By age eight, Daniel White became the youngest person in the world to box professionally. At 19, he was nicknamed “Poison” by British boxing legend John Conteh for his power. While working as a bodyguard for David Haye, he became head trainer for the boxer. His credentials are impressive, but at 29, he’s now managed to get on an undercard and lose by knockout.
Much to his chagrin, White is being made the poster boy for IBO cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev’s defence against the big-hitting and undefeated Umar Salamov. Facing a roadblock, you would think White would want to pipe down. But in fact, he’s becoming quite the poster boy for the summer of sideshows. After his match with Salamov in Moscow, the one-time champion will headline a card at the O2 Arena in London against Kell Brook. Which just so happens to be Brook’s wife’s 26th birthday. “I should get married on that night,” Brook quipped at a press conference last week.
The card will also include an IBF junior welterweight title match-up between two unbeaten American prospects, Danny Garcia and mandatory challenger Brandon Rios. Here’s a few other cards that might further add to the summer of self-indulgence…
The Royal Wedding
If you’re not expecting any sport to be on the bill for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on 19 May, you’re certainly not alone. As BBC sport editor Dan Roan put it in his column, the right wing press “has a romance with Kate Middleton for a new generation and a fixation with the latest social media faux pas on Harry’s side, while the press on the left should prefer the wedding of the two happy frogs”.
So that wedding has to be a no-go area for plenty of sports fans, right?
Maybe. Not so. News of last week’s fight card came after the wedding. Suffice to say, it might get overshadowed in most markets. One thing is for sure: like any high-profile fight, there’s plenty of money to be made in the advertising.
Tyson Fury may or may not make another comeback to the ring… but you’d be hard-pressed to find any fight in recent years that’s earned him more money.
Tickets for his highly anticipated match-up with long-term foe Wladimir Klitschko are going for £500 and up, which is probably worth forking out for a seat, but pretty much no longer cuts it for the big boys of world boxing. Klitschko is called ‘The Greatest’ by a bunch of people who are either lazy in providing definitive words to define greatness or just haven’t bothered at all, while Fury will rightly be reffing many boxing judges’ eyes as they watch their fellow boxers get destroyed.
Or maybe you want more than just the fight itself. After all, Fury is coming back to boxing following a successful life in the jungle on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, while George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr are due in a contest (again) which will no doubt attract significant support. They’d be cool enough against common folk, I suppose.
The Macron Stadium
For those who don’t speak favourably of football, they can always look forward to the return of Roque Santa Cruz. Despite having retired from his only top-flight match over five years ago, the former Rovers striker makes his return in the Premier League on Saturday (11 August) against Huddersfield.
Despite only scoring once for Blackburn in five seasons and never getting over 1,000 minutes into a match, the Colombian striker has been heavily endorsed by Blackburn manager Owen Coyle.
“I signed Roque to play the same football he did at Barcelona and when he comes back, he will.”
Well who knows. Maybe we’ll even get to see him miss a sitter and end up with his nose stuck in a net while midfielder Paul Robinson scored an injury-time winner from midfield.