Anthony Joshua Likely to Fight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, Possibly in Madison Square Garden
It is increasingly looking like Anthony Joshua will be coming to America for the first time to face Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller. Although the fight is not signed, all signs indicate to the deal getting done by the end of the week, with the fight likely to be announced this weekend. This would be a great fight, a big test for both men, and a huge event in New York City considering Miller hails from Brooklyn. Let’s hope it happens.
One thing that is definitely not happening, and that was definitely not close to happening was Jarrell Miller playing in the NFL. “Big Baby” claims that he has an offer from an NFL team, and is threatening that if he can’t get a fight against Joshua, he will play football instead. Miller is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 315 pounds, but at 30 years old it is extremely unlikely that he could transition to a pro football career better than the thousands of college football athletes that couldn’t make it as pros. I refuse to believe this offer actually happened and is anything more than a negotiating tactic or marketing tool.
Shakur Stevenson Fighting Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz on Khan-Crawford undercard
In a huge step up for Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, he will be facing Puerto Rico’s Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz -- the nickname is Spanish for “Smurf” -- April 20 at Madison Square Garden, on the undercard of the Amir Khan-Terence Crawford undercard. This is a huge step up in competition for Stevenson; Diaz is 24 years old, 24-1 as a professional with a sole loss coming in a title shot against Masayuki “The Judge” Ito, and was voted ESPN Deportes’ “Prospect of the Year” in 2016. He is no joke, and this fight will go a long way in determining just how good Shakur Stevenson really is.
Canelo-Jacobs to Fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
The already slim chances of Daniel Jacobs winning a close decision to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez took a huge hit this week, when it was announced that the fight would be taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. You may remember that both GGG-Canelo matchups took place in that arena, and that even before the first fight GGG’s people were being lambasted for allowing the fight to happen there, arguing that because Canelo brings so much money to that arena and the city of Las Vegas every time he fights, there is zero chance that GGG would be awarded a decision in a close fight. Those warnings were apparently true.
Now, Daniel Jacobs has decided to fight Canelo in the same arena. Considering Canelo’s record DAZN money, and the allure of how much money a third GGG-Canelo fight would make, it appears clear that Jacobs needs either a knockout or a thoroughly dominant performance to take a decision from Canelo. Let’s hope the “Miracle Man” realizes it.
Max Kellerman’s New Boxing Show Premieres on ESPN This Week
Years ago, Max Kellerman had a community access show in New York called “Max on Boxing” where he talked about boxing and challenged callers to stump him with boxing trivia. Kellerman sent a tape of the highlights from this show to ESPN, and they were impressed enough to hire him and put him on “Friday Night Fights.” This Friday at 5 p.m., Kellerman will debut ESPN’s version of “Max on Boxing” and is asking fans to tweet him questions to answer on air. It’s good to see boxing getting its own show on ESPN, and Max Kellerman has always been extremely knowledgeable about the sport so it’s hard to see this show not being a good thing for boxing. Still, expect many fans to make “cliff” jokes at his expense.
Vanes Martirosyan Quits Boxing Because Of Don King
This week on twitter, onetime GGG knockout victim Vanes Martirosyan announced that he was done with fighting, and would become a boxing coach instead of a competitor because Don King screwed him out of so much money. Why anybody would sign with Don King and not expect to be screwed out of millions of dollars is unclear at this point, so I’m not sure what Martirosyan expected to happen. Still, when it comes to boxing decisions it’s virtually impossible to come up with a worse combination than “managed by Don King and trained by Edmond Tarverdyan.” Martirosyan is lucky to have gotten as far as he did.
Former Ali Opponent Found Living in a Van in Bulgaria, While Former World Champion Turned Cruel Meme Dies
This week, a pair of stories illustrating the often-difficult post-retirement careers of boxers came to light.
First, a story came out that showed Rudi Lubbers, a former Dutch boxing champion that lost a decision to Ali between Ali’s rematches against Ken Norton and Joe Frazier, was living in a van in Kosharitsa, Bulgaria. Luckily, a documentary about the former Olympian aired, and a crowdfunding effort was raised for both him and his girlfriend, who had been suffering from health issues.
Considering how beloved Ali is and how fascinated we are with everything about his life, it’s rather shocking what became of one of fewer than sixty men who could say they shared the ring with him professionally.
Worse, this week Rocky Lockridge died of a stroke at sixty years old. Lockridge was 44-9 as a professional, and fought guys like Sharmba Mitchell, Wilfredo Gomez and Julio Cesar Chavez. Unfortunately, that’s not why you know Rocky Lockridge.
Lockridge was on an episode of “Intervention” about his substance abuse issues and broke down crying when confronted by his son. The wailing bellow of his cry became a meme titled “best cry ever,” with scores of people on the internet making fun of him for his powerful display of emotion. That video is everywhere, and upon his death Lockridge’s lowest point in life will likely be spread all over social media. Instead of doing that, I will link to the moment Rocky Lockridge deserves to be remembered for, his first round destruction of Roger “The Black Mamba” Mayweather which made him the WBA super featherweight champion of the world.
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