Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Jul 5, 2019
Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed below are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of, its affiliates and sponsors or its parent company, Evolve Media.

* * *

Who is Canelo Alvarez going to fight next? That’s the million-dollar question in boxing at the moment, as the Mexican superstar has been linked to all sorts of names when it comes to who he will be facing in September. Still, the most commonly referenced potential matchups are those with Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Sergey Kovalev and Callum Smith.

Sergey Kovalev: Canelo’s team offered Kovalev the fight for September but is supposedly unwilling to pay him any more than half of what Daniel Jacobs got for his fight against Alvarez. There is also the fact that Kovalev has an intriguing backup plan -- an Aug. 24th fight against undefeated British knockout artist Anthony Yarde, who will take step-aside money if Kovalev-Canelo happens. In Kovalev’s favor is the rumor that Dazn Executive Chairman John Skipper will only approve of Kovalev-Canelo or Canelo-GGG 3. Going against him is the fact that fighting Kovalev at 175 pounds or a catchweight is an insane move for a fighter who spent huge portions of his career insisting he was too small for 160.

Gennady Golovkin: On Dan Rafael’s Twitter poll, GGG was the opponent fans most wanted to see Canelo fight on Sept. 14. With that said, don’t expect Canelo to give in to fan desires or pressure from Skipper to go with the fight that makes the most sense -- a fight he has been hesitant to take. Canelo has consistently proclaimed himself as the boss of Dazn, with Oscar De La Hoya going so far as to call Golovkin his employee, so Skipper’s words might mean nothing when weighed against Canelo’s record Dazn contract. This might be posturing to force GGG to fight him in Las Vegas, but that idea is increasingly looking less and less true.

Jaime Munguia: A rumor was floating around twitter that GGG was going to face Munguia -- the WBO 154-pound champion and fellow Mexican. That idea has fizzled out, but now, Canelo’s team has made an offer for Munguia-Alvarez. Some people think it is just posturing to get other opponents to take Golden Boy’s offer. Either way, this fight would not be good. Boxing conspiracy theorists believe Munguia’s team knows he has not looked strong his last couple of fights -- he was gifted a win over Dennis Hogan in his last one -- because he is just not that good, not because the cut to 154 pounds is so devastating, as has been claimed. Munguia’s handlers want the Canelo money now before their fighter loses later. Canelo’s fans mocked GGG for trying to fight Munguia and became noticeably silent when the Canelo-Munguia rumor surfaced.

Demetrius Andrade: In a fight that would unify the WBO and WBC (franchise) titles, Canelo could fight “Boo Boo” Andrade, out of Providence, Rhode Island. Who his sources are is anyone’s guess, but that is the path Bob Arum thinks Canelo will take. “I think Canelo will fight in September, and Andrade would likely be the opponent because he also fights on DAZN for Eddie Hearn and would certainly be willing to go into a Canelo fight,” Arum said. “That’s my present understanding. If I would bet on it, that’s what I would bet on happening.” Andrade is not a big name, and with Canelo chasing belts in a couple different weight classes, it remains unclear if he even wants to unify the titles.

Callum Smith: This is probably the least likely fight that Canelo could take. Smith wants it, but he is not the biggest name outside of the United Kingdom and would probably make more money from a Billy Joe Saunders fight -- which he will likely take next -- as it is being reported that he will get a 50-50 split and the fight will be on pay-per-view.

Gamboa to Fight Martinez July 27 on Showtime

A couple of veteran fighters you probably did not know are still fighting will face each other on July 27, when Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa faces Roman Martinez. The 36-year-old Martinez bounced back from a vicious knockout loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko with a stoppage of William Gonzales after a three-year layoff. Gamboa, 37, has gone on a three-fight winning streak after getting stopped by Mexican journeyman Robinson Castellanos. Both of these guys are getting old, so it is now or never if they want to be remembered as great and not just having lost to great fighters. Gamboa, a former Olympic gold medalist, was the better prospect and deserves credit for giving Terence Crawford a bit of trouble early in their match, while Martinez held a world title just four years ago. We will see how much they have left.

Conlan Draws Ruiz as Replacement Opponent

After losing his chance at Olympic redemption when Vladimir Nikitin had to pull out of their fight with an injury, Mick Conlan vowed to get a more established opponent to replace him. To that end, he will now face Argentina’s Diego Alberto Ruiz, a 25-year-old fighter who has not lost since 2016. Ruiz owns a professional record of 21-2 with 10 knockouts, with one of his losses coming via disqualification and the other by decision over six rounds. He is clearly a much more seasoned professional than Nikitin. Still, Conlan will be the heavy favorite -- the fight takes place in Belfast on Aug. 3 -- and it will be interesting to see if he can be the first opponent to stop the durable Argentinian in front of his home crowd.

Frampton Gets Dominguez Aug. 10

After losing to Josh Warrington, Carl Frampton was considering retirement. However, with a potential Oscar Valdez fight on the way, he will meet steppingstone opponent Emmanuel Dominguez on Aug. 10. Just 25 years old, Mexico’s Dominguez is 26-8 and has already lost by stoppage twice. Although he will bring a five-inch height advantage into the ring, he will have to show far more than he has so far in his career to beat “The Jackal.”

WBC Begins Drug Testing Judges

The WBC announced this week that it was beginning a program in which it will test its judges for drugs like marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. Considering how bad scorecards can usually be traced back to corruption, not drug use, this move will not do much of anything to fix boxing. All it will do is open the doors for bad drug jokes after the WBC protects Canelo again in his next fight.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>