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Deontay Wilder is Still Mulling Final Decision on Boxing Future

Former WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has still not made a final decision on a ring return. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Last October, the 36-year-old fighter was knocked out in the eleventh round of his trilogy fight with current WBC beltholder Tyson Fury.

Wilder overcame an early knockdown to drop Fury twice. In the second half of the fight, Fury would rally back to drop the big puncher twice more for a knockout win.

There have been no definitive plans regarding Wilder’s comeback or a timeline for a fight.

“I’m definitely considering coming back,” Wilder told Premier Boxing Champions.

“This is something that we’re trying to figure out and get things situated. I feel [it could be] a re-boost for my career.”

If he does return to the ring, Wilder make it clear that it’s about money.

“It’s not about the financial things, I never have to return to boxing ever again in my life. I’ve set my life up,” Wilder said.

Wilder has not won a fight since a knockout of Luis Ortiz in their 2019 rematch. He’s riding a two fight losing streak, with back to back stoppage losses to Fury – who is regarded as the best heavyweight in the sport.

There are still plenty of possibilities for Wilder in the weight class – including a comeback fight against the winner of the upcoming clash between Andy Ruiz and Luis Ortiz.

Wilder is still ranked at number one by the WBC. If Fury follows through with his plan to retire from the sport, then the sanctioning body would order Wilder to face the highest ranked available contender for the vacant belt. At the moment, the WBC’s number two contender is Olympic silver medal winner Joe Joyce.

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Artur Beterbiev Demolishes Joe Smith In 2

Posted on 06/18/2022

By: Sean Crose

The 17-0 Artur Beterbiev put his WBC and IBF light heavyweight title belts on the line Saturday when he faced the 26-3 Joe Smith, whose WBO light heavyweight title belt was on the line, as well. The scheduled 12 rounder went down at the Theater at Madison Square Garden and was aired live by ESPN.

Beterbiev, who had stopped all previous opponents within the distance, was able to land early while Smith flicked out his jab in order to make the Canadian multi-belt holder uncomfortable. With that in mind, it looked as if Smith might want to employ head movement. Smith went down from a slip near the last minute of the round. An overhand right sent the New Yorker to one knee just before the bell. Smith got back to his feet quickly.

Beterbiev went for the kill in the second, his thudding shots beating Smith senseless. He dropped Smith, who had never previously been down, less than a minute into the round. Beterbiev then knocked him into the ropes before midpoint of the chapter. A final series of shots sent Smith wobbling, causing the referee to smartly halt the proceedings. Beterbiev now holds three of the four major world titles at light heavyweight. The one remaining belt belongs to Canleo Alvarez conqueror Dmitry Bivol. An undisputed divisional throwdown might be in each man’s future.

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Ratings Update: Naoya Inoue is the new pound for pound king

“The Monster” may have scored a decisive second-round stoppage of the great Nonito Donaire on Tuesday in Saitama, Japan, but his goal of reaching the lofty position of pound for pound No. 1 was realized by the tightest of split decisions.

By a 5-4 margin in a Ring ratings panel debate, three-weight world champion Naoya Inoue has made history by becoming the first Japanese national to sit atop the mythical rankings. The reigning unified heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk will drop from No. 1 to No. 2, while Terence Crawford moves down a spot to No. 3.

As the numbers reflect, this was not an easy choice. Usyk is a former undisputed cruiserweight champion and his skillset is beyond reproach. The sophisticated Ukrainian lefty won an assortment of 200-pound titles on the road before scoring a historic points win over Anthony Joshua to put the glamor division on notice.

The unbeaten Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) is the reigning Ring, IBF, WBA and WBC bantamweight titleholder. The 29-year-old has been feasting on world-level opposition for eight years and holds signature wins over Adrian Hernandez (TKO 6), Omar Narvaez (KO 2), Jamie McDonnell (TKO 1), Juan Carlos Payano (KO 1), Emmanuel Rodriguez (TKO 2) and Nonito Donaire (UD 12, TKO 2).

The rematch victory over Donaire was a massacre. Most of us predicted the win but few foresaw a one-sided blowout. Yes, Donaire is 39 years old, but that cannot be overplayed. He’d never lost at bantamweight and was on great form, having halted two unbeaten opponents – Nordine Oubaali (KO 4) and Reymart Gaballo (KO 4) – since suffering a competitive points defeat to Inoue in October 2019. Subsequently, The Ring rated Donaire as the No. 1 contender at 118 pounds and, thanks to the Oubaali win, he was the WBC titleholder.

Inoue was lethal in the Donaire return. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

My personal take was that Inoue deserved maximum credit for his most recent triumph and had earned the top spot on The Ring’s pound for pound list.

“Nobody has done that to [Donaire,]” agreed long-time Ring contributor Anson Wainwright. “I’d like Inoue at number one. If Usyk is impressive in the rematch with [Anthony] Joshua, he might take back the number one spot, and if we get Crawford-[Errol] Spence, we may get the winner of that, but for now I like Inoue as the pound-for-pound king.”

Wainwright and I had plenty of backing.

“As much as I admire and respect what Usyk has accomplished on the road, it’s hard for me not to think Inoue is the best fighter in the world right now,” said ratings panel member Daisuke Saigura.  “I support Anson & Tom here.”

Panel member and editor Diego Morilla was next and equally sure with his reasoning.

“I have been part of Team Usyk for a while, for a lot of reasons. But it is hard to deny that Inoue is the fighter every other fighter should aspire to be. ‘Fast,’ ‘crafty,’ and ‘always in great shape’ are understatements at this point,” offered Morilla.

“And just as nobody questioned [Floyd] Mayweather’s unwillingness to travel abroad to get his belts before crowning him as the pound-for-pound king, I wouldn’t hold that against Inoue either. I support Inoue to jump to number one.”

Game over. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

However, several panel members still feel that Usyk reigns supreme.

“It’s worth repeating that Usyk has won eight belts in two divisions in less than 20 pro bouts AND done most of that work on the road,” said panel member Michael Montero. “He’s a 200-pounder who just beat a man that is naturally 50 pounds heavier (Joshua).

“Inoue is definitely the fighter of the moment, but his accomplishments do not usurp the Ukrainian’s. At least not yet.”

Martin Mulcahey was in the same corner as Montero.

“Count me in for moving Inoue up a spot as well, and Crawford will have his chance to move past Inoue again later this year if he takes on Spence,” said Mulcahey. “With these two talents so close in terms of achievement and eye test, I think the last result can be difference maker… and Inoue’s last result is simply fantastic! Only thing keeping Usyk above Inoue in my mind is how Usyk has gone to his best challengers home nations to beat them.”

Panel members Adam Abramovich and Tris Dixon were in agreement with Usyk maintaining the No. 1 spot.

At this point, the score was 4-4 and our esteemed editor-in-chief Doug Fischer was initially on the fence.

“I thought Inoue’s performance was sensational, he looked like the perfect offensive-boxing force,” stated Fischer. “I’m in favor of him moving up at least one spot (back to No. 2), and in truth, I think the No. 1 spot is a toss-up between Inoue and Usyk. I have no problem with either in that top P4P position.”

When asked if he could go one way or the other, Fischer decided that Inoue was his final choice.

 

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Muhammad Ali’s Grandson Loses MMA Debut

It must be tough being Muhammad Ali’s grandson, what with the pressure fans have placed on you simply because of your surname. Nico Ali Walsh is currently carving out a career and a name of his own, but last night, in his MMA debut, Biaggio Ali Walsh, another grandson of The Greatest, was beaten in the second round.

Walsh, a former model and American Football player, scored a knockdown early on against Devin Rothwell but he ran out of gas and Walsh was beaten in round two, this when he tapped out. With around a minute left in the second round, Walsh was locked into a rear-naked choke and he tapped out. Who knows if this will prove to be it for Walsh, or if he will perhaps give it another try and fight again?

Nico Ali Walsh was there in the crowd, cheering Biaggio on but it proved to be a bad night all round. MMA is of course a tough sport (let’s not get into the debate, again, of which sport is tougher, boxing or MMA!) and no fight can be taken for granted. Walsh had worked hard in training, reportedly working out three times a day in the lead-up to last night’s bout, so this made it all the more surprising when he ran out of gas and got tired so quickly.

As of right now, Walsh suggests he will fight again, but who knows if he can make it in the cage?

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Danny Roman – No more Mr. Nice Guy

Danny Roman tells Lewis Watson why he is more than happy to be the underdog against Stephen Fulton Jnr this weekend

DANNY ROMAN smiles uncomfortably when he’s asked, not for the first time, if he is too nice to be a fighter. The 31-year-old is nonetheless able to counter the question with predictable humility.

“At the end of day, I’m just doing a job, Mr Nice Guy or not,” he explains from California, where he is deep in preparation for his June 4 super-bantamweight fight with the unbeaten and No.1-ranked Stephen Fulton Jnr.

“I work hard at this job and still consider myself a regular guy,” he continued. “I’m often told how well I come across in interviews and to my fans, but that doesn’t stop me going to war inside the ring.”

Roman, ranked third at 122lbs, is a man on a mission. Losing to Murodjon Akhmadaliev via split decision back in 2020 proved a bitter pill to swallow, but the “Baby Faced Assassin” is comfortable in coping with setbacks. This fight acts as an opportunity for Roman to regain his place atop the rankings and reaffirm his ability to cope with adversity.

“It was a close fight with Akhmadaliev, but I believe I won it,” Roman explained. “In my opinion, you should have to do a lot more to beat the champion, but I respect the decision of the judges. The best thing to come out of that fight was the realisation that there are certain things I need to improve on.

“When you lose, you pay attention to the mistakes you make,” he continued. “A few adjustments are needed in my game, especially at the start of the fight. I can’t be as patient as I was and take my time in the first few rounds.

“Anything can happen throughout 12 rounds, so I need to make sure I dominate from the opening bell. I can’t let the first rounds go by. You never know what the judges are thinking, so I need to take the power out of their hands and into mine.”

This self-awareness is admirable and something that he has touched on with Boxing News before.

In 2018, Roman was preparing for Doncaster’s Gavin McDonnell and explained how defeats early in his professional career enabled him to make improvements facilitating a climb towards the summit of his division. Roman would go on to beat TJ Doheny in early 2019, before running into Akhmadaliev in Miami, and the wrong side of a contested defeat to the Uzbek.

But Roman is now in the business of looking forward. He has been cast in the role of underdog against Fulton for the first time in a long time, but it’s something he is relishing.

“Of course it’s going to be a tough fight, but we all know that anything can happen in boxing,” he added. “I’m cool with being the B-side in this fight – If people don’t believe in me then I am always ready to prove them wrong. He’s the ‘unified’ champion now. And I was not so long ago too, so I know what is required to fight a guy like that. The pressure is off me now and he knows I am coming for everything. Fulton is the one with a target on his back and let’s see how he copes with that.”

Fulton is unbeaten in 20 outings and is widely regarded as one of the brightest young stars in the sport. Tightly outscoring Brandon Figueroa in November last year took him to the top of the divsion but the Philadelphian’s performance only instils confidence in Roman.

“In Fulton’s last fight, I saw that he didn’t handle pressure very well at all,” Daniel said. “He will need to improve on that because I am going to bring everything that Figueroa brought, and more,” he added. “For him, it will be important to adjust to my style. Can he do that under pressure? This fight will be like a chess match but I’m more than confident that I have the tools for the upset.

“But obviously he’s a great fighter. He’s smart, slick and he proved that by becoming unified in the division.”

Roman’s outlook on the sport is simple and refreshing: “I just want to fight the best and have fun while doing it,” he added. “Sure, I have achieved lots in the game but there is always room for more. I don’t like to waste time.

“I’ve still got plenty of years left ahead of me and I believe I can become undisputed at the weight. And if I could do that by getting revenge over MJ [Akhmadaliev], then that would be perfect.

“But I am not looking past Fulton – he is the guy standing in my way, he concluded. “And believe me, I am ready to bring the heat.”

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Eddie Hearn predicting victory for Devin Haney over George Kambosos Jr

By Adam Baskin: Promoter Eddie Hearn predicts a win for WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney over unified champion George Kambosos Jr. next Sunday, June 5th, in Melbourne, Australia.

Hearn has a lot of respect for the courage Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) shows by agreeing to a deal to fight Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) in his home country of Australia.

What will make the 23-year-old Haney’s job even more challenging is that he’ll be without his father/trainer Bill Haney for the fight due to the Australian government not allowing him to enter the country because of a drug conviction in 1992.

Haney will have the sizeable pro-Kambosos crowd of what could be 50,000+ rooting against him, and it could be difficult for him to win rounds unless he makes the conclusive.

You got to believe if the rounds are close, the judges will give it to the home fighter Kambosos. However, with Haney’s talent, he could dominate to the point where the judges will have an easy time scoring the contest.

The mind games that Kambosos has been playing throughout the build-up to the fight don’t appear to have mentally affected Haney in the way they did Teofimo Lopez last November.

Kambosos got into Teofimo’s head before their fight, and by the time the match started, Teo was essentially a basket case.

“You got to respect Devin Haney because he had to take this deal to get this fight. He’s got no promoter, really, and he’s got no help. His dad couldn’t get into the country,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on Devin Haney’s fight next Sunday against George Kambosos Jr.

“This is something you’d expect a promotional company to deal with in that respect. You’ve got a depleted corner, and he’s in George Kambosos’ backyard.

“I don’t even know who the judges are, but that’s why you have to respect Devin Haney because he believes his talent will allow him to win this fight.

“He looked good in the pressor. Devin is very strong mentally. So all those things I mentioned, I don’t see him being affected by all of that. My worry is that Kambosos’ work rate and the noise of the crowd will allow him to win and steal rounds.

“I believe Devin Haney will win the fight, and hopefully, he can get the decision. I love George and respect him, but obviously, I’m rooting for Devin Haney,” said Hearn.

It sounds like Hearn is concerned about Haney getting the shaft in this fight in terms of the scoring. Hopefully, that’s not the case.

“If I didn’t have Joe Cordina fighting this week, I would have gone to Australia because I’m going to Australia in three weeks’ time to announce our first show. I’ll definitely be staying up to watch Devin,” said Hearn.


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Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero – CompuBox Punch Stats

Prior to this fight, Gervonta Davis landed 47.7% of his power punches. Against Rolando Romero, Davis landed 34% of his power punches. Davis averaged 14 punches thrown per round against Romero, well below his prior average of 36.6 punches thrown per round. 48% of the punches that Davis landed were to Romero’s body.

Barclays Center, Brooklyn – For the WBA “regular” lightweight title, Gervonta Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) stopped Rolando Romero (14-1, 12 KOs) with a big left hand in the sixth round.

In a competitive fight, Davis closed the show in the sixth when he landed a big counter left hand as Romero walked in. Romero went down hard. He was able to beat the count, but his legs were gone and the referee waved off the fight. 

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Ring Masters Championships Set for Thursday, June 16th at Hulu Theater at MSG

Posted on 05/26/2022

NEW YORK, NY – May 27, 2022 – USA Boxing Metro officially announced today the finals of the qualifying tournament for the National Golden Gloves, “Ring Masters Championships” will take place at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, June 16.

Following 14 exciting events comprising USA Boxing Metro’s “Road to the Garden” tournament, the New York Metro area’s best amateur Open/Novice Senior Class boxers will advance to the finals at the ‘Mecca of Boxing’, Madison Square Garden, in the “Ring Masters Championships” on Thursday, June 16 starting at 6:00 PM. Shows were featured at some great venues like: Sony Hall, Bay Ridge Catholic Academy, Gleason’s Gym, Church Street Boxing, and Hudson Valley Sports Dome., in front of sold out crowds.

An action-packed card of up to twenty-four bouts will take place in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, with the winners and runners-up receiving uniquely designed Ring Masters Championships rings and also the Elite Open punching their tickets to the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in Tulsa, OK in August.

Tickets range from $25.00 – $110 and are now available at the Madison Square Garden box office, via msg.com and ticketmaster.com, and by calling Ticketmaster at 866-858-0008.

“We are excited to bring back our Premiere Tournament to the “Mecca of Boxing,” MSG, and New York with a history of featuring action packed boxing cards and future superstars welcoming crowds of spectators from all walks of life,” said Metro’s President Ray Cuadrado. “The comeback our sport and organization has made from Covid-19 is truly remarkable and demonstrates the life changing value we provide to our communities and partners.”

The “Road to the Garden” highlighted the talents of New York’s best young amateur boxers and Olympic hopefuls in venues around the New York City area, upstate and Long Island, including competitors 8 years old and up. Open Class competitors (aged 19 to 40) are eligible to qualify for the 2022 National Golden Gloves Tournament. Additionally, Boxers aged 8 to 40+ are eligible to compete for local bragging rights – making this USA Boxing Metro’s largest tournament.

USA BOXING, METROPOLITAN ASSOCIATION, INC. (Metro) is the Local Boxing Committee (LBC) comprising New York City, Long Island, and up to and including Duchess, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties. Metro is overseen by USA BOXING, INC., the national governing body for Olympic-style amateur boxing. USA Boxing is overseen by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Boxing Association (AIBA), which sets its rules. The national office of USA Boxing is located in Colorado Springs, CO. and comprises 56 LBCs across the United States.

For further information, contact:

For USA Boxing, Metro:

Ray Cuadrado: [email protected] Sonya Lamonakis: [email protected]

Madison Square Garden:

Larry Torres: [email protected] / (212) 631-5178

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The Neutral Corner: Episode 315 – Alimkhanuly and Benavidez dominate; Tank vs Rolly preview

On episode 315 of The Neutral Corner boxing podcast, host Michael Montero highlighted the latest news, including Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN extending their partnership with a new multi-year deal.

Also, reports confirmed that the third fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin will happen in September. The venue is yet to be announced, but the bout is on and will be streamed on DAZN PPV.

REVIEW:

On Saturday, May 21, Janibek Alimkhanuly scored a KO2 win over Danny Dignum to claim an interim middleweight title. The bout served as the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card. In the co-main, Jamaine Ortiz scored a UD10 win Jamel Herring in a lightweight fight.

That same day, David Benavidez dominated former middleweight title holder David Lemieux in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. Benavidez dropped Lemieux once before scoring the TKO3 victory. The bout headlined a PBC on Showtime card.

In London, light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi improved to 16-0 (13 knockouts) with a UD10 win over Craig Richards. The main event of a Matchroom Boxing card was streamed on DAZN.

PREVIEW:

Saturday, May 28

Mayweather Promotions, Showtime PPV

Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Gervonta Davis vs Rolando Romero, 12rds, 135 pounds

TIME STAMPS:

@2:47 News and Notes

@22:35 Fight Review

@51:46 Fight Preview

@1:06:12 Callers

Michael Montero can be found on social media via @MonteroOnBoxing. His show “The Neutral Corner” can be seen every Monday on TheRingDigital YouTube channel, and heard on audio podcast platforms around the world.

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Jose Benavidez Jr says Charlo & Plant won’t get in the ring with David

Jose Benavidez Jr. doesn’t believe Jermall Charlo or Caleb Plant will fight his brother David Benavidez because neither of them wants that work.

Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) just makes excuses, and Plant talks crap and doesn’t back it up, according to Jose Jr. He thinks Charlo & Plant are afraid of the undefeated former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez.

Last Saturday night, the 25-year-old Benavidez captured the interim WBC 168-lb title with an effortless third-round knockout of #2 WBC David Lemieux (43-5, 36 KOs) at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

While the interim WBC strap that Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) captured isn’t a full title, it puts him in a position to either get a crack at WBC 168-lb champion Canelo Alvarez or be elevated to the main belt holder if the Mexican star chooses not to fight him.

Plant (29-1, 12 KOs) is the one that needs the fight against Benavidez more than Charlo because he already fought Canelo last November and lost. For Plant to get a rematch, he needs a big win over Benavidez.

Jermall, with his large following, doesn’t need to take a risky fight against Benavidez to get a big money fight against Canelo. He’ll get the fight based on his popularity and his unbeaten 32-0 record.

“I saw that his jab got a lot faster, and his movements got a lot faster. He came in at 166, which I’ve never seen that,” said Jose Benavidez Jr. to Fighthype when asked about whether he saw improvements in David Benavidez with his performance against David Lemieux.

“It just proves that he’s hungry and wants his title back. He wants his WBC belt back,” Jose Jr. said of Benavidez. “I don’t think none of them will get in the ring with him,” Jose Jr said when asked if Caleb Plant or Jermall Charlo will agree to fight Benavidez in 2022.

“[Jermall] Charlo is only making excuses. Plant talks a lot of s***, but then he doesn’t fight him. My brother is ready for whoever. I think four rounds with him running. F*** them, they’re p****. That’s my message to them.

“Maybe more if he gets in condition and runs longer,” said Jose Jr. when asked about his previous prediction that Benavidez will stop Caleb Plant by the fourth round. “Maybe six. I say six. Past six, it’s not going to happen.

“He doesn’t have the power, and he’s not as fast as he thinks he is. His defense is not even that good. My brother knows how to do that [cut off the ring]. He’s shown that in fights. He knows how to cut the ring off and has good defense.

“He can fight inside; he can fight outside. He can box and can do whatever he wants. He’s just a talented fighter, and it shows in his fights. He did a tremendous job [against David Lemieux] and took him out,” said Jose Jr. about his brother Benavidez defeating Lemieux.