Waning Groves succumbs to Smith

George Groves’s journey from l’infant terrible to veteran former champion, as he now is, has taken almost a decade and just a baker’s dozen or two of Saturday nights and no little heartache. As he was bludgeoned to the canvas by Callum Smith last Friday night in the seventh round of their Super Middleweight world title fight, it was impossible not conclude that his career was at an end.

An articulate, thoughtful man who has earned lucratively from his ability to box and promote, it was hard to fathom from whom or where any redemption or source of motivation could be summoned. This jars with the loathing we all have for those who write off fighters as a spent force, or spoiled goods, when they encounter defeat I concede, but more experienced viewers also develop a sense for when a fighter’s appetite for battle has gone. Continue reading “Waning Groves succumbs to Smith”

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Eubank annihilates Yildirim. A special fighter arrives

Photo credit: Corey Pellatt

I know, I know. Adni Yildirim is not Carl Froch or James Toney but he was the fighter the rest of the World Boxing Super Series field would only whisper about. Yildirim was tipped, perhaps merely for psychological purposes, by Callum Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher, among others, as the fighter most likely to emerge from side of the draw containing Eubank Jnr., Yildirim and Groves.

Tonight, Eubank Jnr. completely destroyed him in a performance of precision, confidence and power which marks him out as a fighter of very special qualities. For this observer he crossed a rubicon from irritating caricature of his father, who illuminated his own era of course, to an unmissable commodity in his own right.  Continue reading “Eubank annihilates Yildirim. A special fighter arrives”

Ward retires undefeated and he will beat the comeback call too

The fact Andre Ward’s retirement leaves a bittersweet taste shouldn’t surprise those of us who could appreciated his skill and yet felt infuriated by his inactivity. His scripted departure message was as deft and well crafted as some of his performances in a professional career that began in December 2004 and an unbeaten run that stretched back to his teens. Continue reading “Ward retires undefeated and he will beat the comeback call too”

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”

The brainwash is almost complete, I’m hooked on Tyson Fury

ARC_0229064.jpgYou have to concede it has worked. Firstly, the day in June 1988 when former heavyweight battler John Fury decided his son would be called Tyson, a reflection of Fury senior’s love of the then unbeaten Heavyweight champion Iron Mike, and secondly the day now 6ft 9inch Tyson Fury became Hennessy Sports’ most promising signing. Those two events have led the 6-0 (6ko) heavyweight prospect to become one of the most talked about fighters in the modern game. Continue reading “The brainwash is almost complete, I’m hooked on Tyson Fury”

BoxingWriter.co.uk readers go for Kessler

MikkelKesslerIn the immediate aftermath of Showtime’s exciting announcement of the Super Six tournament to be held at 168 pounds over the next two years, I asked readers to predict who they felt would emerge from the groundbreaking series as champion. As you might anticipate the outsiders, Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell only landed 2% of the votes cast but it was Danish hard-man Mikkel Kessler who fans felt most likely to prevail. 60% of the votes went to Kessler with Froch (21%), Abraham (9%) and Taylor (8%) trailing someway behind. Continue reading “BoxingWriter.co.uk readers go for Kessler”

Froch and Kessler tower over Abraham

Super-MiddleweightsPictures of the press conference, media tour and photoshoot for Showtime’s forthcoming Super-Middleweight tournament left me aghast. Six headline fighters, in their respective primes from multiple promotional houses, numerous countries and varied sanctioning bodies coming together for a single organised format, spread out across two years. Its logical, coherent, understandable and exciting – in fact, it just isn’t boxing. Without wishing to become too lavish in my appreciation ahead of the first bell, it is the most welcome development I can remember. And the first pictures are already getting fans talking. Continue reading “Froch and Kessler tower over Abraham”

Froch rolling with the big guns

frochOriginally, the news Carl Froch was to feature in a six man round robin over two years on American network Showtime was met with little more than pithy sarcasm at BoxingWriter towers but now, two days later, it seems the proposed Froch, Taylor, Kessler, Abraham, Dirrell and Ward tournament is genuine and will begin with Froch v Dirrell in October – a twin venue double bill with Abraham v Taylor live from Germany. Continue reading “Froch rolling with the big guns”

“Deep water and hope he can swim”. Yada, yada, yada; Jermain Taylor leans on cliche

drowningI’m excited about the WBC Super-Middleweight contest between Nottingham’s Carl Froch and Arkansas’ Jermain Taylor,  it pitches two fighters together who are in their respective primes. It doesn’t rely on nostalgia, nor does it feature a network favourite and a cherry picked opponent. It isn’t quite the choice Froch has framed it to be, pursuing Taylor is noble given the posturing of preceding champions in the selection of foes, but Taylor, lest we forget, is Froch’s mandatory as he won a vacant title and Taylor beat Lacy in a final eliminator. However, for all the glass half full gloss it still beats Taylor’s reliance on an age old cliche to promote the fight. Continue reading ““Deep water and hope he can swim”. Yada, yada, yada; Jermain Taylor leans on cliche”

Calzaghe and Warren doth protest too much; the Stockholm syndrome

There isn’t a facet of Joe Calzaghe and former promoter Frank Warren’s current activity which couldn’t be labelled, ‘old ground’. Firstly, Calzaghe next tackles faded superstar Roy Jones, 39, in a bout so out of date, so out of fashion, its almost coming back in style. Secondly, Calzaghe’s split from Warren at the peak of his earning-power and ensuing court cases and law suits has echoes of Ricky Hatton’s 2005 departure. Thirdly, the use of media columns to launch critiques of the ethics and morals of the other party is all to familiar too. None of those stir me from a long yawn, but a fourth strand to their disagreement does. Continue reading “Calzaghe and Warren doth protest too much; the Stockholm syndrome”

Froch LIVE on ITV1! Loyalty prevails

Bright news from the much mocked Hennessy Sport today, as the stable of Froch, Witter and Barker signs up with terrestrial broadcaster ITV. News of a television deal has been doing the rounds all summer, but many observers suspected satellite newcomer Setanta was most likely to add them to their roster following the ill-tempered departure of Frank Warren’s Sports Network stable of fighters. A move Setanta continue to contest. Today’s news means the ever loyal, ever patient Carl Froch will fight Jean Pascal for the vacant WBC Super-Middleweight title on prime-time mainstream television. As a fan of Froch, I’m thrilled to bits.

Continue reading “Froch LIVE on ITV1! Loyalty prevails”

Hope grows for Froch v Pascal

A quick note to connect up the stories and theories currently swirling around the Super-Middleweight division. Interesting to record Jean Pascal has withdrawn from the purse process for his proposed fight with Karoly Balzsay for the Interim WBO title – the belt Calzaghe is porbably keenest to remain custodian of. As mentioned in conversation on Steve Bunce’s boxing hour on Setanta, Pascal is the next most likely opponent for Carl Froch if the much maligned preference of Lou DiBella and HBO to match Jermain Taylor with Jeff Lacy comes to pass. Continue reading “Hope grows for Froch v Pascal”

Boxing: Broken men; Froch and Lacy

As children, we all pushed our noses to the shop windows, whether it be sweets, a BMX or a Scalectrix set. We’ve all steamed up the glass to try and get closer to our dream. Poor old Carl Froch must still feel like the child on the wrong side of the glass watching the rich kids tucking into mountains of Fruit Salads, Gobstoppers and Coconut mushrooms. Despite a long unbeaten record, status as the WBC number one contender and victories over peripheral players like Brian Magee, Robin Reid, Henry Porras and Matthew Barney he remains sweet less, friendless and excluded in the Super-Middleweight scene. The news Jeff Lacy laboured to another points victory last night will not have cheered the spirits of the confident puncher. Continue reading “Boxing: Broken men; Froch and Lacy”

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”

Boxing: Who gives a Froch about experience?

RobReidOn paper, Carl Froch versus former WBC World Champion Robin Reid is a terrific battle, positioning the veteran Runcorn man as the final, and arguably, superfluous gatekeeper to the British champion’s ascent to the international scene. In reality, Froch doesn’t need the fight to further substantiate his credibility on the domestic scene, but a knee operation has encouraged caution, a pause for breath before capitalising on his high rankings with every sanctioning body.

Continue reading “Boxing: Who gives a Froch about experience?”

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