Juan Manuel Lopez needs to chill
In a bizarre comeback fight against Wilfredo Vazquez Jnr, former two-weight world champion Juan Manuel Lopez made headlines across the world – but not for his 11th round stoppage win. As soon as the fight was waved off, the Puerto Rican charged into Vazquez’s corner and started trading punches with his cornerman. They were eventually separated, but as the fight was televised clips of the brawl instantly went viral. The build-up had been heated, but there was absolutely no need for JuanMa – or the cornerman – to get involved in such a ridiculous tussle. Both should receive punishment from the Puerto Rico Boxing Commission, who sanctioned the bout.
Showtime are stepping up
As the boxing calendar took a dip with no big fights on the immediate horizon and no major announcements being made, US broadcasters SHOWTIME dropped news of seven standout fights in their schedule. They are: Jesus Cuellar vs Abner Mares; Jermall Charlo vs Julian Williams; Badou Jack vs James DeGale; Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz II; Dejan Zlaticanin vs Mikey Garcia; Adrien Broner vs Adrian Granados and Danny Garcia vs Keith Thurman. Some are with dates, some without at this stage but they are all brilliant fights and some, such as Garcia-Thurman, are mouth-watering. The announcement itself came before the weekend, but the buzz it had created could still be felt for days after, proving that when the best fight the best, boxing wins.
Women’s boxing is on the rise
There are numerous elite operators in women’s boxing, but that side of the game gets nowhere near as much exposure as men’s boxing. That is beginning to change, though. Irish amateur star Katie Taylor announced she is turning pro with Matchroom Boxing and will debut in Wembley on November 26. She looks set to get a lot of exposure from Sky Sports and national media in the UK were big on their coverage of her turning over. A terrific fighter and engaging personality, Taylor is likely to take women’s boxing to new heights. Double Olympic champion Nicola Adams is reportedly in talks to also turn professional, which would be equally as huge. Over in America, Claressa Shields also revealed she is turning pro and will do so on the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward card a week before Taylor debuts.
Manny Pacquiao is still big business
His star is not as bright as it once was, but Manny Pacquiao still draws a lot of attention. He’s busy preparing for his clash with WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas this weekend and held a media workout at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles. By all accounts, the Flipino icon is a superstar – even Sylvester Stallone headed to the gym to watch Manny spar. His status will be enhanced should he beat Vargas, a solid fighter but heavy underdog, however Pacquiao will also need to look as good as he did while beating Tim Bradley earlier in the year if he wants to keep people interested.
Terry Flanagan might need to move up
It was revealed Terry Flanagan will defend his WBO world lightweight title against Orlando Cruz on November 26. Cruz is aiming to become boxing’s first openly gay world champion and while that will give the fight more media exposure, the defence will do little for Flanagan’s standing. Cruz is not considered a threat at lightweight. However, despite being one of the best 135lb fighters in the world, Terry is struggling to lure his peers into the ring. Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares look set to have a rematch while Dejan Zlaticanin will fight Mikey Garcia next year. Flanagan, quickly outgrowing the weight, has spoken about a move up and may need to consider it soon if he wants to get the fights his talent and dedication deserve.