Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Aug 2, 2019
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The saga of who will be the next fighter to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez took another unlikely turn during the week of July 29-Aug. 2. After it seemed Canelo-Sergey Kovalev was going to happen because Dazn would not sanction any opponent other than Kovalev or Gennady Golovkin, Canelo suddenly realized he had all the negotiating power in the relationship. He forced Dazn to get rid of the prerequisite that Canelo face Golovkin after this fight by taking less than his usual guaranteed $35 million to face Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

So Canelo is going to face Derevyanchenko, right? No. That fight fell through when Derevyanchenko’s team did not like the offer from Golden Boy Promotions -- apparently a big issue is that everyone wants the same deal Daniel Jacobs received -- so instead, Canelo is in discussions for a middleweight unification bought against Demetrius Andrade. He will be stripped of his IBF title for not fighting his mandatory opponent. With GGG not having a middleweight belt and the IBF needing a new champion, supposedly it is all but official that Golovkin and Derevyanchenko will fight for the vacant belt, either in October or November.

All of this could change in a blink, but a few patterns have emerged over the course of the opponent-choice campaign. First, Canelo has made essentially no attempts to fight GGG. That is the biggest fight from a monetary perspective; it is the fight that Dazn had in mind when it signed both fighters; and it is the fight poll after poll shows fans want next. For whatever reason, Canelo appears to want no part of a third fight with Golovkin. The other big issue is that Dazn paid Alvarez a record $365 million contract, only to discover it does not have the control over him that was expected. That could play a big role in boxing’s future from a business standpoint.

Baldomir Gets 18 Years for Sexual Abuse of Daughter

Former WBC welterweight champion and mid-2000s HBO mainstay Carlos Baldomir was sentenced to 18 years in prison for sexually abusing his daughter, starting when she was just 7 years old. Baldomir owns victories over Arturo Gatti and Zab Judah but lost to Floyd Mayweather, Vernon Forrest and the aforementioned Canelo Alvarez.

Fury-Povetkin Booked on Lomachenko-Campbell Undercard

Alexander Povetkin was going to welcome Oleksandy Usyk to the heavyweight division, but Usyk rejected the fight over the political undertones it would involve. Instead, Povetkin, who has not fought since a September loss to Anthony Joshua, will face Tyson Fury’s cousin, Hughie Fury, on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Luke Campbell undercard on Aug. 31. In October, Fury did what no other heavyweight was willing to do: travel to Bulgaria to face Kubrat Pulev in his home nation. While he deserves credit for the gutsy choice, he ultimately lost a wide decision. Since then, Fury has bounced back with wins over Chris Norrad and Samuel Peter. Povetkin’s only two professional losses have come to Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. Although he will be just days shy of his 40th birthday when he faces Fury, he will likely enter the ring as the favorite.

Another fight was added to the Lomachenko-Campbell undercard, as WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards will take on Mexico’s Julio Cesar Martinez.

Rumors: Garcia-Duno, Vargas-Munguia on Table for September

A couple of young Golden Boy prospects with vastly different backgrounds are rumored to be fighting in September. Supposedly, social media sensation Ryan Garcia will fight Filipino standout Romero Duno.

The 23-year-old Duno is 20-1 with 15 knockouts, with his lone loss coming in a decision to Russian fighter Mikhail Alexheev in Russia. This would represent a solid step up in competition for Garcia, who has not looked especially impressive in his last few bouts and switched to training under Eddy Reynoso to try and improve. Seeing how he would fare against a big puncher who has traveled the world and confronted opponents in their respective hometowns would give observers a much better sense of how “KingRy” might fare against a puncher like Gervonta Davis.

Meanwhile, after briefly being mentioned as a possible Alvarez or Golovkin opponent at 160 pounds, Jaime Munguia -- the WBO 154-pound champion who was last seen winning a highly controversial decision over Dennis Hogan -- will reportedly face Jessie Vargas on Mexican Independence Day weekend. With Canelo not fighting on the day usually reserved for his biannual appearance, Munguia will attempt to fill the void against Vargas.

Vargas has mainly fought at 147 pounds, where he is best known for his loss to Manny Pacquiao, his draw against Adrien Broner and a controversial loss to Tim Bradley that saw him stun “Desert Storm” in the final round and press for a knockout, only for the referee to mistake the 10-second warning as the final bell. He stopped Humberto Soto in his most recent outing, which served as his 154-pound debut. Munguia was believed to be a 154-pound destroyer who was going to run the division before moving up to middleweight. Instead, he has only one stoppage win since his breakout performance over Sadam Ali on HBO, and when he was mentioned as a possible opponent for GGG -- he was rejected as a potential GGG opponent by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in early 2018 -- social media mocked Golovkin for the cupcake matchup. Munguia needs a strong performance to regain his momentum and his prestige.

In what would also be an excellent pairing of undefeated fighters, Devin Haney will supposedly meet Zaur Abdallaev on Sept. 14. It would mark significant rise in Haney’s degree of difficulty.

Torn Berto Biceps Nixes Cruz Clash

Andre Berto is now 35 years old, so anytime he pulls out of a fight with an injury, people are going to say it was because he is old, shot and his body does not recover like it did when he was in his 20s. That was the case once again, when a torn biceps led to Berto’s withdrawal from an Aug. 3 fight with Miguel Cruz.

Kovalev Removed from Plane for Forcibly Kissing Woman

If you thought fellow boxers would learn from the mess in which Kubrat Pulev found himself for forcibly kissing a reporter, you thought wrong. Ahead of his Aug. 24 fight against Anthony Yarde, on a flight from Florida to California, Sergey Kovalev allegedly held a woman’s hands down, kissed her and then threw money at her. She was seen crying after the incident, and the pilot reportedly had to get involved to have Kovalev removed from the flight. There were no arrests, and no further investigation is planned, but Kovalev nearly put his fight in jeopardy and gave the sport of boxing yet another black eye.

Whyte Apparently Passed VADA Tests, Failed UKAD Screen

Dillian Whyte’s positive drug test for his matchup against Oscar Rivas apparently resulted from a UK Anti-Doping screen, even though he passed every Voluntary Anti-Doping Association test. This muddies the water and actually brings up more questions than it answers. For years, we have been told that VADA is the “gold standard” of drug testing, so the outcome of this issue is monumental.

If it is found that Whyte managed to sneak his doping past VADA, then the “gold standard” will have been fool’s gold all along. While letting Whyte fight Rivas after he failed a drug test would be controversial, there would be a realization that the passed-every-VADA-test-and-demanded-VADA-testing-for-the-fight narrative fighters use to convince us they are not using PEDs has been useless all along. It would have dire ramifications for the sport and for many fighters’ legacies.


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