The Friday Five: August 30th, 2019
Sergey Kovalev and his team have not turned down an offer to fight on November 2nd, mainly because no one has offered him a fight for November 2nd.
Kovalev’s lead promoter Kathy Duva spoke with Boxing Scene upon her return from Chelyabinsk, Russia, where Kovalev defended his WBO light heavyweight title against Anthony Yarde.
While Duva spoke to Boxing Scene regarding the situation, she did not have a chance to speak to Golden Boy Promotions President, Eric Gomez, regarding a fight with Canelo Alvarez.
“We’re not saying that date doesn’t work,” Duva said. “It’s just that no one has offered us the fight for November 2nd. Unless somebody offers us a fight, Sergey is relaxing with his family. I’m not gonna rush him home from Russia if no one offers us a fight. We haven’t even gotten to where we’d be offered a date.”
The two sides last spoke before Duva and Kovalev went to Russia, knowing they’d return to talks if Kovalev defeated Yarde, which he did with an 11th round stoppage.
Per Boxing Scene, DAZN executives are fixed on Alvarez returning before or on November 2nd, spacing it out with enough lead time to promote Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr’s rematch on December 7th in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
“Would we like to have a few more weeks?,” Duva said. “Sure, we would. But nobody’s saying we won’t do the fight on that date. Again, no one has even offered us the fight.
Deontay Wilder arrived in the United Kingdom, not to announce or unveil his next fight, but to attend the opening of a restaurant in West Yorkshire.
In between bites of a burger and some pizza, Wilder spoke with the BBC about the heavyweight division.
“It has been amazing watching all the fighters,” he said. “Moments where it has been memorable and history has been made, and upsets too – the sport has blossomed.
“As a champion, sitting back watching it has been amazing to see what is going on and the dynamics. Once I get rid of Ortiz, I will get rid of Fury too. We will figure it out, but Ortiz comes first.”
While he is focused on Ortiz and to a certain extent, Fury, Wilder is not a huge fan of unified world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua’s December 7th clash in Saudi Arabia.
Wilder said: “As far as location is concerned, they need to have a neutral venue, one that not only satisfies the fighters but the fans too.
“It should be somewhere people have knowledge about, it is too late to figure out the history of a country. Will it be safe? God forbid, if anything happens to someone or their family. I can understand why Ruiz does not want to go there.”
“I saw Ruiz punch Joshua in the temple, and it knocked his equilibrium out,” Wilder said of the June 1st clash inside Madison Square Garden.
“He could not recover and that meant he got knocked down four times. When you are in a situation where you have not been before, it is like life teaching you a lot of lessons on the job.”
“At that moment on the job for Joshua, he had to learn and could not pull through. But having fallen this time in life, the next time he might pull through because he has experienced it before, and he should be able to correct the wrongs.”
“Ruiz in my opinion,” Wilder said of who wins their rematch. “I feel Joshua does not know how he lost, and that means he will not know how to set up a proper training camp – but anything is possible.
“Boxing is an amazing sport and you just do not know what is going to happen. That is why I love it.”
After months of “frustrating communication,” Joseph Parker is near a deal to return to the United Kingdom to face Dereck Chisora this October.
When speaking with Sky Sports, Parker’s manager, David Higgins, explained the deal for an October 26th clash in London should be signed in a few days.
“It’s pretty close to being done,” Higgins said. “It’s been talked about for months and we finally received an offer yesterday which we will accept. The email we received is for October in London and we will take it.
“We haven’t been told if we’re the main event or not, only that Parker is the B-side despite being part of one of the biggest PPV’s in UK history and then having another huge fight against Dillian Whyte.
“It has been hard to get a deal done, Haye and Hearn talked a good game but they’ve simply left us waiting,” Higgins said, casting shade at Hearn, who is now the lead promoter for Parker. “We wanted the fight in April but we ran out of time, Joe wouldn’t have been able to have a proper training camp. We have tried to be polite behind the scenes but it’s been difficult.
With Canelo Alvarez seemingly intent on fighting Sergey Kovalev next, two potential opponents at super middleweight could face off later this year… The operative word is could.
Eddie Hearn, who signed Saunders earlier this month believes a battle between the WBO champion and Smith, the WBA champion is a huge money draw, but not yet.
“That’s a fight that we may look at for spring of next year,” Hearn told reporters. “Obviously, that’s a fight quite easy to make. But the only one thing I’d say on that is I think they’re both really good, and they’re both with me. And I would quite like to get them bigger fights before they meet to make it the size that it should be for the risk involved. That’s not what fans wanna hear, but that’s the truth. I really feel that’s a great fight, but there’s other fights for both guys that could make that fight monumental, rather than just a big domestic fight.”
“He’s gonna defend his belt probably in November,” Hearn said of Saunders. “We’ll have a date [this] week. He can move to 160. That’s not a problem. But I feel with Billy, the longer he stays at 168, the more likely he is to stay there. It’s gonna be difficult for him to drop those eight pounds.”
Former WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia was ready for Manny Pacquiao earlier this year and knows he is ready to beat him now.
“I mean, I thought I was gonna fight him this time,” Garcia said. “From what I knew, I thought I was supposed to fight him when he fought Thurman. But let’s see. Let’s see. Let’s see. I’m ready.”
With Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter fighting this September, Garcia may be able to step in to face the WBA champion if the Filipino Senator is looking for a fight before unification.
“You know, if you look at the past fighters he had trouble with – like [Juan Manuel] Marquez, [Erik] Morales – those guys are counter-punchers,” Garcia said. “And that’s one of my strengths in boxing. I’ve got that good power in both hands, I’m a good counter-puncher and I’ve got good timing. So, I think those are three things that’ll give Manny Pacquiao hell in his career. And those are three things I possess, so I definitely think that’s a great matchup for me.”