Here are the most eye-catching stories from this week’s/weekend’s boxing news and ring action:
– Unified 4-belt lightweight world champ Devin Haney took a unanimous decision over former 3-division world champ and 2-time Olympic gold medalist Vasiliy Lomachenko Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas by scores of 116-112 and 115-113 (twice).
It was a compelling contest fought at a high level that saw several ebbs and flows in momentum. Down the stretch, the 35-year-old Lomachenko seemed to have the edge and was coming on strong while the 11-years-younger Haney seemed to be fading.
For the judges, at least, this wasn’t enough and Haney would keep his belts and his undefeated record.
After the fight, Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) flirted with the idea of testing the waters at 140 while holding onto his 135 lb. belts for possible blockbuster bouts with either Shakur Stevenson or Gervonta Davis.
Lomachenko’s record now falls to 17-3, with 11 KOs.
— In the wake of his high-profile knockout loss to Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Ryan Garcia has settled on Derrick James as his new trainer. The Dallas-based James has become one of the hottest trainers in the sport, working with fighters such as Errol Spence, Jermell Charlo, Frank Martin, and, most recently, former heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua.
— According to Artur Beterbiev co-promoter, Bob Arum, the three-belt light heavyweight champ will defend his titles against Callum Smith in “early August” at a venue to be determined in Beterbiev’s adopted hometown of Quebec, Canada.
Earlier this month, Arum’s Top Rank Promotions won the purse bid for the rights to stage this bout, bidding $2,115,000– just $15K more than next highest bidder Matchroom Boxing.
— Former unified lightweight champ George Kambosos Jr. signed a multifight co-promotional deal with Top Rank Promotions. He will keep working with promoter Lou DiBella, though, and keep the former HBO exec as co-promoter.
— Tyson Fury took to Instagram Live this past week, lamenting his inability to find a suitable opponent for a comeback.
“I”ve been off Instagram for a while, I”ve been on holiday, I”ve been chilling, I”ve been eating, I”ve been doing all sorts of sh*t,” Fury said. “But I just wanted to say to everybody that I want to knock out all these motherf***er out and I”m ready to rumble.
“I”ve not fought since December through no fault of my own. I”ve tried to fight some little midget Usyk and he”s not wanted anything, I”ve tried to fight AJ, he don”t want no smoke.
“I”ve tried to fight everyone. Andy Ruiz Jr. has asked for 20 million, silly little b**ch don”t know where he”s got that from. Who”s out there? Who”s available? Zhang, he was a good little fight but Joyce wants his rematch so that”s not happening now. So, I”m looking to fight anybody, any place, anytime, anywhere. I cannot wait to fight Usyk, AJ, whoever is out there, I”m f****ng you up because I”m the baddest motherf***er on the planet.”
— Citing their stance on not sanctioning Russian fighters for title shots due to Russian aggression in the Ukraine, the WBC said it will not green light Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Russia’s Dmitry Bivol for Alvarez’s WBC super middleweight title. Alternative options for Alvarez include a possible move up to 175, where the Mexican star would get a second shot at dethroning the WBA light heavyweight champ. Alvarez failed in his bid to take the belt from the WBA light heavyweight titlist last May, losing a fairly decisive twelve round unanimous decision.
— WBC junior welterweight champ Regis Prograis is just days into his deal with Matchroom Boxing, but he’s already stuck in a no-opponent spot for his proposed June 17 fight date. Slated opponent Liam Paro pulled out of the championship clash, citing injury, leaving Prograis without a title challenger for his belt. Next-in-line proposed opponent Arnold Barboza Jr. may or may not be next, despite the back-and-forth bickering that two have engaged in through social media. Contract conflicts may make a bout between the Matchroom-promoted Prograis and the Top Rank-promoted Barboza a difficult deal to close.