It strikes me as strangely poetic that three of the most significant fighters of their generation should all be pursuing relevance and redemption this weekend. Erik Morales, Jose Luis Castillo and Zab Judah all hope to eek one last hurrah from their respective careers. Most notable is Morales’ attempt to defend the WBC’s Light-Welterweight belt, followed by Judah’s eliminator bout with Vernon Paris and lastly Castillo, who looked jaded 5 years ago against Ricky Hatton, mixing it up with Jose Miguel Cotto. The oldest among them, Castillo, will be furthest from the top of the bill. Continue reading “Boxing: March of Time for Light-Welter and Welterweight veterans”
As a white-collar worker with the thinnest of fistic endeavour behind me I cannot ever bring myself to discourage professional fighters from doing what they do best whether a fathom removed from their prime or not. The likes of Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins all earned the right to make their own decisions and though a shadow of their former selves they remain steadfastly more capable than a plethora of younger fighters for whom world-titles will always remain a pipe-dream. You cannot make a fighter retire simply because of their age or the evident decay in their performances. However, as an independent observer with a soft spot for the Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera I’d be happy to whisper quietly that its time for him to stop. If I could get close enough.
There was a time, not so long ago, when boxing fans were entitled to wonder if a next generation of top-level fighters were ever to materialise. The class of the 90’s hung on, clung on and drove back any upstarts hoping to push them down the stairs and claim the house as their own.
Television networks stuck with the veterans, providing platform to those who reflected back the ageing demographic still pursuant of their boxing fix. Boxing, in a tale almost as old as the sport itself, is struggling for survival. Nefarious sanctioning bodies slowly dissembling its inherent hierarchy from within while the interloper from below stairs, the UFC, grew its appeal with the younger audience.
Boxing stuck with what it knew. Hopkins. Mosley. Oscar. Roy.
Maybe, almost a decade too late, the new class is here. I hope a rejuvenated Kelly Pavlik is among them.Continue reading “Holding out for a hero, is a new dawn really here?”
Nostalgia is a big seller. And its vendors seem to know just when to pique our interest in some bygone phenomenon. Whether it be the Mamma Mia film reaching out to women over 35 to relive their days as Dancing Queens – and some men come to think of it – or other film franchises like Charlie’s Angels or boxing’s own Rocky series. Today’s wander down memory lane was the tabloid suggestion David Hasslehoff is bidding to relaunch Baywatch, with media-shy, wholesome mother of three Katie Price (aka Jordan) donning the red bikini made famous by Pamela Anderson – though it was always Yasmine Bleeth for me. Continue reading “Run Yasmine, run; how boxing would love an 80’s remake.”
It is beyond the remit of any writer, no matter how well intentioned to implore a man to retire. A fighter, regardless of the date on his birth certificate, should not be prevented from earning a living if they are physically able to do so. Wayne McCullough, that most dedicated of professionals is one such example. Despite the evidence of a waning ability the Pocket Rocket refuses to relinquish his dream of once again being crowned World Champion. As a heavyweight, his 38 years wouldn’t be the millstone they are at Super-Bantamweight where speed, stamina and volume punching are more prevalent than amongst the heavyweight molasses. Continue reading “Wayne McCullough far from Dunne”
Precious few combatants evoke the same swell of good will that will greet Wayne McCullough when he strides to the ring for the 35th time in a fortnight’s time. The former Super-Bantamweight world title-holder has had a frustrating Autumn to his career, with the shadow of an overturned suspension for irregular brain scans thwarting his attempts to regain momentum in his ebbing trajectory. A retirement six rounds in to a fight he appeared to be winning last June, on the back of a doctor’s intervention during the rematch with Oscar Larios, remain his only meaningful action of the past 40 months.
For those of us left jaded by the endless recycling of pensionable punchers Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jnr., Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, the new season throws up three fights which may finally expunge 75% of the ageing chorus line from the Light-Heavyweight rankings. It cannot come too soon. Continue reading “Weight of expectation rests with Pavlik and Dawson”
On 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?”
Saturday’s bout between weary veteran Erik Morales and Lightweight belt-holder David Diaz has failed to cause much of a stir on either side of the pond. Lost in the post fight fog of the Hopkins victory and the hubbub of the Hatton v Mayweather announcement, the fight pitches chunky champion Diaz versus the world’s oldest 30 year old. Setanta are airing the fight free to subscribers in the UK. To paraphrase Victoria Beckham; “That’s Major!” Continue reading “Boxing: Bottom of the 9th, One Last Swing for Morales”
It seems peculiar to consider Welterweight contenders Zab Judah and Miguel Cotto as members of consecutive generations rather than the same one, only three years separate the births of the two popular fighters after all, but Cotto is unequivocally the ‘going’ concern in their clash this weekend.