The New Season Looks Full of Promise
Martin Theobald

August is a poor month for boxing, no doubt about it.  The PBC in America have carried on doing their thing and turned up a surprise fight of the year contender in Marco Huck vs Krzysztof Glowacki, but over in the UK the traditional 'off season' means fight fans are left salivating over what is to come over the next 12 months while they wait for season to start.  

So, we have summarised the best of the fights to look forward to once the new boxing season begins, from the huge international fights to the UK fighters challenging for world honours amd the best of the small hall venues.  Also we have taken a look at a few fights that may happen down the line as well as those that.....well, just should happen!  Enjoy.....

World Title Level

  • One for the lovers of a quality tear up, Gennady Golovkin goes one on one with Devid Lemieux October 17th for IBF, IBO, WBC interim and WBA middleweight honours.  This is a beauty of a fight.  Golovkin brings his feared reputation as a finisher (33 wins, 30 KOs and 0 losses) and Lemieux holds 34 wins, 31 by KO with 2 losses.  This is the bug unification fight that Golovkin has been chasing, and a real chance to shine on the big stage.  The winner of this will be mandatory for the full WBC title, which is contested between.....
  • Miguel Cotto (40-4-0) vs Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez (45-1-1) who face 21st November, also in Vegas.  This will shift huge PPV numbers over in America, the young Mexican Alvarez taking on the veteran Cotto (9 years his elder, despite having a near equal number of fights).  Let's put the weight issues aside (neither are fully fledged middleweights, despite this being for the WBC middleweight title) and enjoy two fighters who are both on a roll of late.  Alvarez suffered his only defeat in September 2013, on points to Mayweather, while Cotto picked up the middleweight title against Sergio Martinez in June 2014 and this will be his second defence.  
  • October 24th in Germany sees Britain's own Tyson Fury take on the established heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.  Fury (24-0-0) faces a huge uphill battle to dethrone the Ukranian Klitschko (64-3-0) who hasn't lost in 10 years and will be in his 20th consecutive world title fight!  However he does know what it's like to lose and Fury is untested at this level.  Fury has said it's win or get knocked out for himself, promising to go out on his shield if he is to lose (in a less that subtle dig at David Haye).  Should be an interesting buildup and fight night.
  • Another Brit challenging for a world title overseas in the near future is George Groves.  The 'Saint' (21-2-0) gets his third shot at a world title in Vegas on the undercard of Mayweather vs Andre Berto on September 12th.  His opponent that night will be Badou Jack (19-1-1) who is the current WBC super middleweight champion.  With the recognised best in the division, Andre Ward, still relatively inactive and struggling for fights - this sees two of the second tier of fighters vying for a position to challenge Ward in the future.  If Groves does come home with the title there is also a mouth-watering proposition of a unification with IBF title holder and former adversary James DeGale.
  • Closer to home we get the showdown of the two travelling men for the WBO middleweight world title, Billie Joe Saunders (22-0-0) vs Andy Lee (34-2-1) on the Frank Warren card in Manchester on October 10th.  Expect mutual respect between these two through the build up and a decent tear up once the fight is underway.  It's a shame the fight got moved from the outdoor venue in Limerick, the home of Andy Lee, but this now forms part of a stacked card that also includes...
  • Terry Flanagan (28-0-0) making the first defence of his WBO lightweight title against tough American Diego Magdaleno (28-1-1).  Not the easiest start to life as a world champion for Terry Flanagan, but you have to give credit to Frank Warren for giving him a live opponent in his first outing with the belt
  • Also on that October 10th card, Liam Smith (20-0-1) becomes the second of the Smith brothers from Liverpool to challenge for world honours, against hard hitting Ivorian Michel Soto for the vacant WBO light middleweight world title.  Smith will be hoping for better luck than brother Paul who came up short on his three world title shots
  • Another Brit getting a shot at lightweight honours is the fairytale man, Anthony Crolla (29-4-3).  Coming back from an attack by burglars in January, he challenged WBO title holder Darleys Perez (32-1-1) in July of this year and was, in many peoples views, robbed of a decision.  No date has been announced for the rematch, but the WBA have confirmed that Crolla is mandated to fight the Colombian again.
  • Frank Buglioni (17-1-1) finally gets his chance at a world title - he was meant to fight Fedor Chudinov (13-0-0) back in July but the fight fell through when Chudinov got a broken nose in sparring.  Now all set for 26th September for the WBA regular super middleweight title, this is Frank's chance to grab some headlines

British Championship Scene

  • Announced just today, Callum Smith (17-0-0) take on Rocky Fielding (21-0-0) in an all Liverpool showdown on 7th November.  Two members of Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable, this is a huge domestic matchup in the super middleweight division with the winner going on to be mandatory challenger for the WBC belt (which could be in the possession of George Groves by then) as well as being British champion .  A big opportunity for both fighters and although Smith will likely enter the favourite, it is a very even fight for fans to get excited about
  • Anthony Joshua (13-0-0) and Dillian Whyte (15-0-0) are due to settle their differences in December of this year in a bout to contest the British heavyweight title.  It is reliant on Joshua beating undefeated Scottish heavyweight Gary Cornish (21-0-0) first on September 12th at the O2, but providing he does then these two big boys will get the chance to lay to bed any arguments over the better fighter.  Their history dates back to the amateur days, where Whyte floored and defeated Joshua and a simmering rivalry has been present ever since
  • Sam Eggington (16-2-0) gets the chance to continue his rapid rise on October 17th when he headlines the MatchRoom show in Birmingham versus former world title challenger Frankie Gavin (22-2-0).  Gavin is coming off of a defeat to Kell Brook this year, and will be contesting for the British and Commonwealth titles he has previously owned.  This is one of the most intriguing matchups in the calendar - Gavin has the amateur experience (England's only World Championship gold medallist) and has fought at higher levels (although lost his European and world challenges) whereas Eggington had a slow start to his pro career but is on a seven fight win streak and at 21 years old is the larger and possibly stronger of the two.  

Small Hall events

  • Goodwin Promotions have already released a busy schedule for September & October.  Two cards in September, starting with 'New Era' on September 5th which will give the opportunity to a number of their up and coming fighters.  Headlined by former European heavyweight champion Richard Towers, the card also features upcoming cruiserweight, the 'New David Haye', Jose Lopes (read our interview here with him) as well as a host of the fighters in Goodwin's ever growing stable of fighters.  September 19th they return to the York Hall for the 'Bomb's Away' show, headlined this time by a final eliminator for the English welterweight title between Johnny Garton (read our interview here with Johnny) and Martin Welsh.  Ricky Hatton bring his three Upton brothers, Anto Pauly & Sonny (read our interview with Anto here) to the show, as well as there being another family affair with brothers Chris and Andrea Evangelou making appearances.  Then on October 17th it's back to York Hall again for the 'We Never Stop' show, which has a cracking lineup.  The card has 5 title or eliminator bouts, including Lawrence Bennett (read our interview with Lawrence here) taking on Matty Askin for the English cruiserweight title.  Also there is Leon McKenzie (read our interview with Leon here) against Scotland's John McCallum in a final eliminator for the British super middleweight title.  

Fights we Deserve!

  • We all know the Mayweather vs Berto fight is happening in September, and we all know the world is disappointed.  It takes him to his joint record of 49-0 (assuming, rightly, that he wins) and everyone is cynical that he will hang them up with the potential of a record 50th victory.  With that in mind, would it be asking too much to finally let Amir Khan have his pop at Floyd in May of next year......we all know it's a long shot that Khan beats him, but at least it would keep him quiet about it!
  • The light heavyweight division is running out of exciting fights, and the one that everyone is salivating over is Sergei Kovalev against Adonis Stevenson.  Will it happen?  Probably not.  Politics, promoters and TV deals seem destined to keep the two fighters apart from one another for the foreseeable future.  The issue is then, who can we get excited about them fighting if not each other?  Stevenson takes on Tommy Karpency in an underwhelming fight later this year, while Kovalev is rumoured to be weighing up a fight with Artur Beterbiev back in Russia.  That fight would be good, but it's not the one we all want.
  • Speaking of frustrating politics, TV deals and promoters, Scott Quigg versus Carl Frampton still doesn't seem much nearer.  Eddie Hearn has come out yesterday and said there is a glimmering light since Frampton hooked up with Al Haymon in America but still, I think the boxing world would be shocked to see this signed off in the next year .
  • One more for the 'frustration' pile is Amir Khan versus Kell Brook to determine the best welterweight in the country.  Both fighters have said this is a possibility for Wembley stadium next year.  In the meantime Khan is rumoured to be facing Pacquaio in Dubai in the next 6 months, and Brook is possibly lining up the Russian Ruslan Provodnikov.  Although he has a few losses on his record, the Russian is always in fantastic fights and would provide possibly the toughest test for Brook to date.
  • Deontay Wilder versus......fuck it, anyone of note.  ANYONE.  He won the WBC heavyweight title in good fashion, outboxing Bermaine Stiverne and displaying skills we didn't know he had.  The first defence came against Eric Molina, in what should have been a fairly straight forward voluntary.  But Molina scared Wilder and had him hurt, only for Wilder to pile the pressure on late in the fight and get the stoppage.  The name seemingly being used for his next defence is Frenchman Johann Duhaupas.  Yeah, we didn't know him either.  That's a shocking second defence if it comes off.  However he can't keep up his cherry picking of opponents, as he has a mandatory fight due next year and his opponent is very likely to be Alexander Povetkin, the biggest challenge Wilder will have faced by a long stretch.
  • Let's sign this off with a potentially massive match up, albeit at the lower weights.  Guillermo Rigondeaux, the super bantamweight champion from Cuba and most avoided fighter in his division, is rumored to be in talks to fight Vassyl Lomachenko, the featherweight from Ukraine.  Two of the most decorated amateur boxers of any era, who have both successfully transitioned to professional boxing, would make a spectacle for the purist.  A catchweight would be required to make the fight happen and both sides have publicly stated they are open to the idea.  It is probably Rigondeaux that needs the fight more, as there has been no appetite from champions at his own weight (Frampton, Quigg, Santa Cruz) to fight him - so it may be that Lomachenko hold the cards in negotiations for a super fight.  

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