Froch/Groves fall out.. Bellew..Rock The Box II… by Paul Ready

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Much has been written, read and said on Froch/Groves fall out.

Should we have a rematch?

Will Froch bottle it?

Will pressure from Promoter/HBO push Froch into a Ward, Golovkin & Chavez Jnr rematch?

Who will promote Groves?

Froch will be looking at the end now and securing his family’s financial future.
Groves, career defining next few moves.

Loads of questions and they will all remain unanswered I would imagine until the dust settles in the New Year.

I’m still in shock about the whole thing, after 5 days on.
More at Froch and the way he has behaved since.
Hero to villain in one night and undone any fan base he had accumulated outside of Nottingham.

It is going to be an interesting outcome.
I’m more bothered about Groves and that he gets himself a rematch or World Title shot against a Stieglitz or Bika next at the very least.

But my fear is he could be shafted.

Shafted in a male prison cell at 11pm sense.

Not pretty, and completely undeserved.

If I was Groves, I would head over to America with his family. Go with Paddy Fitzpatrick, train at Wildcard, Mayweather’s Gym, Virgil Hunter’s gym, Garcia’s Gym.

Use this time to build on his growing profile.

Groves could spar with Ward, Dawson, Hopkins, Stevenson, the experience will be invaluable.

He has plenty of options on the best route to take, and I have no doubt in my mind he will take his time and decide what is best for him.

Moving on to this weekend, we have Tony Bellew’s 2nd WBC Light-Heavyweight world title shot in Quebec, Canada against Adonis “Superman” Stevenson.

Stevenson v Bellew

Stevenson has had a terrific 2013, from shocking the boxing world with a 1st round TKO of Chad Dawson in the summer, to a 7th round KO of Tavoris Cloud in September.

Bellew, is another mandatory challenger and one who will pose a different threat to Stevenson.

The Bomber has a 4 inch height advantage and a 2 inch reach over the Superman, which could prove to be decisive.
I’m expecting Bellew to use these to his advantage from the outset, keeping Stevenson at bay with the jab, not allowing him to get on the inside and chop away at the body.

Bellew needs to keep a cool head and not get sucked in to trading on the inside with the hard hitting Canadian Southpaw, it could be an early night otherwise.

Let’s not get carried away, this is a mountain of a match up for Bellew. Stevenson is chasing “Fighter of the Year” award, and knocks people out for fun.

But at 36, how much more does he have in the tank?

When you think of fighters 36 yrs old+; Hopkins and Mayweather spring to mind, you have to adapt your boxing style as you age.
Stevenson simply won’t be able to continue as a high pressure, power puncher indefinitely.
Father time will catch up with him sooner or later so I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Bellew does the business out there.

He will need to show much more than he has in the two Isaac Chilemba fights, but I like his new found attitude and as a fellow Brit he gets my full support.

Closer to home, Saturday night sees a Frank Warren promotions card at the Copperbox in London “Rock The Box II”
Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora against Ondrej Pala for the The WBO and Vacant WBA International Heavyweight Championship.

Chisora seems to have chilled out a fair bit since the Haye/Klitschko matches, but I won’t speak to soon as I can see him in with David Price next year, and fully expect that to be ramped up!

In addition we have highly rated, undefeated Super Middleweight Frank Buglioni v Stepan Horvath for The Vacant WBO European Super Middleweight Title and finally Bradley Skeete v Colin Lynes for The English Welterweight Championship.

As a recent subscriber, I’ve got allot of time for BoxNation. I know it has had its critics being an additional £10 a month to your Sky/Virgin bill, but it offers great value for money. It is the place to be for the big American fights and as a boxing fan; you can’t avoid to miss those. Broner v Maidana in the next few weeks I’m really looking forward.

Right

Short and sweet.

I’m off to eat.

Catch you guys next week

@PaulReady
@EliteBoxingBlog

Groves robbed… My passionate two pence worth… By Paul Ready

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Disgust. Outrage. Farce. Joke
These are the thoughts/feelings I had and still have when I reflect on Saturday night’s main event.
Carl Froch “stopped” George Groves in round 9 of a Super Middle title match up.
It was the worst referee decision I have ever seen.
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Froch v Groves:
George Groves walked out 1st to his usual entrance music “Spitfire by The Prodigy and a chorus of boos. Carl Froch opted for Oasis, much to the delight of the packed crowd at the Phones4U arena in Manchester.
Groves had an ice cold demeanour about him, his eyes soulless, his body language emotionless. He was a man on a mission.
When Froch entered the ring, Groves stood in the centre and stared at him with a look that shouted “I’m going to hurt you”.
Froch and his entourage looked back in a sense of disbelief and a sense of mockery. “Who the did this kid think he is?” you could hear them say to one another.
The confidence displayed by Groves, the challenger, I have never witnessed in my 20+ years of watching boxing. He filled me with even more confidence that he was going to cause an upset, my gut was telling me the next 35 minutes was going to be explosive.
When both fighters’ trainers had stepped between the ropes and took their respective positions in the corner below, Froch and Groves came to the centre of the ring, took instructions from Howard Foster. They touched gloves, Groves paced backwards 2 steps, max, Froch, went right to his corner.
You could see Groves was chomping at the bit before the bell rang, if it was possible to have a false start in boxing, he would of done so.
All the pre fight trash talking, goading was over. The ring was where their differences would be settled.
The bell rang and we were off.
Groves flew Froch like a dog chasing a ball in a field.
The hand speed and movement of Groves was so telling from the outset. His left glove hung in mid air like a Cobra ironically, waiting to snap and hiss in Froch’s face.
Froch looked out of date; like a cane row hairstyle or baggy jeans. Groves was outboxing him with ease, he looked the real deal.
With moments to spare in the 1st round, Groves caught Froch with a left then a huge overhand right.
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Froch went crashing to the canvas like a falling tree in a forest.
The crowd fell silent.
You could of heard a pin drop.
I had my mouth wide open in disbelief, my girlfriend thought I’d been given bad news.
Disbelief that he had floored Froch. The famous granite chin, the man who couldn’t be knocked out was smashed to pieces by a St George sledgehammer.
Groves stepped back and looked over him.
Froch managed to get to his feet somehow, he was in a world of shit.
His corner praying for that bell, promoter Eddie Hearn looked flabbergasted.
The fight could of been stopped right there and then.
If Groves would of landed that punch 30 seconds before, the fight would of finished then. No question.
What proceeded to unfold was a pure boxing lesson from Groves. Foster could of stopped the fight in the first 5 rounds at numerous stages.
Any doubt about whether George Groves had the ability and temperament to mix it at World Level were vaporised. He was and is the real deal, the future of the Super Middleweight division was here in front of our very eyes.
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It was up there for me as one of the most one sided fights I have ever seen. Up there with Calzaghe v Lacy, Benn v McClelland and Froch v Bute.
Surely there could be only one winner?
Froch, credit to him came back in to the fight, he refused to give up which is an admirable trait. You don’t participate in 11 World Title fights if you are a mug. So you have to respect that and who he has been in with.
But he looked finished, this appeared to be one fight too far. The Kessler wars must of taken a lot out of him.
The 6th round is one of the best I have ever witnessed, edge of your seat, my pulse was racing. It could of ended at any moment.
From rounds5- 7 it was a pure scrap. Who could survive, who wanted it enough.
Would the experience of Froch be enough to help him weather the storm?
Round 6 Groves was like a man possessed, I thought Froch was going to go at any stage. It reminded me of Maidana battering Khan in the closing stages, surely he was going to fall again or Foster was going to stop the fight.
The referee seemed to give Froch the benefit of the doubt on various occasions when he was in serious trouble. Something he failed to do for Groves.
In round 9, Groves appeared to be weary, but he was landing the bigger shots, his cheeks beginning to swell. Froch looked like a sand blasted tomato.
Froch landed a combo and a right that Groves didn’t respond to. It was the first time he looked in trouble.
Foster grabbed Groves in what resembled a wrestling style head lock, which Froch used to his advantage to land some body shots.
The fight was stopped.
I was in utter shock and disbelief.
“What the FUCK??” I shouted at my TV.
Froch wheeled away. Groves crestfallen and in tears. Paddy Fitzpatrick in his maiden outing as Groves’ coach, went postal at the referee. The crowd who at the start of the fight were baying and baiting Groves, had been converted to fully fledged members of Team St GG. They mercilessy booed and hissed at the clear injustice that was unfolding.
Promoter Eddie Hearn crept in to the ring sheepishly like husband late from the pub in to his bedroom. He knew Froch had got away with murder here. This was the OJ Simpson verdict given in the ring.
Groves should of been given longer to try to recover. It was the first time he was in real trouble. Yes he probably would of been knocked down by Froch 10 seconds longer.
He had earnt the opportunity to take a standing 8 count based purely on his performance up until then.
Groves earnt the grace of 8-20 seconds to clear his head and step forward to finish Froch once and for all.
He wasn’t due to a premature stoppage by Foster.
He was robbed in what should of been his crowning moment and pinnacle of his career.
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It will be remembered for all the wrong reasons that stoppage, when we should be celebrating not only a new Super Middleweight World Champion, but the birth of the next British superstar.
What I felt was fitting was the reception and applause Groves received from the 20,000 crowd. He bowed to each corner like an actor on stage at the end of a West End show.
I was gutted for Groves, I have followed his career from the start. I felt physically sick for Groves and couldn’t sleep for reciting the fight and the finish. Trying to understand why Foster intervened so soon.
What pissed me off the most was how disrespectful Froch spoke about Groves live on air.
He had nicked a win from the jaws of defeat. Froch’s career was in tatters, if Groves would of knocked him out or won on points there was simply no way back for him. Personally, I think his credibility is shot to shit after how he spoke.
He was luckier than Ricky Burns was against Beltran. But at least Burns’ acknowledged that. Froch was rude, egotisical and self indulgent. It left a very sour taste in the mouth and made the decision even worse.
Eddie Hearn spoke afterwards candidly about Froch, suggesting than even he feels his career is over and questioned whether Froch would and should carry on. I can see Froch shunning a rematch, dreams of beating Andre Ward in a rematch are shattered. Ward would take the fight tomorrow, but Froch would be foolish to even consider that. I can see him having a farewell fight in front of his home crowd in Nottingham against someone who wouldn’t pose a major threat.
If we do have a rematch we all crave, Groves blasts him in 4 rounds max. Groves has said if he knew what was going to transpire after he flattened Froch in the 1st, he would of gone in for the kill and finished him there and then.
Groves now despite that crushing defeat is going to be the most in demand free agent in World Boxing. He had a 3 fight deal with Matchroom which expired once the fight ended on Saturday, Matchroom would be sectioned if they didn’t attempt to renegotiate a long term deal. But Groves will have Goldenboy Promotions on the phone at some stage if he hasn’t already, he is hot property and now is the time for him to capitalise on his new found fame.
Make no mistake, George Groves will be World Champion. You will struggle to find anyone in the world at 168lbs who will want to share the ring with him. He could even move up to Light Heavy in years to come, the world truly is his oyster.
@PaulReady
@EliteBoxingBlog

Froch v Groves Undercard – By Paul Ready

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In light of the various changes of fighters due to injury, I wanted to put a together an impromptu post covering the undercard supporting the main event.

On a personal level, I am disappointed to not see Callum Smith, Anthony Joshua and now Martin Murray on Saturday.
We had 2 of the biggest domestic prospects and a World level boxer in Murray, big shame.
Let’s get stuck in…

Quigg v Silva

Chief support for the night will be WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Scott Quigg (26-0: 19 KO’s) against Diego Silva (29-2: 15 KO’s).

Argentinean Silva, has lost to Fernando Montiel (who has shared the ring with Nonito Donaire) and was defeated by Diego Hernandez in 2007.

Silva last year was the 1st man to beat highly rated Alex De Oliveria, knocking him out in the 11th round.

For me, Quigg has to get rid of Silva early like a ropey one night stand on a Sunday morning. With the eyes of the world watching, notably the American public as it will be shown on abc cable network.

It will provide some much needed exposure to the Bury native Quigg, he needs to wow the audience, at home and abroad.

By getting an impressive stoppage, it will put Quigg in line for a potential unification fight in 2014 with Kiko Martinez, the IBF holder. A possible super fight with Nonito Donaire in America further down the line, this could catapult him in to the stratosphere. With Carl Frampton’s camp chasing the same fights, Quigg has the advantage of being a title holder and an ability to “pull rank” over The Jackal with opponents.

The fight we all want to see in the UK is Quigg v Frampton, I have wrote many words and filled numerous column inches on that match up, so I won’t bore you much more.

But… it has to and WILL happen.

Crolla v Foster

Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (love that name by the way) faces Stephen Foster Jr for the WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title.

In an all Mancunian affair, Crolla (26-4: 9 KO’s) makes a 1st defence of the recently acquired title he won from defeating Gavin Rees in the summer. Foster (31-4: 18 KO’s) has lost to Gary Buckland recently and Derry Mathews some 7 years ago.

You would have to favour Crolla in this as he is also being shown on abc in the US. It is an important fight for him to end 2013on a high, as he moves towards a possible World Title match up next year.

“If I keep winning then it will happen because Eddie can deliver big fights,” said Crolla. “At the minute I’m not on (WBO champion) Ricky Burns’ radar, he’s looking at fighting Ray Beltran again or maybe Terence Crawford, and I’ve got unfinished business with Gethin that can hopefully be resolved around the same time. I’ve got to work my way up to that, but if I do I don’t see why I cannot challenge Ricky or we could go down another route, that’s all up to Eddie, I’m just going to keep concentrating on winning.”

An exciting 2014 looms for Crolla if he can look good in this match up. Not renowned for his punching power, Crolla needs to convincingly outbox Foster on the night.

“It’s nice to be the Inter-Continental champion; it gives you a World ranking and puts you in the shop window for some big fights, so I have to defend the title well. In the Lightweight division there are domestic fights that can almost serve as World title eliminators or propel you up the World rankings”

We have Middleweight Andy Lee (30-2: 21 KO’s) making his debut on English soil having fought predominately in America and Belfast.
Lee is piting his wits against a yet unnamed opponent.

In addition we have Rocky Fielding, Luke Campbell, Kal Yafai, Stephen Smith and Jamie McDonnell to complete our 10 course PPV Michelin Star Meal.

A feast for fight fans, that we will all devour and saviour every mouthful. But you buy the PPV for the main event and chief support. But whilst we may not have every fighter we hoped for, with some notable absentees, it still promises to be an explosive night.

Tune in next week for my review of the card and the main event.

Have a great weekend.

Cheers

Paul

@PaulReady
@EliteBoxingBlog

Ringside.. Froch/Groves, Ward, Pacquiao.. by Paul Ready

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How are we doing?

I had an absolute touch last week; I ended up winning a competition to be in the crowd at SkySports show Ringside on Friday. They had the legendary Larry Holmes on for a Special featurette on his career. I was sat on the second bench behind him and was a pleasure being in his company and hearing some great stories from him.

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He felt somewhat aggrieved that people constantly quiz him on Ali, Tyson who was the greatest, when Holmes feels that he was the best ever. Certainly a Hall of Fame fighter, but when he beat former sparring partner Ali, Ali was 38 and was beginning to show signs of Parkinson’s Disease.

Not to dilute Holmes’ achievements as he has mixed it with the very best, one fight that never happened that would have been a barnstormer would have been Holmes v Foreman.

Holmes had some choice words to describe Lennox Lewis, he felt Lewis was overrated, and gave him 4 out of 10. Which surprised me, Lewis boxed in a great era in the 90’s. That won’t make the final cut they show on the telly nor will the colourful language.

That is one thing that does irritate me on fight night, commentators apologising at 10pm/3am for the corner swearing? This isn’t Tots TV, it’s two men going to war.

Holmes was at Prizefighter the night before to see Anthony Joshua fight and feels he has the lot to go all the way.

Great endorsement and Joshua certainly boxed like he wanted to impress Holmes, getting behind the jab well, and landed some accurate combos.

From a personal perspective, being at Ringside, it was good to have a chat with Johnny Nelson, top guy and mentioned myself as an inspiring blogger/writer, he gave me some sound advice which was well received and provided some food for thought.

I did throw in a curve ball question about Groves and Booth to Nelson, does he know why they really split. But he wouldn’t say, believes it will come out at some point, which I do believe myself after the Froch v Groves fight.

The fight itself Groves and Froch feels like he has absolutely flown round. Seems like yesterday it was announced.

Lots of build up this week on TV, Tactics, Behind the Ropes with each fighter, Final Press Conference, Weigh In to name a few so we will all be more than ready for the fight come Saturday.

Froch v Groves

Let’s go right in to my prediction and how I feel the fight will pan out.

I fancy Groves to shock the world here, and let me tell you why.

Carl Froch, the warrior, man who has boxed everyone and anyone in front of him is one dimensional.

He comes forward, forward, and forward like pavement roller. It is an effective and flawless tactic against a Kessler, Bute. You put him toe to toe with any boxer in the world; bar Golovkin, he wins.

Against a smarter, more intelligent boxer, Andre Ward for example, he struggles.

Now I’m not for one second comparing Groves to Ward, but Groves is mobile, intelligent and has one of the best jabs in the division (although Ward would beg to differ!) Groves has fantastic head movement and I genuinely feel Groves’ stylistically is all wrong for Froch.

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If Groves tries to trade in the middle of the ring with Froch, he gets knocked out. The Cobra at some point will tag Groves and we will see how well Saint GG’s chin is. Groves has never swam in these waters before, Froch is a huge step up in class.

So for me, if Froch hasn’t knocked him out in 6 rounds, Groves will outbox him and win on points.

I feel Froch is too “gung ho” and can’t box on the outside, struggles to move out of the way of punches quick enough.

It makes for a great spectacle, two contrasting styles collide together like a thunder cloud.

In addition to the main event we have a stacked card that contains; Scott Quigg, Martin Murray, Anthony Joshua, Anthony Crolla, Scott Cardle to name a few.

I’m personally gutted that Super Middleweight prospect Callum Smith has had to pull out due to injury; he is definitely one of my favourite domestic fighters currently and has a huge future.

Smith v Groves in the future anyone?

Ward v Rodriguez

In Ontario, California Saturday just gone, we had the long awaited return of Andre Ward against undefeated Edwin Rodriguez.

Ward won a unanimous points victory against Rodriguez who was 2lbs overweight at the weigh in. In doing so, Rodriguez surrendered part of his purse and in reality Ward was fighting a Light Heavyweight based on the weight of his opponent.

In a scrappy first few rounds that drew boos, the pair of them wrestled, grappled in what was more reminiscent of a WWE encounter than a boxing match. The ref even docked 2 points a-piece for un-sportsman like conduct, which ensured the official had his 2 minutes in the lime light.

Ward, like any elite fighter demonstrated that “ring rust” is a pure myth. He proceeded to school Rodriguez in the art of boxing. It was a lesson pure and simple, master v pupil, Miyagi v Daniel Son.

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Ward delivered some spectacular jabs that were as powerful as a hook, the weight behind the punch that was expelled from his legs was sublime. Rodriguez’ neck was snapped back on numerous occasions, I was half expecting him to leave at the end in a foam neck brace with whiplash and his team on the phone to an injury lawyer.

In Round 6, 27-4 was the number of punches landed by Ward, compared to those landed by Rodriguez, according to CompuBox. Ward displayed an incredible offence in this fight, people often take for granted and pigeon hole him as a pure counter puncher. He was very much the aggressor in this, taking out 14 months of frustration on his opponent.

Round 10 he landed a huge left hook that Rodriguez still wouldn’t have seen on the replay it was so quick.

Overall it was an impressive return from Ward and showed that he is untouchable in the Super Middleweight division.

Next he should face Golovkin or move up to Light Heavy again and face big punching Kovalev.

Kovalev you will recall had Nathan Cleverly for breakfast in the summer.

Ward finds himself in a similar situation to Mayweather with the lack of credible opponents rapidly evaporating in front of our eyes.

Who he is next matched with will be interesting indeed.

In addition to Froch v Groves this Saturday, we have a feast of a fight in Macau, China in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the return of Manny Pacquiao who faces punching juggernaut Brandon Rios.

Pacquiao v Rios

Manny Pacquiao is one of my favourite fighters of the past 10 yrs, I have loved the journey he has embarked on, it has been a real rollercoaster.

From beating De Le Hoya, putting Hatton’s career to sleep, battered Cotto and Margarito, The Pac Man has been in some wars and thoroughly entertained.

Pacquiao’s last fight was the brutal knock out by arch nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez at the 4th attempt.

My fear in this fight is that Pacquiao is facing the hungriest fighter to date.

We will see how hungry he still is. Philippine politics won’t have a law that can save him this weekend.

In light of the recent tragedy in the Phillipines, you would expect Pacquiao will dedicate a victory in their honour.

Rios is monster. Loves a scrap and is a sadistic fucker who thrives on getting hit, the taste of his own blood only makes him smile and crave more punishment.

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“Boxing for me is better than sex” I heard him say. Brandon, you either aren’t doing it right or you genuinely are that much of a nutter.

What I like about Rios and his training camp is the camaraderie they have at the Robert Garcia gym in Oxnard, California.

Those of you who have ever watched any of Ellie Sechbach’s videos, you will see that Rios’ is a proper lad, loves a piss take and is firmly the joker of the gym.

Garcia created a tight knit environment within the stable, that boasts some impressive names, Nonito Donaire, Marcus Maidana and of course Garcia’s brother Mikey. A stable to rival any worldwide, notably Wild Card in LA.

Could this be Rios’ time? Absolutely.

If Manny isn’t on his game, he will get folded up like an origami swan by one of Rios’ rib shattering body shots.

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But if I’m honest, the speed and boxing ability for Pacquiao should be enough to gain a late stoppage in the 9th/10th.

I feel that Rios will stand in the centre of the ring and just keep coming forward, like a young Froch.

Bam Bam will throw those big uppercuts and bodyshots that we have come accustom to with him. It will certainly test Pacquiao’s resolve and heart, something I believe he will struggle to exceed Rios in. Pacquiao needs to match and supersede Rios’ work-rate.

But don’t take your eyes off that one for a second, blink and you will miss it.

Ok.

That’s it from me.

I’m off to catch up on Boardwalk Empire.

Laters

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog

Mikey impressive.. Prizefighter.. Donaire & Ward By Paul Ready

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Evening,

We are entering the sexy season for boxing now, fights coming thick and fast.

F*ck the festive season for now, if I see another John Lewis, M&S, Coca Cola advert, my TV is going out the window.

Far too early for me!

Although, I’m still staring at this picture and so are you….

Admit it…

It’s ok…take your time…

Let’s crack on with a look at the past weekends exploits in the ring.

Garcia v Martinez

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Mikey Garcia stopped Rocky Martinez in the 8th round in Corpus Christi, Texas on Saturday night.

In doing so, Garcia won the WBO Junior Lightweight title and was the 1st man to knockdown & stop Puerto Rican Martinez in his career. After suffering a knockdown from a flash punch on the button in the 2nd, this served as a shot of espresso to Garcia.

From then on we witnessed the usual high pressure, aggressive streak that we have come to expect from the Californian.

The body shot that crumpled Martinez in the 8th like a screwed up ball of paper, was for me better than Callum Smith’s recent body shot KO. Mikey caught him with an absolute a peach of a left hook to the lower abdomen, you knew the fight was over, no question, Martinez gasped for breath like he was drowning.

Garcia was stripped of his featherweight title in June, when he failed to make weight for a defence against Juan Manuel Lopez. This provided redemption to him and a clear indicator that he should be fighting at a bigger weight.

Next up could be Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0: 16 KO’s), which would provide a stern test for him. Outside of that match up, there aren’t many fights in this division to whet the appetite.

What Garcia now needs to do is capture the imagination of the rapidly growing fan base he has acquired. Lomachenko v Garcia, for example would be a cracker, they would smash the shit out of each other for however long it lasted. But I would like to see that grow over a few years in to a PPV fight. In reality I can’t imagine Top Rank being so bold making it next year, expect that in 2015/16.

Personally, I’d like to see Garcia move up further, to Lightweight and compete there. Alongside the Brit Pack; Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Crolla, Gavin Rees, Luke Campbell, fellow American Terence Crawford (who has been announced as Burn’s WBO mandatory) and Miguel Vasquez.

Donaire v Darchinyan

Nonito Donaire (32-2: 21 KO’s) stopped Vic Darchinyan (39-6: 28 KO’s) on the same card in Texas. Darchinyan wanted to avenge the loss that cost him the IBF flyweight title previously. He was floored twice in the eighth round in a hard earned victory that perhaps, one could argue Darchinyan was leading up until that point. I had Darchinyan leading until then.

Donaire connected on more than half of his power punches. He had surgery on his right shoulder after his most recent fight, a loss by decision to Guillermo Rigondeaux.

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“Vic hit me hard and it felt like he broke my jaw earlier in the fight and all I was thinking was, `I’m going to lose,” Donaire said. “But I continued fighting and found an opportunity to land a great shot.”

This is what great fighters do, in the face of adversity they manage to pull something out of the bag to win when on the night, they don’t deserve to it.

For Donaire, he will want to avenge the Rigondeaux defeat naturally next, but I would like to see him face Carl Frampton.

That would be a mouth watering match up; they have both exchanged a few tweets to the tune of meeting in the ring at some point. It would prove to be a big step up in class for Frampton and one that he would have a genuine opportunity of winning.

This isn’t the same Donaire from years gone by, the Donaire who beat Manuel Vargas in 2010.

The Flash looks slightly off pace, probably down to the surgery in the summer, less mobile, an ideal time for Frampton to put himself in the shop window and face a top P4P Super Bantamweight.

Forget Quigg for now or a Martinez rematch, regardless of the IBF title.

Cyclone Promotions, make the call!!

Boxing this week, we have a treat on Thursday night from York Hall with Heavyweight Prizefighter. UK v USA, Ryder Cup style. Michael Sprott the main man for the UK and Hall of Famer James Toney for the Americans.

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Always an enjoyable watch these, Toney is an absolute legend in the sport, 3 weight world champion, fought at Middle right through to Heavyweight, avoided by Eubank and Benn in the 90’s, beaten Holyfield, lost to Roy Jones Jr.

My concern for him is at 45 yrs of age, after 88 Fights, “Lights Out” has taken far too many punches, listening to him speak on Ringside was tough viewing to understand the slurred speech. You never want to see anyone hurt in the sport, but he needs to think about calling it a day sooner rather than later, if not for him, for the family.

But Boxing is a like a drug addiction, it’s hard to resist and walk away. Hence why we see so many fighters having comebacks.

Toney was & still is a big character in and outside of the ring, I remember seeing a clip of him on Jonathan Ross via satellite sat next to Mickey Rourke in the mid 90’s. Benn and Eubank were on the show and the trash talking from Toney was superb, Benn bit and had a pipe back, but deep down, he knew his place.

When I first watched this, I actually though it was Kat from Red Dwarf sat there not Benn, absolute spit of him!

I fancy Toney or Sprott to do the business and win the whole thing.

On the same card we have Anthony Joshua’s 3rd outing against Croatian Hrvoje Kisicek, in-between the Semi Finals of the contest, looking forward to the next step forward for The Don.

Moving on to the weekend, we have the long awaited return of P4P number 2 in the World;

Andre “Son of God” Ward, THE man in the 168lb division.

I look at Ward with a small sense of envy, same school year as me, same height, weight.

One of us is a (possible) future P4P Boxing Writer, the other an undefeated World Champion who has faced the very best before he hits 30.

Showtime Championship Boxing: Andre Ward vs Sakio Bika - November 27, 2010

Could have been me….

Maybe not.

Ward who relinquished the WBC title in May, over an inability to face a mandatory challenger. SOG cited a shoulder injury, but couldn’t evidence it when challenged by the board, all got very messy.

He faces undefeated Edwin Rodriguez (24-0: 16 KO’s) in Ontario, California on Saturday night. It is an opportunity for Ward to exorcise some demons, and shake off ring rust, having not fought for 14 mths since a 10th round TKO of Chad Dawson.

Ward as we know is an efficient counter puncher, somewhat dull to the mainstream fans, the hardcore contingency appreciates the tactical approach he adopts.

The fact remains, there is no real blue print to defeating him.

Froch tried to trade with him, and was embarrassed in the process. Danced around The Cobra, slipping shots and unloading combos.

For Ward, he is rapidly running out of credible opposition to face. Golovkin should step up to 168 for me and face him, although I would fancy Ward on a decision.

A possible rematch with Froch could be on the cards, should he come through Groves of course, which isn’t guaranteed.

Maybe Adonis Stevenson/Bernard Hopkins at a catchweight?

Time will tell, feel free to leave some comments who you would like to see Ward fight next year??

Right ladies.

That is your lot from me.

I’m off to watch “The Gloves Are Off – Middleweights” that I recorded.

Catch you next week.

Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady

Campbell… GGG the real deal? Mikey Garcia & Donaire…. By Paul Ready

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Evening,

This time last week I was in a seriously dark place in Amsterdam. I think the less said the better.

But we done Amsterdam justice and indulged in all manner of things banned from these shores.

Mess.

One of the highlight’s of the trip that I can speak about was a mate of turning up about half hour before we are due to board, dressed in fancy dress as a priest, no trousers underneath, pissed as a fart after coming straight from a night out.  We flew on 1st November, he went to Hip Hop karaoke in London on Halloween and sang Coolio – Gangsters Paradise.

Rarely am I lost for words, but that was one of those moments.

Proper chap.

After a busy week at work and trying to feel “normal”, this post is a tad delayed. I did manage to watch the card in Hull last weekend so lets discuss Luke Campbell’s performance:

Campbell v Connelly

Luke Campbell (3-0: 3KO’s) stopped Lee Connolly (2-6: 1KO) in the 5th round of a Lightweight contest in Hull last Saturday.

3rd fight for Campbell and he actually got 5 rounds in the bag, previous 2 outings he stopped them both in 1st. Connolly was pretty tough, took some punishment and frustrated Campbell as he absorbed punches.

Connolly did tickle me with his goading to Campbell when hit. Face liked a sand blasted tomato, laughed at Campbell and shook his head as to say “that all you got?”. Which, credit to Campbell only made him more determined to let the hands go and pepper him like fine Steak.

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Campbell reminds me of Amir Khan with the lightening hand speed, he is probably a more accurate puncher. Let’s hope he has a better chin!

What he needed was some rounds, and he got that. The key to the development of any young fighter is rounds in the bank. Within that you gain experience of  all manner of ring craft, “dirty tactics”, low blows, fighters who lean on you, impose their weight to sap your energy. Bernard Hopkins for example, has made a career out of it.

Campbell has a good frame for that weight class, big upper body so he will certainly hold his own in an exciting domestic weight class. The key now is to continue to test him against durable opponents who are going to take him 8. 10 rounds and even the distance. Test his stamina, challenge his mentality. Can he take a punch? All questions that he will have to answer.

Already we had Tommy Coyle, 24 yrs old (17-2: 7KO’s) who had a 7th round stoppage against John Simpson on the same card, suggest he would like to fight Campbell at some point down the line, then go for a beer after.

Hull v Hull. That could be a huge fight in 12-18mths.

The future fight I want to see within 3 yrs is Campbell v Lomachenko for the Undisputed Lightweight Champion.

Three Olympic Gold Medals between them.

In Vegas.

I’m wet.

On the same night we had the man of the moment WBA & IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin (28-0: 25 KO’s) against Curtis Stevens (25-4: 18 KO’s) in Madison Square Garden.

Golovkin the monster puncher who disposes of his opposition like a you would a used condom.

Stevens was retired in the 8th round by his corner. the knockdown punch in the 2nd was textbook. Flattened by a left hook, Stevens’ face was a picture:

To be fair to Stevens, he did trouble GGG with a few big shots, and showed that maybe a quicker counter puncher might give him trouble. What it hammered home was you simply cannot stand there and trade with him. Like we didn’t know that already!

He softened him up with the jab, threw some big combos until he was pulled out by his corner in the 8th.

This was GGG 15th straight KO in 15 fights, 89% KO record I read somewhere, and you genuinely would worry for anyone in the Middleweight division sharing the ring with him.

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Sergio Martinez, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, Darren Barker, Martin Murray, will all taste defeat in my opinion.

Murray, was announced as the next opponent in Monte Carlo on 1st Feb. Murray has to come through an unnamed opponent on the Froch v Groves bill. I wish you luck Mr Murray.

Froch v GGG would be a mouth watering match up, I genuinely believe Golovkin would stop Froch, he has more gears than the Cobra.

Only two boxers in the world could beat Golvokin, Floyd, (who is far too small at 147) and Andre Ward should GGG step up to 168lbs.

Ward’s style is all wrong for Golovkin, slick counter puncher would prove to be elusive in that match up, for me scoring a close split decision.

Tonight we have Mikey Garcia (32-0: 27 KO’s) v Roman Martinez (27-1-2: 16 KO’s) in a WBO Super Featherweight match up in Texas.

Garcia, was mentioned by myself as a future top 10 P4P fighter, an impressive stoppage tonight will put him firmly knocking at the door.

On the same card, Super Bantamweight Nonito Donaire (31-2: 20 KO’s) v Vic Darchinyan (39-5: 28 KO’s). Donaire’s 1st fight since a loss earlier this year against division King Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton will be watching that with vested interest no doubt.

Check out my 1st article for Pro Boxing Fans, currently working on my 2nd as we speak!

http://www.proboxing-fans.com/darren-barker-vs-felix-sturm-preview-prediction_103113/

Right.

Short and sweet this week from me.

Tune in early this week for my review on the above fights and a look ahead to Prizefighter next weekend.

Peace

Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady