Boxing: Mind games and the search for advantage

“Inside his head”, “gotten under his skin”, “psychological advantage”. The mental aspect of success in sport has never been more widely acknowledged, nor has the quest to attain an ‘edge’ ever been more widely contested.

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Boxing: The Ali Files by Norman Giller – A review

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…

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Wladimir Klitschko, dominance and the burden of proof

Historically, dominance is a fleeting experience in the heavyweight division. Perhaps, thankfully fleeting. In the last century we’ve seen a number of periods in which one fighter reigned over the sports blue ribbon division. Louis, Marciano, Holmes, Tyson. An exalted list of greatness. Once in a generation fighters who destroyed their contemporaries and illuminated their respective…

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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,…

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Flying over the cuckoo’s nest for the last time? Oliver McCall defeated

Anyone with a passing interest in heavyweight boxing over the past twenty years will hold a mental image of one sort or another of heavy punching former champion Oliver McCall. Whether it be the crunching right-hand which felled Lennox Lewis, his emotional implosion in the rematch or the various drug fuelled episodes which have blighted his…

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Boxing: Mayweather, the showmen who leaves them wanting more

Presently, there is no hotter commodity in boxing than Floyd Mayweather. Fresh off a crushing victory over Shane Mosley I can no longer summon an obstacle which bears scrutiny to the now overwhelming argument that Floyd Mayweather deserves to take a place among the sport’s all time greats. Mayweather’s name can sit snugly among the…

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Old? Check. Fat? Check. Unambitious? Check. Brian Nielsen next for Vitaly?

Did you hear the one about Vitaly Klitschko and the hungry, young contender? No, nor did I. Admittedly, Vitaly Klitschko hasn’t fought during a particularly glowing period for heavyweights. His tenure, interrupted by a now mysteriously cured knee problem, as the leading heavyweight began when Lennox Lewis retired and has continued through soporific contests with Danny Williams,…

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Manny from Heaven set for fair-weather Floyd

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…

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David Haye, boxing’s new Barnum, continues to sell

If promoting a fight is craft, then David Haye has used every tool in the box to generate interest in this Saturday’s fight with Nicolay Valuev. He is an effervescent self-promoter who has used eye-catching gimmicks, distasteful commentary about Valuev’s personal hygiene, appeared on every talk-show, press event and personal appearance in order to force…

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The art of attracting web hits: Put Tyson in the title

He remains a media phenomenon, even now two whole decades removed from the last of his boxing peak and with a whole generation of boxing fans for whom he was never a consensus world-champion now fully grown. The time when the word Tyson was part of the language of the playground, of bars, of water-coolers…

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Audley, Audley, Audley

Love him, hate him, ignore him, beat him, write him off, mock him, chastise him, heck, tie an anvil to each ankle and drop him in the Thames. It wouldn’t matter, Big Audley would still be believing, still fighting, still chasing the dream. I’m beginning to think Harrison has special powers, the hide of a…

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Don King signs Barrera, does it still matter?

Does the signing of Marco Antonio Barrera by Don King show just how far the once mighty promoter has fallen or represent a spring board for his renewal as the sport’s premier figure?

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“Ali wouldn’t have hit Joe Louis on the bum with a handful of rice!”

Tommy Farr said that and who am I to argue. Tomorrow will mark the 71st anniversary of his courageous but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to dethrone the newly crowned heavyweight champion Joe Louis. The humble ‘Tonypandy Terror’ is long remembered for giving the legendary Brown Bomber an arduous first defence and for the unflinching resolve he demonstrated. His effort…

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Boxing: Acquiring a taste for Rocky Marciano

Rewind five years; amid the period of heavyweight history dominated by Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko, with towering contenders like Jameel McCline, Wladimir Klitschko, Michael Grant, Henry Akinwande, Hasim Rahman, Nicolay Valuev and Andrew Golota and it was increasingly easy to dismiss the chances of bygone greats like Rocky Marciano and Gene Tunney, or even through…

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Boxing: Usain Bolt, Muhammad Ali and the impossible comparison

The astonishing performances of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt broke the consciousness of almost the entire population of the world this week. Only the Olympics and perhaps the football World Cup offer such global exposure [alas the heavyweight championship has long lost this broad appeal], and though I doubt he could run backwards as fast as his contemporaries…

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Boxing: Behind the smile, Ali Nuumbembe

First published at TheSweetScience.com 14th November 2005 If it’s true that boxing sold its soul to television networks a generation ago, eagerly snatching pay-per-view’s 30 pieces of silver and prostituting itself on the behest of an array of clandestine figures and their grubby titles. The story of Ali Nuumbembe, a Namibian welterweight, and philanthropic publican Chad…

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BoxingWriter.co.uk Tribute Wear

Begun on an idle whim, the BoxingWriter .co.uk Tribute Wear has proved tremendously popular and exceeded expectation. Sales of t-shirts featuring the likes of Marciano, Hearns and Tapia have been well received and dispatched to satisfied customers within 2-3 days of order receipt and the feedback on quality has been favourable too. Check them out…

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