Williams to lodge fight complaint

On June 3, 2008 by

I am a boxing fan. I love the sport and the big fights give the sort of buzz that big football matches do. However when you read stories like this then you really do have to wonder just how corrupt it is. I saw the fight on Daily Motion (Just type in Konstantin Airich on google and it is the second result) and really… Boxing is a great sport but this is a sad moment for it.

Lockett guns for Pavlik

On June 2, 2008 by

Gary Lockett steps up in class this Saturday night as he takes on Ring Champions Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City.

The fight for the WBO & WBC World Middleweight titles sees the undefeated brawler from Youngstown, Ohio, take on Lockett who is trained by Enzo Calzaghe. Lockett is the massive underdog for the fight and many pundits are already turning their attention towards a possible fight with Joe Calzaghe in November, should Pavlik come through this test.

Pavlik has dispatched of Jermain Taylor with ease in his last two fights to show off his credentials and is rightly a big favourite. Lockett has never taken on a World Class fight so it is unclear just how good he is. Pavlik is the new darling of the boxing world and a fight against Calzaghe, probably at Super Middleweight, would make fans and pundits drool all over the globe.

First he has to dispatch Lockett and I don’t see any other outcome but a won by KO for the man they call The Ghost – Kelly Pavlik.

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Goldenboy tunes up for Mayweather

On May 1, 2008 by

This weekend sees the Goldenboy Oscar De La Hoya (38-5) step into the ring once more as he tunes up for another bout with p4p Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The big question is whether he’ll take that bout too lightly. Steve Forbes (33-5) is no mug and could be dangerous for De La Hoya. Oscar as a glitzy 38-5 record and has only ever been beaten by top drawer fighters, Bernard Hopkins, Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley twice. So to beat the Goldenboy then you have to have some quality.

Forbes’ history isn’t bad but he has lost five times and the calibre of his opponents is nothing when you compare it to that of his rival. He is in the ring to help De La Hoya shake off any ring rust and tune him up for the big one later in the year.

Whilst the Mayweather/De La Hoya fight last year smashed all PPV records and was hyped up to an insane level, the fight itself was disappointing with the Goldenboy winning the early rounds behind his jab, before tiring in the late stages and allowing Mayweather to dictate the pace of the fight before winning a split decision.

A rematch will once again generate a lot of dollars and if De La Hoya wins then he’s finally able to say that he’s won a Superfight, but if Mayweather wins then it proves nothing. Until he stops ducking Miguel Cotto then fight fans will always question just how good he is. I have a sinking feeling though that any Mayweather/Cotto fight is a long way off, if indeed it ever happens at all.

Haye eyes Heavyweight title shot

On April 25, 2008 by

When David Haye took out Enzo Maccarinelli to unify the Cruiserweight division – he made it clear where his future lay – at heavyweight.

Most people thought that he would take a couple of tune up fights before taking on the big-wigs in the division. However what most failed to take into account was that this is David Haye that we are talking about, the man who doesn’t like taking the easy fights.

Today reports emerged that Haye was interested and in talks to fight Wladimir Klitschko. Talk about stepping up in weight and taking on the big fish right away. Klitschko is widely regarded as the best of a poor bunch in the division and currently holds the IBF, WBO, and IBO belts.

Whilst I would love to see David Haye take on and knock-out the best there is, I fear that it would be too quick for him. There are other fights out there whilst he gets his body used to carrying heavyweight weight.

Whatever happens with this proposed fight, you have to really fancy Haye to shake-up the heavyweight division over the next couple of years.

TalkBoxing.co.uk’s new p4p rankings

On April 24, 2008 by

Following the Spring bouts – it is time that TalkBoxing.co.uk put together their first ever p4p rankings

Dan Rafael over at ESPN.com is one of my favourite boxing writers. He published his latest p4p rankings and has inspired me to put mine together.

1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. – It is pretty hard to argue with Mayweather at #1. His main detractors will say that he’s ducking Miguel Cotto, but he’s yet to even look in major trouble during a fight. The Oscar De La Hoya rematch is all about the $$$ and not the fact of showing the world just how great he is. However to be knocked off #1 then we need to see something special of one of the other fighters.

2 – Joe Calzaghe – The Pride of Newbridge, Wales added The Ring Magazine’s Light Heavyweight belt to his WBA, WBC, WBO and Ring Magazine’s Super-Middleweight Titles. His performance against Bernard Hopkins wasn’t great, it was an ugly fight and Calzaghe got up off the canvas to secure a split decision. Next up looks like a fight with Roy Jones Jr. which might have some interest.

3 – Juan Manuel Marquez – Despite losing to Manny Pacquiao – TalkBoxing.co.uk gave the decision to the Mexican. He’s now 0-1-1 against the Filipino fighter but a third fight is what the world wants to see.

4 – Manny Pacquiao – Most pundits have him up at #2 or #3 but I’m just not as convinced. I thought he lost his last fight and by stepping up and fighting David Diaz next and avoiding Marquez, it just feels a bit disappointing. That third bout with Marquez is what the fans want to see and it wouldn’t be a stunner if a fourth fight followed it.

5 – Miguel Cotto – He took Alfonso Gomez apart in his last fight, honestly Gomez had no business even being in the same ring as him. Cotto is a classy fighter and is the man to give Floyd Mayweather Jr. a proper fight. However the p4p champ keeps ducking him and that is no fault of Cotto’s. Next up is Antonio Margarito on July 26 and that should be a competitive fight.

6 – Kelly Pavlik – I have to admit that this fighter is one I seriously like. He has power in both hands and is the best up and coming fighter out there. What disappoints is his lack of star names in his future, with Gary Lockett up next to be followed by possibly Marco Antonio Rubio. He is big enough that he can step up to Super-Middleweight and take on guys like Mikkel Kessler before possibly setting up a superfight with Joe Calzaghe in the new year.

7 – Israel Vazquez – All I need to say is fight Rafael Marquez in the fall – please.

8 – Rafael Marquez – Don’t bleat about bad decisions, just get in the ring and fight Vazquez again, it’s the only fight out there for you that we want to see!

9 – Shane Mosley – Despite losing twice of Ronald Winky Wright – Mosley is ahead on the p4p rankings for me. Wright hasn’t fought in nearly a year and shows no sign of doing so. Mosley fights Zeb Judah next month and a win there will set up a huge fight. Ricky Hatton at Light-Welterweight would be perfect.

10 – Ronald WrightWinky needs to find a fight and stop pricing himself out of big brawls. It has been so long that he might need to shake off some ring rust against a lesser opponent before taking one a big fight.

Fraudly disappoints on return

On April 21, 2008 by

Before the Joe Calzaghe v Bernard Hopkins clash on Saturday, another famous British boxer was on the comeback trail.

After fourteen months out of the ring following his knock-out loss to Michael Sprott, Audley Harrison (22-0-3) stepped back in the ring and laboured to a fifth round stoppage of his journeyman opponent.

Jason Barnett (10-0-7) was essentially a club fighter who was brought in to make Audley look good on his comeback, however things didn’t exactly go as planned.

Audley said he was working on the jab and was happy with the performance, fight fans though have seemingly run out of patience for the Olympic Champion. This is a guy that Audley should’ve destroyed, the fact that the moment he hit him with two telling body shots, Barnett went down and the fight was waved off said everything.

Harrison still believes that he has a shot at a World Heavyweight Title. He is helped that the division is at its weakest for nigh on fifty years, but people are questioning his hunger and desire to really work for the big prize.

The frustrating thing with Audley is that he all the raw tools needed to be a champion. When he turned professional he had everything ahead of him. The Setanta Sports team questioned whether his big contract with the BBC had dried up his hunger and it is a legitimate question.

Harrison has fought 25 times and his only impressive performances were against Danny Williams (when Williams had been a late replacement) and in the first round against Michael Sprott, when Harrison had him down in the first. He had complete control of the fight before getting lazy and sticking his chin out and getting knocked out with a peach of a shot. The fact that Harrison still thinks that it was a ‘lucky shot’ says everything about the man, making it very hard to like him.

He will get another shot because for one reason or another – the British public want to see him. They were talking about him possibly fighting David Haye down the line, but I’m sorry, Audley isn’t even in his league.

Harrison needs to stay busy and fight several fights before the end of the year. He has to completely rebuild his career and impress whilst winning. He is an incredibly lucky man that he has the fame, or should I say infamy, that means the public and the TV companies will still give him another shot.

If he does come back and gets around to winning a title then it’ll be quite a turnaround. However I do not see it and see his career as one almighty waste of talent.

45-0 Calzaghe digs deep for SD

On by

‘Super, Super Joe, Super, Super Joe, Super, Super Joe, Super Joe Calzaghe,’ reverbed around the Thomas & Mack Center after the Welshman retained his unbeaten record via split decision over former pound-for pound king Bernard Hopkins.

The undisputed Super Middleweight Champion got up off the canvas in the first to record a victory by decision to add the Ring magazine’s Light Heavyweight belt to his arsenal. The fight took place amid racist taunts after Hopkins told the watching the world that he ‘would never be beaten by a white boy’.

Calzahge brought in his undefeated record looking for recognition that he was one of the sports greats. Widely rated amongst the top three p4p fighters along with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the pride of Newbridge, Wales, still felt that the public were sceptical of his achievements.

Tom Jones sang the national anthem of Wales before R&B singer Ray Jay belted out the star spangled banner – praise must be heaped on the paying public for observing both anthems – something Ricky Hatton’s fans had failed to do in his last fight in America against Floyd Mayweather Jr. It had been said that this gave Mayweather extra motivation to beat Hatton but the patriotic Welsh crowd gave Hopkins nothing to work off.

With stars like Sly, Arnie, Michael J. Fox and Catherine Zeta Jones at ringside, you knew it was a big one. The site of sports stars Sugar Ray Leonard and ‘Pistol’ Pete Sampras sitting next to one another further gave gravitas to the occasion.

Calzaghe looked supremely confident as he entered the ring, lapping up the applause and feeling that it was his time to shine. Hopkins though came into the ring full of focus, he had been there, done it, got the t-shirt and ebayed his excess t-shirts.

The fight started with a bang, Calzaghe down with a straight right after 70 seconds. The welsh fighter exposing himself with a wide left hook as he stepped in only for Hopkins to counter with a flush shot on the bridge of his opponents nose. That 44-0 record looked in serious jeopardy as Hopkins was making Calzaghe fight his fight.

TalkBoxing.co.uk gave Hopkins the first three rounds, with the first being a 10-8 round. Calzaghe needed to find something or he was on his way to seeing defeat for the first time as a professional. In the fourth though he started he make adjustments, Hopkins’ danger shot was the straight right and Calzaghe started to see it coming and paw it off, he also upped the work rate, coming forward with late flurries, catching the judges’ eyes.

Suddenly the Welshman was fighting his fight, not looking great but out-working his opponent and the cards were getting closer all the time. Then is the tenth Hopkins was dropped to the floor with a low blow. There is no doubt it was low, but whether or not in was flush in the ding-dang doolies is another matter altogether. Hopkins took as much time as he could to recover, possibly hoping to get referee Joe Cortez to dock a point from Calzaghe, however he didn’t.

Hopkins came back to win the tenth in my eyes and going into round eleven TalkBoxing.co.uk had the fight 95-94 Calzaghe. The fight was all to play for but Hopkins was done, whether he thought he had the fight won or whether he had run out of steam is unclear, but it was the Welshman who ended stronger taking the final two rounds.

When the final bell rang, both fighters held their arms aloft. Calzaghe jumped on the ropes to the acclaim of his adoring fans. His manager Frank Warren came in and was all smiles, they thought they had the fight. Star MC Michael Buffer gave the judges decisions, 114-113 Hopkins, 115-112 Calzaghe and then 116-111 ‘to the winner, by split decision, from Newbridge Wales, Joe Calzaghe’ and the crowd roared their approval.

TalkBoxing.co.uk had it 115-112 Calzaghe.

Calzaghe had been the busier fighter and out hustled Hopkins to victory. The loser thought he’d done enough to win, his shots were cleaner but he just didn’t work hard enough to take the close rounds. Vegas judges are notoriously swayed by boxers who come forward and penalise those who stand back.

Joe Calzaghe now has maybe one or two fights left in his career. Roy Jones Jnr and Kelly Pavlik are the two names being mentioned, Jones who is another former p4p king got his career by beating Felix Trinidad, Pavlik is the young up and coming brawler from Youngstown, Ohio, who twice beat Jermain Taylor, stopping him brutally in the first fight and outworking him for a unanimous decision in the rematch.

Jones Jnr. seems to be the preferred option in the Calzaghe camp, with November 15 being heavily mooted as a potential date. The main question left is where the fight will be, with Vegas, the Millennium Stadium and Wembley all jostling for the fight.

It may not of been pretty, it may have been a dirty fight, Joe Cortez may of let Hopkins get away with holding all night, but the record books say Joe Calzaghe def. Bernard Hopkins by Split Decision and that is all that matters when all is said and done.

Super, Super Joe Calzaghe indeed…