July 2018

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    With his new deal to have his bouts streamed on DAZN, Jessie Vargas (28-2-1, 10 KOs) says big fights are now possible for him against Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Vargas, 28, believes that those fighters will agree to fight him on DAZN. It looks like a hopeless pipe dream for Vargas.

    Broner, Pacquiao and Spence aren’t going to likely ever agree to fight on DAZN unless Vargas wins a world title at 147, which at this point seems improbable. Those fighters aren’t going to want to play B-side to Vargas on DAZN when they have a good situation going for them on Showtime.
    Vargas won a world title at 147, but only because he was facing Sadam Ali. If Vargas fights Spence and Broner, those fights will obviously end up on Showtime, not DAZN. The fights might not happen at all period if Vargas and Hearn insist on them taking place on DAZN. Broner and Spence are more popular than Vargas, so there’s no reason why they would agree to fight him on DAZN rather than on Showtime. Pacquiao’s situation is unclear. His last fight was on ESPN+, but it’s unknown which network he’ll be fighting on in the future.
    In signing with Hearn, Vargas is going from being an undercard fighter on Premier Boxing Champions to that of a headliner on DAZN. While that sounds good, it’s not a great deal for DAZN if Vargas fails to increase the subscriptions to any extent. The reason why Vargas hasn’t been a headliner in the past is he’s not a big name, and he’s struggled in losses to Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao. Vargas looked bad in squeaking by Khabib Allakhverdiev, Antonio DeMarco and Anton Novikov. In Vargas’ last fight, he was held to a 12 round draw by Adrien Broner last April. While some boxing fans believe that Vargas deserved a win against Broner, the way that he gassed out in the second half of the fight made it impossible to see him as the winner. Broner finished strong and looked like the better fighter down the stretch. Broner is a shot fighter in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. It’s not a good thing that Vargas couldn’t dominate him the way that Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter both did.
    Vargas signed with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn this week, and he already has him headlining on October 6 against an opponent still to be determined on DAZN in Chicago, Illinois. Vargas says one option for him is former light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs), who was recently stopped in the 7th round by IBF welterweight champion Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) last January.

    It would be a major feat if Hearn was able to get Broner, Pacquiao and/or Spence to agree to fight Vargas on DAZN, because he’s not a world champion and not a huge name.
    “Three, a minimum of three,” Jessie Vargas said to Thaboxingvoice about how many fights per year he’s been promised by promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing for his fights on DAZN. ”I’ll be fighting October 6th. Right after that, I come right back and fight in March or April. They’re all going to be good fights. Eddie’s working on it now. Some of the names mentioned are Lamont Peterson among other names. I’d like the rematch (Adrien Broner) for sure. I’ve asked for it, but unfortunately I haven’t heard anything back. That must mean someone doesn’t want to fight and it’s not me. We can make it happen. I expressed the importance of that fight to Eddie, and he said it’s a fight that can definitely happen,” Vargas said.
    Lamont Peterson, 34, might actually beat Vargas if he brings his A-game to the fight. Peterson lost his last fight to Spence, but he was facing one of the best fighters in the welterweight division. Peterson beat Felix Diaz and David Avanesyan before that, and those guys are on the same level as Vargas in terms of talent.
    ”A fight against Manny Pacquiao is a fight that can happen,” Vargas said. ”There’s (Errol) Spence, all these fights can happen on DAZN. It’s a fight that we can have sooner or later. First comes October, and then we’ll push for another fight,” Vargas said.
    As far as Spence fighting Vargas on DAZN, it’s not happening. Spence’s matches are televised on Showtime Boxing. He’s not going to spot Vargas out of the crowd and give him voluntary title defense. There’s no upside for Spence in defending it against Vargas, who is coming off of a poor performance against Adrien Broner in their 12 round draw last April.

    Pacquiao already beat Vargas by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in 2016. Why would he want to fight him again at this late stage in his career? Vargas is kidding himself thinking that Pacquiao would look in his direction for another fight that the boxing public would have absolutely zero interest in seeing. Pacquiao isn’t going to fight Vargas DAZN. It’s not going to happen. Pacquiao will likely fight Amir Khan. If Hearn wants to stick that fight on DAZN, then so be it. That fight at least would bring in a few subscribers.
    Vargas is rated highly by the sanctioning bodies at 147, but once he fights for another world title, he’s probably going to lose. Just what Hearn does with Vargas once he absorbs another loss is the big question. Hearn is going to need to sign actual talented fighters if he wants to make his deal with DAZN work.
    Hearn asking boxing fans to pay $10 per month for them to see Vargas on DAZN isn’t going to fly with many of them. Vargas is more of a gatekeeper type of welterweight, who beats the B-level fighters but then loses to the A-level guys. Fans aren’t likely going to want to pay extra money to see Vargas on an app.
    With fighters now being split up fighting on different networks , DAZN, ESPN, HBO and Showtime, it could result in many great fights will end up not getting made

    Eddie Hearn has three names – Tyson Fury, Andre Ward or Adonis Stevenson – that he’ll be looking to select from for former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew’s next fight. Hearn doubts that the 35-year-old Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) has much of a chance of getting a fight against former undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to face him anytime soon due to him still slowly working his way back after 2 ½ years of inactivity.

    Bellew is going to need to make a decision soon if he wants to keep from having his boxing skills deteriorate further. Before his last fight against a badly depleted David Haye last May, Bellew had been out of the ring for 14 months, waiting for the Hayemaker to finish licking his wounds from their previous fight in March of 2017. Bellew has currently been sitting inactive since his victory over Haye last May, and he has nothing brewing for his next fight. Hearn has a three-fighter list that he’s interested in picking from for Bellew’s next fight, but the only guy with a realistic chance of taking the fight against him is Adonis Stevenson. Putting together a fight between Bellew and Ward could prove to be a useless waste of time.
    Hearn wants Bellew to capitalize on the momentum he’s achieved with his recent two stoppage wins over former two division world champion David Haye. Bellew received a lot of attention in the UK after stopping the 37-year-old Haye (28-4, 26 KOs) in the 5th round in their rematch on May 5 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Bellew had previously stopped Haye in the 11th round in their first fight in March of 2017, but he didn’t receive full credit for the victory due to the Hayemaker suffering a ruptured Achilles in round 6. In the rematch 14 months later, Bellew was able to dominate a shot looking Haye in knocking him down twice in round three and once in round five.
    Bellew would love the Fury fight, as it would give him a tremendous payday to feather his nest for his retirement years, but the fight isn’t happening yet. Hearn thinks that the retired Andre ‘SOG’ Ward can potentially be lured out of retirement to face Bellew if he receives a big enough offer. Adonis Stevenson, who easily knocked Bellew out in the 6th round in 2013, is perhaps the easiest fight for Hearn to make. The only thing that would need to be dealt with is the weight difference. Stevenson fights at light heavyweight. Bellew would need to drop down from heavyweight to face the 40-year-old Stevenson at a catch-weight.
    Bellew has talked recently of wanting to fight the winner of this Saturday’s fight between cruiserweight champions Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev. Hearn doesn’t see that as a realistic option for Bellew, as Usyk and Gassiev aren’t big enough names for the fight to sell in the UK. Besides that, Bellew would have a hard time beating those two. Bellew would be a big underdog against Bellew and Usyk, and if he loses to one of them, he could forget about getting a big payday fight against Ward or Fury.

    “I think there’s three fights for him,” Hearn said to skysports.com. “One is Tyson Fury, which isn’t going to happen any time soon. No 2 is Andre Ward, who is obviously retired, but I think would come back, and the other one who has reached out is Adonis Stevenson. Tony likes the idea of that, because he wants to do a job on him after being knocked out in Canada.”
    It would be surprising if Bellew takes the fight with the southpaw Stevenson, because he was so badly dominated in their fight five years ago. That’s not a good match-up for Bellew, because he’s not fought any solid fighters since his loss to Stevenson. Bellew’s wins in the last five years have come against these fighters:
    – David Haye x 2
    – BJ Flores
    – Ilunga Makabu

    – Mateusz Masternak
    – Arturs Kulikauskis
    – Ivica Bacurin
    – Nathan Cleverly
    – Julio Cesar Dos Santos
    – Valery Brudov
    The one constant with Bellew’s opponents in the last 5 years is the fact that all of them were badly flawed in one way or another. Haye is easily the best of the bunch, but he was totally shot by the time Bellew fought him. It’s academic that Bellew would have stood no chance against Haye in his prime. Bellew did a good job of waiting for Haye to grow old before fighting him. At cruiserweight, Bellew never fought the top dogs in the division, and it’s pointless for him to go back down now and try and do what he should have done years ago. Bellew would likely be thrashed by Gassiev, Usyk, Yunier Dorticos, Mairis Briedis and Krzystof Glowacki.
    Tyson Fury (26-0, 19 KKOs) is fighting next month on August 18 against former two-time heavyweight world title challenger Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Fury-Pianeta will be taking place on the Carl Frampton vs. Luke Jackson card. If Fury wins that fight, he’s expected to continue to fight softer heavyweights without a lot of punching power. Bellew will likely need to wait until 2019 or 2020 before he’ll get a chance of fighting Fury. It’s doubtful though that the fight will happen unless Bellew is willing to keep his career going fighting different guys while he waits for Fury to get the ring rust out. The problem with Bellew waiting on Fury is he’s going to be expected to stay active fighting the best opposition. There isn’t another shot David Haye for Bellew to fight to bring in a lot of pay-per-view buys on Sky Box Office in the UK. The British boxing fans are going to expect Bellew to fight good opposition for a change, and that’s where the problem is. If Bellew fights someone good like Usyk or Gassiev, he’ll likely lose badly to them. Gassiev might even hurt Bellew. That’s a bad fight for Bellew.
    If Hearn is willing to give Andre Ward a huge money offer, he might decide to come out of retirement to face Bellew. I’m not sure that it would be a bigger fight than Bellew vs. the winner of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament between Usyk and Gassiev. Ward has been out of the ring for a year now, and he’s likely been forgotten by a lot of fans in the UK. It would be better for Bellew to face Gassiev or Usyk. Even fighting the loser of that fight would be an appealing fight for the UK fans. At least if Bellew fights the Gassiev-Bellew winner, he can make an argument that he’s facing one of the best fighters in boxing.
    It would be nice if Bellew was to try and fight a relevant guy from the cruiserweight or heavyweight divisions instead of pooling from retired, over-the-hill or ring rusty fighters. At this point, boxing fans would be more than pleased to see Bellew test himself against the likes of Yunier Dorticos, Adam Kownacki, Kubrat Pulev or Mairis Briedis. Of course, it would be great if Bellew were to fight Usyk or Gassiev, but Hearn obviously wants no part of matching him against those talents. Usyk and Gassiev are actually in their prime and aren’t shot fighters, which you can argue why he’s being ruled out by Hearn as a possible option for Bellew.
    In a battle of unbeaten cruiserweight champions, IBF/WBA champ Murat Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs) will be battling WBC/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) this Saturday night in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament at the Olimpiyskiy, in Moscow, Russia.

    Gassiev’s trainer Abel Sanchez believes his fighter will stop the 31-year-old Usyk by the 9th round if he follows the game plan that he has for him in the fight. Sanchez saw some flaws in the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk’s game from his last fight against former WBC champion Mairis Brieidis in the semifinals of the WBSS tournament earlier this year on January 27 in Riga, Latvia. Usyk struggled against the 33-year-old Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs) when he was being pressured. Although Usyk ultimately was able to win the fight by a 12 round majority decision, the only reason he won the fight was because Briedis gassed out. Had Briedis’ stamina held out, Usyk would have lost the fight. The flaws that Briedis exposed in Usyk’s game are the same ones that Artur Beterbiev and Joe Joyce both exposed in the past. Usyk doesn’t do well when he’s pressured consistently for three minutes of every round. Usyk wears down physically and loses his confidence. Usyk is a much better fighter when he’s the one dictating the pace and coming forward. 

    ”Usyk also allowed himself to be trapped and to be hit. If Usyk fights Murat the same way he fought Briedis he will be on his back before nine,” Sanchez said.
    It’s going to take a lot of pressure from Gassiev to keep Usyk from being able to move around the ring, and jab his way to an ugly victory. Usyk is comfortable winning his fights by hitting and moving. That’s how he was able to win a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics despite not being a huge puncher. Usyk’s 17-13 win over Beterbiev in the competition was highly controversial. Beterbiev landed constantly on Usyk without the judges giving him points for his harder, cleaner landing shots.

    The only two fights as a pro that Usyk struggled was against Michael Hunter in 2017 and Briedis. Both of hose fighters used a lot of pressure and high volume punching to give Usyk headaches. Hunter was getting the better of Usyk when he would stand and fight the American. Usyk finally gave up trying to punch with Hunter by the 6th round, and he spent the second half of the contest on the move, keeping out of range as much as possible. The boxing fans at ringside booed Usyk’s performance, as they wanted him to stand and fight Hunter. The fight took place at Oxon Hill in Maryland. The fans wanted to see action, but Usyk was thinking safety first, so he stayed on the move and disappointed the boxing fans at ringside and likely at home. There’s a very good chance that Usyk will fight in an identical fashion on Saturday night when he gets inside the ring with the big punching 24-year-old Gassiev, because he’s not going to be able to trade shots with the Russian fighter over the course of the 12 round fight without getting hurt and possibly stopped by him. Usyk is considered the best boxer in the cruiserweight division by many boxing fans, but he’s far from invincible. Usyk can be beat, especially now that he’s starting to age and slow down. He’s not the same guy that turned pro in 2013. Usyk is getting older, and like a lot of fighters that depend on their speed to win, he’s not as effective now that he’s beginning to slow. Unlike Gassiev, Usyk doesn’t have huge punching power to fall back on to dominate his opponents. Usyk is an average puncher. He’s nothing special in the power department. Usyk wins his fights with his legs and speed, not with his power.

    “Usyk got skills, he is a very good fighter,” said Sanchez in complimenting him. “(Yunier) Dorticos, Usyk, Briedis, any of those guys, they are all very physical themselves so we have to be more physical. And I feel that our exercises and system make us a little stronger, a little better, a little faster than most guys,” said Sanchez.
    Sanchez is a great coach when it comes to training pressure fighters. Besides Gassiev, Sanchez also had middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in his stable of fighters at Big Bear, California. Sanchez will likely have Gassiev putting a lot of pressure on Usyk from the 1st round rather than having him wait until the last four rounds of the fight to start putting him under duress. Gassiev let his last opponent Yunior Dorticos do the pressuring in the first nine rounds of their semifinals March in the World Boxing Super Series tournament on February 3 in Adler, Russia. Gassiev was trailing the fight going into the championship rounds. He was then able to come on in the last three rounds hurt Dorticos in the 11th and then stop him in the 12th. Gassiev will need to fight in an opposite manner against Usyk for him to win the fight. He can’t let Usyk amass a big deal in the first three fourths of the fight and then hope to knock him out in the last quarter of the fight. Usyk will run out the clock with his feet if he’s able to get ahead of Gassiev in the first eight rounds. Usyk is fine with making the fight boring as long as he wins.
    “You can’t allow a fighter to be the one he wants to be and I believe Murat will be able to break Usyk down,” Sanchez said. ”Briedis allowed Usyk to move, allowed him to be first and when Briedis came close he was not effective.”

    Briedis was more effective than Sanchez says. Usyk had a great deal of problems with Briedis in the middle rounds of the contest. Briedis’ problem was he let Usyk be first and dominate the rounds in the first and last quarter of the fight. Usyk used his feet to control rounds 1 through 4 and 9 through 12. Briedis got the better of Usyk in the middle of the fight, but then he faded and lost control in the crucial championship rounds.
    The winner of the Usyk vs. Gassiev fight will possess all four of the cruiserweight titles in holding the IBF/WBA/WBC/ WBO belts. They’ll also hold the Ring Magazine cruiserweight title. If they stick around and defend the belts against all comers like Dorticos, Tony Bellew and Briedis, it would be great for the boxing fans. That’s not what Usyk and Gassiev plan on doing. They want to move up to heavyweight to go after the bigger money fights. Despite Usyk being viewed as the best fighter at cruiserweight, Gassiev figures to have a better chance of success at the heavyweight level due to his superior size and punching power. Gassiev has the power to hurt the top heavyweights. Usyk will need to try and out-box the top fighters in the heavyweight division, which won’t be easy for him to do because he’s going to be giving away a lot of size to the taller fighters like the 6’7” WBC champion Deontay Wilder and the 6’6” IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua.

    ”How Usyk fought Briedis doesn’t mean he will fight Murat the same way,” Sanchez said. ”What you look for though is tendencies of what he likes to do and what he does after certain combinations. We have prepared Murat to be Murat and now Usyk will have to deal with him.”
    Gassiev will need to make sure he lands his shots with authority for him to win this fight. Usyk might try and throw a lot of shots the same way that Denis Lebedev did in his fight against Gassiev in December 2016. Gassiev didn’t let his hands go enough in that to knockout Lebedev. What was interesting about that fight was how Gassiev was able to hurt Lebedev when he would go to the body. After Gassiev knocked Lebedev with a body shot in the 5th round, he failed to continue to land to the body in the remainder of the fight. Sanchez should have been pushing Gassiev to throw more body shots, as those were the type of shots that was giving Lebedev the most trouble, but for some reason he chose not to go downstairs after the 5th.
    Usyk will win this fight by staying at range, jabbing and using movement to keep Gassiev bottled up. Gassiev is a decent pressure fighter, but he’s slow on his feet, and not great at cutting off the ring. For Gassiev to beat a mover like Usyk, he would need to be quick at cutting off the ring, and much more aggressive than what he showed in his last fight against Dorticos. Gassiev was way too passive against Dorticos in the first eight rounds for him to be successful using the same approach against a fighter like Usyk. Gassiev tends to fight in the same way when he faces good fighters. He did the same thing in his fight against Lebedev, which is why the fight was so close at the end. Gassiev will likely fight the same on Saturday night against Usyk and he’ll fall behind and end up losing by a 12 round decision in what could be a dull fight.
    Former two-time junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade plans on going through with his WBO ordered fight against World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, and he wants him to “get ready” for the contest. The unbeaten 30-year-old Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) signed with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn this week, and he’s already scheduled to take a tune-up fight on October 6 in Chicago, Illinois against a still to be determined opponent on a DAZN card.

    #1 WBO Daniel Jacobs passed on the chance of fighting Saunders and instead opted to sign for a fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko to go after the vacant International Boxing Federation middleweight title that was recently stripped from Gennady Golovkin. Jacobs likely would beat Saunders, but the fight might negotiations have been a difficult one due to the different networks that would have been involved.

    The WBO ordered Saunders-Andrade to begin negotiations this month. However, the two fighters have been unable to put a fight together, so now the fight will go to a purse bid on July 25 in Kissimmee, Florida. Andrade says he wants the fight against the 28-year-old Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), but I remains to be seen whether his promoter Hearn will put the fight together. Hearn’s decision to have Andrade take a tune-up fight on October 6 on his DAZN card isn’t a good sign that the Saunders fight will be made. Normally when a purse bid takes place between two fighters, they end up facing each other within two to three months. Andrade being scheduled by Hearn two months AFTER the purse bid for the Saunders fight makes you wonder whether he has other plans for him. As such, it might be pointless for the purse bid.

    “Just get ready. Be in the best shape that you can because, listen boy, I’m coming to rumble,” Andrade said to skysports.com about Saunders.

    We’ll have to see whether Saunders will take the fight with Andrade. Saunders wants the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight. The WBO ordering Saunders to face Andrade next doesn’t mean that he won’t get the Canelo-GGG II winner. It’s quite possible that the WBO will let Saunders take a unification fight against the Canelo vs. Golovkin II winner over a mandatory title defense against Andrade. It’ll depnd on whether the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 fight wants to face him. Canelo doesn’t see much upside in fighting the trash-talking southpaw Saunders, but Golovkin would like the fight so that he can capture his WBO title. That’s the main thing that Saunders has going for him. Apart from his WBO belt, Saunders offers little to GGG and Canelo. Apart from the hardcore fans, the casual fans in the States have no idea who Saunders. The Canelo-GGG 2 winner gains very little in facing Saunders other than being able to win the WBO title that he holds.

     Andrade hasn’t fought in nine months since beating Alantez Fox by a 12 round unanimous decision in his debut a middleweight on October 21. It was a good performance by Andrade a 160, but he’s been inactive since then. Andrade volunteered to step in and face IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin for his May 5 fight after his scheduled opponent for that date Saul Canelo Alvarez pulled out of the fight on three weeks’ notice. Golovkin’s management instead went with Vanes Martirosyan. Andrade being a southpaw made him a bad choice for Golovkin to fight on 3 weeks’ notice.

    “I would love to do it. It would be an honor,” Andrade said about fighting in the UK. “What brought me to Matchroom is being able to come over to the UK to put on great fights and performances.”

    It’s unlikely that Hearn will have Andrade fighting in the UK. It’s not that Andrade wouldn’t do well fighting over there and winning over the boxing fans. It’s more of a case of Hearn desperately needing recognizable American fighters for his DAZN streaming service. Hearn needs fighters that the U.S fans are familiar with so that they’ll be willing to subscribe to his $10.00 per month DAZN service in the States. The American fans aren’t likely going to subscribe to DAZN to see Hearn’s British fighters in his Matchroom Boxing stable, as they’ve likely never heard of them. Hearn can’t stuff his best guys in his Matchroom stable – Tony Bellew, Dillian Whyte, Ryan Burnett, Khalid Yafai, and Callum Johnson – on a DAZN card in the U.S and expect the American fans to subscribe to DAZN so that they can see these guys. They’re too obscure unfortunately for American fans to want to sign up for DAZN. Even Hearn’s best money fighter heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is a nonentity in the U.S. Hearn hasn’t helped the process by failing to match Joshua against Wilder and Luis Ortiz, two heavyweights American boxing fans are familiar with.
    READ  Billy Joe Saunders ordered to face Demetrius Andrade by WBO

    Thus far, Andrade is one of the best fighters that Hearn has signed for his DAZN cards in the U.S. Hearn also inked IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and WBA super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman, but neither of those fighters have large fans bases. Andrade has the potential of capturing a world title if his fight with Saunders takes place. If Andrade can beat Saunders, it would be an excellent opportunity for him to get the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 fight. Golovkin wants to fight for the WBO title, and he would be the more likely of the two o take on Andrade if he has the WBO belt in his possession at some point. Hearn deciding to put Andrade in a tune-up fight on October 6th on DAZN makes it unclear what his intentions are for his fighter. It would be a shame if Andrade was steered around Saunders. The good news is Andrade is ranked high by the other sanctioning bodies at middleweight. He’s rated #3 WBC, #4 IBF, #4 WBA. Andrade is going to get a title shot sooner or later as long as he’s active with his career. It’s not a good thing that Andrade is taking so much time off between fighters. Andrade was stripped of his WBO 154 lb. title in 2015 after he failed to make a defense of the belt during a 12-month time period. Andrade later captured the World Boxing Association junior middleweight title in defeating Jack Culcay by a 12 round split decision on March 11, 2017. Andrade then vacated the belt and moved up to middleweight to go after bigger fighters. A year after making the move to 160, Andrade still hasn’t been involved in any compelling fights. That could change for Andrade now that he’s with Hearn, who has former WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs in his Matchroom stable.

    Saunders has been out of action since successfully defending his WBO title in beating David Lemieux by a 12 round unanimous decision last December in Canada. Following that win, Saunders chose to sign for a fight against 38-year-old fringe contender Martin Murray. However, after twice suffering injuries during training camp, Saunders cancelled the fight. Saunders now is sitting and waiting to see whether he’ll get the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight. His match against Andrade is still a question mark unfortunately. The best thing that could happen for Saunders is if Andrade chooses to go in another direction because it would allow him to either continue to milk his WBO title against weak opposition like he’s been doing since he won the belt in 2015 or possibly get the winner of the Canelo-GGG 2 fight.

    Saunders has successfully defended his WBO title three times, beating Artur Akavov, Willie Monroe Jr. and David Lemieux. Those are considered weak contenders in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. Saunders has had frequent injury problems since he won the WBO belt. After winning the WBO title in 2015 in beating Andy Lee by a 12 round majority decision, Saunders was scheduled to defend against fringe contender Max Bursak on April 30, 2016. Saunders suffered a hand injury, forcing him to pull out of the fight. Saunders then suffered an injury while training for his title defense against Artur Akavov. The fight was originally scheduled on October 22, 2016, but it had to be moved to December 3. After twice suffering injuries training for his optional title defense against Martin Murray, Saunders canceled the fight. Murray believes that Saunders pulled out of the fight so that he can get a big money bout against the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 fight. This is also what a lot of boxing fans believe as well. They think Saunders wanted to be available to fight the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight, and the best way to do that was to cancel the Murray fight altogether to be available.

    Saunders was recently rumored to be fighting former IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale in September. However, that fight remains doubtful now that the WBO has ordered Saunders to defend against his mandatory Andrade. The WBO ordered the Saunders-Andrade fight on July 12. If the Andrade fight takes place, it would be the end of Saunders’ uneventful reign as the WBO champion. It’s been a disappointing reign for Saunders, as he’s faced weak opposition and failed to get the big money fights.
    In what appeared to be totally scripted, Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller and Anthony Joshua were involved in a heated exchange of trash talking during Tuesday’s news conference with former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin looking on in New York.

    Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs) is expected to sign with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who needs content to supply to subscribers for his DAZN streaming service. Hearn says he wants to match Joshua against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on April 13, provided Joshua gets past Povetkin, but the fight looks like it won’t be happening. Hearn says his $15 million flat fee offer for Wilder won’t be improved. Since Wilder has already rejected the offer, it leaves Joshua with two choices for his April 13 fight: Miller or a rematch with Dillian Whyte. Miller’s confrontation with Joshua appears to be the sign that he’ll be next for Joshua to fight on April 13 as long as the American wins his October 6 fight on DAZN in Chicago, Illinois.
    The 300 lb. Miller walked up on Joshua on the stage on Tuesday, trashing him and then standing face to face while the photographers furiously snapped photos of the two. It looked like a professional wrestling skit between two wrestlers. Neither guy looked genuinely upset. It was clear what was going on. Miller and Joshua were looking to get the boxing fans excited about a fight between them for April. Since Hearn has no interest in increasing Wilder’s flat fee $15 million offer to a percentage that reflects the huge amount of money that he’ll help bring in for the Joshua unification fight, the choice for AJ’s fight on April 13 at Wembley Stadium is either Miller or Whyte. Joshua then said this to Miller, “Who you f—ing talking to? Shut the f— up and get off the stage, you little b—-. I’ll slap you. Have some respect.”

    For the normally polite Joshua, it had to have been hard for him to stay in character, as he’s normally pretty emotionless and wooden when he speaks. He looked like he was totally acting a part in a play, and it was actually more than a little comical. Miller then said to Joshua, “give them what they want,” in what was a clear signal that he wanted him to tell the boxing fans that they’re going to be fighting each other in April. Povetkin was totally ignored and looking more like a prop than a real fighter. He was standing there on staged totally ignored. Needless to say, it was great theater. The fans got excited about Miller and Joshua despite the fact that Povetkin is the one that will be facing AJ next. What this means, of course, is obvious. Miller is going to be the one that will be facing Joshua on April 13, because it sure as heck won’t be Deontay. Hearn’s $15 million flat fee offer to Wilder, which he said this week that he won’t be improving, is a signal that he’s not interested in making the Joshua-Wilder fight in April 2019.
    “This is where I’m at right now, I can’t sit down for too long because there’s always people clucking around me feet. I have got to kick them back down,” Joshua said via ESPN after he left the stage on Tuesday. “People talk about me and see me face-to-face and they still want to talk. I defend my titles in the ring time and time again. I just won’t tolerate it out of the ring either. Anyone is welcome to come and get the smoke as well. Firstly focus on Povetkin and you never know what the future holds.”

    Joshua just needs to get it over with and start selling the Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller fight for April 13 right away so that they can a jump on marketing the fight. It’s an awful fight, but maybe if Joshua and Miller can keep up the theatrics, they might be able to convince the casual boxing fans, who aren’t familiar with how bad of a mismatch this is, into wanting to pay $10.00 to subscribe to DAZN to see it. I can’t imagine the hardcore boxing fans wanting to bother seeing that horrible fight, especially after Joshua turned

    down $50 million to fight Wilder. A lot of fans believe that Joshua is totally ducking Wilder in order to keep the green rolling in. You can’t blame Joshua for not taking the fight with Wilder, because if he gets knocked cold by him, the money might dry up leaving Joshua in the same boat as a lot of former world champions that end up wondering why the fans stop showing interest in their fights after they get blasted out.
    Joshua continued to pump up interest in a fight against Miller later on Tuesday evening, saying this on Twitter:
    ”Massive respect to Povetkin. When two lions meet & you hear a lil pup barking, don’t play with big cats.. That’s a warning   #AJBXNG.”
    Joshua, 28, will be defending his IBF, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles on September 22 against the 38-year-old Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in London, England. It’s a low level fight for the 90,000 seat stadium, and it’s going to be interesting to see how many boxing fans show up for the fight. I can’t imagine it getting anywhere near full capacity because Povetkin has looked horrible in his last three fights, and he’s clearly showing signs of old age at this point in his career. The fight will be televised on Sky Box Office PPV in the UK.

    Joshua and Hearn are going to need to start talking up the Miller fight in the coming months in order to get the fans interested in paying to see him fight the heft 300lb American on April 13 fight at Wembley Stadium. It’s a bad fight, so they’re going to need to get a big head start in trying to get boxing fans interested in paying to see it on DAZN. It would obviously be better if Hearn would give Wilder the 50-50 purse split that he’s asking for in order to take the fight with Joshua, but that’s unlikely to happen. The gravy train might come to a screeching halt if Hearn matches Joshua with Wilder. That’s why it’s utterly predictable that Hearn is going to stick to his lowball $15 million flat fee offer to Wilder in order to make sure the fight doesn’t happen. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hearn actually lowers the offer like he’s been talking about wanting to do. There’s always a chance that if Hearn keeps the $15 million offer on the table without sweetening it, Wilder might call his bluff by accepting it. One way for Hearn to keep Wilder from agreeing to the $15 million offer is by lowering it to say $10 million. If Hearn decreases the offer, Wilder will likely walk away in disgust and put Joshua and Hearn on ignore, even though he would still be receiving a career high payday if he were to accept the fight. Joshua would be losing out as well, as he would be seen as a chicken by the boxing public. Joshua needs the Wilder fight for his legacy, because right now he only has the win over 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko as his only high caliber opponent on his resume, and he should have lost that fight. Wladimir badly exposed Joshua, showing him to be a fragile-chinned fighter with terrible stamina.
    Terence Crawford has been named the 2018 ESPY Best Fighter for his wins over WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo and Felix Diaz. It’s a nice accomplishment for the 30-year-old Crawford to get the ESPY award, but his biggest win was over Horn, a fighter that won a controversial 12 round decision over Manny Pacquiao last year.

    Horn was seen as an undeserving world champion. Crawford’s win over Horn is less impressive when you factor in the Australian’s questionable win over Pacquiao last year.
    It’s obviously a subjective thing in Crawford winning the ESPY aware instead of Errol Spence Jr., who is arguably a better fighter than him. Spence has a far better win on his resume from last year in defeating Kell Brook than Crawford does with his three wins. Further, Vasyl Lomachenko did more than Crawford to earn the award, and yet he didn’t it either. Crawford didn’t fight Regis Prograis, the fighter that is considered by many boxing fans as the best fighter at 140.
    Crawford being named the ESPY 2018 Best Fighter winning is highly questionable, because his wins were largely over weak opposition. Former World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jeff Horn isn’t considered in the same class as the talented fighters at 147 like Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Crawford’s win over Horn wasn’t a big deal.
    Perhaps the fighter that deserves to be the 2018 ESPY winner for Best Fighter is Vasyl Lomachenko. Here are Lomachenko’s best wins since 2017:

    – Jorge Linares
    – Guillermo Rigondeaux
    – Miguel Marriaga
    – Jason Sosa
    For a lot of boxing fans, Lomachenko has the far better wins on his resume since 2017 compared to Crawford. Lomachenko’s win over Linares alone is enough for him to deserve the ESPY aware in my opinion.

    I see these fighters as more deserving than Crawford in winning the 2018 ESPY award:
    1. Vasyl Lomachenko
    2. Errol Spence Jr.
    3. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
    4. Deontay Wilder
    5. Anthony Joshua
    6. Murat Gassiev
    7. Oleksandr Usyk
    8. Jarrett Hurd
    9. Gennady Golovkin
    Those guys all had better wins than the victories that Crawford had in 2017 and 2018. GGG was held to a draw against Saul Canelo Alvarez last year, but he fought well enough to deserve the victory. That puts GGG above Crawford in my view.
    The lack of quality wins on Crawford’s resume over the last year makes him a suspect ESPY winner. Hopefully next year they do a better job of picking a fighter with some solid wins on their resume because this year’s choice was very disappointing. You’ve got to feel bad for Lomachenko, because he did more than enough to deserve the ESPY award this year.
    Eddie Hearn says he’s interested in inking Manny Pacquiao to add him to his DAZN streaming service if he’s a free agent now. Hearn isn’t quite certain or not whether the 39-year-old Pacquiao is no longer with his long time promoters at Top Rank. Hearn is in a race against time to sign enough top name fighters to make his deal with DAZN work financially by year 2.

    If Hearn isn’t profitable by year two, it’s likely that his deal with DAZN will end. Pacquiao would help bring in subscribers despite being a mere shadow of the fighter he was 10 years ago. The casual boxing fans in the States are familiar with Pacquiao and they would be inclined to pay the $10.00 per month subscription price for DAZN in the U.S.
    It’s going to cost Hearn a lot of money to sign Pacquiao. If Hearn is seriously interested in adding Pacquiao to his DAZN steaming service, he’s going to need to pay him a lot more money than he recently offered Adrien Broner. Pacquiao may not be the fighter that he once was years ago, but he’s still a highly popular fighter.
    Hearn could use a big name star like Pacquiao to his DAZN service, as the fighters that he recently signed aren’t popular. Hearn has failed to sign the top talents to his Matchroom Boxing stable despite having recently signed an 8-year, $1 billion streaming deal with DAZN. Hearn is badly in need of a star to get the other fighters to fall in line and start signing with him.
    Pacquiao rejuvenated his career last weekend in destroying WBA World welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in a 7th round knockout in Malaysia. It was a good comeback fight for the former eight division world champion Pacquiao. He’d been out of the ring for 12 months since losing to Jeff Horn by a 12 round unanimous decision in 2017. Before last Saturday’s fight, Pacquiao was viewed as an over-the-hill fighter and completely done.

    Hearn says he wants to match Pacquiao against Matchroom Sport fighter Amir Khan. Hearn would prefer to make an in house fight between Khan and Kell Brook, as he promotes both of them. If Hearn can add Pacquiao to his stable, a fight between him and Khan would be a much more significant fight than Khan-Brook. Hearn would likely disagree and believe that the British boxing fans would still prefer to see Khan and Brook fight, but I don’t think that’s the case in reality. At this point in Brook’s career, he’s an injury prone aging 32-year-old fighter that left his best behind after losing to Gennady Golovkin in 2016.
    “I don’t know his situation with Top Rank but if he is a free agent we’ll definitely be talking to Manny Pacquiao about fighting on DAZN,” Hearn said to Fighthype. “[Amir Khan is] definitely a potential fight. I’d like, still, to make the Kell Brook-Amir Khan fight…I hope it happens but we’ll see.”
    Khan, 31, would do most of the work when it comes to promoting the Pacquiao-Khan fight if he were to sign with Hearn for his DAZN streaming service. Pacquiao looked great against Matthysse, but that was against a fighter that is well past his prime. Khan would be a really hard fight for Pacquiao. Matthysse made Pacquiao look better than he actually is due to how far past his prime he is. If Hearn were to sign Pacquiao, there’s a possibility that he would want to have him milk his WBA 147 lb. title for as long as possible if he’s bringing in the subscribers to his DAZN service.
    Hearn believes that his DAZN streaming service will supply better content than ESPN+. However, Hearn still doesn’t have the fighters in his stable to provide the superior contender compared to ESPN+, which shows mostly Top Rank fighters.
    Hearn recently added these fighters to his DAZN streaming deal:

    – Jessie Vargas
    – Maurice Blocker
    – Artur Beterbiev
    – Demetrius Andrade
    – Daniel Roman
    – Jarrell Miller
    Obviously these are not the biggest names in boxing. The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) has done much better in adding fighters to their tournaments to attract interest. Hearn should have attempted to add the WBSS tournament to his DAZN service.
    Hearn will have heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua defending against Alexander Povetkin on DAZN on September 22. Hearn could get a lot more fans interested in DAZN if he matched Joshua against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder. A lot of fans would subscribe to DAZN if Hearn would stop delaying the Joshua-Wilder fight. Hearn’s plan appears to be to match Joshua against Povetkin followed by Jarrell Miller and then Dillian Whyte in a rematch. Those two fights will likely take up all of 2019 unless Joshua decides to get in a third fight. I don’t think he will. Miller and Whyte won’t bring in a lot of interest in Hearn’s DAZN deal.
    “I think the content will be better,” Hearn said about his DAZN streaming service in comparison to ESPN+. ”There you have a situation where there’s a linear broadcaster, and they’ll be mixing and matching the content — some on the air, some on the [app] — which is gonna be part of the strategy. Here, this is gonna be purely on the DAZN app. So all the content’s there, all the fight cards, from 6pm to midnight, all the chat shows, all the build-up, you’ve got the World Boxing Super Series, you’ve got our U.K. shows, you’ve got Bellator as well. It’s $2.50 a week! So our plan is to flood you guys, to keep the content rolling, keep the news coming, to get everyone involved — make it a platform for the fans. So that’s the difference.”

    ESPN+ costs half as much as DAZN, and it has bigger names like Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko. DAZN may need to drop the subscription price if they want to get fans to subscribe in great numbers. Certainly from the standpoint of the less than stellar fighters that Hearn has signed recently, he’s not likely going to be able to do better than ESPN+ in terms of subscribers. If DAZN had started out at a lower price like ESPN+ at $4.99, it would improve the chances of it doing well. Starting out at $10.00 is a foolish thing. DAZN needs Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, Jermall Charlo, Danny Garcia, Regis Prograis and Manny Pacquiao.
    Hearn will need to add true top fighters for him to bring in enough subscriptions to keep his DAZN deal going beyond the two-year period. A lot of boxing fans believe that DAZN will move on if Hearn doesn’t bring in a high number of subscriptions to justify the money that they’re giving him. Hearn has a lot of money to work with from his DAZN, but he hasn’t been able to use the money to lure the best fighters – Deontay Wilder, Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Jermell Charlo and Jermall Charlo – to sign with him.
    Hearn tried to sign fading but still popular Adrien Broner to his DAZN network for a 3-fight, $6.75 million deal, but he turned him down and posted the offer on social media to ridicule. The Charlo brothers weren’t interested in signing with Hearn for the money he was offering them. If Hearn was willing to make huge money offers, they might sign with him. Hearn isn’t used to offering the big money that many U.S fighters require

    Former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras 36-3-1, 27 KOs) will be back inside the ring on August 18 against an opponent still to be determined, according to ESPN Deportes . The location of the 29-year-old Cuadras’ next fight also still needs to be decided. However, the opponent that is being mentioned for Cuadras is journeyman Ricardo ‘Mathematician’ Núñez of Panama.

    Cuadras is getting ready for the fight. It’s crucial that Cuadras wins because he’s lost three out of his last four fights since 2016. The one victory that Cuadras has in the last two years is a controversial 10 round unanimous decision win over David Camona last year in March 2017. Carmona fought well enough to deserve a win in that fight. Cuadras lost his last to McWilliams by a 10 round majority decision last February on the undercard of the Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada on SuperFly 2 card at the Forum in Los Angeles, California.
    Cuadras was never really in that fight and deserved to lose by at least four rounds. Cuadras looked tired throughout the contest. Afterwards, Cuadras complained of being tight during the fight. This is a fighter that Cuadras likely would have easily overpowered two years ago before his loss to Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in 2016. Since that fight, Cuadras has lost something from his game, as he’s not the same fighter that he once was. Cuadras later underwent alcohol rehab.
    Cuadras has looked really bad in his last three fights, and it’s unclear whether he can get back to the level where he was at previously. Cuadras might do better if he moves up to bantamweight, as he’s always been big for the 115 lb. weight division.
    Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defends against Young Gil Bae this Saturday

    WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sister Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KOs) will be taking a stay busy non-title defense against Korean Young Gil Bae (28-6-2, 22 KOs) this Saturday night at the Workpoint Stadium in Bang Phun, Thailand. Rungvisai, 31-years-old, has been heavily criticized for taking a non-title defense against such a low level fighter as Bae, who has been knocked out twice in the last three years.
    The WBC is allowing Rungvisai take the stay busy fight without his title being on the line. It’s not a great thing for the contenders that are sitting and waiting for a title shot against Rungvisai, but he plans on making a defense of his WBC belt three months from now on October 6 against an opponent still to be determined.
    Rungvisai has recently won over a lot of new fans in the U.S with his two victories Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada. The fans were hoping to keep seeing Rungvisai fight, but he’s decided to go back to his home country of Thailand for his next two fights. He had a hard time beating Estrada in winning a 12 round majority decision last February. Rungvisai got the better of Estrada in 10 of the 12 rounds, but he finished badly in getting rocked in in the 12th by a late flurry from the Mexican fighter. There’s no way that Estrada deserved a clear loss in that fight, but judge scored it a draw at 114-114.
    Rungvisai needs to make sure he gets through his fight against Bae without injury for him to defend his WBC title in October. That’s about the only thing Rungvisai has to worry about on Saturday. He’s likely going to annihilate the hapless Bae in two or three rounds, but he still needs to worry about suffering a cut.
    Bae challenged for the WBC World minimumweight title against Chayaphon Moonsri in November 2015,

    but he was stopped in the 9th round. Two fights later, Bae was knocked out in the 4th round by Rex Tso on May 14, 2016.