Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap

By James Kinneen Feb 1, 2019

Fury-Wilder 2 Official for Brooklyn on April 27 or May 18

Boxing fans in New York City got a treat this week, when it was announced that Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s rematch would be held at the Barclay’s Center on either April 27 or May 18. The first fight was obviously great, and the rematch will undoubtedly have far more hype behind it, as both men have become more famous among mainstream sports fans because of it. It will be interesting to see who the fan favorite is: Wilder is the American, but Fury has Irish roots and tons of Irish people live in NYC. Fury will also be the more sympathetic fighter, after so many people thought he should have won the first fight by decision. Either way, it’s a great fight and anybody on the East Coast should consider going to it.

Mares out of Gervonta Davis Fight with Elbow Injury, Davis to Now Face Hugo Ruiz

Abner Mares injured his elbow and can no longer fight Gervonta “Tank” Davis on Feb. 9. In his place, Hugo Ruiz will fight Davis instead. Although he’s a big puncher, Ruiz isn’t as good of a fighter as Mares and has fought the majority of his career at 122 pounds, so it’s not 100 percent clear if that power will translate. But, on such short notice there wasn’t much anybody could do so we get this fight. Davis was the main attraction anyway; let’s hope he can make the fight exciting against a lesser opponent.

Ivan Baranchyk Bails on WBSS Tourney, Prograis May Follow

The 140-pound World Boxing Super Series Tournament is in serious trouble, as Ivan Baranchyk has pulled out of his fight against Josh Taylor, claiming the fighters didn’t get the money they deserved until they threatened litigation, the WBSS wouldn’t put the money in escrow to guarantee that didn’t happen again, and that he didn’t want to keep waiting as the fights got postponed further and further out. Worse, the tournament’s biggest star, Louisiana’s Regis “Rougarou” Prograis is now considering doing the same, citing the same issues as Baranchyk. This tournament worked extremely well at cruiserweight and turned Oleksandr Usyk into a huge star in boxing, it’s a shame it’s struggling so badly at junior welterweight.

Rungvisai-Estrada 2, April 6 on DAZN

Sor Rungvisai will be returning to both the USA and having to face real competition when he will rematch Mexican Juan Fransisco Estrada on April 6 in Los Angeles. Rungvisai has been fighting in Asia facing subpar Asian fighters, while Estrada beat Felipe Orucuta on the final “Superfly” card on HBO. In their first fight, Rungvisai won a majority decision in a back-and-forth slugfest that was a legitimate contender for fight of the year, let’s hope this one is as good.

DAZN, PBC Offers for ‘GGG’ Become Clearer

Speaking of DAZN, according to Mike Coppinger GGG is being offered 45 million dollars for two fights with the streaming network. The first fight would be in either May or June (possibly against Demetrius Andrade), then in September if GGG won and Canelo Alvarez beat Daniel Jacobs, we would get GGG-Canelo 3. PBC is apparently countering that offer with a two-fight deal of their own that would be worth less money but would involve a PPV fight against Jermall Charlo.

It’s hard to see GGG taking the PBC offer for a couple of reasons. One, he has to want to face Canelo a third time, considering he thinks he has beaten him twice, but the record shows he never has. Two, while PPV money is great, GGG has never sold well without Canelo, and it is highly unlikely that facing Jermall Charlo is going to have fans paying in droves. It’s also a smart move for DAZN to offer him only a two-fight deal, as there are many people that think at this point in his career GGG is washed up, and him beating Andrade is far from a certainty.

Isaac Dogboe Likely to Rematch Emanuel Navarrete

When Isaac Dogboe was given a main event on ESPN, it was because everyone expected the legitimate Ghanan royal to be the next big star in boxing. When he was dominated by Emanuel Navarrete, ESPN needed to come up with another plan. Apparently, months later they’ve decided the best option is to run it back, because reports are that the network is trying to get Dogboe and Navarrete to rematch each other.

This seems like wishful thinking from “The Worldwide Leader”, considering the first fight wasn’t especially close and it’s hard to see what Dogboe could do differently against a much bigger and stronger opponent. Still, with Dogboe’s earning power it will be fascinating to see how ESPN covers the rematch considering how pro-Dogboe they were in the first bout.

George Groves Announces Retirement

George Groves, the British super middleweight who was last seen getting stopped by Callum Smith in Saudi Arabia announced his retirement this week at the age of 30. Groves won’t be a hall of famer but has some nice wins over guys like Chris Eubank Jr., James Degale and Martin Murray. Unfortunately for him, he may end up best known for getting knocked out by Carl Froch in front of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium, a moment Froch brings up so often that it has become one of boxing’s most overused memes.

In fact, it was this moment that created some drama on Twitter this week as Froch responded to Groves’ retirement announcement by essentially saying Groves was a good fighter until Froch knocked him out, and he was never good again. In response, Andre Ward was quick to point out how easily he beat Froch, which led Froch to accuse him of dodging a rematch in the UK and to claim Ward retired because no network wanted to air his fights. It was an ugly moment, that kind of took away from Groves’ announcement. Shame on Froch for creating the situation.


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