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Largest storylines to look at forward of Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos and Stephen Fulton vs. Brandon Figueroa

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Boxing followers must be prepared for a busy evening on Saturday, with a pair of huge occasions on the docket. On DAZN (8 p.m. ET), Teofimo Lopez lastly steps into the ring with George Kambosos Jr., whereas a Showtime card (10 p.m. ET) returns to Las Vegas for an excellent bantamweight unification bout between Stephen Fulton Jr. and Brandon Figueroa.

Lopez shall be defending his WBA, IBF and WBO light-weight titles towards Kambosos in a battle that has been rescheduled time and again for the reason that preliminary purse bid in February. In the meantime, Figueroa will put his WBC world tremendous bantamweight belt on the road towards Fulton, who’s risking his WBO world title, in a unification bout that anchors the motion on Showtime.

As we shut in on battle evening, let’s check out the largest storylines heading into an enormous Saturday evening.

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1. It is lastly time to maneuver on for Lopez

Triller’s try and make a splash within the boxing world by delivering a large purse bid to win promotional rights to Lopez vs. Kambosos become one of the crucial irritating journeys in sports activities in 2021. Sadly, it additionally resulted in almost a 12 months of Lopez’s profession being wasted, and only one 12 months after Lopez shared many Fighter of the Yr awards with Tyson Fury. As a substitute of shortly caring for his IBF obligatory duties towards Kambosos and ending 2021 with a second battle, presumably towards one of many many large names within the light-weight division, Lopez was caught in impartial because the date was pushed time and again. Issues got here to a head with probably the most ridiculous postponement of all, as Triller canceled an Oct. 4 date when CEO Ryan Kavanaugh “realized” {that a} Monday date throughout NFL season would battle with Monday Evening Soccer, an American sports activities staple since 1970. Whereas Lopez finally agreed to the date change — one in all a minimum of 4 adjustments in “official” date, with many different dates floated — Kambosos refused and Triller was dominated in default of their purse bid, turning duties over to Matchroom Boxing who dealt with reserving the brand new date with little drama.

See also  Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos delayed as soon as once more; Aussie pushes for Triller's elimination from occasion

On the threat of overlooking Kambosos, who’s a reputable and expert fighter, the largest story coming into Saturday is that, hopefully, Lopez can lastly transfer on to extra fights the followers really wish to see. Which will begin with a rematch with Vasiliy Lomachenko, the longtime pound-for-pound elite whom Lopez upset to turn out to be unified light-weight champion in October 2020. However choices for giant fights abound within the light-weight division. Devin Haney, Gervonta “Tank” Davis and even Ryan Garcia are all large cash fights within the division. Kambosos goes to get his shot as a result of boxing is structured in a manner the place obligatory opponents are sometimes solely obligatory for the sanctioning our bodies and nobody else. Now, it is time for Lopez to handle enterprise as anticipated earlier than shifting on to larger and higher issues.

2. Fulton vs. Figueroa is a sneaky good battle

Unification bouts are nearly by no means a foul factor for boxing. Fulton and Figueroa are combating in not solely a bout to unify the WBC and WBO titles at 122 kilos, however the winner has a reliable probability to determine themself because the world’s high junior featherweight, with solely two-belt champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev having a declare in any other case. Already ticking the packing containers of being a unification bout and between two of the three elite fighters within the division, Fulton vs. Figueroa can be only a good battle. Neither man is a celebrity when it comes to public notion, however these are the sort of fights, balancing large threat with large reward, that may take both to the subsequent degree.

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Figueroa is an motion fighter, completely happy to press the tempo and let his palms go. That might be an ideal stylistic problem for Fulton, who’s extra of a direct, technical boxer with a whole recreation constructed off a improbable jab. That stylistic conflict is fascinating and will make for a battle worthy of the battle’s divisional significance. In an evening that includes two stable playing cards of boxing motion, Figueroa and Fulton often is the ones who ship a battle that leaves everybody speaking.

3. Each playing cards have shocking depth

It is easy with boxing to fall into the expectation that boxing playing cards will function one related battle on high, in the event that they even handle that a lot. As a substitute, each the DAZN and Showtime playing cards have a number of compelling fights. Setting apart the primary occasions, listed below are some fights to regulate:

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  • Azinga Fuzile vs Kenichi Ogawa: The DAZN co-feature sees Fuzile and Ogawa conflict over the vacant IBF junior light-weight title. Much like Fulton vs. Figueiroa, this can be a battle that includes a slicker boxer (Fuzile) towards a extra direct attacker (Ogawa). This must be battle for a world championship.
  • Ra’eese Aleem vs. Eduardo Baez: The Showtime co-feature at tremendous bantamweight could not have a world title however is an intriguing conflict of a scorching prospect in Aleem and a troublesome opponent in Baez who’s on a two-fight run of handing fighters their first profession defeats. Baez will look to set again one other profession when he faces Aleem, who was purported to battle former unified champion Danny Roman when Roman pulled out of the battle seemingly to guard his No. 1 IBF rating.
  • Gary Antonio Russell vs. Alexandro Santiago: Russell is an undefeated prospect who suffered an unlucky end in his most up-to-date outing, a no-contest coming after a conflict of heads simply 16 seconds into his battle with Emmanuel Rodriguez. Santiago is something however a lightweight contact, coming in on an eight-fight successful streak and arguably deserved the win in his 2018 bout with Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF tremendous flyweight title.
See also  Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3: Pictures present epic knockdowns and end of all-timer at heavyweight

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Boxing

Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto, Holly Holm headline 2022 Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame class

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On Tuesday, the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame introduced the inductees for the 2022 class and it’s loaded with some huge names. Headlining the category are Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto and James Toney on the lads’s aspect, with Holly Holm and Regina Halmich for the ladies. The category will probably be inducted alongside the 2021 and 2020 courses, which have each seen their ceremonies delayed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Corridor of Fame nominees are voted on by members of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America in addition to a panel of boxing historians. The induction ceremony is held on the Corridor of Fame museum in Canastota, New York.

Let’s take a fast have a look at the most important names within the 2022 class.

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Roy Jones Jr.

Voted Fighter of the Decade for the Nineties by the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America, Jones gained world championships in 4 weight courses whereas spending a big portion of his profession as the highest pound-for-pound fighter within the sport. Jones’ first championship victory got here in Could 1993, capturing the IBF middleweight title with a win over Bernard Hopkins. In November 1994, Jones moved as much as tremendous middleweight to win the IBF title in opposition to James Toney. Jones additionally was a unified champion at mild heavyweight and solely misplaced one struggle in his first 50 contests, that being a disqualification loss in opposition to Montell Griffin that Jones avenged in much less that one spherical within the rematch. Amazingly, Jones additionally went as much as heavyweight, the place he defeated John Ruiz to turn into WBA champion. Jones holds a profession file of 66-9 with 47 wins by knockout.

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Miguel Cotto

Cotto held titles throughout 4 weight courses in his profession and fought in among the greatest and most vital fights of his period. Cotto gained the WBO junior welterweight title in 2004, efficiently defending the title six occasions earlier than transferring to welterweight to win the WBA belt in 2006. He would defend that title in opposition to the likes of Zab Judah and Shane Mosley earlier than shedding the belt to Antonio Margarito in a bloody warfare that many query after Margarito was discovered to have illegally loaded his hand wraps in opposition to Mosley. Cotto would finally win titles at junior middleweight and middleweight. In his profession, he fought large bouts in opposition to different huge names together with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

James Toney

Toney gained championships in three weight courses, together with middleweight, tremendous middleweight and cruiserweight. Toney went undefeated within the first 46 fights of his profession. That included six defenses of the IBF middleweight championship and three defenses of the IBF tremendous middleweight championship. After shedding the tremendous middleweight title in 1994, Toney wouldn’t maintain one other world title till 2003 when he pulled off a giant win over Vassiliy Jirov in 2003. Toney would go on to make two bids for heavyweight championships, drawing with Hasim Rahman after defeating John Ruiz, a victory that was overturned after Toney failed a drug check.

Holly Holm

Whereas Holm might have discovered extra mainstream consideration within the UFC, the place she gained the ladies’s bantamweight championship from Ronda Rousey in a now-iconic upset, she first used her fistic skills within the boxing ring. Holm gained championships at junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight. She defended her championships 18 occasions and solely misplaced one struggle as soon as she had reached the championship degree. That loss was a brutal knockout by the hands of Anne Sophie Mathis in 2011, although Holm avenged the loss of their rematch, combating solely two extra occasions after earlier than transitioning to combined martial arts.

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Regina Halmich

Halmich transitioned from a profitable kickboxing profession to the boxing ring in 1994. In her ninth struggle, she misplaced for the one time in her profession, failing to win the IBF feminine flyweight title in opposition to Yvonne Trevino. She would win the belt in her subsequent outing, happening to efficiently defend the belt 15 occasions. Throughout her reign with the flyweight title, Halmich additionally added the tremendous flyweight title and junior flyweight title. She would efficiently defend titles a shocking 40 occasions in her profession and retired on a 46-fight unbeaten streak.

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Tommy Fury withdraws from Jake Paul battle for medical causes, Tyron Woodley steps in for rematch

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Jake Paul’s return to the boxing ring will tackle a brand new — but very acquainted — take care of Tommy Fury, the youthful brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, withdrew from the battle as a consequence of medical causes that impacted his coaching camp, in line with a press launch from Showtime..

The information, first reported by the U.Okay. outlet The Mirror, was confirmed by Paul on Monday morning through social media

Paul (4-0, 3 KOs), the YouTube sensation turned skilled pugilist, will nonetheless battle in the primary occasion of his Dec. 18 Showtime PPV from the Amalie Enviornment in Tampa, Florida, with former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley agreeing to interchange Fury for a rematch on simply two weeks’ discover.  

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“When my workforce woke me up on Friday to inform me Tommy was pulling out, I instructed them I am able to battle anybody on Dec. 18,” Paul mentioned within the press launch. “Troy, Trey, Trevor, Travis. I do not give a rattling who it’s. So, as I predicted Tommy Fumbles and Tyron is there to select it up, stepping in, and contractually he’s getting an additional $500,000 if he knocks me out. First time I outboxed him. This time I am gonna punish him and depart little question.”

The 39-year-old Woodley made his professional boxing debut in August when he misplaced an eight-round cut up determination in opposition to Paul in Cleveland, Ohio. Woodley fought properly and arguably scored a knockdown that wasn’t referred to as when the ring ropes held Paul up following a proper cross.

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“I’m completely heartbroken that I’ve been pressured to withdraw from my battle with Jake Paul as a consequence of a bacterial chest an infection and damaged rib, Fury mentioned in a press release. “I actually do hope we are able to get this battle rescheduled within the new yr. I need this battle to nonetheless occur greater than something.”

Paul, 24, initially appeared keen to present Woodley a rematch following their shut battle however provided that his opponent adopted via on a pre-fight wager to get an “I Love Jake Paul” tattoo someplace on his physique. Woodley finally did get the tattoo on the center finger of his left hand, though Paul selected to go in a distinct path.  

Fury (7-0, 4 KOs) was anticipated to be Paul’s hardest take a look at to this point and the primary skilled boxer he has confronted following a run of early victories over fellow YouTubers and retired professional athletes from exterior of the world of boxing. The 22-year-old Fury, who is understood extra for his actuality tv function on the U.Okay. sequence “Love Island,” boxed on the undercard of Fury-Woodley however seemed sluggish in outpointing the a lot smaller MMA fighter Anthony Taylor (0-2). 

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The Paul-Woodley II card may even function a particular attraction battle pairing former NFL operating again Frank Gore in opposition to ex-NBA level guard Deron Williams.  

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Boxing schedule for 2021: Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Richard Commey, Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley 2 on faucet

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Prime Rank Boxing

Boxing continues to roll on in 2021. After a tough 2020 that noticed many stars both not compete or compete simply as soon as, the brand new 12 months has seen a handful of fighters already seen ring time with massive success.

Look no additional than the pound for pound king himself, Canelo Alvarez. The Mexican famous person accomplished his takeover of the tremendous middleweight division with a thudding knockout of Caleb Plant in November to grow to be the primary undisputed champion in that division’s historical past. A raucous 12-month run that noticed him decide up 4 huge wins already has him because the consensus decide for Fighter of the 12 months as soon as once more.

And lots of within the boxing group had been surprised when WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas outpointed legend Manny Pacquiao to retain his title in August. Regardless of the combat being made final minute due to an damage to unified titleholder Errol Spence Jr., many anticipated Pacquiao, 42, to have the ability to maintain enterprise in opposition to the Cuban. Pacquiao subsequently introduced his retirement from boxing to concentrate on a presidential run in his native Philippines. 

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Plus, Oleksandr Usyk shocked many along with his dazzling efficiency in opposition to Anthony Joshua to say the unified heavyweight championships. Usyk took a call over the champion in London and threw a wrench into any plans for a heavyweight unification bout after Joshua invoked his computerized rematch clause.

As the top of the 12 months nears, boxing seems to be going out with a bang.

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The light-weight division continues its red-hot run within the remaining weeks of the 12 months. After Geroge Kambosos scored one of many greatest upsets of the 12 months in outpointing Teofimo Lopez to say the unified titles at 135, each Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis made their case to be subsequent in line to face the Aussie with robust performances. Now, the previous undisputed champ, Vasiliy Lomachenko, will get his probability within the highlight when he takes on former titleholder Richard Commey on Dec. 11. Plus, WBC bantamweight champ Nonito Donaire is again on the identical evening when he takes on Reymart Gaballo.

Beneath is a operating checklist of boxing primary occasions for the 2021 12 months.

Notice: This will likely be up to date continuously with adjustments and additions.

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Dec. 11 Carson, California Nonito Donaire (c) vs. Reymart Gaballo WBC bantamweight title Showtime
Dec. 11 New York Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Richard Commey Lightweights ESPN
Dec. 18 Tampa, Florida Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley Cruiserweights Showtime PPV
Dec. 18 Manchester, England Derek Chisora vs. Joseph Parker Heavyweights TBD

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