Miss any news this weekend? Probably. Get caught up!
If you’re looking for the results from this weekend, we have a whole big roundup here. It was an eventful weekend — titles changed hands, some big upsets, prospects all over, titles retained, etc. We also took a look at what could be next for big winners Julian Williams, Miguel Berchelt, and Emanuel Navarrete.
The biggest story of the weekend otherwise was the Saturday evening confirmation that Manny Pacquiao will face Keith Thurman in a July 20 FOX pay-per-view main event. Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO) is 40 years old, but still one of the top 147-pounders in boxing, and easily still one of the sport’s top and most recognizable stars.
In January, Pacquiao’s Showtime pay-per-view main event with Adrien Broner did 400,000 buys in the United States, which doesn’t sound that huge until you realize it’s the biggest pay-per-view in boxing since Canelo-Golovkin II, and that’s also boxing’s biggest pay-per-view number since 2016, not counting Mayweather-McGregor or Canelo fights. Manny still brings the eyes better than just about anyone.
Thurman (29-0, 22 KO) is younger than Manny by a decade and surely fresher in most respects, but he also returned from a nearly two-year layoff in January and looked rusty against Josesito Lopez. He’s had injury issues and may be older in the ring than his age or fight night wear-and-tear might lead you to believe.
I realize that selling this as “faded 40-year-old guy versus possibly injury-ruined 30-year-old guy makes for competitive matchup!” isn’t the most marketable thing, but PBC isn’t paying me to promote the card, so what do I care? They are still at worst two of the top six welterweights in the sport. Is that good enough to pay $70? That’s for you to decide.
In sad news, the boxing world lost one of its great people and great personalities on Saturday, as Harold Lederman passed away at the age of 79. Lederman was a longtime judge in the sport and served as HBO’s unofficial scorer from 1986 until HBO shuttered their boxing division in Dec. 2018. Many in boxing shared their thoughts and memories of Harold, and the general sentiment is that he was not only a great fan of boxing, but just a great man, period.
Jim Lampley released a statement on Saturday:
“It was one of the greatest privileges of my broadcasting career to work with Harold Lederman, whose unique humanity and lifelong love of boxing brought joy to the hearts of millions of fans, show after show after show. They waited for his moments, they were thrilled by his insights, they gloried in imitating his voice. No one in the sport had more friends, because no one in the sport was more deserving of friends. As deeply saddened as I am by his passing, I am equally deeply joyful that he made it to the final bell on December 8. Nothing was more important to the legacy of HBO Boxing, so in that we can all take solace. Now his scorecard is complete.”
- This week’s boxing schedule is up, and it’s a big one. We’ve got a live fight TODAY at 6:55 am ET from Japan (Mthalane-Kuroda), and we’ll have live coverage of cards on Thursday, two on Friday, and three on Saturday.
- Tyson Fury hung out on a bed and did a long interview where he gave his Tyson Fury-style thoughts on the WBC/Dillian Whyte situation, his upcoming fight with Tom Schwarz, Deontay Wilder, little fat fellas being able to fight, and Eddie Hearn being a tit.
- Another fight confirmed for July 20 that had been in the works: Caleb Plant will defend his IBF super middleweight title against Mike Lee, which is an absolute horseshit fight. Mike Lee won some very low-level amateur boxing fights while attending Notre Dame, so Bob Arum got very very excited and signed Lee up, thinking he could capitalize on the nationwide Notre Dame football fan base. Lee was not a Notre Dame football player, it should be noted. But Lee has been a pro for nine years, never taken a risky fight, and parted with Top Rank a long time ago. PBC have dug him up and got him to agree to fight at 168, which he’s never done before (he’ll be going down, not up), and somehow the IBF approved it as a title fight. Plant-Lee will air on FOX before the Pacquiao-Thurman PPV as an infomercial to help last minute impulse buys.
- Shakur Stevenson and Joshua Greer Jr will be back on July 13 in Newark, with Stevenson headlining the Top Rank on ESPN card.
- Dominic Breazeale has his big chance (well, his second big chance) on Saturday night, facing Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title on Showtime. Breazeale thinks that when he beats Wilder, Wilder will retire from boxing.
- Tevin Farmer had a weekend on Twitter. He and Gervonta Davis went at it again, with Gervonta saying he would try to kill Farmer “when” they fight, and he was also taunted by JoJo Diaz.
- Super featherweight Mikaela Mayer will return on the Fury-Schwarz card on June 15.