IT wouldn’t be a world heavyweight title fight without a few obstacles to overcome and a few rumours about it being cancelled.
Which is why it should come as no surprise that the mooted WBC heavyweight title showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, semi-announced last weekend, and set to take place before the end of the year, has, in the last 24 hours, fallen victim to rumours of it no longer going ahead.
Admittedly, a lot of the talk stems from a ‘boxing chat’ conducted by ESPN’s Dan Rafael, self-proclaimed ‘King Fight Freak’, on Friday. Answering questions in his chat, Rafael wrote: “The latest from Fury’s team is that he is now apparently balking at the fight. I was told that yesterday by a member of his management team.
“All I know is what one the members of his management team told me that he thought he might need another fight first. Who knows what will happen?
“Maybe he is just negotiating. If he punks after all that hype last week, shame on him.”
“We’ll see what happens. Hopefully, it gets done.”
Whether it happens or not, neither fighter will be “punking” any time soon, Dan. That much I can guarantee. But, certainly, until it’s officially announced – nay, until both heavyweights are in the ring together – we should probably err on the side of caution where Wilder and Fury are concerned. It has often felt a fight too good to be true – one, many believe, is too soon for Fury – and it wouldn’t come as any great shock to receive news of it falling by the wayside.
Then again, Tyson Fury has absolutely no idea what Rafael’s talking about.
“I’ve been reading and I’ve heard some rumours that this fight is off with me and Wilder,” Fury said on Instagram. “Not on my watch it ain’t. I’m not pulling out of nothing. It’s on like Donkey Kong. Tyson Fury is like a king coming to America!”
Words will help sell the thing, no doubt. But until the contracts are signed, and a date and venue are confirmed, it all means very little at this point.
Let’s hope it gets sorted soon.
If there’s one thing we know about Adrien Broner it’s this: Adrien Broner doesn’t play by the rules and holds no fear of punishment.
This is apparent in the ring, when ill-discipline, a lack of stamina, and less-than-textbook technique has seen him beaten up and humbled, and it’s apparent outside the ring, too, when his unruly behaviour tests the patience of those generous enough to give him a second, third, fourth and fifth chance.
Frankly, acting up is by now his default setting, and misdemeanours have brought Adrien Broner just as much fame and attention as signature wins inside a boxing ring. It’s perhaps why he refuses to change his ways. It’s perhaps why nonsense keeps finding its way to his door.
Broner’s latest blunder, revealed today by the WBC, concerns a missed VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) drug test.
“@WBCBoxing has received missed test report from @Vada_Testing as @AdrienBroner is located in Florida and didn’t update his whereabouts form,” wrote WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman on social media.
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) August 26, 2018
If it had been anyone else, you’d assume foul play stemming from a need to hide something. Yet, in the case of Adrien Broner, sheer stupidity – let’s be kind: forgetfulness – might be just as likely a reason for him going AWOL as anything else.
If Carl Frampton has it his way, he’ll defeat Josh Warrington before the end of the year, take the Leeds man’s IBF featherweight title in the process, and then defend that belt back at Windsor Park, Belfast next summer.
Less than two weeks ago, Frampton boxed at Windsor Park for the very first time, stopping Luke Jackson in nine rounds to retain his WBO interim featherweight title. There were over 20,000 fans in attendance that night, every one of whom showed up for Frampton, and now the two-weight world champion is eager to do it all over again.
“That amazing night at Windsor Park last Saturday just makes me long to go back next summer for another big fight,” Frampton, 26-1 (15), wrote in his Sunday Life column.
“It [The Jackson fight] could be the last time I ever fight in Belfast. I couldn’t go back to the SSE [Arena] because it is too small for the fights that I hopefully have coming up for the rest of my career. But I would love to come back next summer and have a world title fight at Windsor. That would be incredible, and I’ll try as hard as I can to make it happen.”
It’s unlikely unification fights against WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz, WBC champion Gary Russell Jr, and WBO champion Oscar Valdez will find a home in Belfast, but there’s every chance Frampton, should he become IBF champion in 2018, could defend that belt in front of 23,000 countrymen next year.
Josh Warrington, however, might have something to say about that.