Josh Taylor is eyeing an opponent that is not Jack Catterall, ‘Del Boy’ is set for a July return and ‘Money’ Mayweather’s helipad fight gets a new date. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed.
Derek Gets A Date
Popular heavyweight Derek Chisora looks set to return on July 9. The O2 Arena in London is expected to play host to his first outing since losing a classic slugfest with Joseph Parker last December. Chisora was pictured on social media signing a fight contract that is expected to be for a fight with 20-2 Pole Adam Kownacki.
If that is indeed the fight we get, it is a battle of two men looking to rebuild. Kownacki is coming off back-to-back stoppage defeats at the hands of Robert Helenius. The Parker defeat was Chisora’s third loss in a row, after losing his first fight with the New Zealander and a fight with current unified heavyweight king Oleksandr Usyk.
Floyd’s Helipad Exhibition Is Back On
After Floyd Mayweather’s exhibition fight with former sparring partner Dom Moore was postponed, it is now expected to go ahead in Dubai this weekend. The bout had originally been set for last weekend, but was delayed after the sudden death of UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The match-up will take place on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab hotel. It will be the first time Mayweather has shared a ring with someone who has won a professional boxing match since 2015. His last three outings have come against MMA fighter Conor McGregor, kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa and YouTuber Logan Paul.
Taylor Defends Title, But Not Against Catterall
In a week in which he has been stripped of his WBA light welterweight championship, Josh Taylor looks to have secured a defence of his other three world titles. Top Rank’s Todd DuBoeuf has said talks are underway for ‘The Tartan Tornado’ to face Jose Zepeda. The Californian is best known for his 2020 Fight of the Year bout with Ivan Baranchyk. DuBoeuf told Sky Sports, “We are working with both teams to put this fight on next.”
After his controversial points win over Jack Catterall, Taylor had blamed his lacklustre display on struggles making light welterweight. If he does stay at the weight without fighting Catterall, the criticism will be unavoidable. Zepeda is a great opponent, but the public have their minds made up. If Taylor stays at light welterweight, there is only one man they want him to face, and that’s Catterall.
Smith Jr Wants Bivol Rematch
With a unification bout against WBC and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev on the horizon, you would have thought WBO kingpin Joe Smith Jr had enough on his plate. However, the American is already targeting a four-belt showdown with old enemy Dmitry Bivol. Speaking to DAZN, Smith said: “If we can make that fight happen sooner rather than later, I want to become undisputed as quickly as possible.”
Bivol decisioned Smith in 2019, and both men have gone from strength to strength since. Bivol is fresh off a huge upset win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, while Smith looks to unify his WBO belt with Beterbiev’s titles in June.
Jaime Munguia Goes In With Kelly
Middleweight phenom Jaime Munguia will meet former light middleweight title challenger Jimmy Kelly on June 11 at the Honda Center in California.
Manchester-born Kelly was stopped by Liam Smith in the seventh round of a WBO title fight back in 2015, but is coming off his career-best win. Kelly became the first man to defeat the world-ranked Kanat Islam in his last outing. Munguia still looks like a bridge too far, with most picking the 25-year-old to rule the division in years to come.