Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Feb 15, 2019

Miller-Joshua Made Official, Leading to Whyte-Breazale Matchup for No. 1 Contender Spot

While it was expected, because of the nature of boxing nothing is certain until the contracts have been signed. So, it was nice to see that Jarrell Miller-Anthony Joshua was made official this week. Joshua opened as a -600 favorite in the fight, which seems like a lot considering boxing has never seen a guy as heavy as Miller who can throw so many punches per round. Still, June 1 at Madison Square Garden will be an electric atmosphere for Brooklyn’s Miller to face England’s Joshua.

While the matchup is great news for “Big Baby”, it’s terrible news for Dillian Whyte. Whyte thought he was going to get another shot at Anthony Joshua in the UK, but will instead be fighting Dominic Breazale to become the mandatory challenger for Wilder’s WBC title.

Commey Hand Injury Leads to Likely Lomachenko-Crolla Fight

One compelling fight boxing fans will not be getting in the near future is Vasyl Lomachenko-Richard Commey. Instead, on April 12 Vasyl Lomachenko will likely be fighting the UK’s Anthony Crolla after Richard Commey suffered a hand injury during his Feb. 2 TKO victory over Isa Chaniev. While this is disappointing, Crolla has six losses, and has only knocked out 13 of his 43 opponents, so there’s really no way he’s not going to lose. Lomachenko is must-see TV no matter who he fights, so expect fans to still tune in and be entertained.

Marcos Maidana Announces Comeback Despite Weight Issues

Perhaps because the brother he promoted suffered a shocking defeat last month, this week Argentinean brawler Marcos Maidana announced he would be returning to boxing. Maidana embarrassed guys like Victor Ortiz and Adrien Broner, almost beat Amir Khan, and gave Floyd Mayweather a very tough fight in their first matchup, so having the always-entertaining welterweight back in boxing is definitely a good thing.

The problem is, after retirement Marcos Maidana got fat, so fat that the sight of his weight gain almost KO’d Victor Ortiz. This week, various media outlets like ESPN and World Boxing News wrote pieces listing potential opponents that Maidana could face. Because of his weight issues, World Boxing News included middleweights like GGG, while ESPN didn’t include anyone above 147. Adrien Broner would be the most fun matchup, considering how many memes came about after Maidana beat him and considering that could still be a winnable fight for the Argentinean knockout artist.

Another Latin American brawler who’s announced a return to boxing is 45-year-old Ricardo Mayorga who has lost his last two fights as a professional. "El Matador" will be fighting at 170 lbs, and facing Lester Martinez, a Guatemalan making his professional debut. However, Lester Martinez is considered a legitimate prospect having medaled in the 2018 Central American Games, so it is unlikely Mayorga will have a chance.

Andrzej Fonfara Calls it a Career at 31

Andrzej Fonfara pulled out of a fight with Edwin Rodriguez and opted to call it a career this week. The 31-year-old had a nice career, having both won the WBC middleweight title and beaten guys like Glen Johnson, Nathan Cleverley. Perhaps most importantly, Fonfara was the first fighter to expose Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by making him quit at a time when he was applauded for his late 12th round rally against Sergio Martinez. This fight damaged Chavez’s reputation so badly, that Eric Kelley, the boxing coach best known for mocking the Wall Street clientele at his gym told Chavez it was a “bitch move” right to his face.

Unfortunately, the Polish fighter that moved to Chicago and became a fan favorite, Fonfara lost twice to Adonis Stevenson and once to Joe Smith Jr. at light heavyweight and was never able to secure the WBC light heavyweight championship. Maidana retired at 31, and is now coming back so don’t be surprised if this isn’t actually the last we see of Fonfara.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk Fights Doudou Ngumbu March 30 on ESPN

Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the Teddy Atlas trained Ukranian bronze medalist that took Adonis Stevenson’s belt and put him in a coma this December, will be fighting Doudou Ngumbu March 30 in Philadelphia as the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card. Doudou (yes it’s pronounced like doo-doo, and yes everyone will make a “fought like doo-doo” joke after he loses) Ngumbu is 38-8 with losses to guys like Andrzej Fonfara and Igor Mikhalkin, so it should be a great chance for Gvozdyk to advance his profile on ESPN.

The card also features undefeated Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas against Philadelphia’s own Ray Robinson (yes his name really is Ray Robinson, and yes everyone will make a “not sugar” Ray Robinson joke after he loses). Kavaliuskas is consistently brought up as a potential Terence Crawford opponent, so this will be a good chance for him to show the world why. Robinson has already lost to Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas and Brad Solomon, so this is a fight he’s expected to lose.

Regis Prograis Talks Trash on Social Media, Experiences Immediate Blowback over Inactivity

Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, the hard-hitting undefeated 140-pounder out of Louisiana decided to go on Twitter and posted a picture of himself and Jose Ramirez with the caption “Should I step out of the tournament and f--- this dude up for an east [sic] check? Zepeda really beat him Sunday night in front of his hometown but they gave him and early birthday gift. Now be real and tell me what happens to his face if I hit him with those same shots Zepeda landed.”

In an unexpected turn of events, twitter hit Prograis with more “do something!” tweets than a Republican congressman after a school shooting. Prograis has been out of action since October but is thinking about pulling out of the WBSS tournament and hasn’t made any indications of what he plans to do in the near future, and it would appear fans are getting fed up.

For his part, Ramirez brushed off the tweet, saying in part "I know the truth, fortunately I have a platform to fight on like ESPN. They are in the tournament because they do not have a platform. If it were up to me, I would have been in the tournament, but my promoter tells me what is best for me. He doesn't have a fight scheduled in the tournament and he has to say something to get attention, but I'm not worried, and I'm the absolute champion of the WBC."

Prograis is considered the best fighter at 140 and a future problem for anyone at 147. He needs to stay more active in the ring and less active when it comes to Twitter drama.
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