Here are the most eye-catching stories from this week’s/weekend’s boxing news and ring action:
– In weekend ring action:
In Las Vegas, Frank Martin had a tougher time than expected against Olympic bronze medalist Artem Harutyunyan in a WBC lightweight eliminator, but eventually managed to grind out a unanimous decision by scores of 114-113 and 115-112 (twice).
On the Martin-Harutyunyan undercard, junior welterweight contender Elvis Rodriguez dropped and stopped veteran former world champ Viktor Postol in the seventh round and rising welterweight prospect Freudis Rojas stopped Diego Sanchez, also in the seventh round.
In Detroit, Alycia Baumgardner avenged her lone career defeat with a decisive 10-round unanimous decision over Christina Linardatou via scores of 99-91 and 98-92 (twice).
On the Baumgardner-Linardatou undercard, 2020 Olympic gold medalist Andy Cruz scored a unanimous decision win in his pro debut over former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos. The judges’ scorecards read 100-90 (twice) and 98-92.
– The long-rumored bout between WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury and former UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou is now official. Slated for October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the battle of the big men has drawn criticism from boxing fans for the fact that Fury is bypassing “legit” contenders to take part in this non-title, but on-the-records bout against a fighter making his pro boxing debut.
– According to TMZ, unified lightweight champ Devin Haney was arrested Thursday morning in Hollywood, California and booked for felony possession of a concealed weapon after a semi-automatic handgun was found in the car registered in his name.
Police reports show that Haney and his entourage were pulled over by police for traffic violations and, when the car was searched, the weapon was found under the driver’s seat. Haney, who was not driving, was charged with the crime since nobody took ownership of the gun and the vehicle was registered in his name. Haney was released on $35,000 bail and is due to appear at a court hearing next month.
– Gervonta “Tank” Davis was released from a Baltimore jail on Friday. The 28-year-old box ofice draw served 44 days after a judge ruled on June 1 that he violated the terms of his house arrest stemming from a 2020 hit-and-run accident.
– WBO junior welterweight champ Teofimo Lopez has officially un-retired and will continue with his champion reign following an ultimatum of sorts from the WBO. The sanctioning body was ready to order a bout for the vacant 140 lb. title if the 25-year-old had maintained retired status. Lopez announced his retirement shortly after his June 10 victory over Josh Taylor.
– Shakur Stevenson and his team have petitioned the WBC to enforce his mandatory challenger status and call for an immediate bout with unified champ Devin Haney. They’ve also petitioned for an even, 50-50 purse split.
– Top lightweight contender William Zepeda will meet the Philippines’ Mercito Gesta atop a September 9 Golden Boy fight card broadcast on DAZN at a venue to be determined.
– Jared Anderson will return to the ring just eight weeks after beating Charles Martin in a tougher-than-expect tussle in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. His opponent for the August 26 event, broadcast on ESPN from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be Ukrainian journeyman Andrii Rudenko.
– IBF mandatory world title challenger Filip Hrgovic will face Australian undefeated contender Demsey McKean at The O2 in London on Saturday August 12, on the Anthony Joshua-Dillian Whyte 2 undercard.
– Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. is now a promotional free agent after successfully securing his release from Top Rank.
– Three-division undisputed champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields won the Best Boxer award at ESPN’s ESPY Awards, beating out fellow nominees Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Devin Haney, and Shakur Stevenson.