MyFightTickets.com Boxer of the Month – September

It is unfair to compare siblings, defying as it does, the uniqueness of all of us. However much we may share of the nature and nurture from which we spring and emerge, there is only one of each of us. This solitude of spirit and story is a reality we often deny to ourselves and submerge in the families and communities we cling and migrate to. But as the old idiom reminds us, in life, rather like the boxing ring in to which our heroes step, you come in alone and you leave alone.

At the end of last month, when Callum Smith dropped to the canvas, overwhelmed by the magnitude of his achievement in stopping George Groves, it was an essentially individual accomplishment. Aided by his trainer Joe Gallagher, who won a battle of his own too, and reward for every punishing pad session, every punch absorbed and delivered and every icy dawn run Callum Smith had completed in twenty years of absolute dedication. Continue reading “MyFightTickets.com Boxer of the Month – September”

Advertisements

Waning Groves succumbs to Smith

George Groves’s journey from l’infant terrible to veteran former champion, as he now is, has taken almost a decade and just a baker’s dozen or two of Saturday nights and no little heartache. As he was bludgeoned to the canvas by Callum Smith last Friday night in the seventh round of their Super Middleweight world title fight, it was impossible not conclude that his career was at an end.

An articulate, thoughtful man who has earned lucratively from his ability to box and promote, it was hard to fathom from whom or where any redemption or source of motivation could be summoned. This jars with the loathing we all have for those who write off fighters as a spent force, or spoiled goods, when they encounter defeat I concede, but more experienced viewers also develop a sense for when a fighter’s appetite for battle has gone. Continue reading “Waning Groves succumbs to Smith”

From a distance…Smith and Groves Betting

Article first appeared on August 2nd 2018 at gambling.com

On September 29th, British Super-Middleweights George Groves and Callum Smith will finally meet to conclude the World Boxing Super Series that began in September 2017. The venue for their final will be unfamiliar to both fighters and for those of greater vintage too, even the circus that followed the sport’s greatest showman, Muhammad Ali, never pitched tent in Saudi Arabia after all.

Since its inception the World Boxing Series has refused to kneel to the cynics or the financial conventions of the past and has been an integral part of markets at top boxing betting sites. All of the contests have thus far delighted fans with their high quality production, the clarity of the format and the entertainment offered. Illustrating what can be achieved with investment and purpose. Continue reading “From a distance…Smith and Groves Betting”

Groves distinguishes himself, and boxing, from the vanity of hype

Twenty out of thirty fight figures in Boxing Monthly thought Eubank would beat George Groves on Saturday night, of the dozen regular writers at Boxing News half drew a similar conclusion and Buncey went for Eubank too. I’ve leaned heavily on those opinions this morning as I wrestled with how close I came to joining them. At the last possible moment, as I watched Gabriel and Michelle interview the two protagonists, my instinct flipped from the hipster pick, Eubank being too quick, too fit and the growing irresistibility of his ‘from the shadow of his father’ narrative to the more obvious, that Groves was simply too big, too clever and hit too hard not to win. And back again.

In the end, at the death as it were, I opted for Groves, just. His presumed method of victory; stay outside, control distance and the pace of the fight with his jab, was hard to be confident in such was the appeal of Eubank’s fast hands, knowing glare and Brook Benton baritone. Adam Abramowitz, an American writer I respect, had inserted a doubt worm too, suggesting that Groves’ boxing ability was being overstated and he had a habit of finding failure when success was abundantly available. Continue reading “Groves distinguishes himself, and boxing, from the vanity of hype”

Groves stops Cox in 4 to set up Eubank Jnr. contest

Photo credit: Tom Jenkins

Thousands of words have been written about George Groves this past decade, I’ve written a few along the way, and I suspect none of them have ever succeeded in defining the enigmatic Super-Middleweight. Whilst writers and fans wrestle to place him in the convenience of a fixed position in our catalogue of stereotypes, the current WBA Super Super-Middleweight champion stays occupied and continues to overcome adversity and collect scalps in entertaining bouts.

In defeating Jamie Cox by fourth round knockout tonight, the 29-year-old Londoner confirmed the much assumed and much anticipated World Series Boxing semi-final against Chris Eubank Junior and delighted a good crowd at the Wembley Arena in the process. Continue reading “Groves stops Cox in 4 to set up Eubank Jnr. contest”

Eubank annihilates Yildirim. A special fighter arrives

Photo credit: Corey Pellatt

I know, I know. Adni Yildirim is not Carl Froch or James Toney but he was the fighter the rest of the World Boxing Super Series field would only whisper about. Yildirim was tipped, perhaps merely for psychological purposes, by Callum Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher, among others, as the fighter most likely to emerge from side of the draw containing Eubank Jnr., Yildirim and Groves.

Tonight, Eubank Jnr. completely destroyed him in a performance of precision, confidence and power which marks him out as a fighter of very special qualities. For this observer he crossed a rubicon from irritating caricature of his father, who illuminated his own era of course, to an unmissable commodity in his own right.  Continue reading “Eubank annihilates Yildirim. A special fighter arrives”

Ward retires undefeated and he will beat the comeback call too

The fact Andre Ward’s retirement leaves a bittersweet taste shouldn’t surprise those of us who could appreciated his skill and yet felt infuriated by his inactivity. His scripted departure message was as deft and well crafted as some of his performances in a professional career that began in December 2004 and an unbeaten run that stretched back to his teens. Continue reading “Ward retires undefeated and he will beat the comeback call too”

Boxing: Sakio Bika, a ghost from Calzaghe’s past returns to the fore

Debate about the substance of Joe Calzaghe’s career will enthrall boxing fans for decades to come, his standing will ebb and flow with the passage of time and in all likelihood forever divide opinion thus – he was an all-time great who dominated his division for 10 years or, alternatively, he was a great fighter with a weak resume who ‘cherry-picked’ his way to retirement. When I look back on his career as Donald McRae in-depth interview with Calzaghe for Boxing News encouraged me to this morning, I don’t point to the Lacy fight, the Kessler war or the Hopkins victory as the night or nights which define Joe the fighter, nor do they provide helpful synopsis of his career. I think for so many reasons his brawl with Cameroon-born Australian hard man Sakio Bika epitomised his career more than any other single fight. Continue reading “Boxing: Sakio Bika, a ghost from Calzaghe’s past returns to the fore”

Smith v Quigley as it happens: Live

Paul SmithGenuine electricity in the air as fellow Liverpudlians clash for the British Super Middleweight title, thankfully officiated by Richie Davies – the most respected referee in the country. Each time these two have met in the build up to this fight, sparks have flown. It could be about who holds their composure in the red-hot arena of the Echo arena. If it does, Smith holds the greater experience. Continue reading “Smith v Quigley as it happens: Live”

Froch and Kessler tower over Abraham

Super-MiddleweightsPictures of the press conference, media tour and photoshoot for Showtime’s forthcoming Super-Middleweight tournament left me aghast. Six headline fighters, in their respective primes from multiple promotional houses, numerous countries and varied sanctioning bodies coming together for a single organised format, spread out across two years. Its logical, coherent, understandable and exciting – in fact, it just isn’t boxing. Without wishing to become too lavish in my appreciation ahead of the first bell, it is the most welcome development I can remember. And the first pictures are already getting fans talking. Continue reading “Froch and Kessler tower over Abraham”

Froch rolling with the big guns

frochOriginally, the news Carl Froch was to feature in a six man round robin over two years on American network Showtime was met with little more than pithy sarcasm at BoxingWriter towers but now, two days later, it seems the proposed Froch, Taylor, Kessler, Abraham, Dirrell and Ward tournament is genuine and will begin with Froch v Dirrell in October – a twin venue double bill with Abraham v Taylor live from Germany. Continue reading “Froch rolling with the big guns”

“Deep water and hope he can swim”. Yada, yada, yada; Jermain Taylor leans on cliche

drowningI’m excited about the WBC Super-Middleweight contest between Nottingham’s Carl Froch and Arkansas’ Jermain Taylor,  it pitches two fighters together who are in their respective primes. It doesn’t rely on nostalgia, nor does it feature a network favourite and a cherry picked opponent. It isn’t quite the choice Froch has framed it to be, pursuing Taylor is noble given the posturing of preceding champions in the selection of foes, but Taylor, lest we forget, is Froch’s mandatory as he won a vacant title and Taylor beat Lacy in a final eliminator. However, for all the glass half full gloss it still beats Taylor’s reliance on an age old cliche to promote the fight. Continue reading ““Deep water and hope he can swim”. Yada, yada, yada; Jermain Taylor leans on cliche”

Calzaghe and Warren doth protest too much; the Stockholm syndrome

There isn’t a facet of Joe Calzaghe and former promoter Frank Warren’s current activity which couldn’t be labelled, ‘old ground’. Firstly, Calzaghe next tackles faded superstar Roy Jones, 39, in a bout so out of date, so out of fashion, its almost coming back in style. Secondly, Calzaghe’s split from Warren at the peak of his earning-power and ensuing court cases and law suits has echoes of Ricky Hatton’s 2005 departure. Thirdly, the use of media columns to launch critiques of the ethics and morals of the other party is all to familiar too. None of those stir me from a long yawn, but a fourth strand to their disagreement does. Continue reading “Calzaghe and Warren doth protest too much; the Stockholm syndrome”

Froch LIVE on ITV1! Loyalty prevails

Bright news from the much mocked Hennessy Sport today, as the stable of Froch, Witter and Barker signs up with terrestrial broadcaster ITV. News of a television deal has been doing the rounds all summer, but many observers suspected satellite newcomer Setanta was most likely to add them to their roster following the ill-tempered departure of Frank Warren’s Sports Network stable of fighters. A move Setanta continue to contest. Today’s news means the ever loyal, ever patient Carl Froch will fight Jean Pascal for the vacant WBC Super-Middleweight title on prime-time mainstream television. As a fan of Froch, I’m thrilled to bits.

Continue reading “Froch LIVE on ITV1! Loyalty prevails”

“Verbal contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on”

Voicing an opinion without concrete foundation on a legal case involving Frank Warren is rather like smothering your tongue in honey, sticking your head in a bees nest and trying to sing “Are you lonesome tonight”, bottom line is, you’re going to get stung. With that reality in mind, I’ll tip-toe through the news he has brought a case against departed superstar Joe Calzaghe for Breach of Contract.

Continue reading ““Verbal contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on””

Hope grows for Froch v Pascal

A quick note to connect up the stories and theories currently swirling around the Super-Middleweight division. Interesting to record Jean Pascal has withdrawn from the purse process for his proposed fight with Karoly Balzsay for the Interim WBO title – the belt Calzaghe is porbably keenest to remain custodian of. As mentioned in conversation on Steve Bunce’s boxing hour on Setanta, Pascal is the next most likely opponent for Carl Froch if the much maligned preference of Lou DiBella and HBO to match Jermain Taylor with Jeff Lacy comes to pass. Continue reading “Hope grows for Froch v Pascal”

Boxing: Broken men; Froch and Lacy

As children, we all pushed our noses to the shop windows, whether it be sweets, a BMX or a Scalectrix set. We’ve all steamed up the glass to try and get closer to our dream. Poor old Carl Froch must still feel like the child on the wrong side of the glass watching the rich kids tucking into mountains of Fruit Salads, Gobstoppers and Coconut mushrooms. Despite a long unbeaten record, status as the WBC number one contender and victories over peripheral players like Brian Magee, Robin Reid, Henry Porras and Matthew Barney he remains sweet less, friendless and excluded in the Super-Middleweight scene. The news Jeff Lacy laboured to another points victory last night will not have cheered the spirits of the confident puncher. Continue reading “Boxing: Broken men; Froch and Lacy”

Standing room only; the Calzaghe bandwagon

GlovesThe only thing quicker than Joe Calzaghe’s fists on Saturday night, aside from how quickly one could predict the outcome of the entire under card, was the alacrity post-fight pundits demonstrated hoisting the Welshmen from ‘over-protected’, ‘unfulfilled veteran’ to ‘all-time great’. I cannot extract myself entirely from the criticism of such unsavoury haste having maligned Calzaghe more than once for the injuries and timid matchmaking that wasted much of his youth. I was never guilty of saying he couldn’t fight though. Continue reading “Standing room only; the Calzaghe bandwagon”

Calzaghe Hungrier Than Ever

Calzaghe7Doubts about Calzaghe’s hunger for competition as he approaches his 36th birthday were at least partially dispelled today as he weighed in over a pound under the 168 pound limit. A limit the WBO and Ring champion has spent seven years complaining is very hard for him to squeeze his six foot frame into. Kessler, need to strip naked – save the tattoos – to make the limit having originally weighed 2 ounces over. Continue reading “Calzaghe Hungrier Than Ever”

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey; Froch still wants Calzaghe

FrochIt would be hard to conjure an argument against Carl Froch’s merits as a fighter. Hard-hitting, good selection of shots, fit, brave with quick hands. On the evidence this far, he’s a rounded contender and a stand-out challenger for the winner of Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler’s clash tomorrow night. But I can’t help thinking I’ve been hearing how good Froch is for an awfully long time.

Continue reading “Slowly, slowly catchy monkey; Froch still wants Calzaghe”

Best of Big Fight Live: Michael Watson, the forgotten gem

watsonA rare treat on ITV4 last night, Jim Rosenthal and Barry McGuigan hosted a wander down memory lane. Using footage from ITV’s impressive archives, action from Hagler v Hearns, Mark Kaylor, Benn, Eubank, Tyson and Hamed were inter-spersed with ‘talking head’ contributions from Colin Hart, John Rawling, Duke McKenzie, a very nervous Ron Lewis from the Times and most treasured of all, Reg Gutteridge. I miss Reg’s wisdom on the mic. However, for me, the biggest thrill was being reminded of Michael Watson’s excellence. Continue reading “Best of Big Fight Live: Michael Watson, the forgotten gem”

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑