As soon as the stunning scorecards where read and Harrison was named the new WBC 154 pound king. Rematch was the first word to come to the minds of everyone including Jermell Charlo who was, at least in the eyes of most, robbed! Charlo entered the fight a huge favorite and in the eyes of almost everyone except the three judges did enough to take a decision over the game challenger. When the cards were read they were unanimous for Tony Harrison, which was a shock to everyone including Harrison, who looked shocked as well when the cards were read. Harrison had been a worthy champion and has come out and stated he is open to unifying with Hurd and rematching with Charlo. The latter now looks like its going to be a reality as the WBC has ordered an immediate rematch. The governing body also ordered a final eliminator between undefeated Russian 154-pound titlist Sergey Vorobiev and Tanzanian Hassan Mwakinyo. Making the winner the mandatory challenger to the winner of Charlo-Harrison II.
Former WBO middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders will get a chance to become the two-time WBO champ. The organization handed down a ruling on Tuesday that was an absolute home run for the Brit. The six-month suspension was lifted and Saunders has been declared the mandatory challenger to his former title which now belongs to Andrade. According to the WBO Championship Committee, “Based on the evidence ratifying complete fulfillment of all imposed conditions on behalf of Mr. Saunders presented before this Committee and pursuant to Section 1 subsection (c) of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests, we hereby terminate immediately his suspension from any WBO sanctioned contest.“[Consequently, we] recommend the WBO World Ratings Committee official reinstatement of Mr. Saunders within the WBO Middleweight Division Ratings and be positioned as the number one (1) contender accordingly. Further, if the WBO Ratings Committee adopts this Committees’ recommendation, we hereby designate Mr. Saunders as the official Mandatory Challenger of the aforementioned division pursuant to Section 1 subsection (b) (23) of the referenced regulations.” The decision seems odd considering Saunders tested positive and was stripped and removed from the rankings and took one fight in the interim in the UK 18 pounds or three weight classes above the middleweight limit.
It has been nearly two full years since Keith Thurman stepped inside a professional boxing ring. He walked out of that ring with two welterweight world titles. Since then it has has been a sharp spiral downward for Thurman who has had a series of minor and highly questionable injuries that have somehow managed to keep the welterweight sidelined for nearly 23-months. He vacated his WBC belt to avoid fighting a rematch with Shawn Porter and somehow was able to keep his WBA strap despite not defending it in years. Thurman returns this Saturday against rugged fringe contender Josesito Lopez. Thurman is expected by most to win, and if he does he is apparently the front runner to also win the Pacquiao sweepstakes. The fight makes a ton of logical sense as both Pacquiao and Thurman hold a version of the WBA belt, Pacquiao holds the World Title and Thurman is the organizations super champ. The fight is being rumored for July of this year, which seems far fetched as Thurman hasn’t fought twice in the same year since 2015 and Pacquiao hasn’t fought twice in the same year since 2016 so the odds of both guys getting more active at this stage in their career is highly unlikely.