Avila Perspective, Chap. 249: Callum Walsh, Oleksandr Usyk and More


By David A. Avila

Callum Walsh.

Is he the one?

Ireland’s undefeated Walsh (7-0, 6 KOs) meets Argentina’s Juan Jose Velasco (24-4, 15 KOs) in a middleweight match at Commerce Casino in Commerce, Calif. on Saturday Aug. 26. UFC Fight Pass will stream the 360 Boxing Promotions fight card.

It’s another step up for Walsh who zoomed past the competition and enters another strata against a former super lightweight gatekeeper in Velasco. For the past two fights the Argentine has been fighting as a middleweight. It is another test for the Irish fighter from Cork.

Backed by UFC’s Dana White and crafty boxing promoter Tom Loeffler, it’s a sure bet that Walsh can be guided to the top of the middleweight rankings in double-time. A win by Walsh retains the WBC US Silver and a top 20 ranking.

If you know anything about the Irish, they love to fight and have a long history in prizefighting. Perhaps you heard of the great John L. Sullivan?

Yes, Sullivan was actually born in Boston, but was the son of Irish immigrants. He popularized boxing in America and became famous for his “I can lick any man in the room” boast. He’s considered the first heavyweight champion of the world under the Marquis of Queensbury rules which we follow today.

Many other Irish emerged as world champions but the once flood of champions has been reduced to a trickle. Only Katie Taylor currently holds a world title for the Irish and she has all the current titles as undisputed lightweight world champion. The last male world champion was super bantamweight TJ Doheny. He last held the IBF super bantamweight title in April 2019 losing to Danny Roman in a brutal battle in Los Angeles.

Walsh has blazed by every opponent so far, and though the competition has not been fierce he has defeated some experienced pugilists capable of defeating up-and-coming fighters. This past June the middleweight phenom blasted out Carson Jones a fighter who troubled former welterweight world champion Kell Brook in a majority decision loss in 2012.

The Irish fighter has been put on the fast track by his crack promoting team who know a thing or two about world champions.

Dana White, who manages Walsh, not only knows MMA but has been involved in boxing too for many decades. He once backed female world champion Melinda Cooper to a flyweight world title. She is now in the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

Promoter Loeffler has extensive experience with heavyweight and middleweight champions Vitali Klitschko and Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin. Under his guidance those champions were extremely successful.

Though not every promising fighter reaches world championship status, Walsh could be the one. You never know until they get hit by a foe with world class power.

Watching fighters like Walsh climb the ladder is always a treat. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Heavyweight World Title Clash

Unified heavyweight world titlist Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) defends the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles against Daniel Dubois (19-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday Aug. 26 in Wroclaw, Poland. ESPN+ will stream the Top Rank card live.

After two successive wins over Anthony Joshua, the champion was unable to lure WBC titlist Tyson Fury into the prize ring despite repeated efforts, Ukraine’s Usyk took another direction and meets England’s power-punching Dubois who has knocked out 18 foes in 20 fights.

Though Usyk has masterful boxing skills, it only takes one punch to change everything in a prize fight. Dubois always has that knockout capability.

Another Top Rank promoted card showcases heavyweight contender Jared “Big Baby” Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs) against Andriy Rudenko (35-6, 21 KOs) in a 10-round battle at Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. ESPN will televise the Top Rank card.

“It was easy to get back into things after my last fight. We never stop, really. We might have taken a week off, but then we went right back to it. We took our time by sharpening our skills before sparring. But everything was great. We’re ready to go to work,” said Anderson who recently fought and won by decision against former champion Charles Martin. It was the first time he heard the final bell.

Minimumweight World Title in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s Oscar Collazo (7-0, 5 KOs) makes his first defense of the WBO minimumweight world title on Saturday August 26, against Philippine’s Garen Diagan (10-3, 5 KOs). The lefty versus lefty clash takes place in San Juan and will be streamed on DAZN.

Ontario, Calif. Fights

Pomona’s hot undefeated prospect Tito Mercado (11-0, 10 KOs) meets Paraguay’s Carlos Manuel Portillo (23-4, 17 KOs) on Saturday Aug. 26, at the Lumcolor Center in Ontario, Calif. The boxing card is promoted by Fight City Promotions.

The Lumcolor Center is located at 11233 Center Avenue in Ontario. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Fights to Watch

Sat. ESPN+ 2 p.m. Oleksandr Usyk (20-0) vs Daniel Dubois (19-1).

Sat. DAZN 5 p.m. Oscar Collazo (7-0) vs Garen Diagan (10-3).

Sat. UFC Fight Pass 6 p.m. Callum Walsh (7-0) vs Juan Jose Velasco (24-4).

Sat. ESPN 7:30 p.m. Jared Anderson (15-0) vs Andriy Rudenko (35-6).

(Photo by 360 Boxing Promotions)