Here are the most eye-catching stories from this week’s/weekend’s boxing news and ring action:
– 23-year-old heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson stepped up his level of opposition on Saturday and had some mixed results. Headlining his first show in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, atop an ESPN card, Anderson took on former IBF world titlist Charles Martin in a bout that would go the full ten rounds.
Although the young heavyweight won via wide unanimous decision with scores of 98-91 and 99-90 (twice) and scored a knockdown in the third round, he took some big shots and appeared buzzed on more than one occasion. The fifth round, especially, was a rough one for Anderson as he took several big left hands that appeared to rock him.
At the end of the day, the young prospect came off looking like a young prospect with some development still needed.
With the victory, Anderson moves to 15-0 with 14 KOs. The 37-year-old Martin, meanwhile, falls to 29-4-1, with 26 KOs.
– In a move that surprised most everyone, it was announced on Friday that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would be fighting unified 154 lb. champ Jermell Charlo on September 30 and not, as widely reported, Charlo’s twin brother Jermall on September 16. Alvarez-Charlo represents the first time in the 4-belt era that undisputed, fully unified world champs from two divisions would face one another. This will be the first bout in Alvarez’s reported 3-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions.
– The rematch between China’s Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce is now official. The heavyweight return bout will take place Saturday, September 23 at the OVO Arena, Wembley, UK. Back in April, Joyce came into his clash with Zhang as a top heavyweight contender and holder of the interim WBO heavyweight titlist. After suffering a sixth-round TKO loss, the London native was vocal about exercising the rematch clause in his contract.
– The WBA has ordered the bout between their junior welterweight world champion Rolly Romero and top contender Ohara Davies to go to purse bid. After the two sides failed to come to agreement on the terms for Romero’s first title defense, the contest will be offered up to the highest bidder among all WBA-registered promoters. According to sanctioning body bylaw, Romero, as the defending champ, will receive 75% of the winning bid.
– Former WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder gave an interview this past week, criticizing former 3-belt heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz for not accepting the terms of a proposed bout. He also issued an ultimatum of sorts.
“Andy was only a champion for as long as a blink of an eye,” Wilder told ESNews. “I’m a five-year, ten-title defense champion. There is a difference. What I possess is power. I put people on the edge of their seats every time. People come to see my God-given talent. Now, on the other hand, with Andy – what do we see from him? A short, fat fighter with small [arms] so it makes him look fast – T-Rex – that’s it. You don’t put nobody at the edge of their seat, and ain’t nobody getting excited.
“The only reason this fight will be exciting is because they want to see how fast I will knock him out, and that’s it. I can tell you this, though. Soon you’re going to see [Ruiz become] nonexistent in the boxing world. You’re going to see him on the shelf because he ain’t going to have nobody to fight… Andy is going to be 33 years old, broke, and can’t support his children because his daddy made decisions for him. He should make decisions for himself.”
– The IBF has ordered a mandatory title defense between newly-crowned junior welterweight champ Subriel Matias and top contender Shohjahon Ergashev. The sanctioning body has ordered that the fight take place on or before August 25.