- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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A few notes from around the boxing world:
• Former junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout was due to face Australia’s Anthony Mundine, a former super middleweight titleholder, in a junior middleweight bout in Hidalgo, Texas, on May 9 on the undercard of the CBS-televised “Premier Boxing Champions” card topped by the junior welterweight bout between former lightweight titleholders Omar Figueroa and Ricky Burns. However, Trout (28-2, 15 KOs), 29, a southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico, is in need of a new opponent after Mundine (47-6, 27 KOs), 39, dropped out due to a punctured ear drum.
• England’s Lee Haskins (31-3, 13 KOs), 31, will face Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa (19-1, 12 KOs), a 25-year-old southpaw, for an interim bantamweight title made available while titleholder Randy Caballero recovers from foot surgery. Caballero will be obligated to face the winner up on his return. Haskins and Iwasa will meet June 13 at the Action Indoor Sports Arena in Bristol, England, Haskins’ hometown. “It’s amazing to finally land this world title shot,” Haskins said. “At times I thought it would never come -- when other British fighters I had beaten got their chances. And when the IBF announced I was to fight Ryosuke Iwasa, a Japanese fighter, I presumed we would probably have to travel to Japan. But massive thanks to promoter Mick Hennessy and my manager Chris Sanigar for bringing this world title to my hometown of Bristol. I know this is going to be a tough fight, but I’ve never lost in Bristol.”
• British middleweight rivals Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr., who are likely headed to an eventual rematch of their highly competitive and very contentious fight in November, were due to fight different opponents on the same card Saturday at SSE Wembley Arena in London. However, both are now off the show, but promoter Frank Warren is going ahead with the card anyway. It will feature super middleweight super middleweight Frank Buglioni, welterweight Bradley Skeete and featherweight Mitchell Smith. Saunders is the mandatory challenger for titleholder Andy Lee, but with Lee unable to make the defense this summer because of a shoulder injury Saunders may get a chance to fight for the interim belt, so he dropped off Saturday’s card. That led to interim titlist Eubank (19-1, 14 KOs) to also withdraw as he hopes to face Saunders (21-0, 11 KOs), whom he lost to in November, in a summer rematch.
Former junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout is in need of a new opponent for Saturday after Anthony Mundine dropped out due to an ear injury.