Plenty of notable news on Wednesday!
Miss anything on Wednesday? Don’t be ashamed, just get with the times.
In a story that is perhaps only a Top Story if you’re me and the biggest Robeisy Ramirez fan in the world who isn’t Cuban, Robeisy Ramirez is reportedly close to a deal with Top Rank to go pro. He figures to settle in at 126 pounds as a professional. He won gold as a flyweight at London 2012 and as a bantamweight at Rio 2016.
In London, he was truly exceptional, beating Chatchai Butdee, Andrew Selby, Michael Conlan, and Tugstsogt Nyambayar, all good fighters. In Rio, he was great again, beating Shiva Thapa, Mohamed Hamout, Zhang Jiawei, Murodjon Akhmadaliev, and Shakur Stevenson, the latter two already players in the pros.
If Ramirez has the desire to be a great pro, I think he will be a great pro. He’s just a terrific, true blue-chip, five-star sort of talent.
Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman spoke at their LA press conference. So did Caleb Plant and Mike Lee.
Not the biggest fight in the world, but we previewed Saturday’s FS1 main event between Austin Trout and Terrell Gausha.
- Adam Kownacki, the heavyweight recently referred to by Tyson Fury as “the other little fat fella who can fight,” alongside Andy Ruiz Jr, is looking like he’ll headline Aug. 3 on FOX against Chris Arreola. That should be a fun big boy brawl. I get being disappointed that Spence-Porter is being pushed back, but embrace the jiggle and the hurtin’ bombs. The co-feature will be Marcus Browne vs Jean Pascal.
- The IOC wants to keep boxing at the 2020 Olympics, but they don’t want AIBA involved. No matter who is behind coordinating Olympic boxing, it is an Olympic sport so it will wind up corrupted, but AIBA has been so brazen about it that even the IOC wants them gone.
- Michael Woods spoke in defense of Jim Gray’s interview style from this past Saturday, believing Gray was not out of line to ask the hard questions, even if it might have hurt Dominic Breazeale’s feelings. Showtime also put up the All Access: Epilogue episode for the Wilder-Breazeale fight.
- BKFC’s David Feldman believes that Malignaggi-Lobov can do 100K buys on pay-per-view, and while he doesn’t condone their recent crazy press conference actions, he also basically just shrugs and admits it sells the fight and increases hype, which it does. Personally, I like this more honest attitude than things like the WBC pretending they’re going to punish boxers for touching noses or doing a cuss.
- Moruti Mthalane’s team say they turned down an offer to face Charlie Edwards in July — not because they don’t want the unification fight, but because Mthalane just fought and rushing back in July wouldn’t be in his best interests. Which is fair enough. Hopefully we still see the flyweights fight later this year, maybe by September.
- Junior flyweight titleholder Ken Shiro will face mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing on July 12, part of the Brant-Murata II card in Osaka. Hopefully it’ll be on the ESPN+ stream.
- Tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Pass card is set, but won’t include the pro boxing debut of MMA veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs. We’ll have live coverage at 10 pm ET tomorrow night. I expect upwards of two of you to join me for Smitty and the RJJ Boxing.
- Ahmed Elbiali returns Saturday on FS1, and is looking to show improvements working with new trainer Justin Gamber, who trains Caleb Plant.
- Super bantamweight prospect Thomas Patrick Ward has joined the MTK Global team.
- Showtime hasn’t said anything just yet, but BJ Flores says he’s accepted an offer to face Otto Wallin on ShoBox on July 12. It’s not really a ShoBox style fight, but it could be a “special edition.” Wallin is a big Swedish heavyweight prospect.
- Callum Smith says he’d jump at the chance to fight Canelo Alvarez, which of course he would, he’s a foot taller than him and it’s the biggest money and attention fight in the sport.