Gassiev to Make Heavyweight Debut against Joshua Sparring Partner Rumored to Have Hurt Him
Murat Gassiev, the former cruiserweight title holder whose only loss came in the finals of the WBSS cruiserweight tournament to Oleksandr Usyk, is following Usyk’s path in moving to heavyweight. His first opponent in the new weight class is Philadelphia’s Joey Dawejko, who holds a 19-7 record but is rumored to be the sparring partner that hurt Anthony Joshua leading up to the Andy Ruiz fight. That fight will be on July 27 and will air on Dazn as part of the Maurice Hooker-Jose Ramirez undercard.
This is some good matchmaking from Gassiev’s team. Any time you can make your heavyweight debut against a 5-foot, 10-inch fighter on a three-fight losing streak, and still have fans interested because of some rumored events that took place in what is essentially practice, you’re doing something right.
Claressa Shields Drops to Junior Middleweight for Hometown Fight Aug. 17
Claressa Shields is dropping to junior middleweight, where she will fight in her hometown of Flint, Michigan on Aug. 17 against Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO title. Croatia’s Habazin has been feasting on terrible opponents after losing to Cecilia Braekhus in 2014 and Mikaela Lauren in 2016. In fact, since 2014 she’s only eaten two opponents with over 500 records, and those women were 6-5 and 8-5-1. This should be an easy homecoming for “T-Rex”, and will hopefully bring some hope and money to a city that is still in the midst of a serious water crisis.
Chisora to Face Szpilka on Rivas-Whyte Undercard
A couple of heavyweight contenders that both fell short in their title shots are set to face each other July 20 on the Whyte-Rivas undercard. They are Derrick Chisora, who was last seen getting stopped by Dillian Whyte in the eleventh round after having come up short against Vitali Klitschko in a title shot in 2012 and Artur Szpilka, who came up short in his title shot against Deontay Wilder when he was knocked out the ninth round, then was stopped by Adam Kownacki in the fight immediately after. Since those losses, Szpilka has beaten Mariusz Wach and what little is left of former HBO darling Dominick “The Southern Disaster” Guinn.
Mayweather to Bring TMT Fighters to Japan for Exhibition Fights
This week, the “Floyd Mayweather is ruining boxing” crowd got some more ammo for their argument, when Floyd went to Japan and said that not only is he thinking about fighting another exhibition in Tokyo, but he wants to bring some of his TMT fighters, possibly Andrew Tabiti, Gervonta Davis and Badou Jack, to the land of the rising sun for big money exhibitions.
It’s hard to knock guys that routinely put their brain cells on the line for our entertainment, for taking some easy fights and making some easy money overseas, but the last thing boxing needs is another hurdle to the best fighting the best. Hopefully, Japan will get sick of this uncompetitive nonsense, and demand that if Floyd wants to bring The Money Team’s best fighters to their country, he brings credible opponents along with them.
Dazn Deal Lands Canelo at No. 4 on Forbes Highest Paid Athletes
Speaking of “Money”, this week Forbes unveiled their hundred highest paid athletes, and former Mayweather opponent Canelo Alvarez landed at number four behind only soccer stars Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. If you’re wondering where his longtime rival GGG placed and why Alvarez will always have the leverage in fight negotiations over the Kazakhstani, that would be because Golovkin came in at No. 95. Other boxers on the list included Anthony Joshua at No. 13, Deontay Wilder at 56, and Manny Pacquiao at 92.
Ali Portion of Louisville ‘Mt. Rushmore’ Defaced
While Muhammed Ali week finished just a few days ago in Louisville Kentucky, one person was apparently not happy with the former heavyweight champion of the world receiving so much adoration in his hometown. On a mural often called the “Kentucky Mt. Rushmore” featuring Colonel Sanders, Secretariat, Abraham Lincoln and Ali, someone spray-painted over the Ali portion of the mural with the words “racist,” “antisemitic” and “homophobe.”
Ali is pretty universally beloved, so seeing him get hit by statue defacing “cancel culture” is very interesting. It’s also interesting that Ali got hit with he “racist” tag, when Lincoln has been accused of far worse racial animosity than Ali ever has, and Colonel Sanders was apparently a big supporter of George “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” Wallace. When the perpetrator is caught, it will be very interesting to see what exactly they were trying to accomplish, and why they hold so much animosity for “The Greatest.”
Rumors Have PBC Being Sold to UFC’s Parent Company Endeavor
Could Dana White actually be making his move into boxing? After years of telling people he was going to create “Zuffa Boxing” and take all the talent in the boxing world under his wing, there are now rumors that PBC is going to be sold to Endeavor, the parent company of The UFC.
Supposedly, Al Haymon will stay with the company, which makes it unclear what kind of role White would be playing, if any. Still, this would be a huge move into the world of boxing for the UFC’s parent company, and one that would send ripples throughout the boxing world.