Crawford takes to Twitter: The Five Boxing Stories You Might Have Missed

 | January 12 | 

5 mins read

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We are less than two weeks into 2024 and already the boxing year is taking shape. While the heavyweights have dominated the conversation thus far this annum, this week saw the pieces start to fall into place for some fights at lower weights. There’s also news of Joseph Parker’s next move and the two combatants from 2023’s biggest fight hitting social media with a lot to say. Here are the Five Boxing Stories You Might Have Missed.

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Crawford Tweets Up A Storm

WBC, WBO and WBA welterweight champion Terence Crawford caused a stir on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) on Wednesday, sharing a number of candid posts about prospective opponents, retirement and his own greatness.

The most striking exchanges came with IBF welterweight champion Jarron ‘Boots’ Ennis and Teofimo Lopez, the WBO boss at the weight below. Ennis was handed Crawford’s IBF title after his undisputed title win over Errol Spence Jr, having reigned as interim champion previously. Crawford said of his counterpart, “[He] had two opportunities to fight me. We talking about a kid that’s still fighting in the theater. Make it make sense.”

'Bud' was equally dismissive of Lopez, launching an expletive-ridden tirade in which he accused the 26-year-old of regularly avoiding eye contact with Crawford despite very public proclamations about what he could do if the two met in the ring.

Whether Crawford sees no benefit in fighting the pair, or is simply stirring the pot with one eye on box office returns, remains to be seen. 

Hrgovic vs Parker For AJ-Ngannou Card

The next Saudi Arabia supercard is taking shape. Anthony Joshua’s March confrontation with Francis Ngannou has been confirmed. Now talk turns to the undercard, which could see the return of one of 2023’s most talked-about heavyweights.

Joseph Parker wrote his own ticket when he upset former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in December, in the co-main event of Joshua’s own win over Otto Wallin. Now the New Zealander looks to chart his path back to the world title with a fight against IBF number one contender Filip Hrgovic.

The Croatian boxer has agreed to the proposed bout, though nothing official has been put on paper as things stand. Hrgovic was expected to face Joshua in the aftermath of Tyson Fury’s upcoming undisputed heavyweight championship fight with Oleksandr Usyk in February. The IBF are expected to strip their title from the winner of that fight. Should Parker and Joshua both win their fights, they will be the likely candidates to contest the vacant crown.

The two previously met in 2018, when Parker lost his WBO title to then-WBA and IBF boss Joshua by unanimous decision in Cardiff.

deontay wilder joseph parker frank warren

Hearn targets Wood-Warrington II

Another fight that could be getting a rematch in 2024 is Leigh Wood’s 2023 victory over Josh Warrington. ‘Leigh-thal’ stopped ‘The Leeds Warrior’ in seven rounds in Sheffield last September, successfully defending his WBA featherweight title in the process. Now promoter Eddie Hearn has opened the door on the possibility of a return bout.

Speaking to The MMA Hour, Hearn outlined Wood’s ambitions to fight at The City Ground, home of his beloved Nottingham Forest. “We’re in talks with the club, they’ve got a big concert on the week after, so it’s just about getting the logistics right. Not to put too much pressure on Nottingham Forest, but it’s in the hands of the club. We’ve got a fight ready to go I believe on May 18th with Wood versus Warrington 2.”

Wood vacated his WBA title in order to campaign up at super featherweight, meaning the rematch would likely be a non-title affair contest up at 130 pounds.

Inoue vs Nery Is On

The dust has only just settled on Naoya Inoue’s blockbuster boxing day win over Marlon Tapales. A supremely impressive tenth-round TKO win, the bout saw Inoue become undisputed super bantamweight champion.

Never one to stand still, ‘The Monster’ now has his first defence lined up against Luis Nery. ‘Pantera’ is a former two-weight world champion with a superb 35-1 record. Only Brandon Figueroa has defeated him in the professional ranks. On the surface, the proposed fight makes a lot of sense, as Inoue chases down greatness against another top contender.

But here’s where things get complicated. Nery was banned for life by the Japanese Boxing Commission for a pair of offences. Both came ahead of fights with Shinsuke Yamanaka. Nery tested positive for a banned substance after stopping the Japanese fighter in their first bout. He came in overweight when knocking out the same foe in a rematch. The two infringements led to the JBC banning Nery for life.

Mike Coppinger of ESPN reports that the ban is “not expected to be an issue” and “Tokyo [is] finalized as location”. It will be interesting to see if any grounds are given for the u-turn ahead of the fight.

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Spence Gets Cataract Surgery

Errol Spence Jr has joined his rival Terence Crawford in delivering some candid social media comments recently. Taking to X, the former welterweight world champion updated fans on his recent cataract surgery. “Had successful cataract surgery today! That explains why I got hit with so many jabs and hooks lately and have been overdue since before the Crawford fight. Still a great performance by Bro. No more excuses after this fight, though. The champ is back!” 

“No more excuses” seems to hint that Spence himself is intending to use vision problems as an excuse for his defeat to Crawford last year. ‘Bud’ certainly had no truck with Spence’s inference, using part of his X spree to chide, “Last I can recall we definitely get our eyes checked before every fight I’m just saying.”

Spence still has a rematch clause and might feel his chances have improved. But such was Crawford’s dominance that even freshly-repaired eyes probably wouldn’t be enough to overcome the welterweight champion at this stage in their careers.

 

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