Wednesday, 7 February

WHET WEDNESDAY

This week kicked off with a resounding message from undefeated world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who suggested that all talk of his demise, following the postponement of the initial Oleksandr Usyk date, have been greatly exaggerated.

“I keep hearing talk about me retiring,” he bellowed into his phone, from what appeared to be the inside of the Wardrobe that leads to Narnia. “I ain’t retiring anywhere. I’ve got two fights with Usyk, then I’m going to fight AJ once, maybe twice… then I’m going to fight Ngannou again. And that’s just the start. There’s five little fights for you to whet your appetite with. I ain’t going nowhere. I’m 35 years old and in the prime of my life.”

Two blokes who are not quite in their prime yet, but are both being tipped for big things, were nudged closer together by the EBU on Wednesday as they officially ordered Adam Azim to defend his European light-welterweight title against fellow Brit Dalton Smith and the purse bid has been set for February 28. I mean it’s a nice idea but let’s not hold our breath on that one.

To close out a very busy Wednesday, Eddie Hearn also revealed he would be sending out an official offer to Gervonta Davis about a summer fight with Conor Benn before he went to be that night.


Thursday, 8 February 

Thursday was all about the 140lbers as reports emerged in the evening that Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia, former amateur rivals and two of the biggest names in the sport, are ‘close to finalising’ a deal for a money-spinning Las Vegas clash on April 20. Then, within hours of the story, that deal was apparently done and dusted.

Then, in the evening, Teofimo Lopez put his version of the 140lb title on the line against Jamaine Ortiz in front of just over 6,000 people in Vegas. He entered the arena dressed as a ringmaster but he was anything but during a lacklustre performance where he struggled to make a dent in the elusive challenger. Even so, he still did enough to win on all three cards. Terence Crawford, who has been recently called out by Lopez, Tweeted: “He got a gift and he know it that’s why he crying.”

On the undercard, one of the most exciting teenagers in the sport Abdullah Mason went 12-0 (10) by crushing Benjamin Gurment. There was also a statement win for Keyshawn Davis against Jose Pedraza.

Meanwhile, the pesky EBU were at it again a few divisions higher, calling for another all-British showdown between champion Tyler Denny who they ordered to defend against the lesser-spotted Felix Cash. The purse bid for that one is February 19.

Tyler Denny
(Pic Lawrence Lustig)


Friday, 9 February

HOT SEAT

It was a busy old Friday with Haney-Garcia officially announced, while a quality domestic clash between Florian Marku and Chris Kongo was also confirmed for March 31, on the undercard of Fabio Wardley against Frazer Clarke, in Britain.

Up in Sheffield, meanwhile former Sky Sports stalwart Adam Smith returned to commentary duty after nearly two years out. Smith confirmed his departure from Sky late last year and revealed he has been battling cancer.

But he was back in the chair on Friday night, calling the fights at the Park Community Arena on the GBM show, live on Talksport’s Youtube channel, on which one of the matchmakers listed by Boxrec was the great boxing journalist and broadcaster Steve Lillis.

Meanwhile, sources close to The Week confirmed that talks are already well underway regarding an all-British showdown between Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi for this summer. Buatsi won last weekend against Dan Azeez so all eyes would be on the Copper Box on Saturday to make sure Yarde keeps to his side of the bargain by beating 32-3 Marko Nikolic.


Saturday, 10 February

CHALK AND CHEESE

With still more than two months to go, Haney and Garcia wasted no time getting the juices flowing for their April 20 fight with a good, old fashioned push-and-pull at an impromptu face. “Your dad is pimping you out,” Garcia barked in Haney’s face. “You’re not like that. I’m going to beat the shit out of you,” Haney responded.

After a minute of variation along that similar theme, Garcia pushed Haney away and there was a minor flashpoint between the two 20-somethings. They continued shouting and then even Bill Haney started trying to get at Garcia. Something tells me the build-up to this might be more fun than the fight itself.

Over in London, meanwhile, it was a very different story between two rivals. Yarde did the business at the Copper Box and Queensberry even got Buatsi in attendance and brought him in for the post-fight interview. There was lots of hugging and respect and nobody got called a punk, a bitch or anything else.

“First of all, congrats on the fight bro,” Buatsi said with a fist bump. “I’m here because I think the fight should be next. Let him enjoy this win or whatever but from my side I’m down with it and I’m sure him and his team feel the same way.”

Yarde added: “I’m ready whenever. It’s about making the deal and making it happen.”

Anthony Yarde and his trainer, Tunde Ajayi


Sunday, 11 February

Sundays can be a desolate place when you have to compile a list of daily news items but TV Azteca came up trumps for The Week this time when they revealed that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will hold a press conference on Tuesday to make ‘important announcements about his career.”

I know what you’re thinking: That’s just an announcement about an announcement. There is no actual news there. But this is a Sunday we’re talking about, let’s take it and run with it.

We know Canelo has not boxed since September when he easily outpointed light-middleweight champion Jermell Charlo, which was the first of his deal with PBC, which is expected to include two fights this year. Most assume the first of those will be May 4, Cinco de Mayo weekend, although there is still no opponent confirmed, which is what Tuesday might be about. Fellow Mexicans David Benavidez and Jaime Munguia have both been suggested as potential opponents for that one but probably best not to hold your breath at this stage.


Monday, 12 February

A FLYING SHAME

Deontay Wilder has opened up on his defeat to Joseph Parker in Riyadh on December 23 – citing travel to Saudi Arabia as a factor.

This is a man who once said he lost to Tyson Fury because his ringwalk outfit was too heavy, now the 20 hours of travel to the Kingdom has let him down. It is not confirmed whether or not he wore the light-up suit on the plane.

“In training for that I had to travel two times,” he told Youtube’s Elie Seckbach. “That’s 20 hours of travelling. And those guys were already in Europe, they were only ⅔ hours away. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying what I had to go through.”

At welterweight, one of the sport’s most talented men, Jarron ‘Boots’ Ennis, has filed a lawsuit against his promoters NOW Boxing. The complaint focuses on Ennis’ lack of activity since he signed with them in 2019.

It has been reported that said deal would guarantee Ennis eight fights across the first two years and six more across years three and four. However the 26-year-old has fought just 10 times in the five years since he signed with them and wants out – and a judgement ‘in excess of $1m’.

Deontay Wilder (Richard Pelham/Getty Images)


Tuesday, 13 February

FLIPPING HELL

On pancake day the Canelo news started to emerge and the reception was very much… flat.

Despite a clamour for the Mexican idol to box the Mexican Monster David Benavidez, or even Munguia, it appears that he will in fact fight Jermall Charlo, eight months after he cruised past his twin in a glorified mismatch. I hope you weren’t actually holding your breath.

Big twin Charlo has boxed just once since June 2021 after well documented mental health issues which included suicidal thoughts. He drew a line under the hiatus in November but did not necessarily impress during his 10-round UD of Jose Benavidez Jr.

Well blow me down with a (former)  feather(weight champion) – 14 days. That’s how long Shakur Stevenson’s retirement lasted. That was not even long enough for him to move into a lakeside home and smoke the elderly residents at scrabble. Instead, the 26-year-old southpaw, who is currently ranked at No.3 in the world at lightweight and is the holder of the WBC belt, will be back in boxing by the summer.

“I’ll fight any and everybody this what I do,” he Tweeted. “See y’all in June. I couldn’t keep myself away from it love this shit too much lol.”