Here are the most eye-catching stories from this weekend’s boxing news and ring action:
– Well, it’s official…I guess. Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs. Ryan “King Ry” Garcia on April 22 in Las Vegas has been confirmed by both fighters via social media. It’s also been confirmed by Garcia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya and head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza.
It seems like every week there’s been some rumor about this highly-anticipated fight. Sometimes, the rumors have fight talks stalled over some contractual dispute. Other times, the buzz is that all is well and that an announcement would be imminent.
This time, though, it looks like the real deal. Now, the only thing that could get in the way of this hot clash of undefeated 20-something KO artists is a training camp injury or some sort of personal meltdown involving one (or both) of these volatile characters.
– Subriel Matias vs. Jeremias Ponce Saturday night on Showtime, atop a Premier Boxing Champions card in the Armory in Minneapolis, was exactly what everyone thought it would be– an all-out war. It just didn’t last as long as most thought it would.
After a quick and violent start by Argentina’s Ponce and then three close subsequent rounds, Puerto Rico’s Matias would eventually grind down the game contender. A late fifth-round knockdown of Ponce would precede a corner stoppage between rounds five and six.
With the victory, the fan favorite pressure fighter would win his first world title, the vacant IBF junior welterweight championship.
– In the co-main event underneath Matias-Ponce, hometown Minneapolis welterweight Jamal “Shango” James returned to the ring for the first time since October of 2021. He’d beat Argentina’s Alberto Palmetta via ten-round unanimous decision.
In his last bout, James was stopped in nine rounds by Radzhab Butaev in a bid for the WBA welterweight title.
– Floyd “Money” Mayweather had another exhibition tussle Saturday night. This time, he took on UK reality show personality, retired MMA figher, and 1-0 boxing pro, Aaron “The Joker” Chalmers at London’s O2 Arena.
It was a dull 8-round, 2-minute-per-round, affair, even by exhibition fight standards. The 46-year-old Mayweather, of course, easily handled his 35-year-old novice opponent. He wouldn’t be touched by anything substantial at any point of the contest. The Hall of Famer’s mugging to the cameras and dancing between rounds brought little-to-no entertainment value to the one-sided sparring session.
Rumors abounded prior to Mayweather’s first-ever UK fight that interest in the exhibition was lukewarm and that the O2 Arena was heavily papered to make up for unsold seats.
– Tommy Fury overcame a last-round knockdown to edge Jake Paul via split decision Sunday afternoon at Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia by scores of 76-73, 76-73, and 74-75. The 8-round fight was appropriately sloppy for a contest between novice pros. Both fighters, however, showed plenty of desire and gumption in the twice-postponed cruiserweight grudge match. The 26-year-old Paul, who suffered his first career loss, has already indicated his desire to follow through on the rematch clause in the fighter contract.
With the victory, the 23-year-old Fury, who is younger brother of WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, is now 9-0 with 4 knockdowns. Paul, meanwhile, falls to 6-1.
“I created my own legacy,” Fury said in his post-fight interview. “I am Tommy Fury…This to me was my world title fight.”
“This is definitely a humbling experience,” Paul said in his own post-fight interview. “I’ll take it on the chin and will come back strong. I felt flat. I got sick twice in camp and injured my arm. But I’m not making excuses.
– 39-year-old former super middleweight and light heavyweight champ Badou Jack outclassed and stopped defending WBC cruiserweight titlist Ilunga Makabu in the twelfth round on the Jake Paul-Tommy Fury undercard to become a three-division world champ.