WBC Board Of Governors On The Verge Of Ordering Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim For Vacant Super Middleweight Title
By: Hans Themistode
The search for an opponent for four division world champion Canelo Alvarez is over. At least, according to the WBC.
The sanctioning body, led by president Mauricio Sulaiman, is on the verge of ordering a contest between the aforementioned Alvarez and their number one super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim.
The unexpected insertion of Alvarez into the green championship mix stems from former titlist David Benavidez and his failure to make weight for his supposed title defense against Alexis Angulo this past weekend. The one time belt holder stepped onto the scales over two pounds overweight and was subsequently stripped of his title.
The loss of his title did little to affect his performance as he went on to brutally stop Angulo in the tenth round. The win may have added to his undefeated record, but it also left the WBC title vacant. Now however, following some recent discussion, both Alvarez and Yildirim will get the first crack at gold.
“The WBC Board of Governors has voted 36-1 to order Alvarez, the multi division world champion who holds The WBC Franchise designation to fight against the WBC’s mandatory contender of the division, Avni Yildirim.” Said Mauricio Sulaiman in a recent statement. “More details will be available in days to come.”
While Benavidez may hold an undefeated record inside of the ring, that hasn’t stopped him from taking multiple losses outside of it.
Following a win over Ronald Gavril in 2018, Benavidez was suspended due to a positive test result for cocaine. With his suspension served and a new outlook on how he should be living his life, Benavidez looked the same in the ring, which was as dominant as ever, but vowed to be even more disciplined. Despite those words, as previously mentioned, the former champion found himself several pounds overweight.
The moment Benavidez ‘title became available, the sanctioning body found themselves flooded with requests to fight for the vacant crown. Amongst those requests was Alvarez.
Now, it appears that the sanctioning body will acquiesce to his plea.
While nothing is set in stone just yet, it appears that this could be the route that all parties head towards. Yildirim has made numerous statements in the past regarding a title fight with then champion Benavidez, and now finds himself possibly facing an even bigger name. As for Alvarez, with no opponent on his docket due to the worldwide pandemic, he could take on the Turkish born Yildirim in what would be viewed as little risk but high reward.
WBC Honors Young Hero With Honorary Green Belt
Boxing, by it’s very nature, is a controversial sport. Way over the top personalities, a history rife with crime, corruption and racism, questionable matchmaking, wildly questionable decisions…it all adds up to an athletic endeavor that perpetually raises eyebrows. Sometimes, however, the sport gets it right. And when it does, it elevates itself to Olympian heights. There’s a reason, after all, that Rocky is about a boxer rather than, say, a member of the Dallas Cowboys… the simple fact that boxing inspires more than most other endeavors. Whether it’s Jack Johnson or Muhammad Ali standing for their beliefs or the untold thousands the fight game has lifted out of poverty, there no denying the virtues that go hand in hand with the toughest sport in the world. That’s why, even today, earning a championship belt is a crowning achievement.
And no one has proven more worthy of a championship belt than Bridger Walker, a young man who rose to the occasion recently in a way few could imagine, must less emulate. The World Boxing Council put it best: “ A few days ago, Bridger Walker, a six-year-old boy from Wyoming, United States, saved his sister from a dog attack.” This wasn’t a typical act of heroism, however. Walker paid a price for his selflessness. As the WBC states, the young man sustained “severe injuries to his face and other parts of his body.” While the WBC, like virtually every entity involved in boxing, has a history that can at times raise some eyebrows, there’s little doubt the organization did the right thing when it came to the hero from Wyoming.
“Young Bridger was named by the World Boxing Council as the Honorary Champion for his extraordinary brave actions,” the WBC claimed, “risking his own life to protect his younger sister.” And for that inspirational act, the WBC made the kid one of its famous green belts – a huge honor if ever there was one. Boxing’s biggest names of the past fifty years have won WBC bets, including names like Ali, Tyson, Leonard, and Mayweather. “Bridger has already received his belt,” The WBC wrote in July, “which endorses him as the WBC Honorary Champion, as well as some presents for him and his sister.”
It’s worth noting that the WBC didn’t have much self interested need to gift Bridger with a belt. Sure, it made for good publicity, but publicity is only good as the next headline. By recognizing Bridger for his actions, the organization has shown what values the sport of boxing can truly represent – even if it’s sometimes hard to tell under all the controversy. As the WBC writes, Bridger received the belt “for his courageous actions that represent the absolute best values of humanity.”
WBC Agrees With Everlast Campaign to Remove The Word “Female” From All Championship Belts
By: Hans Themistode
It’s a man’s world.
That has always been the phrase that many have lived by. The meaning behind it is simple. Men rule just about everything. Especially sports, and boxing in particular. Men receive much higher pay for the same sort of work, and they are also given the type of recognition that a woman can only dream of.
If you believe that phrase is still relevant in today’s day and age, then you are living in the stone ages. Behind every successful man, has always been a strong woman. To take things even further, men are beginning to take a backseat to women.
The sport of boxing has always been dominated by men. Truthfully, it still is. Men take control of the headlines and rise to the top at a much faster rate than their female counterparts.
Fair? Of course not. But there is no time to simply sit by and complain about it. Instead, it’s time for action.
Everglast, one of the foremost brands in boxing, is leading the way with their new move entitled: First Is Strong. The ad highlights women who have created their own path through the boxing world.
See, it’s easy to follow the footsteps of those who came before you. Watch the blueprint that is already laid in front of you to your own success. But it’s something different entirely when there is no blueprint. No roadmap to follow. No footsteps to imitate.
What the hell are you supposed to then?
You could always quit. Make the assumption that it’s impossible. Maybe the path that you’ve decided to go on is a bit too difficult and it’s time to turn back. Or, you can keep moving forward and make your own path. Build your own way and become the blueprint that others will use when you’re long gone.
That is exactly what former world Featherweight champion Heather Hardy has done. Along with boxing promoter Kathy Duva and journalist Kris Herndon, to name a few.
So how special are these three women in particular? Well, Kathy Duva is one of the most successful boxing promoters in the world. Not an easy thing to do considering how male dominated her profession is. The hard work she’s put in over the years has paid off as she will become just the third female ever to be inducted into the hall of fame this coming June. For male’s who are looking to be a part of her team, don’t even bother. She currently has an all female executive board and her daughter is set to take over once her mother decides to walk away.
As for Heather Hardy, she won the Featherweight world title back in 2018, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.
Hardy became the first female boxer to fight at Barclay Center, in Brooklyn, New York in 2014. She also became the first woman to fight on a national television broadcast as well. Those accomplishments, coupled with her outside of the ring battles including homelessness and sexual abuse, highlights the sort of grit that she has and why she become so successful.
Much like Heather Hardy, Kris Herndon dealt with her own sexual abuse. The trauma may have left her scarred, but certainly not broken.
To sum it all up, these women have fought their way to make it here today.
Simply honoring these women would be more than enough. Well, maybe for anyone else, but not for Everlast. The company has recently launched a campaign to have the word “female” removed from the WBC and WBO sanctioning bodies.
The goal is simple. Forget about genders and just acknowledge women as champions. So far, the WBC has agreed.
“The WBC joins @Everlast campaign in the quest for gender equality,” said the WBC via their Instagram page. “The World Boxing Council has always distinguished itself as a pioneer in regulating boxing and fighting for human rights throughout the entire range of the sports world.”
“For this very reason we adhere to the struggle of women around the world in the search for equity, as well as the various campaigns that have been launched to end discrimination and abuse, and we join the Everlast brand campaign, “ #changethebelt “making the decision to immediately modify our emblematic belt by removing the word “Female” and thus maintain the status of champion regardless of gender; call Champion a Champion.”
With the WBC already onboard with the current change, the ball is now in the court of the WBO.
Alejandra Jimenez Stripped of Title By The WBC
By: Hans Themistode
The reign of WBC Super Middleweight champion Alejandra Jimenez was a short one. She has been officially suspended and stripped of the belt she won just a few short weeks ago.
When the former Heavyweight titlist slimmed down her 200 plus pound physique, in order to get down to the 168 pound limit to take on then champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn, it was eye catching to say the least. Not only did Jimenez make weight easily but she looked to be in the best shape of her career.
When the two met at the Alamodome, in San Antonio Texas, it was Jimenez who came out with a close but unanimous decision victory.
It didn’t take long for Crews-Dezurn to raise her concern over whether or not Jimenez was playing fair. While the former champ fell just short of calling Jimenez a cheater, you could easily read between the lines.
“It was different,” said Dezurn on Boxing Insider Radio. “I’ve fought around the world, remember I used to fight at Light Heavyweight as well. I’ve sparred men but it was different. Something was different that’s all I can say. I hit like a Heavyweight, I’ve done testing with USA boxing and I hit as hard as a man but some of the punches she was taking wasn’t normal.”
The assumptions of Crews-Dezurn turned out to be true as the Voluntary Anti Doping Association found something adverse in the sample’s provided by Jimenez following the fight.
A suspension was inevitable, and it’s now been made official as she has been stripped of her title and provisionally suspended while they investigate the situation more in depth.
“In light of the adverse finding, the WBC is provisionally suspending the WBC’s recognition of Alejandra Jimenez as WBC Female Super Middleweight Champion until the WBC’s investigation and adjudicatory process are finalized,” said a spokesman from the WBC. “The WBC has notified Ms. Jimenez and her team of the WBC’s provisional suspension. Also that it is affording Ms. Jimenez the opportunity to present her position to the WBC as part of the WBC Clean Boxing Program Protocol’s investigative process. Throughout its investigation, the WBC has extended and will afford, Ms. Jimenez and her team the opportunity to present any available information and materials. Any exculpatory evidence they might deem appropriate.”
When both Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Jimenez met in the ring, not only did the former champ lose her titles but she also lost her hair in a hard fought contest. The hair that she lost is gone and isn’t coming back but as for her titles, there’s a good chance that she could get the opportunity to regain them soon.
Olympic Drama: “It’s Now Up to Boxing to Save Itself”
By: Sean Crose
If there’s anything that might equal professional boxing in the shaky reputation category, it’s the Olympic Games. Fans from pretty much every country in the world can probably recall at least one time when one of their countrymen was robbed by scoring judges. Gymnastics, figure skating, and other Olympic sports often appear in the hands of officials that comes across as incompetent at best, outright corrupt at worst. This is particularly true in the case of boxing, where fighters getting hosed is almost as common as the awarding of medals. Roy Jones Jr. was probably the most famous victim of horrid judging until Michael Conlon came along and let the whole world know exactly how he felt about the whole matter with his middle fingers.
Now, the World Boxing Council, which itself hasn’t always had the most stellar of reputations, is stepping up to help clean up Olympic Boxing. “Boxing is one of the sports found in the original Olympic Games,” the Council announced in a press release, “and has been a part of the modern Olympic Games since 1904.” The Council went on to assert that “Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De la Hoya, just to name a few, found their roots in Olympic glory.”
Yet the Council argues that Olympic Boxing has recently been severely tarnished. “AIBA,” the Council states, “the International Federation in charge of Olympic Boxing competition, fell into disgrace, and in fact ruined amateur boxing with its multiple scandals over the past two decades.” The Council argues the Federation’s biggest sin was that it “allowed professional boxers to qualify and compete in the Olympic Games, starting with Rio 2016.” Yet the press release claims that the Olympic Committee itself has stepped in to help clean things up.
“The international Olympic Committee and its President Thomas Bach have heroically stepped in and have taken unprecedented actions in an attempt to save boxing and its participation in the Olympic Games,” the Council claimed. “The IOC took an aggressive role in investigating AIBA’s operations and, after a process which lasted more than a year, finally suspended AIBA and took away their role as administrators of boxing leading to Tokyo 2020.”
The press release makes clear the Council itself has become engaged in the issue. “On Tuesday, October 22nd, during the WBC 57th annual convention in Cancun, Mexico, a very lively discussion took place which involved delegates from all over the world,” the release stated. “The conclusion was clear and unanimous: NO PROFESSIONAL BOXER SHOULD COMPETEAGAINST AMATEUR FIGHTERS, LIMITS SHOULD BE PUT ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THEPROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS, BEFORE THIS TOPIC MAY BE REEVALUATED.”
The Council went on to offer a list of countries that will not send professional boxers to the Olympics. Ultimately, the WBC argued that “now there is a great opportunity for boxing to find the right path and bring back the Olympic dream to the minds of the young athletes of the world.”
“It is now up to Boxing to save itself,” the Council stated.
Recovering From Coma, Stevenson Is Honored At WBC Convention
By: Sean Crose
On December 1st of last year, lineal and WBC world heavyweight titlist Adonis “Superman” Stevenson stepped into the ring at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City to face undefeated challenger Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Stevenson had been champion for years, since stopping Chad Dawson cold in the first round of their 2013 match. Yet, for much of his reign, the Canadian had been criticized for not facing top level opposition. That reputation was beginning to fade away, however, as Stevenson entered the Gvozdyk match. For the 31 year old challenger was a legitimate threat by any standards. What’s more, Stevenson’s previous bout had ended in a hard fought draw against the game and talented Badu Jack. Now at an age where most fighters have long ago decided to pack it in, the forty one year old Stevenson answered the opening bell that Saturday night against a much younger – and quite dangerous – foe.
Things ended about as disastrously as they could have. After slugging it out with Gvozdyk for most of the bout, the aging warrior was brutally stopped in the eleventh of the scheduled twelve round fight. Horrifically, that was only the beginning of a frightening and dark odyssey. “Shortly after the fight,” I wrote afterwards, “Stevenson was taken to Hopital de l’Enfant-Jesus. Doctor’s concluded that Stevenson had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in need of surgery. A short time later, the fighter was placed in a medically induced coma, where he remains unconscious.”
The nightmare continued for weeks. Then, finally, late in December, Stevenson’s girlfriend Simone “Sis” God informed the press “that Adonis is awake. He is healing from his injury in the private company of his family and his dedicated medical team. Adonis is a world champion in the ring and is exhibiting that same grit, strength and determination in his recovery.” Since the good news broke that the former champion was out of his coma, Stevenson has made progress, enough progress to appear at the WBCs annual convention in Mexico this week.
“The most emotional occasion of the Convention,” the WBC states, “was Adonis Stevenson walking up on to the stage the Grand Oasis Arena to receive a Champion of Life belt for his extraordinary, valiant fight of his life to overcome a serious traumatic brain injury in the ring, which involved emergency surgery, an induced coma and constant patient therapy to get him back on his feet, battling to regain a fully functioning life.”
The Council added that Stevenson “credits his (now) Wife Sisi who never left his side during the ordeal, for saving his life thanking her and he. cried tears of loving gratitude, also thanking the WBC for its constant and magnificent help.” It was a legitimately positive moment, the kind the world of contemporary boxing tends to find far too few of. As if Stevenson’s story wasn’t enough to prove how dangerous the sport is, Gvozdyk himself had to stay at a hospital after losing the title he won from Stevenson to Artur Bieterbiev this past weekend.
WBC Prepares For 57th Annual Convention
By: Sean Crose
The World Boxing Council will be holding its 57th annual convention in Cancun October 21st through the 26th. The event will be held at the Grand Oasis Hotel and is being promoted as the biggest event of the year for the sport of boxing . The Council, widely known as the WBC, is the biggest of all the major professional boxing organizations and is associated with a full 166 countries around the world. Although such an event as the convention will clearly have a festive atmosphere (a Mayan Theme will be presented), the Council will also be discussing numerous matters of interest regarding the fight game.
A seminar for referees and judges will be held in order to bring improvement to some of the sport’s scoring and officiating (which is always a matter of controversy). There will be a focus here on the instant replay rule, which is being seen as a way to achieve more clear and objective rulings during and after fights. The use of earphones will also be discussed. Live crowds generally tend to react to anything their favorite fighter does, whether it’s effective or not, and such actions arguably can influence an official.
Another point of focus will be the Clean Boxing Program. The Council has joined Voluntary Anti Doping Association – VADA – in an attempt to keep the use of banned performance enhancing drugs – PEDs – out of boxing, where the impact of such drugs can be catastrophic. On top of that, the convention will address the matter of professional boxers engaging in the Olympic games. It is an idea the Council is strongly opposed to seeing come to fruition. Furthermore, standard issue matters of ranking and mandatories will be addressed during the time in Cancun.
Most importantly, the conference will focus on fighter safety. In a year of several high profile tragedies involving professional boxers, the issue carries with it a sense of urgency. The matter of weight safety is of particular interest to the Council, and will be addressed during the week long convention.
Aside from the issues that will be worked on at the gathering, a special tribute will be paid to ring great Julio Caesar Chavez. The legendary fighter will discuss his own battles with addiction and his fight to help others with their own battles through clinics he himself has established out of pocket.
The World Boxing Council was established in 1963. Its famous green belts are often seen as the premiere prizes of professional boxing
When Was the Last Time a Champion at Middleweight Fought His Mandatory?
By: Shane Willoughby
The WBC is seen by many as the most prestigious organisation, every fighter some time in their career wants that green strap. However, with them introducing this franchise belt in the middleweight division, it has raised some sobering thoughts.
When was the last time the WBC champion defended the belt against their mandatory challenger in the Middleweight division? The current WBC champion at 160lbs is Canelo Alvarez who has held the title since defeating Gennady Golovkin last September.
Before that triple G was the WBC champion and held the title since 2016. Golovkin was interim champion before that and was the mandatory challenger for Canelo for a while. Canelo held the full version of the WBC before giving it up in 2016.
So even though triple G was mandatory, he still didn’t get to fight for the champion. Before that Canelo won the WBC Middleweight title in 2015 after defeating Miguel Cotto, however, the title was vacant at the time.
During the entirety of triple G’s rain as WBC champion and the two times, Canelo Alvarez held the title neither one fought a mandatory. According to the WBC rules, the champion has to fight a mandatory once every 12 months.
We have to go back all the way to 2012 when Sergio Martinez who was WBC Diamond champion at the time and became mandatory for Julio Cesar chances jr. That was the last time the WBC champion fought their mandatory challenger.
Since then the title has been vacated, stripped, passed around and now they have decided to create a franchise belt. If the mandatory status wasn’t challenging enough to handle.
Jermall Charlo has been waiting for a shot at Canelo for a while but the chances of him being forced upon Alvarez is gone because Charlo is now regular champion. There were rumours that Canelo would relinquish his title as he did in 2016, but unfortunately not.
Canelo did, however, get stripped of his IBF belt that he won earlier this year, for not fighting mandatory challenger Sergiy Derenvyanchenko. At least there are governing bodies which stick to their rules.
Either way you look at it the WBC need to address the situation in the Middleweight division and hopefully, we don’t have to wait another 7 years before a champion finally decides to fight their mandatory.
Kalle Sauerland is as Confused as Everyone Regarding the WBC
By: Shane Willoughby
It isn’t a rare sight to see governing bodies squabble in boxing, whether it’s sanctioning fees, rules or mandatory defences, there is always something. But what is rare is for them to bicker like toddlers whilst a fight is going on.
If you were at the Riga Arena for the WBSS semi-final, you would have seen three fantastic triple headers. Dorticos vs Tabiti, Briedis vs Glowacki and the main event the WBO vs WBC. Caught in the middle of all of it was the German Promoter.
I would not want to be you Kalle Sauerland. Earlier in the day the WBC decided to withdraw their belt from the main event between Breidis and Glowacki as they felt the WBSS had violated there rules.
Which meant the winner of the final bout of the night wouldn’t become a unified champion winning both the WBC and WBO titles.
One of the selling points of the WBSS is the fact that they are able to get the governing bodies to come together and solve the divide with all the championship organizations. And the WBSS definitely succeeded in the Riga Arena.
Not only were they able to get the governing bodies to come together, they almost got into full blown fight. Forget Dorticos vs Tabiti, the real war was the one happening at ring side. Not only were they able to out do the co main event, they were able to out do the 9,000 screaming fans.
The argument could be heard from the car park. There were arms flying, voices raised, at one point the fans stopped watching the main event and started watching the madness outside the ring.
People were criticizing the referee for not signaling the end of the 2nd round, he was most probably distracted by the fight outside.
Why were they fighting you may ask? Well that’s a question for Mr Sauerland. “I’ll leave it to the governing bodies to make a decision” Sauerland added “at the end of the day the discussion [argument] was about referees and point judges and we didn’t need them”.
With all due respect to Mr Sauerland, that answer was probably as clear as mud. It appeared that the German was probably as shocked and as lost as anyone. And that answer from Sauerland embodies his confusion.
But let’s try and pick sense out of nonsense. The row was probably about the WBC not being happy with the judges and referees. And as Sauerland said they were not needed. However, if the WBC were arguing about the referee then after watching that fight it makes sense.
The referee was clearly incompetent. In all the years of watching boxing you won’t find a referee say to the fighters “you are big guys, I’m not going to split you guys up”. Which was said by at the start of the fight.
But probably the funniest moment was when he was giving Glowacki instructions. The polish men doesn’t speak a word of English.
Mauricio Saulimann you might have been right about wanting to select the right referee after all. Either way, it doesn’t appear to be any resolution to this stalemate and the only loser in this is the Mr Sauerland.
Fury Open to Facing Whyte for WBC Diamond Belt
By: Michael Kane
Last week WBC supremo Mauricio Sulaiman suggested that he wanted to make an interim title fight between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Dillian Whyte was quoted as saying he didn’t think Fury would accept.
Well Fury has responded, he doesn’t want an interim title fight, he wants the fight to be for the WBC Diamond belt.
Both Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and Whyte have fights scheduled for the next couple of months. Fury takes on German Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in the first fight of a big TV deal with Top Rank and ESPN on June 15th in Las Vegas.
Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) will face Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) in London in July, a fight he had wanted to be confirmed as mandatory for the WBC title.
Fury took to Instagram to set his only condition on accepting the Whyte fight.
“I propose that we make me and Dillian Whyte for the WBC Diamond belt and not the interim belt.”
“I’ll take care of Dillian Whyte,” he continued, “and knock him out within six rounds. I accept the challenge, thank you very much.
“I’d fight Dillian Whyte and day of the week and twice on a Sunday . Make it for the Diamond belt, not the interim version and you’ve got a deal. Let’s get it on!”
Whyte was quick to reply on the post by saying, “Let’s do it then, Tyson Fury. I’d fight you anytime, anywhere, seven days a week and five times on a Sunday. I look forward to putting you to sleep. Let’s go baby!”
Both fighters need to get past their immediate opponents before any such fight can take place.
WBC Wants Fury to Face Whyte in Final Eliminator, Whyte Says He Will Face Anyone
By: Michael Kane
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is interested in making a final eliminator bout between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Sulaiman said in a recent interview with Tha Boxing Voice that Whyte’s team have rejected that proposal.
Whyte has replied saying he will fight anyone including Tyson Fury.
“I’m the ‘can man’ whoever wants it can get it,” Whyte told Talksport.
“I’ve been trying to fight Tyson Fury for a number of years now. We’ve made multiple attempts and it never happened.
“If Fury wants to fight, he knows where I am. But I can’t see the fight happening.
“If Tyson Fury can walk away from a rematch with Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight world title, why would he fight me for the ‘interim’ title? It doesn’t make sense.”
Whyte feels he has been harshly treated by the WBC having been expected to face Dominic Breazeale in a final eliminator for the ‘interim’ title. The plans for this fight were scrapped once Breazeale stepped in to face champion Deontay Wilder on May 18th.
Breazeale was deemed to be the mandatory after winning a final eliminator in 2017 against Eric Molina.
“There’s a lot of things going on with the WBC at the minute,” Whyte explained.
“Everyone knows I’m very angry at them and the way I’ve been treated.
“Everyone knows Deontay Wilder should’ve been fighting me and not Domonic Breazeale. But for some reason the WBC insist on protecting him.
“It’s a funny subject, I can’t really say too much, a lot of these boxing authorities are very touchy.
“The public can see what I’ve done, how many WBC title fights I’ve had, how many times I’ve defended my number one position. Its crazy, I don’t understand it.
“Now, with the WBC, I think it’s just delaying tactics by them. It’s frustrating, it’s stressful, it’s a but disheartening to be honest.
“Tyson Fury could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, Anthony Joshua could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, look who they’re fighting.
“It just goes to show there’s only one man who’s willing to fight anyone. I’m not losing faith in boxing because I know this sport I’d just full of nastiness, man.
“It’s part of the game, you’ve gotta take the ups and the downs. My time will come. I just keep working, they can’t hide forever.”
WBC Orders Lomachenko-Campbell Bout
By: Sean Crose
Mandatory lightweight contender Luke Campbell, 20-2, was in line to face WBC champion Mikey Garcia before Garcia decided to move up in weight to face Errol Spence in an ill fated attempt at welterweight glory earlier this year. After being soundly bested by Spence, Garcia subsequently gave up his lightweight crown (although he remains Champion Emeritus), presumably leaving Campbell to face off against another contender. This being boxing, things didn’t end up as expected, for the WBC announced Tuesday that it was ordering Campbell to face none other than Vasyl Lomachenko himself for the green belt.
Bob Arum, Lomachenko’s promoter, and Eddie Hearn, Campbell’s promoter, are reportedly discussing the matter. Lomachenko is currently in possession of the WBO and IBF lightweight titles, meaning the winner of his fight will be unified champion of the division – though not undisputed champion – as the WBA belt won’t be up for grabs. “Excited,” the 31 year old Campbell told Boxing Social after the WBC made its announcement. “That’s the first word that comes to mind.” Campbell is clearly pumped about the prospect of facing the man who is perhaps the most highly regarded fighter in the sport. “I’m fighting the pound for pound number one,” he says. “This is where I make my mark.”
Lomachenko is now one of the fight game’s biggest stars. Not only does the man win, he tends to make his opponents quit – frequently. High level opposition such as Nicholas Walters and Guillermo Rigondeaux have refused to answer the bell after facing the Ukrainian’s use of angles and intense pressure. It’s been suggested that Lomachenko’s dominance has faded a bit as he’s moved up in weight, but the fact the multi division titlist has stopped the likes of Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla in the past year suggests otherwise.
As for Campbell – the fighter has won his last three fights since dropping a 2017split decision to the same Linares Lomachenko faced. He’s never battled anyone of Lomachenko’s caliber, but the 5’9 southpaw may well square off against the intimidating 13-1 Lomachenko at home. According to the LA Times, Arum is willing to have the bout take place in England. “I’ve already talked to Eddie Hearn,” Arum is quoted as saying, “and he’s looking for an appropriate venue in the U.K..” With boxing now being a major draw in Britain, the image of a large, hyped crowd suddenly comes to mind.
“This is going to be one hell of a fight,” says Campbell.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Atlantic City, Khan, Crawford, Judah, WBC, and more..
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 9th to April 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Amir Khan Confirms First ‘Ring the Changes’ Initiatives to Help Young People Across the UK
Boxing superstar Amir Khan and online financial trading broker ThinkMarkets have confirmed their first partnerships as part of the ‘Ring the Changes’ initiatives aimed at providing support and opportunities for under-privileged young people across the UK.
More than 35 young people have been murdered in London already this year and Khan will work with ThinkMarkets and charity partners to raise funds and support initiatives to help young children get off the streets using financial education and the power of boxing.
The London Institute of Banking & Finance will offer young people access to their Lessons in Financial Education (LiFE) course to teach young people about the world of finance. Amir Khan will be actively working with ThinkMarkets to reach out to boxing clubs across London to invite young people on to the programme.
Youth Employment UK is not for profit organisation that helps 14-24-year-olds to kick-start their careers and will provide support specifically through their Young Professional programme which helps young people develop the work ready skills that employers are looking for.
This ties in with Amir Khan’s aims with ThinkMarkets to secure employment in the City for 100 young people from disadvantaged families by 2022.
Amir Khan said: “My ‘Ring the Changes’ initiative with ThinkMarkets WILL have an impact on youth crime and disenfranchisement and make a real difference.
“I’m focused on training for my fight against Terence Crawford in a few days but it’s tragic seeing the increasing devastation families are facing as young people are being killed or maimed in knife attacks.
“We have to give young people hope and opportunities and I believe that ‘Ring the Changes’ can go some way to providing inspiration for young people who may feel lost. Together with ThinkMarkets, we will not forget them and we will provide ways to help.”
Alison Pask, Managing Director, Financial Capability and Community Outreach at The London Institute of Banking & Finance added: “The Ring the Changes campaign helps young people combine the advantages of sports and financial knowledge to develop their skills and confidence.
“Over 70% of young people regularly worry about money and want to learn more. The role that initiatives like this can play in building financial resilience is critical. But more than that, initiatives like these can help open doors to career opportunities – and there are lots of those in the finance sector.
“We hope this programme will help raise the aspirations of young people, opening doors to careers and opportunities they may not have thought possible. We’re very proud of the role we can play.”
Laura-Jane Rawlings, Chief Executive Officer of Youth Employment UK, added: “The combination of sports, financial education and employability programme will provide young people with the necessary tools to further their career goals. By collaborating with ThinkMarkets under the Ring the Changes campaign we believe we can really make a difference to the future generations.”
Khan has a long history of helping charitable causes around the world and set up his own Foundation in 2014, something that attracted ThinkMarkets to working with the former Olympic silver medalist.
Nauman Anees, Co-founder of ThinkMarkets, said: “We wanted to take our time to get the right partnerships in place and have worked closely with Amir Khan before securing the London Institute of Banking & Finance and Youth Employment UK.
“’Ring the Changes’ WILL make a difference to the lives of a great many young people in the UK through a combination of philanthropy, opportunity and inspiration.”
ThinkMarkets aims to teach youngsters the importance of mental discipline and provide them with key skills to help them achieve their goals.
Khan’s partnership with ThinkMarkets is the first of its kind, with ThinkMarkets becoming the first UK broker to sponsor a professional boxer.
Earlier this year, ThinkMarkets announced another sporting partnership, with legendary Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath supporting young people in Australia and the UK.
WBC Champs Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada and “Bang Bang” Louisa Hawton Are All in for Autsim
This past weekend was one stacked with Women in Boxing no doubt! The World Boxing Council, WBC Cares program with Chairperson, Jill Diamond, WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman and the entire WBC Family are very grateful to our WBC Champs, Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada and “Bang Bang” Louisa Hawton who donated their time Saturday evening to raise money for Autism Awareness. With World Champions in attendance like MLB World Series Champ, Scott Erickson, Former Dallas Cowboys, and NFL Superbowl XXVI MVP, Mark Rypien along with many other celebrities, it was a fun filled night where the Champs played, laughed and rewarded the winners of the table that knocked them out with WBC Medals!
April is Autism Awareness Month and we at the World Boxing Council are honored Pam Phillips and the Gemini Family have invited us to be a part of this event another year! The difference begins within each one of us. Let’s spread awareness just like our Champs Seniesa and Lulu!
For information on how Gemini helps those in the Autism Spectrum, go to Gemini.org
Judah vs. Seldin to Battle At Turning Stone Resort Casino
Preparations are well underway as Central New York prepares to host boxing’s biggest weekend of the year, International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. Star Boxing, in partnership with Turning Stone Resort Casino, today announced a new event for an already impressive boxing weekend – Zab “Super” Judah (44-9, 30 KOs) vs. Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (23-1, 19 KOs). The fight will take place in the Turning Stone Event Center on Friday, June 7, 2019, as part of the 30th Anniversary of Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. The evening’s co-main event will feature James “Buddy” McGirt Jr. (27-3-1, 14KO’s) facing off against David Papot (22-0, 3KO’s), the same weekend his father James “Buddy” McGirt Sr. will be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
Boxing fans will also have an opportunity to mingle with some of the biggest names in boxing, including boxing VIPs and Hall of Famers. Turning Stone will offer a unique boxing fan experience for guests who purchase tickets for the June 7thJudah vs. Seldin fight. For $50 (plus the purchase of a ticket), guests will receive access to the Boxing Hall of Fame Lounge, where boxing VIPs will be socializing throughout the night.
Tickets for Judah vs. Seldin are now available at the Turning Stone Box Office in person or by calling 315.361.7469 and 12:00 p.m. online at Ticketmaster. Prices start at only $35, with ringside seats available for $89 and $75.
June 7th’s main event features, Zab “Super” Judah (Brooklyn, NY), a six-time world champion, and the last undisputed welterweight champion of the world. The three-time New York Golden Glove champion made his professional debut at the age of 18, later holding world titles in three weight classes, capped off by his undisputed welterweight reign. Judah has defeated some of the most notable names in the business, including, Micky Ward, Lucas Matthysse and Cory Spinks (Undisputed Welterweight Title), and fought many other top fighters including Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Miguel Cotto .
Opposing the six-time and former undisputed champion will be New York’s feared knockout artist, Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (Shirley, NY). Born from a tough line of Jewish-Americans, Seldin won the Ringside Amateur World Championship in 2009. As a professional, Seldin created buzz throughout New York as a knockout artist packing the Paramount with his “Hamma Head” fans. He broke on to the national scene when he devoured Roberto Ortiz at the Nassau Coliseum in a featured HBO fight. One month later, Seldin became the first boxer alongside Hall of Fame world champions, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. to fight in featured fights on back to back months on HBO. 83 percent of Seldin’s wins have come via knockout.
The veteran craftsmanship of former undisputed champion Judah, will have to weather the storm of the heavy-handed New York brawler in Seldin. On the biggest weekend in boxing, with many Hall of Famer’s in attendance, #JudahSeldin is bound to set off fireworks at Turning Stone on June 7th.
In the co-feature bout, James “Buddy” McGirt Jr. (Vero Beach, FL) will look to tip his hat to his father, James McGirt Sr. who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame during the same weekend, when he takes on tough Frenchman David Papot (Saint-Nazaire, France). McGirt compiled an impressive amateur record of 44-4 winning the Sunshine State Games and the Southeastern Regional. As a professional McGirt has also found success and has faced some well-regarded fighters in his division, including, Carlos De Leon Jr., Edwin Rodriguez, and Raymond Joval. His opponent, undefeated Frenchman David Papot is taking the trip across the Atlantic Ocean with intentions of ruining the McGirt family weekend. Papot had 102 amateur bouts, 30 of which were with the French National team, earning French National Champion honors two times. In 2017 Papot earned the WBA Continental Middleweight Title, and later that year became the French National Super Welterweight Champion, having since defended the title three times.
Crawford vs. Khan PPV Details Revealed
The undefeated pound-for-pound king, three-division world champion and reigning WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford will headline the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view broadcast against former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan Saturday, April 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Madison Square Garden.
Crawford vs. Khan will be available via all major cable and satellite providers with a suggested retail price of $59.95 (SD) or $69.95 (HD).
All undercard bouts will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), the fighting pride of Omaha, Nebraska, unified all four super lightweight titles in August 2017 and moved up to the welterweight division intent on doing the same. In June 2018, he won the WBO welterweight title with a dominant ninth-round stoppage over Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. Four months later, in front of a packed hometown house at the CHI Health Center Omaha, he stopped bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in the 12th round.
Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), who captured an Olympic silver medal in 2004 for Great Britain at the age of 17, has long been one of boxing’s most captivating performers. He won his first world title in 2009 and has victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander. He is undefeated as a welterweight and is once again attempting to prove his greatness against boxing’s best.
In other action on the pay-per-view broadcast:
• Lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) will face former world title challenger and two-time European lightweight champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) in a 12-round co-feature. Lopez is ranked in the top five by all four major sanctioning organizations and is coming off a savage seventh-round knockout over Diego Magdaleno.
• In the other co-feature attraction, Shakur Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs), the 21-year-old featherweight phenom who earned a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will face former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
• Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), one of Puerto Rico’s most popular fistic attractions, will fight former interim world champion Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight duel with potential world title implications.
CRAWFORD vs. KHAN is a 12-round fight for the WBO welterweight championship of the world, presented by Top Rank in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions. The event is sponsored by Geico. CRAWFORD vs. KHAN will take place Saturday, April 20, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at Madison Square Garden
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) Announces Opening of It’s Legends Café
The ACBHOF is pleased to announce the opening of its Legends Café during their 3rd Annual Celebration and Induction Weekend. For the third year, the Claridge A Radisson Hotel will serve as ACBHOF’s partner and backdrop for this historic event to be held June 21 – 23, 2019.
On Friday, June 21st the ACBHOF VIP Cocktail Reception will kick-off the weekend with the opening of the Legends Café and a special screening of the movie “ME WHEE” — a 30-minute documentary of Muhammad Ali.
“It is with tremendous pride that The Claridge-A Radisson Hotel welcomes The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame during this induction weekend. We are privileged to join in this partnership, a blending of the rich history that we both share here in Atlantic City. The Legends Café is an extraordinary, unique, and unforgettable opportunity for immersion into the legendary world of boxing that has evolved in this city over the years.” – A. Cem Erenler V.P. Operations & Development.
On Saturday, June 22nd the ACBHOF will invite boxing enthusiasts to join us for conversation and coffee in the Legends Café where an engaging panel discussion will take place. The panel will be moderated and activated with a panel comprised of top boxing historians from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Café will host exciting exhibits and art on display by Patrick Killiam from Newport, Wales, and other talented artists and Exhibits that will be on display: Jack Johnson, Joe Frazier Legacy Exists, Deborah King, James O’Neal Sculptures, Boxing Apocalypse and the SparBar.
Also, on Saturday the ACBHOF will be inside the Orange Loop for good food and music at the Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall; where guests and fans alike will be interacting up close and personal with boxing legends on hand for autographs and photo opportunities.
“Our mission is to honor, preserve and celebrate the excellence of Atlantic City’s rich Boxing History and there’s no better place to highlight this tradition than at the historic Claridge-A Radisson Hotel. My team and I are excited about this collaboration.” – Ray McCline President of Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
The weekend will culminate with the Induction Ceremony on Sunday, June 23rd where the ACBHOF Class of 2019 will be enshrined into the hall of fame history.
The Class of 2019 Participants: Bernard Hopkins, Tim Witherspoon, Iran Barkley, Roberto Duran, Micky Ward, Kevin Watts, John Brown, Virgil Hill, Butch Lewis, English Bouie Fisher, Ace Marotta, Jimmy Binns, Sr., Stan Hoffman, Nigel Collins, Henry Hascup, Tom Kaczmarek, Tony Orlando Jr., and Rhonda Utley-Herring.
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.”
WBC Offers Update on Alvarez-Golovkin-Charlo Middleweight Muddle
By Jake Donovan
After spending most of the past year creating a mess, the World Boxing Council has done its best to clear up the middleweight muddle.
Somehow, they have only created more confusion in the process.
The WBC unanimously approved Golden Boy Promotions’ official request for middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to make a voluntary defense in his next fight. The decision came Wednesday during the “Mandatories” session of the annual WBC Convention in Kiev, Ukraine.
Alvarez regained his title in a 12-round win over Gennady Golovkin in their high-profile rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was rescheduled from its original May 5 date, which was scratched after Alvarez tested positive for Clenbuterol for which he received a six-month suspension.
The delay in staging the rematch to their highly controversial Sept. ’17 draw raised questions as to when Jermall Charlo would get his due title shot. The unbeaten middleweight from Houston became the mandatory challenger after claiming the sanctioning body’s interim title following his knockout win over Hugo Centeno this past April.
Much to his dismay, Charlo was told to sit and wait out the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch before learning his fate. It now seems he will have to take one more fight in order to remain eligible for a crack at the WBC belt.
A compromise offered by the WBC in approving an Alvarez voluntary defense—which will likely come versus former IBF beltholder David Lemieux, as both are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions—was to have Charlo and Golovkin meet in a final eliminator, with the winners to be ordered to a straight-away championship clash.
The latter proposal was the WBC’s counteroffer to a protest filed by Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler in hopes of securing an immediate return go versus Alvarez. The basis of the complaint stemmed from what their side deems as controversial scoring, as the majority of viewers saw the rematch as either a draw or a close win for Alvarez.
While Golovkin’s team has gained sympathy from the media over the manner in which his record-tying title reign ended, there remained little chance of it serving as sufficient grounds to field such a protest. Far greater controversy stemmed from their first fight, in which most viewers saw Golovkin as a clear winner only to have to settle for a controversial draw.
That said, the WBC did provisionally approve an immediate rematch on the supporting conditions of Alvarez not taking a voluntary fight and a Charlo-Golovkin clash failing to materialize.
Confused? You’re not alone.
What has yet to be clarified is the terms that would satisfy a Charlo-Golovkin clash not taking place—specifically which side would have to not accept in order for the WBC to grant Golovkin a clear path to a third fight.
For the moment, Charlo is keen on a bout with either Alvarez or Golovkin, and for good reason. Each represent by far the most lucrative options in and around the middleweight division. However, he’s also rumored to return to the ring in December, either on the preliminary portion of the December 1 Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury or as part of the first show under the restructured Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox primetime boxing series.
Golovkin will likely not fight again in 2018, and even if so it won’t come on either of those two cards. Nor is it clear which network would house his next ring appearance. The former unified titlist—who made a divisional record-tying 20 title defenses of at least one alphabet title before being dethroned by Alvarez in September—has served as a staple of HBO’s boxing series since his stateside debut in 2012.
That will obviously not be the next case for his or Alvarez’ next fight, as HBO announced in late September its intentions to cease live boxing coverage in 2019 and likely well beyond.
The announcement leaves Golovkin and Alvarez as the sport’s most high-profile network free agents. Several outlets—including Showtime (and functionally Fox, as both are tied to PBC), ESPN and new streaming kid on the (U.S.) block DAZN—are already prepared to aggressively bid for their services.
Charlo is aligned with Showtime and Fox, as is the case with all boxers under the PBC umbrella.