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Snips and Snipes 19 December 2019


PhilBoxing.com




As this year began there was speculation on when Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury would stop hurling insults and start throwing punches at each other. Well we did get Wilder vs. Fury but all that did was pose more questions and then up popped Andy Ruiz to spoil the party.

As we look forward to 2020 the same question is right there with things as clear as mud. Joshua had apparently put things back on track by gaining revenge over Ruiz and the return fight between Wilder and Fury is set for 22 February and it looks as though Joshua will relinquish the WBO title and instead defend the IBF title against Kubrat Pulev in April. So clarity at last. Well no as it has already been stated that there will be a third Wilder vs. Fury fight in the summer irrespective of what happens on 22 February so any fight between Joshua and the winner could not happen until late in 2020 and who knows by then Olek Usyk might have intruded into the Wilder-Fury-Joshua equation if he gets past Dereck Chisora on 7 March. Fury sacks his trainer, Joshua offers to act as a sparring partner for Fury to prepare him for the Wilder fight, Wlad Klitschko occasionally hints at a comeback, if the WBO title is vacated Usyk could finish up fighting Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte has been cleared of the suspicion of using a banned substance so will the WBC mandate that the winner of Wilder vs. Fury II has to defend against Whyte throwing a spanner into the whole Wilder-Fury-Joshua situation and with Ruiz and Alex Povetkin being mentioned as possible opponents for Whyte in his next fight.. It is about as confusing as the old Bud Abbott and Lou Costello “Who’s On First” sketch Don’t be surprised if at the end of next year as we look forward to 2021we will be asking ourselves the same questions all over again- but no one can say the heavyweight division is boring.

According to some figures released from the Joshua vs. Ruiz fight the purse for the champion Ruiz was $13 million and for Joshua $85 million. Don’t know how accurate they are and whilst I did not expect a 50/50 split I though Ruiz might get a larger share of the money. Joshua will have had other sponsorship money on top of the $85 million which dwarves the size of the purses Wilder and Fury fought for and will get paid in their return match.

Saul Alvarez has relinquished the WBO light heavyweight title so that he can choose which division he wants to fight in without any pressure from the WBO. He said of the WBO “I have long enjoyed my relationship with the WBO and appreciate all they do to preserve and enhance the sport of boxing.” Now remind which sanction body was it that anointed Alvarez as their Franchise Champion?

Marcos Maidana has found it impossible to resist the lure of the ring. Now 36 the former holder of the secondary WBA welter title has talked about returning before but has not followed through and the talk has died away. This time he seems to have made his mind up and he will be returning on 18 April on a show promoted by none other than Marcos Maidana. Handy that as there is not much chance of the promoter giving him a tough fight for his return.



Boxing a young man’s sport-forget it. Manny Pacquiao has just celebrated his 41st birthday and 44-year-old Omar Narvaez is scheduled to fight in Rosario Argentina on 21 December. That will be fight No 55 for Narvaez. On 1st December he celebrated 19 years as a pro, He has a record of 28-3-1 in world title fights and Manny is 19-4-2.

Nkosinathi Joyi made a third oldie holding back the ageing process. The 36-year-old former IBF minimumweight champion outpointed Filipino Joey Canoy in East London on Monday to collect the IBO minimumweight title. Joyi was being written off after a 4-5 run but took two years out and is 3-0 1 technical draw since returning last December. There were to have been two IBO title fights on this excellent show but Gideon Buthelezi’s defence of the super flyweight title was called off on the day before the fight when his proposed challenger Alex Marin reported ill. Another disappointment for the local fans was the eleventh round victory for Argentinian Fernando Martinez over Athenkosi Dumezweni in a fight for the vacant WBC Silver super fly title. Martinez is 11-0 but behind that sits extensive experience as an amateur including a number of seasons competing for the Los Angeles Matadors in the WSB, fighting in the AIBA Pro Boxing and competing at the 2016 Olympics.

Former middleweight and super middleweight champion Felix Sturm has been released from custody. He had been held in a German jail pending charges for tax evasion. To obtain his release he had to surrender his passports-German and Serbian- and come up with EURO 300,000 ($334,000) bail money. It seems that the German authorities realised that Sturm would not be able to raise the money to pay off his 5.8 million Euros ($6.8 million) whilst sitting in jail but if they released him then he might be able to raise some of it by fighting. There is talk of a fight with Arthur Abraham but I don’t see that as a $6.8 million fight and if he did get more than $6.8 million for a fight of then he would owe tax on the anything left over after settling his $6.8 million from that fight. He could finish doing the hokey cokey in and out of prison.

There are a couple of interesting European tile fights coming up in the New Year. Igor Mikhalkin and Callum Johnson will face each other on 7 March in Manchester in a fight for the vacant European light heavyweight title and Italian outfit OPI Since 82 will stage the third clash between Francesco Patera and Edis Tatli for the European lightweight title but no date yet. Patera beat Tatli to win the title then Tatli regained it in a return match only to relinquish it and for Petra to win the vacant title by beating Lewis Ritson. Two 50/50 title matches,
Pole Kamil Szeremeta will now challenge Gennady Golovkin for the IBF middleweight title sometime in March. It was to have been going ahead in February but has been pushed back due to clashes with other major fights. Szeremeta is 21-0 but to show the value of his rating the No. 1 and 2 spots in the IBF middleweight rankings are vacant but Szeremeta can’t go to the No 1 or 2 slot in the IBF ratings because he has not beaten a rated fight but it seems there is no problem in getting to No 3 without facing a rated fighter which is farcical.

The Congo has produced many good fighters but there are rarely any major fights staged there. That will change on 18 January when local fighter Ilunga Makabu (26-2) and Pole Michal Cieslak (19-0) clash for the vacant WBC cruiser title. In his only other world title fight, also for the vacant WBC title, Ilunga had Tony Bellew down in the first round before being stopped in the third. Cieslak has wins over Youri Kayembre Kalenga and Olan Durodola but will start an outsider against the heavy punching Makabu who has won 24 of his fights by KO/TKO.

The fight that was to mark Guillermo Rigondeaux’s move to bantamweight has had to be postponed as his proposed opponent Liborio Solis could not get clearance of his visa in time. It will be rescheduled. Solis is No 1 in the WBA bantam ratings and Rigondeaux No 2. That may sound OK but as the lowest Rigondeaux has weighed is 119 ½ lbs and that was back in 2010 rating him as bantamweight is yet another WBA sleight of hand trick.



Why can’t they stay away? Riddick Bowe has recently talked about returning to the ring. Former world champion Bowe ids 51 and has not fought since 2008 so let’s hope talk is all it is
Boxing in Japan is going out with a bang this year. The card on 23 December in Yokohama will feature three world title fights with Ryota Murata defending the secondary WBA middleweight belt against Canadian Steven Butler, Moruti Mthalane putting his IBF flyweight title up for grabs for the third time with three-division champion Akira Yaegashi his challenger and WBC light fly champion Kenshiro Teraji will be making a seventh defence of his title against replacement challenger Randy Petalcorin. In addition Roman Gonzalez fights in an eight round contest on the show. Eight nights later in Tokyo Jeyvier Cintron challenges WBO super fly champion Kazuto Ioka and in a miserable excuse for a title fight WBO flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka puts his title on the line against Chinese fighter Wulan Tuolehazi who in his 13-3-1 record has never fought an opponent anywhere near the world ratings.

So sorry to read of the death of Saoul Mamby at the age of 72. If you look at his overall record of 45-34-6 you might question his quality but Saoul fought on long after he should have put his gloves away and that’s where most of those losses came. At his peak he was an outstanding technician a difficult opponent to tackle. He lost on a very controversial split decision to Thai Saensak Muangsurin in Thailand 1977 in a challenge for the WBC super light title but won the title in South Korea in 1980 with a stoppage of local boxer Sang Hyun Kim and made five defences before losing his title to Leroy Haley in 1982. He failed in three attempts to regain the title and became a travelling loser fighting in a number of different countries. He scored wins over Percy Hayles, Mike Everett, Esteban De Jesus, Maurice Watkins, Monroe Brooks, Gary Hinton and many others. RIP Saoul

WBA cruiser champion Arsen Goulamirian defends the secondary WBA cruiser title against Constantin Bejenaru on 28 December in Marseilles. Fights to look out for in 2020 include Alex Besputin defending the secondary WBA welter title against Yordenis Ugas on 14 February with Ryan Garcia also on the bill, Caleb Plant putting his IBF super middleweight title on the line in Nashville on 18 February with no challenger named yet. Mikey Garcia and Jessie Vargas meeting on 29 February in Frisco, Texas, and Amir Khan talking about fighting again in March or April.

Merry Christmas and I hope 2020 is kind to you all.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Armit.


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