Long-awaited undisputed showdowns, a controversial sparring partner, a Fight of the Year rematch and some choice words from GGG. Here are the five boxing stories you might have missed this week.
Kambosos Jr vs Haney Is On
After much deliberation, and numerous roadblocks, we finally know the identity of George Kambosos Jr’s first opponent as unified lightweight champion. The Australian will head home to the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne to face WBC lightweight king Devin Haney in a four-belt undisputed blockbuster.
‘Ferocious’ had originally targeted Vasiliy Lomachenko for his first defence since stunning Teofimo Lopez in November. Understandably, ‘The Matrix’ chose instead to stay and defend his home country of Ukraine, a decision Kambosos has supported throughout. Haney’s promotional situation almost put the kibosh on this bout, but everything has been straightened out and the pair will battle Down Under on Saturday 4th June.
Inoue and Donaire Go Again
Ageless wonder Nonito Donaire will look to avenge his last defeat when he rematches Naoya Inoue at Saitama Super Arena in Japan. ‘The Filipino Flash’ will defend his WBC bantamweight belt against Inoue’s IBF, WBA and The Ring titles.
Their first meeting was one of 2019’s best fights, as Inoue took a unanimous decision in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. Neither man has lost since, with Donaire winning two on the bounce and Inoue racking up three victories. Something has got to give in Saitama though, in what promises to be a contender for 2022 Fight of the Year.
Wilder Breaks Silence
Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has been largely quiet since his incredible third fight with Tyson Fury. That defeat has left Wilder’s future in doubt, and while its classic nature made him a bigger name than ever, it appears to have made him consider retirement.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ broke a long social media silence this week, with a cryptic message that can be read any number of ways. Wilder posted, “We’re stronger TOGETHER than within the eyes of the devil. What’s understood don’t have to be explained.”
Depending on your viewpoint, this can just as easily be read as a retirement as it can a vow to come back stronger. It looks like fans will have to wait a little longer to find out when, or if, one of the planet’s most exciting heavyweights will fight on.
‘GGG’ Dismisses Eubank Jr
Gennady Golovkin has brutally brushed off Britain’s Chris Eubank Jr, calling the fighter “not worth mentioning.” Speaking to TalkSport, the IBF middleweight champion claimed that fighting ‘Next Gen’ is not something he thinks about. “Chris is something from the past,” Golovkin told presenters, “I already forgot about him and I honestly don’t understand why it’s worth mentioning him at all.”
Of more pressing concern to Golovkin is his upcoming unification fight with WBA champion Ryoto Murata next Saturday. ‘GGG’ will travel to Japan for the rescheduled fight, after the pair were originally set to meet last December. COVID-19 put the brakes on that match-up, but thankfully this attractive middleweight outing was rearranged.
Fury Brings In ‘Big Baby'
WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has named Jarrell Miller as a sparring partner ahead of his Wembley Stadium clash with Dillian Whyte. ‘Big Baby’ is currently serving a drugs ban, as issues with banned substances have kept him out of the ring since 2018. The controversial heavyweight was supposed to face Anthony Joshua in 2019, but was replaced by the ultimately successful Andy Ruiz Jr after failing a doping test.
Fury is never shy of a little controversy, and he has employed Miller to emulate Whyte’s pressure-fighting style ahead of his title defence later this month.
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