The PBC is Primed to Take Over the PPV Market
By: William Holmes
Much has been written about in the past several months about the arrival of streaming as a viable platform for boxing promoters. Top Rank has aligned themselves with ESPN+, which is available to subscribers for $5 dollars a month. Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing have aligned themselves with DAZN, which is available to subscribers for $10 dollars a month.
Both platforms seem intent on convincing promoters to abandon the traditional Pay Per View(PPV) model in favor of the newer streaming model.
Photo Credit: Stephen Espinoza Twitter Account (@StephenEspinoza)
However, there’s still one major player in the sport of boxing that isn’t aligned with any streaming service, and they appear to be focused on their relationship with Fox Sports and Showtime with an eye towards PPV for their bigger fights.
That player is Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
HBO’s retreat from the Pay Per View Boxing business left a hole that the PBC appears to be more than ready to fill. On Saturday December 1st they’ll put on Heavyweight Title Fight on PPV between undefeated Tyson Fury and undefeated champion Deontay Wilder.
The Heavyweight division was considered to be boxing’s golden division in the Pay-Per-View business before Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came along, and it is still the division that attracts casuals to the sport with its propensity for knockouts.
But the undercard for December’s heavyweight pay per view attraction shows the PBC’s serious commitment to PPV.
There appears to be at least nine different fights which showcase a boxer who has previously headlined a big event, holds a world title, or is line for a future title shot.
Jarrett Hurd will be defending his junior middleweight title in the co-main event with a possible shot against one of the Charlo brothers hanging in the balance. Luis Ortiz is looking for another title shot and will be facing Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight division. Anthony Yarde and Joe Joyce are two boxers who have been making a name for themselves in the United Kingdom and will be fighting stateside on December 1st in separate bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is still a big name that carries a lot of attention, and he’ll be facing the always tough and former title challenger Alfredo Angulo.
Wait, there’s more…
Mark Barriga and Carlos Licona are also fighting on the undercard for the vacant IBF Strawweight Title. Chris Arreola is still a big name in the heavyweight division, and he’s facing Maurenzo Smith. Former world titlist Robert Guerrero is coming out of retirement to make his return in the welterweight division.
There’s a lot of fights and fighters on this card that are capable of headlining their own card on Showtime or Fox Sports that will be featured on this PPV. A card stacked with this much talent shows PBC’s commitment to the PPV model.
But, their PPV commitment doesn’t stop at the heavyweight division.
The PBC is expected to announce an upcoming PPV fight with Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Pacquiao, a long time client of Top Rank Promotions, is still a big pay per view draw if he is matched up with the right opponent. The only viable pay per view opponent Pacquiao had with Top Rank was Terence Crawford. Even though Crawford’s skills as a boxer and undeniable and he would probably be considered a favorite if he fought Pacquiao, he hasn’t shown that he has the name recognition to sell pay per view.
Broner is just one of many fascinating matchups that the PBC has for Pacquiao. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and even Mikey Garcia are all possible opponents for Pacquiao that could eventually wind up on pay per view.
Most importantly, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a more realistic possibility now that Pacquiao has signed with the PBC.
The PBC has also announced a PPV fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Garcia brings the loyalty of the Mexican boxing fan base into play when it comes to pay per view buys and Spence is considered by many to be one of the top pound for pound talents in the sport today. It’s a good fight worthy of pay per view, but probably won’t sell as well as most Pacquiao or Mayweather PPVs.
What about the Charlo brothers? They’re highly entertaining and have engaging personalities. They’re two other highly talented boxers on the PBC roster with PPV potential, provided they can find quality opponents.
The co-main event of December 1st features one such opponent, IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Jarret Hurd.
The talent that the PBC has on their roster is undeniable. Can they turn that talent into PPV success? Wilder vs. Fury and the signing of Manny Pacquiao shows they’re certainly going to try.
Breland Training Wilder For Psychological Warfare Against Fury
By: Sean Crose
“Going pretty good,” Mark Breland tells me of his fighter, Deontay Wilder’s, preparation for a December showdown with Tyson Fury. “Looking sharp.” Breland, a former Gold Medalist and world welterweight champ, is sometimes uneasy when a fighter looks TOO good in the earlier stages of training camp, for it’s unwise to peak too soon. As it stands, however, the man is satisfied with Wilder’s progression.
Both Breland and Wilder are aware of the fact that Fury presents a unique challenge. Not only is the former heavyweight king after Wilder’s WBC heavyweight belt, he’s also, like Wilder, undefeated and awkward. What’s more, Fury is the rare opponent who is actually taller than Wilder is. For Breland, though, the concern right now is “basically that little awkward stuff he (Fury) does” in the ring.
Photo Credit: Mark Breland Twitter Account
Anyone whose seen Fury fight knows that he likes to play an elusive game by engaging in herky-jerky movements. “He tries to throw you off,” Breland says of the Englishman’s style. “He tries to get a rise out of you.” Breland’s aware of the fact that it’s a strategy that has worked for Fury on a large scale. “He’s not as stupid as people say he is,” Breland states.
It’s common knowledge Fury likes to get inside opponent’s heads before a fight even begins. Breland agrees that one of the reason’s Fury stunned then champ Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015 was Fury’s acute use of mind games before the bout. Men like Fury, Breland argues “want to see what they get out of you.”
Breland, who himself was always a cool customer in the ring, is preparing Wilder as much for Fury’s mind games as he is for the exchange of punches. “He’s going to try everything in the book to frustrate you,” he says of Fury. Breland isn’t impressed with those who run wild in this era of smack talk.
“These guys,” he says, “take it too far.” Breland advises that one should let the adversary do what he wants beforehand. “Just don’t hit him,” he says. “When you hit him, it’s a lawsuit.” So far, Wilder has seemed impervious to Fury’s taunts, which perfectly suits his trainer. Breland, however, is preparing his man for any contingency.
“I honestly think,” he says of Wilder, “if he catches him, he’s going” to knock him out. Yet Breland is ready for Fury to try to up the frustration level when he meets Wilder in the Staples’ Center ring on December 1st. “It can be a long, drawn out fight,” Breland states. Not that he’s worried. “Don’t get discouraged,” he points out. “He’s not doing nothing and you don’t have to do nothing.” In other words, don’t take the bait.
“Just keep tapping him with the jab,” Breland says. “Anything with Fury is mental.”
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Pulev Decisions Fury
By: Michael Kane
Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev defeated England’s Hughie Fury with an unanimous decision win at the Arena Armeec, Sofia, Bulgaria. The scorecard read 117-111, 118-110 and 115-113.
Pulev (26-1, 13 KOs) now becomes the IBF mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua. Joshua is due to fight in April 2019, time will tell if Pulev gets the chance to face the champion.
It’s back to the drawing board for Fury (21-2, 11 KOs) who never really got going in the contest. Fury won the British title in May and may look to defend that title next.
The first round was a feeling out round, with no major punches landing, the second round was much the same until Pulev landed a jab that cut Fury above the eye.
Fury came charging out in the 3rd, looking as if he was trying to knock Pulev out, possibly concerned about the cut and being able to go the distance. The fourth would see Pulev be more aggressive. Throwing some big punches.
As the fight moved into the middle rounds, it was turning out to be quite a scrappy affair. A lot of holding and pulling went on throughout the fight and wasn’t the most pleasing on the eye.
In the 8th round, Fury landed a big right which made Pulev stumble, this was clearly Fury’s best round. However Pulev came out in the 9th and took back control. Pulev continued to be on top in the 10th.
Fury was now looking tired as the fight moved into 11th, and in the 12th didn’t offer much, Pulev was looking fresh in the final round and it was clear who the winner would be.
Pulev will now be looking to face Joshua for the IBF title in what would be his second world title fight, in what was his only loss against Wladimir Klitschko.
Fury Speaks Of Battles In And Out Of The Ring
By: Sean Crose
I had the hunger to beat Wladimir Klitscko,” Tyson Fury told Joe Rogan on Thursday, “but not to carry on and continue.” Fury, who is training to face WBC champ Deontay Wilder on December 1st at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, was a guest on Rogan’s popular podcast for over a full hour. During the lengthy conversation he discussed beating Klitschko, his battles with mental illness and addiction, and of course Deontay Wilder. Fury was the toast of the fight game after he stunned Kltischko to win the heavyweight title back in 2015. After that, however, the Englishman’s life spiraled out of control.
“I was depressed as depressed can be on a daily basis,” he said. “It just went from bad to worse.” Fans of the fight game are familiar with Fury’s spectacular fall from on high. Within a short time, he went from heavyweight king to former champ. What’s more, Fury’s emotional issues seemed to have clearly gotten the best of him after a certain point. “I hit the drink heavily on a daily basis,” he said. “I hit the drugs. I was out all night partying with women of the night, just coming home.” Things were so bad that Fury wanted out on life. “I just wanted to die, and I was going to have a good time doing it.”
After nearly intentionally killing himself in his vehicle and having a moment of realization, Tyson attempted to turn his life around. “You can only change your life if you want to change it,” he told Rogan. Crediting his faith in God, Fury is now engaged in prepping for what is surely a lucrative (and perhaps career defining) battle with Wilder, a fighter about as colorful as he is. Still quick with a wise crack, Fury joked about the WBC champions’ awkward style. “It reminds me of Bambi on ice,” he quipped. Still, he admitted to admiring Wilder for being willing to take on the big challenges.
“He could have picked much easier opponents and made similar money,” said Fury in his British accent. “I take me hat off to him.” Unlike many in the fight game, Fury was also quick to praise Widler’s team, which of course, includes the enigmatic and often maligned Al Haymon. “They were the most fairest most straight going people I ever worked with,” he said outright. “There was no hard negotiations. It was very, very simple.” Fury didn’t have such kind words for the team of heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua. According to Fury, Wilder’s camp offered “Joshuas team 80 million dollars for a 2 fight deal…and they declined that.” Fury then made it clear that his words were more than just gossip. “My lawyer, Robert Davis, he saw proof of funds from Al Haymon,” he told Rogan.
Although he was critical of both Joshua and Wilder, Fury showed on the podcast that he can be self critical, as well – or at least honest regarding himself. “My biggest fight in my whole career,” he said of his battle with Klitchko, “was a twelve round snooze fest. I’m man enough to say that.” Fury also credited Steve Cunningham, who he faced in his American debut, as being his most difficult opponent to date. “I’m not going to make any excuses,” he told Rogan. “Steven Cunningham was a better boxer than me.”
In the end, of course, Fury was able to rise to the occasion and defeat Cunningham. He plans to continue rising to the occasion. “The way to beat mental health is setting goals,” he said, “giving yourself short term and long term goals.”
ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Fury vs. Pulev
By: Michael Kane
Hughie Fury travels to the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria this Saturday to face local favourite Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) in a 12 round IBF title elimination bout.
Whoever wins will become the mandatory contender for Anthony Joshua’s IBF strap.
Photo Credit: Hennessy Spors Twitter Page
Pulev, 37, has been relatively inactive in recent years, with his last bout coming 18 months ago when he defeated Kevin Johnson by unanimous decision. Pulev’s only defeat was in his title challenge against Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014 when he gamely tried to go toe to toe with the champion, succumbing to a 5th round KO.
The 24 year old, Fury, has only one defeat also, which came in his title challenge against Joshua Parker for the WBO title in September 2017. Fury gave a good account of himself, showing good movement however he didn’t let his hands go enough costing himself the victory.
Fury (21-1, 11 KOs) returned in May this year and took on Sam Sexton for the British title. It appeared Fury had learned a lesson from the Parker defeat as he threw and landed more, winning by TKO in the 5th round.
With the prospect of facing Joshua in a massive fight at Wembley next year, Fury said in a press release, “Those are the kind of fights I want and that fight in particular.
“I’m not looking past Pulev but whenever that Joshua fight is available, I’d take it with both hands. It’s a case of beating Pulev, getting that out the way and then we’ll talk business after that.
“Titles mean a lot more to me than money. I’ve never really been interested in money. I’m focused on one thing and that’s becoming a world champion.
“I feel stronger in myself and I’ve got more hunger, drive and motivation to get the job done. I’ve had disappointments in the past but they helped make me the person I am today.
“I’m looking forward to these fights, taking things one step at a time and following my dreams.”
In the press conference this week, Fury said,”Thank you to the people of Bulgaria for welcoming me. I’ve had a great reception – it’s a pleasure to be here again. It’s a country that I’ve been coming to since I was a teenager and I hope to come again soon.
“I can’t wait for the fight on Saturday. Camp’s been tough but all the hard work’s done now, now’s the easy bit. – the fight. It’s not long now, it’s only three days away. I’ve come over here to win. I’m prepared for whatever he [Pulev] throws at me, and if I have to go the distance to do that so be it. Believe me when I say it’s going to be one hell of a fight.
“I watched him [Pulev] in action at yesterday’s open workout and I don’t see anything to be worried about. I’ve done my preparation and I’ve got Plans A through to Z ready for whatever he comes at me with.”
Pulev said,“This is the first time such a high profile fight has been held in Bulgaria. It’s never happened before. My opponent is very strong and It’s a very serious fight at world level.
“Camp has gone well and I’m well prepared. I’m in a concentrated place. I believe my years of experience has led me to this day where I have the maturity to manage fights to the end. I work very hard and this is what I’ve been doing the last three months with my coach and team. I have developed my strength this past year, not just physically but also mentally. I’m in the best shape I can.
“The arena will be full on Saturday night. I have to win to make the home ground proud. They are incredibly supportive of me.”
With the fight taking place in Bulgaria, Pulev will be the favourite, Fury may have to try and KO the Bulgarian to have a chance of winning, if it goes to a decision, expect a Pulev win.
The fight will be shown on Channel 5 in the UK and ESPN+ in the USA.
Other notable fights on card are:
Vacant EBU European Union Cruiserweight title
Tervel Pulev v Leonardo Damian Bruzzese
Vacant WBA Inter Continental Female Super Middleweight title
Savannah Marshall v Yanina Orozco
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Fury, Creed, Badou Jack, Jacobs, Machado, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 17th to October 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Team Fury Take in the Sights of Bulgaria Ahead of Landmark Showdown on Saturday Night
Having landed in Sofia on Saturday evening, British boxers Hughie Fury and Savannah Marshall took in the sights and sounds of Plovdiv- some 150km away in Southern Bulgaria on Monday afternoon, as they took time out from their preparations for Saturday’s ‘Fire & Fury’ event, which is live at 9pm on free to air Channel 5.
British heavyweight champion Fury, 24, and women’s super-middleweight sensation Marshall, 27, visited the ancient city- the second largest city in Bulgaria, taking in some of the cultural landmarks that reflect more than 2,000 years of history including the Roman Antique Theatre, Saint Ludvik Cathedral, Alyosha Monument and the Plovdiv Roman stadium.
After visiting the famous landmarks, the British pair turned their attention to how they could make their own history on Saturday night.
Hughie Fury said: “Since we arrived here on Saturday we’ve had such a warm and friendly welcome from the people of Sofia. They’re genuinely excited about the fight on Saturday. I know the majority of the fans out here will be supporting Pulev but that doesn’t faze me. I’m just going to do my thing and show them what I’m all about.”
Savannah Marshall said: “Bulgaria is a beautiful place. I’d like to get out and see a little bit more but I can’t take anything for granted, my focus is 100% on taking down Yanina Orozco this Saturday night.”
Fury takes on Bulgarian native Kubrat Pulev in an IBF Heavyweight Final Eliminator at the Armeec Arena on October 27. Marshall will face Argentina’s Yanina Orozco in a 10-round bout on the undercard.
For more information or current fight news, visit or www.hennessysports.com/ or follow @HennessySports on Twitter.
Tripleheader Action on HBO’s World Championship Boxing this Saturday Live from New York City
HBO Sports heads to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the explosive tripleheader WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: DANIEL JACOBS VS. SERGIY DEREVYANCHENKO, ALBERTO MACHADO VS. YUANDALE EVANS AND HEATHER HARDY VS. SHELLY VINCENT 2 presented SATURDAY, OCT. 27 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) on HBO. The HBO Sports team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
In an intriguing middleweight showdown, Brooklyn-born headliner Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) takes on an opponent he knows well – Ukraine native Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs), who now resides in Brooklyn – in a scheduled 12-round battle for a vacant title. Set to train in the Bay area, Jacobs, 31, is determined to regain a 160-pound title belt. Making his HBO debut, Derevyanchenko, 32, looks to keep his perfect record intact, showcase his considerable ring skills and pull off a stunner. In a red-hot division, this is one of the most anticipated bouts of the fall.
Both fighters have been trained by Andre Rozier. For the Oct. 27 showdown, Rozier will be in Jacobs’ corner, while Gary Stark Sr. mans the corner for Derevyanchenko.
The middle bout of the telecast bout is a scheduled 12-round super featherweight title bout between Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico and Cleveland’s Yuandale Evans (20-1, 14 KOs). Defending champ Machado, 28, is making his third HBO appearance. With back-to-back wins in 2017, the 29-year-old Evans seeks to take the title back to Ohio.
Leading off the tripleheader is a 10-round thrilling rematch of two fierce competitors: Heather Hardy of Brooklyn, NY (21-0, 4 KOs) and Shelly Vincent from Providence, RI (23-1, 1 KO). This battle renews their hot rivalry which resulted in the 2016 women’s fight of the year. The vacant world featherweight belt is on the line.
Follow HBO boxing news at hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter at twitter.com/hboboxing.
All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.
The executive producer of HBO Sports is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jonathan Crystal; director, Johnathan Evans.
Badou Jack’s “Ripper Nutrition” Lands Multimillion-Dollar Asian Distribution Deal
Two-division world boxing champion Badou Jack’s burgeoning nutrition line Ripper Nutrition has announced a multi-year multimillion-dollar deal across Asia with Hong Kong-based ERS Ventures (HK) Ltd., a company specializing in marketing and distributing consumer products globally, for his line of premium pre-workout OXY RIPPER and post-workout AMINO RIPPER sports supplements.
Jack, who is one of the most accomplished fighters in the Mayweather Promotions stable, is a two-division world champion having held the WBC Super Middleweight Title and WBA Light Heavyweight Title. Outside of the ring, the continued growth of Ripper Nutrition is an important aspect of Jack’s success as he continues to promote health and fitness worldwide.
“My team and I are very excited to partner with ERS Ventures and introduce Ripper Nutrition to the Asian market,” said Jack, who is the co-owner of Ripper Nutrition. “We are proud to offer the most advanced and cleanest supplements ever formulated and taking the Ripper Nutrition brand global is something that we wanted to do from day one. I strive to be an international ambassador for the sport of boxing through my projects outside of the ring and this deal is another huge step in that direction.”
OXY RIPPER and AMINO RIPPER are the first sports supplements to combine the highest quality Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) with the revolutionary plant based peptide LUNASIN, a powerful antioxidant that clinical studies have shown to reduce inflammation, support heart health, and boost your immune system. LUNASIN is the first peptide that has been discovered to positively affect gene expressions and has a multitude of large-scale scientific studies done to prove its positive effects.
“Having launched Ripper Nutrition just a few months ago, this deal speaks volumes about the progression of our company, the science behind our products and the future of Ripper Nutrition,” said Amer Abdallah, co-founder of Ripper Nutrition. “We have some more major announcements coming soon and this is just the beginning.”
Under the terms of the agreement, ERS Ventures (HK) Ltd. will be the exclusive distributor in Asia for Ripper Nutrition LLC., OXY RIPPER and AMINO RIPPER sports supplements.
“We’re very excited to be working with Badou Jack ‘The Ripper’ and his team in representing and distributing Ripper Nutrition Sports Supplements in Asia,” said Robert Schwartz, President of ERS Ventures (JK) Ltd. “Badou is a world champion and having his name on these supplements allows us to share his incredible back story of how Ripper Nutrition started. We also share his passion to introduce to the world an effective and incredibly powerful American made premium sports supplement.”
Arizona’s First Seven Round Fight-Ramirez vs. Valdez
When Tucson’s Jensen Ramirez (6-2-3, 1KO) squares off with Nogales’ Thomas Valdez (16-4-2, 6KO) at the Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater, it will be the first seven-round bout in Arizona’s history. The featherweight bout headlines the Nov. 17 event, dubbed Guerra De Gallos.
Raging Babe’s Michelle Rosado had to think outside the box when negotiating the card’s main event. One camp wanted an eight-round fight and one wanted a six. Rosado, consulting with her mentor, Hall-of-Fame Promoter J Russell Peltz, lamented the potential loss of a solid, local main event. Peltz had a solution. “Why not meet in the middle and make it seven rounds?” Rosado was skeptical. “I told him to get outta here,” Rosado said. “I was laughing, but Peltz wasn’t joking. School was in session.”
There was a precedent. Peltz told the story of “The Long-Haired Boxer” Edwin “Chu Chu” Malave vs. Harold Weston, Jr. in a welterweight bout that took place in August of 1971 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Malave wanted the bout to be eight rounds, and Weston wanted 10. The New York State Athletic Commission proposed that the bout be nine rounds. Malave went on to win a split decision, with two judges scoring the fight 5-4 in his favor, and the third scoring it 5-4 for Weston.
Rosado had her fight.
“I bought right into it when Russell told me about the Malave-Weston bout,” she said. “I knew we had a good fight, and there was something special about having a seven-round main event.” Both Ramirez and Valdez’s teams agreed, and the Pascua Yacqui Commission sanctioned the seven-round bout. On Nov. 17, Tucson boxing fans will see Arizona’s first seven-round bout between two local “gallos.”
Raging Babe will host a press conference this Thursday, October 25 at Casino Del Sol’s Paradiso Lounge at 2 p.m. The presser will be open to the public and will include a tribute to promoter Don Chargin.
Stars of Creed II, Legends of Boxing to Assemble for 29th Annual Fight Night DC
Fight For Children, the Washington D.C. based non-profit that has improved the health and well-being of at-risk children throughout the area for three decades, today announced an exciting lineup for its 29th annual Fight Night fundraiser. One of the most storied charity events of the year, the star-studded affair on Thursday, November 1 at the Washington Hilton will bring together nearly 2,000 leaders of business, government, philanthropy, sports, and entertainment for a memorable evening of fundraising, networking, boxing, and musical performances.
The organization’s mission is to provide at-risk children in Washington with access to high quality youth sports programming, and ensure they are active, socially and emotionally engaged, performing well in school and on a path to a successful future. Since the inaugural event in 1990, Fight Night has become one of the premiere events of the year and, through the generosity of its supporters and contributors, has raised more than $65 million.
“Fight Night is the engine that drives Fight For Children,” said Raul Fernandez Vice Chairman and Owner, Monumental Sports and Entertainment and Chairman of Fight For Children. “The overwhelming support we receive from our partners enables us to provide thousands of children in DC with incredible opportunities each year.”
Fight Night 2018 highlights: (#FightNightDC)
• “CREED II” integration. Thehighly anticipatedsequel from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures (MGM) and Warner Bros. Pictures hits theaters on November 21, 2018. Guests will be treated to special appearances by “CREED II” star Florian Munteanu (“Viktor Drago”) along with acclaimed “CREED II” director, Steven Caple Jr.
• Live boxing includes the main event, a USBA Jr. Welterweight Championship fight between Sonny Fredrickson (19-1) and Manuel Mendez (16-2-3). Leading up, guests will enjoy the women’s Jr. Welterweight Fight between Jessica Camara and Jenna Johlin Thompson, and an amateur bout featuring light heavyweights Joel Tchantchung out of Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing and Keon Burroughs from Washington’s Headbangers gym.
• Special appearances by legends of boxing including former Heavyweight Champion Buster Douglas, Ray Mancini, Gerry Cooney and Earnie Shavers; pro athletes includingformer Washington Redskins greats Ken Harvey, Gary Clark and Santana Moss; Pro boxing champion Ava Knight; Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army (retired) Captain Florent Groberg; “Ballers” actors Omar Miller, Donovan Carter, Kris Lofton and Carl McDowell.
• MGM National Harbor presents the entertainment for the evening; including musical performances by E3, a special performance of the National Anthem from Bob McDonald and Caleb Green, and the evening’s headliner, multi-platinum rap performer Flo Rida
• Featured Fight Night partners include The Fernandez Foundation, The Joseph E. Robert Jr. Charitable Trust, MGM National Harbor, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, FedEx, Washington Capitals, Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards, and Mystics.
• Fight Night 2018-2019 grantees include Beacon House, DC Scores, STEER For Student Athletes, Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, Washington Tennis
Bounty Placed on Aussie Stars for Victory 8 Saigon
Vietnam has named an imposing line up for their battle with a crack Australian squad at the Victory 8 Fight Night in HCMC November 3rd. The Vietnam Boxing Federation (VBF), which administer to the successful running of the amateur version of the sport, have managed to lure some of the most talented boxers in the country for this historic event to be conducted under professional rules.
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by local promoter VSP Boxing. “We are super excited by the depth of talent in this Vietnam team, which have a huge challenge in store against an International squad loaded with national amateur and professional champions.” Headlining for Australia will be unbeaten wunderkid Mateo Tapia and 3x world champion Gretchen Abaniel. VSP Boxing spokesman Mr. Lim Song said it was a major coup to secure boxers of such high calibre and bring them to the country for the first time. “I’m a huge fan of Tapia and Abaniel. I have seen Gretchen Abaniel fight live in China and Korea and she hits fast and hard! Mateo Tapia is a freak. To do what he has done and he’s only 20 is quite amazing. He is definitely world class potential.”
Gretchen Abaniel matches up with national champion Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi whilst Mateo Tapia faces dangerous SEA Games winner Truong Dinh Huong in the main event. To add to the interest that these two showdowns are already creating, and in recognition of the task facing the local fighters, VSP Boxing has placed a bounty on the heads of the Aussie stars. “VSP Boxing is offering 400,000,00 dong ($20,000USD) to the Vietnamese warriors if they can conquer their opponents in these two bouts. This is the biggest prize ever offered in Vietnam, and believe me, we are more than happy to pay it!”
The Australian team will fly to Saigon next Tuesday in early preparation for the Victory 8 Fight Night. The talented young boxers are under the expert tutelage of Tony Del Vecchio and Tommy Mercuri. The two trainers are amongst the most respected in the industry. Del Vecchio won a world title in Japan recently with stable star TJ Doheny, whilst Mercuri is former trainer of international star Lenny Zappavigna. When told of the bounty placed on his top fighters’ heads, Del Vecchio was unfazed. “We train hard, and we train our fighters to be champions. All these kids have skills – and they all know how to dig deep and go to war! Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely excited to see Vietnam for the first time and we know the big challenge that lies ahead.” When questioned on the subject of the Vietnamese opponents he was circumspect “The job of coach Tommy Mercuri and myself is to give each of our team a solid preparation and game plan. We don’t want to elaborate publicly on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. I will say this though, from what i have seen, the Viet fighters are very strong and exciting to watch.” But when pushed on the topic, and asked had he been impressed by any members of this Vietnam team he offered “Clearly Truong Dinh Hoang and Nguyen This Tam are quality. TDH is a smart boxer that has timing, great chin and heavy hands. Nguyen Thi Tam medalled at ASIAD then won well in Budapest. She is fast and has a great work rate. But this Nguyen Van Duong – man, this kid has got me worried!” Tommy Mercuri interjected “ Nguyen Van Duong is dangerous. The kid is 56kg and is a beast! He is fast, he is strong – he can easily go pro! In fact I will go as far to say, if Vietnam legalises professional boxing, Nguyen Van Duong is maybe the hottest talent in the country!” High praise indeed from two world class trainers.
Victory 8 Saigon Fight Night will be shown live on HTV digital in Vietnam, and streamed internationally by Epicentre TV. http://www.epicentre.tv/events/victory-8-saigon-fight-night/
The full fight card for the event held at the Nguyen Du Stadium on Saturday November 3rd is:
Jayden Buan v Pham Duc Doan
Jye Lane Taylor v Nguyen Ngoc Hai
Tommy Mercuri v Vu Than Dat
Mickey Pengue v Tran Duc Tho
Gretchen Abaniel v Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi
Kamil Syed v Nguyen Van Duong
Linn Sandstrom v Nguyen Thi Tam
Mateo Tapia v Truong Dinh Hoang
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Barrera, Lomachenko, Hardy, Wilder, Fury, and more…
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 2nd to October 9th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Canelo Alvarez to Make NYC Debut Against Rocky Fielding
Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), the universally recognized middleweight champion of the world and the veritable face of boxing, will make his New York City debut as he faces WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) in a special 12-round super middleweight attraction on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
Additional details for the event, including ticket information, will be announced shortly.
Canelo, the 28-year-old native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is without a doubt boxing’s biggest star. After capturing two world titles and the lineal championship in the super welterweight division, Canelo moved up to middleweight to capture the WBC, Lineal and
Ring Magazine World Titles with a unanimous decision victory against Miguel Cotto in November 2015. Canelo has maintained his status as the lineal champion ever since. But after his historic win against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in their highly anticipated rematch in September, Canelo captured the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Titles and established himself as the very best in the division. Canelo will look to capture a world title in a third division against Fielding.
“It has always been a desire of mine to fight in New York, and where better than at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden?” said Canelo Alvarez. “I look forward to exploring this 160-pound division against current WBA World Champion Rocky Fielding. I will be representing the WBC as its current middleweight world champion as I continue demonstrating to the world that I am the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Fielding is a 31-year-old native of Liverpool, England who climbed the 168-pound rankings by fighting the toughest fighters in his native country. Fielding has only suffered one loss in his career, against who would eventually be a world champion in Callum Smith. Since then, he has scored six victories in a row, including his career-best win against Tyron Zeuge to capture the WBA Super Middleweight World Title in July. Fielding will defend his title in what will be his United States debut.
“This is everything that I’ve ever dreamed of – fighting a pound-for-pound star at Madison Square Garden for my world title,” said Rocky Fielding. “I can really punch. Everyone knows that. Let’s see what happens on the night when I catch him clean. He’s [Canelo] stepping up in weight, and he’s not going to be a big super middleweight. I know how good he is, but we will come up with a plan to beat him. I know I can catch him and put him to sleep.”
“It was about time that the biggest star in boxing headed to Madison Square Garden,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “Nearly every great fighter has fought at this historic arena. Canelo is establishing a historic legacy, and I’m excited that fans in New York will be able to see this great talent in such a famed place for boxing.”
“This will be a huge night for Rocky Fielding, and one he couldn’t turn down – the chance to fight one of the biggest names of the sport in an iconic and historic venue in Madison Square Garden,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. “Although Rocky is the champion, we thank Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez for this wonderful opportunity. New York can expect a Liverpool invasion on December 15 and a great atmosphere in the Big Apple.”
Canelo vs. Fielding is a 12-round fight for WBA Super Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Showtime Sports to Chronicle Wilder vs. Fury with All Access Series
SHOWTIME Sports will chronicle the buildup to the heavyweight blockbuster event featuring WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury with a new installment of ALL ACCESS, a three-part series beginning Saturday, November 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The Emmy Award-winning series will peel back the curtain as two of boxing’s most charismatic showmen prepare to put their undefeated records on the line Saturday, December 1 live on SHOWTIME PPV® from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Episode two of ALL ACCESS: WILDER VS. FURY will premiere Saturday, November 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. ALL ACCESS EPILOGUE, which spotlights the intensity of fight night and the solemn aftermath of world championship prizefighting like never before, will premiere on Saturday, December 8.
The acclaimed SHOWTIME Sports original series will be accompanied by digital features released throughout fight week on the networks’ social media channels. ALL ACCESS DAILY will deliver the same intimate access and signature storytelling as the intensity builds toward the most significant heavyweight title fight in the U.S. since 2002. New installments of the digital series will be available each day beginning Wednesday, November 28 on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page.
ALL ACCESS: WILDER VS. FURY will immerse viewers into the lives and training camps of Wilder, the Alabama native set for his eighth world title defense and Fury, the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” who shocked the world in 2015 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified and lineal heavyweight world champion. Filming for the series is underway as the towering figures embark on a three-city press tour for one of 2018’s most anticipated events.
Sullivan Barrera vs. Seanie Monaghan in Brooklyn on November 3rd
Former WBC International Light Heavyweight world champion Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) returns to the ring to regain his standing as one of the world’s top light heavyweights. Barrera faces top five light heavyweight contender “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (29-1, 17 KOs) in the 10-round main event at The Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The event is promoted by Main Events and will be streamed live via Facebook Watch as part of the Golden Boy Fight Night series.
Tickets are priced at $125 and $100 for VIP ringside seats and $50 for general admission. They are available to purchase now through Eventbrite or by calling Main Events at 973-200-7050 or emailing [email protected]
Barrera vs. Monaghan was originally scheduled to take place on August 18 but was postponed when Barrera suffered an eye injury. Barrera has since recovered, and Monaghan remained available to put the bout back on the Facebook Watch series, a collaboration between Golden Boy Promotions, Facebook and Main Events, offered to fans around the world via live online streaming.
Barrera, 36, a native of Cuba who defected to the United States after fighting for the Cuban National Team, now lives and trains in Miami, Florida. He makes his return to the ring after taking WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol deep into the 12th round of their title fight in March before being stopped, by far the most difficult opponent of Bivol’s professional career. The WBC ranks Barrera fourth in the competitive Light Heavyweight division.
Monaghan, also 36, is a Long Island, New York native with proud Irish roots. He began his professional boxing career at the late age of 28 but quickly made up for lost time. After his first and only loss as a professional in 30 fights to Marcus Browne in July 2017, Monaghan started his comeback quest with a win in November 2017 and intends to make up for lost time against Barrera.
“Thank you to my team, my coach Derik Santos, my promoter Main Events, my manager Luis Molina, and thanks to Seanie Monaghan for taking this fight,” said Barrera. “As always, I’m willing to face the top guys in my division. This is another tough fighter. I look forward to November 3, and I’ll give the fans a great show. They will see me start to climb my way back up to facing the very best light heavyweights in the world.”
Barrera’s trainer, Derik Santos, said training is already underway for the fight. “We are working and are dedicated as usual. Thank you to manager Luis Molina and our promoter Main Events. Sullivan has gone into tough fights over the years and has consistently shown himself to be one of the toughest light heavyweight contenders in the division.”
Despite the pressure on them, Barrera and Santos maintain the same confidence and positive attitude that led Barrera to the top. “Train well and overcome, has been the directive since day one,” declared Santos. “Our expectations are the same today.”
Barrera is no stranger to Seanie Monaghan, and he’s looking forward to the matchup. “This fight is do or die for both of us. I’ve been going back and forth with Barrera on Twitter for a couple of years now. This will finally be our chance to settle it in the ring, no more talking,” said Monaghan.
Monaghan lost his father over the summer. He planned from that day to bring the late Davy Monaghan’s ashes back to his hometown of Navan in Ireland someday while wearing a title belt around his waist. His fight with Barrera is as much for his father as it is for himself.
In the ultra-competitive light heavyweight division, the talent pool is deep, and virtually every fighter ranked among the Top 15 contenders is a threat to the current titleholders. Main Events’ CEO and Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, originally selected this high-stakes fight as a perfect fit for the Main Events-promoted card in the Golden Boy Fight Night series and remained resolved to make the fight happen after the cancellation.
“Expanding access to our fan-friendly fights around the world with online streaming technology is the latest chapter in the 40-year history of Main Events,” said Duva. “Boxing has always been able to adapt and stay current as a sport.”
Duva promised: “Technology has changed a lot in this world, but one thing will never change about Main Events: our determination to make the best matches and feature amazing athletes in the ring. We wanted Sullivan Barrera and Seanie Monaghan in the ring and were more disappointed than anyone when the original bout was postponed. We were determined to make this fight happen, because I know these guys will give everything they’ve got for their legacy, and for the fans.”
Lomachenko-Pedraza Tickets on Sale October 10th
WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko has made his second home in New York City.
The man considered by many boxing experts to be the world’s best fighter will top the bill at a Madison Square Garden venue for the fourth time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza in a unification bout Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 12 p.m. ET. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.
Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.
This will be Lomachenko’s third consecutive bout at a Madison Square Garden venue. He last fought May 12 at Madison Square Garden, knocking out Jorge Linares in the 10th round in front of 10,429 fans.
12th Ranked Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin Parts Ways with Management Team
Undefeated Heavyweight Jermaine “989 Assassin” Franklin (17-0, 13KOs) is taking the next step toward being World Heavyweight Champion. Franklin announced last week that he has parted ways with his former Manager Mark Haak.
At 24 years old and ranked #12 in the U.S., Franklin is currently the youngest fighter ranked in the Top 20 in the country. “After long discussions with my family, I felt it was best to go in a new direction. I’m ready to take the next step toward being the World Heavyweight Champion. Whoever promotes the Franklin name needs to know they are getting a world champion in two years or less. That’s a promise,” said Franklin.
Franklin won the Golden Gloves heavyweight national title in 2014 and placed second in the 2014 World Golden Gloves. Known for speed and punching power with both hands, Franklin’s growing popularity is making the boxing world take notice.
“When I look at the heavyweight division, my skills and heart is second to none. There is no one out there that I fear. I have the power to knock out whoever stands in front of me,” said Franklin.
Heather Hardy vs. Shelly Vincent Added to October 27th HBO telecast
In a rematch of their epic 2016 “Fight of the Year”, Brooklyn’s Heather “The Heat” Hardy (21-0, 4 KOs) and Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (23-1, 1 KO) will clash once again on October 27, at the Hulu Theater from Madison Square Garden. The scheduled 10-round bout, for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight World title, will open a sensational tripleheader televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Previously announced on the telecast, Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) and Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) will battle for the vacant IBF World Middleweight Title and Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight Title against Yuandale Evans (20-1, 14 KOs).
“I’m so excited and so honored to be fighting on HBO,” said Hardy. “Shelly and I have wanted a rematch since the first fight ended and it’s fitting that it’s on this huge card and will be telecast on HBO from Madison Square Garden. The first fight was one of the very best of 2016 and the rematch will start right where we finished off.”
Said Vincent emphatically about the world title bout and prospect of winning the title belt, “I’m not leaving without my property!”
“I was thrilled to call Heather and Shelly and let them know that their rematch will be telecast on HBO,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “I have to give a lot of credit to Peter Nelson and HBO for advancing women’s boxing by stepping up to air this fight.”
“The first fight between Heather and Shelly was an outstanding, back-and-forth battle, reminiscent of the Gatti-Ward fights that I co-promoted. I anticipate nothing less when the bell rings for the rematch. October 27 is a stacked card, in the intimate setting of Hulu Theater from Madison Square Garden, and I encourage as many fans as possible to join us live.”
Fighting on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, NY, and in a nationally telecast bout, Hardy won a hard-fought majority decision over 10 rounds. Hardy has since won three additional fights including two victories versus former world title challenger Edina Kiss. Most recently, Hardy scored an eight-round decision against Iranda Torres on April 21, in Brooklyn.
A native of Providence, RI, Vincent has stayed busy with five wins since her loss to Hardy, the only defeat of her eight years as a professional. As a result of her performance against Hardy, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame named her their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, with Vincent becoming the first female recipient of that award. In her last bout on July 21, Vincent took home an eight-round decision victory against Calista Silgado.
WBC Threatens to Make Wilder vs. Fury a Non Title Fight
There are reports today that the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury bout could become a non title fight.
This comes after WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said that if Fury doesn’t enrol on the WBC Clean Boxing Program by the end of this week he will not be able to win Wilder’s WBC heavyweight world title.
Photo Credit: Tyson Fury Twitter Account
Fury failed a test for steroid nandrolone in 2015, which he then had a back dated ban that ended in 2017.
Fury has promised Sulaiman he will enrol immediately.
“Fury is not enrolled with the WBC Clean Boxing Program and he promised me personally, and even on Twitter, that he was enrolling. If he doesn’t, the fight with Wilder will not be for the WBC title,” Sulaiman told Boxing News.
“I have been in touch with Fury and his trainer (Ben Davison) and they tell me it is just a matter of paperwork. They have the papers, they say. I don’t want to put a deadline on it that it is not reasonable but it has to happen this week. That is plenty of time. If I don’t get those papers, the WBC will not sanction the fight.”
“There will be VADA testing for the fight,” Sulaiman insisted. “there are two types of testing. In-competition and out-of-competition random testing for any fighter who is enrolled. There is contracted fight testing. As yet, I do not know if the promoters of this fight have requested that.”
Sulaiman then noted the cost implications for all fighters to have out of competition testing, and would like the burden to be shared so it’s not just the WBC that have to cough up.
“If we have a fighter in Thailand and a fighter in Nicaragua, when their training camps are so far apart, it’s very costly to do testing,” Sulaiman said. He is happy when promoters help cover these costs. “But we are very happy for those promoters who contract that testing.
“The more drug testing the better. The problem is that there are a lot of legalities involved, failed tests can go to lawyers and cases appealed. Unfortunately, though the WBC have implemented the Clean Boxing Program, there is no one entity in control of drug testing throughout the sport.
“There are so many tests. Some are done by the organisation, some by the promoter, some by the local commission. There is no uniformity. We are working to improve that situation”.
When asked that if a good starting point would be for high profile contests, such as Wilder v Fury, that drug testing should be in place before the contest is announced, Sulaiman replied that, yes, he wished every title fight had out of competition testing, and they won’t discriminate due to the magnitude of the bout.
“We don’t fall into discrimination where one fight is deemed more important than another. Just because a fight is for the strawweight title doesn’t make it less important than a fight for the heavyweight title. A fight for a WBC championship should be the greatest fight,” Sulaiman said. “Yes, I wish every fight had fighters in who had been subject to out-of-competition testing. We’re working towards that.”
Wilder vs. Fury Drug Testing Status
By: Jake Donovan
While the promotion is in full bloom for the forthcoming December 1 heavyweight title clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, the seeds for random drug testing protocol haven’t even been planted.
The clash of heavyweight titans—which will air live via Showtime Pay-Per-View from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.—has been at least seven weeks in the works, but those involved in the promotion have yet to file the necessary paperwork with Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). The Nevada-based organization oversees all drug testing as part of the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) Clean Boxing Program, in which enrollment for all WBC-ranked boxers is supposed to be the standard.
“As of (Saturday), VADA has not received paperwork on Mr. Tyson Fury’s enrollment in the WBC’s CBP,” Dr. Margaret Goodman, founder and president of VADA told BoxingInsider.com over the weekend.
BoxingInsider.com contacted the WBC in mid-September on the subject when first learning of the development, but the inquiry was apparently lost in the shuffle as the Mexico-based sanctioning body was preparing for its annual convention which was held last week in Kiev, Ukraine.
Several topics were addressed during the convention, including a fresh batch of mandatory title fights and eliminators ordered which managed to generate the most headlines regarding anything WBC-related.
Not quite as pronounced was the concern of the WBC looking to subsidize the cost that comes with the Clean Boxing Program. Even with sponsorship, the sanctioning body is still coming out-of-pocket for a reported $75,000 per year on tests.
A question that wasn’t answered—neither in the seven weeks since Wilder (40-0, 39KOs) and Fury (27-0, 19KOs) publicly revealed their plans to collide later this year, nor in the four months since Fury first re-entered the WBC’s Top 15 heavyweight rankings—was when the unbeaten former heavyweight titlist from England would enroll in the program.
At least until they were finally cornered on the subject.
“Fury must enroll,” Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC president told BoxingInsider.com, through a statement from the WBC press office. “If he does not enroll, then the WBC cannot sanction the fight.”
Fury returned to the sport this past June, following a forced 31-month hiatus due to alcohol and drug abuse as well as mental health issues. The meltdown came on the heels of his career-best win, a 12-round landslide decision over Wladimir Klitschko in Nov. ’15 to win the lineal heavyweight championship, to which he still claims ownership.
The Irish Traveller never made a single defense, vacating one belt early when agreeing to a mandated rematch with Klithschko and then being stripped of all of his titles after the aforementioned sequel never came to pass. Fury twice postponed, first claiming an injury ahead of their planned July ’16 meet and then after getting popped by VADA for cocaine in his system during random testing ahead of their rescheduled fall ’16 battle.
Also in that period came an agreed-upon two year ban as issued by the United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD), who claimed that Nandrolone was found in tests surrounding Fury’s win over Christian Hammer in Feb. ’15. The matter wasn’t discovered until later that year, but didn’t cause a delay in Fury’s title challenge versus Klitschko (other than Klitschko’s own four-week postponement due to an alleged injury sustained in training camp). Nor was the issue even readdressed until a hearing in June ’16, at which point UKAD charged Fury and his cousin, heavyweight contender Hughie Fury (who was popped for the same substance in March ’15) with presence of a prohibited substance.
Fury was finally cleared to fight in 2018, returning in June with a 4th round stoppage of Sefer Seferi. The victory was rewarded by the WBC with his being reinstated in their rankings, issued a #7 position in their heavyweight Top 15 pending his enrollment in their Clean Boxing Program. The organization has dropped several fighters for not agreeing to the program, but in the case of Fury merely kept moving the line in the sand.
Such concerns weren’t raised by any involved parties by the time he faced Francesco Pianeta this past August. Fury won a pedestrian 10-round decision, with the fight—largely forgettable on its own—overshadowed his post-fight in-ring “confrontation” with Wilder, who was ringside in Belfast to scout his then-potential future opponent.
The status went from potential to confirmed the moment Fury was declared the winner, as the two shared mostly playful insults during the on-air post-fight interview.
The fact that it has taken seven weeks (and counting) for event handlers to file the necessary paperwork with VADA contradicts claims made by Fury of his enrollment status.
Perhaps more revealing was his spray-painted verbal response, naming every drug testing organization that came to mind.
“I’m actually enrolled in VADA and USADA,” Fury told a group of reporters during the Los Angeles leg of his three-city press tour to promote the December 1, in video filmed by BoxingInsider.com’s own Jeandra LeBeauf. “They have to know my whereabouts. I have to tell World Anti-Doping (Agency) where I am within an hour every day.”
It also comes in stark contrast to Wilder’s longtime demands for his bouts to portray the image of a clean sport.
From the time he outpointed Bermane Stiverne to win the WBC strap in Jan. ’15, Wilder has been a vocal advocate for stricter drug testing protocol. Each of his seven title defenses have come with random testing existing far beyond the limited means in which most commission tests are conducted.
The unbeaten heavyweight from Alabama became something of a drug-testing jinx, with three of his scheduled challengers all busted by VADA for evidence of banned substances in their respective systems. Most notable among the lot was 2004 Olympic Gold medalist and former secondary titlist Alexander Povetkin coming up dirty for trace amounts of Meldonium, which ultimately killed their planned May ’16 title defense in Moscow, Russia.
Wilder would settle for a voluntary title defense, beating Chris Arreola that July in Birmingham, Alabama, less than an hour from his Tuscaloosa hometown. He’d return there for a Feb. ’17 title defense against Gerald Washington, who was brought in as a replacement for Andrzej Warwzyk, who was popped by VADA mere days after the fight was formally announced.
The one opponent who was caught but would get a second chance was Luis Ortiz, who attributed banned diuretics found in his system last September to prescription blood pressure medication. The then-unbeaten southpaw from Miami by way of Cuba was eventually cleared, but forced to sit out of their planned clash last November as punishment for failing to disclose the medication when he first filed paperwork with VADA.
Ortiz would get his chance this past March, pushing Wilder to the brink before eventually succumbing in the 10th round of their title fight thriller.
From there, Wilder has done his best to bring to light a clash with divisional rival and unbeaten, unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua. Once it became clear that such a fight wouldn’t materialize in 2018—or if ever at all, the 6’7” heavyweight sought the next biggest event, which led to his team securing a deal with Fury.
What’s still left to do, is secure drug testing to ensure the biggest stateside heavyweight title fight this decade is, in fact, a clean event. Wilder continues to do his part, but that hardly covers all the bases.
“Mr. Wilder continues to be enrolled in the CBP,” Goodman confirmed to BoxingInsider.com, but with a kicker. “As yet, VADA has not been contacted by representatives of Mr. Wilder or Mr. Fury or by the WBC to test both fighters leading up to their December bout.”
With less than eight weeks to go before the opening bell, the clock is ticking for such testing to even serve its full purpose.
Tyson Fury’s Antics Turn Wilder Press Conference into a Circus
By: Sean Crose
First things first – boxing press conferences, especially for big matches – need to be more exciting. They can be tiresome affairs, more like homework than electrifying events. People no one’s heard of speak on behalf of businesses and corporations no one cares about. It can all be tiresome. In truth, the UFC does a far better job than boxing when it comes to bringing the heat to media events. Ultimately, however, the UFC goes too far. Conor McGregor, entertaining though he is, is essentially a high school bully in the body of a thirty year old professional athlete. His press conferences rile up his legions of fans, but they’re like the kind of crap you witnessed in the school cafeteria as a kid. And frankly, that’s not really fun after a point – unless you’ve never matured beyond your teenage self.
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had a nice press conference going in England on Monday…until Fury decided to stomp on down the McGregor path and ruin it. Each man was quipping off the other, landing shots, while letting shots roll of his chest. It’s was a fun leadup to a big match between two tough professionals. Unfortunately, Fury had to spoil things by challenging Wilder to punch him. Once again, we were all transported back to high school. Wilder took the bait and the two men had to be broken up before real chaos ensued. It was idiotic and unprofessional.
Frankly, I blame Fury for this – not because I’m a biased American defending my countryman, but because Fury – like McGregor – is a bully who likes to win the fight mentally before it even begins. Wilder, however, appeared to be bully proof on Monday, so the giant Englishman felt he had to up the ante. Fair enough. But fans shouldn’t be happy getting a half baked fight in October when the real one’s going down December 1st.
Some of us have really been looking forward to Wilder-Fury. Both men are vastly underrated and have personalities as big as their frames. It’s pretty clear Anthony Joshua wants no part of either man (or at least Wilder), so it’s exciting to see two of the three best heavyweights in the world getting it on. Boxing is a serious sport, however. People die. People get brain damaged. Theatrics are fine. Idiocy is for high school. Let’s leave it there.
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury London Press Conference Quotes
The Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Press Tour got off to a combative start as the two heavyweight giants went face-to-face in London on Monday, exchanging verbal jabs ahead of their December 1 showdown for the WBC Heavyweight World Championship live on SHOWTIME PPV from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Amidst the back-and-forth jawing, the 6-foot-7 Wilder and the 6-foot-9 Fury had to be separated when Wilder refused to back down from Fury’s challenge to engage in a sparring session.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Showtime
“I want to feel the power,” Fury said to Wilder. “You’re going to feel the Fury, I want to feel the Alabama slammer.”
“I’m going to show you the full power”, Wilder quipped back. “This ain’t no game!” Watch the confrontation HERE
Wilder vs. Fury tests the raw power of Wilder against the unmatched size and mobility of Fury. America’s only heavyweight champion since 2007, Wilder has 39 knockouts in 40 professional fights, including knockouts in all seven of his title defenses. Fury is a former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world champion who is undefeated in 27 professional fights and holds boxing’s coveted lineal heavyweight title.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, go on sale Wednesday, October 3 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are priced starting at $75, plus applicable fees, and are available via AXS.com.
In anticipation of the biggest heavyweight event in the U.S. since Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis in 2002, the Wilder vs. Fury International Press Tour continues Tuesday at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York and concludes Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Below are flash quotes from today’s event at BT Sport Headquarters in London:
“I believe every word that I say. When I say I’m going to knock a man out and tell him where and how he may lay, it comes to pass. I’m all about devastating knockouts, that’s what I do. There’s no pressure on me. You just need to be there to witness it.
“He has two months to get ready. He’s lost a lot of weight but he needs to lose a little bit more. He already knows he’s going to get knocked out. He can hoot and holler, he can build himself up but he needs to take my advice and speak it, believe it, receive it. He’s going to feel pain he’s never felt before.
“Some people don’t even think I should be fighting Fury at this point in time. Whether they want to see another fight or they don’t think he’s ready right now, we can’t live off other’s opinions. When you come to see a Deontay Wilder fight, you’re only coming to see one thing and that’s me knocking somebody out. You all are looking at the 41st person that’s going to be knocked out.
“The antics aren’t going to work against me. I’m not (Wladimir) Klitschko, this is Deontay Wilder.
“I definitely think I’m the No. 1 heavyweight in the world. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel I was the best. I’m not worried about any other fighters or what they’re saying or how they are hyping themselves up. I already know I’m the part. All you have to do is tune in. I’m about to put him in the oven and make a muffin.”
“I am no challenger for no man. I am the lineal heavyweight champion of the world. That means I’m the best of the best. The elite champion. This is two champions colliding, this is equal-rights champion vs. champion.
“I’m savoring nothing. The only thing I’m savoring is smashing Deontay Wilder’s teeth in. The press has all turned up today to see the biggest fight of our generation between two undefeated giants, and boy are you going to get a fight. You’re in for a real treat, don’t worry about that. I’m in no mood to dance around the ring. There’s not a 15 stone man on the planet that can beat Tyson Fury.
“I have no concern at all about my lack of fights in recent years. If you can fight, you can fight. I picked this fight. I said to Frank, get me this fight. I could have fought another 10 bums and won them too. Nobody forced me to fight Deontay Wilder, I picked him because I believe he’s an easy touch.”
“I will stand right in front of him and prove what I will do. I will punch his face seven days a week and twice on a Sunday. If we fought 30 times, I’d win 30 times.”
“It’s been a long time since the heavyweight division has had two giants like this. Two champions at the top of their game, at the top of their division willing to fight one another. It’s not rocket science making a fight. Deontay spent a lot of time trying to make a fight with another guy from England who didn’t want to fight. When Fury got himself back into the ring and got himself in the shape he is in now, Shelly (Finkel) and Frank (Warren) were able to make this fight very quickly.
“When two great champions want to make a fight, the fight happens. That’s why December 1 is happening. We’re going to know right then and there who the best heavyweight on the planet is until proven otherwise. The winner of this fight will be the best heavyweight on the planet.
“Fury is an interesting guy who has had to overcome a lot of adversity. I think he should be proud of himself for getting his life in order and being able to turn things around. What he’s done in the last six months has been remarkable. I’m still going to admire him after he gets knocked out on December 1.”
“I have nothing but respect for our challenger, Fury. When I was handling Klitschko, we didn’t think Fury had a chance against him. He proved me wrong. He won’t prove me wrong twice.
“We didn’t pick to fight Tyson because we thought he was easy, we believe he’s the best out there. We want to fight the best, and only the best. We have respect for you because your countryman didn’t want to fight even though he was offered a fortune to fight. When it was presented, he said no. I commend you for stepping right in.”
“These are the two best heavyweights because they’re willing to step in the ring together. That’s what great fighters do. We are going to see something special on December 1. I think it’s going to be a fight that nobody expects. This is not going to be cat and mouse, it’s going to be a war. Tyson has a fighter’s mentality. He’s not trying to duck out through contracts, through a backdoor method. He wanted the fight and Shelly and I worked together to make this happen. You cannot miss it. This will be one of the best heavyweight fights for a long time.
“Fury is traveling to the other guy’s backyard like he did when he went to Germany and took Klitschko to school. He’s going to take Deontay’s belt and this is a fight you cannot afford to miss.”
“This is a fight that has captivated America and will continue to captivate America. We have two mythical figures and that’s what people love about the heavyweight division; they are almost superheroes. In particular, these two individuals are the two largest men in the heavyweight division and I mean that in a physical sense as well as their personalities. On paper, in the ring, on the press tour, it’s a phenomenal matchup.”
First Fury vs. Wilder Press Conference Filled with Theatrics
By: Jake Donovan
With two more stops to go in their three-city press tour in as many days, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have already dipped deep into the promotional well to hype up their December 1 Showtime Pay-Per-View heavyweight title fight in Los Angeles.
The pair of colossal heavyweights met at BT Sport headquarters in London on Monday, with the session landing on the 43rd anniversary of the historic “Thrilla in Manila,” the unforgettable rubber match between late, legendary Hall of Fame heavyweights Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Showtime
Much of Monday’s session bore resemblance to the theatrics offered by Ali and Frazier in the buildup to their own fights, complete with Wilder and Fury threatening to throw down on stage at the back end of the 30-minute long press conference. The moment was reminiscent—if not a scripted replica—of Ali and Frazier taking off their sport jackets on the set of the Dick Cavett Show prior to their less-heralded second fight in 1974.
Thankfully, it didn’t devolve into the wrestling match that came of Ali and Frazier’s ABC in-studio fight week segment with Howard Cosell. At least not yet.
Civility was never promised nor expected between the two mouths that roar, despite the best efforts of the BT Sport team to restore order. In fact, Fury saw fit to take issue with his being introduced as the challenger to Wilder’s alphabet heavyweight title.
“I am no challenger for no man. I am the lineal champion of the word,” Fury insisted the moment ahead of the first question asked, referring to the World champion status he gained following his Nov. ’15 upset win over exiting lineal king Wladimir Klitschko. “That means I’m the very best. The elite champion. It’s two champions colliding, this is equal rights, champion versus champion. So rephrase your question and let’s start all over.”
That’s all it took to kick things off into high gear, despite the fact that the matchup functionally sells itself.
“It’s been a long time since the heavyweight division has had two champions like this, two champions at the top of their game and willing to fight each other,” noted Lou DiBella, Wilder’s promoter. “This isn’t rocket since. (Shelly Finkel) spent a lot of time trying to make a fight with another fighter from this country (unbeaten, unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua) who didn’t want to fight.
“There was an opportunity – when that man came back and got himself in shape, Shelly and Frank (Warren) got together like that to make this fight happen. The winner of this fight on December 1 will be the best heavyweight in the world.”
In fact, their fight—which has been more than two years in the making—was first announced as official following Fury’s win over Francesco Pianeta on August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Wilder was on hand for the Showtime-televied event, meeting Fury in the ring afterward to reveal their fight which at the time didn’t have a firm date or location.
With those issues worked out, the festivities have already begun. Still, there is official business to be handled once the fight begins on December 1. Naturally, both have predicted a knockout finish—an ending at least one side has experienced nearly every time out.
“I believe every word that I say. When I say I’m going to knock a man out and tell him where and how he may lay, it comes to pass,” insists Wilder (40-0, 39KOs), who—following his 1st round knockout of Bermane Stiverne in their rematch last November—can claim to have knocked out every opponent he has faced as a pro. “I’m all about devastating knockouts, that’s what I do. There’s no pressure on me. You just need to be there to witness it.”
The 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist will attempt the 7th defense of the title he won in a 12-round decision over Stiverne in Jan. ’15. It was the only time the fighting pride of Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been extended the distance in the pro ranks, getting his knockout fix in their aforementioned rematch.
Wilder has since registered arguably the most significant win of his career to date, rallying to knock out previously unbeaten Luis Ortiz this past March in Brooklyn. The bout came four weeks prior to Joshua’s eventual title unification points win over Joseph Parker, with Wilder naturally calling out the winner but only seeing his rivalry with Joshua limited to negotiating through the press and without an actual fight to show for it.
The concern over lining up a suitable Plan B was resolved once Fury and his team decided they were ready for a return to glory.
Fury (27-0, 19KOs) hadn’t fought for more than two years following his points win over Kltischko, having spent much of that time battling drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues. The 6’9” Irish traveler—who was born and raised in England—returned to the ring this past June, stopping Sefer Seferi in four rounds before returning two months later, apparently carrying Pianeta in their largely forgettable ten round affair in August.
It was enough for Fury and his team to believe it was time to return to the championship level. With Joshua already locked into face Alexander Povetkin—whom he stopped in seven rounds last month—came the decision to pursue the best available heavyweight.
Now that he has Wilder in his crosshairs, Fury has already begun the type of head games that worked on Klitschko both in and out of the ring.
“The only thing I’m interested in is smashing Deontay Wilder’s teeth in. That’s it,” promised Fury, although he seems to be quite dug in regarding the promotional aspect of the event. “We’re here to see the biggest fight between the two best heavyweights of this generation. No 15 stone man on the planet can beat me.
“I will gladly prove what I’ve always know. I will smash his teeth in. Seven days a week, twice on Sunday – if we fought 30 times, I’d win 30 times. You ain’t ready for me. You never have been and never will be. All your knockout power and 10 men in the ring with you can’t beat Tyson Fury. I’m gonna make you f*** yourself.”
The comment came with an apology from BT Sport for the coarse language, but was quickly dismissed by its intended target.
“The antics you’re trying here, it’s not gonna work with me,” Wilder insisted. “I’m not Klitschko, this is Deontay Wilder.”
From there, the theatrics only continued to grow.
“Can we have a little spar now?,” Fury said, coming from behind his assigned seat to challenge Wilder to square off. “Let’s have a little tickle. Come on. Let me feel this power of the Alabama slammer. Come on. Let’s have a little body spar. I wanna feel it.”
Wilder did his best to play up to the moment, if only to remind his opponent where his own train of thought resides two months ahead of fight night.
“This is no game at this point,” Wilder replied. “This is real. As you see, we at the press conference. This is a real fight. We’re announcing this fight is on. So at this point in time, my mindset is on (fight night). You’re gonna feel every power you need to feel.”
Fury would feel a brief sample, although it can be argued that Wilder’s shove to his chest was more to keep the two at bay than for anything to actually pop off in the moment.
“You’re gonna feel everything you need to feel. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s make it happen. Let’s make it happen. Let’s make it happen. It’s getting real, baby.”
Perhaps not real enough to his challenger.
“My wife pushes harder than that, you little b*tch,” Fury shouted, as the two were immediately separated. “That was nothing. That’s pathetic. I wanna feel the power.
“You never even had the nuts to hit me, did ya? I wanna feel it. I don’t play games, dosser. I wanna play. Come on!”
Regardless of how real or manufactured the animosity is between Wilder and Fury, it’s clear that they are giving the boxing world plenty to talk about.
“It’s the fight that everyone is talking about, the fight that everyone wants to see,” Stephen Espinoza, president of Showtime Sports and Event Programming touted. “It’s a fight that has captivated America and will captivate America.”
All parties involved will have the chance to further validate that statement when everyone touches down in New York for Tuesday’s gathering.
Wilder-Fury Heavyweight Title Bout Set For December 1st At Staples Center
By: Sean Crose
Los Angeles’ Staples Center will host the most intriguing heavyweight matchup this side of Joshua-Klitschko on December 1’st. For it is in that famous arena that undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will face a former heavyweight kingpin, the undefeated Tyson Fury. This isn’t just a compelling match because two young, undefeated champions (some still consider Fury, who was stripped of his titles, the true king of the heavyweight division) are meeting to clear up some of the division’s pecking order. It’s a compelling match for a variety of reasons. These are two very good fighters, after all. Both Wilder and Fury are under-rated, but they’ve gotten to where they are through big wins.
Fury’s upset of then champ Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 may have put fans to sleep, but it was a solid and impressive win nonetheless. What’s more, the enormous Fury is awkward and actually rather slick. He’s a gifted ring tactician, plain and simple. Wilder, on the other hand, is equally enigmatic. He carries himself in an odd, some would say less than stellar manner in the ring, but Wilder always, always has come out on top. Against some good competition, too. Anyone who thought the Alabama native wasn’t the real thing got a chance to think otherwise when Wilder bested the skilled Louis Ortiz earlier this year by knockout. Speaking of knockouts, Wilder is an absolute master, unquestionably one of the hardest hitters to ever step foot in a boxing ring. All he has to do is land once. The question is, will Fury allow him that opportunity? That’s what makes this match so intriguing.
It should also be noted that both Wilder and Fury posses enormous personalities. With his shouts of “bomb squad,” Wilder carries with him a loud, peculiarly American charm. Fury, on the other hand, is a bombastic Irish Traveler who isn’t short on charm of his own. They may not have a whole lot in common, but it’s now virtually impossible to say either Wilder or Fury is afraid to take on anyone. While Anthony Joshua may – or may not – be playing it safe in England, Fury is traveling to his opponent’s home country to restake his claim in the heavyweight division. And his opponent has openly been willing to fight in England if he has to. Wilder has even set himself up to fight a Russian in Russia in order to face a solid challenge (that fight, which was supposed to be with Alexander Povetkin, was canceled when Povetkin failed a drug test).
“I can’t wait to fight Tyson Fury in the biggest fight in the heavyweight division and all of boxing,” Wilder claimed in a press release. “I have tremendous respect for Fury for agreeing to leave England and come to the U.S. to challenge me. I’m the WBC champion, he’s the lineal champion, and the winner of this fight will show the world who is ‘The Man’ in the heavyweight division. As much as I respect Fury, I fear no man and fully intend to knock him out like every man that I’ve ever faced in the ring.”
Fury, too, has appeared eager to go. “People talk about me only having two fights since my layoff, but that doesn’t bother me at all,” he claimed. “This is the Tyson Fury show. It always has been. This is my era, and I proved that when I beat Klitschko in his own backyard. Is Wilder the biggest puncher I have faced? You don’t know that until you are on the floor. It is all about not getting hit in this fight. Until someone beats me, I am the king of the heavyweight division. Long live the king.”
And long live intriguing heavyweight battles.
Wilder and Fury Take to Social Media to Announce Fight
Former heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury has signed his contract to face WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Fury took to Instagram and posted, “Shit just got serious. I’ve just signed my end of the deal for the Wilder fight, signed, sealed and delivered. It’s up to them now.
Photo Credit: Deontay Wilder Twitter Account
“Deontay Wilder, you’re going to get it mate. You’re in big trouble. I’ve never met a man I couldn’t beat in the boxing ring or in the street.
“I know you’ve got a big punch, a big mouth. I know you want to win but you don’t want it like I do.
“I will out heart you. I will force my will upon you until you quit. That chin is going nowhere. I’ll absorb all the power and then I’ll detonate. Good night.”
Wilder confirmed thus morning he has signed and promoter Frank Warren has also confirmed a promotional tour will start on 1st October, starting in London, with stops in New York and Los Angeles.
Wilder said on his Twitter account, “I can’t wait.
“It is going to be an exciting fight, an explosive fight, and one for the legacy. Definitely one for my legacy.
“You’ve got the WBC heavyweight champion of the world versus the lineal champion. It is going to be a pleasure.
“The two best heavyweights, competing against each other, the best fighting the best, and giving the people what they want. This is what we’re doing.”
Wilder became WBC champion in 2015, both fighters are unbeaten however it could be a big ask for Fury to jump into this level after a long lay off.
Fury, former WBA, WBO and IBF champion, fought in Belfast with an unanimous decision over Francesco Pianeta in only his second fight since returning from over two years out.
Lance Pugmire from the LA Times has reported that the Staples Center in LA could be the venue, with a dream undercard including Leo Santa Cruz v Gary Russell Jr in a featherweight unification bout and an Abner Mares v Gervonta Davis title fight.
Wilder-Fury Officially Set For December 1st
By: Sean Crose
It may have taken a bit to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, but the heavyweight title bout between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is finally signed, sealed, and ready to be delivered on December 1st. WBC champ Wilder and former division king Fury have wanted to fight for a while. They even got in a ring together last month and declared their fight was happening. Then came a waiting game, with some eventually beginning to wonder if the heavyweight super showdown would occur at all. By Friday evening, however, the matter had been settled and made public.
“THE CONTRACTS ARE SIGNED & THE FIGHT IS ON!” read a press release. “The promotional tour will kickoff in London on Oct. 1 and continue with stops in New York City and Los Angeles.” Oddly enough, no location was named for the fight. The announcement made clear the bout would be aired on pay per view, but there was no mention of who would be handling the PPV services. Most striking of all, however, was that the news was made public Friday evening, American time, just hours before heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua was set to defend his crown in London on Saturday against Russian contender Alexander Povetkin. Perhaps PBC, which promotes Wilder, and Frank Warren, who promotes Fury, decided to go the Floyd Mayweather route by making a major announcement before a major fight.
Despite the reason for the timing of the news, word that Wilder, a 40-0 force of destruction with 39 knockouts to his name, would be facing the slick big man Fury, 27-0, added to an already big year for boxing, a year that has seen the sport spread across cable, social media and streaming services at a rapid pace. “This fight is definitely on and I can’t wait, man,” Wilder said on Instagram. “It’s going to be an exciting fight; it’s going to be an explosive fight.”
On top of being undefeated as professionals, both Wilder and Fury have outsized personalities, which make for good publicity, especially in the era of Mayweather and Conor McGregor. They are also both over six and a half feet tall, which makes them giant fighters, as well as giant characters. The winner of this match will surely have to face Joshua in the future (provided Joshua gets past Povetkin) in order to bring clarity to what is now a very interesting heavyweight division.