A Manuel Charr comeback? A Bermane Stiverne comeback? A Don King comeback? Up on BoxRec is a three-fight card set for The Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida on January 29th. Top of the bill is a heavyweight title fight between Manuel Charr and Trevor Bryan, for a version of the WBA belt. Also set to go is a fight between former heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne and unbeaten but untested banger Christopher Lovejoy. Rounding off the card will be a WBA cruiserweight title fight between Beibut Shumenov and Raphael Murphy.
A couple of boxing web sites have also reported that this card is indeed a go; the site Big Fight Weekend among them. So, although nobody will refer to the winner of Charr Vs. Bryan as a genuine world heavyweight champ, the match-up is a quite intriguing one. Charr, 31-4(17) has not seen action since November of 2017, while Bryan, 20-0(14) last fought back in August of 2018.
Charr has failed a drugs test over this period of time, later cleared by the WBA. Bryan won his version of the WBA heavyweight belt with a win over cruiserweight B.J Flores. Both men have been wanting to fight. Now that the WBA-ordered fight is here, who wins? Do you care? Much maligned the fight is as far as it being a “world” title fight, the action could nonetheless prove exciting. How good is 31 year old Bryan? How much has 37 year old Charr got left?
The Stiverne-Lovejoy fight could also prove worth tuning in for. Lovejoy, 19-0(19) was supposed to fight British heavy Dave Allen back in October, on the Oleksandr Usyk-Dereck Chisora card, only for King to send over orders to take his contracted fighter off the card. Fans had been looking forward to the Allen fight, a test as it would have been for Lovejoy. Stiverne, 25-4-1(21) is now 42 and he was last seen being stopped by Joe Joyce, this back in February of 2019. At this point we have no idea how much Stiverne has left, just as we have no clue as to how good 37 year old Lovejoy is.
Pretty much anything could happen in this fight. It could be bombs away from the start, or we could see two lumbering giants who are reluctant to engage. What kind of shape will Stiverne be in? Is Lovejoy too old to be able to make any kind of mark on the division?
The cruiserweight fight between Shumenov, 18-2(12) and Murphy, 14-1(11) is also a fight where pretty much anything could happen. Shumenov, who seems to have been around for a long time depite having had just 20 pro fights, last boxed back in July of 2018. It seems an age ago now when the 37 year old was soundly beaten by Bernard Hopkins. Murphy is no spring chicken at 35 but he will be having his first world title fight. Murphy last fought in August of 2019.
Make what you will, what you can, of this upcoming card!