Otto Wallin Camp Fumes in Wake of Dillian Whyte Fight Cancellation
by John “Gutterdandy” Walker
Leave it to the sport of boxing to find a way to waste any momentum it has accumulated with the sporting public.
In the wake of two excellent heavyweight title clashes recently — Oleksander Usyk’s dominant unanimous decision win over Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury’s obliteration of Deontay Wilder — boxing fans were eagerly looking forward to the next scheduled high-level installment from the glamor division between top ranked Dillian Whyte of the UK and Otto Wallin of Sweden.
Three great fights in a row, it seems, was too much to ask.
Wallin (22-1-0, 14 KOs) is the heavyweight who arguably gave Fury his toughest overall fight to date (Wilder actually only troubled the Gypsy King for a few select rounds over three fights).
During their clash, the 6’6″ tall Swede used his slick counterpunching abilities to confound Fury at times, inflicting two large gashes on the Brit’s face, one above his left eye courtesy of a wicked left hook. That cut was severe enough that the fight could have been waved off, but Fury gutted his way through to a UD win that nevertheless saw Wallin rocking him hard with big shots as the fight came to a close.
Though he lost to Fury, Otto Wallin had arrived at the top end of the heavyweight division.
Since that fight, Wallin has gone from strength to strength, and looked primed to provide Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), who has been awaiting a title shot for what seems like forever, with some very stiff competition for their bout scheduled for October 30 in the UK.
But now, the fight has been cancelled amidst questionable circumstances, and Wallin has been left heartbroken and angry.
Wallin was getting ready to depart for the UK when he was informed via email that Whyte had injured his shoulder and the fight was cancelled. No supporting documentation was provided to the Wallin camp by Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. Further queries have gone unanswered.
The sketchy details surrounding the cancellation have set Wallin and his camp on edge: a shot at WBC world heavyweight champ Tyson Fury awaits the winner of Wallin vs Whyte.
At a recent presser called to make their case, Wallin and his manager Dmitry Salita fumed about the situation. “I’ve been training very hard, and had my mind put into this,” lamented a downcast Wallin.
“Just the simple fact that I haven’t seen my family [in Sweden] in two years … I’ve been staying here [in the USA], training, to make sure I’ll be ready when this big opportunity comes. I was gonna go fight, win this fight, and then go back to Sweden to see everybody. It’s tough when you haven’t seen your mom in two years (Wallin’s father passed away before he fought Tyson Fury in 2019).”
Not helping matters is the fact that Whyte had publicly mused recently about skipping the tough Wallin challenge altogether and waiting for Fury to offer him a lucrative title bout in their native United Kingdom.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking at [future fights],” Whyte said. “I am definitely looking at fighting Fury and Wallin is a dangerous operator – he pushed Fury all the way.”
Those remarks seem more ominous now, in light of the last-minute cancellation of the fight. The suspicion is that Whyte simply decided to pull the plug and wait for Fury to come calling for a lucrative, all-UK showdown. Wallin is left with a lot of hard preparation that at the moment seems like it was for nothing.
“This is such a big opportunity,” said an agitated Dmitry Salida, Wallin’s manager. “[Wallin] put so much on the line. It’s so important that the right thing happens here.”
“Injuries happen in boxing,” Salida continued. “But there’s just so many circumstances in this particular situation that makes it so unsettling … all we want is the truth. That’s all we want.”
The right thing, according to Wallin and Salida, is a rescheduling of the bout. Faced with a lack of communication from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, the Wallin camp are appealing to the British Boxing Board of Control and the WBC to seek a remedy to the now fraught situation.
One thing the Wallin camp isn’t interested in, however, is an offer from Croatian heavyweight Alen “The Savage” Babic, who Whyte promotes, to take his boss’s place. Matchroom head honcho Hearn has since pushed for Wallin to take on “The Savage” instead of Whyte, but Salida scoffed at the suggestion.
“Otto Wallin is a world class fighter,” Salida said. “[Babic] is irrelevant. It’s just branding for whoever that person is. I’ve never heard of this guy before (Babic was scheduled to appear on the undercard of Wallin vs Whyte).”
The Wallin camp remain fearful that Whyte will be allowed to bypass the Swede altogether and proceed straight to a title fight with Tyson Fury. Salida feels Whyte has been spooked by many boxing scribes and promoters predicting a Wallin win against the Brit.
“I am a man of my word,” said Wallin. “We have a contract signed and we are supposed to fight. And I will honor that. I am very serious when it comes to contracts and giving my word on something.”
“The redo should happen” Salida added, “but we want to see proof [of Whyte’s injury]. That’s all we want. We want to see the truth, all we want is fairness.”
“And if the right thing doesn’t happen, it will be so detrimental to our sport.”
Eddie Hearn Admits Dmitry Bivol Likely Next For Canelo Alvarez: “I Think It’s A Really Good Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
Time isn’t exactly on the side of Canelo Alvarez and promoter Eddie Hearn. With the Mexican star failing to negotiate terms for an undisputed showdown against IBF super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant, team Alvarez has reportedly elected to move on.
Under normal circumstances, the unified 168-pound champion has primarily fought twice a year, both being on Mexican holidays in May and September. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) took care of business on Mexican Labour Day weekend this past May, stopping Billy Joe Saunders in the eighth round and relieving him of his WBO super middleweight title.
While the pound-for-pound star would love to keep his tradition going by fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend on September 18th, Hearn admits that the chances of that happening are getting worse and worse by the day.
“I spoke to Saul a couple times,” said Hearn during an interview with IFL TV. “I think the decision is, do we go on September 18th? The decision has to come any day now.”
With Plant seemingly out of the running for a showdown with Alvarez, Hearn has remained confident in his ability to lineup another high-quality opponent. Although Alvarez has firmly placed his flag in the 168-pound ground, there’s a high possibility that his next contest takes place elsewhere. Presently, IBF middleweight belt holder Gennadiy Golovkin and unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, are amongst the select few in the race to Alvarez.
On multiple occasions, Hearn revealed that any of those aforementioned names would make for a great fight against the unified 168-pound titlist.
In the case of Golovkin, the Kazakstan product believes he received the short end of the stick in back-to-back fights with Alvarez. In September of 2017, Golovkin was forced to settle for a split decision draw. With that said, it was ostensible to most of the viewing public that Golovkin should have been given the win.
The two would do it again 12 months later, this time, Golovkin would suffer the first defeat of his career, albeit somewhat controversially. Since then, the 39-year-old has attempted to lure the Mexican star back into the ring.
As for Beterbiev, Hearn has stated on numerous occasions that while the Russian knockout artist is a massive puncher, a matchup against him is one that Alvarez “sickly” wants.
Still, despite the credentials of both fighters, Hearn believes another 175-pound titleholder is in the driver’s seat as the next opponent for Alvarez.
“I think [Dmitry] Bivol is the fight,” admitted Hearn. “He’s ready, obviously, we promote him. They want the fight and have been looking for that breakout fight. I think it’s a really, really good fight, a tough fight. We’ll have to see.”
Bivol, 30, has long craved a matchup against Alvarez. The WBA light heavyweight belt holder may have walked through his competition up until this point but he’s struggled as of late with activity.
After appearing in the ring only twice in 2019, Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) took the entirety of 2020 off. He recently returned this past May against journeymen Craig Richards. Bivol would eke out a close decision win on the night. Now, he could be on the verge of landing the opponent he’s yearned for.
Eddie Hearn Hints That He Would Rather Have Canelo Alvarez Vs. Caleb Plant On DAZN As Opposed To PPV
By: Hans Themistode
As time slowly ticks off the clock, promoter Eddie Hearn realizes that it would be ideal to begin putting together a financial plan for a matchup between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant. Hearn is ultimately hoping that he can bring the two together for an undisputed super middleweight showdown this coming September.
Although he hasn’t worked out the numbers just yet, Hearn believes he’s getting close and plans on sending something to Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), the promotional banner Plant is currently under.
“We will make an offer to Caleb Plant through the PBC to do that fight in September,” said Hearn on the Ak & Barak show. “I expect a reciprocal offer for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to do that fight on FOX.”
Alvarez, 30, is fresh off stopping former WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. With another 168-pound world title now safely tucked underneath his arm, Alvarez is just one belt away from becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time.
While Plant respects Alvarez for his ambitions, he has no intentions of simply handing over his title. The Nashville, Tennessee native easily outpointed long faded former champion, Caleb Truax, in January earlier this year.
Although Hearn is fully expecting a counteroffer from PBC to push their contest off the streaming app DAZN and onto the pay-per-view platform, the longtime promoter believes that isn’t a smart idea. Considering when their matchup would take place, Hearn sincerely believes that placing Alvarez vs. Plant in the middle of a schedule that is currently loaded with pay-per-view matchups simply isn’t the best idea.
“What I’m very concerned about at the moment, is the run of pay-per-view events that are upcoming. I believe that the numbers in terms of pay-per-view buys will start getting massively affected by the saturation in the marketplace of pay-per-views.
“Last night you had a pay-per-view (Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul), next week you have Teofimo (Lopez) against (George) Kambosos on Triller, that’s going to be a tough sell. Then, coming up the week after, you have Gervonta Davis against (Mario) Barrios. Now, as big of a star as Davis is, my goodness is that a tough sell. Then, possibly a couple weeks later, you got (Tyson) Fury against (Deontay) Wilder. Then you’ve got (Manny) Pacquiao against (Errol) Spence three weeks after that. Then one week after that, you’ve got Jake Paul against (Tyron) Woodley. Then a week after that, you want to do Canelo Alvarez against Caleb Plant. I’m very, very concerned about pay-per-view numbers in general.”
Eddie Hearn: “Show Me Another Fighter At 22 Who’s As Talented As Devin Haney”
By: Hans Themistode
For the vast majority of their contest, Devin Haney looked like a world-beater. The WBC lightweight titlist took on the highly-rated Jorge Linares at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, last night.
Heading into their showdown, many believed the boxing skills of Linares would trouble Haney early on. Yet, the sharpshooting former multiple-time belt holder was simply no match for the Las Vegas, resident. Although Haney mostly dominated, he received plenty of flak for the way he responded during the championship rounds.
With Linares (47-6, 29 KOs) clearly losing on the cards, he landed a picture-perfect left, right combination at the end of the tenth which left Haney visibly wobbled. For the duration of their contest, Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) opted to clench on the inside as opposed to actually engage. But while many have downgraded his performance due to his shaky ending, promoter Eddie Hearn views it differently.
“For nine rounds it was a masterclass,” said Hearn during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He got buzzed in the tenth and had to recover, it was a good learning experience for him. Don’t forget, he was the same guy who dropped Vasiliy Lomachenko. Linares can punch very hard.”
To his credit, Haney never appeared to be on his way to hitting the deck. Pair his ability to survive the championship rounds with his overall boxing skills, and Hearn believes Haney is on his way to superstardom. In fact, the long-time promoter has a question for everyone who continues to doubt the WBC lightweight titlist.
“Show me another fighter at 22 who’s as talented as Devin Haney. It was a great win, great learning experience, I think he’s ready for all the big boys.”
With the biggest win safely in his back pocket, Haney will now go back home to his palatial estate and await what’s next. While it’s far too early to make an assumption, if Hearn has things go his way, an undisputed lightweight showdown will be next on Haney’s calendar.
“I think he should fight Teofimo (Lopez). It’s a tough fight but I would love to make that fight. It’s a brilliant fight for the division.”
Eddie Hearn Reveals He’s Made An Offer To Chris Eubank Jr. To Face Demetrius Andrade
By: Hans Themistode
For a number of years now, promoter Eddie Hearn has thrown his hands up in frustration. Although he has gotten a number of fights for Demetrius Andrade, he has failed to get the WBO middleweight titlist a marquee one. With that said, he could be on the brink of doing just that.
The 33-year-old Rhode Island native is fresh off a fairly competitive win over Liam Williams on April 17th. After sending his man to the canvas in the second round, Andrade (30-0, 18 KOs) got past a few scary moments of his own to pick up the win. With the two-division belt holder anxious to know what’s next, Hearn finally had an answer.
According to the long-time promoter, he’s made a significant offer to WBA interim titlist Chris Eubank Jr. for a showdown later on this year. Although both sides are in the infancy stages of their negotiations, Hearn made it clear that team Eubank Jr. is “very interested” in putting together a fight.
For the British native, a matchup with Andrade is exactly the sort of fight he was hoping for. During a recent interview, Eubank Jr. (30-2, 22 KOs) expressed a desire to shed his interim tag and become a full middleweight belt holder. Originally, he believed a matchup with WBA “Super” champion, Ryota Murata, would likely be next. Now, with Hearn willing to place Eubank Jr. in with Andrade instead, his world title dreams could become a reality later on this year.
After spending the better part of a year and a half on the sidelines, Eubank Jr. returned to the ring on May 1st against fringe contender Marcus Morrison. While he proved to be tough, Eubank Jr. was simply a step ahead as he cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Demetrius Andrade On Canelo Alvarez Refusing To Fight Him: “You Can Give People The Opportunity To Make A Legacy But I Can’t Do That?”
By: Hans Themistode
Reality is slowly setting in for Demetrius Andrade. The current WBO middleweight belt holder has always had an eye on a showdown against Canelo Alvarez. Following the Mexican native’s recent win over Billy Joe Saunders roughly a week and a half ago, Andrade took it upon himself to crash the post-fight presser.
In a playful yet serious tone, Andrade congratulated Alvarez on the win and asked him when he would be given the opportunity to face him. Seemingly annoyed with his presence, Alvarez savagely lashed out at Andrade.
“Get the fuck out of here,” said Alvarez. “You are a horrible fighter, horrible fighter. You are never going to get the fight.”
As the curse words between both men continued, Andrade was escorted out of the building by security. Having had several days to digest the words of Alvarez, Andrade (30-0, 18 KOs) simply can’t understand why everyone else is getting the opportunity to prove themselves on the biggest stage while he’s forced to sit on the sidelines.
“He’s a coward,” said Andrade during an interview on the Ak and Barak show. “That’s some coward shit. You can give people the opportunity to fight and get in there and make a name for themselves, make a legacy but I can’t do that?”
No matter how badly Andrade would love to get Alvarez in the ring, the 30-year-old is fully focused on a unification showdown against Caleb Plant. A win for the Mexican star would allow him to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time.
By and large, the resume of Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) is viewed as one of the best in all of boxing. In the case of Andrade, on the other hand, the Rhode native knows he hasn’t shared the ring with many of the top names. Although he won’t fulminate with anyone in defense of his level of opposition, Andrade is left incredulous when he compares his accomplishments and skillset, to several opponents that Alvarez has recently stepped into the ring against.
“If you look at my record, okay but what did Billy Joe do to get that fight? You’ll go in there and fight Rocky Fielding but what has he done for the sport of boxing. What about (Avni) Yildirim? What has he done for the sport of boxing?”
With Alvarez digging his heels behind his refusal to face Andrade, the former two-division titlist is seemingly running out of ideas. Although he’s tried on several occasions, promoter Eddie Hearn continues to pace up and down his office when trying to land a big fight for Andrade.
On several occasions, Hearn has stated that he has attempted to drag several high-caliber fighters into the ring with Andrade including, Gennadiy Golovkin and Jermall Charlo. Now, with Alvarez also completely taking himself out of the mix, Hearn expressed his level of frustration.
“Demetrius Andrade is the most difficult fighter I’ve ever had to make a fight for,” said Hearn during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “By far.”
Eddie Hearn: “Champions Are Supposed To Fight Champions, Jermall Charlo Is Fighting, Ummm I Can’t Remember His Name”
By: Hans Themistode
Once again, promoter Eddie Hearn sat back in awe as he witnessed Demetrius Andrade do what he does best, dominate. The current WBO middleweight world champion was pushed more than usual against top contender Liam Williams. However, he was able to take care of business at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida late last night.
With another subpar name now plastered to the resume of Andrade (30-0, 18 KOs), Hearn was fuming following the win.
Over the past few years, Hearn has tried on numerous occasions to stage a contest between both Andrade and current WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo. Yet, no matter how hard he tries and no matter how much money he throws in the face of Charlo, he continues to look the other way.
The Houston native’s refusal to fight Andrade makes no sense to the promoter, especially considering the newly announced opponent that Charlo will be facing
“Champions are supposed to fight champions,” said Hearn following Andrade’s win. “Jermall Charlo is fighting, ummm I can’t remember his name.”
The forgotten name of Charlo’s next opponent by Hearn is fringe contender Juan Macias Montiel. The two are slated to face off on June 19th, at a yet to be determined site. In the opinion of Hearn, Montiel simply follows a disturbing pattern for Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs). While the pugnacious knockout artist claims that he wants to unify the division, he has yet to show interest in making their contest become a reality.
If Charlo needs someone to emulate, he should look no further than his very own twin brother, Jermell Charlo, who is already a unified champion at 154 pounds and will look to become the undisputed king when he takes on WBO belt holder Brian Castano on July 17th.
“His brother is doing a great job, he’s going for it in the division fighting champions. I don’t know what he’s (Jermall Charlo) doing. If he doesn’t want to fight on DAZN, we’ve made him a massive offer. Demetrius will go and fight on FOX. It’s not a problem.”
More than anything, Hearn is seemingly growing frustrated with his inability to land a big fight for the undefeated southpaw. Although there is a long list of fighters that Hearn would love to throw Andrade in with, possibly none would be bigger than a showdown between Andrade and Charlo.
“Jermall Charlo against Demetrius Andrade is a big, big fight. It’s two great American world champions. Why are the champions not looking to fight Demetrius Andrade.”
Eddie Hearn Gives His Point Of View On Why Jermall Charlo Hasn’t Fought Demetrius Andrade: “If Charlo Believed He Would Win, He Would Fight Him”
By: Hans Themistode
Eddie Hearn thought it was going to be pretty easy. With someone as skilled as Demetrius Andrade, the long-time promoter figured all he needed to do was provide him with a platform to showcase his skills and the big fights would come rolling in. However, after spending so many years promoting him, he’s found it virtually impossible to find a notable contest for him.
With no big fights on the horizon, Hearn is coming to the realization that throughout all of his years as a promoter, Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) could very well be the most difficult fighter he’s ever tried to get a big fight for.
“I think so,” said Hearn during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “Billy Joe Saunders is up there, Devin Haney is now looking like one of those guys as well. It’s a huge compliment to these fighters that the champions won’t face them because what it means is they’re really good.”
Amongst the many names that Hearn has attempted to lure into the ring to face the WBO middleweight belt holder is WBC titlist Jermall Charlo. For years now, Hearn has sat back and listened to the surly knockout artist scream and shout that he was the best fighter in the division.
Following Charlo’s most recent win against Sergiy Derevyanchenko this past September, the Houstonian claimed that he wanted to become a unified champion. However, when Hearn reached out to team Charlo with what he felt was a significant offer, reportedly for seven million dollars, nothing came to fruition.
Despite the large sum of cash, for whatever reason, their negotiations never quite got out of the racing blocks. Although several months have passed since then, Hearn is still acrimonious over the entire event.
“What pisses me off is you’ve got people like Charlo who finishes his fight and he says he wants to unify the division and wants every belt. Well, I’ve got one for you, Demetrius Andrade. Here’s a huge offer to fight on DAZN but he says no, he doesn’t want to fight on DAZN so I say okay, let’s do it on Showtime or FOX. We want the same money that you just paid Derevyanchenko, that’s it.”
With Hearn willing to acquiesce to all of Charlo’s demands, more or less, the head man over at Matchroom doesn’t believe Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) will jump into the ring with Andrade anytime soon.
Simply put, it doesn’t matter how much money he throws in his face or how badly he attempts to antagonize him. Hearn unambiguously believes that Charlo knows in his heart of hearts that if they do fight, he just won’t win.
“What is it? Do they not think they can beat him? Ultimately it is, cause if it was an easy fight or if Charlo believe’d he would win, he would fight him.”
Eddie Hearn On Deontay Wilder: “If He Can’t Show That Power Then He’s Irrelevant”
By: Hans Themistode
For the most part, promoter Eddie Hearn simply couldn’t understand what everyone was talking about. Sure former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was winning, but the manner in which he was doing was so was vastly unimpressive to the long-time headman over at Matchroom.
To Hearn, Wilder’s saving grace always has and always will be his devastating power. However, as illustrated in his last fight against Tyson Fury, that vaunted power doesn’t mean a thing if it doesn’t land.
“Without his power, I don’t even think he would be registered on the world-class scene,” said Hearn during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He does have tremendous power. But, in my opinion, the only way he wins is to detonate that power against an elite heavyweight. If you look at the second Luis Ortiz fight, he lost every round but he showed the power. If he can’t show that power then he’s irrelevant in the fight against a brilliant fighter. Fury was too smart for him.”
Wilder, of course, stopped Ortiz in the seventh round of their 2019 contest but was ultimately knocked out in the seventh against Tyson Fury the following year.
Since then, Wilder has chastised his now former co-trainer Mark Breland for stopping their contest and ripped apart referee Kenny Bayless for his alleged preferential treatment of Fury on the night.
Without a fight date, Wilder’s return to the ring is an open-ended question. But while many have no idea if or when, he will return at all, Hearn hopes that he does in fact comeback.
“I hope so. He’s brilliant for the sport, great for the game. He’s a good self-promoter, great talker, really exciting and a huge puncher. I just don’t think he’s very good.”
At no point has Wilder ever been confused with Floyd Mayweather. In short, the Alabama native isn’t known for his boxing ability. But even at the peak of his powers, Hearn always believed that unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua would handle Wilder convincingly.
Unfortunately however, both sides could never come to terms on a fight agreement. In Hearn’s opinion, Wilder had a much better chance of defeating Joshua several years ago. Now, on the other hand, Hearn believes Wilder would simply be wiped out.
“I’ve always felt that AJ (Anthony Joshua) would just destroy him and even more so now. He’s technically so good now that Wilder wouldn’t even get his shot off. AJ used to be reckless and when you’re reckless, you’re always wide open to the shot. But now, AJ would take his time and pick him apart.”
Eddie Hearn: “Callum Smith Is Going To Return Later This Year At Light Heavyweight”
By: Hans Themistode
Callum Smith won’t make any excuses. However, something just wasn’t right.
When the British native stepped into the ring against Canelo Alvarez just a few months ago, he looked lethargic, passive and unenthused about being there. By the time 12 rounds of action passed by, Smith knew that he hadn’t done nearly enough to pick up the win. He was right as he lost a wide decision on the night.
Shortly after the defeat which resulted in the forfeiture of his WBA and Ring magazine titles, Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) told reporters that making the super middleweight limit has never been easy and making the move to light heavyweight could be a move that he does sooner rather than later. Well, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, that move is coming now.
“Callum Smith is going to return later this year at light heavyweight,” said Hearn during his Instagram Live.
In terms of whom Smith could make his return against, Hearn was mum on the subject. But while an opponent hasn’t been sought out just yet, Hearn does work closely with WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol. The undefeated belt holder is set to end a year and a half of inactivity later on this year as Hearn is currently working on back-to-back title defenses in an effort to help him shake some of the rust off.
As for Smith’s run at 168 pounds, he leaves behind a legacy that included a WBA world title, a first-place finish in the World Boxing Super Series in 2018 and a long list of notable fighters he knocked off along the way.
With stoppage wins over the likes of George Groves, Rocky Fielding and Hassan N’Dam – Smith will look to pick up even bigger victories and more world titles seven pounds north. First things first however, he’ll continue to recover from the injuries he suffered at the hands of Alvarez before getting his feet wet in a new weight class.
Eddie Hearn On Canelo Alvarez: “Billy Joe Saunders On May The 8th Then He Wants To Go And Fight Caleb Plant”
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez tends to give cliche answers at times.
Regardless of boxing fans having a strong idea as to who he is expected to fight next, Alvarez remains in the moment and always keeps his options open.
Case in point would be the Mexican star’s refusal to acknowledge that should he get past his mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in less than two weeks, a fight with WBO super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders is next on his boxing calendar.
One man, who has no problem revealing the future plans of Alvarez is promoter Eddie Hearn. And again, during a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, Hearn spilled the beans on the 2021 fight schedule for Alvarez.
“Our deal with him is a two-fight deal,” explained Hearn. “The first is Avni Yildirim and subject to him winning and finalizing some minor stuff, Billy Joe Saunders on May the 8th. Then he wants to go and fight Caleb Plant.”
Alvarez, 30, by all accounts, is still a promotional free agent following his fallout with DAZN and promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. Meaning, unlike many of the top boxing names who are shackled to long-term deals and more times than not, are not afforded the opportunity to face the names that fans would like them to, i.e., Terence Crawford, Alvarez simply doesn’t have that issue.
Still, while Alvarez has shown absolutely no interest in signing his name to promotional deals, Hearn isn’t worried about his staying power with the pound-for-pound star. Simply put, don’t fix what isn’t broken.
“I don’t see it happening. We have a great relationship. We worked fantastically together for the Callum Smith fight and we actually have another big announcement coming with Canelo Alvarez next week for some more business together.”
Eddie Hearn Doesn’t Expect Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury Winner To Be Undisputed For Long: “The WBO Will Have To Be Vacated After The First Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
The undisputed title reign of either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury will apparently be short-lived. With both heavyweight titlist headed towards a two fight showdown with all of the marbles on the line, whomever walks away from their first contest as the winner will become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
Although there will be reason to celebrate, neither man will have time to bask in the ultimate glory for long.
“The WBO will have to be vacated after the first fight,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to The Express.
While the WBC, IBF and WBA sanctioning bodies have all been onboard in allowing their undisputed contest to take place, the WBO has always been reluctant. Their resistance to the showdown mostly stems from mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. After capturing every world title in the Cruiserweight division, Usyk decided that it was time to move on to bigger and better things. Upon arriving in the land of the heavyweights, the Ukrainian was guaranteed a title shot due to his status one weight class lower.
However, due to various injuries and a worldwide pandemic, Usyk’s title shot was protracted. Now, with wins against Chazz Witherspoon and Dereck Chisora, Usyk remains in the number one position to challenge for the WBO world title.
For the WBO, they were placed between a rock and a hard place. Ultimately, the sanctioning body decided to allow Joshua to hold on to his WBO title which now allows his unification showdown with Fury to have every single heavyweight championship on the line.
Not to be completely ignored, the sanctioning body has placated Usyk’s worries by allowing him to fight for its interim title against number two contender Joe Joyce. The winner of their matchup would then be assured a shot at the full title.
If either Joshua or Fury is stripped of the WBO title following their first matchup for refusing to face the winner of Usyk vs Joyce due to their immediate rematch, is of little importance. As long as the first contest between Joshua and Fury produces an undisputed world champion that’s all that matters. Even if it is short-lived.
“If they’re contracted to have two fights and the winner has got to fight the winner of Usyk vs Joyce, they’re just not going to do it. It’s fine because we get the undisputed first. All I want is the winner of this fight to be undisputed. What happens after that doesn’t matter, it’s just a rematch and another great fight. But this is what it’s all about, finding out who the best is.”
Canelo Alvarez vs Callum Smith Inching Towards December Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
Fans of Canelo Alvarez had become sick and tired of watching their pound for pound star fighting his battles outside of the ring and inside the courtroom. Now, it appears things will go back to normal.
After a relatively short legal battle with former promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions along with streaming company DAZN, Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) has become a free agent and is reportedly facing off against WBC super middleweight titlist Callum Smith in mid December. No deal has been struck yet, but promoter Eddie Hearn has stated that talks are “ongoing.”
Also, according to Hearn, although Alvarez has recently broke free from his DAZN contract, should his contest against Smith take place, it would be shown on DAZN.
Alvarez, 30, is still in possession of the WBA Regular super middleweight title. A belt he claimed in late 2018 with a third round knockout victory over Rocky Fielding, making a potential showdown with Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) a unification contest.
For Smith, the lanky British product has also sat idly on the sidelines. In his last ring appearance, which took place in November of 2019, roughly the same date as Alvarez, Smith was seen struggling to win a unanimous decision against then mandatory challenger John Ryder. Regardless of his performance, Smith has called for a showdown with Alvarez for years now.
The former World Boxing Super Series winner was always viewed as a possible candidate. Yet, so was WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, IBF belt holder Caleb Plant and a long list of others.
Nothing is set in stone as of now, but Hearn believes something could be imminent. Should a deal be struck, the likely destination would be Texas. Late last month, former two division champion Gervonta Davis, hosted the first live boxing event with a crowd in attendance since COVID-19 closed the doors of various venues around the world. A crowd of just over 9,000 witnessed the 25 year old score a knockout of the year candidate against Leo Santa Cruz.
In Alvarez’s last trip to Texas, the former four division champion stopped Liam Smith, brother of Callum, in the ninth round of their contest.
Eddie Hearn: “Devin Haney Would Have Beaten Vasiliy Lomachenko”
By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez was made, promoter Eddie Hearn believed that their contest would be one way traffic.
It was never meant to be a slight to the boxing ability of Lopez, but more so a compliment to how great of a fighter Lomachenko is. Yet, following a timid first half, the former three division world titlist found himself digging out of a major hole during the second half of their contest. Despite his rally, his efforts were not rewarded as he lost via unanimous decision.
Even with their contest taking place several weeks ago, Hearn can’t help but poke fun at himself over his prediction.
“I rate Lomachenko so highly,” said Hearn during a recent Zoom press conference. “I think he’s a great fighter. I gave a great prediction for that Lomachenko vs Lopez fight when I said Lomachenko would win every round. How wrong was I? I woke up on Sunday and checked my phone and couldn’t believe what I saw.”
Although Hearn gives Lopez all of the credit in the world, apart of him believes that his fighter in WBC lightweight belt holder Devin Haney missed the boat. Before Lopez vs Lomachenko was ever signed, the 21 year old and his promoter threw their name into the mix for a possible showdown.
In September of 2019, Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) ran over Zaur Abdullaev to the tune of a fourth round stoppage win. The victory netted the Las Vegas, resident the WBC interim title and placed him at the head of the line for a shot at Lomachenko.
Those dreams however, were immediately crushed as President of the WBC Mauricio Sulaiman pushed Lomachenko to Franchise status. As a result, Haney was subsequently made full champion.
For Hearn, he never wanted his fighter to win his world title that way. So while he gives a round of applause to team Lopez for what they were able to accomplish, he firmly believes that Haney would have done the exact same.
“Bill Haney and Devin Haney believed that they were the one’s that could beat Lomachenko. It’s easy for me now to say yeah Devin would have done exactly what Teofimo did but on that night, I think for sure Devin Haney would have beaten Vasiliy Lomachenko.”
Eddie Hearn: “Vasiliy Lomachenko Will Win Every Round”
By: Hans Themistode
Most of the boxing world has been conflicted.
On some days, observers of the sport have been firmly behind unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko to win his clash against fellow belt holder Teofimo Lopez. But on others, the script is flipped as they believe Lopez will decapitate Lomachenko tomorrow night.
No matter which way most are viewing their contest, most, if not all, believe it will be a close contest from start to finish.
But while the boxing world continues to flip flop between their respective picks, promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t waste any time in making his.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko will win every round,” said Hearn to IFL TV.
Hearn, of course, has seen Lomachenko up close and personal on several occasions. In back to back fights in which the British promoter was apart of, he saw Lomachenko cruise past his fighters. The first occurred in April of 2019. Hearn sat back and watched his fellow Britt in Anthony Crolla get annihilated in four rounds.
Just four months later, Hearn would again be ringside as he watched another of his fighters, this time in Luke Campbell, get toyed with by the Ukrainian.
Lopez, to his credit, has done some impressive work over the years as well. The Brooklyn native rolled over his competition which subsequently led a second round stoppage win over then title holder Richard Commey in December of 2019.
Ever since the 23 year old has stepped foot inside a boxing ring, he’s grown a reputation for not only talking smack but also backing it up. During the build up of his contest against Lomachenko, Lopez has followed the exact same script.
In short, the knockout artist has done the sort of talking that has many believing in him. With that being said, Hearn isn’t one of them.
“Great fight, great fight. Lopez has done some brilliant talking. But Lomachenko will win every round.”