Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Sep 7, 2018

Crawford to Fight Benavidez Oct. 13 in Omaha

After re-signing with Top Rank Promotions, Terence Crawford has an intriguing fight lined up. On Oct. 13, he will be returning to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska to take on the undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. Benavidez, whose career was stalled after he got shot in the leg and hand, two rather pivotal appendages in the world of boxing, accused Crawford of ducking him back in February, and rumors of this fight have been swirling for months. Freddie Roach once called Benavidez his best prospect, at a time when he was also training guys like Guillermo Rigondeaux, and though the two have since split that level of praise should tell you something. Crawford will still be the favorite, the fight is in his hometown and he is considered too good for anyone outside of Errol Spence Jr. Still, this is a very good fight, and the people of Omaha are lucky to have it.

Regis Prograis to Fight Terry Flanagan in New Orleans

Speaking of homecomings, fresh off of his eight-round stoppage of Juan Jose Velasco, undefeated knockout artist Regis Prograis will once again be fighting in his home city of New Orleans Louisiana where he will face British former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan on Oct. 27. Prograis is considered by most to be the best fighter in the world at 140 pounds, while Flanagan’s only fight at the weight class was a split decision loss to Maurice Hooker. With 19 knockouts in 22 fights, Prograis is a vicious finisher, but Flanagan has only lost once and has never been finished so he is likely to test how good Prograis’ power actually is. Plus, Prograis has been seen training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Jose Aldo and has teased a future MMA debut, leading some to question how committed Prograis is to the sport. This fight will likely tell us.

Usyk-Bellew in Danger Due to WBA’s Order That Usyk Fight Lebedev

The Tony Bellew-Oleksandr Usyk fight, which has seemed like a sure thing for months, is now in danger after the WBA announced they were forcing Usyk to make a mandatory defense against Denis Lebedev. While we’ve seen plenty of fighter call organization’s bluffs and opt for the big money fight despite being ordered to take on a mandatory opponent, Eddie Hearn is claiming that Bellew only wants the fight if that title is on the line so there’s not much Usyk can do. Lebedev is going to be fighting Hizni Altunkaya on Sept. 7, further muddying the issue of when this fight could even happen. Usyk is a fast-rising star, and a fight with Lebedev would be a giant waste of time that wouldn’t raise his stock very much. The fight will probably happen.

50 Cent Uses Kaepernick Ad to Make Fun of Floyd Mayweather

In the newest entry to their ongoing feud, 50 Cent used Colin Kaepernick’s controversial new Nike ad to take another shot at Floyd Mayweather. The man white kids once earnestly called “Fiddy,” posted a photo of Floyd in black and white on his Instagram account, similar to the Kaepernick ad, but wrote a series of random letters over his name; alluding to his recurring claim that Mayweather is illiterate. While this feud has taken many dark turns, this one was rather harmless. Yes it was petty, yes it was stupid, but it was also pretty funny, which is more than we can say for most of the insults this feud has generated, including Floyd’s response. After Floyd had a member of “The Money Team” explain to him why this indistinguishable pattern of letters was different from all the other indistinguishable patterns of letters he sees on the internet, he opted to make a homophobic response implying 50 had herpes. Classy.

PBC Teams With Fox

Last week PBC announced a renewal of their partnership with Showtime. This week, Al Haymon’s “Premier Boxing Champions” announced a four-year deal with FOX which will consist of pay-per-view events, 10 primetime cards and some unspecified original programming. PBC got a ton of hype when it was first announced, with journalists declaring that it would save boxing by putting big fights on network TV. That largely has not panned out, and with the rise of various streaming services boxing now seems harder for fans to follow than ever before. Still, PBC has control of a large stable of fighters like Deontay Wilder, Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia, so if they actually put the right fights on FOX boxing could become big again very quickly.

HBO Getting Killed For Not Airing Female Boxing Championship

With all of the moves various networks and streaming services are making in the boxing world, HBO seems to be getting left behind. So, the last thing the network needs is a boxing related controversy, yet that’s what they have. While promoters are marketing the Oct. 27 card headlined by Daniel Jacobs facing former sparring partner Sergiy Derevyanchenko as a “triple header,” HBO will only be showing two fights, leaving the rematch between Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent for the WBO World Featherweight Title untelevised.

Various Twitter users complained and implied misogyny. Hardy was not pleased and went to Twitter to complain, saying “It’s not just about TV- it’s about the pay gap. Not only are we making a significantly less amount of money than the other two title Fights- without exposure we can’t secure sponsors. It’s not right.”

Someone will put in the time and effort to promote female boxing, but anyone that thinks it will be HBO is crazy. At this point, the onetime king of boxing isn’t looking to put any effort into the sport unless they have someone they think is a guaranteed star, and female boxing has yet to produce someone who fits that description.

WBC to Give Winning Trainer in Porter-Garcia Clash a Special “Trainer Belt”

In what’s pretty clearly an attempt to instigate a fight between Angel Garcia and Kenny Porter, the WBC is continuing their tradition of making ridiculous belts by creating a special “trainer’s belt” for the winning fighter’s father. One of the most common complaints about boxing is that there just aren’t enough belts, so this was very forward thinking by the WBC. Although we’ve yet to see the belt itself, knowing the WBC I’m sure they’ll tell us it was made from the leather of Santa Ana’s marching boots and conditioned with the crystallized tears of Aztec warriors, or something even less believable.


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