight not happening could be anyone's guess and only the fighters and their camps truly know what caused the fight to fall through, but it is expected that Williams will still fight around December, but no names have been brought up. One fight that has slowly gotten traction on social media would be one between Williams and Danny Garcia as they are both from Philadelphia. Garcia is a welterweight but has talked about moving up to junior middleweight for months, so it wouldn't be that much of a surprise if it does get made, but the probability of this being the replacement bout still seem a bit low.

- Kendo Castaneda will take on Stan Martyniouk in the main event of a RJJ Boxing/Joey Gilbert Promotions show at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada on October 25. The fight will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

- Nicola Adams will defend her WBO Female flyweight title against Maria Salinas on the undercard of Daniel Dubois vs. Ebenezer Tetteh taking place September 27 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This will be her first title defense since being elevated from interim titleholder to full champion weeks ago. The WBO ruled that Arely Mucino’s reign as the WBO champion is over after she was unable to get ready to fight Adams in a WBO-mandated title bout in September due to injury. Mucino suffered the injury in a car accident in Puerto Rico weeks ago and is expected to be out of action until November at the earliest. Originally, Mucino and Adams were going to fight in March, but Adams suffered an injury that postponed the bout. With the bout then planned for this September and Mucino suffering the injury some time ago, the WBO decided to simply strip her of her title and elevate Adams. Although Mucino is no longer champion, she does have the right to request the organization to be named the mandatory challenger for the flyweight title when she returns to active competition.

- The annual Matchroom Boxing show in Monaco will take place at Casino de Monte-Carlo on November 30 with fights to be announced in the coming weeks. The 2018 show had Kal Yafai, Denis Lebedev, Michael Hunter, Meng Fanlong, Daniyar Yeleussinov and Frank Buglioni’s final fight. Expect none of those names to fight on this year's card, but if one were to guess, expect at least a world title fight on the card, if not a fight with world title implications on it. Typically, the Monaco show isn't exactly an "Event of the Year" type of show, but given how unique the setting is, they are always worth a watch with several notable names typically competing.

- Former WBA “Regular” super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding will have his first fight of 2019 on an MTK Global card November 15 at Liverpool’s Olympia. Fielding was supposed to fight in July, but suffered a toe injury weeks before the event. The card will be streamed on ESPN+. No undercard is set but given the name at the top of the card, expect MTK Global to make this an above average club show, which could make this a borderline must-see show if you're a fan of UK boxing.

- As if things couldn't have taken a stranger turn when it comes to British legend Nigel Benn, not only is he actually following through with him coming out of retirement, but an opponent might have been found for the 55-year-old former world champion. It had been teased that a former WBC world champion will be Benn's opponent and that turned out to be Sakio Bika, per a report from the Daily Mail. The fight is set to take place November 23 at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena. It's a very bizarre set of circumstances given that Bika has not fought since 2017 and Benn hasn't fought since 1996.

- Unbeaten cruiserweight prospect Lawrence Okolie has vacated his British title, which meant the British Boxing Board of Control has ordered a fight for the vacant title: Jack Massey vs. Richard Riakporhe with a purse bid set for October 9. As part of the ruling, the fight must take before the end of January 2020. In other British title news, Joshua Buatsi has vacated his British title, but unlike the cruiserweight title, the BBBofC has not made a decision on which two fighters will fight for the vacant belt.

- As for the BBBofC English titles, a number of divisions have been given updates. The super middleweight belt is now vacant with a title eliminator between Micahel Ellison and Charlie Schofield taking place September 28 in Bolton, England. In the middleweight division, a fight between titleholder Jack Cullen and Linus Udofia has gone to purse bids with the bids taking place on September 18. The fight must take place by the end of December 2019. On the super bantamweight division, a title eliminator between Muheeb Fazeldin and Josh Kennedy has been postponed until November 30 at York Hall in London due to Kennedy suffering an injury.

- Sky Sports has secured the U.K. broadcast rights to the Golden Contract tournaments that MTK Global is organizing and set to begin in the coming weeks. The tournaments will pit eight boxers from the featherweight, junior welterweight and light heavyweight divisions with the winners of each tournament receiving a two-year, five-fight deal with MTK Global with six-figure purses in each fight. The twist in this tournament is that all eight fighters in one division will compete on the same card starting off, but the exact matchups won't be known until fight week. The tournament rosters look like this:

Featherweight:

  • Ryan Walsh
  • Leigh Wood
  • Jazza Dickens
  • Davey Oliver Joyce
  • Tyrone McCullagh
  • Hairon Socarras
  • Carlos Araujo
  • Carlos Ramos

Junior Welterweight:

  • Anthony Yigit
  • Mohamed Mimoune
  • Ohara Davies
  • Zhankosh Turarov
  • Tyrone McKenna
  • Akeem Ennis Brown
  • Darren Surtees

Light Heavyweight:

  • Hosea Burton
  • Bob Ajisafe
  • Steven Ward
  • Liam Conroy
  • Serge Michel

- Top Rank has announced that Crystina Poncher will now do play-by-play commentary for all ESPN+ undercard and international broadcasts. This isn't surprising given how impressive Poncher has been on commentary for months. In reality, Poncher is slowly starting to make a case for being one of the best play-by-play broadcasters in U.S. boxing today and the reception from social media has always been overwhelmingly positive. Poncher and Brian "BoMac" McIntyre have always been a solid duo on commentary and is really half the reason to check on the ESPN+ undercards for these Top Rank Boxing cards.

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