As many fighters and those involved in the boxing industry enjoy a well earned rest with their nearest and dearest, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on what has been an eventful 2014 thus far:
Froch Groves 2 at Wembley watched by a partisan crowd of 80,000. On a night that saw Jamie McDonnell, Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Joshua, James De Gale all in action.The curtains were brought down in spectacular fashion by Carl Froch with a brutal 8th round KO of George Groves.
Darren Barker winning the IBF Middleweight title in August 2013 was for me one of the highlights. The dedication of the victory to his late brother Gary was moving and the celebrations at the end will live long in the memory of those who tuned in.
The thawing of relations between American Promoters Goldenboy and Top Rank potentially is a huge turning point, with both Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum back on speaking terms.
Miguel Cotto became the first 4 weight world champion from Puerto Rico when Sergio Martinez retired at the start of the 9th with Cotto capturing the WBC Middleweight title.
Curtis Woodhouse beating Darren Hamilton on points in February to win the Light-Welter British title another dedication to a late relative, this time his father.
Paul Butler winning the IBF Bantamweight title against Stuart Hall in Newcastle last month on points.
2x time Olympic Gold Medallist Vasyl Lomachenko winning the vacant WBO Featherweight title against Gary Russell Jr in only his 3rd professional bout.
Gavin Rees v Gary Buckland in February was arguably the British “Fight of the year” so far, both men threw the kitchen sink, fridge and any other item they could find at each other with Buckland taking a close split decision.
Rees could have quit after but like tough bastard he is, chose not to and opted instead for the rematch. The decision was vindicated with The Rock taking a split decision in his favour.
Inactivity continues to be a concern for me, it is a fighter’s worst enemy.
Andre Ward has fought twice since his 2011 win over Carl Froch, his last outing coming in November 2013.
Mikey Garcia hasn’t fought since January this year in what was intended to be a busy one for the Mexican/American. Expected to be in at least 4 fights, moving up to 140lbs, then possibly 147lbs against Manny Pacquaio in November have been seriously derailed.
Both Ward and Garcia are currently in contract disputes with their respective promoters, neither showing any signs of improving which is worrying.
Ricky Burns’ has had a 2014 to forget so far, with 2 back-to-back defeats against Terence Crawford and Dejan Zlaticanian, something is not right with Burns and his team are determined to resolve it. A move up to 140lbs for me would make sense as he looks drained making 135lbs.
Kevin Mitchell lost out on his IBF mandatory position due to check-weight issues on the day of the Ghaslain Maduma fight. Matchroom are reportedly working on tying up a voluntary defense from Miguel Vazquez in October.
In Enzo Maccarnelli’s defeat against Jurgen Brahmer the Welshman inherited a gruesome injury above his right eye that resulted in trainer Gary Lockett pulling him out at the end of the 5th.
Questionable score-cards in America continue to be a frustrating subject. CJ Ross has become a long-standing joke for her scoring of Mayweather v Canelo as a draw. Another ridiculous score was 117-111 on one card of the recent Canelo v Lara bout, it was tight and could have gone either way but never in a million years was it that wide. It is something that will need to be addressed ASAP before a catastrophe occurs and fighter is robbed blind of a title.
Tyson Fury is in hot-water with the British Boxing Board after being hit with a misconduct charge following comments made at the recent Chisora v Fury 2 press conference:
“If you don’t like the station, change the channel bitch.This is my show, I do what I want. This is boxing, it isn’t tap-dancing. If anybody doesn’t like that they shouldn’t be here.
“I’m in fight mode, kill-mode. I don’t apologise, it is what it is.”
Chris Eubank Snr’s comments that his son Chris Jr could beat every boxer in the world between 160-168lbs bar Andre Ward were met with wide ridicule. In his next fight, Chris Sr stood in the middle of the ring between rounds soaking up all the attention. It was embarrassing for his son and he needs to let him be his own man without constantly hogging the limelight.
Danny Garcia has been heavily criticised for cherry picking opponents this year. After his sublime victory against Lucas Matthysse in September, Swift narrowly beat a gritty Maurico Herrera in March and faces unknown Rod Salka in August. I felt after Matthysse the 26 yr old would be thrust to super-fights with Adrien Broner, Marcos Maidana and of course Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
So taking all things in to consideration it has been a superb season, plenty of highs, lows and forgetful moments. With the new season right around the corner in August kicked off with Shawn Porter v Kell Brook for the IBF Welter title, the sport could not be in a better place in Britain and I look forward to seeing some huge fights made as we close the year out.