WILL THE VEGAS PARTY GET STARTED?
By Frank Warren
THE WORD ON the media grapevine is pointing towards the big rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez being in some jeopardy.
The pair were set to go again in Las Vegas on May 5, but this money-spinning event has been thrown into doubt following the detection of clenbuterol in a sample provided by the Mexican.
I think many people just assumed the hugely profitable party would go ahead regardless and the issue would simply be swept under the canvas.
It did appear that the governing bodies were reluctant to do anything about it and it now seems it is down to the Nevada commission to take the appropriate steps and investigate the matter properly.
It looks now like there will be some consequences – especially now it is public knowledge that Canelo failed two drug tests.
I am sure as much as Las Vegas will want the event to take place on Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo because of the income that it would generate for the local economy and casinos – and as much as Golovkin will want it to go ahead – at the end of the day the sport has got to be seen to be policing itself and failed tests cannot simply be ignored.
If the fight is ultimately aborted then the name of Billy Joe Saunders will be firmly in the frame as a potential opponent for the holder of the other three middleweight belts, but the prospect of this would be very much date dependent due to the hand injury that has disrupted his training as you would want to be anything less than 100 per cent going in with Golovkin.
THE HAPPY HABIT of the biggest fights being made across most of the weight divisions in recent times continues with the very appealing match-up between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares, set for May 12 at Madison Square Garden.
I have long been a huge fan of Lomachenko and most of his professional career to date has been broadcast to the UK via BoxNation, so British fight fans know what he is all about and, to my mind, he is right up there with the very best around at the moment.
Linares is also a familiar face to British punters, mostly for his knack for defeating our home fighters over the last three years.
He is a slick operator and a great ambassador for the sport, but I think he is biting off a bit more than he can chew against the formidable Ukrainian.
It should be a top fight and it is one I fancy Lomachenko in a big way.
THE KNITTING TOGETHER of the heavyweight world titles continues this weekend in Cardiff when Anthony Joshua bids to add the WBO belt to his collection against the once highly-touted Kiwi Joseph Parker.
If Joshua sticks to the script it should become a fairly straightforward’s night work for the British favourite but he must overcome the vulnerabilities that we have all seen evidence of.
I believe the key to this fight is all about speed.
From the training clips we have seen it looks like Joshua is not carrying any excess baggage this time around and is focusing on speed and sharpness, which is what will beat Parker every time.
Hughie Fury is an elusive fighter with a totally different style to Joshua, but he made Parker look particularly ponderous.
Parker, I believe, isn’t quite living up to his early promise when he looked an explosive customer, but since reaching title level he has not showed himself to be anything ultra-special.
That is not to say this is a fight that doesn’t carry dangers for Joshua because we have seen him get caught. Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam have all exposed a certain vulnerability in his defences.
Parker is not a bad puncher and, if he lands a jackpot shot and is able to sustain an attack, an upset could be on the cards.
My hunch, however, leans towards a routine home win.