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
New from the WBC: The Championship Poncho
The World Boxing Council has been often called “a jewelry and memorabilia shop that also dabbles in sanctioning boxing contests and championships.” I know this, because I came up with the rather long moniker and have used it extensively. And every once in a while they prove me right.
Now, the Mexico-based organization is proposing the creation of an award especially designed for trainers, which looks very much like a mix between a saddlebag and a one-armed poncho, for lack of any other comparisons, in order “to award boxing trainers who crown a WBC champion with a belt,” according to a statement by the organization, indicating that the design is “inspired in the traditional towel worn at all times by boxing trainers” on their shoulders, as depicted in a photo posted in their web site.
The WBC intends to start awarding these titles in the month of May, and no news of any “sanctioning fees” or any other hidden costs has been provided. Time will tell if there will be interim, Silver, Super or any other versions of the newest piece of hardware. Knowing their inclination towards throwing bling around like candy, I am pretty sure they’re already figuring out how to make the new item a permanent and diverse offering on their menu.
Time Out for One Time
Keith Thurman is currently recognized as the unified welterweight champion, but that perception is due to change. According to a formal statement by his promoter, “One Time” Thurman has just “voluntarily relinquished his WBC title while he recovers from the effects of elbow surgery last year and a hand injury he suffered in training camp last month.”
The decision, according to the statement, was taken after a recent conversation with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, and it opens the way for former champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, the two leading contenders for the WBC title, “to fight each other for the championship while Thurman made a full recovery from his injuries.”
The decision obviously favors Thurman in the long run as the perceived lineal champion, since he has already beaten both Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) and Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs), and the eventual winner of that bout will merely be seen as the babysitter of that title belt until Thurman returns to action and attempts to reclaim it. But it remains to be seen how well he will recover. The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) has been plagued by a string of injuries the last two years. He injured his neck in a car accident in February 2016, which delayed his match against Porter by three months. He then defeated Garcia by split decision in a welterweight unification match on March 4, 2017 but a month later he had major surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs and calcium deposits. He is still in rehabilitation from that surgery.
Oscar to Golovkin: There Will be Beef
The cancellation of the GGG-Canelo rematch due to Alvarez’s positive drug test for clenbuterol (a substance that the fighter alleged to have ingested through tainted beef back home in Mexico) has led to what can now be called “a beef within a beef” between the two rival camps.
The first shot was fired by Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez with his now infamous steak-eating performance during a commercial for an apparel brand. Social media responded with a rather unkind invitation to acknowledge the karma-fueled comeuppance implicit in Sanchez’s protégé Carlos Cuadras’ own problems with drugs, this time being the recreational and not the PED kind. And now, Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya joined the battle royale with a few wild volleys of his own.
“To me it’s bulls**t,” Oscar has reportedly said, according to an interview by TMZ. “Once they fight in September, I’ll tell you one thing… Canelo’s gonna freaking wail on him,” said Oscar, implying that Canelo is feeding off (pun intended) Sanchez’s antics as a way to build up a grudge against Golovkin as they both look forward to a long buildup towards their eventual rematch in September when Canelo will be freed from the constraints of his suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Oscar, a guy who has overcome a few substance-abuse crises of his own, backed his fighter wholeheartedly throughout the controversy, claiming that Canelo’s test results were a direct consequence of ingesting contaminated meat during training camp in Mexico.
“Canelo is getting really the short end of the stick here because obviously he’s a popular fighter and a lot of people are gonna hate on him,” Oscar told TMZ. “But he’s been one of the cleanest fighters I’ve known. He’s passed numerous of tests, and you know … it was very unfortunate.”
The entire case is starting to look like a mutual roast (enough with the puns!) between both camps that will last all the way through the rematch. And we now have a very real expectation of seeing a fight in the ring that will surpass the foul-mouthed build-up. The bar, so far, is quite high.
Braekhus-Reis added GGG-Martirosyan
The presence of Román “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in a comeback fight on the GGG-Martirosyan May 5th card at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, is still in doubt, but there has been an announcement that could give us some hope of seeing a truly interesting and exciting fight leading up to the all-Caucasian matchup in the main event.
Even though there is no formal announcement yet, rumor has it that former female WBC middleweight champion Kali Reis (13-6-1, 4 KOs) of Rhode Island could be facing pound-for-pound queen Cecilia Brækhus during the undercard.
The fight could have an interesting dimension to a card that will surely suffer with the absence of Gonzalez, who has been associated with several doubleheaders involving Golovkin in the past. Having two of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the same stage in different fights and in different genders on the same night is definitely a boost for a card that was so hastily put together and which badly needs an injection of interest to make it more successful.
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