Happy Friday Eve!
How is everyone?
Good I hope.
Found out today that a manager at work has thought my name was Jason for the past 3 months!
“Jason, can you close that window there”
Clearly I’m that memorable.
My colleagues naturally were in stitches. Proceeding to call me it for the remainder of the day. It’s going to stick… I can feel it..
Did she mistake me for a young Jason Orange? I’ll take that….
I’ve been intending to write about Sugar Ray Robinson for a few weeks. But this week Johnny Greaves was brought to my attention by a good friend of mine. Felt it only fitting if I gave him a mention too in the same blog.
Before we get on to that, let’s discuss this weekend’s upcoming action. No Haye v Fury fight, (which has now been rescheduled for 8th February.)
Adonis “Superman” Stevenson v Tavoris Cloud WBC Light Middleweight title fight in Montreal. Winner faces mandatory Tony Bellew later this year.
Stevenson (22 Fights, 21 Wins, 18 KO’s, 1 Loss) with home advantage after his brutal 1st KO of Chad Dawson earlier this year.
Sponsored by Night Nurse, Horlicks and Dreams……
This was Stevenson’s 8th straight win since his defeat to Darnell Boone 3 yrs ago. Stevenson has knocked out every one of his last 8 opponents. Monster puncher.
Ex IBF World Champion Cloud (25 fights, 24 Wins, 19 KO’s, 1 Loss) who impressively held the belt for 4 and a half years from 2008-2013. Lost earlier this year to “The Executioner” B Hop, in a unanimous decision. We have two fighters who can clearly “bang”. I hope this is the fight Garcia v Matthyse should have been, with a stoppage within 5-6 rounds. If I was betting money on this, I’d probably shade Cloud. He’s faced better opposition in his career to date. You don’t go the distance with B Hop if you can’t fight.
Chess Master B Hop still a modern day tactician…
B Hop is a future Hall of Famer, so no shame in losing to him.
The man who is Mr Hall of Fame, The Greatest to ever lace up his gloves. No, not Rocky Marciano, Not even Muhammed Ali…
But Sugar Ray Robinson….
“He boxed as though he were playing the violin.”
– Sportswriter Barney Nagler
“To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will.”
– Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson – Greatest Of All Time….
Born Walker Smith on 3rd May 1921 in Georgia. He moved to Harlem, New York with his mother upon his parents separating.
It was Harlem, where he first went to a boxing club. Aged 14 he tried to enter an U16 competition. In order to make himself eligible he borrowed a friend Ray Robinson’s AAU membership card. His boxing style was described as “sweet as sugar” by future manager George Gainsford. The name Sugar Ray Robinson was born.
Robinson made his debut in October 1940, at Lightweight, winning via a 7th round KO. He went on to fight 5 more times that year, That’s unheard of these days. Even for debutants.
Robinson’s prominent rivalry with Jake LaMotta, they faced each other 6 times, Robinson winning 5, losing only 1. Robinson had a 16lb weight disadvantage against LaMotta, this made his victories even more impressive. He was 40-0 until defeated by LaMotta.
“I fought Sugar Ray so often, I almost got diabetes,”
– Jake LaMotta
Probably a few of you reading this thinking; “Wow.. sure.. impressive, but how is he better than Ali?”
108 Wins by KO
“The king, the master, my idol”
– Muhammed Ali
He won 90 fights and drew 2 after losing to LaMotta.
Robinson was as flamboyant as he was talented. Famous for his sharp outfits, Pink Flamingo Cadillac he drove around Harlem. Aptly called by him “The Hope Diamond of Harlem”
Only a brother could pull off that car and outfit.. Salute..
He inspired a generation of young Black Americans, finding their feet in the world. Dealing with vicious racial oppression, trying to fit in. This was way before Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam war. He was the shepherd to the sheep. Muhammed Ali, Floyd Mayweather Sr and Roger Mayweather all regard him as the greatest ever. The latter two, even better than their son/nephew Floyd. I’m certain Floyd is desperate to finish his career undefeated so he can be mentioned in the same breath as Sugar Ray.
Sugar Ray took his entourage, a prototype for what is now commonplace among celebrity athletes, on his travels abroad. It included his trainer, golf pro, nutritionist, manicurist, driver, and, of course, Roger the barber.
Robinson was one of the first African Americans to establish himself as a star outside sports. He was an integral part of the New York social scene in the 1940s and 1950s.His glamorous restaurant, Sugar Ray’s, hosted stars such as Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Nat “King” Cole, Joe Louis, and Lena Horne among others.
When I finally get my time machine working… I’m going back to the ’50’s to hang out with the Ratpack
Robinson was described as the “perfect” boxer. Flawless. Only came unstuck against heavier opponents and when father time took it’s toll.
Tall and rangy for a welterweight, he used his physical gifts to his advantage. Excellent footwork allowed him to position himself to launch two-fisted attacks from multiple angles. His stiff jab frequently morphed into a lead left hook that was delivered with exceptional torque. His overhand right, although often launched from distance, covered that distance rapidly and frequently with concussive impact. Threw blistering combinations with bad intentions and deployed a legendary repertoire of punches that he threw with almost balletic fluidity.
“Robinson could deliver a knockout blow going backward”
– Bert Sugar
The word legend is often overused in this day and age. We can safely say, Sugar Ray was one in every sense of the word. In and out of the ring. I could write blogs for the rest of my days on him. Fascinating character.
Which moves us on to the final point of my blog. The other G.O.A.T of boxing. Albeit, not as world renown as Sugar Ray. Ladies and Gentleman, may I present… Mr Johnny Greaves, the greatest journeyman of all time.
Greaves from East Ham, 34 yrs old. 3 wins, 96 losses. Has his final fight this weekend at York Hall. Before he finally, 90 fights too late retires.
I’m more speechless about that than I am about Sugar Ray…
No I’m not…
But seriously, a friend, relative, partner, somebody, ANYBODY! Should long ago pulled him to one side and said;
“Johnny, this isn’t working, let’s go paint some fences”
How this guy hasn’t suffered from brain damage is unbelievable. You never want to see anyone badly hurt, disabled due to the sport. You think of the impact it has on their families, friends.
I remember watching a 24/7 episode some years ago of a Pacquiao fight. There was a guy who spars with everyone. Latino guy, seemed really normal. Was never going to make it as a fighter. He was simply flown all over the place by Roach and battered for 12-15 rounds daily. They showed his wife and daughter, I genuinely felt for them!
Had to search high and low for info on “our Johnny”. So I will love you and leave you with the attached article, written earlier this year by British Boxers.co.uk
My daughter has finally settled after a good 4 hours of solid crying for no reason, so I’m off to grab some grub before she wakes up for feeding.
Tune in next week for build up to the “Carpe Diem” bill on October 5th. Quigg title shot, Joshua debut and Luke Campbell will have his next outing.
Jason… I mean Paul.
Currently nursing one of my worst hangovers for a few years. This isn’t me being a pussy, well maybe! At a school friends wedding all day yesterday. Great day, known him 18 yrs! Fuck that makes me feel old. My worst hangovers tend to be after a wedding.. Note to self…
Anyway… David Haye. Well well. Where do I start? Another high profile fight he’s pulled out of, has he been hanging out with Kell Brook? Jokes aside, clearly he can’t fight with that cut, nasty one. See below.
I’ve seen those fake scars in fancy dress shops…
Haye has been sparring with some seriously big hitters; Deontay Wilder, Pole Mariusz Wach and 6ft 9in Richard Towers.
“Adam wants the environment in the sparring to be way more intense, way more dangerous than it is when I actually get in the fight,” Haye said.
“They’ve hit me with some big, big shots. I managed to stay on my feet, but it has been harder than any other training camp I’ve had.”
Double edged sword this for me. It’s great as it really pushes you. You are being pressed, harassed and forced to trade with these guys. Downside, exactly what has happened. Makes you susceptible to cuts, or a stress fracture etc.
Fury is naturally gutted, and responded by abusing Haye on Twitter. Calling him a “shit house”. Come on Tyson, you need to work on your insults my man. We’re not in Year 5!
I hope this fight is merely postponed until December say. My fear is, it won’t happen. Fury will move on to probably have a tune up fight in the interim. With one eye on Wlad Klitschko V Povetkin on 5th October, Fury can expect a title shot early 2014.
Fury: Disappointed we won’t hear him sing next week. Or is that just me?
Haye? Well he’s in serious limbo for me. Does he retire AGAIN? Who is there to fight? An explosive win over Fury would of firmly had him banging on the door for a Klitschko fight.
Scott Quigg’s title fight against Salinas has now been added to the “Carpe Diem” bill on 5th October at the o2. Alongside Luke Campbell. Should be a great bill, capped off with Anthony Joshua’s pro debut.
Saunders edged Ryder in what I’m hearing was a terrific fight for the Lonsdale belt. Yet to watch this one, so can’t comment a great deal.
Derry Mathews scored another impressive stoppage, to cap a superb 2013 for him. Following the KO of Tommy Coyle, who was winning the fight by a canter. He stopped troll hunter, ex footballer Curtis Woodhouse last night.
Mathews must be knocking on the door for a world title shot within his next 2 fights. He’s fought Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla twice (win & draw), Gavin Rees twice (draw & loss). Lightweight division in UK is red hot currently. I’d like to see him in Ricky Burns when he’s recovered from his jaw injury and given Beltran a deserved rematch. Add Kevin Mitchell to the mix and we have some exciting potential match ups. I genuinely don’t think Burns would want anything to do with Mathews. Especially based on Burns’ last two outings.
On the same card, the famous Smith boxing family. 4 boys, Paul, Stephen, Liam and Callum. Remarkable really to have one family with not with one boxing, but 4. Rooney family had 3/4 boys from memory. Wayne obviously made it. His other brother was playing League 1 football I recall. Ended up going to MLS.
Liam Smith captured the British Light Middleweight title, with a unanimous win over Erick “The Eagle” Ochieng. This win created history as it completed a hat-trick of British Lonsdale Champions in the Smith family. Joining Paul and Stephen, 1st time in the 104 year history of the Lonsdale belt. Truly astounding. No pressure Callum!
Capped a great week for the Smith boys, they were honoured in Liverpool for services to Boxing. It’s not a matter of if, but when the 1st of them is crowned World Champion. Liam is definitely my favourite.
Pride of Liverpool… Soon to be UK?
I’ll leave you with one final thing. A fighter who I feel is definitely “one to watch”. Mikey Garcia. (32, 32 Wins – 27 KOs).
Mexican/American Featherweight. Beat Danny Garcia as an amateur. Younger brother of Robert Garcia. former World Champion. Robert is a highly respected trainer Stateside. With Maidana, Rios, Donaire in his stable. Previously trained “The Ghost” Kelly Pavlik.
Mikey is 25, and he KO’s people for fun. Patient fighter, he picks his shots well. Doesn’t pounce. Definitely tipping him to unify this division after his next fight against Roman Martinez for WBO title. Don’t be surprised to see his name appear in P4P top 10 in the not to distant future.
Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday evening.
I’m off to go find my balls and dignity.
Cold nights drawing in. Can only mean 2 things, Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor…
ANY reality TV is the bane of my life, don’t get me started on TOWIE or any of those ghastly programmes with cast thicker than pig shit…
Not for me Bruno… Not for me…
I had a glance at forthcoming calendar for Autumn/Winter, Q4 if you’re in work mode still. Barring the box office contests of Haye v Fury, Froch v Groves (latter sold out in under 20 mins). We have an absolute FEAST of fights, which I’m now going to list along with a brief synopsis of them shortly. Some say Boxing is a dying, fans departing in their droves to MMA. Boxing is very much on the ascendency in the UK and across the pond in US. Which for me is a testament to the tireless work, and match making of Goldenboy and now Matchroom flying the flag in the UK. We have a lot to thank Eddie Hearn for, best thing to happen to British boxing for 20 yrs. he’s a guy who polarises opinion, I know people who think he’s a “Fat Mark Wright”, “wide boy” promoter. I think he’s a breath of fresh air, I really do. Young guy, early 30’s, someone I feel I can relate to despite his obvious wealth. But he’s making big fights, managed Froch through Super 6, signed Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell. He is THE promoter on these shores, has the best stable of fighters; Groves, Barker, Burns, Brook, Selby to name a handful. We have moved away from having a sole big promoter in Frank Warren, which can be only healthy for the sport in our country.
Hearn is making Matchroom the British Goldenboy, and despite criticism that he only signs established stars, notably poached from Warren! I for one am fascinated to watch him develop and turn Campbell and Joshua in to World Champions. They have the best platform in Skysports to do so. Hearn is halfway through his deal he signed with Sky. Despite a few average cards, 1 of Darren Barker’s at Wembley sticks in the memory, he’s delivered. Like any job, you have certain targets to hit, he has gone over and beyond.
So… Let’s the discuss these forthcoming fights, some “Juicy Lucy’s”
Juicy Lucy, was a phrase used by a festively plump Northern chap I worked with called Paul, many moons ago. He defined a Juicy Lucy as the best sales leads available. I no longer work there, nor in sales. Universal phrase that can be applied in many aspects of life… i know you are thinking now about using it… Go ahead, don’t be shy!
Let’s get back to the good stuff…
Ryder v Saunders (21/09)
Well matched pair fighting this Saturday on Box Nation, should be a cracker!
Woodhouse v Mathews (21/09)
Ex footballer Curtis Woodhouse, the troll hunter. Famously turned up at a twitter trolls street, threatening to knock on every door until he found him. He’s fighting Derry Mathews, who scored the best KO I’ve seen this year against Tommy Coyle in July. They headline the action in Liverpool this Saturday.
Haye v Fury (28/09)
I’m looking forward to this one, I’ve been disappointed by the lack of trash talking from Haye on this. Maybe he is being reserved after Chisora scrap in Germany. Maybe he is saving it for the actual fight. I will give you my verdict on how I expect this one to go in my blog next week. In the meantime, check out the below link to whet your appetite.
Chief support on the above card, I’ll discuss this in next weeks blog also.
Stevenson v Cloud (28/09)
Chad Dawson was steamrolled by big hitting Stevenson, who’s experiencing an Indian Summer in his career. Winner faces mandatory Tony Bellew late November/early December.
Joshua Debut (05/10)
Guy is going to be a monster, never have I seen a natural Heavyweight so cut! So much so that I actually tweeted that to him and he RT’d it. I’ve made it… #YouHaveNeverMadeIt. Olympic Gold Medallist 2012. We need to be patient with him and his progress. He won’t ever share a ring with Haye unfortunately.
Marquez v Bradley (10/05)
Bradley had a low key win over Provodnikov in March. Prior to that he beat Pacquiao on a very suspect decision. Marquez, also beat Pacquiao in stellar style with a brutal KO last year.
Will Bradley be licking the canvas like Pacquaio?
Frampton v Parodi (19/10)
Frampton’s delayed return to the ring due to injury. His 1st outing since leaving Matchroom for rival Frank Warren. Now co-promoted with newly founded Cyclone Promotions, headed up by manager Barry McGuigan, trained by his son Shane. I’m going to be honest, I know NOTHING about Parodi, did have a brief look online. He’s probably a Parody account of a boxer.
Hopkins v Murat (26/10)
Peter Pan of boxing Bernard Hopkins faces Murat. Murat, German/Armenian descent has been in with Cleverly and lost.
Brook v Senchenko (26/10)
After finally getting the Carson Jones monkey off his back. Brook who’s had a torrid 12 mths with injury, 2 postponements of his IBF title shot at Alexander. Faces former World Champion Senchenko, who famously ended Hatton’s career for the 2nd time last year. Brook needs to go out and blast this guy in style, make people really sit up, take notice. I had high hopes for him in the red hot Welter division. But he needs to excite me with a KO. Still mandatory for IBF, so if Khan beats Alexander in December, that will be PPV next year.
Pacquiao v Rios (23/11)
Pacquiao’s return to the ring after his defeat to Marquez. Faces starlet Brandon Rios, trained by Robert Garcia. Who I rate highly as an upcoming coach. How hungry is Pacquiao to box? Not very in my eyes, one eye on his political career, this could be another banana skin for him.
Froch v Groves (23/11)
This one takes me back to when I 1st fell in love with boxing as a boy. The days of the Super Middleweight domestic dustups of early/mid 90’s. I fancied Groves to beat Froch in this, until I got wind of the unconfirmed rumours that he has split with long term trainer, tactical genius, Adam Booth. AKA The Dark Lord. No idea if it’s true. But unless Groves has Roger Mayweather or Freddie Roach in his corner. I can see Froch beating him by stoppage or points.
Parted ways? The big loser could be Groves before career defining fight.
Broner v Maidana (Dec TBC)
Khan v Alexander (Dec TBC)
Barker v Sturm (Nov/Dec TBC)
Bellew v Stevenson/Cloud (Dec TBC)
No doubt there are others I’ve missed, but for me the above are the fights that matter. There will be others announced in the interim I’m certain. But I for one, can not remember an end to the year like it ever. I love my football, but I will be spending a lot of my time over the coming months enjoying the above contests.
So is Boxing dead? NO CHANCE!
Tune in next week for a Surgeon esq dissection of the Haye v Fury fight & card.
I’m off for a shish….
So hear I am, 10.32pm, Sunday, had about 4hrs sleep since Saturday lunchtime, used to sleep deprivation now with my 5 week old daughter. 1st of many blogs hopefully from myself, close friends and relatives on the “Sport of Kings”.
Where to start, last night… master class from Money May, am I surprised?
Did I expect Canelo to win at least ONE round?
i think the most startling thing is the fact that Floyd is actually getting quicker as he ages?! Read that again, quicker as he ages?? Defies all rational, physical expectations of the elite athlete, Hopkins a freak of nature, turns 49 next year and still competing against people half his age, but Floyd is undefeated and getting better every fight.
i’ll admit that I did fancy Canelo to “shock the world” by stopping him early, blasting Floyd with his power, natural middleweight frame and speed. But I feared that the longer the fight went, more the wiley fox would slip punches and counter punch his way to a comfortable points victory.
To the neutral, fair weather boxing fan who gets sucked in to the marquee fights, they will claim no surprise in the end result. Not to suck myself off, because 1) eating my cock doesn’t appeal to me, 2) 20 yrs of watching boxing, 13 of those being a Floyd fan, I’d like to think I can hold my own I with hardcore peers, the manner in which he made Canelo look ordinary, was frightening.
It felt like you we’re watching a Year 11, beating a Year 7, found myself and my mate both wincing at each other as each clean counter punch was landed, to no response. Canelo was hitting air, he looked wild, was throwing punch drunk punches that we never going to land.
Which made the majority decision look even more of a farce, how on earth CJ Ross came to that decision, was farcical. She gave Bradley the points victory over Pacquiao on her scorecard, I don’t want to mention sex in this, but she has no right judging a wet t shirt contest, let alone a PPV monster fight in Sin City.
So where now for Canelo?
I caught his post fight presser, was humble as you’d expect. But he was heartbroken, mentally, physically, he had no answers to questions let alone an answer to “how do you beat Mayweather?” quantum physic equation.
Canelo v Cotto? Mate of mine suggested Canelo moving up to 160, fighting Martinez, then cleaning up that division, he’d still have too much for Barker/Murray to be in Canelo’s postcode, let alone sharing a ring.
He needs to fight again ASAP, Feb/March latest for me.
He has 4 fights left on his Showtime deal, so I think he will fight Garcia next, who looked very slick in his contest with big hitting Matthysse. I had a Garcia stoppage before the fight, since he dismantled Khan, I’ve watched all of his last fights, that boy is a talent, seriously stepped up last night, put himself in the shop window to “win the lottery” as Floyd aptly put post fight, which did make me laugh so much, a bit of piss came out.
(So I see Garcia, Alexander, Rios, Khan as his next opponents. Which would put him on 49-0 if as expected he wins them all, I can see him having one more fight to walk away at 50-0, Broner? Would love that, shut that guy up, great talent, but he’s a complete cock, he’s done fuck all so far and needs to pipe down. Maidana will give him a good test in December. But I doubt Floyd would want that, big gamble as his final fight, and they have a bromance going which would put to bed any chance of that.
So that’s me, 1st one done, share my thoughts with you. If you haven’t fell asleep, appreciate you staying with me through a sea of Birds Eye Waffle.
Feel free to comment, share with who ever
One love xx