SPORTS SHORTS 21: JOSHUA-FURY WILL PRODUCE THE FIRST UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION SINCE LEWIS
By Maloney L. Samaco
Mon, 11 Jan 2021
The United Kingdom is again under lockdown and boxing bouts were suspended until the next month or could be extended. With the new COVID strain first identified in UK, cases are multiplying each day. One of the biggest fights in British boxing history may not happen in Britain. Eddie Hearn was quoted by the Daily Mail that they are looking for other fighting venues.
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“Even before this current situation there was no guarantee that we would do the first fight in the UK because it was almost impossible that we would get clearance to have, say, 90,000 at Wembley in late May. Now it is far, far more likely that it will be abroad. There have been a lot of conversations between both sides in the past couple of weeks and we’re optimistic that we can tie up stuff in the next fortnight."
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The Middle East is the most probable destination, with offers from Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar. There are also interested hosts in the US and China. Singapore also submitted a bid to stage the fight since the island state has done well in its battle against COVID-19.
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Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs), age 31 of Nigerian descent from Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, is definitely not a stranger in the Middle East. He won back his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr. in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), on the other hand, has fought only in Europe and North America during his 12 year professional career.
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Even after being upset by Andy Ruiz Jr., a fighter of Mexican descent from Imperial, California, Joshua got back his belts and was on right course with convincing wins over Ruiz in the rematch and Kubrat Pulev of Sofia, Bulgaria. Now Fury and Joshua when they collide, will have a chance to produce an undisputed heavyweight champion for the first time since Lennox Lewis possessed all the belts in 1999-2000. In 2001, Lewis became the fourth boxer, after Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer, to have held the world heavyweight championship three times.
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Adrien Broner will meet Pedro Campa in a Showtime main event on February 13. Campa (31-1-1, 21 KOs), age 27 years, of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, will fight for the first time in the United States. He won over former world title challengers Marvin Quintero and Juan Antonio Rodriguez, suffered a TKO loss to journeyman Carlos Jimenez and drew with Abner Lopez.
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Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs), age 31 years, of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, has held several world titles in four weight classes, as WBO junior lightweight champion from 2011 to 2012, WBC lightweight champion from 2012 to 2013, WBA welterweight champion in 2013, and WBA light welterweight champion from 2015 to 2016. His last victory was in 2017 by split decision over Adrian Granados. After that he lost to Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision and had a majority draw with Jessie Vargas.
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The Ring latest pound-for-pound ratings:
1. Canelo Alvarez of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
RING, WBA, WBC super middleweight champion
54-1-2 (36 KOs)
122 weeks on list
2. Naoya Inoue of Zama, Kanagawa, Japan
RING, IBF, WBA bantamweight champion
20-0-0 (17 KOs)
178 weeks on list
3. Terence Crawford of Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
WBO welterweight champion
37-0-0 (28 KOs)
299 weeks on list
4. Aleksandr Usyk of Simferopol, Ukraine
18-0-0 (13 KOs)
136 weeks on list
5. Errol Spence Jr. of Long Island, New York, U.S.
IBF, WBC welterweight champion
27-0-0 (21 KOS)
175 weeks on list
6. Teofimo Lopez of Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
RING, IBF, WBA, WBO lightweight champion
16-0-0 (12 KOs)
12 weeks on list
7. Vasiliy Lomachenko of Bilhorod-Dnistrovs'kyi, Ukraine
14-2-0 (10 KOs)
241 weeks on list
8. Juan Francisco Estrada of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico
RING, WBC superflyweight champion
41-3-0 (28 KOs)
90 weeks on list
9. Josh Taylor of Edinburgh, U.K.
RING, IBF, WBA lightwelterweight champion
17-0-0 (13 KOs)
9 weeks on list
10. Kazuto Ioka of Sakai, Japan
WBO super flyweight champion
26-2-0 (15 KOs)
1 week on list
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Twelve Gilas Pilipinas players who are members of the national pool entered the training bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, Sunday. NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena was so far the only PBA player to join the bubble. Ravena was the team captain of Gilas Pilipinas when he played in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, scoring 10 points, grabbing four steals, and dishing out three assists when the Philippines buried Indonesia, 100-70 last February 20.
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The amateur players who entered the bubble are Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Rey Suerte, Javi Gomez de Liano, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, William Navarro, and Kemark Carino. The 12th player was naturalized candidate Angelo Kouame, 6'10", from Ivory Coast, whose naturalization papers are still pending in both Houses of Congress.
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