Canelo, Golovkin and the luck of the draw

“To me judges seem the well paid watch-dogs of Capitalism, making things safe and easy for the devil Mammon.”

Maud Gonne, Irish philanthropist (1865-1953)

Sunday was a long day. Tired from the all-nighter that stretched between my back row seat at the CopperBox Arena in London, where I saw Billy Joe Saunders retain his WBO bauble in a soporific engagement with a subdued, and at times motionless, Willie Monroe Jr., through to 5am back on the sofa for a thudding, if not exhilarating, bout between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez for the real Middleweight title.

I’d risen after three hours sleep, sought comfort in tea and the balm of contemplating Adalaide Byrd opening her eyes, and blinking her way in to a morning of regret. Perhaps permitting herself the hint of a smile at the word play of her husband Robert, a decorated boxing referee, asking if she wanted him to draw the curtains.  Continue reading “Canelo, Golovkin and the luck of the draw”

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Saunders remains unbeaten. No more, no less.

Billy Joe Saunders confirmed his status as a leading contender in the middleweight division tonight with a unanimous decision victory over Willie Monroe Junior at the Copperbox Arena, London.

By keeping his unbeaten record and custody of the World Boxing Organisation’s version of the 160 pound division title, Saunders maintains his leverage in the race to face the winner of tonight’s Golovkin v Alvarez super-fight in Las Vegas. Continue reading “Saunders remains unbeaten. No more, no less.”

Nerves; Golovkin, Canelo, Dodge and Laight…

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Canelo

On Saturday night, most eyes will be on on the seminal, potentially era-defining bout between Gennady Golovkin, the piston-powered champion from Kazakhstan and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the quiet, scowling Mexican, his number one contender. A few more will be keeping abreast of the preceding middleweight clash between Billy Joe Saunders and Willie Monroe Jnr. from London, and Callum Smith will pique interest against the Swedish heft of Erik Skoglund in the first of the World Boxing Super Series Super-Middleweight tournament too. Continue reading “Nerves; Golovkin, Canelo, Dodge and Laight…”

Golovkin v Alvarez: Boxing returns to its Middleweight touchstone

“Every man’s got to figure to get beat some time.”

Joe Louis –  (1914-1981)

golovkin2The weekend super-fight between Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez from the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas returns the sport of boxing to the bosom of those who embrace it through the good times and the bad. The type of ardent disciple who nods and purses lips at the mention of James Toney or smiles and rub his or her hands together at the memory of Smokin’ Bert Cooper or Paul ‘Scrap Iron’ Ryan*.

*Other ‘win some, lose some’ brawlers are available. Continue reading “Golovkin v Alvarez: Boxing returns to its Middleweight touchstone”

Boxing: A golden time – it wasn’t always so good.

We have no time to stand and stare. And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

W.H. Davies, ‘Leisure’ c1911

KirinoGarcia

Parking had been difficult, as was finding the venue itself, and I was late for the show. It was long since dark and the city still intimidated me a little despite my projection of belonging. I broke into a jog between the pools of street light on my way to the Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre, London. It was late March, 2002. Continue reading “Boxing: A golden time – it wasn’t always so good.”

Amir Khan: Silver, Shades and Tom Sayers

“The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.”

Samuel Beckett  [Murphy 1938]

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Amir Khan is a frequent interviewee. As a fighter in the modern communication age he’s fielded more questions, or perhaps half a dozen repeated infinitum, than a hundred of his predecessors, even those of greater luminosity than his. None of those fighting forefathers shone so brightly they needed to wear sunglasses inside as Khan has a predisposition to, certainly not when the extent of their preceding exertion was a mere fall out with their spouse. One might presume only Johnny Tapia could have made a case for an exception. Continue reading “Amir Khan: Silver, Shades and Tom Sayers”

Guest Blog: Mayweather v McGregor – Who’s next?

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While it may seem rather silly to overlook the potentially explosive meeting between Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Connor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor either result will throw up more questions than answers. The biggest questions will undoubtedly be who each man intends to fight next and should McGregor upset the pundits and the Mayweather McGregor odds and come away with victory there will more than likely be a rematch. Continue reading “Guest Blog: Mayweather v McGregor – Who’s next?”

Boxing: Can we really expect ‘vanilla’ role models from boxing?

Fury2George Foreman once said; “Boxing was the sport to which all others aspire.” Oh how the sport’s followers love to trot that line out. The average fight fan yearns for boxing to meet Foreman’s validation. On occasion it does, too often it is merely wistful nostalgia.

Tyson Fury’s ascension to the throne in Germany rekindled that debate once more as boxing was pushed to the front of the news agenda. Continue reading “Boxing: Can we really expect ‘vanilla’ role models from boxing?”

Boxing: Tyson Fury and the impossible search for context

Fury2True, there were those who hoped, a few stifled an instinctive inclination and one or two were willing to believe, rarely publicly for fear of the subsequent denouement of their opinion, but on the whole the consensus among the great and good of the boxing reportage was – ‘Fury is out of his depth.’ It was the obvious patter. Continue reading “Boxing: Tyson Fury and the impossible search for context”

Boxing: Tyson Fury will topple a Klitschko first – BoxingWriter Reader’s Vote

Three years ago the audience of BoxingWriter.co.uk plumped for young Tyson Fury in a poll which asked the question; Who will one of the Klitschko’s lose to first? Time moved slowly in between and it seems a life time ago in retrospect; both Povetkin and Thompson were, at the time, the Klitschko’s next two opponents. Continue reading “Boxing: Tyson Fury will topple a Klitschko first – BoxingWriter Reader’s Vote”

Boxing: The Ali Files by Norman Giller – A review

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Within the pages of The Ali Files, from the pen of the prolific Norman Giller, there is a gift for boxing fans young and old. Particularly those for whom Muhammad Ali is an experience afforded by the proxy of film or television interview or those of us desensitised to his brilliance by time and the ensuing mythologising and marketing of his story.

In The Ali Files, Giller has returned Muhammad to his rightful home. The ring. The place where the story began and where his legend was hewn. It serves to refresh us all, including the great man himself.   Continue reading “Boxing: The Ali Files by Norman Giller – A review”

Boxing: Audley Harrison. The importance of the man who wouldn’t be king.

Audley-MiddletonLennox Lewis strode down the aisle, the glow of certainty and phosphorous bulbs around him. The manifest presence of the world’s heavyweight champion entered the atmosphere.  Assurance screamed silently from his frame.  Natural stillness served to amplify the power beneath. His height and languid gait serving notice that his kingdom remained entirely visible despite the black shields hiding his gaze.  His patronage immediately verified all before him.

A lion, on a high, shaded rock. Continue reading “Boxing: Audley Harrison. The importance of the man who wouldn’t be king.”

Wladimir Klitschko, dominance and the burden of proof

Historically, dominance is a fleeting experience in the heavyweight division. Perhaps, thankfully fleeting. In the last century we’ve seen a number of periods in which one fighter reigned over the sports blue ribbon division. Louis, Marciano, Holmes, Tyson. An exalted list of greatness. Once in a generation fighters who destroyed their contemporaries and illuminated their respective eras. Something else unified those luminaries; the lack of a defining opponent.

Wladimir Klitschko, who turns 38 ahead of his next defence, is in the Autumn of a career even by today’s extended measure. Like those illustrious greats he finds himself searching for an opponent who will offer triumphant definition to his manicured statistics or risk being remembered for a defeat to Lamon Brewster in 2004 or a slew of moribund victories similar to the one he will accumulate in April when he tackles over-matched Alex Leapai.

Continue reading “Wladimir Klitschko, dominance and the burden of proof”

Boxing: “Just wave Joe, you’re beautiful baby. God bless ya champ.”

ImageLennox Lewis simply isn’t celebrated enough. Now before you depart, mistaking this statement as a prelude to a tired hit-chasing argument about Lennox always beating Tyson – even in 1993 – or whooping Vitali in the never seen rematch, it points instead to his well timed retirement; faculties in tact, money safe and talent fulfilled.

Too few have the wisdom and foresight to resist the public or personal clamour to continue or, worst still, return. Great, good and those no more than game very rarely depart from boxing on their own terms, and if they do, they are frequently drawn back. Invited or not.

Joe Louis, for some the greatest heavyweight of all, was reduced to welcoming tourists to Caeser’s Palace before an equally humble turn as a wrestler and wrestling referee following his second retirement. For fifty years it remained the most visible and documented example of a fall from greatness. Until now.

Continue reading “Boxing: “Just wave Joe, you’re beautiful baby. God bless ya champ.””

Boxing: Derry Across the Mercy; Mathews stops Crolla- Round by Round Report

Derry Mathews won the famous British Lightweight title tonight, stopping Anthony Crolla with just 4 seconds of the 6th round remaining. Referee John Keane jumping to the champion’s aide. Crolla felt the stoppage premature and with so little time until the round end and in the context of a championship fight I have some sympathy, but Mathews twice had his foe in trouble and on the canvas once too. I for one, would relish the prospect of watching a rematch. You will find hastily typed round by round coverage below.

Live, round by round coverage of the classic Lightweight clash between British champion Anthony Crolla and challenger Derry Matthews. Keep clicking refresh for round updates. Continue reading “Boxing: Derry Across the Mercy; Mathews stops Crolla- Round by Round Report”

Boxing: Cleverly pulls out but still hopeful of landing Hopkins – really?

Despite the lack of substance Robin Krasniqi had on his resume, it is regrettable that the custodian of the WBO‘s Light-heavyweight belt, Nathan Cleverly was unable to defend it against him. For all the clamour for more progressive matchmaking for the young Welshman I’m equally eager to see busy fighters. Too many modern day boxers reach title level, whether domestic or international, and adopt the status of a religious deity. Permitting themselves just one or two public appearances a year.  While fight-figures always maintain fighters are made in gyms, I’m an advocate of the alternate view that fighters develop through competition and activity. One destination you wouldn’t expect this lost fight to lead to however is, Bernard ruddy Hopkins. Continue reading “Boxing: Cleverly pulls out but still hopeful of landing Hopkins – really?”

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