My thanks to Oliver Fennell for drawing attention to my idle suggestion that mediocre American Ray Austin could unseat Wladimir Klitschko last weekend, a prediction roughly in line, in terms of stunning stupidity, with my suggestion Clifford Etienne could outwork and and outlast Mike Tyson a year or two ago. Oliver, who now writes for Ben Carey’s website ukboxingpress.co.uk is a long-standing contact from our dual residency at audleyharrison.com. Proof if proof were needed that association with failed heavyweights needn’t preclude success as a writer. Continue reading “Crystal Ball: Ray Austin Falls”
Following weeks of public deliberation as to the name of Clinton Woods’ next opponent today’s announcement that the Sheffield fighter will tackle former foe Julio Gonzales in a mandatory defence was met with varying degrees of apathy. What happened to Roy Jones Jnr, Antonio Tarver, Bernard Hopkins or even long-shots Darius Michelczewski and Joe Calzaghe? True Woods has been side-lined longer than expected by an arm injury but still, Gonzales again? Hardly quickens the pulse does it? Continue reading “See the Woods for the Trees”
In most other sports, participants over the age of 35 are eligible for the Senior Tour. A parallel competition established to provide escape for the tired former champions to continue to earn a crust away from the intensity of their youthful counterparts. Tennis is a prime example, few top line players can sustain themselves beyond the age of 28 or 29, and though each generation throws up an exception from Conners to Ivanisevic, the rule of thumb applies – by 30 your done. Sadly for boxing, and particularly in the heavyweight division – though the trend is extended throughout the weight classes – 30 is simply the beginning. And it isn’t a good thing. Continue reading “The Heavyweight Malaise, Moorer Looks to Bygone Days”
As one of the finest prizefighters of his generation Johnny Tapia’s life has always been a back-page story, and more frequently than he’d prefer, a front page one too. News that the recently retired former champion has once again been found close to death following an apparent cocaine overdose will chill but not surprise those of us for whom Tapia has always been a hero. His biography, My Vida Loca – [My Crazy Life] contains more drama and turmoil than most people could pack into five lives – and within it – Tapia’s claim he’d been pronounced clinically dead six times following a drug and drink related episodes provides Freudian support for that conclusion.