Deontay Wilder and his battle with truth and nostalgia

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” 
 Virginia Woolf

In a world of fake news, to which all facts become refutable, where opinion matters more than truth and being right is a state of mind rather than a resolved conclusion, it becomes ever harder to remain objective in our summation of fighters. Fighters like Deontay Wilder. These modern ills encourage closed thinking, nostalgia for times passed and the methods and ways that made them.

To crave that past is natural, to canonise those who loomed large within it likewise, but it is a flawed benchmark with which to measure those who swim in their wake. It is a story as prevalent in boxing as any other facet of life. The hurricane of content we are subjected to in the age of social media does tug at the anchor points of these beliefs but amid the din of those gales, we can all be guilty of becoming extremist in our view in order to be heard, clinging ever more tightly to the rigidity of our thinking. Continue reading “Deontay Wilder and his battle with truth and nostalgia”

Boxing: The Ali Files by Norman Giller – A review

The-Ali-Files-1

Within the pages of The Ali Files, from the pen of the prolific Norman Giller, there is a gift for boxing fans young and old. Particularly those for whom Muhammad Ali is an experience afforded by the proxy of film or television interview or those of us desensitised to his brilliance by time and the ensuing mythologising and marketing of his story.

In The Ali Files, Giller has returned Muhammad to his rightful home. The ring. The place where the story began and where his legend was hewn. It serves to refresh us all, including the great man himself.   Continue reading “Boxing: The Ali Files by Norman Giller – A review”

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.”

Don King signs Barrera, does it still matter?

In any consideration of those who transcended boxing over the past 30 years and found a place in the consciousness of the general public; Ali, Foreman and Tyson would surely stand head and shoulders above even Sugar Ray Leonard, Prince Naseem Hamed and Oscar DeLaHoya. Though not strictly a sporting figure, having never seen combat inside the ring, I think the man who stood between Ali and Foreman back in 1974 and who oversaw much of the money-making period of Mike Tyson’s career is arguably boxing’s fourth most recognisable face, Don King. Does this week’s signing of Barrera show an ebbing significance or  the beginning of a renaissance for boxing’s most infamous promoter?

Continue reading “Don King signs Barrera, does it still matter?”

Boxing: Achieving the Unachievable? Holyfield Gets The Shot

Evander3In truth Evander Holyfield’s status as a boxing legend is already assured. Any fighter who has clashed with Holmes, Bowe, Foreman, Lewis and Tyson, irrespective of their age and form at the time, is clearly a world-class operator and the manner of Holyfield’s performances during his pomp endeared him to a generation, or two, of boxing fans. His latest run at the title, as a forty something has on occasion looked capable of undermining all of his preceding achievements, but Evander, the most irrepressible of men, may yet have the last laugh. Thanks to the withdrawal of Ruslan Chagaev, he has his shot. Continue reading “Boxing: Achieving the Unachievable? Holyfield Gets The Shot”

Tommy Morrison To Fight in MMA

TommyM“I’m just going to walk in and hit him on the chin.”

Seriously, stop it. So far this week I’ve read reports about Evander Holyfield, Henry Akinwande, Andrew Golota and Oliver McCall, today’s ‘vintage’ heavyweight – and I don’t mean that in a fine wine type way – is Tommy Morrison. I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve had a “Life on Mars” type experience and been transported back to 1994. Clinton in the White House and Billy tearing the labels from his bottles of bud. Continue reading “Tommy Morrison To Fight in MMA”

Hopkins Returns. Did he ever leave?

hopkins5nnnnBoxing needs personalities. And never more so than in the beleaguered heavyweight division. Yesterday’s announcement, and the worst kept secret in boxing, that former middleweight great and presently consensus Light-Heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins plans to return in the blue ribbon weight class didn’t cause the gasps of disbelief the ‘Executioner’ appears to crave. Continue reading “Hopkins Returns. Did he ever leave?”

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