As we approach the summer, boxing is starting to hit its stride with some legitimate fights and events. We are only a few days removed from what was a record crowd inside of Jerry’s World in Dallas, TX and it feels good to have these huge events. For one night, it seemed like we all put away the thoughts of what was a horrendous year (2020) and enjoyed boxing’s biggest star performing for our viewing pleasure. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (56-1-2) put on a masterful performance and remained the sport’s biggest star.
It seems as though this past year has brought people to start thinking about the future and that means trying to put together the best fights sooner than later as tomorrow is really unpredictable. So, what is “Around the Curve,” you ask? Let’s take a look.
Oscar De La Hoya vs. Canelo?
This has been an interesting year already and although he has teased a comeback for quite some time, it looks as though Oscar is “all in”. He tentatively has a fight scheduled for July on the trendy app “Triller”. Ryan Kavanaugh, co-owner of Triller, recently posted on Instagram that he was trying to land Georges St. Pierre as an opponent for the “Golden Boy”, but UFC’s Dana White did not allow that to happen.
Although Oscar’s opponent is of interest to many, this is “Around the Curve,” so let’s talk about what can happen if everything goes without a hitch in July. Would you watch a fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez?
During their breakup, there were documents leaked saying that Oscar was considered a premier opponent so that tells me DAZN was certainly thinking along the same lines at one point. In the buildup to the Saunders fight, Canelo, in rare form, dropped some sound bites against his former promoter that made its rounds throughout the social media sphere.
If you ask me, I think if they were able to make a fight between them, it will probably make a run for the PPV record. Who wouldn’t want to see someone fight their former employer who they had a nasty break up with. It reminds me when the WWE had the storyline of Vince McMahon with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. That story did record numbers and this fight would be no different.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
The next fight for Canelo has to be the one he desires the most, which is against IBF Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant (21-0). Canelo reportedly turned down a multi-fight deal with the PBC last year, but something tells me that offer will reappear once again. That package will probably include the Plant fight in September while having the Spence Jr. fight in May. Canelo vs Spence Jr. is destined to take place at Cowboys Stadium.(Click HERE for previous article on this.) We will see that one in May 2022 but Canelo can squeeze in a December fight with Oscar and finish the year in extraordinary fashion.
Some may say, ‘But what about WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo (31-0) going up against Canelo?’ No disrespect to Jermall but he hasn’t shown a track record of bringing the type of crowds Spence Jr. has in his previous two fights. From a financial standpoint, the Canelo vs Spence Jr. fight makes the most sense. It would be at a catchweight but we all know Spence Jr. is no small man so I see him not having any issues fighting at around 165.
I am getting this weird feeling that the Tyson Fury (30-0-1) vs. Anthony Joshua (24-1) fight isn’t going to happen next. As recent as Tuesday morning in the U.S, Eddie Hearn was on Sky Sports saying him and AJ are “comfortable” with the current financial terms. However, Frank Warren recently mentioned that Fury isn’t and won’t sign until there are proof of funds. I think Fury’s stance comes from Bob Arum and Top Rank as they recently had a potential Crawford vs. Pacquiao fight collapse because the proof of funds could not be produced.
I keep seeing these videos of former WBC Champion Deontay Wilder (42-1-1) circulating the net and with their arbitration case still being worked on, I think we see Fury vs. Wilder III in the summer.
— Malik Scott (@MalikKingScott) April 28, 2021
What is Fury going to do until then? I think he squeezes in a match with Scotland’s Drew McIntyre at WWE’s Summer Slam. Why not continue to participate in these international events that will only further solidify himself as THE Heavyweight Champion? These next couple of weeks are going to be interesting and if Fury goes with the Wilder fight, then Summer Slam here we come!
Their seems to be a lot of discussion involving WBC Super Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez (29-0). By the looks of it, he is being pointed in the direction of a voluntary defense and not against WBO Champion Jamel Herring (23-2). With Shakur Stevenson fighting in June for the WBO Interim title, it looks as though we will get Stevenson vs Herring in the fall.
I have tweeted that a major NY card can be put together in the fall if Top Rank can have Herring vs Stevenson and Smith Jr. vs. Beterbiev on the same card. With Stevenson, Herring and Smith Jr. all being from the tri-state area, they would certainly have enough star power to fill up the Garden or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
As far as the other champion in the division, Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0), we really don’t know what is next for him after the June 26 Mario Barrios fight, so it will be a “wait and see” approach with how he moves forward with his career. With all of his legal issues, we may not see “Tank” fight until 2022 after the Barrios showdown this summer. As far as his WBA title at 130, he will probably vacate it, which will make Chris Colbert the full champion.
Next week, we will hopefully crown an Undisputed Super Lightweight Champion barring a draw on the scorecards if it goes twelve rounds. What happens with the winner? Although it has not been mentioned publicly, I have been led to believe that there is a rematch clause. If that is true, regardless of who wins, we will see them fight again in September. Jose Ramirez vs. Josh Taylor II will be one of the most anticipated rematches in recent years as next week has narrow decision written all over it. What does that mean for the Undisputed Lightweight King Teofimo Lopez (16-0)? He will fight at least once more this year and look to move up at the beginning of next year.
What is going on with the WBO Welterweight Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (37-0)? The fans want to see him fight but it seems like he can’t secure a marquee name. With Pacquiao out of the picture, who does he face? I have to believe Top Rank revisits the Shawn Porter fight and makes that into a summer PPV event. That certainly will be worth the price of admission.
If that doesn’t happen, we will get Crawford fighting a top ten guy this summer. The next move may be in weight class. I still believe he moves up to junior middleweight and challenges Jermell Charlo (31-0) for ALL of the belts. Crawford vs. Charlo would be an all-action brawl between two guys that will not back down from each other. This would only happen if Charlo beats Brian Castano this summer.
My Three Cents: The rest of the year looks to be filled with some interesting headlines. You have the PBC looking for a new distribution home which seems to be Showtime as of right now. What if the PBC made the leap to DAZN? Wouldn’t that be something. DAZN certainly has the money to absorb them so keep an eye on that.
What is going on with Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (41-1-1)? Is he going to take another low level fight this summer? Is the plan to then go to Japan for New Years to mix it up with Ryota Murata? What happens after that? Does he then face Jermall Charlo after he turns 40 in April?
Stay tuned for the next edition of “Around the Curve” as we continue to monitor the rest of the year.