Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Aug 17, 2018

Sherdog's James Kinneen serves up the biggest stories from what was a strange week in boxing, including PED admissions, matchups and screw-ups.

St. John Admits PED Usage

Former women’s boxing champion and onetime Playboy playmate Mia St. John acknowledged that she used performance enhancing drugs during her career, then threw the boxing world in a frenzy by tweeting that “Everyone does [PEDs] and everyone in boxing knows it.” Considering we’re one month away from the biggest fight of the year, in which one of the fighters has already tested positive for a performance enhancing drug, this was not the best time for these comments to come out. To be frank, the only thing that kept this tweet from going viral in mainstream sports media was that St. John was not a bigger name in boxing, otherwise this admission had disaster written all over it.

Charges Against Taylor Dropped, Charges Against Tarver Made

A couple of ex-champions had brushes with the law this week. Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor had charges against him dropped after the woman who accused him cut off all contact with the authorities. Taylor had been charged with a felony terroristic threatening charge and misdemeanor domestic battery charge, after he was accused of biting the woman and threatening her life.

Antonio Tarver, on the other hand was recently charged with domestic battery after he allegedly punched his stepson in the face, leading to the 18 year-old bleeding from the mouth. Reportedly, the incident started over Tarver’s stepson not having enough money to cover a meal at Waffle House, with Tarver using the excuse that his stepson was bleeding because he tripped and fell. A professional boxer punching an untrained young man is terrible, and for a man who famously hates excuses, Tarver’s explanation was laughable.

De La Hoya Wants Canelo-Spence “Superfight”

While for weeks the talk of boxing has been a potential matchup between Mikey Garcia and Errol Spence Jr., Oscar De La Hoya is arguing that Spence should be fighting Canelo Alvarez instead. De La Hoya said, “Canelo is always willing and ready to face the very best and I believe Errol Spence can come up a couple weight divisions and challenge a fighter like Canelo and that’ll be a superfight.”

With Canelo having spent two years as a legitimate middleweight (after having invented a 155-pound “Caneloweight” while holding the middleweight title), it is unclear what kind of division this fight could take place in. Spence jumping two weight classes to fight someone as good as Canelo is as stupid as Garcia jumping two weight classes to fight someone as good as Spence. Both will probably happen.

Malignaggi Still Fighting (Verbally) With McGregor

This week, Conor McGregor decided to tweet a picture of his “knockdown” of Paulie Malignaggi during their sparring session last year with the caption “time flies when you’re on your ass.” Malignaggi responded by once again, arguing he destroyed McGregor in sparring, the tape was highly doctored, and that Conor had “no balls” and would look for a way out against Khabib Nurgamedov as he did against Nate Diaz. Both men should have moved on from this incident, but with the world obsessing over supposed “Apprentice N-word tapes” and “Russian pee tapes” the full footage of that sparring session may be the sport’s world’s most compelling piece of film.

Wilder Definitely Going to Belfast

Deontay Wilder is making the trip to Belfast, where it is believed he will be seated ringside for Tyson Fury’s fight with Francesco Pianeta. Now, this combined with the recurring rumors that a fight between the “Bronze Bomber” and the “King of the Gypsies” is imminent should get fans excited that the matchup is happening. However, we have seen a post-fight confrontation between Wilder and Fury before, and considering two years have passed with no fight since that incident, we should be cautiously optimistic this will result in anything more definitive.

Marquez Becomes Trainer for Diaz Against Sor Rungvisai

Although it is still not a great fight for someone as good as Sor Rungvisai, the matchup between WBC super flyweight champion and Mexican journeyman (14-2-3) Iran Diaz got a little more intriguing this week, as Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez agreed to train Diaz for the fight. Marquez is an all-time great fighter, having beaten guys like Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera and Orlando Salido, so he will undeniably bring decades of boxing knowledge to Diaz. The only question is, will he force Diaz to adopt some of his more unorthodox training techniques?

Englishman Nearly Dies After “White Collar Boxing” Event

In Southampton England, a man nearly died after suffering two strokes after a so-called white-collar amateur boxing match. While his opponent also had no boxing experience, he had (unknown to his opponent) allegedly been doing mixed martial arts for years and was therefore far more prepared for the match than his record indicated.

This incident highlights how dangerous these amateur boxing events are. Years after “Toughman” contests fell out of favor, events like the Barstool Sports endorsed “Rough n Rowdy” series are becoming popular again in America. The appeal of watching average Joes box when I could watch the most talented boxers in the world doesn’t not appeal to me, but for the apparently huge numbers of people who do like that sort of thing, this incident should act as a reminder that there can be real consequences when organizations don’t research their participants well enough.


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