Boxing: Bobby Gunn and James Toney in a room. Never going to be tea and biscuits.

It may surprise some readers to learn Bobby Gunn causes the biggest spike in readership whenever I cobble (do you see what I did there) together a news or opinion piece on the plucky prizefighter. Avoyd Mayweather holds nothing on the scrapper once spectacularly referred to as “the most ferocious fighter since Jack Dempsey” ahead of a one round mauling at the fists of Enzo Maccarinelli. He also fought Tomasz Adamek for another portion of the Cruiserweight title so his notoriety isn’t entirely hollow. I ducked any coverage of his bare-knuckle contests on principle but I must confess to a curious interest in his next bout. A clash with James Toney. Yes, the real one. Continue reading “Boxing: Bobby Gunn and James Toney in a room. Never going to be tea and biscuits.”

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Boxing: Povetkin still looking for the World but now without an Atlas.

Muhammad Ali was 32 years old when he Rumbled in the Jungle in 1974. His victory considered all the more miraculous given his veteran status and the power of youth presumed to reside with George Foreman.  There are many who feel he should have retired at that zenith. How times change. On Saturday night another 32-year-old, Alexander Povetkin, he of the callow face and quiet demeanour, will belatedly try to step from the shadows of the brothers Ukraine. Continue reading “Boxing: Povetkin still looking for the World but now without an Atlas.”

Magee and Confusion Reign; the WBA and the quest for ever more titles

Only those entirely immersed in the sport are able to negotiate the labyrinthine collection of weight classes, governing bodies and titles the sport has adopted to provide measure of its participants’ success or failure. But as it adds ever more tiers and layers, so the benchmarks become ever more meaningless. Even the seemingly impeachable concept of a fighter’s record is blighted by context and controversy.

There is no longer an available method for recognising a fight’s or a fighter’s place in the sport’s hierarchy. And there is the rub. The simplest, purest sport is now engulfed in unnecessary complication. Complication that serves to ostracise the general public and push boxing to the margins of the sporting landscape. Continue reading “Magee and Confusion Reign; the WBA and the quest for ever more titles”

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