IT looks as though Anthony Joshua’s first fight in the USA will be against Jarrell Miller in New York on 1 June and confirmation of that is imminent. Reportedly Joshua’s purse will be his highest yet at an estimated $32 million. The WBC pushed the date for the purse bids for Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury back to February 12 with the parties said to be near to reaching an agreement. If the purse bidding does go ahead it will be interesting to see whether, as has been claimed, Wilder vs. Fury is a bigger fight. It is to the credit of the fighters and the Wilder/Fury people if they can come to an agreement in such a relatively short time. With the possibility of Derek Chisora vs. Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte vs. Dominic Breazeale on the cards, Joe Joyce vs. Bermane Stiverne on February 23 and Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman all scheduled to fight in the next two months I can’t remember the last time there was so much happening for British heavyweights. Definitely not the “horizontal heavyweights” of the past.
It is not just British heavyweights keeping busy with Agit Kabayel 18-0 defending the European title against Andriy Rudenko 32-3 on March 2 in Magdeburg and fellow SES heavyweight unbeaten Tom Schwarz 23-0 facing 17-1 Croatian Kristijan Krstacic on the same show. With Alex Povetkin likely to return to action in April and Kubrat Pulev facing Robert Helenius in the USA on March 23 (but that may fall through as the main event was to be Miguel Berchelt defending the WBC super-feather title against Francisco Vargas and that fight has had to be put back to May due to Berchelt injuring his left hand), Romanian heavyweight Christian Hammer going where others fear to tread by taking on Luis Ortiz on March 2 it is a busy time for the heavyweights.
Gilberto Ramirez has thrown his hat into the light-heavyweight mix indicating he is targeting Sergey Kovalev and it is a sensible move as there is very little for him in staying at super-middle as the WBO ratings offer very little for Ramirez in the way of a challenge. In another move he is reported to have changed his manager and his trainer.