Whacky Wednesday

THE new week began with a flurry of activity as, firstly, there was news of another last-minute purse bid cancellation. Following on from Adam Azim’s withdrawal from one ahead of a potential fight with Dalton Smith, this time Isaac Chamberlain decided to vacate his British cruiserweight title instead of taking on mandatory challenger Chev Clarke.

This resulted in some back and forth on Twitter between Clarke’s aggrieved promoter Eddie Hearn and Chamberlain’s promoter Mick Hennessey.

However, there was some other news on Wednesday that had Hearn beaming from ear to ear as it was announced that leading welterweight Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis has now signed a deal with Matchroom, becoming one of the most significant signings made by anyone, anywhere this year.

And there was still time on for Tyson Fury to hold a press conference at the home of Morecambe FC, where he insisted that ‘old dosser’ Anthony Joshua will not be stepping in to fight the winner of Fury against Oleksandr Usyk before the pair engage in a contracted rematch.

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 nerd

BOXING has missed the one and only Biggest Nerd on the Planet, Brandon Scott, who has been out of action since August due to hand surgery. But he returned in trademark fashion on Thursday, stealing the show at a press conference that involved a Spiderman costume.

However, this time, it was not the Welsh starlet dressed up as the Marvel hero but rather Sunny Edwards, who will now be helping to manage Scott alongside Lee Eaton. And what better way to announce it but by dressing Edwards up as Spiderman only for Scott to emerge and unmask him. Only in boxing and only in the world of Scott.

Meanwhile, across the (barely noticeable these days) promotional divide, Frank Warren was discussing the anticipated fight between Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi. Warren has been working hard to make the fight but on Thursday Yarde took to social media to declare that he is now a promotional free agent. But Warren hit back during an interview with Box Nation: “Our position is simple – we have a contract that is still in force… We always defend our contractual positions. I’m not going to go into detail, but it’s very disappointing.”

Warren has been Yarde’s promoter ever since he turned over as a novice amateur. Let’s hope they can patch things up and get the fight on.

Brandon Scott (Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Lose-lose situation

A BIG interview with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez dropped on the Fight Hub YouTube channel on Friday and it was essentially bad news for all of us still pining for a David Benavidez fight. The Mexican, who is preparing to fight Jaime Munguia on May 4, has now described the fight against Benavidez as a ‘lose-lose’ if there was a rehydration clause.

“When I beat him they’re going to say: ‘they put that clause in’. It’s a lose-lose situation. I can fight anyone and make good money. I can do whatever I want and I deserve it because I did everything in my career.”

Over at York Hall that evening, the lesser-spotted Charlie Edwards boxed for only the second time since December 2021. For context, that was the same month when the Omicron variant sent Covid cases rising rapidly. Anyway, Edwards did the business, boxing well en route to a 10-round UD against Georges Ory. Also in the building on the night was the one and only Mikkel Kessler, who is involved in the training of Danish prospect Oliver Zaren, who beat John Harding Jnr on points over eight.

The Week is yet to confirm or deny the rumours that Clarke might be in line to face Whittaker next.

Feeling supersonic

SATURDAY was a huge night for Ellie Scotney, who ‘unified’ two super-bantamweight titles up in Manchester, and made sure she marked the occasion in style.

Firstly, she enlisted the help of the one and only Billy Graham, the iconic Manchester trainer, to carry her belt on the ringwalk. And if that was not enough, she decided to mark her trip up north by walking out to Oasis. The song she chose, Oasis’ first single Supersonic, was released 30 years ago this month and her performance lived up to the title of the tune.

Meanwhile, Naoya Inoue hit back at claims from the likes of Shawn Porter that he must fight in America if he really wants to become a star. “If you want to see the game,” Tweeted the Monster. “Come to Japan. If there is something better than what is available in the Japanese market in America, I would be happy to go. That’s all worth it here in Japan.”

Inoue, of course, is only a few weeks out from facing Luis Nery at the famous Tokyo Dome, in the venue’s first boxing event since Buster Douglas stunned Mike Tyson there in February 1990. Around 55,000 people are expected at the fight.

‘Proper fight this…’

YOU can’t beat a good old fashioned Sunday night fight announcement – and this was a good one. The Week had only just got the roast potatoes out of the oven when it was confirmed by Matchroom that Sunny Edwards will face Adrien Curiel on the undercard of Jesse Rodriguez against Juan Francisco Estrada on June 29 in Phoenix.

This will be Edwards’ first fight since he was beaten by Rodriguez in Glendale on December 16 and represents a stern test in the return from his first career defeat. “Proper fight this, are you sure?” Hearn asked Edwards. “There’s going to be 12,000 Mexicans there, you’ve just lost and you’re coming back to fight a former world champion.”

Regular readers of this column may recall the news that another Matchroom fighter, Katie Taylor, could be set to return to the ring by taking part in the first ever combat sports event at the Las Vegas Sphere, with an Amanda Serrano rematch mooted. However, Dana White, the President of the UFC, insists he will get there first.

“I love Eddie Hearn and consider him a friend,” he said. “But that ain’t happening. You can go in the Sphere in October.”

Sunny Edwards (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Stick or twist?

WHERE to start with this one? Monday was the day when Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren revealed the fighters for their 5 vs 5 head-to-head, which takes place on the undercard of Artur Beterbiev against Dmitrii Bivol on June 1.

The press conference, which took place, as is customary, at the HERE at Outernet venue in central London, was bizarre. The 10 boxers sat at the top table in strange masks and then revealed themselves (facially) one by one. Much of which had previously been leaked – All parties involved have vowed to ensure nobody knows the fights next time an event like this happens – with September suggested.

But never mind the fighters, one of the best lines of the night came from Queensberry’s lovable rogue Dev Sahni who introduced Hearn to the stage by saying: ‘you might recognise him from the cover of Men’s Health magazine and the 400 YouTube interviews he does every day.’

The promotional video for 5 vs 5, also released today, might the best bit of promotional content in boxing history. Bravo.

Working breakfast

THERE was more of the same bright and early on Tuesday as all of the fighters involved at the ‘5 vs 5’ show did the media rounds over breakfast. Deontay Wilder was first to surface and waxed lyrical about how the Bronze Bomber is back following his disappointing defeat to Joseph Parker in December. Some of the ordinary guests at the Swiss Cottage Marriott, however, might have been confused as to why a 6ft 7in Alabaman was stomping around shouting ‘Bomb Squad’ at the top of his voice.

There was also a 30-minute sit-down with Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren alongside each other adding further credence to the claim that they have emerged as boxing’s best double act. They are even finishing each other’s sentences. To be honest, it’s weird.

And while all that was going on, Matchroom’s legendary press officer Dan Barnard was tucked away in a corner feverishly working on a press release for their latest show, when Tyler Denny will defend his European middleweight title against Felix Cash in Birmingham on June 22. Great fight.