Expensive nuts

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Jaime Munguia came face to face at the Beverly Hills Hotel to launch the promotion of their May 4 fight, but it was talk of a fight that is not happening that stole the show.

Canelo revealed that he had never received the reported $55million offer to fight undefeated ‘Mexican Monster’ David Benavidez and revealed he would need more than treble that sum to consider the fight. “He has nothing to offer me,” Canelo said of Benavidez. “Nothing. I’m the one. But if one promoter who I work with comes and offers me $150m to $200m, I’ll fight tomorrow.”

Benavidez, who looks set to move up to light-heavyweight with Canelo seemingly pricing himself out, took to social media to respond to his compatriot’s statement.

“Canelo, if I have nothing to offer, then why are you demanding that you get 150-200 million to fight someone who isn’t worth anything?” he typed, presumably with steam coming out of his ears. “Hopefully, after you make that 150 million you have enough left over to buy a pair of nuts.”

However, he later added: “Just wait on it. Don’t be surprised when this fight happens in September.” We live in hope.


Return of The Sauce

THEN, on Thursday, it was reported that Benavidez’s planned 175lb fight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk will likely take place on June 15.

We also received news that Lawrence Okolie will face Lukasz Rozanski in the Brit’s bridgerweight debut at the Podpromie Arena in Rzeszow, Poland, on May 24.

Okolie has not boxed since he lost his cruiserweight title to Chris Billam-Smith in Bournemouth in May of last year and this will represent a chance for the London man to claim the WBC title in his first fight outside the 200lb division.

It was also a big day in the world of boxing films as the Ricky Hatton documentary, curiously titled Hatton, was nominated for a Bafta. A huge congratulations to the Hitman, Billy Graham and director Dan Dewsbury. What price Hatton stops the other nominations with a body shot to claim the crown?

Sticking with the big-screen theme, on Thursday one Rocky fan shelled out a whopping $65,625 in an auction to land the original top hat and coat worn by Carl Weathers AKA Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. It is unclear whether the lucky bidder had enough money left for some nuts.

Okolie vs. Chris Billam-Smith (Getty Images)


The weight is over

AFTER Wednesday’s fun, David Benavidez tried a new tactic, and that was to take to Instagram to appeal to Turki Alalshikh, the man in charge of Saudi boxing, to help get him the Canelo fight. However, on Friday, it was suggested that Turki has other plans. Instead of attempting to lure Canelo to Saudi later this year, Alalshikh wants to offer Benavidez the chance to fight the winner of Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, who clash on June 1 for light-heavyweight supremacy. They have a rematch clause, but the suggestion is Benavidez could still fight the initial winner in December.

Meanwhile, in Sheffield, all boxers weighed in ahead of the big show headlined by Dalton Smith against Jose Zepeda on Saturday night. But Troy Williamson came in  4.2lbs over the super-welter limit ahead of his British title eliminator against Ishmael Davis.

That night, Davis posted on social media that the fight was off because Williamson ‘didn’t want to make an agreement for what weight he should be in the morning’.


Come and get it

WHILE The Week sat down with a bowl of Cheerios and a cup of tea, a new post appeared on the social media of Ishmael Davis. This time, the Black Panther was incredibly delighted to announce (all in capitals) that the ‘FIGHT IS NOW BACK ON, SEE YOU GUYS TONIGHT’.

In the end it was a case of all’s well that ends well, as he put on an excellent display against Williamson to claim a unanimous decision and the position of mandatory challenger for the British title.

Later that evening, after he stopped Jose Zepeda with a fifth-round body shot, Dalton Smith immediately turned his attention to Adam Azim. The BBBoC and EBU have both ordered the fight now and a purse bid is due.

“I don’t call many names out, but Adim Azim, where are you at?” said Smith of the European 140lbs champion. Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn joined the chorus line, telling Boxing News: “If Azim wants the fight we are absolutely over the moon,” he said. “We win that fight every day of the week. The only way it’s not next is if Adam Azim decides not to fight Dalton Smith.”


Divisions confirmed

MONTHS after Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn shook hands on a Queensberry v Matchroom event, we were finally given some of the important details during a video which dropped on Sunday afternoon.

Between them, Warren and Hearn decided upon heavyweight, light-heavyweight, middleweight and featherweight. Then, as a wildcard, Turki selected a weight of his choice too and, predictably, he went for heavyweight too.

He did declare that the promoters are allowed to make new signings in order to fill that slot, which ties in nicely with reports that Zhilei Zhang, who is associated with Queensberry already, will face Deontay Wilder as part of the card.

Turki also plans to bring a similar show to Wembley in September as a “commercial for Riyadh Season”. Given all their cards have so far taken place in Saudi, that would represent a huge sea change for their strategy in the sport.

In more good news for British boxing on Sunday, Ben Shalom told Sky Sports that terms have been agreed for his boxer Joshua Buatsi to face long-time light-heavyweight rival Anthony Yarde.


Okolie joins up with Joe

Lawrence Okolie revealed he has joined up with trainer Joe Gallagher following a couple of fights with Sugar Hill Steward.

In Las Vegas, fight week for Tim Tszyu’s big Sin City debut kicked off with Saturday’s encounter with Sebastian Fundora fast approaching. However, it was talk of another fight for the Australian that dominated Monday’s headlines as his manager Glenn Jennings revealed talks regarding a Terence Crawford fight are ongoing.

Crawford, the WBO’s champion at 147lbs, has used that position to ensure he will be mandatory for Tsyzu’s 154lb belt once he decides to move up. That means, should Tszyu beat Fundora on Saturday, there is every chance that fight will happen before the end of the year. Sign me up.

Jennings, of course, is talking up his man’s chances. Speaking to the Jai McAllister YouTube channel, he said: “We believe that given the opportunity for Tim to fight Crawford, we’ll win the fight. There’s no doubt in this team that we’re not here for any other reason that to take everything.”


Exclusive to the USA

BY Tuesday, one might normally start to consider their plans for the weekend’s viewing. There are a plethora of shows across the Easter weekend but most significant is arguably the one topped by the aforementioned clash between Tszyu and Fundora. This is a huge moment for the sport, given it is the first boxing show broadcast by Amazon Prime as part of their deal with Al Haymon’s PBC.

However, according to a report on Tuesday, anyone outside the United States is going to struggle to watch the show whatsoever. Boxing Scene revealed that a spokesperson for PBC confirmed that, for now, all of their pay-per-view shows, of which this is one, are currently only available in America. If only they had a way of beaming their content to basically every screen in the world. Alas.

It was suggested that the non-PPV shows, which are scheduled to start later this year, should be available in further territories, but for now, it seems like we here in the UK might need to put a line through the idea of watching Saturday’s broadcast at all.