Arthur Not King Yet

Guzman2Guzman2Shrewd matchmaking earned Alex Arthur a shot at the interim WBO Super-Featherweight title recently, a fight he won – having started slowly – and with champion Joan Guzman looking very unlikely to make 130 pounds again, the stop watch on Arthur’s ascension to the full title started. For the time being, the watch is stopped. Guzman is adamant he will make Super-Featherweight to face Arthur.

  Continue reading “Arthur Not King Yet”

Boys to Men: Amir Khan to Face Earl in December

bOYS2MENNews Amir Khan is to face Luton’s Graham Earl on December 8th has already been widely reported but coupled with the forthcoming fight in Nottingham, opponent unconfirmed and the recent victory over Willie Limond – 2007 could yet prove to be a fruitful one for the country’s most well known professional. Continue reading “Boys to Men: Amir Khan to Face Earl in December”

Pirates of the Injin Chi

PiratesAt one time or another we’ve all been bewildered by the actions of the various sanctioning bodies; from the acceptance of Eddie Croft as a challenger to Erik Morales, to the promotion of deceased fighters in monthly rankings, not to mention the creation of spurious interim, inter-continental and emeritus belts to help ensure every fighter, young or old, good or bad has the chance to possess one at one time or another. Continue reading “Pirates of the Injin Chi”

Cliff Couser to face Shannon Briggs?

Couser2Couser2Thanks to his recent upset victory over Monte Barrett, legendary journeyman heavyweight Cliff Couser is pencilled in to face Shannon Briggs – the former WBO champion bidding to rebuild following his defeat to Sultan Ibragimov. According to Couser at least, the only outstanding formality is Briggs’ signature on the contract. Continue reading “Cliff Couser to face Shannon Briggs?”

Update: Final Bell for Oyebola Today

BlackFollowing yesterday’s premature news of former British heavyweight champion James Oyebola’s demise, I’m sad to report that the gentle giant’s life support machine, which he’s been dependent on since being shot on Monday night, is to be switched off later today. The 46 year old, leaves a long-term partner and two children behind. To date, there are no developments on the detainment of the  three men who fled the scene following the shooting. As always, thoughts go to James’ family and to those for whom he was more than a former boxer. Continue reading “Update: Final Bell for Oyebola Today”

In the shadow of Woodcock; Witter to fight in Doncaster

WoodcockWoodcockIt doesn’t feel quite right. First the prospect of Oscar DeLaHoya fighting in England and now, it might be worth grabbing a chair before you read on, the WBC Light-Welterweight belt – once held by the Golden Boy himself, Julio Cesar Chavez and Arturo Gatti – is to be contested in Doncaster. Yep. My home town, the gritty, blue collar mining town of Doncaster. If Bruce Woodcock were still pulling pints at the Tumbler, he might have dropped his glass at the news.

Continue reading “In the shadow of Woodcock; Witter to fight in Doncaster”

Oyebola Continues to Fight for his life

sunIt seems the Sun, to whom this article originally linked, got this wrong and James is still fighting for his life. My apologies to those mislead by the linked article and for my own failure to check the facts the Sun reported at length. And continued best wishes to James in his battle, and those close to him.

Continue reading “Oyebola Continues to Fight for his life”

Is Oscar really coming to little old Blighty?

Twin TowersThey say the world is shrinking, I’m not sure who ‘they’ are, but they have something to say on most topics and they believe we’ve all grown closer. Travel and communication technology makes everyone your neighbour, or a MySpace pal at the very least, but I never thought the world could grow so small that Oscar DeLaHoya, the most bankable star in boxing, would be seeking to fight in England. Tired, rainy, downtrodden old England? Continue reading “Is Oscar really coming to little old Blighty?”

Beautiful Ugliness; “Boxing is back!”

BareKnuckleWhen Bernard Hopkins’ exclaimed “boxing is back” in the post fight interviews over the weekend, I for one felt the words resonate somewhere deep down inside. Although no more than a fan with an opinion, I feel part of boxing, my love of the sport in part defines me. In an age where boxing is a marginal sport, I’m ‘Dave, you know Dave, loves his boxing?’. When Hopkins spoke, I perched closer to the edge of the chair, the same way I do when an ageing champion rallies against a younger foe. Go on boxing! Stick it to him.

Continue reading “Beautiful Ugliness; “Boxing is back!””

Is Hopkins The Greatest Athlete to Ever Box?

Hopkins2Is Bernard Hopkins the greatest athlete to ever lace on a pair of gloves? To even pose the question will doubtless invite a deluge of abusive emails from fans mocking the suggestion. But for all Mayweather’s speed, Tyson’s natural firepower and the unflinching stamina of eye-catching fighters like Joe Calzaghe – to consider just three modern contemporaries – a case for Hopkins must surely be possible to make? Continue reading “Is Hopkins The Greatest Athlete to Ever Box?”

Joe McEwan and the turning worm

SpiltmilkI enjoy being a vehicle for the Joe McEwan-Bobby Gunn fall out. It’s been entertaining throughout and you wouldn’t believe just how many people have contacted me about the story, whether connected or simply as interested observers. It started with Joe McEwan, Bobby Gunn’s former promoter, who called Gunn “a liar, a thief and a coward”, the latest is an exclusive long missive from Marc Brown – a one time sponsor of McEwan’s boxing promotions who wishes to remind McEwan that “what goes around, comes around”. Continue reading “Joe McEwan and the turning worm”

“Tonight Matthew, I’m Going to be Light-Welterweight champion of the World”

ReesReesIncredulity, is the only word I could find to describe my reaction to Gavin Rees‘ capture of the WBA Light-Welterweight belt on Saturday night from seasoned champion Souleymane M’Baye. Lucky to get the shot he may have been, lucky to win he certainly wasn’t. Rees outworked, out thought and outmanoeuvred M’Baye from start to finish.

Continue reading ““Tonight Matthew, I’m Going to be Light-Welterweight champion of the World””

Archive: “Tonight I’m Gonna Party Like It’s 1999!”

LighthouseLighthouseExactly two years to the day since this article was first published on thesweetscience.com, Bernard Hopkins continues to deny the obituary, professional at least, I recorded following his defeat to Jermaine Taylor in 2005. The fact, aged 42, he can still compete at elite level – he faces pound for pound great Winky Wright at 170 pounds – is astonishing. Continue reading “Archive: “Tonight I’m Gonna Party Like It’s 1999!””

First Bruno, now Warren Pursues Damages

GavelGavelAccording to reports today, Frank Bruno successfully sued the News of the World for damages following a breach of his privacy by the Sunday tabloid and secured a significant settlement. Frank Warren meanwhile, is aiming for more than £300,000 from the Daily Record for remarks printed in relation to the John Simpson v Derry Matthews clash back in March. Continue reading “First Bruno, now Warren Pursues Damages”

So Near So Czar: Katsidis ‘defends’ Interim belt

KatsidisAustralian strongman Michael Katsidis, one of a host of fighters to expose British champions in recent months, makes the first defence of his interim WBO Lightweight title against Czar Amonsot this weekend. A sentence which will dumbfound the boxing purists; how does boxing create a scenario where interim champions defend the belt simultaneous to the activity of the real champion, in this case Juan Diaz? Continue reading “So Near So Czar: Katsidis ‘defends’ Interim belt”

Rees The Next Unbeaten Brit to Step Up

Ant Hill MobThis weekend’s bout between game Gavin Rees and stylish Frenchman Souleymane M’Baye for the latter’s WBA Light welterweight title isn’t quite another example of an over-hyped British fighter being pitched in with a world class operator only to discover he’s a chasm away from true elite class. Why? Well simply put, because we know Rees is no world beater before the fight.

Continue reading “Rees The Next Unbeaten Brit to Step Up”

Plucky Gomez Talks About Gatti Victory

gOMEZ22I’m not alone in following the career of gutsy Mexican Alfonso Gomez. His heart-warming willingness to face series favourite Peter Manfredo in the opening show of Contender 1 endeared the soft-featured Welterweight to millions around the world. It is that exposure that facilitated his own elevation to elite competition. Notoriety over achievement. Ticket sales over ability. But the difference with Gomez’s opportunity, as opposed to Manfredo’s against Calzaghe is, Gomez delivered. Those who saw him beat the bigger, more seasoned Manfredo weren’t surprised. Continue reading “Plucky Gomez Talks About Gatti Victory”

Audley to Sue Over Lennox Comments

audley2Reports published in the Daily Mirror and Boxing News in the UK, suggested the potential partnership between former Olympic champion Audley Harrison and Lennox Lewis failed to develop because Harrison was failing to listen to instruction, or more specifically was too set in his ways to embrace Lewis’ advice and methods. On face value a damning commentary on Harrison’s personality and willingness to accept wisdom from the decorated former champion, and a particularly sensitive issue given Harrison’s struggle to live up to the hype surrounding his professional career and the arrogance many have blamed for it. Harrison isn’t accepting that conclusion or the two publications’ version of events. Continue reading “Audley to Sue Over Lennox Comments”

PR: Briggs Calling Out Wladimir

Briggs4Earlier today, one of boxing’s busiest publicists Mario Serrano was on the case for former WBO Heavyweight title holder – lets not call him champion, I’m feeling rebellious and one belt is essentially a fraction of the crown – Shannon Briggs. The respiratory difficulties Briggs endures don’t seem to prevent him spouting hot air on a regular basis; even in these troubled times in the heavyweight division Briggs cannot jump straight back into a world-title fight or can he? Wladimir Klitschko is the target. Continue reading “PR: Briggs Calling Out Wladimir”

Vargas and Mayorga Look Real in Play Fight

VargasMost of the boxing world has moved on since the slap and tickle excitable duo Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga indulged in at their press conference but I can’t quite shake it. Why? Well I’m trying to conjure a more contrived exchange from the long list of press events that have ended in controversy and fisticuffs in recent years. True the two looked pretty genuinely annoyed with one another in the end, but the opening gambit in the push-me-pull me was a feeble back hand slap from Mayorga and suggested more than a little choreography was involved.

Continue reading “Vargas and Mayorga Look Real in Play Fight”

The Bobby Gunn Saga Continues

BobbybeatsholcombeFor readers focused on more meaningful global events, the Bobby Gunn saga has been little more than a frivolous distraction – to some it has become an escape from the pedestrian, a welcome splash of tabascon intrigue in an otherwise mundane pork chop of a summer. For those huddling together to hear if there are further installments, I’m delighted to report another chapter or two has been added. Continue reading “The Bobby Gunn Saga Continues”

Oh Danny Boy! Green Stops Griffin in 3.

AustraliaAustraliaWorld Light-Heavyweight contender Danny Green took a step closer to a world-title shot with a third round TKO victory over Otis Griffin. The 34 year old from Perth joins the list of potential foes for Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson, Clinton Woods et al but could, theoretically also figure in the future of Joe Calzaghe – a fighter set to step up to the 175 pound class once he’s overcome fellow Super-Middleweight titlist Mikkel Kessler. It’s unlikely but Calzaghe will be a Light-Heavyweight cheque every contender would like to cash.

Continue reading “Oh Danny Boy! Green Stops Griffin in 3.”

A voice from the past: Derrick Gainer

GainerTo me at least, and perhaps all boxing fans of certain age, Derrick Gainer is one of those guys Prince Naseem never got around to knocking out. I’m sure that doesn’t truly define him as a fighter, a cursory check confirms his status as a former WBA champion. But the fact he never faced the Prince, whether it was his fault or Hamed’s is my frame of reference for ‘Smoke’s career thus far. Oh, and I think he once lasted twelve rounds in a title bout without an offensive move. I’m less sure on the latter, as I may be mistaking him for Freddie Norwood. That’s the trouble with multiple belts; so many ‘champions’ fail to register in my consciousness.

Continue reading “A voice from the past: Derrick Gainer”

Holcomb Squeezes Gunn’s Trigger

Bobby Gunn4The self-sustaining Bobby Gunn saga continues. Jeff Holcomb, the fighter reported to have been left in a pool of his own blood by Bobby Gunn (according to Gunn at least), is pursuing the 33 year old from Hackensack for a rematch. And the tension between the two American club fighters is growing. In the latest installment Holcomb 11-5-1 (5) continues to suggest that Gunn is both a liar and avoiding his clamour for a rematch. 

Continue reading “Holcomb Squeezes Gunn’s Trigger”

Archive: Sometimes Winning is Just The Beginning

VanzieVanzieVanzie25/06/2004

It’s hard to believe three years have already elapsed since I interviewed Bobby Vanzie for the second time – the first being shortly before his destruction of Anthony Maynard. Occasionally, the language may seem more contrived than you would anticipate but Bobby preferred to consider some of his responses and respond via email as opposed to in person. In the time that has passed, I’ve grown to regard the retired former British and Commonwealth champion as a friend. But interviewing him back in 2004 remains a great thrill.

Continue reading “Archive: Sometimes Winning is Just The Beginning”

Oquendo and Castillo Meet At The Crossroads

Fast FresFast FresAlong with the word ‘legend’ or ‘legendary’, ‘crossroads’ – and more specifically ‘crossroads bout’  – must be one of the most abused and over-used terms in boxing parlance but in the case of veteran heavyweights Elieser Castillo and Fres Oquendo the descriptive fits, and fits snugly. I first saw Castillo when tackling tall and rugged Russian Alexander Zolkin and Oquendo in contentious victory over Maurice Harris. From those innocuous points I’ve taken an interest in their development. Continue reading “Oquendo and Castillo Meet At The Crossroads”

Carousing Couser Stuns Barrett

CouserAs a fan and writer with a long standing love-hate relationship with professional journeyman I was delighted to see veteran warhorse Cliff Couser deliver the victory and performance of his career by knocking out Monte Barrett – a previously sturdy and pedigree heavyweight. OK, so pedigree affords him more gravitas than his career merited but you catch the drift. Couser is a professional loser, that’s his job, his mandate. But something went horribly right on Friday. Continue reading “Carousing Couser Stuns Barrett”

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