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https://www.boxingscene.com/james-degale-vacates-ibf-title-no-jose-uzcat... Was just about to post about this. I keep hearing him and BJS, but don't know if at Middle, Super, or a catch. Again, outside of England, I don't know who is clamoring for this fight.

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I doubt DeGale would be able to make Middleweight but I could be wrong. The fight kind of loses its intrigue for me considering BJS won't be able to win a title from DeGale. I think the fight would sell well in the UK and it is in-house for Frank Warren so I'm sure he'd love to make that happen. I can't really see a way DeGale wins at this point in his career though.

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Yeah, I guess he should look for his biggest payday or two, then cash out. 168 is only getting younger. I saw that Gilberto says he is moving up to 175 within 2 years, as his team has expressed issues with him making weight. You think that is the right move? I think he needs to learn to fight taller and use his height before he moves up against even bigger, and stronger guys. https://www.boxingscene.com/gilberto-ramirez-remain-168-1-2-years-then-1...

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Definitely don't think it is the right move, one of his best traits at 168 is his size and if he goes up to Light Heavyweight he's going to run into the problems you mentioned, it will be much harder for him to fight at his pace and box guys. He would also have to challenge for a belt and I don't think he can beat any of the belt holders at 175, even Beterbiev who in my view is the weakest of the four belt holders would probably beat him.

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I agree with that. Unfortunate for him that he would need to try to quickly unify, if he is the guy to do it, and do it while fighting against his body not wanting to cut as easy...Trouble looming for sure. I think Benavidez will have the same issues. Uzi seems like the only champ who is natural and easily makes 168, while also having the height, reach, power to be dangerous. I haven't seen or heard of the weight issues with him like I have the others. I hope he doesn't become the most avoided guy in that division, and not able to get a decent fight as a result. His first opponent I heard will be Caleb Plant. Sounds like dinner time for Uzi.

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I don't agree with that, Plant is unbeaten, coming off a good win over Medina, we don't know how good he is, but let's give him a chance, he could be another top fighter at 168.

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I don't think he is bad, but watching a bit of footage on him, I just question his power, and if he will be physically imposing enough to stop Uzi from stalking him. The kid has good hands, and can be slick off the back foot, but gets drawn into engagements too often, and I think that would end his night. But we will see. Just glad to see Uzcategui back in action finally.

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I read that earlier, interesting, at 6'2, that's tall for a super middleweight, it isn't short for a cruiserweight, so he has enough natural size to carry the weight, as for fighting tall, I agree, it is a case of whether that is an immaturity thing, inexperience thing which he will adjust over the next year or two, something he does in the gym but just hasn't really brought it into the ring yet, or whether it is a genuine weakness. I think Ramirez is a brilliant inside fighter, versatile, has a lot of variety, great stamina, and he hits hard, he is a very good offensive fighter, he blocks quite well, but I think defensively, and in terms of using his advantages, it isn't fair to say he's poor in my opinion, because he doesn't completely neglect it, he does show brief times when he uses his reach, and he is 26, he should improve over the next 2 years or so, but in terms on what we see now, it has to be said, he's quite sloppy. Maybe it is also worth considering what his motivation is to move up to 175, because it could be business related, seems like a manageable career move which is worth doing, but it could also be not about the divisiom itself, but maybe he is seriously struggling to make 168, the harder it gets to make the weight, the more it is a case of him being too big for 168, the better chance I think he has of succeeding at 175.

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https://twitter.com/MichaelBensonn/status/1014910203752603648

"The WBO have stated that Demetrius Andrade will likely become Billy Joe Saunders' next mandatory challenger."

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I like this fight even though I am not high on Andrade. He ducked Lara when he was Lara's mandatory, but he was with a bum promoter who mismanaged him up until now. I think Andrade will at least devalue Billy Joe and has a chance to win, I would rate him as the best opponent Saunders has faced honestly. Saunders isn't going to be able to move and box consistently like he did versus Lemieux. What a trainwreck for Saunders though, he went from almost getting a big payday and opportunity versus Golovkin to having to fight Andrade who is not a draw at all as a mandatory.

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Seems like, whether through legit reasons or not, he found himself in the worst possible spot. Mandatory defense against a game, but older Murray, give that fight up for a big payday against GGG in a unification(which would have been a big payday at least for dumping the title), to now fighting a dangerous opponent in his prime, who is awkward, not a huge name, and will pay the least. Hopefully for him, his injury was legit, because if this was all business, he found himself in a real shitty spot. I wouldn't be surprised if he vacates, if he can secure a bigger payday against DeGale in a move up fight.

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Murray was a voluntary defense, the WBO wouldn't remove someone's mandatory status just because the champion "can't" make it in the ring with them. I definitely don't think he will vacate the title, his title is his big ticket versus Golovkin or Canelo which is a lot bigger payday than he would get versus DeGale. Who do you like to win, Saunders or Andrade?

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I meant to put voluntary, but was thinking of his mandatory in DA. I think that is the bigger fight, too. But by then, the winner of the IBF title fight could be the bigger payday compared to BJS, I'm not sure. I think BJS can be a slick fighter, but if you get in and rough him up, I think you can beat him. Can DA do that is the question?

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I think Saunders vs Andrade would be awesome, 50/50 fight more or less, but you know what?, I'd lean towards Andrade, I think he has the skills, but he also has the work rate, the 12 round engine to beat Saunders, I think that might be the difference, both guys are southpaws, both guys are slick, both have a lot of skill, both are counter punchers, both have good amateur backgrounds, especially Andrade, but I think Andrade would just be more active, maybe take it from Saunders late, as the fighter with the better stamina, but Saunders is good, he isn't a puncher, but he uses every bit of power he has to set you up and make you vulnerable. That fight would be awesome, but I don't see Warren agreeing to it unless it is ordered.

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https://twitter.com/MichaelBensonn/status/1016760179176681478

"Jarrell Miller's promoter Dmitry Salita revealed they have NOT been able to make a deal with Kubrat Pulev's backers for their IBF final eliminator to take place in neutral territory, therefore HUGHIE FURY will now likely be called to face Pulev."

http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/24059023/jarrell-big-baby-miller-d...

"Heavyweight contender Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller formally declined a world title elimination fight with Kubrat Pulev on Tuesday, opting instead to pursue a path with another organization.

On June 25, Epic Sports & Entertainment won an IBF purse bid to gain promotional rights for a fight meant to produce one of the mandatory challengers for unified world titleholder Anthony Joshua.

Epic Sports, which does not promote either fighter, bid a whopping $2,111,111 to beat the only other bidder, Team Sauerland, which bid $1,000,010. Team Sauerland promotes Pulev, but they are on the outs and Pulev's contract is soon to expire.

Miller would have earned a career-high purse of $527,777.75 (the 25 percent of the winning bid he was entitled to), but his co-promoters, Greg Cohen and Dmitry Salita, notified the IBF on Monday, which was the deadline to send the organization a signed contract, that Miller would not take part in the bout.

"On behalf of Jarrell Miller we are informing the IBF that we are turning down the fight offer to face Kubrat Pulev," the promoters wrote to sanctioning organization. "We greatly appreciate the opportunity the IBF has afforded us and look forward to continuing our close working relationship."

Epic Sports promoter John Wirt was disappointed Miller's camp rejected a high-stakes fight between two bona fide contenders.

"Miller lives up to his moniker, 'Big Baby,'" Wirt told ESPN.

Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs), 37, had already signed for the fight and returned the contract to the IBF. He is aiming to earn a second world title shot after suffering a fifth-round knockout loss to then-unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Pulev has won five fights in a row since and will be ordered to face another opponent by the IBF in the elimination bout. Dillian Whyte previously turned down the fight with Pulev after Epic Sports also won that purse bid in order to accept a better deal to face former titlist Joseph Parker on July 28.

Wirt tried to sell Pulev-Miller to HBO, which he said was not interested, so he planned to put the fight on Sept. 1 in Pulev's hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria, where is a superstar.

Cohen told ESPN that had the fight been set to take place in the United States, they may have accepted the bout.

"It didn't make sense to go over to Bulgaria. You know, overseas weird things happen. It wasn't meant to be," Cohen said. "So we are going the WBA route."

Cohen said Miller is already in position to be the mandatory challenger for the winner of the long overdue mandatory fight between Manuel Charr (31-4, 17 KOs), the WBA's secondary titlist, and Fres Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs), who are scheduled to fight on Sept. 29 in Cologne, Germany.

"The winner of that fight must fight Jarrell Miller within 90 days," Cohen said. "We are considering a potential tune-up fight for sometime in September to early October for Jarrell. Dmitry and I are discussing some options, but the agenda now is to fight the winner of Charr and Oquendo for the WBA regular title."

Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs), 29, of Brooklyn, New York, whose last two fights were televised by HBO, has defeated three consecutive former world title challengers: Gerald Washington by eighth-round knockout, Mariusz Wach by ninth-round stoppage and, on April 28, Johann Duhaupas by lopsided unanimous decision."

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I think Miller beats Charr with less difficulty than Pulev, Pulev is awkward, good fighter, underrated in his prime, but I think Miller would have beaten him with consistent pressure, sustained bullying, and heavy hands, but I think Charr gives Miller about as much trouble as Washington, I think Charr is good, but he isn't on Miller's level. Miller, at the moment, I think is the biggest threat to Joshua and Wilder, I don't think he beats them, but I think he is top 3 in his division.

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I think he is a good fighter, but I still think Parker is the 3rd best in the division. He is a very good boxer, with a great chin, and can have a good pace and work rate, and I think the shape he is in would give him the edge, even though I do know Miller carries his weight well. I don't know if Miller could slow him down enough or consistently outwork him. If both win their next fights, I think that would be a great proving ground match up for him.

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Champ. What do you think of the matchup that may come out of this, being Hughie and Pulev? I think this would be a good opportunity for Hughie, should he win, to be in position for a real title shot again. This time next year, if all goes right, he might be looking at a World title shot.

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https://www.boxingscene.com/wilder-manager-confirms-negotiations-tyson-f...

"Earlier today, former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has fought just once since defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, revealed that a showdown with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is at an advanced stage of discussions.

Fury, 29, looked somewhat labored in his comeback fight, a fourth-round retirement of Sefer Seferi in June, in what was his first bout since the Klitchsko fight.

The Brit’s comeback continues on August 18 against Italian Francesco Pianeta at Northern Ireland’s Windsor Park, and if he comes through that unscathed, the focus will switch to Wilder later this year.

"I can confirm that me and Deontay Wilder are in negotiations and it's very close to being done,” Fury said via the Manchester Evening News.

“It's out there now and I can reveal that negotiations are very strong for December and we're almost done with this deal. I won't be overlooking Francesco Pianeta. He's going to give me the right fight and the right work to prepare me for Wilder."

“I'm going to flatten [Pianeta] first and then Wilder, let's dance. You've been dealing with Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua but I am a man of my word and if I say I'll fight you, I'll fight you. Prepare well, train hard and let's get the deal done. I will knock Pianeta into next week and then I'll knock you spark out too."

Representatives of Wilder confirmed Monday that they are negotiating a fight with Fury for the fall.

Wilder was last in action back in March, when he survived near disaster in a wild seventh round - to score a tenth round knockout over Luis Ortiz.

“Both teams want the biggest fight possible,” said Jay Deas, trainer and manager for Wilder, to the Tuscaloosa News.

“This would be an enormous fight, just enormous. One thing I can say for certain: If this can be worked out, Deontay Wilder would have been involved in the two biggest fights of 2018, Wilder-(Luis) Ortiz and Wilder-Fury. And if he were to win against Fury, as we fully expect, then Deontay would be an international superstar in control of the boxing world.

“This would be fight of the year. We’d have 13 feet, 4 inches (Fury is 6-foot-9, Wilder 6-7) and 500 pounds of hard-punching, trash-talking, knockout heavyweights.”"

It is somewhat hard to tell if this is just a part of negotiations for Joshua vs. Wilder and a way for Fury to get himself in the news or an actual negotiation. I think Fury may be crazy enough to do it, but I don't think he would have a good chance at this point in his comeback. I'd like to see him vs. Pianeta first though before I make a real prediction because it does look like he is getting more weight off. If it was right after Klitschko vs. Fury I'd predict Fury to win, but their styles really do clash heavily. Apparently, the WBC is okay with Wilder taking a voluntary defense, so it is possible for the Fury fight to happen instead of fighting Breazeale or Whyte.

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With talks of Jaime Munguia appearing on the GGG-Canelo undercard, who do you guys believe could be, or should be his next opponent? With his mandatory out of the way, and a unification looking unlikely to materialize in this short of time frame, it looks like he'll grab someone from the WBO top 10. I'm hearing WBO #2 contender Dennis Hogan is being looked at to fight on the card already, so he'd make an obvious, albeit noncompetitive fight, in my estimation, but his holding of 2 WBO trinkets might make this match-up happen. Only other obvious fights seem to be Julian Williams, who expressed interest last week in the fight. Thoughts?

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Hogan would make sense considering they likely want a showcase fight. I'd be surprised if they put him in there with Julian Williams because Williams will likely make it a competitive fight and has at least a shot at winning. Williams also has a promotional conflict as a PBC fighter. If Golden Boy can actually get Munguia as the co-main in a showcase, Lemieux vs. O'Sullivan and Chocolatito in a showcase that would be a massive improvement over the first Canelo vs. Golovkin undercard.

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Yeah, I thought the Williams fight was less likely, just looking into it, he was the only other guy who was a serious challenger to express any interest in that fight. I agree, that lines up to be a very good undercard. I wonder how Lemieux will look back down at 160, after struggling to make weight just over and over. I don't rate him or Spike very high, but I've seen Lemieux at a higher level at his peak, so would expect him to be able to pull that out, though I know they are featuring him with the expectation of feeding him to Spike. The return of Chocolito will be good, too, though his fight looks like it would be less competitive. I wonder if they try to make a fight for Ryan Garcia on that card, too. I figure Oscar wants to promote one of his young prospects as well, and Tanajara is scheduled to fight this coming Friday, so he won't be able to turn around that quick.

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Julian Williams would be a tough test, bold move, he is very good, but when he stepped up, fought Charlo, he got knocked out, so maybe with the Ali and Smith fights, Munguia should be ready for Williams. I wouldn't like to see Munguia on the undercard of Golovkin vs Alvarez II, I'd rather see him on the Jacobs vs Derevyanchenko undercard, he doesn't need to fight that often, not 2 months between world title fights is too often.

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It'a certainly not ideal, but if he does, it would likely be Hogan, as they'd view that as an easy fight that shouldn't tax him much, then probably give him the rest of the year off. Otherwise, I agree that it would make a good undercard on Jacobs-Derevyanchenko. But, the draw of a Mexican-Irish rivalry matchup on a Mexican holiday may be too much money to pass up.

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Brandon Cook, WBO #4 contender, is emerging as the likely opponent for this fight, according to BoxingScene. This lines up to be a better fight than the briefly talked about bout with Hogan. Thoughts?

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Good fight for Munguia, not too easy, but not too tough not long after a gruelling 12 round war. On a different but not unrelated topic, do you rate Kanat Islam?

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Hard to say. He is Kazakh, so you know he comes from good boxing roots, and is tough. Has fought well at International level, but that is it, as I don't know that Cook is above that yet. Plus he hasn't fought in a year, and no fight scheduled as far as I know, and with a few cancelled this year, who knows when he fights next. Would like to see him in a World level fight to actually know what he truly is, but don't know that we'll get to see it.

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https://www.boxingscene.com/wbc-looks-add-second-day-weigh-rule-14-day-w...

Lets hope this happens for the health of the sport and the fighters.

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Saw two more upcoming bouts of interest. Abdukakhorov vs Jessie Vargas as an IBF eliminator for Spence's next mandatory, and Kavaliauskas vs Arriaza for Crawford's next mandatory from the WBO.

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I've never watched Abdukakhorov but he seems like a black box, only fought on a domestic level in Uzbekistan as an amateur, has fought nearly entirely in strange locations like Malaysia, Singapore and Uzbekistan. So it should be interesting to see how he does versus Vargas if Vargas takes that fight. Kavaliauskas is really the only legitimate challenger Top Rank has for Crawford other than Benavidez, so it could get pretty bad for Crawford after that if Arum can't/won't work cross promotionally. At least Arum is going to keep Crawford busy, even though PBC has so many relevant contenders Spence can't even get any of them in the ring for at least a year.

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Yeah, the only other quality guy he has for Crawford is Besputin, but again, you have to know the amateurs and prospect ranks to even know who he is.

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How far along is Besputin in his development?

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In my opinion, Besputin will be ready for a world title fight in 18 months, or maybe 2 years maximum.

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His biggest step up so far had been Breidis Prescott. He looked good, controlling 8 rounds and dropping him, fought through a cut. I've not seen him in a competitive fight yet, as he's been the better athlete, and more physically imposing guy in the ring against every opponent. He has some qualities that are very good, and remind me of a lot of those Eastern Euro guys. He is in the vein of a Lomachenko, without the dynamic footwork, but a bigger puncher. He can hurt you to the head and body with equal regularity. In terms of how long, hard to say. I think what Champ said is a reasonable timeline, but given that he's already 27, and with an extensive amateur background, they may accelerate his timeline a bit. I think he can physically impose his will on guys, and has power, but given how short he is, if you can weather the storm, and pick him from the outside, he's beatable, and I think Crawford would win if they fought now, or 2 years from now, but until he has a bigger step up, it's all conjecture.

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More upcoming bouts:

WBA, Nov 24th: Dmitry Bivol v Jean Pascal
WBC, Dec 1st: Adonis Stevenson v Oleksandr Gvozdyk
IBF, Dec 15th/22nd: Artur Beterbiev v Joe Smith Jr
WBO, Feb 2nd: Eleider Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev II

All 4 LHW belts on the line. Who do you guys got? I have Bivol, Gvozdyk, Beterbiev, and Alvarez.

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75% agree. I'm not sold on Gvozdyk and I think Stevenson will blow him out in 3 or 4 rounds.

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That one is the toss-up for me. I can see the outcome you laid out, I can also see AS gassing like he did against Jack in the second half, and if he does, I think Gvozdyk could win a close decision.

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That's inevitable if it goes that far, 40, a lot of muscle, he is a front runner, he is going to tire. If Gvozdyk is good, then definitely, after that all out war, that beating, Stevenson will have aged, he can't be that young for his age now, Gvozdyk is bigger than Jack, hits harder, but I don't think Gvozdyk is good at world level, and if he isn't, Stevenson tiring won't be relevant, because for 4 rounds, Stevenson is a monster.

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As far as I can see, none of those fights are confirmed, but I've done the same thing as you, the Internet jumps the gun sometimes, makes you think a fight is confirmed.

Apart from Stevenson vs Gvozdyk

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This is only confirmation I have so far. https://twitter.com/MichaelBensonn/status/1051958562262540290

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Alvarez vs. Kov II is confirmed, just doesn't have a set date. Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr is likely and if that happens it would make sense that Bivol vs. Pascal would happen as a late option.

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Jean Pascal in a 2018 title fight...really scraping the bottom of the barrel. However, I suppose the first option, Joe Smith Jr, isn't much better. Jean Pascal can look good for a few rounds but Bivol's constant work is going to take Pascal into waters where his age will show. Can't see a world Pascal wins.

Both Stevenson and Gvozdyk have some notable advantages over each other, I think Stevenson will win but I may pick Gvozdyk to pull the upset. Sometimes guys just age overnight and Stevenson is due for that.

Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr seems like it will be a good scrap while it lasts, it might be a repeat of Beterbiev vs Johnson. Beterbiev doesn't have good head movement, he can be hit. He brawled versus Johnson and he almost paid for it. Smith Jr has a huge punch, but if Beterbiev boxes him to start with I think he'll wear Smith down and beat Smith Jr easy.

Alvarez vs. Kovalev theoretically should be more one sided than the first where Kovalev got off to a good start. However, a big problem with Kovalev is his motivation. If he comes in more motivated with better training, I don't think it is impossible for him to KO Alvarez. I definitely think Alvarez will win though.

Pretty disappointing we can't get a title unification. There were talks at one point about Bivol vs. Jack, that would have been a really good fight for Bivol but now he's stuck with Pascal.

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2 big pieces of news that I just came across. Canelo likely signing to DAZN and Eddie Hearn for a multi-fight deal.

Also, Ancajas vs Sor Rungvisai and Uzcategui vs Gilberto Ramirez being targeted for 2019.

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Awesome fights, I think Rungvasai beats Ancajas but Yafai beats them both, they are the top 3 at 115 in my opinion.
I think Ramirez edges that, but that's a great fight, Uzcategui is experienced, did great against Dirrell, and he is a young fighter, so definitely, that's a risky fight for Ramirez, but if he wins that, that's a meaningful win, on paper, not his biggest win, but his most impressive win, if he wins.

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As far as I can tell it is that Canelo/Golden Boy is working with DAZN directly and not with Matchroom, like how Top Rank and Golden Boy were both on HBO but didn't have any direct affiliation with each other. The main influence for this I think was that Golden Boy didn't really have a lot of other options given that Oscar hates Al Haymon. This means we likely won't be seeing Canelo vs. Charlo, but we'll likely get Canelo vs. Andrade/Jacobs assuming they win. I was hoping Canelo would go to Showtime because Canelo vs. Charlo is a better quality fight than Canelo vs. Andrade in my opinion, but Canelo vs. Jacobs would be good if Jacobs wins.

Both of those unification fights would be good. If Rungvisai beat Ancajas and then beat Estrada to defend his mandatory he'd be deserving of a high pound for pound rating. Ramirez has to get through Hart first and he may not do that, but either way Ramirez or Hart vs. Uzcategui would be good.

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True, but Hearn does handle all boxing business and signing deals for DAZN. DLH requested to work with DAZN head directly on this deal, but it still benefits Matchroom & Hearn. Canelo brings many more subs which will be good for all other content on DAZN that includes Hearn & Matchroom whether the haters will admit it or not.

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Oscar did the deal with John Skipper who is the executive chairman of DAZN, if you think Oscar is going to run his business through Eddie, you'll be sorely mistaken. It is great for DAZN, it legitimizes their service. They paid a hell of a lot for that though, essentially paying Canelo 35 million to fight Rocky Fielding is insane. Only 15k watched Joshua vs. Povetkin in the US on DAZN despite there being a free trial, with Matchroom they didn't really have any big name US fighters. They were hoping to grow it. With Canelo/Golden Boy they'll be bringing over an established fan base plus they will have more cards to fill with Golden Boy's stable. I like parts of DAZN's service, specifically that they put up the VOD of the event in full very quickly and keep them up longterm, but if they are making this big of an investment they need to upgrade the commentary team badly. With SRL and Kenny there is zero hype or feeling that you are watching something significant. The one man broadcast of the WBSS is significantly better quality in my opinion.

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For comparison, Joshua did 483k viewers on Showtime versus Parker, which is not good either considering Spence did 683k to fight a completely unknown fighter in Ocampo.

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First Dazn has been downloaded over 1 million times before the Canelo deal, 15,000 new people might have singed up for the Joshua card. Hearn has already stated Joshua vs Povetkin did slightly under the numbers Joshua did on Showtime. Second https://youtu.be/-M_FrpOUAdo here's the video, Hearn has been apart of the negotiations with Golden Boy and Canelo he explains it all here to fighthype. Again 15,000 new subs signed up for the free trial for Joshua vs Povetkin, but DAZN did slightly under the numbers Joshua did on Showtime.

Totally agree on the commentary team they are ass, although the team they had for the Riston card was much better. Sergio Mora, Brian Kenny & Ray Leonard are just awful.

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DAZN is offered for loads of stuff in other markets, so speaking on it in broad terms doesn't tell us anything about how boxing is doing. Hearn straight up lied when he said that which is pretty funny, that was before the numbers actually came out. It's fine that it did low numbers because they are trying to build it from scratch, but people shouldn't act like Joshua is a name at all in the US. The video doesn't conflict with what I said, Oscar dealt with the DAZN execs directly and he's running Golden Boy through DAZN as a broadcaster. Oscar has the #1 draw in the sport, zero chance he is going to co-promote or work through anyone. Being on DAZN doesn't help Matchroom directly but of course being on the same platform, they'll end up working more in the future which helps them.

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