The WBSS limps one inch closer to its finale. In what is great news for fans of the tournament, Japanese sensation, Naoya Inoue faces IBF bantamweight champ Emmanuel Rodriguez on May 18 for the Puerto Rican’s IBF strap in a semi-final bout. The championship, bantamweight, slugfest will be held at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on the undercard of the Josh Taylor- Ivan Baranchyk’s 140-pound semi-final bout. The ‘Monster’ Inoue (17-0, 15KOs) advanced to the semi-final on October 10 in Japan by blowing out former champ, Juan Carlos Payano with a horrifying first KO that took all of 70 seconds. Rodriguez eeked out a split decision victory over Jason Moloney, on October 20th in Florida. The other 118-pound semi-final bout, Donaire-Tete has not yet been formally announced.
WBA super Champ Keith “One Time” Thurman, says he is waiting on WBA world champ Manny Pacquiao. If there is no Floyd Mayweather Jr. rematch, Keith “One Time” Thurman believes he can be a suitable alternative for Manny Pacquiao. Thurman went on to say “I want to fight Manny Pacquiao imagine what Pacquiao-Thurman is going to look like? He looked well at the age of 40. He looked strong.” Thurman looked less impressive against a journeymen opponent the next week, eeking out a controversial majority decision over Josesito Lopez. Thurman continued saying “I’d be willing to negotiate a fight for any time he deems fit — summer, after the summer, September, October. I think it would be a great fight for the sport. Let’s make it happen,” said Thurman.“When’s the last time Pacquiao fought an undefeated fighter?” The answer of course if Jeff Horn in July of 2017, which is more recently then Thurman has fought an undefeated fighter.
Finally WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion has an official fight! And it’s a big one! Joshua will defend his versions of the heavyweight crown against 300+ pound American Challenger Jarell “Big Baby” Miller on June 1st at, the “mecca of boxing” Madison Square Garden. After months and months of rumors and speculations and negotiations, perhaps the biggest name in the sport has an official date. Various, names, dates and locations have been discussed before settling on this Miller at the Garden. The defense against Miller will be the first fight in the US for the unified heavyweight champ. The fight will be held in the challenger’s backyard. “Big Baby” is a Brooklyn baby and will have a sizeable crowd and home field advantage at the Garden and will offer up a major challenge to the British Champ in his American debut.