Steve Forbes and a tale as old as time

In 2004, in the illuminating The Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker proposed there were only seven scenarios on which the incalculable number of books we read are based. Most of the seven, with perhaps the exception of comedy, unless pith and sarcasm make you smile, are told and retold in the pages of boxing history.

From the bare knuckle savagery and steam boats of the 1800s, to the sepia, black and white and technicolour of the 20th century and on to to the high definition and pay per view of the modern day, those half a dozen narratives have echoed through the ages. A constant set of storylines in an endeavour dripping with the fool’s gold of nostalgia and more deeply entwined with the human stories of it’s protaganists than many contemporary pursuits. More is risked, more is lost, more is gained.

The news Steve Forbes, one of the sport’s nice guys, is making a comeback offers further evidence that fighters, no matter how well told the story of failed returns has been, always believe they will find a new ending, a plot twist, success where others perished.

Despite their will, they’re invariably wrong. Continue reading “Steve Forbes and a tale as old as time”

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”

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”

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