WBSS Tournaments in Full Swing – The World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight and super middleweight tourneys are closing out the quarter-final rounds this month. Unfortunately for U.S. boxing fans, the fights have not been on television and feature a line-up where just one fighter is American born.
The cruiserweights do close out in New Jersey as Murat Gassiev (24-0) takes on Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1). This is the last of the quarter-final bouts as Mairis Briedis of Latvia, Oleksandr Usyk of the Ukraine and Yunier Dorticos of Cuba all advanced to the semi-finals. Usyk dispatched Germany’s Marco Huck, while Briedis and Dorticos delivered early knock outs to advance in the tournament. Now Usyk is set to take on Briedis in the first semi-final bout while Dorticos waits the winner of Gassiev and Wlodarczyk.
The super middleweight tournament has a much more distinctive British feel and several “superfight” type of battles may be developing. The tournament opened in September when Brit Callum Smith defeated Sweden’s Erik Skoglund and fellow countryman Chris Eubank Jr went to Germany and dispatched Avni Yilidrim. Last weekend saw George Groves advance with a fourth round KO of Jamie Cox to make it three Brits in moving onto the semi-finals.
Groves is already slated to take on Eubank Jr in a fight that should be a major box-office attraction in the U.K. What is more, it should be a seriously entertaining fight as the flashy Eubank Jr is looking for a coming out party and the hard working Groves has worked hard to make a name for himself. That leaves Callum Smith awaiting the winner of the final bout, which comes October 28th between lone American Rob Brant and the experienced Jurgen Brahmer.
The podcast kicks off with talk of Anthony Joshua (19-0) and the heavyweight division. Joshua, the WBA and IBF heavyweight champion will make his latest title defense on October 28th in Wales when he faces Carlos Takam (35-3-1).
The big story here is that the opponent has changed for Joshua, as he was originally slated to take on Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev (25-1). Pulev suffered a back injury and France’s Takam is set to step in on what amounts to less than two weeks of notice.
The main thing for Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn was to get the fight in. The October 28th date is Joshua’s second fight of 2017 and that means the champ is getting in two fights this year. That is on the low end, as Joshua at 27 years old and with just 19 pro fights could cash in 3 or even 4 times a year rather easily. Booking Cardiff’s football stadium also made it imperative that Hearn deliver Joshua.
In the end, there really is not much difference between Pulev and Takam. Joshua will enter the fight a major favorite and though Takam is tough, sturdy and has a lot of experience, he brings nothing truly threatening to the table. Of course, Joshua could get hit and dropped but that is about all Takam can hope for.
What Hearn will line-up after a Joshua victory should be a debut in the United States against WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Wilder just has to hold up his end of the bargain and win his November 44th bout with Bermane Stiverne.
Much more on the latest TalknShoot boxing podcast, check it out.
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