The boxing world continues to have some interesting things happening, and, sad to say, more so outside the ring than inside the ring.
With the weather getting better and COVID restrictions loosening a bit, whispers and rumors are starting to circulate about more fights getting booked, though. With that, another edition of “Around the Curve” had to make its way to the public.
Talk about making a statement, Ryan Kavanaugh and the people over at Triller are cooking up a storm. They slid into the Teofimo Lopez purse bid and won the rights to host the fight between Lopez and George Kambosos. I don’t see Triller trying to become the next DAZN but more so like a Ring City USA type of platform. From the outside looking in, it seems as if they are wanting to be an entertainment company that gives you a little bit of everything without having a full commitment in one direction. In saying that, I don’t think they are done shopping for 2021 events.
Which fights have the potential of going to a purse bid that would see Triller throw their name in the hat? There is one in particular that comes to mind and that’s WBO welterweight champion Terrence Crawford going up against Shawn Porter. (Around the Curve has featured Crawford plenty.) Ever since the ball dropped in Times Square on December 31st, the talks of that fight have gotten louder. Porter has publicly mentioned declining offers of $1 and $2 million from Top Rank for that fight. At what point does the WBO step in and order a purse bid? I think its soon and wouldn’t it be something if that fight landed on Triller PPV this summer?
Let’s think about that for a second. Shawn Porter doesn’t have any other real options because we know he isn’t getting that Spence rematch anytime soon. For Crawford, he isn’t getting Spence and fighting either Josh Taylor or Jose Ramirez won’t happen until later this year. I don’t think the Manny Pacquiao fight is there either so why not do the Porter fight? Keep an eye on that situation as more will develop soon.
What’s Going On With PBC & Fox?
Who knows what is really going on, but one thing is for sure, there aren’t any fights on Fox currently slated for March. With rumors that their contract is ending this year, before the full four year term ends, is Fox going to invest a ton of money towards the end of their deal for fights? I don’t think so and the PBC may even get a buyout option if the MLB, NASCAR and other sports start getting hot again along with having fans in attendance.
If all of this happens and PBC goes over to Showtime, I think we get a big press event later this year (as we have in the past), with Showtime unveiling a ton of premier fights for the rest of the year.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis
One of the more polarizing figures in the sport has been quiet as of late while he awaits his fight date. Gervonta Davis Tweeted a few weeks back that he hurt his hand and just recently, posted this on Instagram:
Perception is everything when it comes to building stars these days and with that, I think we get Davis going up against WBA Super Lightweight Regular Champion Mario Barrios. If successful, this would make Davis a three-division champion and that would certainly mean something to those outside of the hardcore fans and media. What I couldn’t ignore from his post was that he said he was going to do some “spectacular shit.”
Just imagine Gervonta Davis winning the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes. I can see that fight happening from two perspectives: 1) Al Haymon having the ability to sweeten the pot for Manny outside of his base salary and 2) Floyd Mayweather getting his licks in without having to step back in the ring. That would be a massive fight! Keep in mind, Vegas is looking at really opening up by May according to those that live in the area. (Side note: Vegas has already opened the T-Mobile allowing 15% capacity which is roughly three thousand or so.)
This is an interesting division as it is filled with some talented champions and a mix bag of personalities. WBC Champion Oscar Valdez crushed Miguel Berchelt in a way that no one really expected. Top Rank has something there with Oscar and he will more than likely have a volunteer title defense before any major fight occurs. So where does that leave Shakur Stevenson?
Although he mentioned he wants Valdez next, I think Top Rank points Shakur in the direction of the Herring vs Frampton winner. That would be an attractive fight and then you make the unification with Valdez either later this year or early 2022.
What About The Welterweights?
While unified champion Errol Spence Jr. has no opponent as of yet, look for the fight with Yordenis Ugas to be announced soon. Where does that leave the outspoken Keith Thurman? He may get a shot at Mikey Garcia. The winner of that one could potentially face the winner of Spence Jr and Ugas. What about Danny Garcia? Why not make that all Philly clash with “Boots” Ennis towards the end of the year? That would be a really attractive fight and would have probably all of Philly in attendance for that one.
Canelo keeps collecting belts and moving forward with his plan to become an undisputed champion at 168. Although the plan would be to fight Caleb Plant after May, I don’t know if it's that simple. Knowing that Canelo needs that fight, Plant may play hard ball during negotiations and the fight may fall apart. What is plan B for Plant? He has the David Benavidez fight that is there, so he has options.
What does Canelo do in the meantime? That third GGG fight certainly looks to be the one that fills that hole.
What about a showdown with Errol Spence in Dallas at 165 pounds? That fight has all of my interest if it can be booked.
The other one is fighting Ryoto Murata in Japan on New Years Eve. Canelo has options so if Plant acts up, he will just revisit that fight at a later date and make the big checks against GGG, Murata or Spence Jr.
My Three Cents:
We are finally seeing a little bit of the light at the end of the tunnel. Not saying we are completely out of this fight with COVID but things are slowly getting back to somewhat normal. If you ask me, I think we will be back to boxing with at least 50-75% crowds by July. That right there will be great for everyone involved and the fans that love to attend live fights.
By the way, looks like Miami will be getting more fights in the near future so start looking at those flights and get those linen outfits ready! You may have to head down to South Beach to see some of these big fights in the future. Stay tuned for more “Around the Curve” editions throughout the year.