Muhammad Ali was 32 years old when he Rumbled in the Jungle in 1974. His victory considered all the more miraculous given his veteran status and the power of youth presumed to reside with George Foreman. There are many who feel he should have retired at that zenith. How times change. On Saturday night another 32-year-old, Alexander Povetkin, he of the callow face and quiet demeanour, will belatedly try to step from the shadows of the brothers Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘muhammad ali’
Anyone with a passing interest in heavyweight boxing over the past twenty years will hold a mental image of one sort or another of heavy punching former champion Oliver McCall. Whether it be the crunching right-hand which felled Lennox Lewis, his emotional implosion in the rematch or the various drug fuelled episodes which have blighted his attempts to construct another run at the championship he lost to a grateful Frank Bruno in 1995. Last night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel he dropped a clear decision to peripheral contender Timur Ibragimov spelling the end of any residual potential the now 45-year-old could claim. Read the rest of this entry »
Presently, there is no hotter commodity in boxing than Floyd Mayweather. Fresh off a crushing victory over Shane Mosley I can no longer summon an obstacle which bears scrutiny to the now overwhelming argument that Floyd Mayweather deserves to take a place among the sport’s all time greats. Mayweather’s name can sit snugly among the Ali, Armstrong and Leonard’s as one of the finest prizefighters ever seen. In fact, the only thing which could be more commercially desirable than the Pretty Boy right now…is a retired Pretty Boy. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you hear the one about Vitaly Klitschko and the hungry, young contender? No, nor did I. Admittedly, Vitaly Klitschko hasn’t fought during a particularly glowing period for heavyweights. His tenure, interrupted by a now mysteriously cured knee problem, as the leading heavyweight began when Lennox Lewis retired and has continued through soporific contests with Danny Williams, Kirk Johnson, Corrie Sanders, Sam Peter, Juan Carlos Gomez, Chris Arreola and latterly Albert Sosnowski. So maybe, the revelation Danish pastry Brian Nielsen is making a comeback aged 45 will be welcome news in the Klitschko castle if nowhere else. Read the rest of this entry »
So the scene is set. Boxing has risen from the canvas to offer the viewing public a fight of such dramatic potential it already draws comparison with the magnetic contests boxing was once able to supply from a position of long forgotten significance on an annual basis.
Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino with the smile and an entire people in his corner, neutralised Miguel Cotto with such aplomb last weekend he is now widely projected as the sport’s pound for pound number one. That most unhelpful of yardsticks. And in Floyd Mayweather, he has an opponent of equal brilliance and renown against whom to push his abilities to their limit and in doing so, just maybe, entice and ignite a whole new generation of prize fight followers.
If promoting a fight is craft, then David Haye has used every tool in the box to generate interest in this Saturday’s fight with Nicolay Valuev. He is an effervescent self-promoter who has used eye-catching gimmicks, distasteful commentary about Valuev’s personal hygiene, appeared on every talk-show, press event and personal appearance in order to force this fight to transcend the confines of the boxing audience. And, glory be, its working. Read the rest of this entry »
He remains a media phenomenon, even now two whole decades removed from the last of his boxing peak and with a whole generation of boxing fans for whom he was never a consensus world-champion now fully grown. The time when the word Tyson was part of the language of the playground, of bars, of water-coolers (not that they were present in Blighty til after he lost) alongside Rocky Balboa is a distant memory. Tyson’s name became short-hand for power, speed, aggression, brutality and pain. Today’s vague, shallow and generally transparent suggestion that the 43 year-old may yet return to the ring only serves to prove the fascination with Iron Mike has proven timeless. Read the rest of this entry »
Love him, hate him, ignore him, beat him, write him off, mock him, chastise him, heck, tie an anvil to each ankle and drop him in the Thames. It wouldn’t matter, Big Audley would still be believing, still fighting, still chasing the dream. I’m beginning to think Harrison has special powers, the hide of a Rhino, the defiance of the Black Knight and will of Arnie’s Terminator. Despite being jeered to and from the ring, despite failing to overwhelm a man he outweighed by 3 stone and despite the proximity of his 37th birthday, Audley will not give up. Read the rest of this entry »
In any consideration of those who transcended boxing over the past 30 years and found a place in the consciousness of the general public; Ali, Foreman and Tyson would surely stand head and shoulders above even Sugar Ray Leonard, Prince Naseem Hamed and Oscar DeLaHoya. Though not strictly a sporting figure, having never seen combat inside the ring, I think the man who stood between Ali and Foreman back in 1974 and who oversaw much of the money-making period of Mike Tyson’s career is arguably boxing’s fourth most recognisable face, Don King. Does this week’s signing of Barrera show an ebbing significance or the beginning of a renaissance for boxing’s most infamous promoter?
Tommy Farr said that and who am I to argue. Tomorrow will mark the 71st anniversary of his courageous but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to dethrone the newly crowned heavyweight champion Joe Louis. The humble ‘Tonypandy Terror’ is long remembered for giving the legendary Brown Bomber an arduous first defence and for the unflinching resolve he demonstrated. His effort was so herculean and unexpected that some ringside observers and those hunched around the wireless back in Britain felt he’d toppled the great champion. Read the rest of this entry »
Rewind five years; amid the period of heavyweight history dominated by Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko, with towering contenders like Jameel McCline, Wladimir Klitschko, Michael Grant, Henry Akinwande, Hasim Rahman, Nicolay Valuev and Andrew Golota and it was increasingly easy to dismiss the chances of bygone greats like Rocky Marciano and Gene Tunney or even through to Joe Frazier in any fantasy match-up. Read the rest of this entry »
The astonishing performances of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt broke the consciousness of almost the entire population of the world this week. Only the Olympics and perhaps the football World Cup offer such global exposure [alas the heavyweight championship has long lost this broad appeal], and though I doubt he could run backwards as fast as his contemporaries in the Olympic boxing ring, the question of his place amongst the greats of the track is unquestionable. The clock doesn’t lie. Bolt is faster than anyone who ever lived. Such cross generation comparison in boxing, provides no such clarity.
Begun on an idle whim, the BoxingWriter .co.uk Tribute Wear has proved tremendously popular and exceeded expectation. Sales of t-shirts featuring the likes of Marciano, Hearns and Tapia have been well received and dispatched to satisfied customers within 2-3 days of order receipt and the feedback on quality has been favourable too. Check them out… Read the rest of this entry »