@_John_Ryder_ Interview.. #MomentOfTruth by Paul Ready

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They say things come in three’s.

After a nightmare 12 months of injury and a career first defeat for John “The Gorilla” Ryder; redemption is on the horizon.

Last weekend he became a father to a beautiful yet unnamed daughter and his career defining fight against Sergey “The Ghost” Khomistky was announced.

To complete the hat-trick would be an explosive performance against the Belarusian war-horse putting him firmly on the map. Listening to the belief and conviction in his voice; only a fool would bet against him.

 

 

Elite Boxing:

John, big card, big fight for yourself. I was looking at Khomistky’s record earlier; he’s been in with (Gennady) Golovkin, (Martin) Murray twice, lost a few months ago to (Robert) Stieglitz. We often hear the term career-defining fight but what does this one in particular mean to you?

 

John Ryder:

Yeah, firstly Gennady Golovkin is an ideal of mine, watching it and seeing Golovkin beat him was great. I’d like to put on a similar performance. I’m not going to let that overrule my head.

I’m just going to go in there with a good mindset and box, if I have to outbox him all night then I’ll do it. I’m in there to win this fight, I’m not in there to take shots to give shots. I’m in there to look good and do a good job.

 

EB:

You and I have spoken recently about him coming down from 168lbs to 160lbs for this fight. Do you think that plays in to your hands as you are natural at that weight, or do you not think it’s going to make a massive difference?

JR:

Who knows, I don’t know what kind of notice he’s had for Super-Middleweight fights before.

He’s 39 now you don’t know, as he’s getting on a bit he might struggle at the weight, we’ll soon see as I’ll test him early on! See how he copes, I’ll be able to tell by looking at him if he’s struggled or not, we’ll play it by ear.

 

EB:

Have you see many of his fights, he lost to Stieglitz most recently?

 

JR:

I’ve seen short clips of it. He throws shots and can be dangerous, I need to look out for his big left hook, his right hand.

I’m just looking forward to it. It is a career-defining fight and what a night it’s going to be. I’ve known Anthony Joshua for years now from the amateur days and to be co-featuring with him and (Lee) Selby at the O2 in my home-town is amazing.

It’s been a great week for me so far, my little girl has been born, the title fight got announced and I’m over-the-moon I’m riding a wave of success. I’m buzzing, I’ve got a new found motivation with my little girl so I’m going to win this for her and create a better life for her in the future.

 

EB:

In terms of rankings with this fight, it’s for the WBA International title. Golovkin is the Super Champion, the Regular is Danny Jacobs. A win will move you closer to the top 10.

 

JR:

I’m not 100% sure how that bit would work actually. If Jacobs’ was making a voluntary he could pick me out straight away. The plan is to get in the top 15, pick a couple of fights, then progress and continue to progress, see where it takes us.

 

 

EB:

It might seem far-fetched now, you spoke about Golovkin being an idol of yours, what would it mean to one day share the ring with him?

 

JR:

It would be amazing. I’m not at a stage of my career where I’m taking fights for a big pay-day.

Listen, in the future on my right-day and my right mindset I truly believe I can beat Golovkin. People might laugh and say that’s deluded, but that’s a fighter’s mentality.

He’s getting on a bit but he’s youthful and hasn’t been in a hard fight yet. I’m a fighter and believe I can beat anyone.

 

EB:

I remember us both being at York Hall last month and I could sense you had “itchy hands” watching. I get the impression that you aren’t a good spectator of boxing and just want to be in there yourself.

 

JR:

Especially having had such a long time out of the ring, I’ve always been a terrible spectator watching. I just want to be in there.

 

EB:

John, finally before you shoot off for sparring, Eddie (Hearn) mentioned in the press conference that Tony (Sims) had thrown a few names at him of who you wanted to fight, are you happy to mention them now?

 

JR:

They were said a bit “tongue-in-cheek” to let Eddie know we were serious at moving up to this level.

I said to Tony: “Alfred Angulo has moved up to Middleweight Tone, why don’t you get Eddie to call him out?!”

We threw out Brian Vera who’d just been beat. We looked at and wanted a top 10 world opponent.

 

EB:

John thanks for your time and we’ll speak soon no doubt.

 

JR:

Cheers mate, see you soon.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

Elite Boxing 2013 Awards

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Eve of Christmas Eve, last few days at work for some. I’ve been in holiday mode since 1st December.
So we have come to the end of the Boxing season for 2013 and without question, the most exciting in my memory, 2014 has some big shoes to fill.

I’ve spent some time to say the least deciding on the below, some pick themselves; others needed some thought and serious consideration.

Firstly a special thanks to my unofficial sponsors of the awards Night Nurse and Nurofen.

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Let’s get stuck in….

UK Prospect of The Year

Nominees:
Anthony Joshua
Luke Campbell
Callum Smith
Winner: Callum Smith

To put it simply, I think Callum Smith is not only the most talented Smith brother; he is the most exciting British prospect on these shores. He has absolutely everything in his locker. Tall, rangey, good feet, can bang and had scored one of the best domestic KO’s with a sickening body shot against Ruben Acosta in October.
Smith who has sparred with Carl Froch since his amateur days, cites the experience as invaluable.
Massive 2014 beckons for the Liverpudlian Super Middleweight, a fight against James DeGale late 2014 and I would love to see him against George Groves in a few years time.

International Prospect of The Year
Vasyl Lomachenko
Errol Spence Jr
Oscar Valdez
Winner: Errol Spence Jr

Strong argument for Lomachenko, but he has only had 1 professional fight so far. Texan Southpaw Spence, competed at London 2012 at Welterweight, reaching the Quarter Finals. Currently at 9-0 ( 7 KO’s), Spence is seriously 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.
Spence Jr 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 earlier this year. Spence Jr received a black eye himself, in what some described as the toughest sparring Mayweather has had for some years. Mayweather then proceeded to eject Spence Jr immediately from the gym in disgust, for him to only invite him back later that day.

UK Fight of the Year:

Froch v Groves
This was one that picked itself, the best fight I have seen for years. It certainly was one of the most memorable for a number of reasons. Star was born and announced on the World Stage in George Groves. Carl Froch became a villain in one post fight interview. Groves was cheered out of the ring, Froch booed. They had completely switched roles of hero & villain from before the fight. I can smugly sit here and say that I backed Groves, along with a handful of friends. Froch struggles against fighters younger, quicker than him. Ward who took him to school, Dirrell; Froch was very fortunate to beat.
The conclusion and end of the fight still causes outrage to most, myself included. I hope and pray we see this again next year as Groves disposes of him like a used condom in a matter of rounds!
I want to give a special mention to Carl Frampton for his devastating victory over Kiko Martinez in early 2013. Martinez as we now know is IBF Super Bantamweight champion and proves that Frampton deserves to be sat at boxing’s big table. 2014 is a huge year for him.

International Fight of The Year:

Bradley v Provodnikov

This was a complete barnstormer, Bradley had to dig seriously deep against a then unknown fighter in Ruslan Provodnikov. Bradley threw his traditional counter punching style completely out of the window. He proceeded to stand toe to toe and trade, nearly being knocked out in the 1st two rounds where he looked distinctly average.
What impressed me about this fight were Bradley’s survival instincts. The majority of the division at 147lbs would have been knocked out, they certainly wouldn’t have gone the distance with the Russian.
Bradley admitted at the end of the bout to Max Kellerman of HBO that he was concussed in the 2nd round, and doesn’t remember the majority of the fight. This makes the win even more remarkable in my eyes.

UK Trainer of the Year:
Joe Gallagher

Fantastic year for Gallagher’s Gym, despite the stick Scott Quigg has received in some quarters for being “handed” the WBA Super Bantamweight title, as opposed to winning it off a champion. Quigg has fought 3 times in 5 months, to put a forgetful 2012 behind him. With Gallagher in his corner, this has got him to where he is today, on the cusp of some huge unification fights. The stable has had a hugely successful 12 mths. I’m sure I read that they have 11/12 Area/British/European/World Titles between them.
Stable consists of the following fighters Scott Quigg, Anthony Crolla, Liam, Steven, Paul and Callum Smith, Scotty Cardle, Calum Johnson and arguably the boxing hub of the UK.
International Trainer of the Year 2013

Robert Garcia

Garcia has transformed and orchestrated Marcos Maidana’s world class win over Adrien Broner last weekend to become world champion. Brother Mikey Garcia became WBO Super Featherweight champion, Evgeny Gradovich aka The Mexican Russian won the IBF Featherweight title. He trained Brandon Rios against Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire against Rigondeaux.
Garcia is a student of the game having fought himself and being a former world champion, displays a meticulous boxing brain, preparing his fighters for every eventuality. No stone is left unturned and I expect more to come from the Oxnard, California gym next year.

UK Fighter of The Year
Darren Barker
Now this may raise some eyebrows, but I don’t care. For this man to win the IBF Middleweight world title, regardless of losing it this month was a remarkable achievement to say the least.
Darren would be the first to admit that not beyond his wildest dreams he felt he would ever become a world champion in his career, but he did it.
A man who has faced every adversity in and out of the ring, and conquered them, I feel this warrants him being my fighter of the year.
Special mention to George Groves he beat Carl Froch like he was his daddy. Fully deserves to be World Champion and I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever he will be next year. Any fighter at 168 with a belt beware as Groves is coming.

International Fighter of The Year
Adonis Stevenson

Adonis is somewhat late bloomer on the world stage, exploded in stunning fashion by flattening Chad Dawson in round 1 this summer to win the WBC Light Heavy title. He proceeded to fight twice more this calendar year, beating Tavoris Cloud convincingly and battering Tony Bellew the end of last month.
I want him against Kovalev, and I want it now!!
Special Achievement Award

Floyd Mayweather Jr

You simply can’t forget Floyd when giving out awards. Two PPV fights this year, “The One” against Canelo becoming the highest grossing fight ever.
The Showtime presentation of the boxing match pulled in nearly $150 million in domestic PPV revenue. The still undefeated Mayweather’s win soundly beats the previous $136 million record set by his match-up against Oscar De La Hoya back on May 24, 2007. The fight had 2.2 million PPV buys.
Taking the financials out of the equation, the sheer nature of Floyd’s victories is more impressive than the money. At 37, Mayweather still displays the same hunger and work ethic of a 19yr old prospect and has somehow defied physics by becoming even quicker. He took Canelo and Robert Guerrero to school in both contests.
For my final section, sponsored by Nurofen Ibrupofen Liquid Capsules “Hit pain, where it hurts”… words are simply not necessary; you can just watch and wince…

British Knockout of the Year:

Steven Smith v Gary Buckland

International Knockout of the Year
Adonis Stevenson v Chad Dawson

So this concludes my awards in what has been a memorable year in not only world boxing, but domestically too. Boxing feels exciting; there is a buzz in the air.
I have friends & work colleagues who I would class as casual fans slowly becoming fully fledged fans. It’s like the resurgence of a cult, minus the mass suicide and pyramid style pay scheme; everyone wants to be part of it.

The more the merrier I say, it can only be good for the sport if more people are watching and taking a serious vested interest in it and going to shows, supporting our fighters, travelling abroad etc.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my ramblings and opinions over the past few months; constant support from everyone I know personally is greatly appreciated.

Tune in around this time next week for my Forecast of 2014 and fights we MUST have made.

Merry Christmas and come on you Red’s tonight against Chelsea!

Regards

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

Frampton KO sets up Title tilt… Brook = pressure is on… By Paul Ready

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Evening,

Had a Weston Super (Mare) this morning. Went to take the recycling out to my sexy new blue bin. Full to the brim with cardboard, plastic and anything else under the sun that is recyclable.

Only to realise that alas, the new blue bin won’t be collected until the 12th November!

F*ck!

Trip to the tip at the weekend is on the cards.

Coupled with my missus’ car having a flat battery, nearly drowning in the rain, the gods weren’t on my side this morning.

Where was my scuba diving outfit when I needed it?!

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Guess this film and I’ll send you a prize… probably a box out of my bin… I’ll even sign it if you’re lucky…

So to last weekend…

We had the return of The Jackal. Carl Frampton stopped Jeremy Parodi in 6 rounds in Belfast.

Frampton, has had rave reviews on his performance, but lets not get carried away, Parodi was the perfect opponent for a “comeback” match. A guy who sports 9 KO’s from 35 wins, he has only ever left France on holiday.

Most importantly, he got the stoppage, looked good doing it and we even had a fantastic Irish jig from Barry McGuigan, Michael Flatley eat your heart out.

I exchanged a few tweets with Daryl Richards who is the Strength coach at McGuigan’s gym, he told me they have one eye on Martinez v Mathebula match in December initially. I was quizzing him on Frampton v Quigg. They know the best route for Carl. Win a title, make the Quigg match a unification bout, it puts you in a much stronger position round the negotiating table. A wise, and logical move.

Quigg’s camp are said to be in discussions with Martinez for a unification fight, so they will have to get their skates on and get something agreed.

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Throwing bombs…

Frampton is due to get married soon, and take a honeymoon so he can fully enjoy his time off with his wife, then get back to business in the new year.

Probably another reason why they picked Parodi and his cotton wool hands, meant there was no chance of Mrs Frampton giving Carl a slap for having a bruised and battered face for the wedding photos!

Moving on to this coming weekend, we have a solid card at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.

Callum Smith faces Ruben Eduardo Acosta in his 9th fight at Super Middle. Brian Rose in a WBO Light-Middle eliminator, Anthony Joshua’s 2nd outing against Paul Butlin and headlined by Kell Brook v Vyasheslav Senchenko.

For Brook, we forever have the discussion of a “defining fight, big performance”. It is becoming somewhat tiresome.

Yes he’s been unfortunate with injury, missing out against Devon Alexander for his mandatory IBF title shot. Which he still has by the way, should he win this Saturday. Brook then proceeded to scrap past Carson Jones in their 2nd fight. A fight which he had in the bag in the 1st few rounds, he should have tucked him in bed, but he allowed Jones to wake up and stay up that little later.

Against better opposition you will get found out and punished at the highest level. Senchenko who Hatton took the distance pretty much, after a 3 yr absence, should be stopped by Brook inside 5. No excuses.

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I want to get behind Brook, I rate him. He could be very good. But he could equally disappear in to the October fog and be forgotten.

High pressure on him coming from the Steel City, a renowned fighting hub in this country. Home of Prince Naz one of my favourite British boxers of all time. There is a huge expectation on him every time he steps in the ring.

From his promoter, from the fans.

Does he believe in himself?

Is he dedicated to the sport enough to reach the upper echelons?

I’ve heard he likes a night out and his food, Brook needs to reign that in.

Danny Garcia doesn’t drink. He goes to clubs to just pick up girls.

Both similar ages. One is World Champion, the other isn’t. Who would you rather be?

That’s the benchmark, the standard you have to set if you want to be an elite athlete.

I hope he does it, starting on Saturday night. I really do.

Big KO, batter Senchenko in front of Hatton, who I’ve told will be ringside. Give him a wink to say “that’s for you mate”.

If he scrapes to a narrow split decision then he is destined to chug along as a good European fighter, who had a title shot and got found out.

Prove me wrong Kell! It’s over to you….

That’s all from me tonight.

I’m off to go flat pack those boxes…

I reckon I can get another in that bin

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Laters

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog

Marquez can’t weather the Desert Storm… Frampton, Price/Booth By Paul Ready

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Evening,

Belated blog. I’ve been to London, Leeds and Nottingham this week for work and pleasure. Early starts, late finishes. Graft. Feeling baked.

Before we recap last weekend. Who remembers this game from their youth?

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Desert Strike. Mega Drive. Old School.

I thought this was actually called Desert Storm, maybe Bradley’s favourite console game as a boy. Hence this nick-name. But it’s not. My bad. #Awks.

Action packed card at the Thomas & Mack Centre in Vegas, headlined by Tim Bradley v Juan Manuel Marquez. Lets look at the one of the supporting acts:

Lomachenko v Ramirez:

Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko the two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, who is the arguably the greatest amateur of all time. Sporting a 368-1 Amateur record which is jaw-droppingly impressive.

I was expecting big things, 4 horseman of the apocalypse big. He didn’t disappoint.

First observation was that the 25 yr old was making his debut in a 10 rounder against resilient Mexican Jose Ramirez (25-4 15 KO’s).

Who has a debut fight set at 10 rounds? Unheard of. It was never going to go the distance. It could of had a 20 round distance and wouldn’t of made a shred of difference, but it’s the point that 10 rounds was set which is unreal.

20 seconds in when he floored Ramirez, with a superb body shot, you knew you were watching the birth of a future P4P World Champion. He has everything in his locker. He can bang, he can move. Connects with every other punch thrown.

Ramirez proved to be resilient for all of 4 rounds. When he was rocked again with an even better body shot. His theatrical roll was certainly not staged. I felt that from my living room.

Lomachenko is being lined up for a world title bow in his 2nd outing. Against newly crowned Orlando Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs),

Demonstrates the belief that Top Rank have in him. Big things round the corner for him. He can easily move up to Lightweight, a definite multi-weight World Champion. Might be a tad too soon for a World Title fight for me, could easily go pear shaped.

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Monster

Bradley v Marquez

The forever underrated Timothy Bradley won a tactical master class over 40 yr Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley, who didn’t drop a round, made Marquez box his fight.

He won on another contentious split decision. Contentious in his favour on this occasion.

How Marquez had won by one judges scoring defies belief. Bradley controlled the fight with ease, and only had to get out of 2nd gear in a handful of exchanges. He stifled Marquez’ power and made him look very much 40 and 10 yrs his elder.

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I backed Marquez before, favouring his counter punching power and heart to steer him to a narrow victory.

Bradley is the American Amir Khan, in the sense that he isn’t rated by the boxing community there.

He isn’t your traditional self assured American boxer like a Floyd or Broner. Nor is he the people’s champion that has a strong following. After this victory he certainly warrants being on the podium in the P4P rankings, but you feel there still is a piece to his jigsaw missing.

A piece that should mirror his boxing brain and undefeated record. He’s been in with the division’s best and always delivered.

I for one hope he isn’t one of Floyd’s remaining 4 opponents as it would be an extremely dull match up. A game of chess would ensue, with neither willing to gamble. He has even adopted the famous Mayweather shoulder roll into his defence.

So it begs the question. Who is next for Bradley? I’d love to see him fight Canelo at a catch weight of say 150. If Canelo doesn’t fight Cotto of course. Bradley has got the frame to make that weight comfortably and it’s a fight for two who have a point to prove. It would be a fascinating encounter.

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The Jackal

Moving closer to home, in Belfast this weekend. We have the maiden event hosted by newly founded Cyclone Promotions, headed by Barry McGuigan. Headlined by Carl Frampton and aptly named “Frampton Comes Alive”, it pits him against relatively unknown Frenchman Jeremy Parodi.

It’s a fight that Frampton should win at a canter. I’ll be staggered if he doesn’t stop him inside 4.

Interestingly the mind games have already began against domestic rival Scott Quigg and ex promoter Eddie Hearn.

It was leaked on Twitter and later confirmed on camera that Matchroom have made an offer to Cyclone for a Quigg v Frampton match up in March 2014.

The timing is very convenient in my eyes, it’s the week before his fight to Parodi. After a long absence since earlier this year, Frampton needs to be 100% focused on the task in hand.

Are they aiming to unsettle him, make Frampton take his eye off the guy in front? Absolutely.

Frampton and his camp don’t suffer fools gladly and can see what stunt they are trying to pull.

Making the below quotes on the timing of the leak and a fair assessment of Quigg’s last fight:

“I thought Salinas won the fight by a round but they both looked very ordinary. The Cuban only lost the fight because he became lazy in the later rounds,” Frampton told the Belfast Newsletter.

“He could have won every round if he had continued to use his jab and I thought his tactics at the end of the fight were very strange. I think we all saw what Quigg has to offer on Saturday night and I think I could take him out in three rounds. He was wobbled on Saturday night by a couple of jabs and because of that he was too nervous to throw shots,” he added.

Quigg’s camp talked about facing IBF World champion Kiko Martinez, a fighter the undefeated Frampton has back in his sights, after the bout, but the European ring king believes that would prove a bad move.

“Kiko would blow him out of the water. He would destroy him.

“Quigg looked ordinary on Saturday night and hopefully we can meet in the future,” added Frampton.

I love that. This has a soap opera all over it. Love rat, jilted ex, new boyfriend.

Brilliant.

I’d have to back Frampton in 1st half of the fight as I believe his is technically a better fighter. Quigg possibly 2nd half of the fight on points. But he’d have to come out of the blocks Usain Bolt style against Frampton, as the fight could be over in 6 if he boxes like he did against Salinas.

Regardless, I hope this develops in to a real rivalry that spans a trilogy of fights, like Marquez v Pacquaio and a genuine animosity towards one another.

British boxing needs that. Bad blood sells. I’d go as far as to say I would prefer to see that fight than Brook v Khan. I really would.

My final point this week is David Price. The Liverpudlian Heavyweight who was much lauded as our next great Heavyweight, lost two shocking defeats to Tony Thompson this year.

He has surprisingly appointed “The Dark Lord” Adam Booth as his new trainer, which has surprised many people, myself included.

Firstly, for Price it’s a superb move. Gives him a much needed confidence boost, and having the best British trainer in his corner.

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Plenty to ponder…

A man who is renowned for his conditioning of his fighters, meticulous almost OCD approach to devising a game plan to defeat his man’s’ opponent.

For Booth, he has nothing to lose. If he turns Price around, it’s his finest achievement to date. If he fails, Price was already finished.

Price looked mentally and physically shot to shit in his 2nd fight to Thompson. He gave up, wasn’t returning any punches.

You have to question what mind-set Price is in. How much does he want it? Is he still hungry?

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He must be to a certain extent, or has displayed a sufficient amount to convince Booth to be in his corner.

You know that Booth will have him fitter than he ever has been. Sparring with Haye will do him the world of good, he’ll learn more than fighting many in that division.

I just have reservations of his boxing ability at the highest level.

Price is fortunate that he is in an era where we have a limited number credible Heavyweights. It is improving mind.You have the Klitschko’s, Haye, Fury, Wilder and Joshua in the future. Winning a title is still a strong possibility for Price.

With Booth I’d fancy him against anyone outside of the above list. So good luck to the guy and lets all get behind him.

Right, that’s your lot from me tonight. Need to get an early night in.

Tune in next week.

Cheers

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog

Michael Watson – Champion in the toughest fight of them all… By Paul Ready

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I grew up in a heavily influenced Boxing environment, from both parents sides. Whilst they have their personal differences towards one another, one fact they remained united on. Michael Watson is greatest British fighter to never win a World Title, bar none. He went as close as humanly possible to being World Champion, before something happened that would alter his and family lives forever.

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Watson was born in Hackney during the swinging ’60’s to a large West Indian family. His father, who separated from his mother Joan had returned to Jamaica.

Living in Dalston, North London. Renowned for being an unruly area in the late 70’s, it was a particularly rigorous environment for a father-less young boy learning to become a man.

Michael was a quiet, softly spoken young man. His mother had installed in him to be polite and courteous at all times. This began to become a disadvantage to him as played football on his estate. One game in particular against a group of older boys would be career defining. In being victorious in this game, Watson was beaten up. Unable to defend himself, he went back to his home licking his wounds. Close family friend “Uncle Joe” was there, he would from this day become a father figure to Watson. He told him that he needs to learn how to defend himself so this is never repeated.

Uncle Joe took 14 yr old Michael to Crown and Manor Boxing Club to do just that. He admits himself, when he looks back that this was a real watershed moment for him. Watson felt a sense of belonging, he felt at home in the gym. He was free. It seemed that the gym and boxing felt the same towards him. He took to the sport like a duck to water.

Watson fought 22 times for Crown and Manor as an amateur, winning 20 losing 2. He transferred to Colvestone Boxing Club where he won the ’83/84 Nationals. This put him in contention to be part of Team GB for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Watson losing what was deemed as an easy fight, he was stopped by young Liverpudlian Brian Schumacher who took his seat on the plane to America.

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Michael soon turned pro after this brief setback. Chalking up some impressive victories. Watson picked holes in his opponents, he could also bang with his trademark right hand.
He was 14-1 before the public really sat up and took notice of him.

“He was a well schooled, clever, skilful boxer.”
Steve Bunce

Watson v Don Lee

American Don Lee, named Dangerous Don was the first real win Watson had in the public eye.Lee was one of the most avoided and
feared middleweights from that period. Watson was the aggressor, exerting frightening power. Stalking and hunting Lee down. He was the polar opposite to himself outside the ring. The referee called a halt to the fight. Lee’s lip was badly cut. Rightly so as he would of done some serious damage to him. Watson whilst the high-pressure fighter in the ring, still displayed the humility outside of it. He never wanted to maim, hospitalise anyone. Thriving on purely embarrassing his opponents with his skill and laser punching precision. That was more satisfying in his eyes.

“I was a Top Ten contender during the era of Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Roberto
Duran, it was a great era to be a Top Ten contender” Michael Watson

Watson used this as a catalyst in his next 7 fights, winning 6 by knockout, drawing 1. His KO of Ricky Stackhouse my personal favourite.

This had him knocking firmly on the door of the divisions big guns, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. This was the renaissance period of boxing on these shores. An embarrassment of riches in the Super Middleweight division, that would continue with Steve Collins and later Joe Calzaghe in years to come.

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Nigel Benn had 22 fights and 21 KO’s when he was due to fight Watson. He was Michael’s acid test. The man they called the Dark Destroyer. Benn was a real throwback to the boxers of yester year. He reminded me of a young Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier. Inner City street fighters, just angry young men, with a point to prove to the world. Who will go through anything, and anyone who dares to cross their path with the force of a freight train. Benn, enjoyed hurting people, he got off on it. But he could also box and was certainly not a man to piss off.

“The British press hate a winner who’s British. They don’t like any British man to have balls as big as a cow’s like I have.”—Nigel Benn

Watson v Benn

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The poster for this fight is the best I have ever seen. It was the same time Michael Jackson was touring in London for his album “Bad”. Rare for any promoter to miss a trick on what’s current, hats off. Benn’s entrance for this fight was BAD themed and fit his persona like a velvet glove. The venue, “The Super Tent” a purpose built almost circus esq ripe for the occasion.

Benn, the overwhelming favourite sprinted out of the blocks as expected, pressing, trying to bully Watson. Michael cupped his gloves over his head, Ali esq v Foreman and just absorbed everything Benn threw at him. Benn had punched himself out, he was blowing. Later blaming his coaching for not conditioning him correctly for this fight. In the 6th, he met the canvas and was counted out. The crowd in the tent went ballistic, Watson had done it against all odds. The smarter man had won.

After the Benn fight, Watson didn’t hit the expected heights. This was his time to be catapulted into the stratosphere. Why hadn’t it happened?. This was down to appalling management of his team, by Mickey Duff his manager. To put it in to perspective, 18mths after defeating Benn, Watson was fighting on his undercard for £15k, Benn was getting £500k, the figures didn’t add up. His patience and trust had run out with Duff. He knew he was being taken for a ride. No more.

In 1991 Watson took Duff to court citing a “Restraint of Trade” in his contract. The judge agreed that by Duff acting as his manager and promoter there was a clear conflict of interest. He ruled in Watson’s favour.

This was a monumental verdict that would set the precedence in years to come, it had give power back to the fighters. Sent a clear warning to rogue promoters that it wouldn’t be tolerated.

It enabled Watson to finally get his hands on the man he wanted, Chris Eubank.

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Not being born to parents who were accountants was probably my biggest mistake.” – Chris Eubank

Watson v Eubank I

Chris Eubank was the most hated athlete of the late 80’s and 90’s. Eloquently spoken, he was the self appointed aristocrat of this era. Perceived as pompous, up his own arse. He was the man everyone was rooting against. The public wanted to see that smug smile smashed off his face. Eubank drew on the negative energy and hostility he received, and it made him a better fighter for it. This fight was no different, Watson was labelled “The People’s Champion”. Everyone, including Eubank’s wife was in his Watson’s corner. I’ve always admired an athlete with self assurance and arrogance, if he can back it up. Eubank could and he wouldn’t of looked out of place as a tailor in Savile Row.

On warm summers evening in June 1991, a contest for WBO Super Middleweight title, Watson gave Eubank a boxing lesson. Dominated him, he fought like he was the World Champion and Eubank was the challenger. Some had the fight closer, but not for me. The fight went the distance. Watson had it in the bag. He knew it. The crowd knew it. Even Eubank knew. It was written over his swollen sweat dripped face. Eubank got the decision. It was a public robbery, on the highest stage. The crowd utterly defenceless to stop it

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The fall out the next day in the tabloids was venomous, the press simply couldn’t comprehend how Eubank got the decision.

3 months later we had the rematch the world demanded. Eubank had no choice. He had to take it. He had to beat this guy, prove everyone wrong. But could he?

This would prove to be more memorable than the 1st fight. But for the wrong reasons.

Watson v Eubank II

This fight meant more to Watson than any other he had contested. He knew he had to get the stoppage. He couldn’t rely on the officials giving him the decision. It was his time, his destiny. It was the only way he would realise his dream as a 14 yr old boy. Back in his local boxing club, being World Champion. It’s what he worked for in his entire career. Building up to this single moment. The coronation from Peoples Champion to World Champion. Watson treated Eubank like a young sparring partner. Knocking him round the ring like he didn’t deserve to be there. Eubank, in his own words had been out thought, out manoeuvred, out strengthened. Watson’s style was completely wrong for him.

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It’s the 11 round. Watson is light years ahead on points. But he wasn’t satisfied. He had to finish Eubank off. He knocked Eubank down with a right. 1st time Eubank had been put down in his career. 20,000 people going crazy in White Hart Lane. Afterwards, Eubank said he wished he’d hadn’t been able to get up, he wouldn’t of done if he knew what was moments away.

Like a true champion, Eubank showed heart, grit. Despite being exhausted, he wasn’t ready to surrender his title.

Then

It happened….

Slow motion.

Eubank catches Watson with a perfect uppercut, Watson falls on to the ropes, lands awkwardly on the back of his head.

The crowd goes silent….

Watson gets back on his feet. He’s not himself. Visually, breathing different. Mentally, heartbroken.

The round ends.

He returns to his corner. His family said it wasn’t Michael that came out for the 12th. A stranger.

Watson wasn’t returning punches

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The referee immediately stopped the fight.

Watson collapses moments after in the ring.

Tragedy.

There was no ambulance or paramedic at the event.Doctors wearing dinner jackets arrived after some eight minutes, during which time the fallen fighter received no oxygen. A total of 28 minutes elapsed before Watson received treatment in a hospital neurosurgical unit. He spent 40 days in a coma and had six brain operations to remove a blood clot.

Steve Bunce has written a superb piece on how the rest of the night unfolded. Please read below.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/others/boxing-the-night-michael-watsons-career-was-ended-2358050.html

After regaining consciousness, he spent over a year in intensive care and rehabilitation and six more years in a wheelchair.

His biggest fight had begun.

Watson, like the true champion mustered something that most human beings in that situation wouldn’t and couldn’t be able to do. He fought. He fought to get his life back. Or certainly some sense of normality.

One of the key turn points was when Muhammed Ali travelled over from the USA to personally see Michael. He sat by his bedside and told him he’s not a bad looking guy. Not as good looking as him mind! This visit, gave him the needed lift and made him want to continue. It gave him renewed hope in his darkest hour. His idol coming to see him.

Watson sued the British Boxing Board for negligence and won a reported £1m. A paltry sum considering you nearly lost your life due to inadequate care ringside.

On 19 April 2003, Michael Watson made headlines when he completed the London Marathon, walking two hours each morning and afternoon for six days. Raising money for the Brain and Spine Foundation, Watson slept overnight in a support bus that followed him along the way.Finishing the race by his side were Chris Eubank and his neurosurgeon, who had become his personal friends.

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On 4 February 2004, Watson was awarded the MBE by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.  She told him that she had heard of his achievements. Watson was overjoyed and noted that this was his family’s first visit to Buckingham Palace.

A truly moving story, of not only a remarkable boxer, but a remarkable man.

Many in his situation would hold bitterness, a grudge towards Chris Eubank for nearly ending his life.

Watson told Eubank when they first met many years after the fight that “he forgave him, and had prayed for Eubank that he was ok”.

Now I’m not a remotely religious man, but that’s pretty powerful stuff. Forgiveness in the face of death. Eubank, broke down in to tears upon hearing that.

If Watson can forgive Eubank. It really does make you re-evaluate your life and what’s important.

One thing is for sure.

Michael Watson is a Champion, he doesn’t need a belt or title to hold that accolade.

I hope you enjoyed the article.

Tune in early next week for my next blog.

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog

Carpe Diem….Did they seize the day? Cotto still got it.. By Paul Ready

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Good evening.

Great night of boxing in some quarters. Others had some what subdued fights for me, with plenty to prove if they are to cut it at the top.

Let’s get stuck straight in.

Lee Selby v Ryan Walsh

A somewhat ugly performance from Selby. Who wasn’t given it on a plate by the stubborn Ryan Walsh, looked sloppy at times. Caught by Walsh all the 1st round and suffering a cut in the third due to a clash of heads. He knew he was going to have to dig deep and grind out a result. As the fight wore on, he threw some decent combinations but never really like troubling Walsh or indeed getting the stoppage. Selby got the decision in the end after controlling the latter rounds. Selby in winning a unanimous decision, defended his British & Commonwealth title. He is now looking to move up to the next level to face Rendall Munroe in a European Featherweight title bout. Selby will need to really come out of the blocks in that one, show much more than he did last night or he will struggle.

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Selby needs a big performance against Munroe next

Kevin Mitchell v Marco Lopez

Mitchell in his 2nd outgoing since his defeat to Ricky Burns last year, looked good against a poor Lopez. Lopez, looked in shocking shape for a professional boxer, never looked like troubling the man from Romford. Mitchell, who controlled the tempo and pace of the fight from start to finish. He scored two knock downs in 5th and 6th before the fight was finally stopped by the referee. This tees up a mouth-watering matchup with Derry Mathews, rumoured to be December this year. I’d have to back Mathews due to his punching power and ability to stop anyone in the Lightweight division. It’s a fight that makes sense for both parties whilst Burns is recovering from his jaw injury and his sights set on immediate rematch with Beltran.

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Mitchell back on track after setback, Mathews next?

Luke Campbell v Neil Hepper

Another explosive 1st round victory by Olympian Luke Campbell. A technically perfect body shot, folded Hepper up like a pair of freshly pressed trousers. Lightening fast hands and movement, a friend of mine compared him to Amir Khan when he was 1st starting out. Let’s hope he can take a punch better. Challenge for his team now is at what pace to continue his progress at. He needs to get some rounds in the bank, but the quality of his opposition will continue to be this level for at least his next 5-10 fights. Campbell, we need to be patient with but I expect him to be challenging for the British title this time next year. Very impressive and I look forward to his next outing.

Boxing at Craven Park in Hull

Another stoppage for Campbell

Scott Quigg v Yoandris Salinas

Quigg’s first “defence” of his recently obtained WBA Super Bantamweight title resulted in an average show from the man from Bury. A poor 1st 5 rounds, Quigg who never really got going until the 2nd half of the fight, took time to get himself in to gear. Salinas dictating the tempo and pace of the fight from the outset. Quigg began to impose himself much more in the final 5/6 rounds, but he made it more of a contest than it should of been. Salinas proved to be an awkward customer, constantly putting the theatrics on. Spending the final part of the fight turning his back on Quigg and complaining to the ref. This made me want Quigg to KO him even more. One would argue that if Quigg had started like he finished, he could of got the stoppage. His combinations were good when he began to unload them. But with the draw as a final decision, there was minimal grounds to grumble. I had Quigg by a round. He will need to raise his performance significantly in his next encounters as the big fights will come thick and fast. Another slow start against better opposition will result in him losing. Joe Gallagher and himself must go back to the drawing board on their tactical approach after watching this fight back.

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Time for Quigg to change his approach…

Anthony Joshua v Emanuele Leo

The long awaited, much hyped debut of Heavyweight Joshua was made. Explosive finish, stopping him in round 1. Leo, whilst he will never be world champion anytime soon, was 8-0 so was no complete whipping boy. But Joshua disposed of him with ease. Got behind the jab when he had the opportunity and blew him away with his first real combination thrown. Few nerves from Joshua, which was to be expected with the pressure that has been placed on him. But what is apparent is the sheer power he possesses. With 8oz gloves and no headguard, one would understand it was a surreal experience for him. But once Joshua settled and let the hands fly, the ref had to rightly step in before Leo was badly hurt. After the fight, it was discussed by promoter Hearn that other than his expected outing on the Brook v Senchenko card, he intends to get Joshua out twice more before the year is out. Possibly on Froch v Groves undercard and an international bow in Germany on the Barker v Sturm bill. This will aid him no end. What is key to the development of Joshua and Campbell is the amount of rounds they can accumulate in the bank. They need to both bee in with opponents who can soak up the punches, and take them 5-6 rounds. They will learn so much from that. This stage of a young pro’s development is imperative that they aren’t thrust in to dangerous fights too soon due to public clamour and expectation. It will help Joshua not headlining in his next few fights, so he can go out and get the job done with no undue pressure. The finish, was impressive, as I expected.

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Man mountain Joshua

Internationally, we had two notable match-ups. In Moscow triple Heavyweight Champion Wladmir Klitschko v Alexander Povetkin & in Orlando Miguel Cotto v Delvin Rodriguez.

Klitschko v Povetkin

IBF, WBO & WBA World Champion Klitschko won a one sided victory against undefeated challenger Povetkin in front of a 15,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium. This was Klitschko’s 15th defence of his belts and his record now stands at 61 victories in 64 fights. Povetkin never posed any threat, being knocked three times in the 7th. Resulted in an overwhelming 119-104 victory to Wladimir who picked up a cool £11m for the fight. At 37 yr old, one would question how many fights he has left & whether the hunger still burns strong. The competition out there currently is poor. Fury & Haye being the only two attractive propositions currently in the ring and financially. But how much does he want either fight? Not very much in my eyes.

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I’d be pulling the same face if I picked up £11m for one nights work…

Cotto v Rodriguez

Miguel Cotto, 3 weight World Champion of Puerto Rico, scored a devastating 3rd round KO victory over Delvin Rodriguez. After back to back defeats to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout. Cotto took a break from boxing, and hired Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who orchestrated his defeat to Manny Pacquiao. Roach who before the fight spoke about wanting Cotto to get back to being the aggressive direct fighter he once was. It appears that the chemistry is working as this felt like we were watching Cotto of 7 years ago. Rodriguez who has suffered 5 defeats prior to this was hardly in the class of his previous two opponents. Never the less, you are only as good as your last fight and Cotto looked sharp. Does this mean he can go in with Mayweather again? No chance. What Roach will bring is a freshness and new approach on how to get him back to his best style in the ring. Using Juan Manuel Marquez as a poster boy for the seasoned veteran, Cotto proved there is plenty of life in the old dog left. I’d like to see him in with Canelo next, especially with Roach in his corner it would make for a fascinating encounter. The only thing, and it’s a large one that could scupper that would be the Top Rank/HBO and Goldenboy/Showtime situation. It seems that we are destined to never see any crossover fights of the two respective promoters, which is a shame. I’d love to see them agree a fight and it going to a bidding situation for which Network shows it. Highly unlikely after the acrimonious split Goldenboy had from a long term relationship with HBO. In light of that, the winner of Bradley/Marquez or even him moving up to face Sergio Martinez at Middleweight has been discussed. Cotto could comfortably make 160. I for one, look forward to seeing modern day Gladiator Cotto in action again. If not for his boxing, for his hashtag #WarCotto. Superb!

Check out the Rodriguez KO below.

Right, that’s all from me this evening.

I’m off to polish off more of this Garlic Chicken I cooked…

I apologise in advance to whoever has to speak to me tomorrow.

Tune in later this week for a blog dedicated to a British boxing great.

Laters

Paul

@PaulReady

Will Khan unwrap his Wonka bar and find a Floyd Golden Ticket? By Paul Ready

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My kind of Golden Ticket….
In light of the rife speculation, linking Khan with a fight against Mayweather in May 2014. I felt it was only fitting that I chipped in with my two pence worth. Hence the impromptu blog today.
Despite the immediate denials from the Khan camp today, I think it’s an announcement that will be made in the not too distant future. Which is a tad presumptuous that he will breeze past Alexander in December, unless he his pulling out of that fight.
Khan (31 fights, 28 Wins, 19 KO’s, 3 Losses) is yet to have an official fight at 147lbs. His last outing in March a tight victory over Julio Diaz was at a 143lbs catch weight. He has spoke recently that 147lbs is a natural weight for him and he walks around at 150lbs.

Mens Lightweight (60kg) Medal Ceremony
It feels like he has been around forever, he will be only 27 in December. Khan went pro after the 2004 Olympics where he picked up a silver medal at the tender age of 17. He is a man who is actually more popular in the States than he is over here. The American’s love the vulnerable nature of his chin and this makes for thrilling fights in their eyes. He always looks one punch away from being KO’d. But Khan has lightening hand speed and is willing to trade in the trenches of a fight, a commendable trait, if you can take a punch. In the UK, we find him a tad arrogant the way he discusses himself in the 3rd person and what is perceived as an overconfidence in the manner in which he comes across in and out of the ring. Khan who is now on his 3rd trainer, has struggled for me to stick & execute a game plan in the big fights that have mattered.
This has been illustrated in fights with Maidana & Diaz which he ended up winning both, but could of been knocked out various times on both occasions.

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Breidis Prescott and Danny Garcia both completely blasted him away in spectacular fashion. Prescott has gone backwards since then, where as Garcia for me should be the man in the opposite corner to Floyd next, not Khan. Perhaps a fight Floyd feels is too dangerous next. Maybe he wants a tune up first and feels Khan is that?

Khan who has changed from Hall Fame coach Freddie Roach, to Virgil Hunter who trains Super Middleweight king Andre Ward. The reason for the split rumoured to be Khan’s felt Roach was to blame for his loss to Garcia. Which I find a tad harsh. Khan was winning that fight, got caught clean, and went down and from then on he was easy pickings for Garcia to KO. Looking back on that fight and how Garcia has progressed and developed since, there is no shame in that loss. Garcia is one of the top boxers around currently in any weight class.

We heard the same quotes when he joined Roach and is now making identical noises this time. It is tiring to hear. Whilst some blame could be placed at Roach’s door, Khan was always going to be the number 2 fighter at Wild Card gym to Pacquaio. He should of been under no illusions from the outset. He could blame his on/off relationship with Roach’s then strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, but you are then really clutching at straws.

For me as an elite athlete, you have to be your own worst critic. To be the best, you have to scrutinise your victories as much as you do your defeats. Leave no stone unturned. You can’t afford to.

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Always the bridesmaid, never the bride to Roach.

What hasn’t endured him to the British public in my opinion, is his recycled quotes that he’s “going back to basics” etc. After almost 10 yrs as a pro, you have either got it, or you haven’t. I make comparisons to Ricky Hatton in the latter stages of his career. His two losses to Floyd and Pacquiao, he suffered from a rush of blood when hit clean. He wanted the fight to be a war and ended up being outclassed and knocked out. Khan, for me, is cut from the same cloth

Khan has a relatively large entourage “Team Khan” as they are known. My concern is he is surrounded by “yes men”. People who inflate his ego, make him believe he is the heir to Mayweather’s throne and the next P4P champion. Hunter has already been critical of Khan travelling all over the States/UK and not focussing on his time in the gym. He really is in last chance saloon with his career. If it doesn’t work out with Hunter, then who does he turn to?

If it happens, this is a safe fight for Floyd, he won’t underestimate Khan by any stretch of the imagination. But nor will he pose any real problems. He is quicker than Khan and I do wonder if Khan can absorb the snapping counter punches Floyd will throw and not be knocked out.
I see Floyd stoppage within 5 rounds. And a juicy PPV pay cheque to boot. Khan, would earn a reported $10m (£5m) from this fight, which would eclipse his purses altogether in his career.
Khan has spoken previously about wanting to leave the sport at 30, with his mind and body intact. With his recent marriage, possible plans to start a family this may become a genuine possibility now. He has done some positive things in the community in his native town of Bolton. Joe Gallagher and his stable of fighters Anthony Crolla, Scott Quigg, John Murray and Matthew Macklin have been using Khan’s Bolton gym which has not gone unnoticed by the British Boxing community.
I can see Khan as a promoter in the future when he eventually does hang his gloves up. He has that kind of personality and a house hold name to succeed where Hatton and other ex British fighters has failed.
Until then, I’m sure we will enjoy a few more edge of your seat fights with him. Regardless of your personal opinion on him, there is never a dull fight with Amir Khan involved.
Right.
That’s me. I’m off to the gym to do some Floyd esq ab exercises whilst shouting “Hard WHAT?” to passers by.
Enjoy the boxing this weekend and tune in next week for analysis.
Paul
@PaulReady

2 Greatest Of All Time…. Polar opposites…. By Paul Ready

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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”

Superb!

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..

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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.

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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

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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.

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“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?”

200 Fights

173 Wins

108 Wins by KO

19 Losses

“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”

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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.

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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.

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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…

2nd thoughts…

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

http://www.britishboxers.co.uk/2013/02/johnny-greaves-ive-nearly-reached-my.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BritishBoxersBoxingNewsReviewsLinksRankingsWwwbritishboxerscouk+(British+Boxing+Website+-++www.britishboxers.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.

Cheers

Jason… I mean Paul.

@PaulReady