Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia made his signing of heavyweight contender Carlos Takam, who suffered a 10th-round stoppage loss challenging then unified titlist Anthony Joshua in 2017, official Monday. Takam (36-5-1, 28 KOs), 38, of France, was slated to face former undisputed cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk in his heavyweight debut Oct. 12, although no deal was finalized, and now Takam is likely to go in another direction. “I have had several propositions on the table, but with Joe, the way I see, I have good feeling that we can achieve my potential together,” Takam said. “I have big ambition in boxing for these coming years. I was taking my time looking around (making) any decision. I am ready to do the job."
Top Rank is trying to finalize a fight between junior lightweight titlist Miguel Berchelt and former secondary titlist Jason Sosa to headline its ESPN card on Nov. 2, multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN on Monday. Top Rank initially aimed to make the fight for the Tyson Fury-Otto Wallin undercard on Sept. 14 (ESPN+) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but Berchelt said he would not be able to make 130 pounds in time for that date. Mexico’s Berchelt (36-1, 32 KOs) has made five defenses, most recently a sixth-round stoppage of former titlist Francisco Vargas in their rematch on May 11. Sosa (23-3-4, 16 KOs), of Camden, New Jersey, is coming off a dominant seventh-round knockout of Haskell Lydell Rhodes on Aug. 10.
Light heavyweight world titlist Dmitry Bivol, 28, of Russia, is weighing offers from Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn as well as Premier Boxing Champions, manager Vadim Kornilov told ESPN on Monday. Kornilov said he has an offer from Hearn for Bivol, who is a broadcast free agent, to face an opponent to be determined on Oct. 12 on DAZN in the co-feature of former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight debut. If they go in that direction it would be Bivol’s second fight in a row with Hearn and DAZN. But Kornilov also said PBC is interested in signing Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs), who has made five title defenses, to a deal that would begin with a fight on Fox in the fall, also against an opponent to be determined.
The WBC on Monday ordered the free negotiation period to begin for the fight between unified junior welterweight world titlist Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) and mandatory challenger (and former titlist) Viktor Postol (31-2, 12 KOs). In its letter to both camps, the WBC also said that if they do not make a deal a purse bid is scheduled for Sept. 20 at the WBC offices in Mexico City. However, Ramirez, who unified belts by sixth-round knockout of Maurice Hooker on July 27, also has a WBO mandatory due against Jack Catterall (24-0, 13 KOs) and there has been nothing from the Ramirez team or promoter Top Rank on which fight they plan to pursue first. Either way, Top Rank plans for Ramirez to make a mandatory defense in November or December.
Navarrete dominates De Vaca, defends title
Emanuel Navarrete blows away Francisco De Vaca in the third round to retain his junior featherweight title. For more Top Rank Boxing, sign up here for ESPN+ https://plus.espn.com/.
Ward: Navarrete continues to prove he's the real deal
Timothy Bradley, Andre Ward and Mark Kriegel recap Emanuel Navarrete's win vs. Francisco De Vaca. For more Top Rank Boxing, sign up here for ESPN+ https://plus.espn.com/.
Gvozdyk motivated to square off vs. Beterbiev
Oleksandr Gvozdyk previews his fight vs. Artur Beterbiev, adding how he's motivated to revisit their history from 10 years ago.
Fury goes through list of contenders who turned down next fight
Tyson Fury discusses names that turned down the opportunity to fight him on September 14. For more Top Rank Boxing, sign up here for ESPN+ https://plus.espn.com/.
While Tyson Fury is getting ready for his September 14 bout versus Otto Wallin, what about Andy Ruiz, who is supposed to be facing Anthony Joshua in their rematch in Saudi Arabia in December? His trainer Manuel Robles said a few days ago: “First day back in the gym is Monday. We're going to start getting ready, although, like I said, nothing's been confirmed on our side. But we definitely got to get the ball rolling."
Want to know what fights are on the horizon? Check out the boxing schedule for 2019.
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