Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Sep 13, 2019

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Canelo-Kovalev Just About Signed for Nov. 2

Nobody had heard much noise coming from the Canelo Alvarez camp in regard to his fight with Sergey Kovalev. Apparently, that was a good thing as it is has been booked for Nov. 2 in Las Vegas. Canelo usually fights at the T Mobile Arena, but will instead headline the marquee at the MGM Grand since there’s a Las Vegas Golden Knights game on that date. There will also be no catchweight, as Canelo wants Kovalev’s WBO title.

Credit to Canelo; no matter how stiff he looked in his last outing, Kovalev is a very tough matchup for a guy who started fighting at 147 and convinced the world he wasn’t big enough to defend the middleweight title at 160. Even if Canelo beats Kovalev, Canelo may have pulled a Roy Jones Jr. and gone so far up in weight for one fight, that when he returns to middleweight, he’s just not the same guy. For Canelo, it’s a risky fight, and a risky move. We’ll see if it pays off for him.

Stevenson-Gonzalez Official for Oct. 26

Shakur Stevenson is getting a big step up in competition and a shot at the vacant WBO featherweight title on Oct. 26, as he will officially be facing fellow undefeated fighter Joet Gonzalez in Reno, Nevada. It’s a great fight both on paper, as it matches an undefeated, 12-0 with 7 knockouts having 22-year-old Olympic silver medalist against an undefeated, 23-0 with 14 knockouts having 25-year-old. There’s also some drama outside of the ring, as it has been rumored Stevenson was friendly with Joet’s sister, who was also a talented amateur boxer, and it is expected Stevenson will bring that up at some point in the promotion.

Been Returning to the Ring at 55

Apparently unsatisfied with watching his son Conor’s career, British legend Nigel “The Dark Destroyer” Benn is making his return to boxing at 55, when it is rumored he will be fighting Australian Sakio Bika in November.

This is a terrible idea for many reasons. One, Benn hasn’t fought since 1996 when he went 0-3 in his final three fights. Two, Bika is a legitimate opponent. While old himself at 40 and not having fought since 2017, just a few years ago in 2014 and 2015 he was fighting guys like Anthony Dirrell and Adonis Stevenson. That’s a far cry from not having fought since 1996. Benn could very easily get hurt, and while he’s a big enough name that the fight would make money, no British commission should sanction such madness.

Joshua’s Trainer Admits He Let His Fighter Continue While Concussed

After Andy Ruiz knocked out Anthony Joshua, the calls for Joshua to switch trainers got loud. When it came out that Joshua might have been knocked out in sparring before the bout, the calls became roaring. And this week, when Rob McCraken admitted he knew Joshua was concussed by a Ruiz left hook in the third round, and that was why Joshua kept talking about how off he felt in the corner, but still sent his fighter out hoping he would snap out of it, the calls became deafening.

Speaking to the BBC, McCraken said, “I know him better than all these experts who virtually don’t know him or have met him once or twice. I knew he was concussed and I’m trying to get him through a few more rounds, one round at a time. To see where he’s at. Can he recover? Can he get back into this?’ But he was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with that initial shot in round three and he carried that with him up until the end.”

Quickly, people went nuts with various brain trauma experts noting that in sending Joshua back out to fight, he was literally putting his fighter’s life at risk. While the truth is, between boxing, MMA (and to some degree football) a trainer or coach does this somewhere in America every weekend, it was still a bad look for both boxing as a sport, and for a trainer people were already calling for Joshua to abandon.

Chisora Destroys Prograis-Taylor While Demanding Top Billing

The Oct. 26 fight between Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor, which will unify the IBF and WBA 140-pound titles as well as determine the winner of the WBSS Muhammed Ali Trophy, is seen as one of the best fights of the year by most boxing fans. Apparently, however, British heavyweight Dereck Chisora is not one of them.

At a press conference for the fight, Chisora (who is squaring off with Joseph Parker on the same card) declared that he wouldn’t be fighting if he isn’t the main event or if he’s not paid more money to make up for not getting top billing. In doing so, he went on a rant and trashed the Prograis-Taylor fight to both Prograis and Taylor’s faces, saying things like, “you want to put these guys, nobody knows about them on my show”, “the f****** Muhammed Ali trophy, nobody gives a f*** about anymore,” and when Prograis tried to respond that (unlike Chisora and Joseph) in their division, Prograis and Taylor are No. 1 and No. 2, Chisora responded, “bruh, nobody cares about you, let’s all be honest.”

The WBSS 140-pound tournament has been nothing but a mess, with fighters pulling out and coming back in over all sorts of money issues, so it’s not shocking they didn’t figure this issue out before a mid-September press conference and it exploded in their faces. Still, Prograis-Taylor was the fight everyone wanted when the tournament was announced and it will be a great fight, whether Chisora is on the undercard or not.

Herring-Lamont Roach Jr. To Compete With Logan Paul Fight Card

Jamel Herring, the Iraq war veteran turned Olympian turned WBO super featherweight champion of the world will be defending his title against Lamont Roach Jr. on Nov. 9. This is going to setup an interesting contrast, as Nov. 9 is also the day Logan Paul will be making his professional debut against fellow Youtuber KSI. Nov. 9 is also Veterans Day weekend, which will obviously mean something to Herring.

Yes, on Veterans Day weekend we will have an American hero defending his title against an undefeated challenger and it’s all but guaranteed to do far worse numbers than a fight starring a Youtuber best known for using a Japanese man’s suicide for viral content. Awesome.


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