Heavyweights – Late yesterday, June 24, the news that Tyson Fury had an ankle injury bad enough to push back his July 9th rematch with Wladimir Klitschko until October seemed to be the perfect story to cap a chaotic week in the heavyweight division. The two first met last November 28th, so the delay means that both men will have been out of the ring for close to a year. The exact date in October is yet to be announced.
Just hours away and possibly already in the books when you read this is today’s Anthony Joshua versus Dominic Breazeale IBF world heavyweight title fight in London. For the good of boxing, this will hopefully be a competitive bout and not another gross mismatch. The numbers at the sports books and the talk around the fight all point to an easy fight for Joshua.
Earlier, the WBC and their heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder announced a revamped title defense in Alabama against Chris Arreola with a date of July 16th. Earlier this week, however, Alexander Povetkin and his promoter Andrey Ryabinsky filed a lawsuit against Wilder and promoter Lou DiBella, asking for damages upwards of $30 million dollars. Though FOX has signed up to air Wilder versus Arreola and the fight is still officially on, Ryabinsky’s lawsuit, filed in New York State, could gum up the works.
More on the legal front, as Australia’s Lucas Browne is patiently awaiting his day in court. He and attorney Leon Margules will be in Tacoma, Washington on July 21st for the first court hearing. Browne won the WBA heavyweight title in March with a win over Ruslan Chagaev in Russia, but was subsequently stripped of it by the WBA due to a failed drug test. He is attempting to get the WBA belt returned to him because he feels he was stripped without due process. He is also seeking damages to his reputation. Browne is also on a six month suspension retroactive to March 5th, the day of the fight, so he will be eligible to fight again in September.
Joseph Parker (19-0) of New Zealand is back on the calendar, as he faces Solomon Haumono (24-2-2) in Christchurch on July 21st. Parker, coming off a May 21st win over France’s Carlos Takam (33-2-1) that was his biggest win to date, likes to stay busy. The 24 year old logged five fights in 2015 and the July engagement will be his third of 2016.
September 16th in Las Vegas sees Golden Boy putting Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on HBO PPV against England’s Liam Smith. The co-feature on that card sees WBA interim titleholder Luis Ortiz (25-0) putting his belt on the line against mandatory challenger Alexander Ustinov (33-1). Many consider Ortiz the best heavyweight of them all, but at age 37 he’s fighting Father Time.