LOOKS like Demetrius Andrade can’t buy a big fight. No Saul Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin for him. Instead he will defend his title against Luke Keeler. The Irishman scored a good win over Luis Arias in August but Arias was not rated so going from No 7 to No 2 for beating an unrated fight is a steep climb.
That pales into insignificance alongside the rating of Francisco Horta who was crushed in four rounds by WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete last weekend. When the champion is a ferocious puncher with 26 wins by KO/TKO in his 31 fights how do you justify slipping someone into your ratings when they have had had only one fight since October 2018 and in that fight only won a majority decision over a guy with an 8-3-2 record? The answer is that you can’t. Does it matter? I guess not but again if Horta had suffered a serious injury the approval of the fight would not have stood up to scrutiny and boxing would have suffered, not just the WBO. Let’s face it as far as the general public is concerned IBF, WBA, WBC or WBO it is all boxing.
The hoped for unification fight between WBC super fly champion Juan Francisco Estrada and WBA champion Kal Yafai is going to have to be postponed as Estrada has suffered a hand injury which will require surgery. Estrada has had trouble with both hands. Hopefully a new date will be set.
Having relinquished the WBO super-welter title Jaime Munguia will have his first fight at middleweight on January 11 with Gary O’Sullivan as his opponent. The WBC has installed him at No 3 but I think the young Mexican will find life much tougher in the new division. He always seemed a big super welter but guys such as Gennady Golovkin, Jermall Charlo, Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko could soon cut him down to size. Obviously Munguia’s dream fight would against fellow Mexican Saul Alvarez but a dream it is until he proves himself at middleweight.
Just thought I would remind you that the World Boxing Super Series cruiser tournament is dragging its way to a finish. More than a year after the tournament kicked off there is still no date set for the final between Mairis Breidis and Yuniel Dorticos. The sanctioning bodies have shown their displeasure by effectively making it a one title fight. Breidis has been stripped off the WBO title for ignoring an instruction to give Krzys Glowacki a return match so the champion with a title on the line will be IBF champion Yuniel Dorticos. They need to wrap the tournament up before the IBF decide to strip Dorticos. Not every WBSS tournament is as high quality as those won by Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue.
The stripping of the WBO title from Breidis has opened the door for Britain’s Lawrence Okolie. The WBO have ordered Okolie and Krzys Glowacki to meet for the vacant title and their respective teams have been given until next week to agree terms. Okolie was to have defended the European title against Tommy McCarthy but I guess McCarthy will now face another opponent.
Still on the cruisers Denis Lebedev has decided not to retire – or to stay in his recess – and he will meet Thabiso Mchunu for the WBC Silver title on December 21 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Lebedev had announced his retirement after beating Mike Wilson in November last year.
Artur Beterbiev’s crushing win over WBC champion Olek Gvozdyk cuts no ice with the IBF. That was a unification fight so Gvozdyk was not a listed challenger by the IBF and so Beterbiev must now face his No 1 challenger Meng Fanlong which won’t be an easy sell as Fanlong has a very low profile with his fight in Delaware in October being a six round support fight.
An interesting European title fight to look out for early next year will see unbeaten Joe Joyce clash with former WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck on January 11 in Hannover for the vacant heavyweight title. Huck moved up to heavyweight after losing to Olek Usyk in 2017 and of course “Juggernaut” Joyce outpointed Bryant Jennings in his last fight in July. With Joyce having remained an amateur for so long even though only one year younger he has had just ten professional fights to the 48 of Huck and in fact Huck has been in more world title fights, 18, than Joyce’s total pro experience but Joyce will start the favourite.
Roman Gonzalez will return to action on the undercard to Ryota Murata vs. Steve Butler fight in Yokohama on December 23. He will face Filipino Diomel Diocos (14-5-3) which should not be too difficult a task and on the same show Kenshiro Teraji defends the WBC light-fly title against Randy Petalcorin. It is still amazing how Gonzalez went from high in the pound-for-pound rankings to yesterday’s man in the space of two fights.
Despite all of the threats from the WBC there are some professional boxers who have their eyes on the 2020 Olympics. World rated Pole Mateusz Masternak is competing in the Polish championships with the aim of qualifying to fight in Tokyo and Belgian female boxing star Delfine Persoon has applied to have her amateur status reinstated so that she can have the chance to fight for an Olympic medal. I am sure many others will follow as a gold medal must be a very alluring target. Professionals performed poorly in both the qualifiers and the Games in Rio so it will be interesting to see who decides to risk a ban and go for gold and how they perform this time.
It seems you can’t keep the Fullmer clan out of boxing. Gene, Don and Jay put West Jordan Utah on the map and the family’s involvement is still around with Chet and Cody refereeing and judging on a recent show in Utah. In another example of the family business I spotted that the son of Arturo Gatti recently had his first fight, he is ten years old.
Hungarian boxing is reeling from a major blow with the countries No 1 promoter Felix Racz falling out with the governing body there and stating he does not intend to promote in Hungary again. Racz has staged over 100 promotions and been the major figure in professional boxing there in recent years but he feels that professional boxing is getting no help with the emphasis being on bringing along amateur boxing.