Rise Up & DC Armory Review.. by Paul Ready

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Happy St Georges Day one and all, today should be a public holiday for me!

Rise Up, Manchester

 

Tyrone Nurse v Tyler Goodjohn

Firstly, I was very disappointed like many to not see this fight on the red button prior to the 7.30pm “Go-Live” on Skysports.

Nurse won in a great fight capturing the vacant English Light-Welter title in the process, despite a valiant effort from Goodjohn.

Credit to Nurse, he boxed superbly from what I have read. Next for him, will be progression up the ranks and a future fight for the British Title.

For Goodjohn, it is time to regroup and go again after some time off, but he should take credit from his performance and was hailed by trainer Peter Sims in the aftermath, he will undoubtedly return.

 

Callum Smith v Francois Bastient

Undefeated Smith, billed as one of the most exciting prospects in World Boxing disposed of Frenchman Bastient with ease.

“Mundo” returned to the ring after an enforced 6 mth absence due to hand injury, finished Bastient off with delivery of yet another brutal body-shot.

If Smith was a Mortal Kombat character, the body-shot would definitely be his finishing move.

Bastient had clearly done his homework on Smith, having his elbows tight to his chest in anticipation of forthcoming blows. But the attempts to protect his body proved to be futile as he walked on to one in the 3rd, which he never recovered from.

I like Smith, he is a modest guy and the hype that surrounds him is certainly justified, what is refreshing to see is he is almost embarrassed by the attention received.

Next up for Callum is Tobias Webb in Cardiff next month, which will provide the necessary “step-up” in development.

Elder brother Paul Smith, the current British Super Middleweight spoke about aspirations of challenging Arthur Abraham for the WBO World Title, and would consider vacating the Lonsdale belt only for Callum.

On the subject of Paul Smith and Jamie Moore as pundits for Sky, I thoroughly enjoy listening to the pair of them.  It is refreshing to see an existing fighter and trainer on the panel alongside the team.

Both men raise some valid points and in my eyes are boxing’s answer to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.

 

Scott Quigg v Tshifhiwa Munyai

 

Scott Quigg continued his impressive form on Saturday by blasting late replacement Munyai away in 2 rounds.

Munyai who replaced Nehomar Cermeno was fortunately in the UK, fit and ready to step in at the 11th hour.

I didn’t get drawn in to the furore surrounding Munyai having an iota of a chance in causing an upset.

Quigg got the job done in emphatic fashion, the 1st knockdown in the 2nd i’m certain was streamed on the slow-motion video on the iPhone.

The manner Munyai hung in the air for a good few seconds then collapsing on the canvas wouldn’t of looked out place in a James Bond movie.

The 25yr old smelt blood and vented a flurry of punches that Howard Foster intervened on and halted the contest.

“After a performance like that, it’s got to be big fights,” he told Sky Sports News.

“We want unification fights, Leo Santa Cruz, Kiko Martinez, and obviously there is the Carl Frampton fight.

“They are the fights I want to be in and that’s what I’m looking towards in the future.

“It’s all coming together now. I’ve got to keep my feet on the ground, keep dedicated, keep focused and hopefully I can keep getting the wins and unify the division.”

The above mentioned adversaries are the exact opponents I expect to see Quigg in with, time to bed-in as a World Champion has passed, the public will demand unification fights for him here-on in.

I still favour Frampton against Quigg, although the gap between the pair of them is increasingly becoming narrower.

I expect much more social media tennis-tweets between both camps, but they should just get together and get it done.

Frampton has 1 more fight left of his 3 fight deal with BoxNation so if Santa Cruz does take his mandatory shot in the next few months, expect to see Quigg v Frampton late 2014.

For Quigg, I would like to see hunt-down the Kiko Martinez fight next; the stage would then be set for a monster 3 belt unification bout in Manchester/Belfast.

 

Anthony Crolla v Martin Murray

 

The battle of Manchester certainly lived up to its billing.

As expected favourite Murray flew out of the blocks, taking an early advantage over Crolla, demonstrating aggression and tenacity winning the early rounds.

The 29 yr old began to tire and fade as we approached the 5th, with Crolla creeping back in by winning the jab exchanges and winning key rounds.

A rally from Murray gave him the 7th by landing more stinging shots, Million Dollar took the 8th by peppering the double-jab and out-hustling his foe.

The Machine’s eye swelled in the 9th, with the petrol light fully illuminated, it was only a matter of time before Murray stuttered and ground to a halt down the stretch.

Crolla absorbed the noise pollution from the crowd like a catalytic converter, he transferred this into renewable energy to stop Murray in the 10th.

“It was even tougher than I expected,” Crolla told Sky Sports. 

“No matter how tough that looked, me and John were the luckiest men in this arena.

“I prepared for this fight like no other; John put the fear of god into me. I remember how tough those sparring sessions were and I knew I had to keep a cool head in a hot kitchen.

The 27 yr old is no longer playing knock-down ginger at the door of the world Lightweight scene pursuing a title shot.

A future fight with Simsy’s gym pair of Ricky Burns or Kevin Mitchell is another huge domestic bout in the future.

Burns & Mitchell for me are a level above Crolla at this stage, 1 a former world champion, the other a title challenger.

It’s great to see the British Lightweight scene being the talk of the town, coupled with Luke Campbell accelerating in the slip-stream; further titles will grace Blighty Boxing.

 

DC Armory, Washington

Shawn Porter v Paulie Malignaggi

 

Shawn “Showtime” Porter retained his IBF title in a voluntary defence against Paulie Malignaggi.

Porter battered Malignaggi in a performance that will send shivers down the spine of the 147lb division.

“Future Legend” Paulie, who was sent to hospital in the after-math of the fight as a precaution, will no doubt seriously consider retirement in-light of this crushing defeat.

No mercy was displayed by the 26 yr old from Ohio as he became only the 3rd man to stop Malignaggi after Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan.

Next up for Porter is a mandatory defence against Kell Brook in the summer, the Sheffield man is in for the toughest test of his career.

Based on this performance, Showtime will be the favourite, Special K will have to finally deliver his potential on the world-stage.

Richard Schaefer of GoldenBoy is taking the fight with Brook as a given, talking up the probability of a show-down with Floyd Mayweather Jnr in the future.

“Clearly he’s one of the best welterweights now and I think a threat to everyone after you’ve seen what he’s done with Devon Alexander, another wonderful fighter, and following that up with Paulie Malignaggi. It’s the hottest weight class.”

“We’ll discuss it with team Porter and why not? Me as a fan, after we’ve seen what he’s done with Devon, who is an outstanding boxer, and what he’s done with Paulie, who is an outstanding boxer and Floyd is the best boxer from a boxing point of view.

“I’d love to see the match-up with someone as young, as aggressive, as relentless as Shawn Porter.”

 

Bernard Hopkins v Beibut Shumenov

 

The 49 yr old self-proclaimed Alien, became the oldest boxer to unify world titles by snatching the WBA Light-Heavy belt to keep the IBF title company.

Hopkins beat a man who is young enough to be his son via a split decision to add another chapter to an already glittering career.

The Philly native has spoke about a desire to also face Floyd Mayweather Jnr at Middleweight after he has “dealt” with Adonis Stevenson.

Superman Stevenson now boxing on Showtime is the next logical opponent for Hopkins.

 

“After I become the undisputed light-heavyweight champion of the world, if there was one big fight out there, I know what I would call it — 50-50,” said Hopkins.

 “He wants to pass Marciano. He wants to get to 50 and I [will be] 50. That would be huge.”

 “I would love to do that,” he said.

 “But let me get past Stevenson first.”

 

This weekend we have the below fights:

 

Stub Hub Arena, Carson, California

 

Keith Thurman v Julio Diaz

Interim WBA Welter Title

Lucas Matthysse v John Molina

Vacant WBC Continental Americas Light-Welter Title

Omar Figueroa v Jerry Belmontes

WBC Lightweight Title

 

@EliteBoxingNet

@PaulReady

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Boxing Update 16/04 by Paul Ready

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Pacquiao/Bradley 2

Manny Pacquiao surprised many on Saturday evening, myself including by defeating Timothy Bradley on points.

Pacquiao rolled back the clock, displaying rapid hand-speed, slick footwork to defeat the narrow favourite Bradley.

This isn’t the Pac Man of old and it’s apparent he has made clear adjustments in light of the Marquez defeat to ensure he can still box at optimum level.

Desert Storm was poor by his standards and Joel Diaz spoke post-fight stating that Bradley had injured his calf-muscle which would account for his lack of mobility in the contest.

More entertaining than the fight was Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s rant at the MGM Grand over the advertising of Mayweather v Maidana “The Moment” which takes places on May 3rd.

Pacquiao Bradley 2 was sponsored by Mexican beer Tecate, Mayweather sponsored by Corona to add some further animosity on the subject.

Post-fight Arum was vocal again stating that fans should boycott buying The Moment PPV and tickets to the bout, to “force” Mayweather’s hand in facing Pacquiao.

When questioned by British Journalist Gareth Davies on Floyd, Pacquiao looked over at Arum before answering like a young-child to a disciplinarian dad and gave a rehearsed response.

The fight is highly unlikely to happen, so attention will turn to the winner of Marquez v Alvarado for the 35 yr old, likely to Marquez v Pacquiao V… yawn.

 

 

Copperbox, London

In a challenging evening for Frank Warren fighters, both Tony Conquest and starlet Frank Buglioni lost on Saturday evening.

Conquest (13-2:  5KO’s) was knocked out by Ovil McKenzie in the fifth round and subsequently lost the Commonwealth Cruiserweight title in the process.

McKenzie was knocked down in the 3rd and 5th after taking some huge shots.

Frank “WiseGuy” Buglioni surrendered his Super-Middle WBO European title to Sergey Khomitsky with the fight being stopped in the 6th.

Buglioni’s corner called a halt to the contest to prevent the prospect from taking any further punishment. I was disappointed that the ref didn’t stop the fight before as he was taking too many clean shots without responding.

Enfield Independent: Frank Buglioni and Sergey Khomitsky go toe-to-toe. Picture: Will Cornelious

You have to credit Buglioni for demonstrating a granite chin, he absorbed some severe punishment from the Belarusian who took Martin Murray the distance in December.

Whilst it is a significant setback for the Enfield man, he has time on his side to come back and regroup.

Performance of the night belonged to Welterweight Bradley Skeete with a 7th round TKO against Giuseppe Loriga to retain the WBA Intercontinental title.

Skeete picked the experienced Loriga apart over the duration and took his undefeated record to 16-0.

Super-Middle Chris Eubank Jnr extended his unbeaten record to 14-0 winning via a comfortable stoppage against Hungarian Sandor Micsko.

Eubank Jnr with the shadow of his father ever lurking, barely got out of 2nd gear. He has received much criticism for mimicking his father too much, almost on the scale of Jaden Smith imitating his father Will Smith.

What is apparent is that Eubank Jnr possesses some real talent, a clear athlete who can box on the inside and out. I would like to see him really tested, perhaps against Billy-Joe Saunders, should Saunders move up to 168lbs.

Saunders has called out Eubank Jnr on Twitter and it is a fight that can be made easily by Warren.

Until a real test is presented against Eubank Jnr, I will reserve my judgement on him. He spars with George Groves holding his own and allegedly cracked a rib of Nathan Cleverly so the power is undoubtedly there.

 

Rise Up, Phones 4u Arena, Manchester

Scott Quigg has had a late change of opponent in the headline show for this bout, he will now defend the WBA Super-Bantamweight title against Tshifhiwa Munya as opposed to Nehomar Cermeno who has experienced visa problems.

Quigg needs to put on a startling performance and I really hope we see him against Kiko Martinez or another top Super-Bantamweight fighter as I feel he is somewhat treading water currently.

The 25yr old has been extremely active since joining Matchroom from Hatton Promotions, but I do feel the time is nigh for him to fight in America or bring a unification bout to Manchester.

On a stacked card, we have Anthony Crolla and John Murray in an all Manchester bout that will separate the crowd on who to support.

Utd fan v City fan, Joe Gallagher fighter v ex-Joe Gallagher fighter, both men should despise one another, but they don’t.

There is a genuine friendship between them, but this will be put to one-side on Saturday night as they contest for the WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title.

Tyler Goodjohn faces Tyrone Nurse for the vacant English Light-Welter title, El Tornado to some may start off as the under-dog against the higher-ranked Nurse for this bout.

Having seen Goodjohn train and spar personally first-hand, I would write him off at your peril as he is exceptionally game for this career-defining fight.

I fancy Goodjohn to stop Nurse late.

Josh Warrington is in action for the Commonwealth Featherweight title against former World title challenger and warhorse Rendall Munroe.

I’m excited to see Callum Smith returns to the ring finally following injury. Smith is one of my favourite prospects in the country and has the tools to go all the way.

Give it 18mths and he could be in the mix of the Froch, Groves and DeGale drama.

 

International

To continue the boxing freight train of fights we have to spectate, the attention turns this weekend to the DC Armory in Washington for the below card.

Kell Brook will no doubt be paying particular attention to the Shawn Porter v Paulie Malignaggi fight.

Bernard Hopkins v Beibut Shumenov

THE IBF AND WBA SUPER WORLD LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIPS

Peter Quillin v Lukas Konechy

THE WBO WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Shawn Porter v Paulie Malignaggi

THE IBF WORLD WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

 

 

@EliteBoxingNet

@PaulReady

Limerick Lee’s limelight… by Paul Ready

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Middleweight Andy Lee is one of two (alongside Amir Khan) British/Irish boxers who arguably have a bigger profile Stateside than in the UK.

For me he is one the most under-rated fighters based on these shores.

Larry Merchant of HBO once described Lee as “looking like 10 million dollars” in the ring.

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Sporting a (31-2: 22 KO’s) record the 29 yr old has boxed the lions share of his career in America having relocated there in the mid-2000’s to work with Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward at the fabled Kronk gym, Detroit.

Lee displays a CV that most boxers would be proud of, but until now the one thing has alluded him; a world title.

The Irishman was due to face 160lb monster Gennady “GGG” Golvokin on April 26th in New York for the WBA title.
This was cancelled due to the passing of Golovkin’s father and as of yet this hasn’t been rescheduled with GGG understandably taking some time out to be with his family.

Since the defeat to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2012, rangey southpaw Lee has been on a 3 fight unbeaten streak with the last outing being on the Froch Groves undercard in November last year.

This Saturday he faces Frenchman Frank Haroche in Esbjerg Denmark on a Sauerland Brothers show.

Lee is also scheduled to fight in Cardiff on 17th May against a yet unnamed opponent.

Trainer Adam Booth has spoke of Lee being a more natural Light-Middleweight and the probability of the Macklin fight to IFLTV recently:

Should Lee fight at that weight, there are some huge match-ups on the horizon and a genuine chance to secure a well deserved world title.

To rattle off some potential opposition for the Irishman at 154lbs look no further than; Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto (should he come back down after the Sergio Martinez fight) Demetrius Andrade and of course Floyd Mayweather Jnr who holds the WBC Light-Middleweight title.

Not to mention Englishman Brian Rose who faces Andrade in the summer of the WBO Light-Middle title.

The much debated all Irish affair with Matthew Macklin is still a strong possibility and one I would love to see.

The time is nearly here for Lee to show the world and especially the UK what he is truly made of.

@EliteBoxingNet
@PaulReady

Boxing Update 09/04 By Paul Ready

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Plenty to cover this week, so I will refrain from too much waffle or going off on a tandem.

Pacquiao/Bradley 2

The redemption rematch I’ve billed this, for Bradley to seek personal and public redemption against the victory he was given, that never was.

Pacquiao won the first fight comfortably but was denied the W by some questionable scoring by the now infamous CJ Ross; who subsequently lost her job after further outrageous scoring in the Mayweather-Canelo bout September 2013.

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Much has changed for both Pac Man and Desert Storm since that fateful night in summer of 2012.

The 35 yr old congressman was knocked out in the most brutal of fashion by long-term nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez late that year.

The most vicious single punch KO I’ve ever seen which culminated in a prolonged absence from the ring for Manny to take stock of his career.

Pacquiao returned late 2013 against hard-hitting and fruitful talking Brandon Rios in the gambling mecca that is Macau.

In a near-shut out victory, talk swiftly accelerated towards a rematch against Bradley this year.

Since the “victory” over Pacquiao, the 30 yr old has embarked on a different, more challenging journey inside the ring, that has made him the clear number 2 P4P fighter at 147lbs in the world.

Winning Fight of the Year 2013 against Ruslan Provodnikov, a former sparring partner of Pac Man, Bradley displayed traits that we never knew he had in him.

Make no mistake, he was in the trenches, stuck in quick-sand with grenades thrown at him left, right and centre and he survived.

Desert Storm earned respect from the boxing world for being able to turn the tide against the Siberian Rocky and win.

Coupled with a one-sided points victory over Marquez last autumn, Bradley will enter the fight with Manny on a more even plateau.

The caveat for Bradley is not only to wear socks this time (Bradley didn’t have any last time and he said was the main reason he struggled) but to not assume that Pacquiao is finished.

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*The only occasion you should not wear socks with footwear is when sporting loafers*

Granted, this isn’t the Manny of old, certainly not the same who demolished Miguel Cotto like a homeless person eating a meal in the Salvation Army. But there is plenty of fight in the Filipino yet.

That being said, in light of Bradley’s recent performances I feel he is reaching his peak as Pacquiao is on the descent.

Bradley by split decision, but minus the controversy this time.

James DeGale

James DeGale will be unveiled as a Matchroom fighter tomorrow lunchtime. “Chunky” ended a 2 Year promotional agreement with Hennessy Sports this weekend.

Hennessy released a statement today advising that they are seeking legal proceedings against DeGale as the existing deal had years to run.
Now I could be one of the minority here, but I do feel for Mick Hennessy a tad.

The 28 yr old was vocal publicly at a sense of frustration that his career wasn’t progressing at the pace he desired.

james-degale_a_2585203b

Everything had appeared to finally fall in to place as he had become mandatory challenger for the WBC Super Middle title and scheduled in a final eliminator for the IBF title, to face the winner of Carl Froch and George Groves who fight on 31st May.

For 2008 Gold Medallist it gives him an opportunity to fight on SkySports and for the top stable in the UK, something that he you can tell he craves.

DeGale is a shoe-in to be on the Froch Groves 2 bill, possibly facing American Brandon Gonzalez (18-0-1: 10KO’s) in a final eliminator for the IBF.

Carl Frampton

The Jackal took under 5 minutes to flatten Cazares last Friday night.

Once Cazares was knocked down and felt the power Frampton possessed, he simply didn’t want it enough.

The crushing left that ended the contest was a shot setting up the big finale according to trainer Shane McGuigan in the post-fight press conference.

If that right hand that followed the left would have connected, they may have had to brought the smelling salts out.

You can pull out the “I don’t understand English” card, but after he admitted he was dazed, and not clear on the count he was given.

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Cyclone Promotions now head to America to broker a deal to bring WBC Super-Bantam champion Leo Santa-Cruz to the Jackal’s Den in Belfast.

A rumoured £500,000 is on the table to try entice “Teremoto” to the Emerald Isle.

Santa Cruz a ShowTime and Al Haymon fighter will push for the fight to be Stateside and most likely Las Vegas.

But you have to question how quick he will want to face the Ulsterman his mandatory challenger.
I could see that fight taking place the end of the year, with a tune-up beforehand.

Manager Barry McGuigan spoke about fighting Abner Mares or Jhonny Gonzalez in the foreseeable future, both currently operate at Featherweight so either Frampton would need to go up or they come down.

Prizefighter

Firstly want to say what a great night of boxing that was, edge of your seat excitement.

When you are personally going to a sporting event, be it football or boxing, you always hope you are in for a memorable occasion.

This was definitely one of those.
John Ryder, Ricky Boylan and Wadi Camacho all looked impressive in their fights.

Ryder and Boylan had to “sing for their supper” respectively by displaying patience breaking down their tough opposition.

I was impressed with the followings both fighters have, half the crowd at York Hall were supporting both fighters.

For Ryder it’s two wins on the bounce after the Saunders defeat and gives him a British title shot.

Wadi Camacho made light work of Toni Visic with a 4th round TKO.
Machoman won his first fight under the guidance of new trainer Peter Sims.

From observing Sims and Camacho in close quarters, you can already see they have built up a strong rapport which will stand them in good stead against Stephen Simmons in June.

Johnny Coyle won a thrilling Prizefighter Welterweights outpointing Wales’ former European lightweight champion Jason Cook and Stourbridge’s Sam Eggington before meeting Belfast’s Paddy Gallagher in the one-night tournament final.

The night was nearly overshadowed by Eric Ochieng being stretched out of the ring after his quarter-final victory over finalist Paddy Gallagher.

The Eagle spoke later that evening confirming he is fine and fainted due to the heat of the venue and exhaustion.

The heat was ridiculous in there, you had to walk towards the main entrance to get some cold air and that was just the spectators.

Ochieng is usually a Light-Middle so perhaps boiling down to 147lbs was a contributing factor.

20 yr old Coyle the youngest winner of the contest and certainly has an effulgent future ahead of him.

With only 4 fights in the bank beforehand and now £32,000 better off I’m sure this is the aperitif for Coyle’s boxing career.

 

As we progress on to this forthcoming weekends events, we return to the Copperbox Arena in London for the below fighters in the Frank Warren stable:

Copperbox, London (Saturday 12th April)

Frank Buglioni v Sergey Khomitsky

WBO European Super Middleweight Title

Tony Conquest v Ovill McKenzie

Commonwealth Cruiserweight Championship

Bradley Skeete v Giuseppe Loriga

WBA Intercontinental Welterweight Championship

Esberg, Denmark (Saturday 12th April)

David Price v Ondrej Pala

Andy Lee v Frank Horta

On a final note, those observant of you or one’s still awake, I’ve changed my twitter name from @EliteBoxingBlog to @EliteBoxingNet.

Reason for this is two-fold, 1) It reads better 2) I’ve purchased the domain http://www.eliteboxing.net which is less of a mouthful than the wordpress URL.

@EliteBoxingNet

@PaulReady