There’s a huge super-fight in store for 2022, Claressa Shields’ blossoming MMA career has hit a snag and Gennadiy Golovkin could make his ring return at the end of the year. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed this week...
Taylor vs Serrano Negotiations Going Well, Says Hearn
Promoter Eddie Hearn says the negotiations between undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor and unified featherweight champion Amanda Serrano are going well.
The fight, one of, if not the biggest to be made in women’s boxing right now, could take place at Madison Square Garden in April.
"I had good chats with Nakisa [Bidarian] and Jake Paul and those guys at Most Valuable [Promotions]," Hearn said on the Boxing with Chris Mannix podcast.
"They appear to want to make the fight — so do we. We’ve already spoken to the Garden about doing that fight in April. I think we can do it."
The Matchroom boss went on to discuss why the venue will play such a big part in the showdown between two pound-for-pound contenders.
"Why go in the small room? I mean, one thing’s for sure – that small room sells out real fast for that fight, right?"
"So, if we want to make a statement for women’s boxing, you’ve got the powerhouse of Matchroom, you’ve got the powerhouse of Jake Paul, you’ve got the powerhouse of two of the great female pound-for-pound fighters of all time. Let’s roll the dice."
"Because if we want to put women’s boxing at the forefront, and we want to make a statement, you don’t make a statement by going in a small hall. You make a statement going in the big hall and if it catches fire, if people understand it, if people buy into the hype, which doesn’t even need to be there, I think it can capture the imagination. And I think it can fill it up."
Shields Beaten In Second MMA Fight
Three-weight world boxing champion Claressa Shields tasted defeat for the first time since 2012 on Wednesday night, as she was beaten by Abigail Monties in her second fight in MMA.
Shields, the only boxer, male or female, to hold all four major world titles (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO) simultaneously, in two weight classes, was out-wrestled by her Mexican opponent to find herself on the wrong end of a split decision.
The 26-year-old double Olympic gold medallist has remained undefeated as a boxer after 11 professional outings. She also only lost once, against Britain’s Savannah Marshall, as an amateur, racking up a 77-1 record in the unpaid ranks.
Shields had opened her MMA account with a win against Brittney Elkin in June, having signed a three-year deal with the Professional Fighters League last November. The American returns to boxing on December 11 when she takes on Ema Kozin in Birmingham.
Golovkin vs Murata Heading For December?
IBO and IBF middleweight world champion Gennadiy Golovkin is reportedly set to face Ryota Murata in Japan on December 29 at the Saitama Super Arena, according to ESPN.
A fight between the two has been mooted for some time now but ‘GGG’ needed to sort out some things with DAZN first. The Kazakh signed a six-fight contract with the streaming service worth approximately $100 million in 2019. That deal had hinged on a third fight between Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez but with that clash failing to come to fruition, amendments were needed before the Murata bout could go ahead.
London 2012 gold medallist Murata is hugely popular in his native Japan but will be taking a huge step up when he takes on Golovkin, although the latter hasn’t exactly set the world alight since his two enthralling encounters with Canelo.
Eubank Jr vs Williams Grudge Match In The Works
Promoter Ben Shalom says middleweights Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams will have a chance to settle their “genuine dislike for each other” in a grudge match later this year.
Eubank Jr named Williams as “a frontrunner” to be his next opponent in the aftermath of his fight round TKO win over Wanik Awdijan last month, having shared a recent feud with the Welshman on social media.
"They have a genuine dislike for each other that has been brewing for years,” BOXXER promoter Shalom told Sky Sports.
"It is Eubank Jr's big moment to get into contention for world title fights against the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin.
"We will be making an offer to Liam so we'll see if he really wants it. Hopefully we can get it on in December.”
Joshua Opens Up On Usyk Loss And Hunt For New Trainer
Anthony Joshua has said he is “done with losing” following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk as he remains on the hunt for a potential new trainer.
AJ lost his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles to Usyk in September but the man from Watford is adamant that he’s ready for “war’ when the pair meet in a rematch next year.
Speaking to iFLTV, the two-time heavyweight champion said, "I'm done with losing. I'm done with trying to learn the sweet science
"[Usyk] might get thrown on the floor in the next fight because this is war."
"I'm heading into my 12th world title fight now and the learning is done. It's done. It's just war. I'm annoyed. I'm boiling up just speaking about it."
Since that defeat the Watford man has been on a tour of the US in an apparent search for a new trainer, having spoken to Ronnie Shields, Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso and Robert Garcia after questions were raised over current coach Rob McCracken. However, Joshua insisted that he’s not looking to split from McCracken but instead needs further input to increase his development.
"I need a new coach to learn from as well," he added.
"I will not be basing myself in the States, I am a UK resident so I am not going out to the States to find a new coach.
"Rob's in Lithuania so I need to find a new coach for certain points as I train 10 or 11 months a year. I need to step away and get some new teachings from trainers who have trained the likes of 13 or 14 world champions.
"I wish I had done these things sooner, but now I can go out there and add things to my game."