Fresh from his ten-round decision win over Adrian Granados, unbeaten welterweight Conor Benn (19-0, 12 KOs) has agreed a new multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing. Elsewhere, there’s praise for Oleksandr Usyk ahead of his heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua next weekend while Joseph Parker vs. Dereck Chisora II has been confirmed for December 19.
Benn continues his upward curve, december fight planned
After contrasting wins vs. Samuel Vargas and Adrian Granados, welterweight Conor Benn will have three fights in 2021 after all, as promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the 24-year-old has a December date in mind to be announced at a later date after inking a new multi-fight deal.
“I am extremely excited to extend my professional relationship with Matchroom Boxing, they believed in me from the start, gave me an amazing opportunity and have supported me to grow as a pro.
Now with the backing of a global streaming platform in DAZN, we have made huge plans to be involved in big fights, headlining major events across the globe and making progressive moves towards achieving my goal of being a World Champion in the near future.”
- Part of Benn’s statement, on his Twitter account earlier today
He called for a matchup against former four-weight world champion Adrien Broner, but it’s unlikely the American would’ve agreed to a December date without that news leaking by now.
Either way, the talkative Greenwich-born boxer has stepped out of the shadow created by his father Nigel – a two-weight champion in the 1990s – with recent wins over credible opposition.
He eased to a comfortable UD result against Germany’s Sebastian Formella, just three months after two-time welterweight world champion Shawn Porter did the same.
Vargas has faced Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Vergil Ortiz Jr and WBC, IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr since 2015 – none of them could blast him out in a round like Benn did.
Sure, styles make fights and boxing isn’t exactly linear. Even still, it’s difficult to derail Benn’s hype, as gradual as it has proved, especially knowing there’s plenty he can still develop upon.
not big enough? we’ll see – quietly confident Usyk is dangerous
Ahead of his heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua next week, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has seemingly been written off by most – either he’s not big enough, or doesn’t hit hard enough according to one of his recent sparring partners.
Martin Bakole (16-1, 12 KOs), faces Ghana’s Haruna Osumanu on Saturday night as he ends a nine-month layoff after beating Russia’s Sergey Kuzmin during the Joshua-Pulev prelims last December. The 28-year-old had interesting things to say about AJ-Usyk, having sparred both.
“He’s a top guy, good skills, a top record and everyone knows he’s the best – but heavyweight is not cruiserweight. I sparred him for two weeks, and I don’t know if it’s the way that he prepared for it, but never hurt me with a punch.
Maybe he’s saving that for the fight, but I don’t think he has the same power as AJ. I think he’s working on going the distance, I didn’t see anything where he can knock AJ out – if he had enough power, he would’ve knocked out Chisora.”
- Bakole expects Usyk needs to go the distance, if he’s to succeed next weekend
Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) will look to become Ukraine’s first heavyweight champion since the Klitschko brothers, who dominated for over a decade (2004-15) and both still keep in touch with him.
In a battle between two Olympic gold medalists at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Usyk will utilise footwork and defence next weekend, according to his promoter Alexander Krassyuk.
“He has been working hard … building his body for the division, and he’s a true heavyweight now. No one can say he is a cruiserweight fighting at HW like Chris Byrd was, he’s natural now.”
- An excerpt from Krassyuk’s comments, in an ESPN piece earlier today
Joshua isn’t overlooking that either, describing him as the second toughest opponent he will have faced in his career – to Usyk’s compatriot and legendary former titlist Wladimir Klitschko.
In a back-and-forth epic at Wembley four years ago, Joshua earned a R11 TKO win over Klitschko and added two more belts (WBA, WBO) to his existing IBF world heavyweight strap.
Parker-Chisora 2 booked, as Joyce left in the lurch
Although there are justifiable questions over whether this was the best decision as far as Joseph Parker‘s title ambitions are concerned, he’s a man of his word. Dereck Chisora has been granted the rematch he insisted on, immediately after suffering a split decision loss in early May.
As quoted by stuff.co.nz, the 29-year-old said:
“I feel really good, I’ve watched the first fight again and feel like I got a clear win – but it was close, a lot of people saw it differently, so let’s sort it out.
It’s more beneficial to me because I know what he’s going to bring, don’t see him changing much. He put the most pressure on me that I’ve had in a fight, and have to look at ways to counter that with technique and staying calm.”
Parker has also vowed to finish him in their rematch, having taken the original bout on short notice with a limited camp alongside new British trainer Andy Lee.
This time, the former WBO heavyweight champion believes a ten-week training block will do him a lot of good as he expects to improve upon a five-fight winning streak. Meanwhile, his manager David Higgins believes the rematch makes sense – especially with a crowd this time around.
“There were other offers on the table, talk of fighting Joe Joyce, but we felt a Chisora rematch made sense. They are both household names in New Zealand, the UK and are globally recognised. The first fight was close, we saw it as a close-but-clear win to Joseph and decided it’s worthy of a rematch.”
This news also means Joyce, who knocked out former title challenger Carlos Takam in July, will have to wait a bit longer – or move onto other rumoured targets – if he’s to fight again this year.
Whyte-Wallin announced for october 30, among other fights
As Eddie Hearn admitted this week, Whyte-Wallin is a good thing for the fans – not much for the heart rate, especially if you’ve got a vested interest in the WBC interim heavyweight champion.
He named Jermaine Franklin, Chris Arreola and Marco Huck as three possible options for Whyte’s next bout but Sweden’s Otto Wallin (22-1, 1 NC) is a tougher opponent than all three, especially after giving WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury fits two years ago this month.
Also announced: Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) vs. Sandor Martin (38-2, 13 KOs) on Oct. 16, with an unimpressed Regis Prograis
Fury, whose trilogy bout against former titlist Deontay Wilder was rescheduled for October 9 after he tested positive for COVID-19, has recently revealed a willingness to face Whyte.
Only time will tell if that is proven true in future, but Whyte – like the rest of his heavyweight contemporaries – will all look to produce statement showings between now and October 30.
Picture source: Getty Images