Boxing weekly roundup: Olympic boxing under threat; Breazeale bides his time
Here is your essential weekly boxing news roundup, covering all the news you may have missed …
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Andre Ward, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, Oleksandr Usyk and many more have come through the Olympic route to professional world title honors. But boxing at the Olympics is under threat and faces an “unprecedented risk,” according to Gethin Jenkins, the head of England Boxing.
In a report by the BBC, the the International Olympic Committee has threatened to remove boxing from the Olympics if amateur boxing’s governing body (AIBA) continues with its current internal governance.
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“In the longer term I think there is a threat to boxing clubs,” said Jenkins. “It is grave. I think it’s an unprecedented risk in terms of the statements the IOC has made.”
AIBA’s current interim president, Gafur Rakhimov, has been told by the IOC to address AIBA’s finances, governance and anti-doping issues. Rakhimov is looking to be re-elected and will stand unopposed but has been described by the U.S. Treasury Department as “one of Uzbekistan’s leading criminals”, but he denies allegations he is linked with criminal organizations.
The only possible rival to Rakhimov is 1980 Olympic Games silver medalist Serik Konakbayev. But his candidacy was turned down on grounds he did not receive the adequate letters of support to be on the ballot paper. Konakbayev contests this ruling, saying that some of his nomination forms were not counted. The Court of Arbitration for Sport will decide if his candidacy stands by Oct. 30.
The AIBA presidency is expected to be announced in early November, and the IOC set to update its position on boxing at the 2020 Games in December.
“Olympic participation is vital for boxing,” Jenkins said. “It’s not only from finances directly to the world governing body, it’s direct and indirect finances through solidarity payments and by other means to the national federations. “It is key to the sport that we work with the IOC to get the desired outcomes.”
Dominic Breazeale is hoping to receive his mandatory WBC title fight against the winner of Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury by the summer of 2019, Sky Sports reports.
Breazeale (19-1 17 KOs) has been waiting for his mandated WBC heavyweight title challenge since winning a final eliminator against Eric Molina in November 2017.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has supported the “ultimate” fight between Wilder or Fury and unified champion Anthony Joshua for the right to become undisputed champion
“That’s a fight the WBC has just ruled to support,” Sulaiman had told Sky Sports. “During our convention, a ruling of the mandatory status included the provision of trying to make the winner of Fury-Wilder against Joshua.”
“I hope I have that shot, the summer of next year,” Breazeale told Sky Sports. “We know the Wilder-Fury fight is happening on December 1. Usually when a title of that big magnitude goes into effect, there’s a good six to seven months lay-off before the next opponent gets his opportunity, so I’m assuming the summer of next year. If it comes sooner, by all means, I’ll be ready for it.”
Breazeale failed in a world title attempt in 2016 when he lost via a seventh-round stoppage to Anthony Joshua in June 2016.
“He’s my only loss since the Olympics, my only loss as a pro. He’s been my toughest fight up to date. … I think it will make for something great. The boxing world will definitely be tuned in.”
The Metro reported that Fury kicked out a reporter from a media scrum at his workout in Los Angeles on Thursday. The Lineal heavyweight champion, who fights Wilder on Dec. 1 for the WBC title, told the reporter, YouTuber Elie Seckbach, to leave before the workout began.
“You can’t interview me. See you in a bit,” Fury said. “Get him out of here. I don’t want him around me. He’s a hater. Thank you, Elie. See you in a bit.”
Fury’s training camp is based at Big Bear Lake, Calif., and is the same gym that Gennady Golovkin uses. Fury, 30, revealed the reason why.
“I was speaking to Lennox Lewis on the phone, and he told me he got out of there (Big Bear) after a week,” Fury said. “He said he hated it, and it was too hard. I was already very fit, could fight 12 rounds on the pads. Here, I am tired after three or four rounds. The air is thin and it’s hard to breathe.”
Callum Smith wants to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas now that Canelo is stepping up to super middleweight, reports Sky Sports.
Smith is the No. 1 fighter at super middleweight after defeating George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series final (WBSS) and is very interested in facing Canelo if he overcomes Rocky Fielding on Dec. 15
“Yeah of course. If he stays at super middle, then I’ll definitely be putting my name in the hat for his next fight at the weight,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“He’s a special fighter, but I don’t believe he’s the biggest at super middle, and I think that gives any super middleweight a slight advantage over him, what they probably lack in ability up against him. But if he stays there, then definitely I would love to fight him. Fighting Canelo Alvarez in Vegas is another thing that I would like to tick off.”
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