The Original Raging Bull Comes to the UK

On October 14, 2008 by

Following the successful Evening with Mike Tyson the Academy now brings another amazing boxing legend to the north London Suburb, the legendary Jake La Motta.

The raging bull, Jake La Motta, is known worldwide. The fact that Martin Scorsese bothered to make a movie based on his feats, starring none other than Robert De Niro, speaks volumes of the tale of this young boxer from the Bronx. With Raging Bull recently named 11th in the top 100 films of all time by Empire magazine, Jake’s story has been affirmed as one loved by all.

Jake La Motta, now aged 86, will be appearing at The Academy in Loughton, Essex, on the 29th of November to share stories of his fights and answer questions from the general public. The chance to speak with this champion of champions with a career record of 83 wins (30 by way of knockout), 19 losses and 4 draws is the chance of a life time.

An audience with Jake La Motta will include a 3 course gourmet a la carte meal and champagne reception. It will be a night to remember for fans of the ever loved “Raging Bull.”

Have we seen the end of Ricky Hatton?

On October 13, 2008 by

This week brought a shock to boxing fans throughout the country, as legend of the sport, Ricky Hatton, announced that he intends to retire if he is defeated in the match against IBF light welterweight, Paul Malignaggi.

Hatton has been heavily criticised by some pundits this year, with several journalists speculating that he is now too old to perform to the best of his ability. The 30 year-old boxer has only fought once since losing for the first time in his career last year.

Although he was victorious in that fight, Hatton admitted that he did not put on a good performance for the fans. Last year’s defeat against Floyd Mayweather Jr. seems to have had an apparently larger than expected impact upon the form of the usually confident, cocky boxer. The manner of the defeat was particularly hard for Hatton to deal with, despite subsequent praise from the British press concerning the boxer’s courage.

Speaking about his future to the media this week, the boxer said that he could understand why some people believe he has shown “signs of wear and tear” since the loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and, in an uncharacteristically defeatist manner, Hatton stated that he would “probably” retire if he loses the fight against Malignaggi, scheduled for November.

However, defeat is the last thing on the boxer’s mind at the moment. Indeed, one of the biggest ironies about this story concerns the man who has been picked to help Hatton improve his game before the big fight. He recently chose Floyd Mayweather Sr. to help him reach the heights previously attained during his 45-match unbeaten run.

Hatton has already spoken publicly about the “new lease of life” that working with Mayweather has given him. After splitting with Billy Graham, the boxer’s long-term trainer, and taking on the father of the one man in the world strong enough to defeat him, Hatton believes that “a different Ricky” has started to emerge.

According to him, “a more subtle approach” is beginning to evolve in his game and he hopes that this will be evident during the upcoming fight in Las Vegas. Mayweather has a great reputation of improving the skills of top fighters, including Oscar de la Hoya, who was recently abandoned by the talented trainer as he answered Ricky Hatton’s calls for help.

Mayweather believes that a changed Hatton will reign victorious over Malignaggi, a triumph which would spur the boxer on to a subsequent fight against the winner of the match between Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao in early December. However, Malignaggi has only been defeated once in 26 professional matches, so Hatton must be careful when he enters the ring.

Whilst the news that retirement has entered Ricky Hatton’s mind has come as a nasty shock to some, it will not surprise others. Immediately after the boxer’s defeat against Mayweather Jr., boxing legend, Lennox Lewis, spoke of his belief that Hatton should retire from the sport: “..if it were me, unless I felt I could come back and actually beat Mayweather, then I would retire”. Overall, only Ricky Hatton can decide if, and when, he should retire from a sport he has excelled at for so many years.

Written by Charlotte Cook

Glad’s House ­Help with Boxing

On October 3, 2008 by

Hi Guys, I got this e-mail regarding possible donations for a street charity who also have a small boxing club. So if there’s anything you’d wish to donate then please read on.

Many young children, some as young as 3 or 4 years old, in Mombasa, Kenya, are so poor they live on the streets. Life for them is a bleak struggle for survival, where drugs, alcohol and crime are often the only means of escape. They desperately need help. Glad’s House is a young charity that aims to help these street children return to a ‘normal’ way of life.

We use sport as a way of helping these young people reintegrate back into society. We have been very successful using football through our partnership with Sky TV – go to the Soccer AM web site, under video’s look for Rocket in Africa parts 1, 2 & 3. This will show what can be done. Also please visit our web site –

We also have a small boxing club, but with a big following, unfortunately we have little if any boxing equipment or kit. We are desperately looking for second-hand or redundant boxing kit and equipment – can you help? Please email Cliff Ferguson – [email protected] – any equipment and/or kit will be welcomed.

Using sport as a catalyst, our aim is to get as many children as possible back into full time education. For those who can perhaps even places in higher education. For the less academic children or those too old to return to school, we aim to get them into apprenticeship schemes where they can learn a trade. All the older children we will assist in finding gainful employment.

Jack Johnson to Receive Pardon

On October 1, 2008 by

The US House of Representatives has petitioned President George W. Bush to grant legendary boxer, Jack Johnson, a posthumous pardon for racially motivated convictions held against him for almost eighty years.

The “Galveston Giant” was born in Texas in 1878 and is widely regarded as one of the most influential black sportsmen on Earth. He became the first black heavyweight boxing champion in 1908, beating Canadian Tommy Burns over fourteen rounds in Sydney, Australia. The fight was eventually stopped by the police. Johnson went on to beat six more challengers in 1909 alone, proving himself worthy of the sport’s most coveted title. The white community was incensed and the search for a ‘Great White Hope’ who could defeat Johnson was stepped up.

In 1910, the Galveston Giant defeated James Jeffries in a tense battle at a specially constructed arena in Reno, Nevada. Johnson was eventually proclaimed the winner by default, despite overwhelming animosity from the all-white crowd. The victory was seen as an affront to the sensibilities of the white community and race-riots erupted all over the United States. Johnson became a cultural icon almost overnight. His relentless fight to be recognised as a free man characterised the struggle of repressed black people all over the country.

Unfortunately, Jack Johnson was prosecuted for the transport of white women across state lines in 1913. The offence was deemed to be in contravention of established slave trafficking regulations and rules put in place to combat prostitution and lewd behaviour (commonly known as the Mann Act of 1910). Johnson handed himself over to the authorities in 1920 after spending seven years in France. He received a sentence of a year and a day in prison. Seventy-five years later, the conviction still stands.

US Congress representative, Peter King, told the BBC that Johnson was convicted on flimsy, or absent, evidence to humiliate him for standing up to his oppressors and for cavorting with white women: “He was a victim of the times. We need to recognise him for his groundbreaking contribution to the sport of boxing.” Johnson was killed in a car crash in 1946 but his boxing career has inspired many a young pugilist to aim for the stars. Muhammad Ali named him as one of the greatest boxers that the world has ever seen.

The resolution must pass through the senate before it reaches George W. Bush. Presidential candidate and Senior Senator of Arizona, John McCain, has also recommended that Jack Johnson be pardoned and is expected to forward a companion resolution to the senate. Ken Burns, the creator of a recent documentary about the Galveston Giant, had this to say about the first black heavyweight champion of the world: “he was swimming upstream against the tide of the universe and getting away with it. I think that’s an incredibly admirable and incredibly American thing. To me, he’s an utterly American hero.”

Jack Johnson paved the way for today’s black sport stars by proving that perseverance in the face of adversity is the only way to silence the cynics and be recognised as a true champion of humanity.

Written by Chris Illingworth

De La Hoya eyes Hatton fight

On by

Ricky Hatton could be set for a dream showdown against Oscar De La Hoya at Wembley stadium next year. Golden Boy Promotions have revealed that should both fighters come through their next bouts unscathed, the fight they describe as the ‘dream of many boxing fans’ could go ahead.

Of course, the fact they will emerge victorious in their next fights is far from certain. Hatton travels to Las Vegas next month to face the ever confident Paulie Malignaggi at the scene of his only career defeat, while De La Hoya faces Manny Pacquiao some two weeks later.

Like I have mentioned victory for Hatton and De Lay Hoya isn’t guaranteed. Both fighters face tough opponents with decent records and although the boxing odds are favouring them to come through it, any talk of their future fights should probably be put on hold for now.

However the chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer, has said that a fight at Wembley stadium between the two would be a ‘natural’ decision should everything go to plan. Such comments are bound to excite boxing fans around the world.

Schaefer went on to say that De La Hoya – 36 by the time any fight with Hatton comes about – will see how he feels after the Pacquiao contest. Should he feel ok, then the possibility of him having ’a couple of fights next year’ would be dramatically increased. Obviously, it now seems that one of his opponents next year will be The Hitman himself.

With both fighters coming to the end of their career, I can’t think of a better way for them to finish than a super-fight at Wembley stadium. These two legends of the sport would create a spectacle that every boxing fan in the world will be relishing.

Written by Thomas Rooney

Mosley K/O’s Mayorga with one second to spare!

On September 29, 2008 by

I used my Sky+ on Saturday night/Sunday morning to record the Ricardo Mayorga v Shane Mosley fight and talk about getting a shock when all was said and done and the fight was over.

I had Mayorga up on my card going into the final round and thought Mosley had to stop him. With just 18 seconds left it looked a foregone conclusion but then bam. A sickening combination from Mosley had Mayorga down and after stumbling to his feet and when the referee said to box on he was floored again with a straight left to the chin.

He was out and the referee waved the fight off with a staggering one second left of the fight. Mayorga laid flat on his back as David Mendoza ended the fight to see what off the best endings to a fight that I’ve ever seen. Jim Watt said it best on the commentary as he exclaimed that ‘it was like the ending to Rocky VII’.

However since the fight it has come out that Mosley was ahead of two of the judges cards, one of them had him up 107-102 going into the 12th and I’m sorry but that is just preposterous. Tony Crebs was the judge in question and I just don’t see how anyone could have Mosley ahead by that far. Another judge had him up by a round which I thought was too much but having him up by five is just shocking.

I saw ESPN too had Mosley up going into the 12th and I think it has a lot to do with people liking Shane Mosley. He is a likeable guy but he just didn’t box well at all on Saturday night and had it gone to the cards and he’d won then I’d of been very suspicious.

It was one of the greatest endings to a fight that I’ve ever seen but it could’ve been very different had Mayorga survived for one more second. It would’ve turned from a fine win for Mosley to a sour tasting UD decision (Mosley won the final round 10-8 with the knock-down and that would’ve put him up too on the third and final card).

Haye opponent fails to show

On September 17, 2008 by

David Haye is desperate to make a name for himself as a heavyweight boxer. Therefore he is bound to be frustrated that his hopes of securing a top-10 ranked opponent were thwarted when JD Chapman – who is ranked ninth by the WBA – failed to show for a media launch that was scheduled to preview their fight.

Haye revealed that Chapman and his team had all the money the wanted for the fight and all their flights paid for before deciding not to turn up in England. You can see why the American boxer and his team have been deemed ‘unprofessional’ can’t you?

Despite the no-show, Haye is confident that Chapman will be in the ring with him in November and that he will take his current frustrations ‘out on him then’. Should the fight eventually go ahead, Haye will be facing a man who has won all of his 29 fights with only three going the full distance. It should be an interesting and exciting fight, should it ever go ahead.

Haye’s manager Adam Booth decided not to mince his words quite as much as the fighter himself. He said that Chapman had been the third top-10 fighter to agree terms before pulling out at the last minute. Booth has accused the fighters of ‘running away’ from Haye after Chapman allegedly said he didn’t want to come to England ‘to get knocked out’.

So what does the future hold for David Haye and who will he be fighting on 15th November? Well, they are still holding out for JD Chapman who remains there preferred opponent. After all, it does seem strange that someone with such a good record is simply running scared of someone who has competed in just one heavyweight fight. I would be happy placing a boxing bet on Chapman stepping into the ring with Haye in November. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is just holding out for a bit more money – that is boxing’s nature after all.

Whatever happens, Haye says there is no doubt that he will be fighting a top-10 fighter on November 15th. Whether that is Chapman or not, he will be hoping that it is simply a stepping stone in his quest to fight Wladimir Klitschko to become the best heavyweight boxer in the world.

Written by Thomas Rooney – A Freelance Sports Journalist

Pacquiao to move up two weight classes to fight De La Hoya

On September 11, 2008 by

So finally the Manny v Oscar match-up is set and at 147lbs. I’m glad the fight is on and I reckon we might see Manny stun Oscar and beat him despite going up two weight classes.

All I know is that I am well looking forward to this fight.

Khan down and out for the count

On September 8, 2008 by

So after all the hype, the move to PPV very early in his career, Amir Khan finally stepped into the ring against someone half-decent and got put on the floor twice in 54 seconds to suffer his first defeat in the ring as a professional.

For £14.95 you could’ve watched another over hyped Brit get knocked on his backside and yet again the nation wept. Khan though isn’t as loved as one might think. A lot of people are glad that Breidis Prescott stopped him so emphatically. He has talked himself him to be the best in the division but yet he hadn’t fought anyone with a punch and his chin was still a huge question mark.

His move to PPV pissed off more than a few who enjoyed watching him come up on terrestrial television with ITV. Heck even if the fight had been on regular Sky Sports then those who moaned might not have moaned as loud. Most people know someone with Sky Sports but having to fork out a couple of hours wages as well? That just isn’t on for most.

Getting on to the fight then Khan never settled and was caught with an absolute peach of a right left hand combination. He never really recovered and was stopped just moments later after being floored again. The fight possibly lasted too long at 54 seconds because Khan was done after the first knock-down.

The question now is what next for the man from Bolton. He is clearly not World Class as he constantly professed and has not shown in any shape or form that he can take a punch on the chin. He is now a guy with a defeat on his resume and whose best victory has come in the form of an over the hill Graham Earl.

Suddenly Khan doesn’t look like the superstar he has claimed to be. I personally find it rather amusing that Khan ditched his old coach and loses his first fight with his new one who he said would help him on his defence.

Amir Khan will comeback of that there is little doubt but the public’s confidence in him has been well and truly shaken and that isn’t something that he can win back easily.

Mayweather Snr to train Ricky Hatton?

On September 4, 2008 by

It is being reported that Floyd Mayweather Snr is being lined up to train British boxer Ricky Hatton for his fight against Paulie Malignaggi on the 22nd November. This would be considered by some a very controversial choice as Floyd Sr’s son gave Hatton the only defeat of his career so far.

The Hitman has been searching for a new coach since splitting with long term trainer Billy Graham earlier this year. Now it seems that the only thing standing in the way of him linking up with Mayweather is Osca De La Hoya. The Hatton camp is waiting for the go ahead from De La Hoya who acts as Hatton’s promoter. The Mexican is also being trained by Floyd Snr for his December bout against Manny Pacquiao.

There are many that believe Floyd Snr isn’t the right man for Hatton at this stage of his career and one of them is his former trainer Billy Graham. Presumably still bitter about being sacked from his position, Graham said that it was ‘outrageous’ that Floyd Snr was being lined up for Hatton. He went on to say that ‘he is not the trainer for Ricky Hatton’.

Despite Graham’s views, it now does seem more than likely that Hatton will make an announcement about his new trainer as soon as De La Hoya gives the deal the green light. Speaking about De La Hoya, I am finding the relationship between him and Ricky Hatton increasingly bizarre. Not only is De La Hoya the promoter for Hatton, they are fighting similar opponents and now they may even be coached by the same man. All a bit cosy isn’t it? On top of this, it is being suggested that Hatton may have to train in America with Del La Hoya for a few weeks if the deal with Floyd Snr goes ahead as planned.

One thing I would place all my boxing betting money on is the fact that Floyd Snr would back his ability to get the best out of Ricky Hatton in this latter stage of his career. This is backed up by his comments when questioned about coaching the Hitman. He said that he could train the Manchester boxer ‘blindfolded’ and that Billy Graham is one of the ‘worst trainers’ he had ever seen. Interesting comments from Floyd Snr it has to be said. I am intrigued as to how Hatton would react to his style of training.

Written by Thomas Rooney – A Freelance Sports Journalist