Hot on the heels of Bobby Gunn’s challenge to Enzo Maccarinelli and his unfathomable arrival at WBO #15 WBO in the weeks preceding the bout, the WBO may well have surpassed themselves by sanctioning a bout between their unbeaten Light-Heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei versus the wonderfully named George Blades. Now Erdei isn’t Bob Foster, but he is an accomplished belt-holder and undefeated in 26 contests. Blades isn’t. Nor will he ever be. His record is aesthetic enough at 21-2, but the 21 is flimsy and the 2 illuminating.
Originally published in 2005.
The on-going ‘will they, wont they’ soap opera between the camps of Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe is not a new phenomenon. Debate on the relative merit of Calzaghe’s career and whether the veteran Welshman will ever have opportunity to deliver on his immense ability in signature bouts has been running ever since he floored Chris Eubank in 1997. It certainly feels that way anyway. Nobody could doubt the courage of Calzaghe the fighter but finding him the type of illustrious opponents his talent needs has become a weapon for the doubters.
Does Calzaghe really want the big fights?Continue reading “Archive: The Dragon That Cried Wolf”
According to the Irish Evening Echo, former World-Champion Wayne McCullough has been forced to postpone his latest comeback because proposed opponent Francisco Mateos has been unable to secure the paperwork required to travel – details not clear to what these papers relate to. With only 8 days to go until the bout, McCullough clearly doesn’t feel a substitute opponent was a realistic possibility and has withdrawn. I don’t often say this about fighters, but I genuinely hope McCullough stays retired. Continue reading “Pocket Rocket Comeback Halted”
Mogens Palle is reported to have accepted Frank Warren’s terms for the proposed clash between Super-Middleweight king Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler but with the small, and potentially fatal caveat, that the bout takes place in November rather than proposed September. The reason, Palle wants to celebrate 50 years as a promoter with a signature show. I’m not sure whether I think this is understandable or pathetic to be honest.
Former heavyweight champion, and he was a proper one not just a belt holder, Hasim Rahman got back on track with a perfunctory points victory over peripheral contender Taurus Sykes. Weighing a beefy 261 pounds Rahman eventually won a comfortable points decision but it was only in the penultimate round Sykes was docked a point and floored that a clear gap emerged. And he still found time to shake The Rock in the last.
Canadian Super-Bantamweight Steve Molitor is one of my favourite fighters. Ever since he arrived in England and schooled Jason Booth I’ve been a keen follower of his progress. The ease with which he dispatched Hartlepool’s game brawler Michael Hunter was of little surprise to me and the IBF 122lb belt secured cemented his position as a gem only partially discovered. Accomplished, busy and with a rounded style, Molitor could well feature in some high-profile encounters in the division. First on the list is South African Takalani Ndlovu. Continue reading “Dark-Horse Molitor to Face Ndlovu”
I appreciate I’m risking turning this site into a publicity forum for Bobby Gunn’s career, but I feel compelled to keep readers up to date with developments, the latest being a visit from Bobby Gunn’s father Robert Gunn Sr., who is also Gunn’s manager. And Mr Gunn Sr, isn’t too impressed with my willingness to publish Joe Mack’s (Joe McEwan) open letter recently, a letter Mr Gunn believes slanders his son’s name and containing accusations the Gunn’s intend to fight in court. In turn, Mr Gunn suggested Joe Mack was the real villain of the piece. “I think you should know that the contracts that Bobby got from Frank Warren’s Sports Network were faxed by Joe but he chose to fake them”. Continue reading “The Smoking Gunn”
Forgotten in the wake of The Contender’s global success as a boxing reality show, Next Great Champ – the show fronted by Oscar DeLaHoya – produced its own victor a year or two back when Otis Griffin secured the $500,000 prize. It seems the kudos associated with that triumph is now set to start delivering for him. He’s been selected as Aussie hard-man Danny Green’s next opponent. It represents a significant step up for the 29 year old who goes by the curious alias of Triple OG. Continue reading “Danny Green Tackles Reality Star Griffin”
It’s difficult not to like David Haye, the big-punching, charismatic 26 year old constantly entertains, Ismael Abdoul aside, and though more shrewd than he would admit, take risks in the selection of his opponents. Always quotable and entertaining, Haye increasingly carries the torch for British fight fans hoping for a resurrection of interest in their sport and following his one round demolition of historically sturdy Tomasz Bonin, he’s also become a big hope for the heavyweight division. First though, he’s eager to set the record straight on the potential fight with British rival Enzo Maccarinelli. Continue reading “PR: Hayemaker Hits Back at Maccarinelli and Warren”
British welterweight, Ross Minter – an improving professional – has been forced to pull out of his clash with Michael Jennings next month with a rib injury. Disappointingly, the Crawley Observer are referring to his clash with the Mancunian puncher as being a world title fight. Is there any wonder casual fans simply don’t understand or connect with our complex sport? The WBU belt to which they refer, is essentially meaningless on the international stage. Continue reading “Minter Pulled Out of ‘World’ title fight”
One of Britain’s best young prospects, John Murray has unfortunatley been forced to withdraw from his headline clash with Noel Rodriguez in Montreal. A head injury sustained falling from his bike has ultimatley caused the whole show to be postponed, everyone connected with Murray will hope the Showtime slot he had for the bout can be reclaimed later in the year.
Hennessy Sports have regrettably cancelled their promotion in Montreal on July 6th following the unfortunate withdrawal of John Murray from the headline contest. Continue reading “PR: Murray Misses Out on Showtime Slot”
I’m not sure whether I’m surprised about today’s story that 38 year old James Toney failed the drugs test conducted around his May 24th clash with Danny Batchelder. Both boldenone and stanazolol were found in Toney’s blood stream and an automatic one year suspension is applied pending appeal. A break that would, surely, end the career of a fighter already in the autumn of his prime and in increasing decline. It will be shame if this second drugs test scandal casts a shadow over all of his professional career but I suspect it will. Continue reading “Toney Shamed By Steroids Slur”
OK, so it isn’t Ali v Frazier. But the war of words between Bobby Gunn, the former bare-knuckle brawler somehow plucked from obscurity to face Enzo Maccarinelli recently, and the rest of the world continues to entertain this writer. First, it was his former manager Joe Mack, then former foe Jeff Holcomb dropped by to leave his own vitriolic comments and a cell number. Today Bobby Gunn replied. Continue reading ““You were laying on the canvas in a pool of blood””
Former World-Champion Hasim Rahman returns on Thursday against peripheral American contender Taurus Sykes in a minor title bout. Rahman is confident victory over Sykes will pave the way for what feels like his 17th shot at the title. Obviously, that isn’t the case but he has undoubtedly failed to live up to the potential he showed beating Lennox Lewis in his key bouts since.
Precious few fighters are born with the physical gifts Michael Grant has been blessed with. 6ft 7inches, 250 pounds of lean, athletic muscle and a talented sportsman in a number of fields. Grant is undeniably a tremendous heavyweight in 2d. Further to this, he can punch too. However, for all the genetic blessings, Grant has suffered a great deal of professional misfortune. Continue reading ““I’m coming back because I miss the glory.” Michael Grant”
So far the promotion of the Ricky Hatton – Jose Luis Castillo bout on the 23rd has been a well-mannered, even tempered, respectful love-in as the two fighters seek to demonstrate their respect for each other. Both are blue-collar professionals with humility and class so in truth, cheap smack talk would be a surprise. However, Castillo today fired the first broadside as they bid to build up interest in their clash. According to the veteran Mexican, Hatton’s pretty 42-0 record doesn’t compare favourably with his own less pristine ledger; “I don’t think for one minute Ricky Hatton’s record bears any comparison with mine.” Continue reading “Castillo Dispenses With the Niceties”
I seem to attract fighters from the club circuits, in a purely platonic way you understand, but ever since I flippantly criticised Crawford Grimsley and was swiftly brought to task by Mrs Grimsley they’ve been congragating at my ‘virtual’ front door. My recent commentary on Bobby Gunn has attracted attention from past opponents, fans and managers. The latest? Former foe Jeff Holcomb is desperate for a rematch. Continue reading “Holcomb Hunting Bobby Gunn”
Close to two years have passed since the first widely whispered rumours of a split between Ricky Hatton and Frank Warren were heard, on the cusp of signing a new ITV contract the timing couldn’t have been worse for Warren who must have relied heavily on Hatton’s star to entice the terrestrial broadcaster. I wrote a piece at the time reflecting on this emerging news and Warren’s ability to survive. Considering he has lost Hatton, Scott Harrison and Johnny Nelson during that period Warren has juggled well to still have a chance of contract renewal. But then he always survives. Continue reading “Archive: Frank Warren, A Boxing Survivor”
I don’t mind admitting it, I take great pleasure in getting this bout spot on. True, I wasn’t alone in believing Cotto’s precision, rediscovered stamina at 147 and heavier hands would wear down the erratic Judah late in the fight but I still take great joy from being right. Well wouldn’t you after some high-profile howlers? Most notably, and with the caveat that it was a deliberately selected long-shot – Ray Austin to beat Klitschko. Groan. Continue reading “Cotto Shuts Judah Up (For Now)”
Statistics for this site/blog for the past week suggest my small piece on Tommy Morrison’s debut in Mixed Martial Arts proved the most read over that seven day period. The MMA phenomenon knows no bounds. There is certainly fuel in the MMA train. For the record Morrison did as he predicted he would, hit the guy and won in the first round and on the surface further protected the theory most boxing fans subscribe to; ‘that boxing remains the most destructive and definitive combat sport’. That wouldn’t tell the whole story though. Continue reading “Morrison Wins in ‘MMA’ debut”
Tough Welsh heavyweight Scott Gammar got his career back on the rails over the weekend overpowering busy trier Paul King, a late-replacement for a replacement, to score a six round points win. Predictable enough result and a performance designed purely to add a W to the record of the former British champion following his defeat to Danny Williams. I’d certainly assume Gammar isn’t booked to learn much from circuit veteran King. Reports suggest he opted to use the whole six round work out rather than close the show.
The sceptic in me wont believe it until I see the Welshman staring across the ring at Wayne Braithwaite, the former WBC Champion. But the Guyanese puncher is signed on for the bout according to John Rawling, a writer with more inside track than most to the machinations of Sports Network, the search for a credible opponent for the current WBO strap holder is at an end. Detours via Cunningham and Haye hit roadblocks but Braithwaite is willing to make the July 21st liason. Continue reading “Boxing: Enzo Maccarinelli gets Braithwaite”
Seriously, stop it. So far this week I’ve read reports about Evander Holyfield, Henry Akinwande, Andrew Golota and Oliver McCall, today’s ‘vintage’ heavyweight – and I don’t mean that in a fine wine type way – is Tommy Morrison. I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve had a “Life on Mars” type experience and been transported back to 1994. Clinton in the White House and Billy tearing the labels from his bottles of bud. Continue reading “Tommy Morrison To Fight in MMA”
It seems peculiar to consider Welterweight contenders Zab Judah and Miguel Cotto as members of consecutive generations rather than the same one, only three years separate the births of the two popular fighters after all, but Cotto is unequivocally the ‘going’ concern in their clash this weekend.
I wrote earlier this week about my soft spot for the eccentric American pug Bobby Gunn. A fighter plucked from obscurity to face Enzo Maccarinelli for the WBO title and then plunged back to the tank-town circuit following his one round massacre at the hands of the towering Welshman. However, another day another twist. Joe Mack from Rock Hard Boxing, the organisation that projected Gunn and cared for his interests has gone public with an acidic blast that leaves no stone unturned in Mack’s quest to malign Gunn’s name. Despite the obscurity of subject, it’s a must read release. Continue reading “PR: Bobby Gunn”
If this pattern continues I may grow to regret my suggestion that too many fossilised veterans are still roaming the heavyweight landscape. In the days since, I’ve begun to believe making that statement was roughly equivalent to saying ‘Candyman’ three times into a mirror. I’ve received press releases or read stories on Evander Holyfield, Henry Akinwande and Andrew Golota. Seriously, the heavyweight division is close to self-parody. I’m waiting for Simon Pegg to come and rescue me from the advancing zombies. Today’s veteran? The old Atomic Bull himself, Oliver McCall.
I fear this story line could become a theme of the next few weeks as experienced promoters Mogens Palle (Kessler) and Frank Warren (Calzaghe) carefully manoeuvre their ‘pieces’ in a bid to gain the upper hand in negotiations, both privately and in the public’s perception, for the proposed clash between the two belt holders. Joe Calzaghe has changed his tune on his most desirable opponent once more following Jermaine Taylor’s soporific defence versus Cory Spinks last month, suddenly Mikkel Kessler is “the man”. Continue reading “Boxing: Mikkel Kessler is Taylor made for Calzaghe”
I didn’t catch the bout between Howard Eastman and Evans Ashira so don’t feel qualified to comment on Ashira’s claims that he was robbed in their recent Middleweight bout. I read several reports suggesting Eastman delivered one of his trademark hollow performances but Ashira, in conversation with Henrik Risum assures the reader he was flat-out robbed: “Come on man, the guy had home ground advantage, plus all the officials on his side, and on top of that he was allowed to hold me like that, and pull my legs too. He even said himself that he had to ruin the fight to survive. Incredible!” Continue reading “Eastman Blasted By Ashira: Interview”
Press Release 05/06/07
Warriors Boxing is unquestionably one of the hardest working promotional houses, churning out a deluge of press releases on their fighters. I elect not to feature them all, after all they appear on every boxing media outlet available, but news of Randall Bailey’s opportunity to snatch some autumn glory from his long and winding career appealed to me. The release provides detail to Bailey’s fight with Herman Ngoudjo in an IBF Light-Welterweight title eliminator on Friday night. Continue reading “PR: Bailey One Win From Glory”
Nothing confirmed yet but ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports a deal is close for hulking American Jameel McCline to provide the opposition for Vitaly Klitschko’s September return. Co-incidentally, both fighters will be fighting for the first time since major knee surgery. McCline looked his most competitive and incisive before injury curtailed his challenge to Nicolay Valuev in the third round and he will surely regard this opportunity as his last at elite level following a catalogue of failure in championship class. Continue reading “Klitschko Offers McCline Jameel Ticket”