Our boxing week kicked off with a bang, as Kell Brook stopped Amir Khan to end a rivalry that has spanned for over a decade. With a huge weekend ahead, featuring Josh Taylor and Lawrence Okolie defending their world titles, we’re here to whet your appetite. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed from another busy week in the squared circle.
Tyson Fury’s Social Media Blackout
WBC, The Ring and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury announced he will stay off social media until his 23rd April bout with Dillian Whyte is over. ‘The Gypsy King’ is usually a constant presence on social media, and has perfected the art of riling opponents, rivals and other fight figures online.
However, in a statement posted on his channels, the champion said his accounts will be handed over to his team for the duration of his preparations. After Whyte finally signed the contract this week to make the bout official, it makes sense that Fury will be shutting himself off from distractions. The boxing landscape will be a quieter place without Fury, but his absence is sure to make whatever he says when the press tour begins all the more impactful.
Conor Benn Targets Kell Brook
Kell Brook is the name on everyone’s lips again after his impressive shellacking of Amir Khan. Chris Eubank Jr, working as a Sky Box Office pundit, was quick to call out ‘Special K’. Now another man who has been talked up as a Eubank foe has had his say.
Conor Benn revealed to IFL TV that not only is Brook the fight he wants, but that it could easily happen. “I fancy my chances. We should make that fight next. Is it realistic? Of course, it’s realistic.”
Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn has weighed in on this big potential domestic dust-up on the latest edition of Betfred’s Lightweight Boxing Show. You can hear the Matchroom supremo’s thoughts below.
Josh Taylor Wants To Become Two-Weight World Champion
‘The Tartan Tornado’ defends his undisputed super lightweight title for the first time this Saturday, as he takes on 26-0 Jack Catterall. The ambitious Scotsman has already mapped out his future plans, as he considers the legacy he’ll leave in the sport.
Speaking to ESPN, Taylor was keen to stress he’s not done making history. “I want to achieve more in the sport than that and add more titles to my name, to become a two-weight undisputed world champion.”
Taylor isn’t completely looking past the 140lb division just yet though. “I’ve got an abundance of desire to stay top dog in this weight division,” he said, before once again hinting at future challenges by adding, “I feel I’ve achieved a lot at this weight division now and all that is left to do is defend the titles over and over.” Should he get past Catterall, it looks like Taylor’s next step could be an unpredictable one.
Mike Tyson Names ‘Canelo’ As P4P King
Fox Sports Club asked ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson for his pound-for-pound number one and just like when he stepped through the ropes, he did not hesitate. ““You have to go with Canelo. But there’s still so many young and upcoming lightweights. Canelo is almost on his way out.”
After Tyson had hinted Saul Alvarez’s time at the top might be coming to an end, he was asked who could potentially beat the Mexican. “The young man, David Benavidez, I call him the Monster. He’s tough. I’d love to see Canelo fight him.” As a piece of matchmaking, it would be great for the sport to see ‘Canelo’ and Benavidez clash, a point which Tyson heartily agrees with. The former heavyweight champion said, “If it doesn’t happen, it will be a shame to boxing.”
Jaime Munguia TKO Win Leads To Interim Shot
A few short hours after Brook and Khan captivated the British public, Jaime Munguia continued his dominant middleweight campaign with a third-round TKO over D'Mitrius Ballard.
The stoppage win earned Munguia a shot at the WBO interim championship. The organisation have ordered the Mexican to meet Kazakhstani phenom Janibek Alimkhanuly. Despite the spurious nature of interim titles, this would be a superb fight. It would also be the toughest bout in each man’s career. Boxing needs bouts like this, genuinely competitive fights at the world class level. Let’s hope it takes place.