Miss anything on Wednesday? You might have. So here’s a roundup.
Canelo Alvarez just won the IBF middleweight title on May 4 against Daniel Jacobs, adding it to his WBC and WBA belts, and he’s been hit with a mandatory defense order to face Sergiy Derevyanchenko by Aug. 4.
Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO) is the biggest power player in boxing today, but even that doesn’t make him immune to mandatory defenses or anything. This is why, if you’ve ever wondered, there aren’t more unified titleholders in boxing, and so incredibly few full unifications of a division. It’s almost impossible to keep up with every mandatory and whatnot. Canelo wants to fight Sept. 14, and surely Golden Boy could pull the strings and push a Derevyanchenko fight back to that date instead of Aug. 4 — if they want to fight Derevyanchenko, and if a deal can be made.
Alvarez has stated his intention is to fully unify at 160. The only belt he doesn’t have is the one held by Demetrius Andrade, the WBO title. So there was the thought that he’d face Andrade in September, perhaps. But if the IBF is genuinely serious about this and Derevyanchenko doesn’t or won’t accept step-aside money for the time being, then that’s not happening. Either Alvarez will give up the IBF title, or he won’t fight for the WBO belt next.
We’ve got three big fights coming on Saturday. The most mainstream of the lot is Deontay Wilder’s return on Showtime, taking on Dominic Breazeale. Wilder did ESPN First Take and repeated his bit about wanting to kill a guy in the ring, which maybe if he says it another 15,000 times might finally get him the attention he so desperately wants from it, the first 12,000 having so far failed to do much more than get the relatively small amount of people who already know who he is talking.
Wilder also broke the gavel at the NYSE and rang the closing bell, and Breazeale and the undercard fighters held their own media workout in Brooklyn.
The less mainstream and much better show is live Saturday afternoon US time on DAZN from Glasgow, featuring a pair of World Boxing Super Series tournament semifinals. We previewed both fights: Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk and Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez. Lewis Watson also took a look at Inoue.
There was also some tension at the Inoue-Rodriguez media workout, with Inoue’s father-trainer Shingo being shoved by a Team Rodriguez member. In the other fight, Taylor thinks that Baranchyk has made a mistake going with Freddie Roach seven weeks ahead of the fight.
- Billy Joe Saunders is rather quietly returning this weekend, too, facing Shefat Isufi for the WBO super middleweight title, which is vacant, streaming live on ESPN+. Saunders, if he wins, says he wants to face Callum Smith in a unification. We will have live coverage of Saunders-Isufi on Saturday, but it’ll be “shadow coverage” — basically I’m going to have the show on, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to put my attention on the WBSS show which airs at the same time.
- Speaking of live coverage, we’ll have some on Thursday! Golden Boy DAZN Thursday Night Fights, which does not air on DAZN, returns with Romero Duno vs Juan Antonio Rodriguez in the main event. The series has been pretty damn fun in its first couple months, and it streams for free. Tune in and join us later, why don’tcha? More details in the live post later on, of course, but the main card starts at 10 pm ET on Facebook, RingTV.com, and regional sports networks.
- Andrew and Jason Moloney, the Aussie twin contenders at 115 and 118 pounds, respectively, have signed with Top Rank. It’s a great signing for the company, particularly with an eye toward Andrew facing Jerwin Ancajas.
- Trainer Stephen Edwards talked about bringing Julian Williams back from a loss to the top of the 154-pound ranks.
- Chris van Heerden wants a shot at Terence Crawford, and he may be way closer to getting one than you think. Like, within a year and change, maybe.
- Michael Hunter will face Fabio Maldonado on May 25 on the Haney-Moran DAZN show, which was originally the Usyk-Takam DAZN show. Can’t wait for that live thread next weekend where I kick it by my lonesome while Wil gets the Ito-Herring show and Patrick has Trout-Gausha.
- Francesco Patera will defend the European lightweight title against Patrick Hyland Jr on June 28 in Italy, which will also air on DAZN.
- UFC veteran Joe Riggs will make his pro boxing debut on May 23, with his fight airing as part of an RJJ Boxing show on UFC Fight Pass.
Your biggest hater is right beside you !— Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson (@lorenzo_simpson) May 16, 2019