Archive: Is the Rocky road boxing’s only path to redemption?

Rocky

Archive: 20/10/2006 

The recent renaissance of interest in boxing has been palpable. Stirred by the success of Joe Calzaghe, David Haye and the impending super fight between Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather the recently beleaguered and oft discarded sport of boxing is back on the sports pages, back on the television and back in the consciousness of the British public. Only a year ago, I contemplated whether boxing was in terminal decline and wondered who or what could provide catalyst to a revival. The greatest comeback fighter of all?

Continue reading “Archive: Is the Rocky road boxing’s only path to redemption?”

The three ages of boxing romance

FallenfighterRemember, remember. John Gotti was found guilty of murder, Canary Wharf was bombed, Dolly the clone sheep was born and Bill Clinton re-entered the White House. It was also the last time a fight between Dariusz Michalczewski and Graciano Rocchigiani meant something. The year? 1996. It didn’t stop them staging a 2000 rematch and it wont stop both retired parties facing off for a third time next year. Heaven help us. Continue reading “The three ages of boxing romance”

Taylor guilty of assault

shannontaylorOk, it was cheap not to put Shannon ahead of Taylor in the title. The quiet retiring Jermaine is very unlikely to ever be found guilty of assaulting a bar-owner who expressed discontent with the fighter groping his wife. He just doesn’t seem the type. The Aussie Shannon ‘The Blaster’ Taylor, is a far more likely candidate.

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Magri, Winstone and Benn make WBC shortlist

WBCStrikes me boxing is acquiring Halls of Fame faster than sanctioning bodies, but I’m never one to ignore faithful recognition of the fighters and fight figures who contribute blood, sweat and tears to the sport. In a press release from the WBC today, a short-list of nominees for potential induction into their version of boxing’s hall of fame has been circulated. British greats Charlie Magri, Howard Winstone and the irrepressible Nigel Benn accompany the likes of Mike McCallum and Larry Holmes on the list. Continue reading “Magri, Winstone and Benn make WBC shortlist”

Contender, controversial and clap trap

Bullshit2I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the premise and execution of the Contender series. Pitching together undiscovered gems, gutsy veterans and nearly men tapped into a global love of the underdog and reintroduced many mainstream and casual fans to the bitter reality of boxing. It told stories, and a fighter story is as compelling a reason for following a particular fighter’s fortunes as his in the ring potential.

Continue reading “Contender, controversial and clap trap”

Low lefts, heavyweights and David Haye

SumoDavid Haye’s recent victory over Frenchman Jean Marc-Mormeck will likely prove the Londoner’s last at the 200lb Cruiserweight limit. Much though it will irritate him not to flatten Enzo Maccarinelli, the WBO belt holder, to further confirm his dominance in the division, it is clearly no longer possible for him to squeeze his muscular frame inside the limit. Travellers on the Haye bandwagon believe the heavyweights will prove no greater obstacle to the speed and power of the Cruiserweight champion. Continue reading “Low lefts, heavyweights and David Haye”

Boxing: Karim Mayfield Sparring Hatton

HattonMayfieldYoung American professional Karim Mayfield, presumably imported to provide a useful facsimile of Floyd Mayweather Jnr. ahead of Ricky Hatton’s seminal Welterweight clash with the pound for pound motormouth, is in Manchester sparring with the Hitman. Like, it would seem, everyone who attends the affable but dedicated Phoenix gym, Mayfield is speaking highly of the 10 stone king and imploring fans to back the tigerish Mancunian come December. Continue reading “Boxing: Karim Mayfield Sparring Hatton”

Ruddy cheeked and ready, boxing is back baby!

How fickle the fortunes of British boxing, and boxing in general in fact. A year or less ago, every article spoke of the terminal outlook of boxing’s various ills. Naysayers pointed to the rise of Mixed Martial Arts and its most notable body, the UFC. David Haye’s weekend capture of the World Cruiserweight title and Joe Calzaghe’s acceptance as a modern day great are the latest links in a chain of good news that has transformed the complexion of British boxing.

For now, the doom-merchants have been vanquished, the threat of UFC forgotten and boxing galvanised.

Continue reading “Ruddy cheeked and ready, boxing is back baby!”

Haye Delivers On Promise

Union JackTonight, amid a partisan French crowd, London’s David Haye delivered one of the most thrilling performances by a British fighter in a foreign ring since the glorious nights of John H. Stracey and Lloyd Honeyghan. By depositing Cruiserweight champion Jean Marc-Mormeck on the canvas in the seventh round with a thunderous right uppercut and swinging right cross Haye announced himself to the boxing world and secured the Cruiserweight world title. Continue reading “Haye Delivers On Promise”

Standing room only; the Calzaghe bandwagon

GlovesThe only thing quicker than Joe Calzaghe’s fists on Saturday night, aside from how quickly one could predict the outcome of the entire under card, was the alacrity post-fight pundits demonstrated hoisting the Welshmen from ‘over-protected’, ‘unfulfilled veteran’ to ‘all-time great’. I cannot extract myself entirely from the criticism of such unsavoury haste having maligned Calzaghe more than once for the injuries and timid matchmaking that wasted much of his youth. I was never guilty of saying he couldn’t fight though. Continue reading “Standing room only; the Calzaghe bandwagon”

Calzaghe Hungrier Than Ever

Calzaghe7Doubts about Calzaghe’s hunger for competition as he approaches his 36th birthday were at least partially dispelled today as he weighed in over a pound under the 168 pound limit. A limit the WBO and Ring champion has spent seven years complaining is very hard for him to squeeze his six foot frame into. Kessler, need to strip naked – save the tattoos – to make the limit having originally weighed 2 ounces over. Continue reading “Calzaghe Hungrier Than Ever”

Maccarinelli faces…erm..someone

Punch BagBig WBO Cruiserweight belt holder Enzo Maccarinelli is presumably a realist. In interview, he strikes me as a level-headed fighter who understands the sport’s political intricacies enough to realise facing top-line contenders in every bout isn’t possible, he’ll also digest the fact tomorrow night is all about Joe Calzaghe v Mikkel Kessler. But despite that presumed pragmatism he must be frustrated by the search for a worthy opponent to tackle, he’ll certainly wish to avoid the criticism levelled at him following the Bobby Gunn fight. Continue reading “Maccarinelli faces…erm..someone”

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey; Froch still wants Calzaghe

FrochIt would be hard to conjure an argument against Carl Froch’s merits as a fighter. Hard-hitting, good selection of shots, fit, brave with quick hands. On the evidence this far, he’s a rounded contender and a stand-out challenger for the winner of Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler’s clash tomorrow night. But I can’t help thinking I’ve been hearing how good Froch is for an awfully long time.

Continue reading “Slowly, slowly catchy monkey; Froch still wants Calzaghe”

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