Throughout Anthony Joshua emergence over the past three years; in every pre-fight press conference, in every post fight interview, the chill of Tyson Fury’s often ethereal presence has persisted. Unspoken, particularly in the period in which the Mancunian candidate seemed emotionally furthest from a return, the legend of the enigmatic Gypsy King has grown exponentially and offered silent sentry to the conflicting rhythms of hoopla and humility being sold in his absence.
By Hector T. Morgan
Whilst Cardiff’s Principality Stadium lacks the salty history of Madison Square Garden or the indoor sunglasses of Las Vegas it is fast becoming a mecca for big time boxing. On March 31st it will provide a vociferous and rousing back drop to Anthony Joshua’s defence of his status as the consensus number one in the division. The potential unification of three of the four major belts, against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, should enhance his stature as the sport’s most recognisable active fighter and position him for even greater reward and contractual control of contests with Deontay Wilder and the galvanised Tyson Fury.
A fight between unbeaten champions, or title holders to pedantic, is a rare occurrence and in the era in which the World Boxing Organisation is more widely accepted, it represents a penultimate step to the first time all four belts have been held by one fighter. The small matter of Wilder’s World Boxing Council belt representing the last step on Joshua’s path to undisputed status…..until someone mentions he still needs to overcome Fury of course. Continue reading “Golden boy Joshua’s key victories in his march to unification”
Anthony ‘AJ’ Joshua had been busy preparing for a mandatory defence of his IBF and WBA heavyweight titles against Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev but that fight was scrapped just two weeks before fight night in Wales. An untimely injury to the visiting challenger has forced ‘AJ’ to alter his preparations for a last-minute replacement, in the form of French Cameroonian puncher, Carlos Takam. Continue reading “Joshua set for 20th straight stoppage success against Takam”
My affection for fighters is often forged on the most obscure and obtuse of foundations and the Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev is a recent addition to this rarefied collection. Perhaps it is merely his under dog status that creates the appeal, I’m often drawn to the man with the odds against him. However, most of all I think it was probably just the suit and the look he gave the interpreter when he relayed to the waiting press that Pulev would find the fight “terrifying”. Continue reading “Three brothers and the Golden Apple”
George Foreman once said; “Boxing was the sport to which all others aspire.” Oh how the sport’s followers love to trot that line out. The average fight fan yearns for boxing to meet Foreman’s validation. On occasion it does, too often it is merely wistful nostalgia.
Tyson Fury’s ascension to the throne in Germany rekindled that debate once more as boxing was pushed to the front of the news agenda. Continue reading “Boxing: Can we really expect ‘vanilla’ role models from boxing?”
True, there were those who hoped, a few stifled an instinctive inclination and one or two were willing to believe, rarely publicly for fear of the subsequent denouement of their opinion, but on the whole the consensus among the great and good of the boxing reportage was – ‘Fury is out of his depth.’ It was the obvious patter. Continue reading “Boxing: Tyson Fury and the impossible search for context”
Three years ago the audience of BoxingWriter.co.uk plumped for young Tyson Fury in a poll which asked the question; Who will one of the Klitschko’s lose to first? Time moved slowly in between and it seems a life time ago in retrospect; both Povetkin and Thompson were, at the time, the Klitschko’s next two opponents. Continue reading “Boxing: Tyson Fury will topple a Klitschko first – BoxingWriter Reader’s Vote”
Fifty-five thousand people gathered at the weekend to watch Wladimir Klitschko render the once proud Cruiserweight Champion of the World, Jean Marc-Mormeck, even more ineffective than those with some foresight believed he’d prove when the fight was signed. Size is not the only currency in the heavyweight division, it is important to remember Jess Willard, at 6ft 6 inches and 235 pounds, was pounded to defeat by Jack Dempsey and later Primo Carnera who weighed 270 pounds and was of comparably lofty perspective when Max Baer inflicted a similar drubbing. At nearly 40 years of age, inactive for 15 months and struggling to stretch the tape even to six feet, Mormeck was however, spectacularly unqualified for the adventure he signed up for. Continue reading “Boxing: In form and active; the path less trodden to the Klitschkos”
As a boxing traditionalist, the Klitschko brothers prove something of a troublesome enigma to me. Resplendent though they are at the top of the heavyweight mountain, their individual and collective resumes feature nothing but a procession of mediocrity – some of whom the physically gifted Ukrainians have conspired to lose to. But I cannot always count defeats against them, as an advocate of risk taking, defeats are the inevitable byproduct are they not? Risk? What risk? You see, for every argument I make against them, there is objective counsel to the contrary. News Sam Peter may replace the perpetually injured Alexander Povetkin in the Wladimir Klitschko’s September 11th defence yet more evidence to pour over. Do we laugh or cry, empathise or chastise? Continue reading “Boxing: Laugh or cry, matchmaking with the Klitschkos”
Despite David Haye’s protestations to the contrary the prospect of this unlikely heavyweight prizefight remains the talking point of the day in the dungeons of the internet’s boxing forums. Audley Harrison has, afterall, already sacrificed the European title in the belief that he will secure the all-British world heavyweight title fight he and television network Sky Sports appear to crave. Debuting his guest column, John Cascells reflects on the fight; why it may prove to be more challenging than the cynics presume and why he is sure it will make for must-see television. Continue reading “Boxing: Harrison v Haye – why it should happen”
Following an unfortunate series of injury induced withdrawals of late, notably Mayweather v Marquez, Kotelnik v Khan, Haye v Wladimir Klitschko, fans will be reluctant to presume David Haye’s mooted September 12th clash with 37 year old Vitali Klitschko is actually going to happen until the two men are staring across at each other with just a referee between them. However, in the interests of positivity – and the sport needs a pick me up following the sad loss of Gatti, Arguello and Caldwell in the past week – I’m willing to celebrate the news David Haye finally has his chance to back up his words with actions. Continue reading “Careful what you wish for; David Haye gets his appointment with destiny”
This award, which has laid dormant since Shane Mosley’s richly earned January residence as the BoxingWriter.co.uk fighter of the month, is the one fighters really clamour – forget Ring championships or PPV figures, the award they’re all looking for is this one. Selected unscientifically by a panel of one, the award seeks to recognise the eye-catching result or performance of the month. There is usually a splash of non-conformity about the choice and a sprinkling of sentiment over the significance of the bout or bouts the winner has participated in. Continue reading “Boxingwriter.co.uk Fighter of the Month; June 09”
Since the disappointment of David Haye’s withdrawal from this year’s biggest heavyweight title fight and a potential record breaking event to boot it has been widely assumed Ruslan Chagaev would prove to be the natural replacement for the former Cruiserweight king. Similarly shorter than Wladimir, with a reliance on speed and movement the WBA champion is a far more obvious replacement, physically at least, than Nikolay Valuev, the near 7ft Russian who offers a polar opposite opponent than the one the younger Klitschko has spent many weeks preparing for. Bu this thesis overlooks one obvious factor, the 6ft Uzbekistan fighter is a left-hander. Continue reading “The view from portside; will Klitschko really pick a southpaw?”
I’m not sure of the exact wording of the urban myth, the one which declares you are never more than a few feet from a rat, whether it be London, New York or the sport of boxing, like most of these myths there is, somewhere, an origin in fact. David Haye’s withdrawal from the biggest heavyweight fight since Lewis v Tyson because of an, as yet, unqualified and unquantified injury has caused a typically hysterical reaction among boxing fans, only Mohammad Al Fayed does conspiracy theories as well as boxing fans, and the hunt for the rat in the story is on. UPDATE: Adam Booth claims Haye is hopeful of a re-arranged July date. Source: The Sun Continue reading “You’re never more than 8ft from a rat: Haye pulls”
Those desperate to rekindle interest in the talent bereaved heavyweight division will hope the next three weekends herald the emergence of a new consensus contender for the division’s sibling kings. Since the departure of Lennox Lewis, and the three year retirement of the more rugged Klitschko, the division has waited for either a charismatic young puncher to appear or for the more fluid, but less stout Klitschko to stamp his authority on the troubled weight class. Fans gravitated toward Samuel Peter for a while, then had their heads turned by Alexander Povetkin swift ascension, fell in line behind David Haye’s march from Cruiserweight or, for the visually impaired who fail to see the molasses around his waist, fell in love with Cristobal Arreola in their quest to find an antidote to the soporific Ukrainians.
Regular visitors will be accustomed to the acerbic analysis of Andrew Mullinder, our resident correspondent in Moscow. I’m sure Andrew has all the usual creature comforts we enjoy in the West but I prefer to adapt the usual visual triggers employed by third rate cold war thrillers to conjure an image of Andrew huddled over an ageing type writer, all fingerless gloves, one bar fires and cheap vodka, manically venting on the issues of the day from his down trodden apartment block in some mafia run ghetto. Why? Well it just makes sense of his withering contributions, and the latest, a deconstruction of the most artificially created ring moniker in boxing must have come after a slurp or two of the strong stuff. Continue reading “Guest: Wladimir doth protest too much; Dr Steel Hammer indeed”
David Haye is the toast of the boxing media presently thanks to his shrewdly selected but nevertheless impressive debut at heavyweight, sinking Tomasz Bonin in a round, title triumphs at Cruiserweight and latterly his destruction of the seasoned Monte Barrett. He has subsequently emerged as a loquacious rival for Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko to embrace or avoid – depending on the prevalent press release at the time of reading.
However, there was a time when his confidence took him into territory from which his right hand couldn’t provide escape. He took on Carl ‘The Cat’ Thompson in 2004 before he was ready and came unstuck. It was one of the most enthralling, absorbing and punishing contests I’ve had the privilege to cover from ringside.
Now I’m not a regular over at Eastside Boxing, but young James Slater is a dedicated servant to the site and now and then puts together some interesting thoughts. A recent interview with Lamon Brewster – another of my favoured fighters – provided further evidence of just how far the big Irishman has come. The former two time world-title belt holder is eager to move from Michael Sprott to the current darling of the British fight scene. Continue reading “Lamon Brewster wants Marty Rogan next!”
It is hard to evaluate Audley Harrison either as a fighter or an individual. I don’t know the man, I shook hands with him once and I worked for his website for a while but I don’t really know him. As a fighter he has failed to live up to his claims or supposed potential. Not even the most vehement Audley supporter – and there are precious few of those remaining – could claim otherwise. Now, at the grand old age of 37, with a humiliating loss to Martin Rogan in his last appearance in front of a booing crowd, Harrison has sunk to digging up camp stories from 2006 in a bid to tempt David Haye into a marking-time fight. Aside from saying “Big Issue” on a street corner or entering the Big Brother house I don’t believe the once favourite son of British Boxing can fall further. Continue reading “Haye, Apollo Creed, Lennox, Rocky and Audley; the truth”
I read with interest Ron Borges piece on the forgotten heavyweights of the 1980’s, the lost generation of Witherspoon, Tubbs, Tucker, Thomas, Weaver, Tate et al in Boxing Monthly last week. It was fascinating copy and provide an effective summary and analysis of what went wrong. Only Larry Holmes would emerge from the years between Ali’s loss to Spinks and the arrival of Mike Tyson with his potential fulfilled. Whenever I read about those out of shape contenders I’m always reminded of the otherwise easy to forget Lawrence Clay-Bey. Continue reading “Boxing: Lawrence Clay-Bey, the reluctant Olympian”
The hunt for a top-10 opponent, as demanded by his contract with British broadcaster Setanta, is proving harder than expected for aspiring puncher, promoter and profiteer David Haye. As reported previously, a ‘who was’ of heavyweight contenders has been name-checked, from Hasim Rahman, James Toney, Andrew Golota and Oleg Maskaev to speculative challenges from Matt Skelton, Tony Thompson, Eddie Chambers and 75 year-old Ray Mercer. A new name has been added to the roster of potential foes; Kevin Johnson. According to Dan Rafael at ESPN at least. Continue reading “Dan Rafael slips Haye a low-blow; Johnson lands Haye shot?”