Here are the most eye-catching stories from this week’s/weekend’s boxing news and ring action:
– In an impressive performance that defied most expectations, Teofimo Lopez dominated Josh Taylor to win the WBO junior welterweight title and earn top dog status in the 140 lb. division.
After four close rounds at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, the 25-year-old Lopez asserted his dominance and controlled the rest of the fight against a 32-year-old Taylor who had no answers and stopped looking for any as Lopez took control.
It was a surprisingly one-sided bout considering Taylor’s status as lineal junior welterweight champ, former 4-belt unified titlist, and his placement on pound-for-pound lists. Two odd 115-113 scorecards didn’t tell the true story of Lopez’s commanding victory. The third judge’s 117-111 tally was more accurate.
Given his marketability and new champ status, Lopez will have a world of possibilities when it comes to who he faces next. Names such as Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, Regis Prograis, and Gervonta Davis, among others, are all within the realm of possibility.
– The Floyd Mayweather-John Gotti III exhibition at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida turned into a wild brawl Sunday night when referee Kenny Bayless called a halt to the contest in the sixth round due to excessive trash talk and clinching between the two fighters. Gotti didn’t respect the ref’s decision, however, and went after Mayweather in, ironically enough, the only bit of fire he showed in the ring that night. Members of the two fighters’ teams then jumped in and everything turned into a chaotic mess. The nastiness would also rage ringside and backstage where both sides continued to beef.
– Jaime Munguia was forced into a firefight Saturday night in his super middleweight debut at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California and nearly didn’t make it out of it.
Facing 37-year-old 3-time former world title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, the 26-year-old Munguia was rocked several times throughout the contest and appeared to be near the point of exhaustion at the mid-way point of the twelve-round affair.
A second wind and the benefit of a significant size advantage (along with an 11-year age advantage) helped the Mexican put things back together and take a measure of control late in the fight. A knockdown in the twelfth round secured the unanimous decision victory for Munguia by scores of 114-113 (twice) and 115-112. Without the knockdown, the bout would’ve been a majority draw.
– The usually screamingly average Shane Mosley Jr. turned on the heat in his bout on the Jaime Munguia-Sergiy Derevyanchenko undercard and stopped D’Mitrius Ballard in the seventh round of their ten round middleweight contest.
– Adrien Broner made a victorious comeback this past Friday against a wildly overmatched Bill Hutchinson in Miami atop a Don King pay-per-view.
The four-division former world champ was nearly able to put his opponent away early in the fight with a mere going-through-the-motions effort. When Hutchinson proved to be more durable than thought, Broner settled into a dull and dissatisfying groove of just doing enough to win each round. At the end of what turned out to be a pointless contest, the judges’ scorecards reflected the one-sided nature of the bout with scores of 100-90 and 99-91 (twice).
After the bout, Broner would deliver a NC-17 post-fight interview and directly call out new WBA junior welterweight titlist Rolando “Rolly” Romero.
– On the Broner-Hutchinson pay-per-view undercard, 42-year-old former two-division world champ Guillermo Rigondeaux fought for the second time this year and scored his second straight KO victory. The Cuban, who fought conservatively throughout this bout, stopped an overmatched Charlie Clemente with a single body shot in the seventh round.
– Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Deontay Wilder have both now confirmed that they’ve received offers from Saudi Arabia’s Skill Challenge Entertainment for a Wilder-Joshua heavyweight showdown in December The upstart Saudi company recently signed 3-belt heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usk to a promotional deal.
– Top lightweight contender, Mexico’s Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz will take on undefeated Chicagoan Giovanni Cabrera on the July 29 pay-per-view undercard of Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
– It’s now official. Three-division world champ Emanuel Navarrete will defend his WBO junior lightweight world title against former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez Saturday, August 12 at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.