… Before Is McGregor- Mayweather Freak Show
There are good progress for Anthonly Joshua, after his planned rematch went kaput following the the sudden retirement of Wladimir Klitschko and the fourth defence of his IBF world title and the first defence of his WBA crown will be against the IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
As for the dates, we are still looking at the two nights we had in mind when we were planning the Wladimir Klitschko fight – we had the two options of Cardiff on October 28 and Las Vegas on November 11. Those still remain, although Cardiff is now the front runner.
He is set to meet IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, with Cardiff the most likely venue
It’s going to be a tough job keeping the governing bodies happy with upcoming mandatories but AJ wants to hold all the belts and handle his mandatories in the process.
The three-fight wishlist reads Pulev, WBA mandatory Luis Ortiz and then another unification fight with America’s WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
That is the plan and now we want to make it happen.
We are just a couple of weeks away from the madness of Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor. The media tour was incredible and we may never see a fight like this again. It’s the biggest star in world boxing facing off against the biggest star in MMA – it’s a freak show really and one that I expect Mayweather to win in style.
For those of you that like a flutter, surely a Mayweather stoppage is buying money. Will I be there? Absolutely!
One Irish star that will be worth watching is Katie Taylor –after her brilliant debut on American soil last month (when she beat Jasmine Clarkson in Brooklyn), keep your eyes peeled for her first shot at a world title.
In boxing they say that August is the time to take a break – they couldn’t be more wrong.
The growth of boxing over the last few years means more promoters, more broadcasters and now even hedge funds wanting to establish a position in the market – it’s not that easy but they are so very welcome.
It’s great news for fight fans, not only because of the increase in events and programming but because competition breeds excellence and we are more motivated than ever to deliver for fight fans in the new season.
Before the actual ‘season’ starts, our unified light-welterweight champion Julius Indongo takes on Terence Crawford on August 19, in the first undisputed title fight in over a decade.
On the same bill Dillian Whyte makes his American debut as he hunts world title opportunities later in the year. We have made huge offers to WBC champion Wilder and I am hopeful we can make it happen.
I’ve never seen emerging talent like this before and we kick off the UK schedule with our #JDNXTGEN show at York Hall on September 1.
Olympic medallist Joshua Buatsi will be joined by team-mates Joe Cordina and Lawrence Okolie while ‘The Destroyer’ Conor Benn will also fight at the iconic venue for the first time. The JDNXTGEN shows are so important to the development of our young fighters and those tuning in will be watching multiple future world champions.
From York Hall we switch it up to LA on September 23, where Luke Campbell gambles for all the glory against the brilliant Jorge Linares.
Joshua Buatsi is one of a number of exciting British prospects who will feature at York Hall
The pair meet for the WBA, WBC diamond and Ring magazine belts and although Linares has a formidable record against the Brits, I really believe Luke can shock the world.
What an opportunity for Britain’s most successful ever amateur – all the marbles plus live on HBO across America and Sky Sports in the UK, victory Stateside makes Luke an instant global star.
From LA it’s back to Liverpool and a great night of 50-50 championship boxing.
Four championship TV bouts with plenty on the line. British champion Rocky Fielding takes on Scotland’s commonwealth champ David Brophy in a two-belt domestic clash.
Britain’s Luke Campbell takes on the brilliant Jorge Linares in Los Angeles on September 23
There’s plenty of bad blood in the Birkenhead v Liverpool commonwealth lightweight clash between Sean Dodd and Tom Stalker and one of the most controversial fighters in British boxing, Ohara Davies, is back hunting for titles in the lions’ den against Liverpool’s unbeaten Tom Farrell.
Our latest signing Paul Butler faces Stuart Hall for a rematch of their world title fight in what should be a real barn burner – the winner will go on to face the winner of Jamie McDonnell v Liborio Solis for the world crown.
Sprinkle in Liverpool’s Olympic heroes Anthony Fowler and Natasha Jonas and September 30 gives you plenty of bang for your buck.
We made a huge announcement on Monday for a British super fight between Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns. The pair share 18 world-title fights between them and are both coming off losses while trying to unify the division.
This is a fight that has been talked about for the last three years and now it’s on. October 7, England v Scotland, it’s a great fight between two great men – it can’t fail to deliver.
Also on the card Sam Eggington, one of Britain’s most entertaining fighters makes the first defence of his European title and Olympians Joshua Buatsi and Josh Kelly also feature. Keep your eyes peeled for a great pick ’em fight for the British lightweight title between champion Robbie Barrett and Newcastle’s Lewis Ritson.
Two weeks later we are in Northern Ireland making history. Belfast’s IBF champion Ryan Burnett will take on WBA King Zhanat Zhakiyanov in the first ever unification fight in Northern or Southern Ireland.
Ryan and Adam Booth are keen to capture all the belts and this is a bold move against the Ricky Hatton-trained Zhakiyanov, who recently beat highly rated Rau’shee Warren for the title on American soil.
This is going to be some fight and an unforgettable atmosphere in Belfast. From there it’s likely we move to AJ and the 4th defence of his IBF and 1st defence of his WBA title against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
Finally I’d like to pay my respects to Showtime TV executive Earl Fash who passed away suddenly recently in America. Earl was a lovely man who has a real passion for boxing and TV and merging them both for the fans entertainment. Rest in peace.