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Boxing News Roundup (May 8, 2019): Lomachenko gets WBC order, Usyk injured, Canelo, more

Vasiliy Lomachenko will get a crack at another belt, Oleksandr Usyk is out, and more from Tuesday.

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Anthony Crolla Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Miss anything on Tuesday? Let’s catch you up.

Top Stories

There were two big stories on Tuesday, both involving Ukrainian Olympic gold medalists and current pound-for-pound contenders.

Vasiliy Lomachenko will get a shot at a third lightweight title sometime this year, as the WBC have ordered Luke Campbell to face Lomachenko for their vacant 135-pound title. Campbell was already mandatory challenger, and the WBC and Mikey Garcia recently mutually agreed that he should vacate a belt he wasn’t going to defend.

There had been talk of Campbell facing fellow Matchroom fighter Devin Haney, and there was question as to what that meant for poor ol’ Zaur Abdullaev, who is ranked ahead of Haney by the WBC but doesn’t have a big promoter behind him.

But don’t worry, the powers of boxing came together and got Lomachenko, the IBF and WBO titleholder, into a fight with Campbell instead. Eddie Hearn wasn’t a big fan, but he’ll go with it:

The WBC is also advertising their intent for a four-man tournament to decide the next mandatory challenger for the Lomachenko-Campbell winner, which would include Abdullaev, Haney, Teofimo Lopez, and Javier Fortuna. But Lopez is already set to fight an IBF eliminator on July 19, so that seems unlikely to happen.

The second big story of the day is that Oleksandr Usyk is injured, and his May 25 move to heavyweight against Carlos Takam is off.

Quick Hits

2018 Showtime Championship Boxing Event Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
  • We previewed Saturday’s PBC on FOX main event, pitting Jarrett Hurd against Julian Williams for a pair of 154-pound titles, and took a quick look at the undercard, too.
  • The WBO have decided to do something sanctioning bodies do from time to time, and that’s make it look like they have real standards or principles or anything. This time, they’ve declined to sanction the agreed-upon June 8 fight between featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez and Erick Ituarte. Ituarte isn’t in the WBO rankings, fine. But when Masayuki Ito-Jamel Herring came up as a title fight at 130 a while back, the same WBO said then, “Hey, Herring isn’t in our rankings! This cannot stand!” And they were right, Herring wasn’t in their rankings. Then as of the April update, despite having done nothing, Herring was inserted as the No. 9 contender at 130 by the WBO. So that fight is happening May 25. Look, I’m not saying the WBO should sanction Valdez-Ituarte, I’m merely saying their grandstanding about having standards is total horseshit. If anything happened here, it’s that someone forgot to grease the wheel on behalf of Erick Ituarte.
  • The WBA have ordered Gervonta Davis to defend his title against Ricardo Nunez, which will likely happen on July 27 in another wonderful Showtime main event. Nunez is from Panama and on an unrelated note the WBA are based in Panama. Simply the pioneers.
  • Canelo Alvarez remains a hot topic, of course, and while realistically anything Canelo probably counts as a “top story,” I’m so dreadfully tired of typing “Canelo Alvarez” right now that I’m putting it down here. On Tuesday, we had Oscar De La Hoya entertaining the idea of Canelo fighting Errol Spence Jr, and Billy Joe Saunders bringing up Alvarez and Callum Smith. He probably should, it’s not like anyone is talking about his fight with Shefat Isufi.
  • Dillian Whyte rates himself ahead of Tyson Fury. I do not, but that is his opinion.
  • Speaking of (!) Tyson Fury, he shared a story about intimidating Anthony Joshua one time. I love the heavyweight division in 2019, nobody’s actually fighting each other but they’re all talking like they might possibly do it sometime before 2022.
  • Speaking of (!!) the heavyweights, Anthony Joshua says Andy Ruiz Jr is smarter than Jarrell Miller. Considering Andy Ruiz Jr didn’t fail three drug tests in a week, I’d say I agree. I honestly kind of feel bad for everyone involved in promoting Joshua-Ruiz. Eddie Hearn knew this was coming, he said even before they actually made the fight that the public would look at Ruiz’s meaty physique and write him off. It’s hard to convince people that Andy Ruiz can fight, and it doesn’t help that you’re almost certainly fighting a losing battle trying to convince them, anyway, since chances are Joshua will win convincingly, because he’s better than Ruiz.
  • Matchroom returns Friday on DAZN and Sky Sports, with Leigh Wood headlining at home in Nottingham, defending his Commonwealth featherweight title. Fellow featherweight and likely future opponent Jordan Gill is in the co-feature. We’ll have live coverage of that show on Friday at 2:00 pm ET.
  • Speaking of (!!!) homecoming-type fights, Michael Conlan is going back to Belfast this summer. I’d say I hope he fights something better than a lukewarm body, but I’d just be setting myself up for disappointment. He could fight my dumb ass and do a crowd in Belfast. I might pay to see Conlan slap up a lazy fat guy who outweighs him by double, I guess, so I get it.

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