Change isn’t coming. It’s here. Triller win purse bids for Lopez v Kambosos

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Dawin, Biologist, 1809-1882

I asked, we all asked. It is reflective of the inherent demographics within this sporting perversion that is the boxing industry that we had to. Those of us with teenage children were closest to source, able to access the information required most swiftly. Those of us surrounded by contemporaries had to resort to Google. We’ve grown. Once we would have ‘Asked Jeeves’.

For those still waiting on a definitive answer:

Triller is an American video-making and social-networking service owned by Proxima Media. It allows users to automatically edit and synchronize their videos to background tracks using artificial intelligence. Triller was released for iOS and Android in 2015, and it is currently led by President and CEO Mike Lu.

They will also be broadcasting the Lightweight World Championship fight between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos having won the purse bids to do so with a bid of more than $6m. Almost double the offers submitted by Matchroom Sports, and Top Rank who promote the 23 year old.

Continue reading “Change isn’t coming. It’s here. Triller win purse bids for Lopez v Kambosos”

Garcia dares where Spence and Crawford dither

No time like the present

Mrs Manley, Novelist, 1663-1724

On the 17th December Manny Pacquiao became 42. This week marked 26 years since his professional debut. In the period in between he has boxed 71 times. All of these numbers are remarkable. In the modern era, they are other worldly. A pandemic halted his latest run in the Welterweight division and Conor McGregor’s humbling last Saturday has likely cost the Filipino Senator his largest available pay day. Perverse though the idea of their meeting was.

There is now a strong suggestion Pacquiao will face Ryan Garcia, a fighter not born when the first of those 71 contests, a four rounder on 22nd January 1995, took place. It is hoped the match will be the genuine article, a Lightweight upstart venturing to Welterweight to unseat a legend, and not the exhibition tag subsequently tied to the proposition.

Sure, we’d prefer a lightweight round robin and Spence v Crawford, they’re the earnest, timeless match ups boxing craves. But complain about Pacquiao v Garcia? Come on.

Continue reading “Garcia dares where Spence and Crawford dither”

Ryan Garcia, along with his doubters, will discover the truth tonight

The wait in the dressing room before a boxing match — that last hour — would be enough to strip a man that never boxed before of whatever pride, desire and heart he THOUGHT he had.”

‘Iceman’ John Scully, Boxer, 1967-

The period before a fight always strikes me as the most fascinating human experience. Not one I would wish to submit myself too. As someone averse to rollercoasters or any other pursuit in which there is no side door, no coward’s exit, the notion of spending the hours of fight day contemplating the impending confrontation strikes me as the most haunting examination of a man’s psyche.

And your preparation. The truth of whether you’re ready. Not the ready of the press conference answer, the ready that only you, the one who must climb the steps and perhaps the man beside you, really knows.

Tonight, 22 year old Ryan Garcia will make that walk, spend that day, as will Englishman Luke Campbell, both have doubters, both will surely have doubt whispering to them too.

Continue reading “Ryan Garcia, along with his doubters, will discover the truth tonight”

To Hull and back and back and back again. Can Campbell upstage youthful Garcia?

And it’s never really happened to me (it’s happy hour again)

Don’t believe it, oh no

‘Cause it’s never really happened to me (it’s happy hour again)

The Housemartins, Happy Hour (1986)

Headlining this weekend’s Dallas card, boxing’s opening gambit of the New Year, will be British lightweight Luke Campbell versus the unbeaten Ryan Garcia. Campbell will be attempting to win a world title, if we include interim, at the third time of asking. His first two bids, against the exceptional Jorge Linares in 2017 and Vassily Lomachenko in 2019, ended in creditable defeats, the former, narrowly.

Those represented contests against two of boxing’s most ennobled competitors. Fights in which Campbell played the role of the young challenger despite being of contemporary age to both. His fresh face belying his then 30 something years. On Saturday he can no longer hide from the passage of time and if he is to triumph and win the interim WBC title almost 9 years on from his Olympic Gold, he will do so as an ageing contender to the 22-year-old Garcia’s ‘turn’ as the youthful up and comer.

As a son of Kingston-upon-Hull, a place of originality and acute deprivation, he is inherently imbued with the stoicism and spirit to try.

Continue reading “To Hull and back and back and back again. Can Campbell upstage youthful Garcia?”

Lomachenko and Crolla depart, destinations undefined

As Anthony Crolla pawed for consciousness, his right cheek stuck to the floor like a kid looking beneath the sofa for a lost Lego piece, those who scoffed at the legitimacy of his challenge to Vasily Lomachenko unholstered their weapons and got to work.

I’m sure, as the smiling Mancunian drew himself back up from the dark seabed the dazzling Ukrainian’s final temple shot had plunged him too, his first thought wasn’t about the men who should’ve been in his corner. In to who’s stead he had stepped. Continue reading “Lomachenko and Crolla depart, destinations undefined”

Garcia stands at the gateway to greatness

“History, faced with courage, need not be lived again”

Maya Angelou (1928- )
American novelist and poet

In some ways, analysis of this weekend’s Welterweight fist-fight between Errol Spence Junior and Mikey Garcia depends which end of the binoculars you want to look down. Influences abound. Those of recent memory, the annihilation of Amir Khan, the breaking of Kell Brook, to the asinine and unfathomable; the ‘side of the bed you rose from’, the craving to be heard in a gale of voices or the need to gamble an opinion in the pursuit of  distinction. All impose themselves. Continue reading “Garcia stands at the gateway to greatness”

KATIE – The acclaimed story of women’s boxing’s biggest star

“I never put limits on myself.”

Boxing remains a rich seam for those who enjoy mining for stories of glory, triumph, loss or redemption. It is a world inhabited by the colourful and paradoxic, from the magnanimous hero to the loveable villain and a fair smattering of everything in between.

Occasionally, for those immersed in boxing’s culture, in her truths and philosophies and her lies and darker corners too, it is possible to become desensitised to the virtue of most of her participants and to the greatness she can draw from people.

In November 2017, in the unspectacular surroundings of Wembley Arena, on an otherwise forgettable card notionally headlined by a van glorious Light-Welterweight, Katie Taylor made her professional debut and, in doing so, woke the gathered.

A special fighter, perhaps a special person, was among them. And, like me, years from that night they would be able to say they were there when it all began.

Continue reading “KATIE – The acclaimed story of women’s boxing’s biggest star”

Magic Man Lomachenko returns as odds on favourite.

First published on Gambling.com on December 7th 2018

Sport, and perhaps particularly boxing, with her inherent echoes of by-gone gladiators, has an ability to first conjure and create heroes and then carve their deeds deep into our psyche.

Their greatness never wilts and a fighter’s flaws, whether technical, physical or emotional, are invariably worn smooth by the passing of time.

In a week where Tyson Fury performed an act of recovery that will be spoken and written about a century from now, it is perhaps fitting that another of boxing’s most blessed sons, Ukrainian Vasiliy Lomachenko, is the next star to return to the squared circle.

As always, the best boxing bookmakers are offering a variety of odds on Lomachenko’s (1/25 with Paddy Power) unification clash with Jose Pedraza (12/1). Continue reading “Magic Man Lomachenko returns as odds on favourite.”

He who dares wins. Mikey Garcia in pursuit of Errol Spence

In the past week or so, as squinting children are wrangled back to the routines of the approaching Autumn and the sporting seasons rejoin our daily discourse, my mind has returned to boxing. As the wizened writers and commentators will tell you, boxing used to have seasons too.

Like our changing climate, boxing in the United Kingdom has evolved and there is but a breath between the last of the Stadium bouts of August and the arrival of the September schedule. The totem events need fine weather, and while Carl Frampton’s much craved fight at the Windsor Park football ground he visited as a boy endured weather that forced the darlings of ringside into 10-bob anoraks, the need for sunshine and the clamour for tickets has realigned boxing’s schedule.

Continue reading “He who dares wins. Mikey Garcia in pursuit of Errol Spence”

We have not time to stand and stare. The wonder of Vasily Lomachenko

First published by Knockout London magazine’s May 2018 issue.

In these distracted times of ours, in which life is rarely experienced through the entire sensory system, people are too often unwitting passengers in their own existence. A desire to record and share, rather than touch, smell and witness is depriving many of us of the immersion required to properly capture or appreciate an event, however expensive the opportunity to access it proved.

At some future meeting point, when these memories are called upon, where rich descriptions of how it felt to be there once thrived, embellished and enhanced by the retelling, there will remain only video clips and a gallery of vacuous self-portraits. Continue reading “We have not time to stand and stare. The wonder of Vasily Lomachenko”

Lomachenko the betting favourite for New York clash with Linares

By Hector T. Morgan

When he takes a break from walking on his hands or boxing tennis balls, Vasyl Lomachenko will turn his attention towards Venezuelan Jorge Linares as the Ukraine boxing superstar aims to move his professional CV to 11-1-0. The talented pair will meet over 12 rounds for the WBA lightweight world title on May 12 at Madison Square Garden, New York and the betting has ‘Hi-Tech’ hot favourite for victory.

The 30-year-old has been fast-tracked towards the top of the paid ranks following a glittering amateur career and has taken the challenge in his stride to date, losing only to Orlando Salido on a 12-round points split decision in March 2014, and that was just his second professional contest. Continue reading “Lomachenko the betting favourite for New York clash with Linares”

Will Anthony Crolla get one more shot at the title?

By T.R. Lewison

Anthony Crolla has enjoyed an outstanding career to date and bounced back from previous setbacks to secure incredible success and ensure he adds to the evidence that nice guys don’t always finish last.

The Manchester-born fighter is one of the most popular Britons punching for pay in the modern era and his amazing story has since been published in a new book, a tale of Lazarus like recovery from potentially career-ending injuries to fairytale triumphs before his army of ardent Mancunians. Continue reading “Will Anthony Crolla get one more shot at the title?”

End of the line for Stalker, Dodd wins widely

His captaincy of the Great Britain boxing team at the 2012 Olympics ultimately created expectation too heavy for Tom Stalker to fulfil in the professional ranks. Unanimously outpointed by Sean Dodd in Liverpool tonight his career as a potential domestic titleist is likely at an end. It wasn’t just the loss, but the nature of the defeat. Continue reading “End of the line for Stalker, Dodd wins widely”

Boxing: Derry Across the Mercy; Mathews stops Crolla- Round by Round Report

Derry Mathews won the famous British Lightweight title tonight, stopping Anthony Crolla with just 4 seconds of the 6th round remaining. Referee John Keane jumping to the champion’s aide. Crolla felt the stoppage premature and with so little time until the round end and in the context of a championship fight I have some sympathy, but Mathews twice had his foe in trouble and on the canvas once too. I for one, would relish the prospect of watching a rematch. You will find hastily typed round by round coverage below.

Live, round by round coverage of the classic Lightweight clash between British champion Anthony Crolla and challenger Derry Matthews. Keep clicking refresh for round updates. Continue reading “Boxing: Derry Across the Mercy; Mathews stops Crolla- Round by Round Report”

Boxing: Barrera. The pudgy-faced geriatric.

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.

Continue reading “Boxing: Barrera. The pudgy-faced geriatric.”

Fagan back on track

OisinFaganStrange how fighters flicker in and out of boxing’s VIP lounge. Irishman Oisin Fagan has twice dipped beneath the ropes dividing the obscure and the revered, first in a razor tight defeat to Mum’s favourite Paul Spadafora and then more recently by knockout to Lightweight star Amir Khan – a defeat tinged with melancholy as Oisin broke an ankle on the way to the canvas. On Saturday night, he continued his attempt to build toward a third chance.

Continue reading “Fagan back on track”

Boxing relies on Don King and Terry Dooley for sense and integrity!

donking2For a man accused of just about every sin possible within the parameters of boxing and capable of bamboozling writers with quotes and sentiments drawn from Twain to Churchill it says a lot about the sport he inhabits, that veteran promoter Don King is the sole voice of reason in the aftermath of the Khan v Barrera contest. Well, alongside Terry Dooley at BritishBoxing.net at least. Dooley is a fearless, if slightly dishevelled, writer who can always see through the mist,  and is unafraid of running against the grain. Dooley titled his review of the fight; “Say what you like but Khan should never have won”. Continue reading “Boxing relies on Don King and Terry Dooley for sense and integrity!”

Guest: Barrera’s bloody mess obscures the true worth of Khan’s victory

khanvbarreraHaving clung tight to my £14.95 last weekend, Amir Khan is not presently a pay-per-view attraction regardless of the affection with which I hold his opponent – in this case Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera, I’m delighted to provide a forum for guest writer Ben Carey’s view of the contentious clash between the aspiring Khan and the jaded Barrera. Continue reading “Guest: Barrera’s bloody mess obscures the true worth of Khan’s victory”

The Great Guzman and the WBA’s weight of responsibility

It might be the stiff wind from the Urals which makes guest writer Andrew Mullinder such a cantankerous observer of the noble art. Mullinder is not implored to write by the science or the beauty of boxing, only the muck, the politics and the fractious infrastructure of the sport evoke his withering invective. His latest target is the WBA, for whom the dietary plans of Joan Guzman appear to have been but a distant theme from a distant land. Mullinder thinks its time governing bodies started, well, governing. Continue reading “The Great Guzman and the WBA’s weight of responsibility”

Nowhere to Hide, not that old chestnut

I’m sure the revelation Delia Smith, who famously coined the phrase “lets be having you” during an impromptu half-time plea to the insipid Norwich City football crowd, is looking to sell her stake in the club has nothing to do with the impending return of boxing maverick Herbie Hide to the region, but Hennessey Sports’ decision to run with the “Lets Be Having You” show title does provide coincidental segway between the two events.  Continue reading “Nowhere to Hide, not that old chestnut”

Boxing: Nate Campbell deserved better than Guzman, an unreliable commodity

I feel vindicated in picking Nate Campbell to prevail in this encounter despite flying in the face of popular opinion and more crucially, that the fight didn’t actually take place. However, I did comment that Guzman was not a safe pick. Despite his unbeaten record, he had a patchy level of activity and often jumped from championship bouts to magically appear a division higher. Continue reading “Boxing: Nate Campbell deserved better than Guzman, an unreliable commodity”

Guzman better not rely on hunger

Joan Guzman doesn’t strike me as a fighter who bases his strategy on assumption. He’s played the sanctioning body game shrewdly, most recently choosing to abdicate the WBO Super-Featherweight belt to earn a #1 ranking with the same body at 135 pounds. Placing him firmly in the sight-line of Nate Campbell, a fighter with a brow like a porch roof and a virulent case of Hopkinesque ‘outsider’ syndrome. If Guzman assumes his role as the challenger means he is, by default, the hungrier fighter, as he did in interview this week, he’ll underestimate the 36-year old champion. Continue reading “Guzman better not rely on hunger”

Oliver Harrison, Amir Khan and the final word; blame

I’m struggling to summon a fight in recent memory to which more attention has been paid. Certainly, the column inches afforded to Amir Khan’s humbling defeat is entirely disproportionate to the superficial importance of the Inter-Continental bauble he and Breidis Prescott scuffled over on Saturday night. Of course, Amir Khan is not merely ‘just another’ fighter, Andrew Mullinder provides one final analysis of the fight, the aftermath and that most emotive of topics, blame. Continue reading “Oliver Harrison, Amir Khan and the final word; blame”

Kellerman breaks from the pack

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”

Video: Amir Khan mimicks Judah’s ‘chicken dance’

Seeing Amir Khan laid out like a flat-packed bookcase on Saturday, with his head propped against the ring post in the style of a teenager watching Batman re-runs on the portable reminded me of one of the first times he came to the public’s attention. Coincidentally, he was mimicking the Zab Judah inspired ‘chicken’ dance he show-cased when hit by a Prescott punch on Saturday following a less formidable left-hook from Craig Watson back in the Amateurs. Continue reading “Video: Amir Khan mimicks Judah’s ‘chicken dance’”

Fewkes, Khan, Maloney and that old favourite “the anorak”

Useful garment in certain circumstances is the anorak. In the current climate of record rain-fall it is arguably a must-have in any sensible wardrobe. Okay it isn’t likely to enthuse Trinny and Susannah, but for those of us not worried about such frivolous opinion the anorak is a much maligned but much required item. Promoter Frank Maloney loves to use the negative connotations associated with the anorak – that its inhabitant is a solitary, narrow-minded, unsociable and unworldly individual – to mock, antagonise and tease those who contribute to boxing forums and message boards.  Reading the latest release from his stable, I can only assume its raining where Frank is.

Continue reading “Fewkes, Khan, Maloney and that old favourite “the anorak””

Video of Amir Khan foe Breidis Prescott in action

I’ll not be indulging SKY next month, there is no hope what so ever of the satellite broadcaster’s flashy advertising campaigns convincing me that Amir Khan is a PPV attraction. Nor will I succumb to the overt and subliminal suggestion his opponent, Colombian Breidis Prescott, is a foe of such brilliance that to miss the PPV could mean I miss Khan being beaten. Continue reading “Video of Amir Khan foe Breidis Prescott in action”

“World title belts, get ya belts ‘ere, fiver a pair!”

Boxing is a cruel enough sport for fighters without crass sniping from commentators like me but the news Alex Arthur has been awarded full world champion status by the WBO left a sour taste. I’m sure it did for Arthur too, a proud fighter and one who, publicly at least, yearned for a shot at the genuine big time. Not the pretend big time, but the real, genuine big time. His proposed fight with now abdicated champion Joan Guzman would have been just such an opportunity. Continue reading ““World title belts, get ya belts ‘ere, fiver a pair!””

Battle of the Som-brero; give ol’ Gomez a chance

Matchmaking is a funny business. Not funny “haha”, funny “ooh”. As my Grandad would often say. There is simply no right and wrong methodology or barometer for matchmakers. If the house fighters wins, you’ve got it right. If the house fighters wins easily you’ve got it right but perhaps too right, because the audience want competition not a procession. In fact, getting it ‘too’ right can sometimes be wrong. But still better that, than simply getting it wrong. Are you keeping up?

Continue reading “Battle of the Som-brero; give ol’ Gomez a chance”

So Near So Czar: Katsidis ‘defends’ Interim belt

KatsidisAustralian strongman Michael Katsidis, one of a host of fighters to expose British champions in recent months, makes the first defence of his interim WBO Lightweight title against Czar Amonsot this weekend. A sentence which will dumbfound the boxing purists; how does boxing create a scenario where interim champions defend the belt simultaneous to the activity of the real champion, in this case Juan Diaz? Continue reading “So Near So Czar: Katsidis ‘defends’ Interim belt”

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