Sweet Science Scene: Covid-19 postpones a fight, news conference brawl and action on its way

news conference brawl
May 8, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Boxer Canelo Alvarez celebrates defeating Billy Joe Saunders during a super middleweight boxing title fight at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After some time with no big fights, the Sweet Science comes back this week for what could be a very long and exciting run of action in the next few months. Covid-19 has had an impact over the summer and caused many fights to be moved or postponed and it took another one this week. But hopefully that run ends now as we pick up the action. This week we have a heavyweight title tilt and we had a news conference brawl in the kickoff press for the undisputed super middleweight title.

news conference brawl
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. (DAZN photo)

Anthony Joshua, the one-loss unified heavyweight champion, returns to the ring this weekend. Joshua takes on former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in a mandatory fight that has been eagerly awaited.

Usyk comes into the fight having fought twice at heavyweight and not being too impressive. Nevertheless, he presents a challenge with his ring IQ and ability. Joshua is the bigger man and is rightfully favored, but Usyk maybe the best pure boxer he has faced. The match will take place Saturday mid-afternoon in the United States. It will be presented by DAZN and will be broadcast from the Tottenham Hotspurs stadium.

Canelo-Plant hype includes news conference brawl

In the kickoff news conference for Canelo-Plant, things got a bit testy. There has been much discussed on social media and leading up to this and as both fighters walked to the front of the stage, they began to exchange words and after a Canelo Alvarez shove Caleb Plant responded with a couple of swings.

news conference brawl
Ashland City’s Caleb Plant,left, fights Vincent Feigenbutz for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship title match at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Saturday, Feb 15, 2020. Sem 5685

Canelo looked to avoid the swing and threw an open palm strike as he countered. Once both men were separated and held back, Plant arose with a cut under his right eye. We can hope it’s nothing serious and the fight goes on, but the words exchanged after made this press conference memorable as it was a back and verbal jabbing by both fighters.

Plant called Canelo a drug cheat and some curse words. Canelo responded by telling Plant to not make excuses before the fight. This fight was helped by all this entertainment and will certainly help the promotion. We hope the fight is as good as the press conference was.

Pacquiao’s retirement announcement premature

Manny Pacquiao announced his intentions to run for President of the Philippines next year. With this announcement many wondered if that also meant Pacquiao had now retired.

In typical boxing media fashion, many ran with this and claimed Pacquiao had officially retired. Not too long after, Boxingscene’s Jake Donovan posted through a source that no decision had been made at this time and would be made within a month.

If Pacquiao does indeed retire, he leaves a legacy and if he doesn’t maybe he has one going away fight and rides off into the sunset. Either way. media please just be right and quit focusing on being first.

Quick Hits

  • In some good news Mikaela Mayer, the current WBO women’s Junior Lightweight champion will meet IBF champion Maiva Hamadouche Nov. 5. This fight will headline an ESPN-plus card. It will be the day before Canelo-Plant, so many boxing media will be in Vegas already.
  • Former 3 weight division champion Mikey Garcia’s return to the ring is now set. Garcia will meet Sandor Martin Oct.16 on DAZN. The bout will take place at a catchweight of 145 and will be in Fresno, California. This will be Garcia’s first fight in 19 months and hopefully leads to more activity from the former unified champion.
  • The WBC announced another batch of mandatory fights this week. First off Gary Russell vs Mark Magsayo in a featherweight title fight. Nonito Donaire vs Reymart Gabllo in a mandatory bantamweight title fight. One of the intriguing fights because of both fighters being mandatories already is Ryan Garcia vs Joseph Diaz in a final elimination match for the lightweight title.
  • Current WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr. was forced to postpone his first title defense. Smith Jr has Covid-19 and his fight versus Umar Salamov, which was due to take place Oct. 30, has been postponed. Smith Jr. was hospitalized and it’s in the best interest to move the fight. All of us at Vegas Sports Today with Smith Jr. and a safe and speedy recovery.

Not to be a Rueda…. but

I know I’ve spoken on this before but heads up boxing will never die. I would like to advise you all to quit saying it and save your breath. In the middle of the day on Tuesday the Canelo-Plant presser was trending No. 1 on Twitter.

I know the scuffle helped it, but there were many different people through from all walks of life discussing it. I’ve stated before that I’ve heard boxing is dead since I was in elementary school and well now I’m a grown man and it’s still here.

The fact that it was trending No. 1 on a Tuesday helps my point that it is alive and shining. Former HBO commentator Larry Merchant once said, “Nothing can kill boxing, and nothing can save it.” That is the truest statement when it comes to the Sweet Science.