Three Takeaways: What Dana White could do for boxing
By Jonah Dylan
It was – wait for it – another slow weekend in boxing. Emanuel Navarrete defended his 122-pound title in an easy knockout, Jessie Magdaleno got a nice win and there were a couple minor cards all over the place. Eh. I’m ready for some big fights. But how do we get to those big fights? Read on.
1. I don’t know what Dana White plans to do when he gets into boxing. But I’m excited.
Dana White has said he’s planning on getting into boxing, he’s hired a person (and has somehow kept it under wraps) and is going to make an announcement in October. Not much to go off of.
Why is this good for boxing? First, look at the UFC, which has dominated in headlines in the combat sports world as of late. The UFC had a massive card at the Honda Center Saturday night, where the best fought the best and the result was a number of great fights. In the main event, Stipe Miocic reclaimed the heavyweight title with a come-from-behind knockout of all-time-great Daniel Cormier.
So there you go. Cormier is great, but Miocic is the champion, no doubt about it. Now, think about when a casual sports fan asks you “who’s boxing’s heavyweight champion of the world?” By the time you finish answering the question, they’ve completely lost interest. If someone asks you the same question about the UFC, or about MMA as a whole?
I have no idea what Dana White has planned. But he believes the best can fight the best and there can still be enough money to go around to everyone. He’s proven that with the UFC, where in general there’s way less money than in boxing. Maybe his plan won’t work, but I don’t think boxing can get much more diluted than it already is. I hope he has something good planned.
2. We might not be getting unifications, but junior featherweight is pretty exciting.
We learned nothing about Navarrete on Saturday. So far, we’ve learned that he’s an awful matchup for Isaac Dogboe, who is otherwise a very good fighter. I’m intrigued by his style and his physical capabilities, but I really don’t know what to make of him. I’d like to see him in with a real challenger, but it’s hard to find one that Top Rank has ready for him. Speaking of which, Top Rank should make a deal with Roc Nation and line up a fight between Navarrete and Tramaine Williams. That would be a great test for both guys.
Elsewhere, though, there’s some good stuff happening. Danny Roman has two belts and is defending them against his mandatory challenger, Murodjon Akhmadaliev. At first glance, maybe you’re groaning because this looks like another nonsense mandatory fight, but Akhmadaliev is a legit prospect and has a chance to be the first man from the 2016 Olympics to win a world title. If Roman wins, I’d feel a lot more comfortable putting him at No. 1 in the division.
Rey Vargas needs to find some opponents, and Guillermo Rigondeaux needs to find someone to fight. That fight makes too much sense for it to actually happen, although Rigondeaux is his mandatory challenger. Maybe there’s a chance. T.J. Doheny is also a fantastic fighter who could give any of these guys a run for their money. If they can figure it out, we could have some great fights here.
3. Terence Crawford should fight Errol Spence.
Just a friendly reminder.
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