Here are the most eye-catching stories from this weekend’s boxing news and ring action:
– The numbers have been released for the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia pay-per-view event on April 22 in Las Vegas and there’s no denying now just how much of a success it was.
According to The Sports Business Journal, the Premier Boxing Champions event, which was a co-promotion with Golden Boy Promotions, sold more than 1.2 million PPV units and delivered a live gate revenue of $22.8 million from the sold out T-Mobile Arena, making it the fifth highest live gate tally in Nevada fighting history. The pay-per-view buy rate also makes the event the most successful boxing pay-per-view since Saul Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin I back in September of 2017. The fight, which saw Davis stop Garcia in the seventh round with a body shot, is expected to bring in approximately $102 million from pay-per-view revenue, alone.
– Lightweight contender William Zepeda made his case for inclusion in the “Top dogs of the lightweight division” category on Saturday night with a brutal destruction of Panama’s Jaime Arboleda at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
The southpaw Zepeda would drop Arboleda three times with body shots en route to a second round stoppage. The victory boosts Zepeda’s record to 28-0 with 24 KOs.
The Mexican battler continues to wade into the deep waters of a stacked and mega-talented lightweight division that includes the likes of unified 4-belt champ Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
“It’s a loaded division,” Zepeda said in the post-fight interview, through a translator. “We know that we want to fight for a title. It doesn’t matter who it is.”
Zepeda’s trainer, Jay Najar, agrees.
“That’s why we joined boxing, to fight,” he said. “If not, we would’ve joined hockey or ballet. … We’re ready to fight. We’re willing to fight anybody.”
– On the Zepeda-Arboleda undercard, featherweight Victor Morales scored the minor upset with an impressive second round KO of Diego De La Hoya.
– Ring Magazine/Ring TV has once again posted that, according to their sources, the Errol Spence-Terence Crawford welterweight unification is a done deal. This time around, July 22 is the date slated for the highly-anticipated matchup. About a month ago, they posted a similar story with a June 17 date mentioned and the big fight announcement slated to be made during the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia pay-per-view show.
– Teofimo Lopez was in the news last week for race-based comments made during a video interview.
A clearly irate Lopez spoke to YouTube channel Punsh Drunk Boxing, railing against what he sees as disrespect shown to him by promoter Top Rank, network ESPN, and the ESPN commentators Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley. The 25-year-old former 3-belt lightweight champ would then blast his promoter and network for race-based preference of black fighters.
“This is my last fight on ESPN,” Lopez said. “I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. This is why this fight (against Josh Taylor on June 10) means everything to me. If they want the black fighters they can keep them.”
– The Floyd Mayweather-John Gotti III exhibition bout was officially confirmed this past week. The eight round pay-per-view bout will be June 11 live on Zeus Network, broadcast from FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida.
Gotti, who holds a 5-1 record in mixed martial arts and a 2-0 record in professional boxing, is the son of reputed former mob boss John Gotti.
“This was my idol,” Gotti said at the recent press conference to kick off the event hype. “This was a guy I did school projects on. It was a guy I looked up to. The fact that I’m in a position to stand across the ring from Floyd is a tremendous honor.
“But make no mistake, June 11 I’m bringing bad intentions to that man. I don’t care if it’s an exhibition or not. You signed to fight me, there’s no quarter. It’s kill or be killed.”