Little more than a snippet really, but the Guardian yesterday reported that Frank Warren has rejected ITV’s latest contract offer for the rights to broadcasting the on-going fortunes of Amir Khan, Joe Calzaghe and the rest of Warren’s Sports Network stable. Following two years of mixed results from the partnership I would assume ITV are driving a tougher bargain this time round, as a more informed customer they will surely be stipulating an improvement in quality is paramount. Continue reading “Warren and ITV Contract Negotiations”
I penned this article toward the end of 2004 for thesweetscience.com, intended to be the first to provide obituary on the careers of three of the modern era’s finest fighters it now seems premature as only Iron Mike has listened to his body and given up trying to fool opponents and fans that he can still reclaim his unfulfilled youth and potential.
I read on TysonTalk.com that Mike Tyson’s quest to be part of Sultan Ibragimov corner this weekend for his heavyweight clash with Shannon Briggs has hit a snag. Unfortunately, the former champion overlooked the minor detail of recording which fighter he will be working with on the application form. A frustrating technicality but I hope it can be overcome to facilitate Tyson assisting the challenger’s cause. To be honest, the fight needs every splash of interest it can get. Continue reading “Tyson’s Application Incomplete”
Former world-title challenger Henry Akinwande, one of the merry band of 40 somethings still plying their trade in the heavyweight division, has the opportunity to gain revenge for his defeat to Oleg Platov on June 30th when the two provide chief support to Alexander Povetkin’s debut in international class against Monte Barrett. Most observers believed the 6-7 Akinwande deserved the decision the first time they clashed, whether Akinwande can be more decisive this time remains to be seen. Continue reading “Akinwande Refuses to Go Away”
Sir John of Rawling, as Steve Bunce calls him since he earned the commentator’s chair at ITV, has been criticised a great deal over the past couple of years for glossing over mismatches presented by ITV’s exclusive promoter Frank Warren and for being a little too damning, though subtle, of rival promoters and fighters. And for me he talks a little too much during the introductions and the fight, but his award from the Royal Television Society rewards his quality deliver, knowledge of the sport and unflinching enthusiasm for the subject. Continue reading “Congratulations to ITV Boxing’s John Rawling”
A Herculean effort to select 50 great fighters from the hundreds worthy of consideration, but the harder task is actually creating an order of merit. Such a subjective task, deciding who is #37 is arguably harder than picking a top ten. However, ESPN has collated opinion to make a pretty good fist of it. Sugar Ray wins out, but there are some surprises in the top 50. Continue reading “ESPN: 50 Greatest Fighters of All Time”
In the present era of heavyweight mediocrity and the longevity it affords heavyweight veterans, there are certain fights which seem inevitable despite the respective retirements, health scares, defeats and divergent paths of the two combatants. The forthcoming clash between the 74 year old Evander Holyfield and 62 year old Lou Savarese is another telling example.
Despite my roots as a coal miner’s son from South Yorkshire my historic distaste for women’s boxing isn’t borne out of a misogynistic perspective on the fairer sex. If a women wishes to make a living from the noble art and ticket buying fans are willing to indulge her then I applaud the freedom to pursue that goal afforded by the modern world. And it’s true I enjoyed Million Dollar Baby but when it comes to actual, real women’s boxing, don’t ask me to watch because, simply put, it isn’t very good. Last night I didn’t have the luxury of choice.
Debating the health of boxing in light of UFC’s present popularity has become something of a parlour game for boxing columnists, revelling in the opportunity to trot out every melancholic cliche and metaphor they can muster. Despite my own willingness to join the discussion I refuse to accept boxing will be extinguished by a ‘sport’ in which men roll around on the floor in their pants. Boxing’s problems are within. Cancerous and aggressive but beatable. Bryan Burwell at the St Louis Post makes an engaging case for the defence in the meantime. Continue reading ““UFC is like a bad Patrick Swayze movie.””
In one of the most bizarre stories I’ve heard in a while and for a sport which, to paraphrase Dennis Norden, doesn’t lack stories you’d have to file under strange but true, a recent conference call held between the media and Welterweight contender Zab Judah proved to be a meaningless and misleading endeavour for the hacks who dialled in. Why? Because the classless Judah had his father Yoel sit in and pretend to be him. Cheap. Continue reading “Is Zab You Judah?”
Boxingtalk.com report Mike Tyson will be a fully fledged member of Sultan Ibragimov’s corner for his challenge to breathless WBO champion Shannon Briggs this weekend. Hopefully, it represents more than a cheap publicity stunt because a place for Mike Tyson’s knowledge of the sport should really be found. Articulate and a once keen student of the sport it would be shame if he doesn’t grasp the olive branch, it would certainly be more dignified to see Tyson passing on his wisdom to young fighters than see him feature in the glorified boxing booth he did late least year. Continue reading “Tyson To Work Sultan’s Corner”
Aspiring young Super-Featherweight Femi Fehintola returned to action this weekend, beating circuit regular Carl Allen over six rounds, the Bradford fighter’s first fight since his premature shot at the British champion Carl Johanneson. Despite being an outspoken critic of the board’s willingness to sanction Fehintola’s title crack at the time, it is encouraging to see a young professional willing to take a gamble in his career and equally eager to regroup having been defeated. Continue reading “Femi back in the saddle”
Always on the spot, BritishBoxing.net’s Kevin Taylor is today exclusively reporting that Martin Power has withdrawn from his intriguing clash with Jason Booth next month, however fight fans needn’t despair as the hard to match Ajose Olusegun, arguably one of the most polished fighters in the UK today, will tackle the always game Gary Reid as the new main event. Click Here for Kevin’s full story. Continue reading “Power Out of Booth Clash”
The fact James Toney returned to action on a Thursday night tells fans plenty about what the veteran fighter has left. Add the fact he chose a blown-up club fighter, Danny Batchelder, to comeback against suggests a steep decline in promoter confidence following his knockout defeat to Sam Peter. If also told you Toney could only eek out a split-decision win over ten, espite weighing in a breezy 229 pounds,you’d probably be eager to write off the former champion wouldn’t you? Continue reading “Toney Back With a Whimper”
With further clouds brewing over Scott Harrison, it felt pertinent to recall the capable fighter Harrison once was. Next week two years will have elapsed since his clash with Manchester’s Michael Brodie – one of boxing’s most genuine nearly men. It was an engaging contest and, in retrospect, a great shame it didn’t prove the final step before richly rewarding clashes with the Featherweight elite. Now sadly synonymous with drink rather than boxing, once a upon a time Scott Harrison was a bloody good fighter.
It is arguably life’s most absolute truism; “nothing in life is free”. Ok, it lacks the history, popularity or endorsement from Luthur Vandross of “the best things in life are free” but its resonance is irrefutable. Your place between the two schools of thought is probably decided by your natural level of cynicism and demeanour in every day life. Is the glass half full or half empty? Continue reading “YouTube Taking Punches”
The news Joan Guzman is to step up to 135 pounds to challenge WBO Lightweight belt holder Michael Katsidas will further endear the enigmatic puncher to boxing fans. Once known as a ‘Lil Tyson’, the proud native of the Dominican Republic prefers to compare himself to Marvin Hagler stylistically and aspires to become a hero to his countrymen in the way Julio Cesar Chavez was to Mexicans. Continue reading “Archive: King to a Republic”
Throughout the past decade, the World Boxing Organisation has become increasingly omnipresent in British rings. Usually the preserve of Frank Warren’s Sports Network promotions, the WBO has become synonymous with Warren’s elite champions. No surprise then, that over-ripe Scottish contender Alex Arthur appears close to a shot at their Super-Featherweight title. Less surprising is the news world-class Joan Guzman’s forthcoming abdication of the ‘crown’ precedes the challenge. Continue reading “Arthur Close To WBO Shot”
Light-Welterweight champion Ricky Hatton has been a pay per view attraction for almost two years. I’m not sure many of the fights, Kostya Tszyu aside, have warranted the implicit kudos associated with attaining PPV status either on paper or in retrospect but despite, mediocre performances and moderate entertainment value the blue collar hero’s fans will once again need to dig deep to see him in action. Continue reading “Dangerous Liasons: Hatton and PPV”
And so it came to pass. Finally, the most hyped fight in living memory – and probably beyond that too – came and went and with it a new superstar was born; Floyd Mayweather. Of course, to boxing fans Mayweather has long been a superstar but this fight was intended to deliver him on a big, plump Oscar De La Hoya fragranced cushion to the mainstream American sports fan. Did it happen? As a British fan of boxing, I’m as far removed from the US casual fan as its possible to be but am I the only one who still feels a little unfulfilled? Continue reading “Mayweather Prevails But Questions Remain”
Few fighters carve out the type of niche string-bean former Lightweight and Super-Featherweight champion Diego Corrales did in a little over a decade in the ring. Perhaps Arturo Gatti or Johnny Tapia command comparable affection from the fans who revelled in, and embraced the gutsy puncher’s career. Corrales was a competition hungry professional, game to the last and willing to fight the fights ticket buying fans wanted to see. He was real. Not a throwback to some romanticised bygone age, but a genuine fighter and the type of elixir the sport needed in these troubled times.
A rare treat on ITV4 last night, Jim Rosenthal and Barry McGuigan hosted a wander down memory lane. Using footage from ITV’s impressive archives, action from Hagler v Hearns, Mark Kaylor, Benn, Eubank, Tyson and Hamed were inter-spersed with ‘talking head’ contributions from Colin Hart, John Rawling, Duke McKenzie, a very nervous Ron Lewis from the Times and most treasured of all, Reg Gutteridge. I miss Reg’s wisdom on the mic. However, for me, the biggest thrill was being reminded of Michael Watson’s excellence. Continue reading “Best of Big Fight Live: Michael Watson, the forgotten gem”
Young Mexican puncher Francisco ‘Panchito’ Bojado returned from a three year career hiatus to score a solid ten round victory over veteran trial horse Dairo Esalas. Bojado, still only 24, weighed in at an eager 143 pounds a weight that suggests he will return to elite action at Light-Welterweight. Continue reading “Bojado Returns with a Victory”
During the title reign of Jack Johnson a hundred or so years ago, the search for a white heavyweight to overcome the ‘negro’ champion became a holy grail for the western world, the theme continued for decades, although less conspicuously, throughout the reigns of Joe Louis, Ali and even Larry Holmes.
Looking in tremendous shape, Oscar De La Hoya has weighed in at 154 pounds on the ‘nose’ with weight jumping rival Floyd Mayweather opting to maintain speed at a more natural 150 pounds. Both men looked cut and well prepared for the richest fight in boxing history. Whether Oscar will now rehydrate and fight at more like 160+ remains to be seen. Mayweather will not weigh more than a good dinner heavier than 150 having elected not to bulk up unneccessarily. Continue reading “Oscar and Floyd Weigh In: Pics”
No weekend long-shot this week as the schedule failed to throw up a contest of interest. However, I’ll take the space to suggest a fighter to keep an eye out for this weekend. British fans will have to check a result and little more as all eyes turn to the mega fight between Oscar and Floyd on TV but the American audience could get to see the re-emergence of a potential star of the prize ring.
You’ll be pleased to hear it isn’t penned by me. Don Steinberg, who writes for ESPN.com, took on the mammoth task of re-watching every round of both fighters’ careers. 27 hours of footage, taking in opponents like Chavez, Whittaker, Trinidad, Mosley, Castillo, Gatti, Hopkins, Corrales and Judah – a stellar roster of opponents. Don breaks down the fight into minute detail and the article is accompanied by footage lifted from EA Sports Fight Night 3, which adds a little colour and interest to the micro detail of the preview. Continue reading “The Definitive DLH v Mayweather Preview”
Those fight fans who believed the crushing defeat to Joshua Clottey on his Welterweight debut would signal the end of Diego Corrales’ career are likely to be disappointed. Kevin Iole reports on Yahoo.com, for whom he recently became lead boxing writer, such is the dire nature of Corrales’ finances that he is even unable to repay a six figure sum given to him as a signing bonus last October by Golden Boy Promotions. Gary Shaw successfully proved he still had rights on Corrales’ career and the contract to which the bonus was intended to precede was torn up – Corrales had already spent the money on tax debts. Continue reading “Corrales Will Have to Continue”
I cannot claim to have devoured every second of the pre-fight promotion for the Mayweather v Oscar fight, 24/7, nor could I claim to have consumed every line of copy that has been generated to further build the fight but of the coverage I have digested I don’t recall the words Ricky or Hatton being mentioned, and certainly not as a potential next opponent for either of the protagonists. Perhaps Hatton’s millions fund access to Satellite stations simply unavailable to mortals like myself because he believes he has the pick of the two next? Continue reading “Did I Miss Something? Hatton thinks he’s next?”
I’m a fan of Maxboxing.com, it maintains a high standard of editorial control and has worked hard to establish its credibility amongst the raft of boxing sites that have emerged over the past five years. To this reader at least, the site has made the step up and is comparable with some of its esteemed printed contemporaries. With this respect underlined, I found Dougie Fischer’s article on Floyd Mayweather’s need to beat Oscar for his own legacy but also to provide a bridge of sorts to the mainstream fan to whom he remains a unknown quantity, an interesting piece. Continue reading “Mayweather Has Much At Stake”