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Hooks and Jabs: Davis Returns, Taylor’s New Mandatory

While the fallout from Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall rumbles on the sport looked ahead to a fascinating fight at featherweight between Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan in Nottingham. 

Tyson Fury’s media work produced enough soundbites to keep the media happy for a week while Dillian Whyte keeps producing Instagram content featuring his dogs. 

Heavyweight shenanigans aside boxing continues to churn out rumours, fight dates and new signings. Welcome to this week’s Hooks and Jabs.

Gervonta Davis will defend his WBA Regular lightweight world title against Rolando Romero on May 28. The Showtime pay-per-view will take place at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn according to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger.

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In other WBA news undisputed super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor has been ordered to defend his world title against unbeaten mandatory challenger Alberto Puello. The Scot has said he will move up to 147lbs however which would leave his four belts vacant. Puello could then face WBA number two Ismael Barroso for the title.

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2016 Olympic silver medallist Bektemir Melikuziev continues to get his career back on track when he returns to the ring on March 19. It will be the first fight of 2022 for ‘The Bully’ whose world title aspirations were left in tatters last June when Gabriel Rosado knocked him out in three rounds. Melikuziev faces veteran David ‘La Pantera’ Zegarra in a 10-round contest at light-heavyweight.

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Probellum have made a seismic addition to their ever-expanding roster of fighters. 2020 super-heavyweight gold medallist Bakhodir Jalolov has signed a co-promotional deal along with DiBella Entertainment. The unbeaten six foot seven Uzbek heavyweight faces journeyman Kamil Sokolowski on March 18 in Dubai.

“Everyone in the heavyweight division knows all about me and, deep down, they know it is only a matter of time before I take over,” said Jalolov.

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Tim Tszyu’s American debut has been confirmed and will be broadcast live on Showtime. The Australian super-welterweight faces Terrell Gausha at The Armory in Minneapolis on March 26. Tszyu is in line for a shot at the winner of the rearranged undisputed 154lbs title fight between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño.

“Once I take care of Gausha, I will be coming for the title,” said Tszyu.

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Jason Cunningham and Ekow Essuman have had confirmation of their next fight dates. Cunningham faces unbeaten Frenchman Terry Le Couviour in the second defence of his European super-bantamweight title on April 16 at Telford International Arena. Essuman will defend his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles against Darren Tetley on April 29 at York Hall. Both shows will be televised live on BT Sport.