Tonight in Cardiff, Wales, WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan had to go the full 12-rounds to retain his belt against South African veteran Mzonke Fana, to the surprise of almost everybody. Seen by most experts as too young, too strong and too powerful for the 42-year-old, Flanagan instead had his work cut out for him.
Promoter Bob Arum is, as fans known, very excited about Vasyl Lomachenko. The former amateur standout of standouts who is now just seven bouts into his pro career – despite this lack of pro fights the southpaw has already won five WBO title bouts and has captured two world belts – is being looked at by the Top Rank boss as perhaps the most talented fighter he has ever worked with. And the good news for British boxing fans is Lomachenko might be heading to a fight in the UK next year.
He lost out on a massive fight with middleweight ruler Gennady Golovkin (either because he was simply too late to the contract table, or due to not seeing the contract in time, depending on which side you listen to) but the career of Chris Eubank Junior goes on. In fact, all the publicity he received over his possible fight with GGG has likely made Eubank a bigger name. But who will he fight next?
The weights are in for tomorrow night’s WBC heavyweight title fight between champ Deontay Wilder and challenger Chris Arreola – Wilder tipped-in at a fraction above 226-pounds at 226.2, while Arreola came in at 246.2, a decent weight for him. Wilder looked chiselled, Arreola looked like, well, Arreola. The challenger has trained hard for this fight though – it’s his last chance and he knows it.
WBA welterweight king Keith Thurman, last seen thrilling his millions of fans with that tremendous effort against an equally determined Shawn Porter, must next defend against David Avanesyan; the WBA interim champion who was last seen pounding out a wide 12-round unanimous decision over the ageing bit still tough Shane Mosley. The WBA named this mandatory title defence for Thurman and if the fight cannot be agreed upon by the respective camps, within a 30-day period, the fight will likely go to purse bids.
As fans known, Gennady Golovkin and Kell Brook came face to face yesterday in New York, for the first press conference ahead of their massive September 10 clash in London. The two unbeaten champions – GGG the middleweight king, Brook the reigning IBF welterweight boss – had the opportunity to size one another up in person and Golovkin spoke later of how Brook is as tall as he is and will give him “the biggest test” in September.
During his time in boxing, trainer and former pro Justin Fortune has tasted, either in a real fight or in sparring, the power of Lennox Lewis, Tommy Morrison and, arguably the freakishly strongest puncher of them all, George Foreman. Fortune, speaking before the media in Sydney this week ahead of his fighter Solomon Haumono’s clash with unbeaten IBF number-one contender Joseph Parker, said Haumono has power to match all three.
Roy Jones Junior, now aged 47 and last seen being brutally KO’d by Enzo Maccarinelli is his adopted Russia in his most recent bout of any meaning, will box again on August 13. Set to face fellow veteran Rodney Moore in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida, Jones Jr will reappear after his winning curiosity bout against competition winner and debutant Vyryon Phillips in March.
Jones Jr, 63-9(46) has been shot or close to it for years, certainly nothing like the once untouchable boxing master he was in the 1990s and early 2000s, yet he cannot, for whatever reason, walk away and retire. Against Moore, 17-11-2(7) will be attempting to defeat a 40-year-old cruiserweight who has not won a fight since way back in 2002. “Rocking” Rodney of Houston, Texas has faced a number of good fighters during his 20 year pro career (that saw a gap of inactivity between 2006 and 2011) – including Richard Hall, Darnell Wilson, Andrey Fedesov and, more recently, in June of 2015, Murat Gassiev. But Moore has lost to the names he has faced. Moore has only been stopped once, by the rising Gassiev, but it is unclear how much he has left to offer today.
With the mood WBC heavyweight king Deontay Wilder seems to be in right now, it takes a brave man to want to get in the ring with him. Chris Arreola has never been short on courage, as we know, and he will take the challenge on Saturday night. Arreola knows he’s up against it and he has trained hard to make the most of his short-notice opportunity, but Wilder is vowing to not only knock him out, but also send him to the hospital.
Though superstar Manny Pacquiao has not yet fully or officially endorsed his return to the ring, stating how his senatorial duties will always come first, his promoter Bob Arum is certain Pac-Man’s retirement, which came just three months ago, will end on either October 29 or November 5 in Las Vegas. It has been widely covered by many outlets how the 37-year-old great is expected back on one of these date and all that remains to be worked out (aside from just which Vegas venue will host the fight) is who will be the man in the opposite corner of the ring.
Arum spoke to The Mail and he said that one fighter, who was once a possibility, has now been well and truly crossed off the list: Adrien Broner. According to Arum, Broner has a problem understanding the economics of his sport, asking for as much as, or more than, Pacquiao will get paid. “He’s crazy,” Arum said. So who might it be in October or November?