MyFightTickets.com Boxer of the Month – September

It is unfair to compare siblings, defying as it does, the uniqueness of all of us. However much we may share of the nature and nurture from which we spring and emerge, there is only one of each of us. This solitude of spirit and story is a reality we often deny to ourselves and submerge in the families and communities we cling and migrate to. But as the old idiom reminds us, in life, rather like the boxing ring in to which our heroes step, you come in alone and you leave alone.

At the end of last month, when Callum Smith dropped to the canvas, overwhelmed by the magnitude of his achievement in stopping George Groves, it was an essentially individual accomplishment. Aided by his trainer Joe Gallagher, who won a battle of his own too, and reward for every punishing pad session, every punch absorbed and delivered and every icy dawn run Callum Smith had completed in twenty years of absolute dedication. Continue reading “MyFightTickets.com Boxer of the Month – September”

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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”

From a distance…Smith and Groves Betting

Article first appeared on August 2nd 2018 at gambling.com

On September 29th, British Super-Middleweights George Groves and Callum Smith will finally meet to conclude the World Boxing Super Series that began in September 2017. The venue for their final will be unfamiliar to both fighters and for those of greater vintage too, even the circus that followed the sport’s greatest showman, Muhammad Ali, never pitched tent in Saudi Arabia after all.

Since its inception the World Boxing Series has refused to kneel to the cynics or the financial conventions of the past and has been an integral part of markets at top boxing betting sites. All of the contests have thus far delighted fans with their high quality production, the clarity of the format and the entertainment offered. Illustrating what can be achieved with investment and purpose. Continue reading “From a distance…Smith and Groves Betting”

Groves distinguishes himself, and boxing, from the vanity of hype

Twenty out of thirty fight figures in Boxing Monthly thought Eubank would beat George Groves on Saturday night, of the dozen regular writers at Boxing News half drew a similar conclusion and Buncey went for Eubank too. I’ve leaned heavily on those opinions this morning as I wrestled with how close I came to joining them. At the last possible moment, as I watched Gabriel and Michelle interview the two protagonists, my instinct flipped from the hipster pick, Eubank being too quick, too fit and the growing irresistibility of his ‘from the shadow of his father’ narrative to the more obvious, that Groves was simply too big, too clever and hit too hard not to win. And back again.

In the end, at the death as it were, I opted for Groves, just. His presumed method of victory; stay outside, control distance and the pace of the fight with his jab, was hard to be confident in such was the appeal of Eubank’s fast hands, knowing glare and Brook Benton baritone. Adam Abramowitz, an American writer I respect, had inserted a doubt worm too, suggesting that Groves’ boxing ability was being overstated and he had a habit of finding failure when success was abundantly available. Continue reading “Groves distinguishes himself, and boxing, from the vanity of hype”

Groves v Eubank Jr. date and venue announced; DeGale still the prize

By J.B. Smithers

Such is the nature of the sport of boxing these days that one has to remember to write George Groves’ name first in any discussion or announcement regarding his World Boxing Super Series Semi-Final clash with Chris Eubank Jr. The tournament has been a huge success in terms of the entertainment provided and threatens to restructure much of what we understand the accepted hierarchy of boxing, it’s matchmaking and promotion, to be too.

The momentum behind Eubank Jr., despite a curiously innocuous period prior to his last two fights, one the quarter-final with Yildirim, is growing. Growing to the point, his name frequently appears to the fore, to the left to use boxing parlance, of releases and public rumination about the bout with Groves, who is, for the casuals who have forgotten, the WBA Super-Middleweight champion. This seemingly trivial faux pas speaks loudly about the potential for Chris Eubank Jr. to transcend, standing on the shoulders of his father and the great names he tangled with, to reach a much loftier and lucrative plateau than the one Groves could reach.

In and of itself, when one considers the enormity of Groves’ rematch with Carl Froch, to believe that is even possible is remarkable. Continue reading “Groves v Eubank Jr. date and venue announced; DeGale still the prize”

That was the boxing weekend that was (15th Oct. 2017)

Increasingly, I’m losing my nerve when I watch boxing. Maybe it’s fatherhood, maybe its the persuasive refrain of those linking concussion to mental health issues in later life, maybe its just a phase. The weekend was punctuated and illuminated by knockouts and in some instances preceded by a number of blows beyond those usually required to invite a referee to intervene.

Aside from my own, hopefully temporary, philosophical dilemma, several fighters leapt forward in their careers and entertained fans via the short route on cards from The Flash Grand Ballrooms of Manilla to the Hotel Metropole in Mbuji-Mayi. The latter is in Ghana for those of you, like me, not worldly travelled. Continue reading “That was the boxing weekend that was (15th Oct. 2017)”

Groves stops Cox in 4 to set up Eubank Jnr. contest

Photo credit: Tom Jenkins

Thousands of words have been written about George Groves this past decade, I’ve written a few along the way, and I suspect none of them have ever succeeded in defining the enigmatic Super-Middleweight. Whilst writers and fans wrestle to place him in the convenience of a fixed position in our catalogue of stereotypes, the current WBA Super Super-Middleweight champion stays occupied and continues to overcome adversity and collect scalps in entertaining bouts.

In defeating Jamie Cox by fourth round knockout tonight, the 29-year-old Londoner confirmed the much assumed and much anticipated World Series Boxing semi-final against Chris Eubank Junior and delighted a good crowd at the Wembley Arena in the process. Continue reading “Groves stops Cox in 4 to set up Eubank Jnr. contest”

Fighters, like all of our heroes, are just people

In the relative tranquility of midweek, a peace I enforce rather than receive from boxing by default, when the memory of the preceding weekend is flushed of emotion and the fights ahead do not yet submerge them into shadow, I often grow reflective and thoughtful. Boxing’s busyness is welcome, as I’ve written before many of us remember the wilderness years of leisure centres and the WBF, but as with all things in society these days, there is barely time to pause for breath. Continue reading “Fighters, like all of our heroes, are just people”

That was the boxing weekend that was (08th Oct. 2017)

Photo credit: Phil Peterson

As I’ve written recently, these are heady times in British Boxing. The breadth and depth of exposure fighters and events are being afforded is unprecedented. This weekend, a host of shows were available to viewers across various channels and platforms and it was hard to know where to bring your shekels and attention to rest. Within the quietness of Sunday I like to reflect on the high points from the weekend; this one came packed with super-sized lightweights, knees to the nether regions and the arrival of a new fighter to my roundtable of favourites. Continue reading “That was the boxing weekend that was (08th Oct. 2017)”

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”

Boxing: Cleverly pulls out but still hopeful of landing Hopkins – really?

Despite the lack of substance Robin Krasniqi had on his resume, it is regrettable that the custodian of the WBO‘s Light-heavyweight belt, Nathan Cleverly was unable to defend it against him. For all the clamour for more progressive matchmaking for the young Welshman I’m equally eager to see busy fighters. Too many modern day boxers reach title level, whether domestic or international, and adopt the status of a religious deity. Permitting themselves just one or two public appearances a year.  While fight-figures always maintain fighters are made in gyms, I’m an advocate of the alternate view that fighters develop through competition and activity. One destination you wouldn’t expect this lost fight to lead to however is, Bernard ruddy Hopkins. Continue reading “Boxing: Cleverly pulls out but still hopeful of landing Hopkins – really?”

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