By Mark Elezaj
Ladies and gentlemen, boxing has returned with its first televised main event in the United States since March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what a “home coming” it was this past week.
Shakur Stevenson, who made his debut at 130 pounds, stepped back inside the ring to face Felix Caraballo at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Stevenson proved to be way too much for Caraballo, stopping him with a body shot in the sixth round of their non-title fight.
Stevenson, who was ahead on all three judges scorecards (50-44, 50-44, 50-43), knocked Caraballo down twice, once in the first and again in the sixth round.
With this victory, Stevenson improved to 14-0, 8 KO’s.
“I came here to get him out of there,” Stevenson said. “My mindset was focused on getting him out of there. I hit him with everything I could early. I wobbled him a bunch of times. He took a lot of punishment, and I started realizing that the head shots wasn’t gonna get him out of there. So, I started going to the body more. … He opened up wide, and I caught him with a clean punch, caught him right in the middle of the shot.”
“What a magnificent performance by Shakur Stevenson,” Bob Arum, Stevenson’s promoter, said. “He keeps getting better and, rest assured, he is a future pound-for-pound superstar.”
ESPN’s telecast also included four undercard fights, two of which ended in first-round knockouts.
It was being reported that a deal between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua was being discussed for next year.
Eddie Hearn, who promotes the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, stated that an agreement has been reached in principle for his fighter to face the WBC champion Tyson Fury two times in 2021.
Frank Warren, Fury’s co-promoter, Frank has stayed that the first fight will be a 50-50 deal, and a 60-40 split for the winner in the rematch.
But there are a few obstacles in the way before this mega fight between Joshua and Fury takes place.
Fury is set to face Deontay Wilder in a rematch by the end of the year, while Joshua is set to face his mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, also before the end of this year.
You also have Dillian Whyte, who is the WBC’s mandatory challenger, with a world title shot that is due by February 2021, and the WBO’s mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk patient waiting in line for his opportunity.
Hearn however states that the details are coming along for the Joshua vs Fury fight.
“We’re making great progress,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates. We’ve been talking to MTK (Fury’s management team) giving them the assurances from Joshua’s side that all the details on the structure of the deal is approved from our side. And it is from Fury’s side, as well.
“We’re in a good place. It’s fair to say that, in principle, both guys have agreed to that fight. Two fights. [There’s] a lot to overcome in the meantime. We’re moving in the right direction. I’m confident that both guys have given their blessing for the fight to go ahead. The point of Fury, Joshua and the teams agreeing to the structure of the deal? The first fight could happen next summer. It will be 2021. There is a big period of time where Whyte should get his shot at the title. That’s important to us. The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence.
“The most difficult part of any deal is the financial element. I believe we’re in a great place where both guys have agreed to what that should be. We have not signed contracts because there are still things to be worked out. We’re pushing towards a place where they can be drafted, for 2021. Both guys are in agreement. The structure of the deal has been put forward, and agreed to by both parties. There is a model in place that both parties are happy with. It’s the biggest fight ever in British boxing. It doesn’t get bigger, and there will never be a bigger fight in our generation.
“Two guys, very different, who fight differently, have experienced different things and have come back from adversity.”
Jessie Magdaleno, the former 122-pound champion, returned and defeated Yenifel Vincete, scoring two knockdowns en route to a 10th round disqualification victory Thursday night at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Magdaleno who is the number-one contender to the World Boxing Council featherweight title, currently held by Gary Russell Jr., was not happy with the fight itself but said he did the best he could agains a “dirty” opponent.
“He was just a dirty fighter,” Magdaleno told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna. “He didn’t know how to handle the power.”
When asked who he wants next, his response was heard loud and clear.
“All of them,” Magdaleno said.
“I don’t give a s*** who it is, I want all of them. I’m at the door of the WBC (title) for Gary Russell.
“Gary Russell, I’m coming baby. Be ready, because I’m coming.”
Welcome back boxing, you were truly missed!
~ The Fighting Voice ~