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 WBC 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 attempts to construct another run at the championship he lost to a grateful Frank Bruno in 1995. One of them will be reside with you.

Last night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel he dropped a clear decision to peripheral contender Timur Ibragimov, a loss that spells the end of any championship hopes the now 45-year-old may have held.

Continue reading “Flying over the cuckoo’s nest for the last time? Oliver McCall defeated”

Nowhere to Hide, not that old chestnut

I’m sure the revelation Delia Smith, who famously coined the phrase “lets be having you” during an impromptu half-time plea to the insipid Norwich City football crowd, is looking to sell her stake in the club has nothing to do with the impending return of boxing maverick Herbie Hide to the region, but Hennessey Sports’ decision to run with the “Lets Be Having You” show title does provide coincidental segway between the two events.  Continue reading “Nowhere to Hide, not that old chestnut”

Boxing: Lawrence Clay-Bey, the reluctant Olympian

I read with interest Ron Borges piece on the forgotten heavyweights of the 1980’s; the famously lost generation of Witherspoon, Tubbs, Tucker, Thomas, Weaver and Tate in Boxing Monthly last week. It was fascinating copy and provided an effective summary of the period as well as interesting insight into how this potentially gilded era dissolved in a sea of wine, women and song.

Only Larry Holmes emerged from the years between Ali’s loss to Spinks in ’78 and the arrival of Mike Tyson in the mid-eighties with his potential fulfilled. Whenever I read about those out of shape and misguided contenders I’m always reminded of the otherwise forgotten Lawrence Clay-Bey.

A fighter of pedigree, Clay-Bey entered the pro-ranks long after that lost band of heavyweight brothers of course and his story is one of indifference toward prizefighting rather than the destructive pursuits of those who’s footsteps he followed, but the sense of the unfulfilled is a connecting thread between the two.

Continue reading “Boxing: Lawrence Clay-Bey, the reluctant Olympian”

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