Tyson Fury faced off against Braun Strowman as part of World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Crown Jewel” pay-per-view on Thursday in Saudi Arabia and left the ring with a knockout victory. After entering the match wearing a keffiyeh and causing a bit of controversy on social media, Fury had a couple of moments that are going to end up on the next “Botchamania” highlight reel. Most notably, Fury attempted to pin Strowman but forgot to lift his leg until Strowman likely whispered the instructions to him. It was ugly, and real WWE fans mocked it relentlessly.
Still, Fury had some good moments, especially when compared to other big-time athletes who have entered the WWE ring. Lots of people liked his Isley Brothers “It’s Your Thing” entrance; this Strowman-aided kip up showed some absurd athleticism for a man his size; and boxing fans had to appreciate the nod to his getting up after the Deontay Wilder knockdown. In the end, Fury landed a big “knockout” punch that sent Strowman out of the ring and led to his being counted out. While the win meant Fury is undefeated in two sports, obviously, the result did not matter. What mattered was Fury grew his fanbase, made somewhere around $10-15 million and did not get injured or put his rematch with Wilder in jeopardy. While the move had its fair share of detractors, after seeing the results, it is tough to argue that Fury was not right all along.
While Fury is leaving the world of professional wrestling to return to the boxing ring, Anthony Ogogo is doing the exact opposite. The bronze medal winner at middleweight at the 2012 Olympic Games -- Ryota Murata won the gold -- who has not fought professionally since his 2016 loss to Craig Cunningham, is retiring from professional boxing due to an eye injury and is now pursuing a career in professional wrestling. He has signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling, making him the promotion’s first developmental project.
Benn Cancels Comeback After Shoulder Injury
In all of the hullaballoo about Nigel Benn coming back to fight Sakio Bika at 55 years old despite not having fought since 1996 and Bilka having fought Adonis Stevenson in 2015, everyone forgot one truth: Old guys get injured in training all the time. That is exactly what happened. Benn suffered a shoulder injury and opted to cancel his comeback rather than try and rehabilitate it and return to boxing. While devastated, Benn was reflective. “I have been dreaming of a one-off fight for years, and I’m heartbroken I have had to call it off,” he said. “Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I’m now going to forget about ever fighting again. Instead, I will sit back and enjoy watching my son, Conor, follow in my footsteps and become a world champion.”
Benn was reportedly injured while hitting pads, not even in sparring, so it seems pretty clear he would not have fared well in the ring. Conor Benn is undefeated at 16-0 with 11 knockouts, and his father may not have to wait long to see him get a title shot.
Chavez Jr.-Jacobs in Danger After Chavez Flees VADA Testers
If you thought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was actually taking his training seriously this time and not cutting corners for his 168-pound fight against Daniel Jacobs, then you were let down. Chavez evaded VADA testers, declined to take a test and faces a hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Nov. 20. That means he will not be fighting Jacobs on Dec. 22 in Las Vegas, as the hearing and fight are too close together. Either Chavez and Jacobs are going to fight in another state -- if one will license him -- or Gabriel Rosado is going to replace Chavez and face Jacobs instead.
It seems Chavez is never going to change. He may always be the slacker getting high and eating cereal in his pink tighty whities while his father watches fight film for him. Maybe he never really wanted to be a boxer, and someday he will become a sympathetic figure who went through the motions of being a prizefighter to make his father proud. Who knows? The bottom line: Nobody should ever pay to watch a Chavez fight again.
Horn-Zerafa 2 Official for Dec. 18, Postol-Rodriguez Set for February
After Jeff Horn lost out on a big-money fight with Ryota Murata due to a ninth-round stoppage loss to Michael Zerafa, many people thought Zerafa would face Murata and Horn would retire. Instead, Murata is going to fight Stephen Butler in December, and Horn and Zerafa are going to fight again. That rematch will be Dec. 18 in Brisbane, Australia.
There was a bit of banter about the fight in which Zerafa completely dominated Horn. The latter blamed the first loss on undertraining, as well as “eating pizza and drinking coke,” so when he later said, “I’m hungry,” Zerafa told him to “go eat some pizza.” Later, when Horn told Zerafa he had faced bigger names than him, Zerafa asked, “And how’d you do.” Horn then replied, “It doesn’t matter.” Does Horn not realize that, officially at least, he beat Manny Pacquiao?
Another fight that was confirmed was Viktor Postol’s title shot against WBO and WBC 140-pound champion Jose Ramirez. While they have not yet announced a location, the fight will headline an ESPN card on Feb. 1.
Alvarez, De La Hoya Divide Widens After ‘Loyalty’ Comments
The hits just keep coming for Oscar De La Hoya. While we have known for a while that the relationship between the promoter and Canelo Alvarez has gone sour, it has become even clearer just how bad it has gotten. While talking to Mike Coppinger, Alvarez said the following: “You can see there’s no loyalty in him. He changed trainers during his career. He changed managers in his career, so there’s no loyalty. That’s the way he is. We see it now.”
Apparently, part of the issue is that De La Hoya left an unflattering comment on Ryan Garcia’s Instagram: “Bro, when you duck under, always keep your eye on your opponent. You tell your trainer that.” Garcia’s trainer is Eddy Reynoso, who also happens to be Alvarez’s longtime trainer. Alvarez did not appreciate the apparent slight. Reynoso also signed a Canelo Promotions fighter, Julio Cesar Martinez, to Eddie Hearn rather than to Golden Boy. Supposedly, it was De La Hoya who decided to have Reynoso train Garcia. With his two biggest stars now much closer to Reynoso than him, the decision may well have backfired.
Mayweather Now in Social Media Feud with China’s Richest Man
For a guy who has largely remained out of the spotlight since a 2017 fight with Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather finds himself in all sorts of social media feuds. The latest was with China’s richest man Jack Ma, whose net worth sits at $38 billion. Ma who once starred in his own ridiculous kung fu movie, was seen hitting the mitts with Manny Pacquaio in a social media post, with Pacquiao saying that if Mayweather wants an exhibition fight, Ma is who he should face.
When asked about Ma, Floyd responded: “Who? I don’t even know who he is,” which seems possible. However, considering how extensive Mayweather’s business dealings in Asia have been, it is more likely that “Money” was trying to belittle Ma for not having the name recognition he has, even if he is a far richer man.