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NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: QUICK (S)HITS

By Paul Magno | March 30, 2020
NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: QUICK (S)HITS

Trying to rake through the fluff and filler to find actual boxing content on boxing sites these days is a real chore. Nostalgia and nothingness rule the day in this “no-boxing” boxing world. I just tried to sit through a podcast on a “major” site devoted entirely to some skid-marked nostalgia-humping blogger peddling a book of recycled articles. Man, that double salad toss was about as entertaining as watching a real-time worldometer tally of covid-19 infection numbers. 

But, believe it or not, at least some boxing stuff is happening in the world. I’ll motor through some of it for you, so you won’t have to dig through all that filler out there.

-- The WBC made Danny Garcia’s status as mandatory challenger to welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. official. If you probably recall, Garcia steamrolled Ivan Redkach in January in a title eliminator bout, so the WBC mandate was no big surprise. The big question mark, however, is when Spence-Garcia will actually happen. PBC has cancelled all events in April and May and June is no sure thing when it comes to a return to action. Spence last fought in September of last year, when he beat Shawn Porter to add the WBC belt to his IBF strap. Then, of course, he got into an ugly car crash that sidelined him for some time. It’s doubtful that he’d jump right into the Garcia fight upon his return, so—given this coronavirus stuff and his own need for a tune-up-- it could be early 2021 before Spence-Garcia. That’s bad news for those who feel that Spence’s attentions should be directed elsewhere. **cough, cough…Terence Crawford…cough, cough**

-- Speaking of Crawford, hints are flying around that Crawford’s next opponent will be the UK’s former world welterweight champ, Kell Brook. This would be another “best available” opponent for the talented fighter with the business roadblocks stacked in front of him. It’s not a bad fight, IMO, but Brook wouldn’t be on anyone’s top 6 or 7 list of “I wanna see Crawford fight” opponents, either. Kinda makes me not care all that much about whether Bud returns in 2020 or not.

-- Billy Joe Saunders once again had to apologize for a “joke.” In a video, the British super middleweight titlist shared heavy bag domestic violence tips for those men frustrated by their women during the coronavirus lockdown. So funny! A little over a week ago, Saunders had to issue another public apology over a “prank” that had him phoning an airline and warning them that an unnamed friend was ill with the deadly virus. Josh Taylor and trainer Ben Davison were caught up in the situation and, with Saunders’ friend, removed from their flight back home to the UK. All three were subjected to screening and were significantly delayed in their return home during a raging pandemic. Again…so funny!

-- Don’t expect Mikey Garcia to do anything but stay put at welterweight. In an interview on the Chris Mannix Boxing Podcast, the four-division former world champ said that, despite the concerns of his father Eduardo and brother/trainer Robert, he plans on staying put at 147 and working towards a world title there. Although not directly saying it, it’s clear that business is the primary reason behind the decision not to move back down to 140. At junior welterweight, all four belts are held by two Top Rank fighters—Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor. And, given Mikey’s poorer than poor relationship with Top Rank bossman Bob Arum (who has flat-out said that he has no desire to ever work with Garcia again), a title shot would not likely happen anytime soon. Plus, of course, Mikey has been pining away for a Manny Pacquiao bout for quite some time—a bout that would not only bring a huge payday, but one which he feels is a winnable welterweight title fight.  

-- Heavyweight contender and perpetual mandatory title challenger Dillian Whyte has been spending the forced down time doing what he does best—talking crap about other fighters he says won’t face him. This time, he’s zeroing in on Andy Ruiz for reportedly turning down a $5 million offer to face him. Calling him a “fat piece of shit” and a “coward” for supposedly walking away from two offers, Whyte is scheduled to face Alexander Povetkin in a May bout that will surely be postponed.

-- Sadly, Covid-19 is starting to make a direct impact on the boxing world. British light heavyweight Anthony Yarde just lost his father to the virus. Heavyweight Travis Kauffman and his father, promoter Marshall Kauffman have also tested positive. Former heavyweight contender Derrick Jefferson is reportedly in a medically induced coma due to the effects of the virus. 

-- Manny Pacquiao and family were on lockdown due to a Covid-19 scare after it was shown that the fighter/senator was in contact with an infected individual. According to Pacquiao, however, tests taken were negative. 

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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