With more disputes than you can shake a stick at, exciting match-ups being announced that could finish 2020 with a bang, and an entirely new weight division being discussed, it’s been another busy week in boxing. Here are five stories you might have missed this week…
Natasha Jonas Ready To Fight Katie Taylor In London 2012 Rematch
Liverpool super-featherweight Natasha Jonas is ready to turn her attention away from a rematch with Terri Harper, who she was denied the WBC title against during Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp last month, to take on Katie Taylor, should ‘The Bray Bomber’ need an opponent.
With Harper electing to take up her mandatory defence against Norway’s Katherina Thanderz, Jonas’ trainer, Joe Gallagher, says Jonas will now turn her attention to Taylor, who beat her as an amateur during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"I think Tasha against Katie Taylor is a great fight. Both unbelievable ambassadors for boxing.
"Natasha being the first one [women's boxer] to represent Britain at the Olympics and qualify.
"Katie Taylor, like I keep saying, she's the 'Canelo' of female boxing. Who wouldn't want to see that rematch eight years on, with the atmosphere it generated at the London Olympics?"
Gallagher also mooted the possibility of Harper fighting Jessica McCaskill, the newly crowned undisputed welterweight champion.
Canelo Sues DAZN And Golden Boy Over Contract Dispute
The largest contract in boxing history, worth an eye-watering $365 (£282m), is causing quite the bust-up outside of the ring for Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who is suing streaming service DAZN, and promoter Oscar De La Hoya, to the tune of $280m (£216m).
Canelo signed the 10-fight deal with DAZN in October 2018, but just two fights into that contract, he finds himself at odds with the service and Golden Boy Promotions, whose CEO is De La Hoya, over his set payment of $35m (£27m) per-fight. DAZN have reportedly been reluctant to pay Canelo the full $35m due Golden Boy’s failure to land a big star to fight the four-weight world champion, with the contract having stipulated that he should fight at least one top-tier opponent this year.
Canelo said in a statement, "I'm the pound-for-pound number one in the world. I'm not scared of any opponent in the ring, and I'm not going to let failures of my broadcaster or promoters keep me out of the ring.
"I filed the lawsuit so I can get back to boxing and give my fans the show they deserve."
Meanwhile, purse bids for Canelo against Avni Yildirim for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title are set for September 21. Widely unheralded, it’s unlikely DAZN will be happy with Yildirim as Canelo’s next opponent.
Billy Joe Saunders Wants Callum Smith In Super-Middleweight Unification Clash
Unbeaten WBO super-middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders is desperate to finish 2020 on a high. He’s been forced to admit that a bout with boxing’s golden goose, Canelo, is unlikely to happen this year and so has turned his attentions to the WBA super-middleweight champion, Liverpool’s Callum Smith, and the WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade.
Taking to Instagram, Saunders said, "This is a little message to any super-middleweight. I've been waiting around for Canelo as you all know, so that looks like it's parked up. Callum Smith and Andrade, let's get it on.
"Callum you're a good fighter, a great fighter, a unification, I reckon we could get it on.”
While he was quite complementary to his compatriot Smith, he was less so to America’s Andrade, who he taunted to step up a division: "Andrade, you're just a little p****, who keeps running. Don't want to fight nobody.
"So let's go 168lbs, let's rock and roll, November or December.”
If either of these fights can be pulled off, it would go a long way to salvaging a rocky year for Saunders.
Tony Bellew Proposes A New Weight Division
Former cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew is helping the WBC oversee proposals from veteran boxing agent Don Majeski to introduce an all-new weight division, called super-cruiserweight, to fill the gap between the cruiserweights and the heavyweights.
The top three divisions right now are light-heavyweight (175lbs), cruiserweight (200lbs) and heavyweight (200lbs+), all of which Bellew competed in during his professional career.
Speaking to TalkSport he said, “I’ve done it, so I understand how tough the weight jump is.
“The difference in all the other weight categories is minimal – 4lbs, 3lbs, sometimes 6lbs.
“The weight jump from light-heavyweight to cruiserweight is from 175lbs to 200lbs – that’s 25lbs.
“That’s just too much, I get what Don Majeski’s saying because in the current game at heavyweight the big boys are too big and the smaller heavyweights are not able to compete with the bigger boys.”
Keep an eye out for the first-ever super-cruiserweight world champion. It could be one hell of a pub quiz question one day.
Kell Brook Edging Closer To Terence Crawford Fight
Here’s a little fact to make you feel your age - Sheffield’s Kell Brook has been entertaining British fight fans for an incredible 16 years. Crazy. And now the 34-year-old former IBF welterweight champion is lining up arguably his last chance to win world honours once again, with a fight against pound-for-pound contender Terence Crawford on November 14 “edging closer”.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Brook said, “Talks are progressing and we feel like we are edging closer. My team have been in regular dialogue with Bob Arum.
“He assures us that both him and Crawford are bang up for it, so hopefully we can get it over the line and give the fight fans something to get excited about and to close 2020 in style.
“Crawford is the champ so rightfully they want the fight stateside, Vegas has been discussed. It suits me though. I have always wanted to fight in Las Vegas - the bright lights of 'Sin City'. I've dethroned a welterweight American world champion in his own backyard before - I look forward to doing it again.”