Canelo Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs to Fight May 4 on DAZN
For all of last week, Oscar De la Hoya had been implying he was trying to make GGG-Canelo 3 for May 4 on DAZN. It now appears that was a negotiating tactic with Daniel Jacobs’ team, as instead Canelo will be facing “The Miracle Man” on May 4 at a site yet to be determined, but likely the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will unify Canelo’s WBA and WBC titles with Daniel Jacobs’ recently won (over Serhiy Derevyanchenko) IBF middleweight title.
This is a great fight and would have been justifiable had it been put on PPV for upwards of $60 by a channel like ESPN or Showtime. Canelo deserves credit for facing a very dangerous opponent, and DAZN deserves credit for bringing PPV-quality fights to their relatively cheap streaming platform.
Ray Beltran Moves up to 140 For Fight against Hiroki Okada
After losing both his lightweight title and a chance to face Vasyl Lomachenko when he dropped a decision to Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza, Beltran is opting to move up to 140 to face undefeated Japanese fighter Okada. Beltran is 37 years old and 45 fights into his professional career, so if he thinks he can make a serious run at another title he needs to act soon, and he needs to win this fight. For Okada, this will be only the second time he has fought outside of the Korakuen Hall in Japan, and Beltran will be by far his best opponent as a professional.
Lara-Castano, Ortiz-Hammer Headline March 2 Showtime Card From Brooklyn
Showtime will air a card from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn on March 2 that will feature two Cuban boxing stars. Erislandy Lara, the 154-pound former Canelo Alvarez opponent who was spoken of as a serious threat to both Canelo and GGG until he dropped a split decision to Jarrett Hurd in April, will face undefeated Argentinean knockout artist (13-0 with 11 knockouts) Brian Carlos Castano, while fellow Cuban Luis “King Kong” Ortiz will face Romania’s Christian Hammer, who has faced but lost to Alexander Povetkin and Tyson Fury as a professional.
Eddie Hearn Announces Liam Smith-Sam Eggington with Worst Promotional Video of All-Time
A few weeks ago, I argued that the strange Japanese promotional video for the Floyd Mayweather-Tenshin Nasukawa fight was the worst boxing promotional video of all time. That video has been usurped in a major way by Eddie Hearn’s promotional video for the upcoming Liam “Beefy” Smith-Sam Eggington fight. In the video, we meet Eggington’s superhero alter ego “the Cheeseman” and see his highlights covered in early Batman style “kapow” punctuations. It’s not funny, but the fight isn’t very interesting either, so maybe we should give credit to Hearn for trying something different.
Klitschko Calls Whyte Fight “Fake News” But is Reportedly Pursuing Comeback with DAZN
After reports last week linked Wladimir Klitschko with a comeback fight in the UK against Dillian Whyte, Klitschko called Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix to tell him that those reports were “fake news.” However, while it appears Klitschko will not be fighting Whyte, he is reportedly attempting a comeback.
According to Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger, Klitschko has been looking at a three-fight deal with DAZN, where he would face a journeyman fighter in a tune-up fight before rematching Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in his second and third fights for the network. While everyone wants to see Joshua fight the winner of the rematch between Fury and Wilder, Joshua-Klitschko was a great heavyweight fight, and Fury so thoroughly embarrassed Wladimir Klitschko that a rematch would either be a great last stand for the future hall-of-famer or another display of how Fury’s goofy attitude disguises his brilliant boxing skills.
Coppinger is also claiming that DAZN is signing Sor Rungvisai, and that Anthony Joshua is in talks to fight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller in the USA either June 1 or June 8. Rungvisai would be a huge signing for DAZN (assuming he fights better competition than he did for Rizin), but a Joshua-Miller fight would really cement DAZN’s status as the new king of boxing and push non-streaming outlets like Showtime closer to the HBO brink.
Louisville Airport Renamed after Muhammad Ali
The Louisville International Airport will be renamed in honor of Muhammad Ali, after the city of Louisville sanctioned a study that found Ali’s name had more worldwide recognition than the city of Louisville, with the mayor claiming the move will be part of a group “organizing a group to work toward celebrating Ali's Louisville ties more broadly.”
Why this needed a one-year study is unclear, Ali is obviously more famous worldwide than the city that brought us baseball bats, KFC and the Kentucky Derby. There’s a pretty famous scene in “When we Were Kings” where Ali marvels at his plane’s all-black crew and pilots, saying that you would never see something like that in America. Because of this, it would be nice if the airport named after him was as diverse as he would have liked to see.