Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Apr 12, 2019

Russian Boxer Gets Two-Year Ban for Doping

On the same week that T.J. Dillashaw was hit with a two-year ban for using EPO, boxing saw its own two-year PED ban handed out. Tamir Galanov, a bronze medalist in the 2017 world amateur championships, tested positive for the banned diuretic furosemide, after having tested positive for meldonium in 2016. The meldonium test didn’t do much however, because it wasn’t banned yet and the failed test took place during the brief period in the late 2010s where every Russian athlete was caught doing it.

Galanov is far from a big name in boxing -- certainly not as big a name as Dillashaw is in MMA -- but in a week where the UFC’s PED issues came to the forefront, Galanov’s suspension was a reminder that in regard to PED usage, boxing can’t exactly claim the combat sports high ground.

Broner Pleads Guilty in ‘Forcible Kissing’ Incident, Gets Probation

Adrien “About Billions” Broner pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and unlawful restraint charges related to a June incident where he was accused of forcibly kissing a woman outside of a Cleveland nightclub after the NBA finals. In doing so, Broner was able to avoid jail time instead being put on two years’ probation and ordered to pay the woman’s $4,200 in medical bills.

The “All Access” video of Broner relating how he sat in a jail cell and vowed to never return is only around three months old, but everyday it grows more and more ironic.

Usyk Heavyweight Debut, Tyson Fury Fight, ‘GGG’ Return Date Made Official

As was expected, this week it was made official that Oleksandr Usyk will be making his heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam May 25 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The underwhelming Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz fight was also made official this week; they will fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 15.

That fight will be one week after Gennady Golovkin’s DAZN debut, which will officially be on June 8 at Madison Square Garden. ‘GGG’ will reportedly either be facing Hassan N’Dam or undefeated but unknown Canadian Steve Rolls.

In all honesty, none of those fights are very good, but they do represent a chance to see three of the biggest names in boxing competing in a one-month period.

Ivan Baranchyk Considering Coming Back to WBSS after IBF Threatens to Strip Him of Title

After pulling out and almost destroying the WBSS 140-pound tournament over financial issues, Ivan Baranchyk is now considering coming back to the tournament. The reason for this is that the IBF is threatening to strip Baranchyk of his title if he doesn’t face Josh Taylor, the fighter he was supposed to face May 18 in Scotland.

Crawling back to the WBSS Tournament is a tough look for Baranchyk but considering how much work it took for him to win the IBF title it would be a shame to see him lose his belt over finances. At 26 years old, and holding a 19-0 professional record, Baranchyk should fight Taylor on May 18 like he was supposed to, then fire his management for bungling this situation so badly.

Gervonta Davis-Yuriorkis Gamboa Rumored for July 7 in Baltimore

Rumors are that Gervonta “Tank” Davis is looking to fight Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa in Davis’ hometown of Baltimore on July 27. This would be a great matchup between the future of boxing and the former champion that never lived up to his potential. While Gamboa is well past his prime, people forget that he gave Terence Crawford fits for a while in 2014 until Crawford turned southpaw -- seemingly for the rest of his career. At five foot five and a half, he would be the same height as Davis which would present a unique matchup considering that Gamboa is usually at a height disadvantage. If Gamboa can turn back the clock for one night -- a huge if -- it could be interesting.

It’s not Davis-Garcia or one of the other fights we’d most like to see, but it would be a whole lot better than the fights we’ve seen from Davis against guys like Hugo Ruiz. You might not like it, but you’ll watch it. You know you will.

Yarde Supposedly Willing to Fight in Kovalev’s Hometown in June

Speaking of hometown fights, rumors are that sometime in June undefeated British knockout artist Anthony Yarde will be facing Sergey Kovalev in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Kovalev’s hometown. If true, Yarde deserves massive amounts of credit for taking this kind of risk. Traveling to Baltimore and facing a hostile crowd is one thing, traveling to Chelyabinsk and dealing with that hostile crowd is an entirely different animal. Yarde hasn’t fought anybody good and has been rightfully criticized for it. If he steps up to the plate here, he will win a ton of respect. If he can beat Kovalev in his Russian hometown, he will become an instant star in the U.K. and abroad.

Patrick Nielsen Latest Boxer to Move to MMA

Patrick Nielsen, the Danish super-middleweight who was last seen losing to Arthur Abraham last April is the latest boxer to move from boxing to MMA. He will reportedly make $150,000 to fight former Olympic wrestler, 7-0 MMA fighter, and thankfully not former L.A. Laker, Mark “The Olympian” Madsen.

Boxers aren’t going to become MMA champions because there is no financial incentive for them to move to MMA. The best boxers will remain in boxing, while only failed boxers and past-their-prime fighters will attempt MMA.

Inevitably someone will bring up leg kicks or takedowns, with no rationale for how so many college football players have succeeded in MMA, when college football is so unrelated to martial arts. It’s not that college football is a great base for fighting, it’s that failed pro athletes have no other outlet to make money, so they try a completely different sport.

Nielsen will probably get taken down, choked out, and move back to boxing after he collects his $150,000 check. MMA fans will cheer, boxing fans will ignore it, but it will make no difference in the discussion. It’s not the grappling. It’s not the leg kicks. It’s the money.

Mayweather and Pacquiao Both Doing Something in Rizin FF

This week, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather both announced that they would be doing something in Rizin, likely separately. That’s an incredibly vague and cryptic statement, but details were incredibly scarce.

Pacquiao signed a deal with Rizin for some kind of “gimmick” that is not a fight, though they would reportedly like to sign him for a fight with Takanori Gomi at some point in the future. Mayweather, on the other hand is likely going to fight Ryota Murata in an exhibition bout for the promotion at some point this year. Murata held a WBA “Regular” belt at 160, which makes him a legitimate boxer who will actually be bigger than Floyd. It would be interesting if Floyd took a fight like that, when he could just face a guy like Tenshin again.

If Floyd showed he could beat a legitimate 160-pound fighter, even in an exhibition, maybe he would consider coming back for a big fight at 154 or 160. And maybe Filipino women would stop calling him a chicken when he waves to them on escalators.
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