Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Aug 30, 2019
Shakur Stevenson will face a fellow undefeated young prospect next when he fights Joet Gonzalez on Oct. 26. Gonzalez is 25 years old, 23-0 with 14 knockouts and has stopped nine of his last 10 opponents. Supposedly, the fight will be for the WBO title Oscar Valdez vacated when he jumped a weight class.

While the two young prospects angle is interesting, there is also a lot of bad blood between the two. Apparently, Stevenson is “friendly” with Jajaira Gonzalez, Joet’s sister and a talented amateur boxer, and brought it up in an interview, which made his opponent furious. As a result, Gonzalez now swears up and down that Stevenson is a good fighter but not a great one and that he is fairly certain he can knock him out. The fight is good enough on its own, but the family dynamic could make it even more compelling.

Usyk’s Heavyweight Debut Rumored to Come Against Spong


Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in his heavyweight debut will reportedly meet kickboxing star Tyrone Spong on Oct. 12 in Chicago, with the bout set to stream on Dazn. Nothing has been made official because Spong fights this Saturday in Mexico and needs to win in order to secure the Usyk fight.

This should be a fun fight but not an especially telling one in regards to how good Usyk can be as a heavyweight. In boxing, Spong is 13-0 with 12 knockouts. However, in kickboxing, Spong is 91-7 with 60 stoppage victories while fighting at the highest level. The issue? Everyone wants to see how Usyk handles a legitimate, big heavyweight in order to get a read on how he would deal with someone like Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury. Spong is a small heavyweight, so we are not going to learn a great deal about Usyk’s future in the weight class in this fight. Still, after Usyk decided he did not want to fight Alexander Povetkin because of political issues, none of the names being floated -- Bryant Jennings and Andrey Fedosov -- for his heavyweight debut were especially interesting. This fight may not provide insight into Usyk’s future, but it is undeniably watchable.

Promoters are trying to find a place for Dmitry Bivol on the undercard. There is no word on an opponent for him, but with almost all of the big names in the division booked, do not expect anything groundbreaking.

Inoue-Donaire Card Becomes Family Affair


While Naoya Inoue’s matchup with Nonito Donaire serves as the main event, “The Monster” will not be the only member of his family fighting on the Nov. 7 card in Tokyo. Takuma Inoue will look to exchange his interim title for a regular one when he faces undefeated WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali.

The Charlos have acknowledged that fighting on the same card is not a great idea, as seeing your brother lose his fight before yours has an effect on your focus. It makes sense to try and showcase Takuma on a major card like this, but in the future, the Inoues should rethink this idea.

Cintron Purportedly Negotiating With Bellator For MMA Debut


Before the Ultimate Fighting Championship grew into the monster we know today, UFC President Dana White in 2007 showed up to a Floyd Mayweather press conference with then-lightweight champion Sean Sherk in an attempt to try and lure Mayweather into the Octagon against Sherk. You likely know that story. What you may not know is that Kermit Cintron was eager to accept the challenge and asked to get that opportunity. Cintron did not realize it that was more of a publicity stunt than a challenge and learned quickly that White had no desire to risk his champion losing to a middle-of-the-road boxer. Why was Cintron so ready to compete in MMA? In high school, he was reportedly an excellent wrestler.

Twelve years later, the 40-year-old Cintron has designs on finally transitioning to MMA. Supposedly, Cintron has been in talks with Bellator MMA about potential opponents for his debut in the organization. The only 40-year-olds who should take up MMA are those looking to get in shape or save money on a relatively cheap midlife crisis. We will never know what Cintron could have been as an MMA fighter, and a couple of fights in Bellator certainly will not tell us.

Golovkin Talking About Murata Bout Again


Ryota Murata’s Japanese heritage has made him a far bigger star than his boxing abilities warrant. As a result, the former Olympic gold medalist was being mentioned as an opponent for Gennady Golovkin before he was beaten by Ron Brant. After walking through Brant in the rematch, Murata is now apparently back on GGG’s radar. Golovkin said he was open to fighting the Japanese superstar after the Sergiy Derevyanchenko bout, but when asked about Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, he indicated that he would rather talk about outer space: “I really know more about space and satellites than about Canelo.”

It comes as no shock that GGG wants to make huge money in Japan against Murata, though it is disappointing considering the middleweight fights he could make, even without Alvarez. Even more disappointing is that the interviewer did not ask GGG more space questions. That would have been interesting to hear about, considering Golovkin’s hobbies outside of boxing are a bit of a mystery.

TMZ: Mayweather Sr. ‘Pretty Sure’ Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 Happens


Does Floyd Mayweather Sr. know something everyone else does not? While Floyd Mayweather Jr. has insisted he is retired and has no desire to ever return to the ring, his father was recently asked about a Manny Pacquiao rematch. He claimed he was “pretty sure” the rematch will happen, while seemingly waving off the cameraman’s response that Mayweather Jr. said it was not going to happen on Instagram. Obviously, this might not mean anything, but it is hard to think of a reason why Mayweather Sr. would lie about it.

Speaking of Mayweather Jr., he supposedly is going to face old foes Conor McGregor and Tenshin Nasukawa in a “Superstars”-style competition on New Year’s Eve in Japan. For all of the bravado surrounding Mayweather Jr., we have seen him get embarrassed on the basketball court a couple of times, and he has always laughed off the experience. Unless he pulls a Joe Frazier, he will be fine. McGregor, on the other hand, has been the one who seems to take himself too seriously. While he was supposedly a decent soccer player, if a competition does not go his way, it is difficult to see him doing anything other than whining, quitting and talking about who he would beat in a fight.

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