The Spit Bucket is your weekly source of random thoughts, opinions and comments about the Manly Art, compiled by TSS boxing writer Diego Morilla. Follow us every week at #SBatTSS and @TSSboxingnews
STRANGE STEAKFELLOWS — Canelo Alvarez has had his share of outside-the-ring fights, including an alleged aggression on a fellow boxer that almost landed him in jail. But his most public and bitter fight has probably been his dispute with Mauricio Sulaiman, heir to the throne held by his father at the very top of the Mexico-based World Boxing Council for decades. The organization has been notoriously favorable to Mexican fighters through the years, and for that reason the Sulaiman-Alvarez confrontation has been even more noticeable.
But Canelo’s recent cancellation of his rematch against Gennady Golovkin due to a suspension for the alleged use of clenbuterol, a performance-enhancement drug also found abundantly in Mexican bovine meat, has apparently been seized by Mauricio to try to sympathize with His Frecklessness and perhaps rein him back into the realm of the WBC, whose green belts are usually seen as a mix of birthrights, rites of passage and crowning achievement for Mexican fighters.
In recent statements, Sulaiman has publicly defended Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and given him the benefit of the doubt by stating, among other things, that “(Canelo) deserves an opportunity to do his research and give his explanation of how it happened, the places where he ate during the month of February,” indicating also that there have been similar cases involving the same substance entering the body of other athletes through tainted meat.
The now-defunct Canelo-GGG rematch was supposed to have Golovkin’s WBC, WBA, and IBF title belts on the line, but in the first fight Alvarez had declared that he would have rejected the WBC belt specially made for the occasion due to his previous unresolved disputes with the organization. It now remains to be seen whether this declaration of unilateral cease fire by Sulaiman will cause Canelo to reconsider his position for the future. But for now, the pair seems to have put their beef on hold (pun definitely intended) until further notice.– Diego M. Morilla
Bopp Wants to Make Some Noise
The phrase “the bigger they are, the more money they make” is not part of boxing’s collection of notorious aphorisms (it might be, after the publication of this article), but that doesn’t make it less true. It is a known fact that a fighter’s ability to make money is heavily (yes, another pun) dependent on their size, and regardless of how talented a fighter may be, their closeness to the bottom of the weight division chart will impact their ability to make a living and have a significant savings account.
That statement holds even more dramatically true for female fighters, which puts the subject of our story at the very bottom of boxing’s food chain. Argentina’s Yesica Bopp (33-1, 14 KO) is one of the most talented practitioners of the sport, a pioneer in her own right who answered the bell for the very first female amateur fight in her country’s history, and a classy character with unlimited charisma. And yet, the success of most of her female counterparts on the international stage has eluded her so far.
But after taking a year off to become a mom in 2015, Bopp has grabbed six straight wins and will be aiming to make it 7-0 against Soledad Del Valle Frias (13-10-4, 4 KO) this Friday, April 6 in her native country. Bopp’s aim is to finally lure one of boxing’s most promising stars in up-and-coming, former Olympian with made-for-Hollywood looks Marlen Esparza, a Golden Boy darling who may be looking to fight for a title soon. For Bopp, it will be a chance to make a statement of her formidable talent against a younger opponent, and perhaps finally profit from a career that has given her many other satisfactions and a place in history in her branch of the sport. – Diego M. Morilla
Aziza Oubaita Emerged a Winner in the Fight of Her Life
When French-Moroccan female fighter Aziza Oubaita suffered a cardiac arrest during training, she instantly thought that her boxing career was gone forever. But 18 months ago, Oubaita received a heart transplant that allowed her to beat the most formidable foe of her life, and after a long recovery process received the medical clearance to resume her activity in the gym, with the suddenly tangible goal of returning to the ring. Today, Oubaita trains again and aims to fight professionally soon. “I am doing everything I have to do now, each step is a victory over my disease,” said Oubaita from the Paris gym where she trains. “I always knew that my goal was to practice boxing competitively again. I will continue working hard because my biggest opponent, my disease, has already lost the battle.” After her first operation, Oubaita was unable to speak or walk for a while. In her last bout, on March of 2011, Oubaita dropped a unanimous decision to Argentina’s Carolina Duer during an attempt to grab the WBO title in the 115-pound division.– J.J. Álvarez
Deontay Wilder Out-wilds Himself
The disturbing statements by Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder on the radio program “The Breakfast Club”, which was syndicated to several stations across the US, may get the WBC heavyweight titlist suspended. Exhibiting a blatant disregard for human life, Wilder (40-0-0, 39 KOs) said that he wished to add a death to his resume, because “”when I’m in the ring, I’m the Bronze Bomber. Everything about me changes. I don’t have no feelings towards the man I’m going to fight.” Wilder went on to support his irresponsible statement when he said that he felt closer to achieving his goal against Poland’s Artur Szpilka, a foe he stopped in the ninth round back in 2016. “When I knocked him down he wasn’t breathing, and I really thought that he was dead.” In consequence, the Disciplinary Committee of the WBC opened a formal proceeding against the fighter, because “these are words that cannot be ignored, as they run against the ethical code of our organization,” said the WBC in a statement. If Wilder was truly in control of his actions when he spoke (which is still debatable even if he was under any kind of influence) then he probably went too far this time. – J.J. Álvarez
Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel