Future 147lb Kings by Paul Ready

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The 147lb division for 7 years has been lauded with superlatives as THE weight class in this era. Sat at the top of the throne has been Floyd Mayweather Jr, the P4P king has been impossible to overthrow. The one man who could and some say would have beaten Floyd is Manny Pacquiao, the fight due to boxing politics has never happened.

Accelerating rapidly in the slipstream are a number of Welterweight fighters who believe they have what it takes to be crowned the next king.

Keith Thurman (23-0: 21KO’s – 1 no contest)

One Time is billed as the next big thing in the 147lb division. A frightening KO record that arguably only Gennady Golovkin can rival; Thurman has promised to destroy the Welterweight division and has aspirations to become in his own words “a living legend”.

Already a highly avoided fighter due to brutal destructions of Jesus Soto Karrass and Julio Diaz, the 25 yr old needs a big name scalp on his CV. Thurman was in the crowd for Porter v Brook and has been touted as a potential opponent for Brook which is far too dangerous as a voluntary defence for me.

Displaying an intelligent boxing brain inside & outside the ropes is a rare trait but one Thurman has in abundance, he will certainly be around the top of the tree in the not too distant future.

 

 

Errol Spence (13-0: 10KO’s)

Spence is a slick boxer, patient, picks his punches well. It’s easy to get carried away, but he looks special. Appears to be no ego with this guy either yet, one hopes he stays humble as the victories and women pile up.

The 24 yr old 2012 Olympian became a somewhat overnight sensation for allegedly knocking Adrien Broner down in sparring and giving Floyd Mayweather a black eye whilst training at Mayweather Gym last year. Spence received a black eye himself, in what some described as the toughest sparring Mayweather has had for some years. Mayweather then proceeded to eject him  immediately from the gym in disgust, for him to only be invited back later that day.

Spence needs to now face a former contender as a benchmark of where he really is in the division.

 

 

Kell Brook (33-0: 22KO’s)

The newly-crowned IBF world champion is now amongst the elite within the division. Special K defeated Shawn Porter on points in a career best performance in Carson, California this month. Brook has taken some time to arrive on this stage but you feel this is just the start of things to come for him.

The hard-hitting Brit will need to continue to display his crisp boxing ability as a queue has formed for him. Next up will be a voluntary defence with likes of Brandon Rios being touted as an opponent.

An all British stadium showdown with arch-nemesis Amir Khan will take place next summer; possibly at Wembley Stadium with the caveat for the victor a ticket in the “Mayweather Sweepstakes”.

 

 

Danny Garcia (29-0: 17KO’s)

Swift has stagnated somewhat since his one-sided victory over Lucas Matthysse 12mths ago. Garcia, 26 has been slaughtered on social media with his perceived cherry-picking of recent opponents Mauricio Herrera and Rod Salka. If you were to visit his Instagram page the comments section is filled with cherry emojis and various images of Garcia displayed on cans of Cherry Coca Cola.

Let’s be clear, Garcia has all the attributes to be one of top fighters in the 147lb division when he considers moving up. To regain credibility he needs to fight a big name as when he is thrives under pressure. Let’s not forget he was the underdog for both Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse, two career best wins.

I believe he was wrapped up in the emotion of fighting in his “mother-land” Puerto Rico against Herrera, took him lightly and thus had to fight a “gimme” in Salka as a confidence booster. I expect him to fight a credible name before 2014 is out.

 

 

Tim Bradley (31-1: 12KO’s)

Desert Storm will be the main man in the division once Floyd Mayweather & Manny Pacquiao hang the gloves up. Bradley, 30 has the strongest resume of the leading pack with notable victories over Juan Manuel Marquez, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson and of course a contentious win over Pacquaio in 2012.

The former WBO champion lost to Pacquiao in their rematch in April surrendering his “0” in the process. The orthodox counter-puncher showed some real heart winning Fight Of The Year in 2013 against club-handed Ruslan Provodinkov.

Bradley has long been in the shadows of the big 2, but once they have gone his opportunity to be crowned will never be better.

 

 

Shawn Porter (24-1-1: 15KO’s)

Former IBF champion Showtime lost his title to Kell Brook earlier this month. It would be foolish and naive to dismiss Porter’s credentials in light of this defeat. Victories over Julio Diaz, Devon Alexander and the mauling of Paulie Malignaggi illustrates that the 26 yr old is a dangerous animal.

Described as a mini Mike Tyson, Porter is not renowned as the most fluid of fighters; he tends to lunge in with jabs and throw a cluster of hooks. Putting his opponent under constant pressure until they crumble.

A fight between Porter and Keith Thurman was discussed post-Brook, it’s one I believe both men need at this stage of their careers.

 

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

@SpecialKBrook A star is born…. by Paul Ready

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He came, he saw and he conquered.

Ezekiel Brinsly Reid “Kell” Brook won and won big on Saturday night at the Stub Hub Arena in Carson, California.

Brook, 28 achieved a life-long dream by becoming the IBF Welterweight world champion.

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He is now recognised as an elite fighter within the illustrious 147lb division, Special K can proudly exhale like a peacock as he has become a global star overnight.

The current Welterweight world champions read as follows: Floyd “Money” Mayweather WBA & WBC champion; Manny Pacquiao WBO champion and Kell Brook IBF champion.

It is surreal to see his name alongside the two of the greatest fighters of this generation, but this is something he must get used to.

Brook has acted like the home fighter all of last week, appearing cool, calm and composed like a man driving his own destiny. He has been dismissed in a condescending manner for some time by the super-power pugilist nation; Porter was expected to walk through Brook with ease.

Credit must be given trainer Dominic Ingle and the Ingle Gym for the 16 yrs of education to Kell at their fabled Wincobank gym. Brook graduated on Saturday evening with a Msc. The meticulous preparation that took place ensured no stone was left unturned from 3 weeks trans-atlantic acclimatization, employing nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches right down to the below motivational white-board in the dressing room on fight-night.

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“Showtime” Shawn Porter was in his face from the first bell, applying aggression and putting Brook under intense pressure. Welcome to the elite-level. Kell could hardly breath. Brook struggled early on to find his rhythm and let his hands go, he rocked Porter at the end of the 1st with a big-shot but the bell saved the defending champion. In the clinches Showtime adopted prison-yard tactics headbutting Brook which culminated in a cut above his right eye in the 2nd. The crisper, cleaner shots were delivered from the Brit as he illustrated he was the better boxer throughout. Porter suffered a cut in the 6th and ran out of steam as we headed towards the championship rounds. Brook sensed that he would need to raise his work-rate to avoid an unjust points defeat. He done so by winning the 2nd half of the fight taking 2 score-cards in his favour 117-111, 116-112 the final a 114-114 draw.

Do you prefer an aggressor or do you prefer a boxer? A boxer will always prevail for me on points.

Once Brook has taken some well earned time off to celebrate and saviour this moment with his family, he needs to get himself back to work as a queue is forming to face him. He is now a wanted man, I wouldn’t be surprised to see old fashioned Wild-West style posters donning Brook’s face plastered over the West Coast.

Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman, Juan Manuel Marquez, Danny Garcia and Marcos Maidana were all sat ringside, judging by the post-fight videos I watched last night, they were all impressed and will now all want a piece of Kell.

Amir Khan has been very supportive to the 28 yr old in the build-up last week, Khan is an intelligent man, he knows that a bout between them both is a million-pound-money-spinner. Khan was on the Skysports commentary panel and as subtle as a brick he threw his name in for consideration. It will be a bigger fight and rivalry than Froch v Groves, mark my words.

The history and animosity between both men spans a decade of back & forth bitching. It is a PPV blockbuster that will capture the public’s imagination summer 2015.

You feel this is just the start of bigger things to come from Kell Brook; this wasn’t his career-defining performance, his Froch v Bute, Calzaghe v Lacy, Hatton v Tszyu, Benn v McClellan moment is yet to come.

All of the lights by Kanye West which is Brook’s entrance music rang out post-fight as the fans departed the Stub Hub Arena, the final chorus has the lyrics; “We going all the way this time”, I don’t think you could find a more apt sentence to summarise the direction which Kell is now heading in.

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

#PorterBrook by Paul Ready

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Kell Brook’s 28 yr wait for his career defining moment is days away.

25 months of hell ensued since his IBF Final Eliminator victory over Carson Jones; Saturday night Brook has the opportunity to finally put the demons to bed.

What effect will this emotional roller-coaster have taken out of “Special K”?

Listening to a buoyant Brook speak you would be blissfully unaware of the bad luck he has experienced. Forget the anti-Matchroom brigade’s rumours that he is a bottle job and pulled out of those fights, I don’t know Brook personally but people I respect in the industry do and they laughed off these suggestions. Fans dislike Brook because they dislike his promoter Eddie Hearn, but for me this is unjust as Hearn doesn’t get in the ring nor did he undergo 3 training camps that amounted to nothing. The current and 4th camp Brook has undergone comprised of 16 weeks gruelling fitness and regimented diet.

Every one has an view on Brook, he is a fighter who polarises opinion; none of us if we are truthful know how good he really is.

Over the past 25 months Special K has inherited many detractors in the UK who dismiss him as another hype job who will be stopped in brutal fashion in the StubHub Arena Saturday evening.

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Lesser men would have packed it in by now, there are only so many kicks a man especially a fighter can take. Brook would be forgiven for believing a gypsy curse was afoot preventing him from reaching his boy-hood dream of becoming a World Champion.

Kell started boxing when he was nine, when his father brought him into the famous Ingle Gym to see if Brendan could channel his energy and natural punching power.

At the age of 12, Kell decided to follow the path and become a professional fighter.

Fast-forward 32 fights and Brook is finally pulling in to his destination and what awaits him is one of sternest tests in the 147lb division; Shawn Showtime Porter.

Does Porter warrant the favourite tag?

Absolutely.

Resume-wise he has fought and beaten anyone better than Brook ever has faced. Porter burst on the scene by upsetting the odds beating Devon Alexander late 2013 to capture the IBF title. Followed on by a brutal destruction of veteran Paulie Malignaggi in April, Porter’s previously unseen KO power was unleashed.

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Stylistically it is a match made in heaven; you have an aggressive inside fighter in Porter and a pure outside boxer who can also bang in Brook. I hope we are in store for a 10-12 round war with a late stoppage but my gut feel is it will be a frantic fight with a 6-7th round KO.

Brook needs to keep Porter at range, plenty of movement utilising the 2inch height and reach advantage he possesses. Kell needs to be mindful of Porter jumping on him in the early stages attempting to maul him with hooks & uppercuts on the ropes. The Sheffield man’s weight will be an advantage on the night, Brook will walk in the ring the bigger man after rehydrating as he is naturally built like a Middleweight.

I fancy Kell to do it, I really do. There is something in the air with this fight; an element of destiny, fate if you will. It feels like Kell’s time, it was his time 2 years ago and he isn’t past his sell-by-date yet.

You don’t begrudge your Filet Steak being 10-15 minutes late to ensure it is cooked to perfection. When it arrives and you saviour that first mouthful, you forget all about the delay by focusing on the taste.

This is Kell’s first bite to PPV super-stardom if he can do what hasn’t been done since Lloyd Honeyghan 28 years ago beating an American in their backyard and winning a World Title. The grudge-match can finally be made with Amir Khan; the biggest all British fight out there.

But Kell has to forget Khan for now, put it to the back of his mind, focus fully on Shawn Porter. He has been caught-out before with distractions outside of the ring but I believe in Kell Brook and that the 17th August 2014 UK time will be as memorable as 17th August 2013 when Darren Barker won the same red & gold IBF belt in the Middleweight division.

The wait is over Kell.

Let’s see just how Special you really are.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

Garcia still Swift? by Paul Ready

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September 14th 2013, MGM Garden Arena Las Vegas chief support for Mayweather v Canelo on The One card was Danny Garcia v Lucas Matthysse.
Swift had announced himself as the next big thing at 140lb in summer 2012 with a 4th round destruction of Amir Khan; Matthysse was his acid test.
Garcia, 26, proceeded to box beautifully; on the backfoot, hitting the Argentinian from a plethora of angles that he simply had no response to.

I was hugely impressed.

A step up to 147lbs was natural; but it didn’t happen.

I fully expected Garcia to be thrust in to super-fights; but it didn’t happen.

Instead his next outing was in March this year against relative unknown Mauricio Herrera in Puerto Rico.

The opportunity to fight in the native land of his father and ancestors proved to be romantic one.
The manner in which the fight panned out was anything but romantic; Garcia had a shocker and nearly lost.

Cries for a rematch fell on deaf ears as the 26 yr old became reticent on the subject.

I began to question where Garcia’s main focus was; had the hugely talented amateur lost his hunger to fight?

Tweets and videos emerged of The Latin Goonies rap group, which contained a cringeworthy video of Swift spitting 16 bars.

For the love of god I said to myself, don’t go down the Broner rapping route.

Coupled with business ventures of a barbershop and garage, I began to fear for Garcia.

I’m all for fighters being smart and displaying business acumen but at the age of 36, not 26 as it can be detrimental to the peak of your career.

This forthcoming Saturday Danny Garcia squares off against yet another below-par opponent in Rod Salka at the Barclays Centre, Brooklyn.

This card in particular has been slaughtered by various press outlets for the poor match-ups that have been made.
Lamont Peterson for example is on the undercard, why didn’t Danny face him?

I fear that he has too many out of the ring distractions currently, he needs to evict the clapping fan-boy closet and not allow Al Haymon to continue to cherry-pick his opponents.

Be brave, be fearless, don’t worry about losing the 0. Have a rematch with Khan, fight Broner, Thurman at 147lbs; these fights are what he should live for.

This week I saw him post a video titled: “Danny Garcia – Making of a Legend” that has been openly mocked and in the current climate it is vindicated.

Come on Danny, we all know you can box. But you can’t rap, give it up my friend.

Lace those Reyes’ up, deal with Salka in 3 rounds and start facing some of these avoided fighters again it’s all there for you… Providing you want it of course.

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

Boxing Update 04/08 by Paul Ready

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Hopkins v Kovalev

On Friday Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6: 32 KO’s) agreed to fight Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (25-0: 23 KO’s) on 8th November in a Light-Heavyweight unification bout.

Kovalev, 31 who knocked out Blake Caparello on Saturday evening is one of the most avoided fighters in world boxing.

Sporting a 90% KO record, the Russian’s 175lb rival Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1: 20KO’s) has done everything in his power to avoid facing Krusher. Stevenson signed with boxing’s Wizard of Oz advisor Al Haymon last year and moved broadcaster from HBO to ShowTime in the process.

I have to tilt my hat and credit Hopkins who at the ripe age of 49 has in his own words “not ran away from the fight but ran to it”. The Alien is from an era when the best fought the best and with negotiations only taking  24 hours it makes you wonder what the whole “Cold War” fuss has been about.

I really hope this is a defining moment.

Hopkins’ last fight on HBO was against then highly rated Tavoris Cloud who joined Kelly Pavlik in having BHop take their “0”.

Kovalev will enter this fight as the favourite, and could be the first man to KO Hopkins. I wouldn’t be shocked if The Alien made me eat my words and continues to defy father-time.

Without question he is one of the greatest fighters of his generation. Not remotely camera-shy and his interview with Steve Bunce in a caravan where he loses his rag ranks as one of the most amusing I have ever seen.

I simply can not wait for this fight!

 

Civic Centre, Wolverhampton

“Funtime” Frankie Gavin (19-1: 12KO’s)  suffered a career-first defeat against veteran Leonard Bundu (31-0-2: 11KO’s) in Wolverhampton on Friday night.

Bundu, 39, made his experience count and Gavin, 28, bar a late rally didn’t look at his best. Southpaw Gavin was floored in the 6th by a crippling body-shot and the fight could have easily been stopped in the 8th. Bundu took a decision

“I’m gutted,” Gavin stated afterwards. “I thought I won it and even Bundu told me I’d won. I haven’t lost a fight in nine years as an amateur or pro so it’s hard to take.

“But hopefully he’ll vacate the belt and fight for a world title and I can rebuild and fight for the European again.”

 

Heavyweight Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (21-0: 18KO’s) beat Andriy Rudenko (24-1: 16KO’s) via a unanimous decision on the undercard.

Rudenko was Browne’s toughest opponent to date,  both men slugged on numerous occasions and the Australian always looked the likely victor.

Big Daddy won the WBA Inter-Continetal crown and his promoter Ricky Hatton is eyeing up Ruslan Chagaev next.

 

Commonwealth Games

 

Commonwealth Games 2014: Glasgow boxing success augurs well for Team GB with Olympics two years away

(Left to right) England’s Qais Ashfaq, Sam Maxwell, Joe Joyce, Nicola Adams, Scott Fitzgerald, Anthony Fowler and Savannah Marshall

The Commonwealth Games has picked up where the 2012 Olympics left off with gold medals galore for boxing. The England team picked up 7, Wales with 3 and 1 for Scotland.

The GB amateur boxing squad based of the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield are churning out some exciting talent and it’s hard to not look to the future with great hope and anticipation.

 

Callum Smith & Luke Campbell 

Super-Middleweight Callum Smith (12-0: 9 KO’s) and Lightweight Luke Campbell (6-0: 4KO’s) make their American bows on the Porter v Brook under card.

This is music to my ears as I’m a huge advocate in getting our top talents on cards Stateside as soon as logistically possible.

Giving these fighters exposure early to the American cards will ensure that when their world title shot comes they don’t freeze.

I’ve lost count of how many fighters in the past have had to go over to America, never popped their cherry and when they had to deliver in a World title shot they didn’t.

Now I’m not saying the lack of exposure was why they failed; maybe they simply weren’t good enough. But if you aren’t good enough and you freeze, you are in for a very short night.

By building their profile in America early and with Matchroom in particular planning to crack the market promoting shows in the future, it will create more British world champions with huge profiles worldwide.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net