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”
It was sad to see Bernard Hopkins, a fighter who has battled the boxing establishment, its promotional and managerial cartels and the perceived wisdom that tried to dictate to him for twenty years finished by one of the sports unshakeable truths; nobody leaves the sport on their own terms. Bernard has spent the past decade and specifically, the last 5 years selling his resistance to the ageing process. Alas, a cruel injury may snatch the crescendo he still pursued from this curious if inexplosive tale. Continue reading “Boxing: Nobody gets out on their own terms, not even Hopkins”
Debate about the substance of Joe Calzaghe’s career will enthrall boxing fans for decades to come, his standing will ebb and flow with the passage of time and in all likelihood forever divide opinion thus – he was an all-time great who dominated his division for 10 years or, alternatively, he was a great fighter with a weak resume who ‘cherry-picked’ his way to retirement. When I look back on his career as Donald McRae in-depth interview with Calzaghe for Boxing News encouraged me to this morning, I don’t point to the Lacy fight, the Kessler war or the Hopkins victory as the night or nights which define Joe the fighter, nor do they provide helpful synopsis of his career. I think for so many reasons his brawl with Cameroon-born Australian hard man Sakio Bika epitomised his career more than any other single fight. Continue reading “Boxing: Sakio Bika, a ghost from Calzaghe’s past returns to the fore”
So the scene is set. Boxing has risen from the canvas to offer the viewing public a fight of such dramatic potential it already draws comparison with the magnetic contests boxing was once able to supply from a position of long forgotten significance on an annual basis.
Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino with the smile and an entire people in his corner, neutralised Miguel Cotto with such aplomb last weekend he is now widely projected as the sport’s pound for pound number one. That most unhelpful of yardsticks. And in Floyd Mayweather, he has an opponent of equal brilliance and renown against whom to push his abilities to their limit and in doing so, just maybe, entice and ignite a whole new generation of prize fight followers.
Since the disappointment of David Haye’s withdrawal from this year’s biggest heavyweight title fight and a potential record breaking event to boot it has been widely assumed Ruslan Chagaev would prove to be the natural replacement for the former Cruiserweight king. Similarly shorter than Wladimir, with a reliance on speed and movement the WBA champion is a far more obvious replacement, physically at least, than Nikolay Valuev, the near 7ft Russian who offers a polar opposite opponent than the one the younger Klitschko has spent many weeks preparing for. Bu this thesis overlooks one obvious factor, the 6ft Uzbekistan fighter is a left-hander. Continue reading “The view from portside; will Klitschko really pick a southpaw?”
I’m not sure of the exact wording of the urban myth, the one which declares you are never more than a few feet from a rat, whether it be London, New York or the sport of boxing, like most of these myths there is, somewhere, an origin in fact. David Haye’s withdrawal from the biggest heavyweight fight since Lewis v Tyson because of an, as yet, unqualified and unquantified injury has caused a typically hysterical reaction among boxing fans, only Mohammad Al Fayed does conspiracy theories as well as boxing fans, and the hunt for the rat in the story is on. UPDATE: Adam Booth claims Haye is hopeful of a re-arranged July date. Source: The Sun Continue reading “You’re never more than 8ft from a rat: Haye pulls”
The forthcoming middleweight clash between veteran southpaw Winky Wright and Paul Williams, the former Welterweight champion stirred me to contemplate which fighter of the past decade had been the most avoided. Winky Wright makes a strong claim for this unwanted acknowledgement, particularly given his recent enforced inactivity, but ultimately he has secured bouts with Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins to name but two. His advocates would remind me he had to chase Hopkins all the way up to Light-Heavyweight when they spent years side by side in the Middleweight division, both in desperate need of a big payday. Williams too, wouldn’t be without his supporters, but now he has Wright, following victory over Margarito, himself a contender for the tag. Continue reading “Most avoided fighter of the past 10 years? Poll”
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.
It would be remiss of me to overlook the timeless performances of Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley in recent months before deploring the matchmakers and executives who compiled and approved the Chad Dawson v Antonio Tarver sequel. Perhaps Tarver’s sojourn to the Rocky Balboa film set has infected the romantics among the powerbrokers, who refuse to give up on Tarver despite Dawson’s complete domination of the ageing former champion last year. A Dawson hand injury postpones Tarver’s second portrayal of a man with a white chalk line around his youth. Continue reading “Tarver granted stay of execution; Dawson injured”
More astute judges than I have pointed to Ricky Hatton’s ebbing level of performance, greater students of fighters and their techniques have dissected his growing faults and weaknesses and plenty of wiser minds than mine claim his out of “monastery” habits will shorten his elite career drastically. I couldn’t agree more but most of that is tired ground. Continue reading “Blah, blah, etc, etc, Hatton talks Oscar, trainers, ageing and the future”
Regular contributor Andrew Mullinder, from the sanctuary of the Russian front, cast his eye across the tabloid reports of Floyd Mayweather’s fiscal misfortunes. From stolen jewels to counterfeit Lincoln’s the retired superstar could be finding the chill wind of recession blows a little colder without twice-yearly deposits from HBO. Mullinder wonders whether his retirement may yet prove short-lived, a concept sure to be well received by mess’s Hatton, Pacquiao and DeLaHoya. Continue reading “Quo Vadis Floyd Mayweather?”
It is a cliche to recognise the judgement of a fight is a subjective undertaking. But like all cliches, it is forged in fact. True, two observers can arrive at different results from different sides of the ring and no matter how self-disciplined, it is close to impossible to be truly impartial. Certainly as fans, we all view the spectacle of a fight with some conscious or sub-conscious bias. Its human nature. Its also human nature to be influenced by those around us, and Juan Diaz was the ‘home’ fighter in his split-decision victory over Michael Katsidis. Continue reading “Kellerman breaks from the pack”
I doubt I’m alone in being mystified by the appointment of Floyd Mayweather Snr. to training duties for Ricky Hatton’s Light-Welterweight outing against feather-fisted Paulie Malignaggi in November. He is far removed stylistically and geographically from the Mancunian ticket-seller and quite how his bombastic personality will fit with Hatton’s fiercely preserved ‘man of the people’ demeanour is equally hard to contemplate.
Chinese proverb say “don’t try to be lumberjack in desert”. Okay, to my knowledge there is no such proverb but it would apply neatly to David Haye’s current quest to find a big, tall meaningful opponent for his next heavyweight fight. Today’s press conference, to announce the date, venue and opponent for his long awaited second appearance at the weight has been pushed back a fortnight simply because he cannot get the signature of a preferred opponent on the contract. Continue reading “Haye searching for a tree to fell in division of deadwood”
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?
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.
“There is no such thing as bad publicity, except your own obituary.” Irish author Brendan Behan once wrote and despite his celtic roots suggesting a pre-disposition to the noble art, I’ve no idea where he stood on the great PPV debate. However, the announcement Amir Khan is to feature on the premium format has so enraged boxing’s keenest observers one wonders whether their collective outbursts has served only to further promote the show?. In the meantime, guest writer Oliver Fennell provides a stiff retort to Andrew Mullinder’s prose of yesterday from his new home in a far more humble Thailand.
Guest writer Andrew Mullinder comments on the furore surrounding the announcement Amir Khan’s next bout is to cost SKY subscribers an additional £14.99 to watch, despite featuring an unknown Colombian and lacking the global significance typically found at the core of most pay-per view contests. An astonishing step, and one Frank Warren appeared aware, looks opportunisitic and premature. Mullinder however, has grown a little tired of the boxing fans’ bluster and bleating about PPV and while it doesn’t have the withering zing of Terry Dooley’s article this morning, Andrew makes an interesting point. Continue reading “There is no such thing as a free punch; the PPV debate”
According to a number of reports this evening, tomorrow will bring the announcement Oscar De La Hoya is to spurn the physically bigger tests of Paul Williams, Sergio Mora and Antonio Margarito to face Filipino shark Manny Pacquiao on December 6th in his farewell fight. Mooted for several days, the clash had divided fans. The size disparity of the former Super-Flyweight (Pacquiao) and former Middleweight titlist (Oscar) bewilders cynics, but the strength of the potential PPV has proven too much to resist for both parties.
Much though there is to admire in Oscar De LaHoya’s glistening career and despite the perfect role model he represents for any aspiring pugilist his status as boxing’s Golden Boy, and the enormous cheques his crossover appeal allows him to accept and write, is beginning to leave me a little nauseous. Oscar isn’t the Light-Middleweight champion, nor is he a Welterweight titleist – you need to go back to 2002-2003 for the last time he won and defended a belt – and yet he remains the ultimate goal of every fighter from 130 to 160 pounds. With this financial luster comes responsibility. One he will ignore if he opts for Paul Williams.
Voicing an opinion without concrete foundation on a legal case involving Frank Warren is rather like smothering your tongue in honey, sticking your head in a bees nest and trying to sing “Are you lonesome tonight”, bottom line is, you’re going to get stung. With that reality in mind, I’ll tip-toe through the news he has brought a case against departed superstar Joe Calzaghe for Breach of Contract.
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.
As the first contract between British broadcaster ITV and promoter Frank Warren draws to a close and negotiations begin on a new contract, it seemed relevant to pause and remember how the news ITV were to return to professional boxing was greeted. In an article for thesweetscience.com, I took an optimistic view of the partnership’s potential and revelled in the nostalgia of hearing that famous theme tune one more time. As Nigel Benn once famously said “I preferred boxing when it was on ITV”. Continue reading “Archive: Big Fight Live – Boxing returns to ITV”
Any film starring Matt Damon is usually high quality viewing, OK, granted Ocean’s 12 was dismal but typically Damon played the role amidst the self-indulgent script with his usual class. The news he is to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in a story chronicling the rise of Irish Micky Ward to championship fights is welcomed by me. Continue reading “The Fighter: Micky Ward’s Story”
I love Gatti. One of the bravest fighters the sport has seen, the quintessential blue-collar brawler. Memorable for his clashes with Mickey Ward, Ivan Robinson and a cast of dozens of others, his last significant outings, a painful and comprehensive stoppage loss to Floyd Mayweather and defeat to Carlos Baldomir should, perhaps, have represented the final installments in the ‘Human Highlight Reel’s’ Hall of Fame Career. Continue reading “Arturo Gatti: Must the Show Go On?”