Roundup (May 14, 2019): Wilder-Breazeale, Mthalane retains, Zurdo vacates, more
Get caught up with the latest in the boxing world.
Miss anything on Monday? Maybe you did. You probably did. Get caught up.
It’s Wilder-Breazeale week! This isn’t exactly Canelo week, but hey, we’re trying. Anyway, there will be a full preview up for Saturday’s Showtime main event at 7:00 am ET this morning.
Anthony Joshua says he’ll be watching, and that he favors Wilder because “styles make fights” and Wilder is “too quick” for Breazeale. Wilder referred to Breazeale as being like a fly, and himself the fly swatter.
Manny Pacquiao says he’s fighting Keith Thurman on July 20 because Thurman was the best welterweight available. I don’t know if Manny has anything to explain here, it’s a good fight, and with Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter set to unify, and Terence Crawford not being a PBC guy, yes, it was the best available fight. Poor Danny Garcia. He’s gonna have to try to sell something with Andre Berto, isn’t he?
Site note: There’s a new, weekly feature coming to BLH today at Noon ET, and will be there every Tuesday at Noon ET: boxing rankings, top 10 for every division in the sport. I look forward to the weekly nitpicking and occasional actual outrage.
- Moruti Mthalane retained his IBF flyweight title with a win over Masayuki Kuroda in Tokyo. It was a good fight, but you can relax a little if you hear it was a Fight of the Year candidate. I mean, it was, as of May 13, but to me it’s clearly behind Roman-Doheny or Hurd-Williams. But it’s worth seeking out; Mthalane is still a top flyweight and Kuroda was game as all hell. Mthalane and WBC titleholder Charlie Edwards both say they want to unify.
- Lewis Watson took a look at what’s next for Isaac Dogboe, who says he’s going to move up to 126.
- Ivan Baranchyk has a pretty simple plan against Josh Taylor on Saturday in Glasgow: “I am going to beat Taylor by beating him again and again and then beating him some more.”
- Julian Williams doesn’t want anyone to take anything away from Jarrett Hurd, saying Hurd wasn’t overrated, it’s just that Williams was underrated. Williams has said a lot of stuff that I hope boxing fans are actually listening to lately. He’s right that a loss at a high level isn’t a reason to write anyone off. He’s right that calling Hurd “overrated” achieves nothing. If Hurd was overrated, then would would be the big deal that Williams beat him? If everyone who ever loses is suddenly overrated, is anyone any damn good at all? If not, what are you even watching, and why? Williams beat a good fighter. Williams is a good fighter.
- Michael Conlan’s homecoming in Belfast will be on August 3, and it looks like he’ll face Vladimir Nikitin, the Russian who got a controversial decision over him at Rio 2016. This isn’t going to be of much interest to people who aren’t invested in Conlan’s career or a story of revenge against a guy who didn’t really beat him in the amateurs and isn’t good enough to beat him in the pros, but they’ll make some coin off it. Put simply, Conlan is an actual prospect, whatever you think of his ceiling. Nikitin is really not.
- Welterweight prospect Josh Kelly will face Ray Robinson on the Joshua-Ruiz card on June 1. Robinson is usually not much fun to watch, but he can be a pain in the ass, and Kelly is a fighter who makes a lot of technical mistakes.
- Billy Joe Saunders tried to figure a way of spinning fighting Shefat Isufi at super middleweight as better than fighting Demetrius Andrade at middleweight. And yes, Saunders-Isufi on Saturday will be for the vacant WBO 168-pound title, as Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez has finally, officially vacated the belt.
- Tevin Farmer is headed for a mandatory defense against Guillaume Frenois, so the IBF are looking for their next mandatory challenger at 130. A purse bid for an eliminator between Kenichi Ogawa and Azinga Fuzile is set for May 27.
- The Moloney twins, Andrew and Jason, are fighting on June 15 in Australia, and as both are world-level contenders at 115 and 118, respectively, it could be their last fight at home for a while.
- Jim Lampley will remember Harold Lederman as “the greatest boxing fan of all time.”