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Boxing Odds and Ends: Canada's Custio Clayton, Big Baby and More

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  • Boxing Odds and Ends: Canada's Custio Clayton, Big Baby and More

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Custio.PNG Views:	1 Size:	239.4 KB ID:	16077

    By Arne K. Lang

    You likely missed it because who anticipates a boxing event on a Tuesday, but Canadian welterweight Custio Clayton scored a nice win this past Tuesday on a show in Toronto. Ranked #7 by the WBO, the undefeated Clayton (18-0, 12 KOs) will likely move up a few notches after his eighth-round stoppage of Argentina’s Diego Ramirez who was 21-3 going in and hadn’t previously been stopped.

    A 32-year-old father of five from North Preston, Nova Scotia, Clayton (pictured) is a six-time Canadian national amateur champion and was one of only two Canadian boxers to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. He wore down Ramirez with a steady body attack and now looks for bigger game. He and his manager Lee Baxter, who has been described as a walking billboard for the tattoo parlor he owns, would jump at the opportunity to fight Terence Crawford and that isn’t out of the question.

    The co-feature was a dreadful match-up between Toronto super middleweight Steve Rolls and late sub Gilberto Pereira dos Santos, a 41-year-old Brazilian. Rolls, 35, rebounded from his loss last June to Gennady Golovkin, KOing the Brazilian in the fourth to up his record to 20-1 (11).

    - - -

    Bob Arum keeps collecting heavyweights. As rumored, the Top Rank honcho inked Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller to a multi-fight contract. “Big Baby,” 31, boasts a 23-0-1 record and has won 19 straight. He last fought in November of 2018 when he stopped Romania’s Bogdan Dinu on a show in Kansas, a fight in which he carried 315 ½ pounds on his six-foot-four frame.

    Miller was slated to fight Anthony Joshua this past June 1 at Madison Square Garden but failed to pass muster with the New York Athletic Commission after a banned substance turned up in his VADA test. ESPN’s Dan Rafael broke the story on April 16.

    Miller yelped that he was the victim of a false-positive: “My team and I stand for integrity, decency and honesty and we will fight this with everything we have,” he said in a formal statement.

    Three days later, Rafael reported that a second VADA test from a different urine sample turned up a different banned substance and then it was reported that yet another urine sample had produced a third adverse finding. Miller then changed his tune. “I messed up,” he conceded. Indeed, he did. The huge payday he would have received for fighting Anthony Joshua went instead to Andy Ruiz Jr. who forged an historic upset.

    In announcing the multi-fight deal Bob Arum said, “Jarrell Miller is serious about coming back and doing things the right way. He is one of boxing’s most unique and exciting characters but most importantly, he can fight.”

    In addition to newcomer Miller, Arum promotes or co-promotes Tyson Fury, Bulgarian veteran Kubrat Pulev who is purportedly Anthony Joshua’s next foe, Germany’s Agit Kabayel, and French-Congolese contender Carlos Takam, currently on loan to New York promoter Joe DeGuardia. And then there are his heavyweight young guns: Guido Vianello, Sonny Conto, and Jared Anderson.

    And to this list we may soon add Tony Yoka.

    The indefatigable 87-year-old Arum was reportedly in France earlier this month negotiating with Yoka’s advisors. The six-foot-seven Parisian, the super heavyweight gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is 7-0 (6 KOs) as a pro but has also had drug issues. He missed parts of 2018 and 2019 while serving a one-year ban from the French Boxing Federation for blowing off three drug tests.

    If Arum signs Tony Yoka, one wonders if it will be a package deal that also includes Yoka’s wife? He is married to lightweight Estelle Mossely, herself a gold medal winner at the Rio games and currently 6-0 as a pro. Tony and Estelle are the parents of a three-year-old boy.

    In the past, Arum has shown no interest in female boxers, but he’s never been set in his ways.

    - - -

    On this side of the pond, it’s a card that will only interest hardcore fans, but ESPN+ is airing a show on Saturday afternoon from venerable Ulster Hall in Belfast, North Ireland. The show airs at 3 pm EST / noon Pacific.

    In the main go, local fan favorite Sean McComb (9-0, 4 KOs) moves up in class to take on Argentina’s Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (32-5-1, 17 KOs). Tall and rangy and a southpaw, McComb will fight at 140 pounds. This is his first 10-rounder.

    In the co-feature, featherweight Davey Oliver Joyce (11-1, 8 KOs) opposes southpaw Lee Haskins (36-4, 14 KOs). Joyce, 32, represented Ireland in the 2016 Olympics. Haskins, 37, is a former IBF world bantamweight title-holder.

    The year 2020 is expected to be a very big year for boxing in Belfast. By all indications, native sons Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan will both be defending their belts on their home turf.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel