A quiet week is starting to bubble with the announcement of former undisputed world super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor relinquishing his IBF title, the first of the world straps he picked up, to secure a rematch with Jack Catterall.
Taylor is aware he needs to put a wrong right by convincingly winning any rematch. Despite him thinking he won the first fight the weight of boxing opinion was on him squeaking through to retain his belts, many thinking the Lancastrian Catterall deserved the nod. No date has been announced yet but November 26 in Manchester is looking favourite. The Ring and WBO titles will likely be on the line.
Tyson Fury continues to toy the public over a world heavyweight unification fight with Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk. His claims of only taking the fight if someone would stump up £500 Million are ludicrous but at least he’s now come out of retirement and talking up the fight. The likely destination in early 2023 is on the Persian Gulf either in the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. This will irk most British fight fans but is the new reality of big heavyweight title fights.
Meanwhile top rated heavyweights Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker home in on their September 24 date in Manchester. Both are top ten ranked by The Ring magazine and highly by the WBO, and the contest looks to be a humdinger. Both come to fight and a world title shot is on the line.
We’re only eleven days out from the massive unification contest between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall to be contested at London’s O2 Arena on September 10. This middleweight contest between two fighters who’ve graduated from the London 2012 Olympics and remain undefeated as professionals is probably the best in women’s boxing at the moment. It promises and will likely elevate the female code to unprecedented heights in the UK. A sell out of the 20,000 venue is expected for all female card promoted by BOXXER and shown live on Sky Sports.
Former three-time world champion Duke McKenzie was honoured last weekend with the unveiling of a blue plaque above a former residence in his honour. An array of ex-British champs attended including brother Clinton McKenzie, former IBF world light-welterweight champion Terry Marsh among others. It was an honour a long time coming and well deserved.
Finally, preparations continue for the big Liverpool bill on Saturday September 3 featuring former WBO super-welterweight champion Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith. Local hero Smith has recently gone over to the BOXXER promotional company and he tops the bill at the M&S Arena against tough Tanzanian Hassan Mwakinyou. The bill also features another local favourite Natasha Jonas, British light-heavyweight champion Dan Azeez and big punching super-lightweight prospect Adam Aziz. Full preview to follow on Friday.