It truly is the dog days of summer after what was a very eventful and exciting few months for the sport of boxing. Looking ahead, not all that much of note will take place till September 30 when Canelo Alvarez faces Jermell Charlo.
We are now in the middle of a dry spell for the sport.
This past weekend, unified light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, was supposed to have defended his titles versus Callum Smith. Unfortunately, Beterbiev suffered his yearly injury and that bout has been postponed till early 2024.
And this Saturday Oleksandr Usyk makes a mandatory title defense of his one of belts against the burly Daniel Dubois. And then Jared 'Big Baby' Anderson makes a quick turnaround in Tulsa. But more on those cards later this week.
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The summer began with a bang, as Teofimo Lopez captured the recognized junior welterweight title by thoroughly defeating Josh Taylor at the Theater at MSG back in June. Then in late July, Naoya Inoue dismantled unified 122-pound champion, Stephon Fulton. Several days later, Terence Crawford put forth a career defining effort by stopping Errol Spence in nine rounds to capture the undisputed welterweight crown. And last weekend, Emanuel Navarrete quieted all doubters by turning away the challenge of Oscar Valdez in Arizona.
The last few weeks of the summer season, wont see much in terms of marquee matchups. Which is traditionally the norm, but you wonder if they are squandering the remaining few weekends before football season begins. Perhaps, this isn't a concern to those outside the States, but in America -- football is king. It dominates the news coverage, and the television ratings.
And yes, 'Week O' for college football begins on August 26. (And yeah, I'll be watching Notre Dame-Navy from Dublin, Ireland, then Hawaii-Vanderbilt, followed by USC-San Jose State).
Esther Lin/Showtime Sports
Not saying that there isn't anything worth paying attention till Canelo-Charlo on the boxing ledger. The Liam Smith-Chris Eubank Jr. rematch might be interesting, Luis Alberto Lopez (who is always a fun watch) takes on Joet Gonzalez, while William Zepeda (another all-action guy) faces Mercito Gesta in a crossroads lightweight contest.
The heavyweight rematch with Zhang Zhilei and Joey Joyce is taking place, while the talented Richardson HItchins is paired with the experienced Jose Zepeda. These are some pretty interesting bouts that have real ramifications for those involved.
So nothing truly 'big' till the end of September. But fights are still taking place.
Speaking of September boxing, it was announced by the newly formed Camponovo Sports that they would be starting a new/old series, 'New Blood' on September 9 at the Infinite Reality Studio in Long Beach, California.
Camponovo Sports is lead by Alex Camponovo, who was the GM and matchmaker for Thompson Boxing, which had it's last show after a illustrious 21 year run. This new series will air on FOX Deportes, Estrella TV and beIn Sports.
In an era when club programs across the country becoming fewer and fewer, a developmental series like this is much needed, and a boon for the local boxing market in Southern California.
"We are excited to unveil the restart of 'New Blood,' a series that for over two decades aligned perfectly with our commitment to promoting and nurturing emerging talents in the boxing world," said Camponovo. "We built something special during our time with Thompson Boxing that was equally beneficial for both boxers and fans.
"Using that tremendous track record and thanks to our new partnership with Infinite Reality Studios, we will be able to create a dynamic atmosphere that will resonate with everyone involved. Thanks to our success in the past, we now look into the future by creating a media distribution strategy that will give our fighters tremendous exposure.”
So yeah, we had earthquakes and a hurricane in Southern California this weekend...So will we ever get to the bottom of the Alycia Bumgardner saga? There's enough conspiracy theories for Oliver Stone to do a full feature on this....Recommended viewing: 'Hall of Shame' on Netflix, featuring our very own, Victor Conte...I can be reached at email@example.com....