Five Boxing Stories You Might Have Missed That Aren't The Collapse Of Usyk Vs Fury

it's been another busy week in the world of boxing
12:00, 24 Mar 2023

The failure to make an undisputed showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has understandably been the talk of boxing this week, but it also means that the other big stories from the ring might have passed you by. 

Here are five stories you might have missed that don’t involve the circus surrounding the two heavyweights. 

Stephen Fulton Vs Naoya Inoue Postponed

The WBC and IBO super-bantamweight showdown between title-holder Stephen Fulton, 21-0 (8), and challenger Naoya Inoue, 24-0 (21), has been postponed after the latter suffered an injury in training.


The fight, one of the best match-ups in boxing, had been set for May 7th in Yokohama, but will now reportedly be rescheduled for the summer in Japan. 

It was set to be Inoue’s first fight at 122lb after relinquishing his four belts at bantamweight and moving up after becoming undisputed champion against Paul Butler in December. 

With that win, Inoue became the first-ever Japanese boxer to claim undisputed championship status in the three or four-belt era, and the first boxer in history to stop all four major sanctioning organisation champions inside the distance.

Michael Conlan To Fight For Featherweight World Title In Belfast

Michael Conlan, 18-1 (9), will take on featherweight world champion Luis Alberto Lopez, 27-2 (15), on 27 May in his home city of Belfast at the SSE Arena. 

Mexico’s Lopez inflicted the second defeat of Josh Warrington’s career in December to claim the IBF strap, winning by majority decision on the judges’ scorecards in Leeds. 

This will be Olympic bronze medallist Conlan’s second shot at a world title having been sensationally stopped by Leigh Wood last March with WBA belt on the line. 

"Fighting for a world title in Belfast is something I've always dreamed of, and I will be taking this opportunity with both hands," said Conlan.

"The SSE Arena will be buzzing and I will do everything I can to bring a world title home. Credit to Lopez for coming to Belfast, but I am taking his title."


BOXXER Announce Three Cards For Spring And Summer 

Chris Billam-Smith, Joshua Buatsi and Adam Azim will each headline cards over the next few months, BOXXER announced this week.

Joshua Buatsi, 16-0 (13), will kick off the trio of cards on 6 May when he takes on Pawel Stepien, 18-0-1 (12), at the Resorts World Arena, Birmingham in his first fight under the BOXXER promotional banner.  

Stepien had been scheduled to face Callum Smith earlier this month but an injury to the latter scuppered the fight. Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Ben Whittakker is set to appear on the card. 

European and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Billam-Smith, 17-1 (12), will return to his hometown when he heads a bill at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium on 27 May. An opponent for the huge Cherries fan will be revealed next Monday at a press conference in London.

Mikael Lawal, 17-0 (11), will defend his British cruiserweight title against Isaac Chamberlain, 14-2 (8), on the undercard.

Finally, on 10 June, Adam Azim’s highly-promising career continues at York Hall in Bethnal Green when the 8-0 (6) star takes on Ukraine’s Aram Faniian, 22-1 (4).

KSI To Face Ex-David Haye Opponent Joe Fournier 

YouTuber-turned-boxer KSI has revealed that he will be taking on former David Haye opponent Joe Fournier in his next bout. 

The fight will headline a Misfits Boxing card on DAZN pay-per-view at the Wembley Arena on May 13th.

“I can’t wait to show the world what Jake Paul couldn’t, knock out a pro boxer,” said KSI in a press release.

“Each fight, people are seeing a better KSI and I’m honestly scared for Fournier because once I land my right or left hand on his chin, it’s night night. As soon as people enter the ring with me, they realise they are in hell. And they either leave the ring bruised, battered or sleeping. In the ring, I am an evil man.”

Fournier is 9-0 (9) as a professional but against unheralded opposition. In 2021 he fought his friend Haye in an exhibition, which he lost. 


Dana White Hints At Move Into Boxing Promotion

Dana White could be about to make a move into the world of boxing.

The UFC boss told Sports Business Journal that he has been working for the last eight to nine months to put together a new promotion that he hopes to launch within the next 12 to 24 months.

“I don’t know if I can fix the sport but I think I can put on fights that people want to see and I can make boxing interesting again and build a brand around it,” said White. 

Boxing’s problems with not being able to make the best fights has been at the forefront of discussions around the sport this week after the prolonged failure to make an undisputed heavyweight showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

Last weekend White took a swipe at the sport when asked for his opinions on the Fury/Usyk fiasco. 

“It's scheduled, no?” White said. “Oh, it's not? Welcome to boxing, boys. Is it shocking? Yes. Is it ‘shocking’? No. It's just that is boxing, that's the way that that sport always seems to play out, the big fights that should happen never happen.”

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