Two of British boxing’s longest serving fighters will clash tonight for the European Light-Middleweight title, a bout which doubles as an eliminator for the WBC world title belt, or at worst a qualifier to face Julio Cesar Chavez Junior in a final eliminator for a crown held by slippery Sergio Martinez. It will also offer an opportunity for both fighters to finally step out of the shadow contemporaries Ricky Hatton and Prince Naseem Hamed threw across their respective careers and prove the old boxing truism, that styles make fights.
“God is our guide! from field, from wave, From plough, from anvil, and from loom; We come, our country’s rights to save, And speak a tyrant faction’s doom: We raise the watch-word liberty; We will, we will, we will be free!” wrote George Loveless in 1834, ahead of his transportation to Australia as one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Six friends who’d sworn an oath to each other not to work for less than 10 shillings a week. Now Steve Bunce and attentive side-kick Andy Kerr aren’t likely to have plaques placed on Plymouth docks or die in workhouses, but the loss of their one hour show in the wake of Setanta’s expiration has created a seemingly comparable level of public outcry and angst. Continue reading “Save the boxing martyrs; BringBackBunce.net”
Watching Steve Bunce’s Boxing Hour last night on Setanta Sports 2 I was struck by a number of things. Firstly, how good it is to see a magazine show for the sport where debate, discussion are preeminent over the gloss Sky once applied to their weekly Ringside presentation. True, big Buncey isn’t to everyone’s taste and it took me a while to ‘get’ his role, persona and style, to understand that enthusiasm and energy were his selling points and that he had his tongue firmly in his cheek. But I do now and it works. A boxing night isn’t the same without his animated contribution. But the Setanta hour is more than just Bunce let loose. Continue reading “Setanta, Skywalker and Bunce; Boxing’s New Hope”
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”
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.
“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”
It may seem condescending or ungracious to suggest Nicolay Valuev is a hard fighter to ignore, or perhaps overlook. At 7ft and over 300lbs the Russian is a man of almost mythical proportions but even though his contest with America’s John Ruiz is very unlikely to induce high-blood pressure moments, I will find the broadcast impossible to ignore. Continue reading “Valuev v Ruiz II; Impossible to miss”
Once a upon a time boxing coverage was the exclusive preserve of SKY, the premier satellite broadcast network here in the United Kingdom, but it now appears to have stepped out of the sport for all but the major ‘cash cow’ events. It is a peculiar tactic given the revived pulse and stirred interest in the sport. In fact, from a domestic perspective the boxing scene is arguably at its most buoyant. Continue reading “Setanta Sports: Boxing’s newest friend”
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 Parker with whom he plots a path to boxing glory from the obscurity of a refitted caravan in Glossop, England, will help remind fans that for all its faults, boxing remains the sport “to which all other sports aspire.”
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”
It is arguably life’s most absolute truism; “nothing in life is free”. Ok, it lacks the history, popularity or endorsement from Luthur Vandross of “the best things in life are free” but its resonance is irrefutable. Your place between the two schools of thought is probably decided by your natural level of cynicism and demeanour in every day life. Is the glass half full or half empty? Continue reading “YouTube Taking Punches”