Mayweather’s: You Couldn’t Make It Up

FloydBut I suspect somebody is. The forthcoming fight between Oscar DeLaHoya, boxing’s poster boy for the past decade and Floyd Mayweather the consensus pound for pound champion, is being hyped as the major fight of the year and perhaps beyond. It certainly brings together two of the most talented fighters of my generation and in DeLaHoya it also delivers the last great cross-over star of world boxing. Morales, Barrera, Pacman, Gatti and Mosley all touched the broader public but nobody has been as effectively marketed as Oscar and he brings all that promotional know-how to this show too. Continue reading “Mayweather’s: You Couldn’t Make It Up”

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Lennox Back? No. Training? Yes. Trainer? Maybe.

LennoxFormer champions are always news in boxing. Whether Tommy Morrison returning from an HIV enforced absence on the back of suspiciously vague medical clearance, Evander Holyfield entirely just but completely impossible pursuit of the title aged 44 or Mike Tyson’s admittance of drug related problems and subsequent rehab request – champions remain news. Continue reading “Lennox Back? No. Training? Yes. Trainer? Maybe.”

Boxing’s ‘B&W’ Fighters Would Crush ‘Wide-Screen’ Generation

JackAll sports are burdened and enriched in equal measure by their history. I propose few create the depth of debate boxing does when it seeks to pitch its bygone champions into mythical encounters with their modern day equivalents. Some observers prefer to avoid the debate entirely, pointing out that comparison is futile and propose judgement of individual fighters can only be done within the relative context of their own generation.

Fair point. But where is the fun in that? Continue reading “Boxing’s ‘B&W’ Fighters Would Crush ‘Wide-Screen’ Generation”

Good Ship Greenberg Avoiding Icebergs

RomanHeavyweight hopeful Roman Greenberg is arguably the most talked about heavyweight that hasn’t achieved anything. His Jewish background, youth and fast hands encouraging the Fight Academy promotional team to utilise every conceivable vehicle to issue a press release, and for a time their frequency and flashes of excellence in Greenberg’s embryonic outings convinced enough observers to track the chunky fighter. Continue reading “Good Ship Greenberg Avoiding Icebergs”

“Always Pull Marciano Out Thay Ass”

RockThe success of Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood’s emotionally charged tale of a novice female fighter, and before it Will Smith’s plausible facsimile of Muhammad Ali, startled Hollywood but encouraged those with the power to look more fondly on film projects with boxing at their heart.  Suddenly, Russell Crowe was able to strike a chord as the Cinderella Man, Sylvester Stallone given the go-ahead to conclude his life-affirming Rocky series and projects detailing the lives of Micky Ward and Joe Louis are at advanced stages with screen figures as popular and talented as Matt Damon and Spike Lee involved respectively. Continue reading ““Always Pull Marciano Out Thay Ass””

Audley Back Before He Left

AudleyStubborn, defiant, belligerent, delusional? Audley Harrison, staring at 3 defeats in his last 5 fights, remains confident he will return better than ever and at championship level from his latest setback.  True the punch that flattened him this time was a cracker, with the small caveat that Sprott isn’t known as a devastating puncher, but alongside his conspicuous knockdown to a glancing blow from Danny Williams and the shiver light-punching Mark Krence sent down his spine, the furthering of his fistic career will be done without the security of an iron chin. Continue reading “Audley Back Before He Left”

You Khannot Be Serious: Amir Ranked!

PerplexedNow far be it from me to tell the WBO how to run their business, nor am I willing to suggest something underhand has occurred to facilitate Amir Khan’s new found status as a world-ranked Lightweight, but Amir Khan – #14, really? A staggering step by the WBO, with whom Khan’s promoter – Frank Warren – has always had a close relationship, considering the Bolton fighter has yet to face an opponent of even moderate renown. Continue reading “You Khannot Be Serious: Amir Ranked!”

Boxing: Peace Follows War: Benn and McClellan Meet

G-manFor boxing fans of a certain generation, namely mine, the fight between Nigel Benn and Gerald McClellan represents a seminal moment in our love of the sport. Retrospectively however, the fight creates disharmony amongst those that saw it. Fans crave to revel in the intensity of the combat, the purity of two men willing to put their mind, body and sense of who they were under the most intense physical pressure imaginable in the name of sport. Respect, and a degree of embarassment given our love of a sport that fundamentally places men at risk, forces restraint because of the sad conclusion to the fight. Continue reading “Boxing: Peace Follows War: Benn and McClellan Meet”

The Unwise Return of Tommy Morrison?

TommyI’ve found it hard to fathom quite how American heavyweight Tommy Morrison, 46-3, has been cleared to fight again a decade or more on from the announcement he’d contracted HIV at some unknown point during his sexual voyage through an unquantifiable number of female companions. My bemusement appears to be widespread with conflicting medical opinion on the legitimacy of Morrison’s claim that he is either cured, or the victim of a misdiagnosis. Continue reading “The Unwise Return of Tommy Morrison?”

The End of TheSweetScience.com

QuillMany discerning fight fans will shed a tear for the passing of TheSweetScience website, home to some of the greatest writing talents the sport has ever enjoyed. The site will close for business in the next week or so. Rigorous in its editorial control, stringently unique and thought provoking, TSS hosted some of the most ground breaking pieces I’ve read through any media outlet, printed or Internet. Continue reading “The End of TheSweetScience.com”

Hatton Britain’s Greatest?

BillyBilly Graham, the long-time trainer of Ricky Hatton, today claimed that the British public will one day accept Hatton as the greatest fighter to ever have emerged from the United Kingdom. It seems an ambitious claim given the mediocrity of his recent encounters but considering the achievements of the previous champions from these shores, it isn’t impossible to believe he could succeed in fulfilling that prediction. Continue reading “Hatton Britain’s Greatest?”

Neil Sinclair’s Career: Take 47

SinclairBelfast banger Neil Sinclair, one of the purest punchers from the British Isles in recent memory, made a cautious return to action following a failed attempt to galvanise himself in America last year, beating imported loser Arek Malek. The detour to America went desperatley wrong,  a third choice substitute knocked him out on his Stateside debut. A painful lesson in attention to detail for the former British champion in a fight scheduled to enable him to rebuild from the humbling defeat to Taz Jones back in ‘Blighty’ the year before. Continue reading “Neil Sinclair’s Career: Take 47”

Poleaxed. The Audley Charade Ends

EndI’ve written dozens of articles, fight reports, previews and message board comments on Audley Harrison in the past five years, his professional career running parallel to my own contributions as a boxing writer – if affording myself that title isn’t too much of an insult to the Putnam, Leibling and Mailers that precede me. In fact, I’ve compounded the crime – mentioning their names close to mine – but hopefully they’ll excuse the indulgence. Continue reading “Poleaxed. The Audley Charade Ends”

Congratulations Ali!

NuumbembeJust a brief note of congratulation to Ali Nuumbembe, the Glossop based Namibian finally fulfilled his dream of winning a professional title – defeating Commonwealth champion Kevin Anderson by Split-Decision in a tightly contested fight. Anderson was somewhat dismayed by the decision having started by brightly but barely survived the eighth. Continue reading “Congratulations Ali!”

Boxing: Evander Holyfield, The Prospect

EvanderEvander Holyfield, little more than an echo of the fearsome box-puncher he once was, continues his uncoordinated drudge toward another heavyweight title shot away from the brighter lights of mainstream contendership. His latest run, previously stopping off at the backwater of Jeremy Bates – not the former British tennis player, though it may as well have been – and the Puerto Rican village Fres Oquendo next faces Vinny Maddalone. A fighter of orthodox stance and limited ability. Continue reading “Boxing: Evander Holyfield, The Prospect”

Chazz Witherspoon: A Rare Bright Light

Chazz Amongst the gloom of the American heavyweight boxing scene, Chazz Witherspoon is a rare ray of sunshine. Big, powerful and with improving technique the likeable, affable often softly spoken cousin of Terrible Tim Witherspoon – that famous underachiever from the 1980’s – could prove to be the closest thing America has to a young, dominant heavyweight. Continue reading “Chazz Witherspoon: A Rare Bright Light”

Earl Seeking to Earn Respect

EarlGraham Earl, the former British Lightweight champion and present custodian of the WBU Lightweight belt, a strap that enables non-elite fighters like Earl to masquerade as World Champions –  Something the Luton fighter is clearly not – will contest the WBO version this week.  Of course, Earl will tell you he understands the charade and that he doesn’t truly regard himself as a world champion because of his success in WBU title fights, a perspective that only beggars the question – why bother? Continue reading “Earl Seeking to Earn Respect”

Save the Last Dance for Me: Kostya Please?

KostyaI’m trying to think of something predictable, a euphemism for Lovemore N’Dou’s desire to entice fellow Australian Kostya Tsyzu out of inactivity, I would suggest, more predictable than Hugh Grant’s latest script but I used that last week and with time pressing I’ll crack on without originality – nothing new there whispered the wag at the back. If you think of anything, answers on a postcard. Continue reading “Save the Last Dance for Me: Kostya Please?”

New Yorker, New Moan, Pneumonia

BriggsNew York giant, Shannon Briggs has been forced out of his March 10th defence against Russian Sultan Ibragimov with a bout of ‘walking pneumonia’, a curious condition but one clearly likely to constrain a fighter already battling asthma. The fight will be re-arranged as promptly as possible though whether the same venue can be secured remains unconfirmed.

Though scheduled for the… Continue reading “New Yorker, New Moan, Pneumonia”

A Clash of Opposites: Audley faces Sprott

SprottAudley Harrison takes another belated step on the path to heavyweight glory this weekend when he faces Reading’s quiet man Michael Sprott. The two fighter’s careers a study in opposites. For Audley, the toast of the domestic and international scenes for almost five years following his surprise Olympic victory, this represents another meaningful hurdle – for Sprott, a fighter forced to earn a crust around the rings of Europe, this represents a major opportunity to establish himself as a legitimate contender at the higher level.

Continue reading “A Clash of Opposites: Audley faces Sprott”

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