As is so often the case, this week provided a few examples of unfortunate turns in the lives of boxers and a few matchups that are unfortunate turns for the sport.
This week saw two high profile boxers being sought by the authorities, but for very different reasons. Victor Ortiz had a warrant issued for his arrest after he violated his probation stemming from a 2016 DUI. Ortiz failed to check in with his probation officer, then did not show up for a court appointment, resulting in the warrant. Ortiz’s career, and to some extent his life, have been a shame for such a likeable young man. After being stopped by Marcos Maidana in 2009, Ortiz famously declared “I was hurt, I'm not going to go out on my back; I'm not going to lay down for nobody. I'd rather stop while I'm ahead. That way I can speak well when I'm older. We'll see what happens from here on out [in regard to his future in the ring]. I'm young, but I don't think I deserve to be getting beat up like this so I have a lot of thinking to do.” Nine years later, it’s tough not to wish he had.
On the other end of the wanted-man spectrum, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the man who forced Shakur Stevenson into wearing silver, Robeisy Ramirez, abandoned the Cuban national boxing team during a trip to a training camp in Aguascalientes, Mexico. It is believed he is defecting to pursue a professional career, likely at flyweight where he competed at the amateur level.
From the files of “I’ll believe it when I see it,” Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports that he will be signing the contract for an April 13th fight between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, while Shelley Finkel noted that the Joshua team claimed they wanted to fight Wilder before, and that claim ended up being a scam.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin was backstage for the UFC fight between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic, where he gave an interview where he stated that him taking an MMA fight was a real possibility. It’s not, but he said it was so there you go.
Speaking of MMA, ONE Championship, the famed Singapore-based MMA promotion announced they would be entering the world of boxing by holding a mixed card -- including muay thai, boxing and MMA fights -- on October 6th that will be called “One: Kingdom of Heroes.” The company has already signed their headliner for that card, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the junior bantamweight king and No. 7-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world per ESPN’s rankings. This was not the only good news coming out of the world of Asian boxing, as Japan’s Naoya “Monster” Inoue officially joined the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, making him the prohibitive favorite to win the whole thing.
As seen at the top of this column, Vasyl Lomachenko posted on Instagram that he will be returning to the ring on August 25th, but gave no indication of who his opponent would be. However, there were many other, official fights announced this week.
Tyson Fury will be returning to the ring on August 18th to face Francesco Pianeta. Pianeta likely has no chance, having lost to guys like Wladimir Klitschko, Ruslan Chagaev and Kevin Johnson. But in 2012, he defeated Frans Botha and Oliver McCall, so if somebody makes a time machine and heads back to the late 1990s, this kid will be an absolute killer.
On either October 20 or October 27, HBO will air the fight for the IBF middleweight championship -- which “GGG” was stripped of for facing Vanes Martirosyan -- between Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Interestingly, Jacobs and Derevyanchko are both trained by Andre Rozier, and are frequent sparring partners, but Rozier has stated he will be training Jacobs for the fight as he has known Jacobs since the fighter was fourteen years old. Derevyanchko is undefeated, having knocked out ten of his twelve opponents, and should offer Jacobs a solid test about a month after the GGG-Canelo rematch.
Coming off of his solid performance what was ultimately a knockout loss to Deontay Wilder, Beltran won a formerly vacant 135 lb title in February.
And finally, Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko were reported to have signed on to fight each other in a rematch of their epic 2003 fight, which Lennox Lewis won when Klitschko’s eye was too damaged from a cut for him to continue. On Friday, however, those reports of a return engagement between the 52 year-old Lewis and 46 year-old Klitschko turned out to have been premature, perhaps mercifully.
And that was pretty much it for this week.
« Previous Sherdog’s Weekend Boxing Preview Next Video: Manny Pacquiao Dominates, Stops Lucas Matthysse to Win WBA Welterweight Title »