Boxing News Week 3 August 2020

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is seen by most as the successor to Floyd Mayweather Jr as the new face of the sport and shot caller. Right now Alvarez finds himself in a bizarre spot as it is being announced that the WBC have ordered a match between himself and 29 year old Turkish fighter Avni Yildirim for their vacated title. Canelo typically fights on the weekend of Mexican Independence which along with Cinco De Mayo serves as the Superbowl Sunday of boxing and has for at least a decade. Without a dance partner and the date rapidly approaching Canelo has had to concede the date and look for an opponent. Callum Smith of the UK is largely viewed as the man to beat at 168 following his victory at the World Boxing Super Series over George Groves as he unified titles and established his place a top the division. Smith won a highly controversial decision over John Ryder and has turned down the fight with Canelo and Ryder though riding high on the performance has not been offered the fight. Billy Joe Saunders is another UK fighter whom Alvarez attempted to negotiate with this year and all but had the fight set for earlier this year when COVID-19 struck. Saunders has since withdrawn from negotiations with Canelo.

To make matters more interesting the streaming service DAZN which has a deal with Canelo to show 11 of his fights and pay him handsomely for each fight is not interested in showing a Yildirim fight. DAZN paid Alvarez 40 million for each of his last two bouts and was not even willing to pay the promised fee in a match up of Canelo vs Smith which would be a big fight in DAZN’s home base the UK and is great fight. I think DAZN is having buyer’s remorse after spending so highly to secure Canelo Alvarez in a deal very similar to the deal Showtime inked with Floyd Mayweather Jr. They certainly overpaid for Canelo and with their promise to never have pay-per view cards they cannot bring in that money to help profit from putting up the licensing fees for the events. DAZN entered the US market with big money deals to many stars and showing major events and tournaments but with COVID-19 they really got stung. They were struggling before that but the company is in a dire situation right now. Recently, chief executive Simon Denyer resigned and the company is looking to try and raise one billion dollars. They look to either liquidate assets or make a initial public offering and enter the stock market. Through these tough times DAZN is putting its foot down on Canelo and Oscar De La Hoya for their inability to put on what they feel is a premium event. DAZN signed Gennady Golovkin in the hope of completing their trilogy but Canelo has expressed disinterest in taking that fight. With any hope the Yildirim fight either does not happen or it creates the pressure scenario that leads to Canelo getting in the ring with Smith, Saunders, or Golovkin.

Quick Hits:

“Bud” Crawford vs “One Time” Thurman? Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions is still searching for a November opponent for the WBO 147 lb champion and pound for pound talent Terrence Crawford. Keith Thurman coming off his first career defeat against Manny Pacquiao and hand surgery has put his hat in the ring. He has been calling out Crawford on social media. Though Arum prefers Pacquiao, he has met with Thurman’s people but thinks that their financial demands are out of the question given the current climate with the pandemic. Thurman has demanded Crawford’s camp send him a contract to sign on Instagram Live but is this posturing or a serious call out. According to Crawford’s trainer,  Brian McIntyre, Thurman wants ten million dollars for the fight. Thurman only earned $2.5 million in his biggest fight of his career against Manny Pacquiao which makes this claim seem very ridiculous. Crawford also took home $5.5 million in his last fight and as the man with the belt he would be expected to take the bigger half. I’m not quite sure where ten million dollars for Thurman comes from and how they could then pay out Crawford. Is this a publicity stunt or a real negotiation?

Jessica McCaskill prevailed over Cecilia Braekhus for the undisputed women’s welterweight crown this past Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In an interesting atmosphere a ring was erected in the middle of the streets of downtown Tulsa the combatants fought without a crowd. In a close fight Braekhus was outworked 499-269 in total thrown punches but was more accurate landing 32% to 17%. The hard charging McCaskill pressed hard to open the fight and built up a lead early in the ten round contest. Braekhus came on in the back half but dropped a close majority decision to the scrappy challenger. DAZN unofficially scored the bout 96-94 for Braekhus as did the fan consensus of scores on Boxrec.com. Eye on the Ring had McCaskill scores and draws for the most part. McCaskill dedicated her win to the homeless in America having overcome being homeless as a child in the streets of Chicago. Braekhus was humble in defeat, at this point no rematch is solidified but it would seem to make the most sense given the close nature of the contest and the length of Braekhus’s title reign.

This is for the fourth-grade-year-old homeless Jessica,” McCaskill said with pure joy after the bout. “This is for the little girl that just didn’t care what people thought about her and learned to love herself even though she was really weird

Jessica McCaskill https://www.dazn.com/en-US/news/boxing/cecilia-braekhus-vs-jessica-mccaskill-live-results-updates-highlights/l4kjo6zthspb18tac3yor73gl

Works Cited:

Brian Campbell, “WBC orders Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim fight for vacant super middleweight championship”, cbssports.com, CBS Broadcasting, August 18, 2020, https://www.cbssports.com/boxing/news/wbc-orders-canelo-alvarez-vs-avni-yildirim-fight-for-vacant-super-middleweight-championship/#:~:text=The%20board%20of%20governors%20for,vacant%20168%2Dpound%20title%20bout.&text=WBC%20president%20Mauricio%20Sulaiman%20said..

Salvador Rodriguez, “WBC orders Canelo Alvarez vs. Avril Yildirim for super middleweight belt”, ESPN.com, ESPN Deportes, August 18, 2020, https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/29689531/wbc-orders-canelo-alvarez-vs-avril-yildirim-super-middleweight-belt.

Keith Idec, “Arum: Thurman’s People Called About Crawford Fight, But Money Demands Are Crazy” boxingscene.com, BoxingScene, August 18, 2020, https://www.boxingscene.com/arum-thurman-people-called-about-crawford-fight-money-demands-crazy–151029

Jake Donovan, “Thurman to Crawford: Send The Contract, Let Me Post It On IG And Sign It Live”, boxingscene.com, BoxingScene, August 18, 2020, https://www.boxingscene.com/thurman-crawford-send-contract-let-me-post-it-on-ig-sign-it-live–151025

David Hellier, “DAZN Eyes $1 Billion in New Funding Push”, Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg LP, August 19, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-19/blavatnik-backed-dazn-said-to-eye-1-billion-in-new-funding-push

Martin Ross, “EXCLUSIVE: DAZN chief executive Denyer steps down”, sportsbusiness.com, SBG Companies Limited, June 29, 2020, https://www.sportbusiness.com/news/exclusive-dazn-chief-executive-denyer-steps-down/

Chris Williams, “Crawford’s Trainer Says Thurman Wants $10 Million For Fight” boxingnews24.com, Boxing News 24, August 19, 2020, https://www.boxingnews24.com/2020/08/crawfords-trainer-says-thurman-wants-10-million-for-fight/

Mark Lelinwalla, “CECILIA BRÆKHUS VS. JESSICA MCCASKILL RESULTS: MCCASKILL BECOMES NEW UNDISPUTED WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION WITH MAJORITY DECISION” dazn.com, DAZN, August 16, 2020, https://www.dazn.com/en-US/news/boxing/cecilia-braekhus-vs-jessica-mccaskill-live-results-updates-highlights/l4kjo6zthspb18tac3yor73gl

https://boxrec.com/en/scoring/2504024

https://eyeonthering.com/boxing/cecilia-braekhus-vs-jessica-mccaskill

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