MyFightTickets.com Fighter of the Month – July

Boxing can make you cry. Boxing can make you shout. Make you sing. Excite you. Demoralise you. Inspire millions. Save a lonely soul. A single prize-fight can evoke all of these emotions, bring communities together, even unify the divided, if only temporarily. Since the 1950s the pioneers of commercial television realised the potential boxing had to provide enthralling action and, soon after, the draw the men in each corner could become if their stories, their characters were revealed.

It is why, alongside the practicalities of a sport viewed through the monochrome of the early television sets, champions wore white shorts, the challenger black. Just as their contemporary storytellers in Hollywood depicted good guys with white Stetsons and evil landowners in Black ones. Boxing wanted you to care, to ‘pull’ for one guy or the other. And to watch the adverts too of course. Continue reading “MyFightTickets.com Fighter of the Month – July”

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Usyk the Ukrainian hero needs no titles

“If there’s one thing I know, it’s never to mess with Mother Nature, mother-in-laws and mother freaking Ukrainians.”

Skinny Pete, The Italian Job, 2003

Sport and politics are not meant to trespass on to each other’s figurative lawns. Far too frequently, they do. From the cricket fields of apartheid South Africa in the 1970s, the American boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics through to the present day  – a swirl of state sponsored doping, kneeling line backers and the awarding of football World Cups on the basis of stuffed manila envelopes rather than full stadiums. The politicising of sport is neither a new nor uncommon phenomenon. They are perennially entwined.

Boxing is littered with examples, from the persecution of Jack Johnson a century ago to the symbolism of Joe Louis’ rematch with Germany’s Max Schmeling in 1938, it is a rich and luminous seam. Fighters possess power in their actions and their opinions that can reach far beyond the roped square in which they ply their trade and politicians are always eager to manipulate the image or popularism of their pugilistic contemporaries. Continue reading “Usyk the Ukrainian hero needs no titles”

Adamek to ride shot Gunn

GunnBobby Gunn is a curious phenomenon. No other fighter, whether christened Floyd, Bernard or Oscar has engendered the type of readership and commentary that articles about the Celtic Warrior have. I suppose that might say as much about the sporadic readership of this gloomy corner of the blogosphere as any significance Gunn actually holds for boxing fans at large but it forces me to ensure his doubtless plucky lunge at Tomasz Adamek, the number one Cruiserweight in the world, doesn’t pass with out some message of good luck. Continue reading “Adamek to ride shot Gunn”

Archive: Old Man Thompson Stops Unbeaten Haye in 5

hayethompsonARCHIVE: 10/09/04

David Haye is the toast of the boxing media presently thanks to his shrewdly selected but nevertheless impressive debut at heavyweight, sinking Tomasz Bonin in a round, title triumphs at Cruiserweight and latterly his destruction of the seasoned Monte Barrett. He has subsequently emerged  as a loquacious rival for Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko to embrace or avoid – depending on the prevalent press release at the time of reading. 

However, there was a time when his confidence took him into territory from which his right hand couldn’t provide escape. He took on Carl ‘The Cat’ Thompson in 2004 before he was ready and came unstuck. It was one of the most enthralling, absorbing and punishing contests I’ve had the privilege to cover from ringside.

Continue reading “Archive: Old Man Thompson Stops Unbeaten Haye in 5”

Archive: Holyfield ignores the lessons of King Canute

August 23rd 2005

Three years on from the first publication of this article on thesweetscience.com, its hard to comprehend that the career of Evander Holyfield should still be an active topic. He had been consigned to the scrap heap innumerable times already by 2005 and yet still steadfastly refused to yield to the dieing of the light. At the time of release the first formal steps to forcible retire the proud warrior had been taken, they proved pointless and rightfully so.

Continue reading “Archive: Holyfield ignores the lessons of King Canute”

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”

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”

Happy Days – Haye to Face Mormeck

Jean-MarcOK, so big-punching David Haye couldn’t crack Ismael Abdoul and true he was decked by Super-Middleweight Lolenga Mock but despite those apparent limitations he remains a crucial piece of the British Boxing jigsaw. In fact, his importance could reach further. Boxing needs a charismatic, heavy handed heavyweight contender. Haye is one of a precariously short list of applicants for that role. Only Alexander Povetkin ranks ahead of him as a heavyweight youngster with punch power. The difference with Haye? He has obligations at 200 pounds to fulfil first.

Continue reading “Happy Days – Haye to Face Mormeck”

Staggering. Maccarinelli To Face Joke Opponent?

Bobby GunnPragmatism is an essential personality trait for boxing fans these days, accepting mediocre opponents in the name of world-championship boxing has become second nature to fans of the sport.

However, in Bobby Gunn, Frank Warren may just have found an opponent so devoid of credentials that boxing fans, even those devoted to the WBO Cruiserweight champion, Enzo Maccarinelli, Gunn is scheduled to face, will be unable to accept. Continue reading “Staggering. Maccarinelli To Face Joke Opponent?”

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