It was announced last week that Canada-based Colombian Eleider Alvarez, who has held the status of mandatory challenger to WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson for more than two years, has withdrawn from the purse bid for a WBC interim world title fight against Ukrainian contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
The situation is currently under the consideration of the WBC but it is hard to see any other outcome than Alvarez losing his mandatory status. It seems a bizarre decision on the part of Alvarez and his team at first sight. Winning the WBC interim title would not only have reaffirmed his mandatory status but have brought the promise of a more favourable purse split against the full champion.
Alvarez’s promoter, Yvon Michel, has countered that his fighter has already fought three final title eliminators and that they see no logical reasons to fight a fourth. Based on this fact alone, some sympathy is due for the Colombian contender, but the truth - as always - seems to be the case in boxing, is more complicated than first meets the eye.
The predicament is merely the subplot to one of the most disappointing title reigns in recent years. Adonis Stevenson punched his way to stardom in 2013 when he obliterated Chad Dawson to capture the WBC light heavyweight title. He followed up by becoming the first man to stop former titlist Tavouris Cloud and then capped the year by smashing mandatory challenger Tony Bellew in six rounds, earning plaudits for his performances and the 'Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year' title.
Errol Spence Jr (22-0-0, 19 KO's) will make the first defence of his IBF World welterweight championship this Saturday, when he faces former two-weight World champion Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO's) at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.
The bout is Spence's first since his ripped the title away from Kell Brook in an eleventh round stoppage, after travelling to Brook's home city of Sheffield in April 2017.
Spence's opponent, 33-year-old Lamont Peterson, presents an intriguing challenge to the unbeaten Texan, having held the unified WBA and IBF light welterweight titles in 2011, and the WBA welterweight title in 2017. Peterson is also coming off a significant lay-off, with his last bout coming almost a year ago when facing David Avanesyan in February of last year.
Many believe that while Peterson represents a solid test for Spence, he will have to produce a new career-best performance to pull off the upset. For Spence, he will seek to recapture the momentum gained from capturing the title, and set up a potentially exciting 2018 in the welterweight division. With Peterson suffering just one stoppage loss in his 39-fight ledger, against power-punching Lucas Matthysse, the fight presents an opportunity for the champion to make a statement to his rivals.
"My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook." said Spence.
"I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing on Saturday night."
Peterson has shown the ability to mix things up throughout his 13-year career, showcasing slick boxing skills in a contentious loss to Danny Garcia, while showing a more rugged, pressure-fighting style against Amir Khan in the D.C. native's marquee career victory in 2013. It remains to be seen what game plan Peterson will put into practice against Spence, who has looked irresistible in his unblemished foray as a professional.
"This is a fight I wanted and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see." said Peterson.
"I'm ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show."
With a blockbuster all-American clash against unified champion Keith 'One Time' Thurman long-mooted, Spence has no room for slip-ups against a tricky customer in Peterson. However, 'The Truth' will enter the bout as a heavy favourite, as he looks to lay down a marker in the 147lbs division.
After vacating his WBA World welterweight title in order to face Spence, Peterson has taken a sizeable leap of faith, and will be hoping that his experience will serve him well against the young champion. Spence is yet to complete a full twelve round championship bout - a feat Peterson has achieved no less than seven times - and will have to be wary against a very live underdog.
The hate between Dillian Whyte and Lucas Browne is real – but both men say that there’s more than pride on the line when they clash for Whyte’s WBC Silver Heavyweight title at The O2 in London on March 24, live on Sky Sports.
The Heavyweight rivals came face-to-face at a press conference in central London today and left the media in no doubt that there is plenty of true venom behind their fierce social media spats are as they traded barbs before a face-off that ended in a frosty handshake.
That tense show of respect reflected the high stakes in the fight, with Whyte ranked number one in the WBC and former WBA champion Browne hunting a route to becoming a two-time champion – the pair will renew hostilities in two months’ time knowing the winner is in a prime spot to fight for a World crown this year.
“I hope I can fight for a World title this year,” said Whyte. “Sky Sports and Matchroom are behind me and now it's my time to shine. If I can put on a good show in front of a good crowd at The O2 then they can't deny me.
“I'm highly ranked in all the governing bodies and I think I could become mandatory in two of them, so this is a fight with a top contender against an undefeated former World champion - so you have to say that win this, I deserve a World title shot.
“He's a solid fighter and he's got KO power. Any big guy can chin anyone at any time, but he's just got power. A lot of people are in boxing because they are big men - not because they have skill or heart - they're just physically big and over-powering smaller fighters.
“The guy is a bully and calls himself 'an enforcer' so you have to deal with that in a head-on way. Robert Helenius wasn't like that, he was cool, so I was cool, but Lucas has stepped to me in a demeaning way that I don't like, I take that personally and I'm not going to let it slide. He's giving it the big one because he's got insecurities. This is my city, he's in my backyard, and I'm not going to let him take liberties with me.
“You can't intimidate me. I've been right at the bottom and I've risen up, so nothing fazes me and I'm not scared of anything, especially not Lucas Browne. I'm more scared of my Mum than him.
“Of course, I want the rematch with Anthony Joshua, but the fight with Deontay Wilder would make the AJ fight even bigger if I had the WBC belt. I'm always going to want the Joshua fight because we have history and we keep winning then the fight is inevitable, but there's more to this sport for just fighting for pride, it's business, and the fights have to fit my strategy. If you win a World title, you go down in history as a Heavyweight World Champion, it’s the biggest accolade in sport and that can never be taken from you.”
“The build-up will be spicy and fun, but I think it's going to a great fight and all that matters is winning on March 24,” said Browne. “He calls me a ‘bully’ – well I'm going to show him what a ‘bully’ can do. I made my points today, I'm coming to fight, not for a payday or to roll over, I want his belt and I want to be a World champion again.
“I asked him if he was going to shake my hand and he did - I'm a gentleman. I still hate the guy and want to smash his face in at The O2, but man to man, this is a sport and we should respect each other for fighting.
“I don't like judges' decisions - it's not good for me to have my life and my career in the hands of three people outside the ring. If I KO someone - there's no argument, that's what I like.
“We're both at the point in our careers where we need to put in a big performance to stake a claim to fight for a World title, that's going to make me put it all on the line, and I think it'll do the same for him.”
Face value tickets for March 24 are available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.
Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]
– Bellator is joining forces with Boost Mobile, the undisputed value champion of prepaid wireless, in 2018 beginning with Bellator 192
on Jan. 20 in LA and available on the soon-to-launch Paramount Network. In addition to being featured throughout Bellator broadcasts, the long-term deal will see the wireless carrier as a key partner in the launch of unique virtual reality and digital content opportunities.
“Boost Mobile has strong roots in supporting mixed martial arts and we are excited to get back into the sport with the collaboration with Bellator,” said Peiti Feng, director of brand strategy and marketing communications at Boost Mobile. “This is a perfect partnership for Boost as the sport aligns well with our competitive spirit and will give our brand amplified visibility with Bellator’s passionate and growing fan base.”
“I’m thrilled to have Boost Mobile as a part of the Bellator family,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “We look forward to teaming up with an industry leader like Boost Mobile, who shares the same enthusiasm for their brand as we do, in a partnership that will create new and exciting promotional opportunities that connect with our passionate fan base.”
Boost Mobile and Bellator have come together to offer exclusive 360° virtual reality content and viewing experiences during televised events. Fans will be closer to the action than ever with special access to fighter walkouts, corner cams, locker rooms and fight footage, as well as custom playlists featuring some of Bellator’s greatest comeback moments hosted on Bellator.com .
Boost Mobile will also be featured prominently throughout the broadcast, including on-screen integration and placement inside the Bellator cage.
Additionally, fans can look forward to meeting their favorite fighters and Bellator personalities during Bellator meet and greets at Boost Mobile locations throughout the year.
For more information, please visit Bellator.com .
Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez , the man who swims with a fully-grown pet alligator, will begin the third year of his championship reign by defending his title against former World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight world champion and current No. 2 world-rated featherweight contender Scott Quigg . For Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs), of Nogales, Mexico, this will be his fourth title defense since winning it in 2016. Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs), of Lancashire, England, will be making his U.S. debut. The Valdez vs. Quigg world championship fight will take place Saturday, March 10, under the stars at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. It will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EST on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App. Additional fights on the live telecast will be announced shortly.
Promoted by Top Rank ®, in association with Matchroom Boxing, tickets go on sale Tomorrow! Wednesday, January 17, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT. Priced at $206, $104, $53 and 27.50, including facility fees, they can be purchased online at AXS.com, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.
The all-action undercard will feature undefeated WBC Continental Americas super featherweight champion Andy Vences (20-0, 12 KOs), of San Jose, Calif; top-three world-rated junior welterweight contender Alex Saucedo (26-0, 16 KOs), of Oklahoma City; 2016 U.S. Olympian and three-time U.S. Amateur Champion Mikaela Mayer (3-0, 2 KOs), of Los Angeles; and 2012 Olympic silver medalist and middleweight contender Esquiva Falcäo (19-0, 13 KOs), of Vitoria, Brasil.
“I know that my March 10 world title defense against Scott Quigg will be a fun one for all the boxing fans because our styles combine perfectly to make a real war," said Valdez. "As usual, on March 10, I will leave it all in the ring at StubHub Center, to show everyone that I’m one of the best featherweights in the world"
“This is a fight that I’m really looking forward to. It’s a great fight," said Quigg. "I have a lot of respect for Oscar and his team. We’ve been in the gym together in the past, helping each other prepare for a fight. They are good people. I’ve been in training for four weeks already and now I’ve just linked up with Freddie Roach to begin the last eight weeks of camp. This is a great opportunity for me -- making my U.S. debut on a great platform on ESPN -- and I’m confident on March 10 I’ll become World champion again.”
"Oscar Valdez has passed every in-ring test with flying colors, but the biggest test of his professional career will take place on March 10 against Scott Quigg, who like Oscar, rarely leaves a fight in the hands of the judges. The fans watching at StubHub and live across ESPN's platforms are in for an exciting night and a sensational card, which will be announced shortly," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum ,.
"I'm delighted to get this fight made - I feel it's one of the best fights in the division right now," said Quigg's promoter Eddie Hearn. "Both guys like to come forward and throw aggressive combinations and I do not believe we will hear the final bell. What I do believe is that on March 10 Scott Quigg will become a two-weight World Champion in a fight of the year contender, live on ESPN"
"We’re very excited for the fight against Quigg. This fight will further showcase Oscar’s skills and will demonstrate that he is a star," said Frank Espinoza, manager of Valdez. "Oscar is one of the best in the world and against Quigg he’ll prove it once again.”
Valdez, who represented México in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, was the first Mexican fighter to qualify for two Olympic games. He is considered one of the bright lights of the featherweight division and a new face for boxing's next generation. He will be making the fourth defense of the world title he won on July 23, 2016 via a second-round knockout of undefeated No. 2 rated Matías Rueda. Rueda entered that fight having won his previous 10 bouts by stoppage. In his first defense, which took place, on November 5, 2016, Valdez blasted out No. 1 contender Hiroshige Osawa via a seventh-round TKO. On April 22, in his 2017 debut, his first pay-per-view event that featured him in the main event, Valdez went toe-to toe for 12 rounds with No. 1 contender Miguel Marriaga, winning a unanimous decision. Marriaga, a three-time world title challenger, went into that fight having won 15 of his previous 19 bouts by way of knockout. In his most recent fight, on September 22, he again went mano a mano in a 12-rounder that had the fans on their feet throughout the fight. This time Valdez won a unanimous decision over Genesis Servania, the No. 4 world-rated contender.
Quigg, who has fought all but once in his native England, is trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach. After capturing the WBA interim super bantamweight world title in 2012 and making one successful title defense that same year, he was elevated to WBA super bantamweight world champion in 2013. Quigg successfully defended that world title six times, four of them by way of knockout during his three-year reign. He lost the title via a split decision to International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Carl Frampton in a 2016 title unification bout. Since that fight, Quigg has moved up to the featherweight division and won his past three fights, including a 12-round featherweight title elimination bout against Simion Viorel. Quigg is currently world-rated No. 2 by the IBF and No. 4 by the WBA.
For more information visit: www.toprank.com , www.espn.com/boxing ; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing , facebook.com/espndeportes ; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing , twitter.com/trboxeo , @ESPN @ESPNBoxeo
@ESPNDeportes . Use the hashtag #ValdezQuigg to join the conversation on Twitter.
Source: Top Rank [Press Release]
Tickets for the blockbuster Heavyweight World title unification clash between Anthony Joshua MBE and Joseph Parker go on pre-sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members at midday on Monday January 22 and general sale on Tuesday January 23 ahead of the March 31 event live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Tickets for the event are priced at £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 – with VIP tickets priced at £2000.
Tickets go on sale for the fight by the official ticketing partner, www.StubHub.co.uk
Coach packages also go on sale at midday on Tuesday via www.seetickets.com with various pick up/drop off locations available throughout the UK.
For accessibility, ambulant and wheelchair tickets – please contact the Principality stadium via 02920 822432 – also on sale from midday Tuesday.
Don’t miss out on tickets. Sign up now and add your delivery address and payment details on StubHub here
Official Hospitality packages are available to purchase directly from Principality Stadium Experience. Both private suite and premium lounge packages are available to purchase, with prices starting from £450 per person + VAT. For further information please call the team on 02920 822 413.
Official Hospitality packages are also available via Sportsworld via www.sportsworld.co.uk or by calling 0208 9712966
You are strongly advised to plan your travel to Cardiff before purchasing your tickets and will need to allow plenty of time for additional security checks at Principality Stadium.
Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]
Boxing is in great health.
2017 was a huge year for the sport and potentially 2018 could be even better. There are issues within the sport that are simply unfixable, but here is a personal wish list of pipe dreams that I would love to see come to fruition.
Some things will never change and they don’t help boxing: despite it being in rude health. PPV marginalises the sport, StubHub and touts are preventing real fans from attending fights and the sanctioning bodies will continue to create new titles and dilute the landscape even further.
To top it off, there are some simply shocking officials around. Some of whom operate on these very shores, which at least has made people realise that the "robbed in Germany" argument is something that can be applied just as much over here in Britain.
We’ve had "hacks" and backdated drug bans (which has certainly made things interesting between current and former heavyweight champions in the U.K.) whilst some fighters have gone too far on social media, potentially damaging their career irreparably in the process due to ignorance.
Whatever your thoughts - mine included - it keeps boxing in the forefront. People are talking about and more interested in the sport than they have been for a long time.
Dillian Whyte (22-1-0, 16 KO's) and Lucas Browne (25-0-0, 22 KO's) have finally agreed terms to fight, following a protracted - and entertaining - back and forth on social media for the past year. The two outspoken heavyweights will square off at London's O2 Arena on the 24th March, in a bout that had promoter Eddie Hearn tweeting "quite frankly, this is going to be violent!".
The acrimony between the two fighters has been building for some time, with both men trading verbal blows on Twitter in a bid to goad the other into a response. Whyte, who will defend his WBC Silver heavyweight title, is known for his trash-talk, and has been clamouring for a high-profile bout in recent times - most notably against WBC World champion Deontay Wilder.
Australian slugger Browne - another who is no stranger to verbal warfare - had been in negotiations for an all-Oceanian showdown with New Zealand's WBO World champion Joseph Parker, but had long declared his interest in a fight with Brixton-based Whyte. After seeing negotiations apparently stall several times previously, the bout has now been made: much to the delight of fans eager to see the grudge match.
Since suffering his sole career defeat to arch-nemesis Anthony Joshua in December 2015, Whyte has gone on to show significant improvement. He has fought six times since - winning all six - including a 'Fight of the Year' candidate with former World title challenger Dereck Chisora, and a dominant unanimous decision victory against Finnish fringe contender Robert Helenius in his most recent outing.
Whyte, known as 'The Bodysnatcher' due to his penchant for going to his opponent's mid-section, survived an early scare against Helenius, before outworking him throughout the contest. In something of an underwhelming bout, Helenius suffered an apparent bicep injury, leaving him in survival mode for large periods and refusing to engage. With the win, Whyte claimed the WBC Silver title, manoeuvring him into position for a shot at Deontay Wilder's WBC title. However, the proposed match-up was unable to be made, leaving Whyte without a dance partner: enter Lucas Browne...
After reaching the ultimate high of knocking out Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA World championship, things have not, however, been so smooth for 'Big Daddy' Browne. In the immediate aftermath of the contest, Browne was subsequently banned for testing positive for a banned substance, thus surrendering his newly-claimed World title and leaving his career in tatters.
Despite later being cleared of any wrongdoing, Browne would fail his second test in twelve months in November of 2016, and would serve a six-month ban. He would make his return to the ring with a second round stoppage of Matthew Greer in June 2017, and wasted little time in clamouring for a crack at Dillian Whyte.
With both men promising an explosive event - both inside and outside of the ring - the match-up has been well received by boxing fans. Will Whyte's recent activity and solid victories be the determining factor? Or will the hammer-fisted 38-year-old Browne overcome his bristly opponent and gain one more shot at World title glory?
The winner will almost certainly go on to challenge one of the divisional elite in 2018. However, the loser will find themselves in the wilderness, with both men facing a significant rebuilding job should they suffer defeat on March 24th.
The Ali Trophy semi-final clash in the super middleweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) and Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) takes place at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Germany on February 24.
“We are very much looking forward to bring the Ali Trophy experience to Nuremberg on February 24,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer
“Smith vs. Braehmer - England vs. Germany - it’s a classic anyway, but this one pits youth vs. experience. Smith is eager to show the world he is the best while Braehmer is entering the last chance saloon. The outcome is unpredictable, it’s going to be a thrilling night in Germany and a fitting event for the last of our semi-final fixtures.“
Both 27-year-old Smith and 39-year-old Braehmer appeared as serious contenders to win the Muhammad Trophy with their quarter-final performances last year.
Britain’s Smith claimed a 116-112, 117-110, 117-111 victory on the judges' cards and advanced to the semi-final after a thrilling match against Sweden’s Erik Skoglund at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Germany’s Braehmer proved age is just a number when he beat American hope Rob Brant in dominant fashion at the Kongresshalle in Schwerin with the judges scoring it 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 in favour of the former light heavyweight world titleholder.
“I believe I will beat Jurgen Braehmer anywhere in the world and it is a nice away trip for my fans,” said 27-year-old Callum Smith before adding: “I am the better man, the younger, fresher man, and I believe I will do what needs to be done to get to the final.”
“I am looking forward to the fight,” said 39-year-old Juergen Braehmer.
“Callum is a good fighter, but I feel confident that I will win this fight. I am in this tournament because I strongly believe I have the ability to win it. Next step towards my goal is a victory in Nuremberg.”
Tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final bout Smith vs. Braehmer will go on sale next week. Fans are asked to sign-up for ticket alerts at worldboxingsuperseries.com to receive the Ticket Link directly to their inbox, and avoid disappointment.
Twitter blows recently rang out after WBO Inter-Continental flyweight champion Paddy Barnes (5-0-0, 1 KO) called out WBO World flyweight champion Sho Kimura (16-1-2, 9 KO's) for a potential clash.
However, fellow unbeaten prospect, the WBO European super flyweight Champion Sunny Edwards (6-0-0, 2 KO's), took exception to the news, taking to Twitter himself and engaging in a prolonged back-and-forth with Barnes, with both men seeking the mental edge over the other.
“I saw him [Barnes] calling out Sho Kimura, and I’m scratching my head thinking "there is no chance you are gonna beat him and there is very little chance you are even gonna get the fight." said Edwards, in an exclusive interview with Behind The Gloves .
A match-up with Barnes is one that Edwards is supremely confident in emerging victorious from - and can’t understand why the Irishman is avoiding a bout that British boxing fans are calling for.
“Sometimes I come across as quite outspoken, maybe borderline controversial: but it’s a fight I’m a thousand percent confident with."
"It's also a fight that I know he is not confident with. He’s running a bit scared at the moment, whether that will change or not? I don’t know.” Edwards finished.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, January 16 at noon for the upcoming showdown between two-time Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) versus Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs) and WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) versus Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs), which takes place on Saturday, March 3 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for this exciting event are priced from $50 to $300 and will be available through ticketmaster.com and the Madison Square Garden box office. From Monday, January 15 at noon until Tuesday, January 16 at 11:00 am, subscribers to the Main Events email list can purchase tickets in advance using an exclusive presale code at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com .
The event will be promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions and televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT.
About March 3: The Saturday, March 3 main event between Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev and Igor Mikhalkin is a 12-round match-up for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The co-main event features WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol versus Sullivan Barrera in a 12-round title fight. The event is promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Tickets range from $50 to $300 and will be available through TicketMaster.com , the Madison Square Garden Box office and the Main Events office by calling 973-200-7050 or emailing email@example.com .
Tickets are now on sale for the highly-anticipated Featherweight showdown between former two-weight World Champion
Carl Frampton MBE
and former four-weight World Champion
Belfast hero Frampton (24-1, 14 KO’s) and Filipino icon Donaire (38-4, 24 KO’s) collide at Belfast's SSE Arena on Saturday 21st April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
The blockbuster bout will be one of the biggest fights to take place in Belfast in recent years and a make-or-break fight for both men.
“It’s a brilliant fight - a four-weight World Champion against a two-weight World Champion,” said Frampton.
“Has a bigger ‘away’ fighter ever come to fight in Belfast before? I don’t think there’s been a bigger name than Nonito Donaire and he’s coming to fight a local guy in his hometown."
“But I think both of us are in the same situation – a slip-up here and one of us might never fight for a World Title again. There’s a lot on the line for both guys."
Dillian Whyte will defend his WBC Silver Heavyweight title against Lucas Browne in a crunch clash at The O2 in London on March 24, live on Sky Sports.
Whyte is hunting World honours after he landed the title in his last outing in Cardiff in December against Robert Helenius and the 29 year old puts his number one ranking in the WBC on the line against the Browne.
‘The Body Snatcher’ is gunning for WBC king Deontay Wilder with the ultimate goal to land the title and set up a huge unification rematch with old foe Anthony Joshua, and Whyte knows he must put an end to his bitter online feud with Browne in style in Greenwich.
“I can’t wait, I hate Lucas Browne and I want to hurt him,” said Whyte. “He’s said some nasty things and he’s going to have to pay for them.
“I don’t think he really wanted this fight. A deal was in place before then he started to try and change the terms. He kept delaying things after we gave in to his demands and started saying there was a fight in America he was chasing. We’ve bent over backwards and up till now he’s been more interested in making excuses than taking the fight. It’s been frustrating but we’ve finally got over the hill now so let’s go.
“He’s a big guy with an unbeaten record so you have to rate him a bit. He carries some power. You have to respect Heavyweight power, it only takes one punch.
“I’m not overlooking Browne, I’m focused on going to town on him. If I don’t knock him out, I will not be happy. The plan is to beat Browne and move closer to a World Title shot. Beating him should make me a mandatory challenger for a World Title – I’m highly ranked across the board, I’ll be a more than credible World Title challenger. I’ve been building my way up so we’re set for a big year.”
Browne is a dangerous customer for Whyte to put his World title dreams on the line against, with the unbeaten Australian already tasting victory on the road at the very highest level when he KO’d Ruslan Chagaev in March 2016, climbing off the canvas in Russia to land the WBA title.
‘Big Daddy’ is no stranger to fighting in England as will be looking to claim a fifth KO win in his sixth outing on English soil, and launch himself into World title contention.
“I’m genuinely looking forward to coming over to the UK again and bashing Dillian,” said Browne. “If Helenius and Dereck Chisora hurt him, wait until he feels how I hit. I don’t like anything about him. He’s a loud mouth and I want to take his head off.
“I have absolutely no fears about coming to London and facing Dillian. After you go to Chechnya to fight, nothing else compares. I’ve fought in England five times already and love fighting there. I know if I stop Whyte impressively I’ll be getting another World title shot.”
Browne’s manager Matt Clarke added: “Lucas has an incredible fan base in the UK and Ireland. You’ll never see him turn down an autograph or a photo with fight fans and consequently he gets a lot of support.
“His social media is full of messages begging him to knock Whyte out and that’s exactly what he plans on doing. Knock out Whyte and then challenge for the World title, that’s our plan.”
“This is going to be an electric fight that I'm very happy to finally get over the line,” said Eddie Hearn. “There is no love lost between them and it's a fight that is very important in the World Heavyweight landscape.
“These two can't stand each other and I think that's when you get the best out of Dillian - this is the high profile fight that he has been craving now for some time. He is the number one challenger with the WBC and ranked highly with every other governing body – win this and it's a World title shot next for Dillian.”
Tickets for the event will go on sale next week with an announcement on prices to be made soon.
Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]
Ghanaian super bantamweight contender Isaac Dogboe (16-0-0, 12 KO's) made a statement on Saturday by knocking out tough-as-nails former world title challenger Cesar Juarez (20-6-0, 15 KO's) in the fifth round of an action-packed fight to the delight of a rambunctious crowd at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra, Ghana who had turned out in droves to support their hometown hero.
In addition to inflicting the first stoppage loss of Juarez’s career, Dogboe captured the WBO interim super bantamweight title and is now the mandatory challenger for the WBO's full titleholder Jessie Magdaleno.
Coming into the contest, Dogboe was undefeated but untested as a professional. He had however enjoyed success boxing as an amateur in the UK, where he also lived and studied for a number of years, the highlight of which was representing Ghana at the 2012 London Olympics aged only seventeen years. He also had world-class sparring experience against the likes of WBA featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz and former titleholder and Ring Magazine’s 2016 Fighter of the Year Carl Frampton. Dogboe sparred with Frampton in 2014 in preparation for the latter’s fight against Hugo Fidel Cázares and, despite being a one-fight novice at the time, impressed Frampton with his power, strength and toughness, leading the Northern Irishman to tip him as a future world champion.
Sparring is one thing though and fighting is another. Cesar Juarez had given Nonito Donaire hell over twelve gruelling rounds in a 2015 title fight and was coming off three straight wins including an upset KO of hard-hitting Filipino prospect Alberto Pagara. Although the Mexican slugger could never be mistaken for one of boxing’s elite, his power, durability and sheer relentlessness would cause problems for anyone in his division.
With the first semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series a matter of weeks away, the roaring success of the innovative knockout tournament has already left its mark on the sport, following a trailblazing introduction in 2017.
The knockout-style tournament, that pitted eight of the premier competitors across both the super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions against one and other, has been welcomed with open arms by boxing fans who have long yearned for the best to face the best.
Backed by the same minds that brought the revolutionary Champions League format to football fans across Europe, the World Boxing Super Series has thrust itself into the forefront of the sport in an unabashedly brazen - and brilliant - way. Add in the stardust of the inimitable promotional brothers, Kalle and Nisse Sauerland, and you have yourself a potential blockbuster-in-the-making.
From the star-studded, glitz and glamor of the draw in Monte Carlo in July, to the suspenseful showpiece entrances that see each fighter stand, gladiator-style, in-front of a baying crowd before each fight, the tournament has sought to distinguish itself from the crowd. It has done so with tremendous success.
With a second - and potentially third - instalment of the World Boxing Super Series mooted for 2018, organisers of the event will be keen to ensure that the format not only remains the same breath of fresh air it has been: but rather escalates into a hurricane, continuing to blow through the sport, re-arranging the landscape.
The concept is not just fan-friendly. Calls from fighters for their own weight division to be announced as the stars of the next series grow louder and louder, with such stars as Kell Brook, Vasyl Lomachenko and Call Frampton all declaring their interest in entering the tournament, should the opportunity arise.
While the tournament boasts a significant prize pool - with a rumoured $50m to be divided between the two current competitions - it would appear that the opportunity to pit themselves against the best in their weight class, and thus proving who “the man” of the division truly is, appeals most to fighters.
Naturally, not everyone is on board with the revolution. The inevitable red-tape from rival promoters is something that is unavoidable - especially in the political minefield of the sport in its current state. However, with such a promising start - and an insatiable appetite from fans and fighters alike - there could come a time in which the power is finally wrestled from the grasp of nickel and dime promoters and back into the hands of the people.
The World Boxing Super Series rumbles on in 2018, and if the past twelve months are anything to go by, it could yet be here for many years to come…