Archive: Bernard, do not go gently into that good night

Photo credit: Jeremy Phillips

Published December 31st 2016 at british boxers.co.uk

In the breathless still before his final defeat, when the surge of the crowd left his ears and the noise of his own pulse flooded in, Bernard Hopkins must have known, as all wise men at the end know, darkness was coming and the cruel affirmation of “Special-Common” had failed to fork lightening. The two-years inactive, close to 52 years old, gnarled veteran had refused to go gently into the night. Instead, he had to be punched from it, through it and knocked into, not tomorrow, but yesterday by boxing’s truest maxim; nobody gets out on their own terms. Not even you Bernard. Continue reading “Archive: Bernard, do not go gently into that good night”

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One hundred percent. How do fighters hit their peak?

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In the immediate aftermath of his win over fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and to the delight of the 20,000 fans in attendance, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez announced his next bout would be against the undefeated Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on September 16th. Continue reading “One hundred percent. How do fighters hit their peak?”

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 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.

Continue reading “Manny from Heaven set for fair-weather Floyd”

Holding out for a hero, is a new dawn really here?

Pavlik Taylor BoxingThere was a time recently when boxing fans were entitled to wonder if a next generation of top-level fighters were ever going to emerge. The class of the 90’s hung on. Reflecting the ageing demographic tag which was readily hung on the sport as it struggled for relevance among the emergence of UFC and amid the strain of nefarious sanctioning bodies who tore it apart from within. Maybe, almost a decade too late, the new class is here. I hope a rejuvenated Kelly Pavlik is among them. Continue reading “Holding out for a hero, is a new dawn really here?”

The life of the Human Highlight Reel, Arturo Gatti, ends in tragedy

gatti
Photo by Robert Ecksel

Thousands of words have already been written about the demise of Arturo Gatti and still more about the life in boxing that preceded it. News of his death, aged just 37, has shocked a legion of fans for whom Gatti is synonymous with courage, exhilaration and entertainment. Recently betrothed, Arturo Gatti leaves behind a young son and wife, Amanda Rodrigues Gatti – to whom responsibility for Gatti’s death is expected to be attributed following her arrest today. Continue reading “The life of the Human Highlight Reel, Arturo Gatti, ends in tragedy”

Inevitable Mayweather comeback growing closer; July 11th or sooner

floyd3Still too early to suggest Joe Calzaghe will stay retired but instinctively I believe he will, but contemporary Floyd Mayweather Jnr was never likely to remain retired irrespective of the wealth he has accumulated, throwing hundred dollar bills from nightclub balconies has a way of dwindling the coffers. It has to be enforced doesn’t it? After all, the mooted Oscar DeLaHoya match up of last year would have earned him another multi-million purse and a thick wedge of associated earnings.  He retired not needing that pay day. Something changed. Continue reading “Inevitable Mayweather comeback growing closer; July 11th or sooner”

Some other mountain; Oscar continues his PPV voyage

Amidst a global credit crunch it could prove harder than ever to defend the choices of a multi-millionaire like Oscar DeLaHoya and harder still if he is to assume the role of the big guy in his David and Goliath showdown with Manny Pacquiao. However, for all the criticism his selection of the Filipino piranha, instead of the entirely more imposing challenges of Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito, drew, I for one believe it is a sensible match-up for a fighter who operates outside boxing’s accepted parameters. Continue reading “Some other mountain; Oscar continues his PPV voyage”

Blah, blah, etc, etc, Hatton talks Oscar, trainers, ageing and the future

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”

Quo Vadis Floyd Mayweather?

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?”

Boxing: Natural order is restored – Forrest dominates Mora

The Contender series wasn’t a reality show in the popular sense of the word. I’m always disgusted when mainstream reporters refer to its contestants, when partaking in significant out-of-show bouts, as “reality show winners”. It misleads the uninitiated, implying those who featured were not ‘real’ boxers but talented wannabees, celebrities even. Fighters like Steve Forbes, Peter Manfredo and Alfonso Gomez were professional fighters long-before their participation in the ground-breaking series.

Continue reading “Boxing: Natural order is restored – Forrest dominates Mora”

Crikey – Andrade is the new SRL, Hitman, DLH and PBF!

I appreciate promoters promote. Make noise. Draw the attention of fans, writers and sanctioning bodies. If a promoter can’t enthuse about a young fighter, who can? I know how it works. But I think even within those terms of reference the suggestion Demetrius Andrade “combines the styles of Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns” and has the “talent to be a star like Oscar DeLaHoya and Floyd Mayweather” is setting the bar awfully high for the 20-year old.

Continue reading “Crikey – Andrade is the new SRL, Hitman, DLH and PBF!”

Paul Williams covers every base to land big shot

“Starvin’ Marvin”, as one or two insensitive souls have dubbed Paul “The Punisher” Williams, today featured in a new press release from Aceves PR, one of the busiest promotional houses around in the boxing business. For those who love stats, this was the 62nd I’ve received since October. So if you’re an aspiring promoter or fighter, consider Aceves, they’re busy on your behalf. Someone once asked me, where I was when JFK was shot, I said I wasn’t sure but I bet I was reading a release by Aceves.

Continue reading “Paul Williams covers every base to land big shot”

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?”

I’ve tried, Oscar, but Paul Williams doesn’t excite me

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.

Continue reading “I’ve tried, Oscar, but Paul Williams doesn’t excite me”

Pitt and Aniston, Charles and Diana, now Hatton and Graham…it happens to ’em all in the end

Avert your gaze from boxing for too long and the constants, the equilibrium on which your perspective of the sport was founded can quickly be disconnected and deconstructed. The notion that the gnarled, sinewy frame of gravel-voiced trainer Billy Graham will no longer be strapped into the renown body belt (pictured left) for 15 rounds of torment from Ricky Hatton is hard to believe. OK, Graham and Hatton were never Morecombe and Wise, but together they’ve moulded and tuned Hatton’s natural physical prowess and thirst for combat to make both wealthy and respected. Curious timing?  Perhaps. Continue reading “Pitt and Aniston, Charles and Diana, now Hatton and Graham…it happens to ’em all in the end”

Pugilistic Dementia; Something old, something new?

MikeQFew writers met the news of Oscar DeLaHoya intention to continue fighting with the type of disappointment expressed by Bill Dwyre at the LA Times. Is every other writer too entrenched in the hushed, unspoken agreement to keep boxing relevant, to comment objectively? Is Bill the sole voice of reason? Recycling the last remaining superstars of the 1990’s is a tired but reliable format after all. Continue reading “Pugilistic Dementia; Something old, something new?”

Arturo Gatti: Must the Show Go On?

ArturoI 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?”

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