Boxing

Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) has got a lot of hard work in store for him next Saturday night in trying to retain his IBF welterweight title against Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) on May 27. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn tried to talk some sense into him by suggesting that the 31-year-old Brook vacate his IBF 147 lb. title and move up to 154 and try his hands at fighting in the junior middleweight division.

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WBC World featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) retained his title in defeating challenger Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17 KOs) by a 7th round TKO on Saturday night in a fight televised on Showtime Championship Boxing at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Russell Jr. hurt the 32-year-old Escandon with big left and right hand to the head that knocked him to the ropes where referee Harvey Dock was forced to stop the fight. The fight was officially stopped at 0:59 of round 7.

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As I had predicted earlier, IBF World super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis (18-0, 17 KOs) effortlessly knocked out a badly over-matched #1 IBF Liam Walsh (21-1, 14 KOs) in the 3rd round on Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena in London, England. Davis, 22, dropped Walsh with a powerful left hand to the head in the 3rd round.

The spindly-legged Walsh got back to his feet on hurt legs that wouldn’t respond to him. The referee Michael Alexander allowed the fight to continue despite Walsh looking very hurt on shaky legs.

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Keith “One Time” Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) sent a message to all of his followers on social media on Friday to let them know about his recent right elbow surgery. WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman, 28, says he plans on returning to the ring by the end of the year. In his last fight, Thurman narrowly beat WBC 147 pound champion Danny Garcia by a 12 round split decision on March 4 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs) says he’s signed a contract to face Germany’s Enrico Koelling on July 29 in Quebec City, Canada. This will be an IBF light heavyweight eliminator bout with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger to IBF champion Andre Ward. Beterbiev, 32, says the venue and the date of the fight could change in the future. The two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev is currently in the process of splitting with his promoter that he’s been with since he turned pro in 2013.

Beterbiev is ranked #2 by the International Boxing Federation and his opponent Koelling is ranked No.5. Koelling was the first contender in the IBF’s top 15 rankings that was willing to face Beterbiev in the IBF 175 pound eliminator fight after Sullivan Barrera pulled out of his fight with Beterbiev.

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Inactive former four division world champion Miguel Cotto has reportedly parted ways with his promoters at Roc Nation Sports after just 2 fights with the company. According to Dan Rafael, Cotto and Roc Nation couldn’t agree on the amount of money the soon to be 37-year-old Cotto would get for his fight against Japanese fighter Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs). That fight was supposed to have taken place on June 24. It’s not going to happen now though. There were several venues that were being considered for the Cotto-Kamegai fight in Puerto Rico, Miami and Frisco, Texas.

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After almost two years, the Philippines’ Hammer Fist, Michael Farenas is coming back to the ring on June 1 at Roy Englebrecht’s “Fight Club OC” show in The Hangar at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, CA.

“It’s been a long journey to get back in the ring, but now that time has come,” said Farenas in an interview.

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#1 IBF mandatory challenger Liam Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) will be challenging for the title this Saturday night against the younger, stronger and faster IBF World super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) at the Copper Box Arena in London, England. Walsh, 30, has the deck stacked against him in terms of the talent in this fight against the 22-year-old Davis. What Walsh does have going for him is the home country advantage with the fight taking place in the UK.

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The highly ranked Joe Smith Jr. (23-1, 19 KOs) will be taking a risky fight this summer against the big punching Sullivan Barrera (19-1, 14 KOs) on July 15 the Forum in Inglewood, California. The Smith Jr. vs. Barrera fight will be televised on HBO’s Boxing After Dark. The start time for the fight is at 9:50 p.m. ET/6:50 p.m. PT.

The winner of the Smith Jr-Barrera fight should see themselves pushed up the rankings and in better position to get a world title shot than they are now.

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Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) is ready to take Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight strap from him on May 27 in front of his own fans at Bramall Lane, in Sheffield, England. Spence has done his homework in scouting out a number of Brook’s past fights, including his recent 5th round blowout loss to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Spence has seen the flaws in Brook’s game that he feels he can take advantage of.

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Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin have history together with the two of them having sparred in the past in 2011 when Canelo was 20 and still learning. There were a number of flaws that Canelo showed during the sparing session that was noted by journalists. One of the flaws that were observed in Canelo’s game was his tendency not back off when he was hurt by Golovkin.

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WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) will be inside the ring defending his titles this Saturday night against 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (19-1, 8 KOs) on HBO World Championship Boxing at Madison Square Garden in New York. It’s nice to see Crawford fighting in a different venue than in Omaha, Nebraska, where he’s been fighting a lot lately.

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