Who will be the first to discover the Haymon Matrix?

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2014 some 15 years after the release of the hit movie starring Keanu Reeves; boxing it appears has it’s own version of The Matrix.

The mysterious and somewhat allusive figure of Al Haymon has created a fictitious world which his fighters operate in.

A man who let’s face it suffers from a clear social anxiety order is the most talked about person in the sport.
Very rarely do we see a video interview on YouTube with an American based fighter who doesn’t mention him.

Why does he have such an iron grip on the sport?

I could fill the rest of this post with who he represents, what is most concerning for me is – what is the end goal?

Money?

Of course that must have a significant importance on his agenda. We all get up in the morning and commute somewhere for the exchange of crisp currency for service.

But he was already a wealthy man before boxing; culminating a treasure chest of booty from representing some of the largest American artists in history.

The biggest concern for me is the fear his fighters have in calling anyone out.

Why the reluctance?

Do you get penalised?

Whatever happened to YOLO?

It’s a short, tough career, surely you want to create your own legacy?

Recently we’ve seen 140lb champion Danny Garcia slaughtered for his fight against Rod Salka, a man who greatest respect should have been a sparring partner. Last week Adrien Broner beat Emmanuel Taylor as expected, post-fight when quizzed who he wants next the response was surprisingly scripted for him:

My next opponent SHOULD be Lucas Matthysse”

Not “would like” or “I want”, it was “should”!

What ever happened to fighters calling fighters out?

The best wanting to fight the best?

Bernard Hopkins has spoken out about this recently, and thus prompted him to take the Sergey Kovalev fight. Huge respect to him.

It desperately needs to change as it’s becoming a cancer for our sport.

This Saturday see’s his prize-stable-stud Floyd Mayweather Jr face Marcos Maidana in a rematch of their earlier encounter this year. The undercard is the poorest I’ve seen for sometime.

I’m a huge Floyd fan but if I was living in America, I would struggle to justify the $75 fee based on the supporting cast of Mayhem.

Leo Santa Cruz the WBC Super-Bantamweight champion has stated numerous times that he wants newly crowned IBF Champion Carl Frampton, or WBA regular Champion Scott Quigg.

What happens when representatives of each camp get in touch? They get excuses as to why it can’t happen.

An “0” on your record means fuck all if you haven’t fought the best in your division. I’m sorry, but that’s how it is.

It brings me back to my initial point of this article; we need a Haymon fighter to break free from The Matrix and my money is on Keith Thurman.

One Time is challenging the almighty hierarchy and you get the feeling he is beginning to question what he is being fed.

He one of few calling out people; he wants Top Rank fighters, he wants Broner, Khan and I admire the bollocks on this guy.

It is only a matter of time before he is either banished in exile for desecrating his cherry-picking-path or he walks on his own accord.

So Keith, do you take the blue pill or the red one?

 

MatrixBluePillRedPill

@PaulReady
@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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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

#TheMoment Undercard by Paul Ready

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Some good fights supporting the big one this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, let’s have a look at them and a few Brits who are competing…

Anthony Ogogo

Ogogo (5-0: 2KOs) makes his Las Vegas bow in his 2nd fight across the pond against Jonel Tapia (8-4: 5KOs) .

The 2012 Bronze Medalists fight unfortunately won’t be televised on BoxNation in the UK, but will be shown at a later stage.

The 25yr old from Lowestoft last fought on the Burns v Crawford card in March and will be looking to continue to grow his profile Stateside.

Tapia, was knocked out in 1 round by Badou Jack of The Money Team (TMT) last year.

 

Ashley Theophane

“Treasure” Theophane (34-6: 10KOs) faces American Angino Perez (15-4: 13KOs).

Perez, 30 has fought Carlos Molina in 2012 and lost on a unanimous decision.

Theophane, 33 has had a fairy-tale journey to the Mayweather Gym in Chinatown Las Vegas. He has been described by many as a journeyman boxer, having fought the majority of his career in small arenas in the UK, York Hall being the “plat principal”.

The rags-to-riches tale sounds like fictious football player making the grade at a star team, Theophane quickly earned a credible reputation as a solid sparring partner in New York and subsequently went to Las Vegas for a change of scenery.

It was there that he came to Floyd Mayweather Jnr’s attention and under his watchful gaze he received plaudits Stateside for his hunger to learn and train with the intensity usually displayed in a young pro.

The one wrong he wishes to right is against Danny Garcia who he lost to on a split points decision some years ago.

Theophane is 2 wins away from the opportunity of sharing the ring with Garcia or Lamont Peterson and the first semi-final is on Saturday night.

J’Leon Love v Marco Antonio Periban

Firstly I rate Love, he is the most talented fighter in the TMT stable bar Money May.

Learnt to fight at the Jerusalem of boxing; the Kronk Gym in Detroit before turning pro and joining Mayweather Promotions.

Having steamrolled through the majority of his first fights with stoppages galore, the acid test finally arrived against menacing Gabriel Rosado.

Watching the fight back, Love was fortunate to get the win, when many myself included felt Rosado had done enough to get the victory.

Coupled with him failing a post-fight drugs test and a 6 month suspension he then had a Soprano-style “sit-down” with Floyd and CEO Leonard Ellerbe who spelt out what the expectations of him were.

He was labelled by many as the next big thing and a change in behaviour & more focus in training has encouraged Floyd & Ellerbe that they were right to stick by their man.

Love (17-0: 13KOs) is now operating at Super-Middleweight has to really deliver in emphatic fashion on Saturday evening.

In front of the 26 yr old stands Marco Antonio Periban a former WBC challenger, having lost to current champion Sakio Bika for the title vacated by Andre Ward in 2013.

Periban, (20-1-1: 13KO’s) is regarded by some as a gate-keeper, but I feel he warrants better labeling than that. Having drawn against fellow TMT stable-mate Badou Jack, make no mistake that Periban is not in Vegas for the Lobster Buffet this weekend.

He is a tall ask for any 168lb fighter and I take my hat off to Mayweather Promotions for making this fight as it is a dangerous one for a prospect on the verge of world honours.

There will be no love lost from Periban as he focuses on his own path of contesting for world honours (sorry had to get a pun in!)

Intriguing one to watch unfold and I would favour the 29yr old 60-40 from the outset but I envisage Love to win by late stoppage.

 

Adrien Broner v Carlos Molina

Adrien “The Problem” Broner has picked up where he left off  with his narcissism after his first defeat to Marco Maidana.

I admire the man as a boxer, he has unquestionable ability that has made him a 3 weight-world champion at the tender 24 yrs of age, but outside the ring he has plenty to improve on.

Broner (27-1: 22KO’s) faces Carlos Molina a man he yesterday described as a “punching-bag”.
“People want to know if the loss [against has humbled me and of course it has,’ he said.
‘If I would have won that Maidana fight people would be calling me an asshole”
“People still call me that, but now I thank God that he slowed me down in my tracks even though it is still a heavy and fast train. Right now, Denzel Washington couldn’t stop this train”

“This fight is huge for me. Everyone wants to see what Adrien Broner is going to do next after this devastating loss I took in the early part of my career. I know why everyone has their eyes glued to me.
“Carlos Molina is a hell of a fighter and he is going to come to fight. He’s going to come to kick my ass because I’m sure as hell going to come to kick his.”
“I’m trying to have some fun. I will be pretty, fresh, fly and still flashy”
“I do agree with Broner that Molina should be “easy-work” and I fully expect him to win via a KO within 5 rounds.”
“In the 140lb Jnr Welterweight division, there lays some big money fights for him; most notably Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse as he looks to gradually climb back to Welterweight.”

Whilst he would never admit it publicly, I do believe Broner slightly regrets the jump from Lightweight to Welter, in hindsight he should have allowed his body to naturally adapt to the increase in weight.

Amir Khan v Luis Collazo

Amir “King” Khan (28-3: 19KO’s) makes his bow at 147lbs as the chief support for Mayweather Maidana.

Khan 27, appears to have finally got over missing out on the “Mayweather Lotto Sweepstakes” and now gracefully admits that the time wasn’t right for him to jump straight in to that fight.

Collazo (35-5: 18KO’s) is coming off the back of a brutal KO to Victor Ortiz in January.

I for one am delighted that Khan is finally getting back in the ring, mainly as the talking will stop about him and Mayweather – for now and he can focus fully on boxing.

This for me will be fight of the evening, I fully expect both men to go toe-to-toe, King Khan has spoken repeatedly about boxing differently, being patient and not getting sucked in to a war.

But despite the change in trainer and a prolonged 13mth absence from the ring, I feel it is very difficult to make adjustments to your style after 10yrs as a pro.

I fancy Khan to get a late stoppage, around round 9, but Collazo will put him under intense pressure and almost certainly put the Brit on the canvas early on.

“You’re going to see an improved Amir Khan, the best Amir Khan, there’s no doubt in my mind about that,” he said.

“Over the last 12 months I’ve been in camps with Virgil and we’ve been working on certain aspects of my game that I never really got the chance to work on because I just didn’t get the time as I was fighting so often.

“Through the last few months I’ve been focusing on improving myself and adding certain things to my game. Because I didn’t have an opponent lined up and I wasn’t fighting I had the time to look at myself and work on things I wanted to work on.

“On May 3rd I’m going to put that all into practice on the biggest stage and not only beat Collazo but look to beat him in real style.”

 

Tune in tomorrow for my surgeon esq dissection of the main event, Mayweather v Maidana.

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

 

2014 Fight Wish List By Paul Ready

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Happy New Year one & all.

I hope that you had an enjoyable festive period.

Back to reality of setting an alarm at 6am for work, those long lay-ins a distant memory.

In my opinion, there are some fights that must and will happen this year.

There are some fights that everyone fan, critic and broadcaster wishes to happen which I will list shortly.

Then we have my hand-picked fights which I will discuss in more detail, as to why I would like to see them.

I’m going to exclude Floyd “Money” Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao within this, as it is a pipe dream. This fight is destined for games console as a pure fantasy encounter.

It is up there with other urban myths such as ghosts, goblins, unicorns and lottery wins.

It will always be the fight that never happened for 100 hundred millions reasons.

The main issue being the promoter rivalry between both camps that represent each fighter (Goldenboy for Money Mayweather, Top Rank for Manny) the broadcaster rivalry between both camps (Showtime for Floyd, HBO for Pacquiao).

I feel the same about Carl “The Cobra” Froch and “Saint” George Groves rematch. Froch has no desire to fight Groves again, he is afraid, annoyed at the public and Groves’ perceived behaviour after the controversial stoppage win Froch had in the 1st fight.

That is my genuine gut feel, I hope I’m wrong, but I feel Froch will avoid it at all costs. The Cobra has cited aspirations of fighting in Las Vegas before he retires, I expect him to fight there this year at some point.

The below is a list of fights that everyone wants to see, and I feel they will happen this year at some point:

Miguel Cotto v Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Scott Quigg v Carl Frampton
Mikey Garcia v Yuriorkis Gamboa
Ruslan Provodinkov v Brandon Rios
Adonis Stevenson v Sergei Kovalev
Floyd Mayweather v Amir Khan
Floyd Mayweather v Marcos Maidana
Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder
Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora II
Manny Pacquiao v Tim Bradley II
Andre Ward v Gennady Golovkin
Andy Lee v Matthew Macklin

In relation to the above fights, I feel these have been talked to death by boxing experts on TV, us, the fans and are constantly discussed on social networks.

Boxing is prize fighting remember, so I feel the above will happen due to public demand and money.

The contradiction to the above statement is Mayweather v Pacquiao match as it would be the most financially lucrative of all time. There simply is SO much “red-tape” preventing it from ever occurring.

If you wish to read further into this, there are countless articles, interviews with both fighters and their respective camps on the internet.

Let’s move on now to the fights I personally want to happen:

Andre “Son of God” Ward v George Groves

This is a fight I believe can, and will be made in 2014.
Ward has declared that he is interested in fighting him and Groves’ trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick tweeted in a Q&A with fans that a fight with Ward is a real possibility.

Another fascinating point about this fight, which adds more drama to it, is that Carl Froch has publicly declared on numerous occasions that he wants a rematch with Ward. The Cobra as you will recall lost to Ward a few years ago. It was a boxing lesson from Ward.

For Groves to be chosen by Ward as a more exciting adversary than Froch, speaks volumes about his profile Stateside.

Technically this will be a beautiful fight, two fighters with crisp jabs, dazzling speed and both can whack.

You would have to favour the undefeated “Son of God” on paper due to his dazzling CV, but only a fool would bet against Groves bringing the world to a standstill by winning.

Danny “Swift” Garcia v Adrien “The Problem” Broner

Both fighters have had two contrasting years in boxing, but I feel both need one another in the ring.

Undefeated Garcia, has no credible opponents left at 140lbs (Jnr Welter) having beaten Lucas Matthysse in September. Broner it seems will move down from 147lbs (Welter) to 140lbs after a career first defeat against Marcos Maidana last month.

It is a fight that I believe will happen late 2014, certainly PPV (Pay Per View) and one that would be career defining for both fighters.

The winner will be able to stake their claim to be a future global star in America, ready to take the mantle from Mayweather when he retires.

Garcia, will put himself firmly in front of Mayweather as an opponent for 2015, one that he won’t be able to avoid.

Broner, will show that he is the real deal, that he took the defeat against Maidana like a man, went away, honed his craft and delivered emphatically.

Danny is an accurate puncher, rarely wastes a shot. He struggled in stages against Zab Judah, but looked world-class against Matthysse.

Broner is a big puncher, has good hand-speed but he must work on his conditioning and lifestyle as he will have a short tenure in the sport if he continues to live the way he does.

Amir “King” Khan v Kell “Special K” Brook

Now many of you may scoff at the proposition of this fight;

“How can Khan go from Mayweather to Brook?”

That my friend is a valid question, my answer?

Money.

Khan would earn loads from this fight, domestically it is a PPV fight, Sky and Eddie Hearn would be all-over it like chicken pox on a toddler.

2014 financially could set Khan up for life, two fights, Mayweather and Brook, opposite ends of the scale granted, but both hugely lucrative.

Khan can use the Brook fight as an opportunity to prove to his doubters in the UK that he isn’t “chinny” and can beat the best domestically at 147lbs.

For Brook, if he beats Khan, he becomes a household name; it would announce him on the big stage in America.

Kell would receive much needed recognition there and set up some huge fights in the Welterweight division.

King Khan has a big profile America and receives more “love” than he does at home.

I think it would be a great tear-up, no love lost between them which date back to sparring between them as amateurs.

Brook needs to beat Shawn Porter, the newly crowned IBF Welter Champion when they fight in the summer.

I feel that this can be the carrot dangled in-front of Amir to lure him in to a blockbuster match up.

Khan has blistering hand-speed, but always has that vulnerability factor about him that has you on the edge of your seat.

Special K, at the age of 27 (28 in May) is untested on the world stage. Fights with Shawn Porter and Amir Khan will prove whether he will “sink or swim”.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for either fighter in this, losing is simply unthinkable.

Anthony Joshua v Hughie Fury

This fight draws mixed opinion from most, is it too soon for them to fight? Joshua, 24 is 3-0, Fury, 19 is 12-0.

There is a valid argument that we should wait a few years, let it manifest into a monster fight.

Perhaps they could take a leaf out of the Quigg v Frampton situation as opposed to James DeGale v George Groves.

DeGale v Groves if you recall took place 3 yrs ago this May, was a cracking encounter but it could of been a bigger fight further down the line as both have had only a handful of fights.

The positives of this happening in the summer are that we have a match-up between the two most exciting Heavyweight prospects on these shores.
The loser has plenty of time to come-back and build themselves again, as they are both mere pups for the Heavyweight division.

Joshua may start out for some as the favourite, but write Fury off at your peril as he could surprise many.

The pair of them are big lads, with impressive KO records so far, I would be amazed if this went the distance.

There are a number of other domestic fights I believe we could see, which I will list below:

Callum Smith v Frank Buglioni
Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew II
Kevin Mitchell v Ricky Burns II
Tommy Coyle v Kevin Mitchell
David Price v Dereck Chisora
Luke Campbell v Gavin Rees
Frankie Gavin v Kell Brook

I think 2014 will be the year of the Lightweight Division as there are so many fights that can be made there domestically, you could comfortably stage 1 each month.

I will be happy if any of the above happens, 2014 has some huge shoes to fill as 2013 was a phenomenal year for the sport.

Right, I must dash… my salad is getting warm…

#NewYearNewMe

Cheers
Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog
@PaulReady

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

No Problem for Chino… By Paul Ready

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Evening,

I ruined a surprise Christmas present last week for a mate’s girlfriend. They came round ours for a curry and a few drinks; he had told me earlier that week over text he bought her Katy Perry tickets.

We’ve got a music channel on as background noise, Katie Perry comes on:

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“Lee, you’re going to see Katie Perry aren’t you?!” I blurt out loud without even thinking in a haze of Kronenbourg;

“Well done you dick!” he replied.

It then became a standing joke from my missus and his, he was fine, but the pair of them has milked it massively. Lauren, Lee’s missus, has proceeded to tweet me excessively over it since, I can see this having some legs on it!

Big surprise to some this weekend in San Antonio Texas…

Broner v Maidana

Adrien Broner lost his WBA Welterweight title to Marco Maidana by unanimous decision on Saturday evening.

Now I, like many boxing experts laid the gauntlet down for Broner, this was his opportunity to show the world, silence the critics who loath his self indulgent, brash persona and were keen for him to have his comeuppance

Maidana proved to be far too much for Broner in what was one of the most one sided fights I’ve seen this year.

I would rank it up there with Bradley v Marquez, Pacquiao v Rios and Froch v Groves.

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From Round 1, it took even Broner by surprise at how tenacious the Argentinean was, it was apparent to everyone that he couldn’t stand Broner and his pre fight posturing, he was going to be the man to silence this guy.

AB, About Billions as he calls himself, was shocked by the power of Maidana. When he returned to his corner at the end of the 1st, he ignored the corner’s instructions, Broner’s dad combed his hair with that ridiculous afro comb, and kept saying “I’ve got this, I’ve got this”.

In round 2, we saw “Chino” Maidana step it up some more, it reminded me of Froch/Groves to a certain extent.

Maidana had no fear of Broner and genuinely didn’t give a fuck about his reputation. Some eye wincing hooks and uppercuts were thrown, then Chino put Broner down for the 1st time in his career with a beautiful left hook.

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The heavily populated Latino crowd erupted.

Broner stumbled to his feet, he was shaken.

This wasn’t in the script.

Maidana proceeded to pummel Broner and pepper him with shots for the next 6 rounds until he knocked him down again.

At the end of each round, Broner sat on his stall, glum, swollen faced and was trying to digest what was transpiring in front of him, his title was slipping away, by the gun loving, tattooed Argentinean menace Maidana.

The fight went the distance, how I will never know as I could see Broner being knocked out at various points, I’m not a fan of him but credit where due for hanging in there.

Maidana won on a unanimous decision, 117-110, 116-109 and 115-100. I had Maidana by at least 7 rounds.

Broner left as soon as the verdict was given, like a spoilt brat not getting their own way, he stormed out of the ring and headed straight towards the exit of the building with his entourage “Band Camp” in tow.

No interview with Showtime… well certainly not on camera.

No congratulations to Maidana.

Nothing.

No class.

Broner behaved appalling before; during with his dry humping behind Maidana, which Chino “returned” the favour in a jovial sense later on.

In the aftermath, Broner didn’t escape criticism of Bernard Hopkins; ambassador for Golden Boy when he spoke to ES News:

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“If the fight was a close decision, there would of been an argument for walking out, by doing that when you took a beat down, that’s worse than the performance of the fight, as it says you can’t play with my ball as I lost, storming out with your lip all down.”

“This fight took 3 fights out of him, they say you have 10, he has 7 left”
He also spoke about Broner not being able to make the relevant adjustments in the fight as there will come a time when you will face adversity;

“In life and in the ring; you can’t fight fire with gasoline, you fight it with water”

Philosophical as ever from B Hop, but he made some valid points.

Broner wasn’t prepared to face adversity, he expected Maidana to come out the traps, but he believed he would stop him eventually. When that game plan wasn’t working, he couldn’t make the necessary adjustments to step up a level and win ugly.

To be a true champion, you need that as well as displaying humility in defeat.

I’m absolutely delighted for Maidana and Robert Garcia, what a year Garcia has had. Fantastic trainer and a top guy, a real boxing man, from a boxing family and I look forward to much more from the pair of them 2014.

Maidana now is a big draw at 147, there will be no shortage of suitors wanting to face him. Paulie Malignaggi will want a crack as he feels that it’s still his belt after an unjust decision against him in the summer in the Broner fight.

The winner of Khan v Mayweather at the end of 2014, Ortiz v Maidana II, he will finally get some big pay days and good luck to him, well deserved.

I have heard about the alleged powder inhaling or something he was passed in the corner by Alex Ariza, no idea what to make of it, is it smelling salts? was it Viagra in a powder form?

I genuinely doubt there is any malice there as especially with Brandon Rios banned this week for failing a post fight VADA test from the Pacquiao bout, and so would be incredibly thick and stupid of Alex Ariza to give Maidana a banned substance.

For Broner, once he has got over his sulk, I hope he develops some humility, via Richard Schaefer from Goldenboy or “Big Bro” Floyd. He should use this as an opportunity to rebrand himself, but I will be very surprised if we see anything other than the overzealous, brash Broner we have come accustom to.

One thing that I think he should consider is moving down to Light Welter, Broner weighed in at 144lbs for this contest, and it would stand him in good stead to drop down to the weight class, which he bypassed when he jumped from Lightweight to Welter.

Broner needs to earn his stripes and there is some monster match ups down there.

Broner v Matthysse, Broner v Garcia, Broner v Provodnikov, Broner v Peterson.

He is stuck between a rock and hard place as unless he drops down to 135lb, he has some massive hurdles to overcome. We will not only see what mind-set Broner is in during his next bout in 2014, but if he can bounce back and prove he is an elite fighter at 140 or 147.

I cannot wait to see what happens.

Right that’s me for today.

My next two blogs to see the year out will by my personal awards on 2013 both internationally and domestically.

My 2nd will be who I feel will be the “ones to watch in 2014”and match ups I hope to see.

Have a good week and don’t get off with that ugly girl in the office who has had a crush on you at the Christmas do.

If she offers you a drink that has some white fizzy powder in it, chances are she bought it from Alex Ariza and its dodge!

DO NOT DRINK IT!

Laters

Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog
@PaulReady

Barker, Brooklyn Boys & Broner… By Paul Ready

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Evening
I had a crazy day & night last Saturday, ended up ruining one of my favourite shirts spilling red wine all over it.

The evening came to a fantastic crescendo as I performed a Dirty Dancing esq lift on a few people on a packed dance floor.

They each had the full 25m run up too to boot, had I drank a few more, I couldn’t of caught a cold in a phone box.

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That is all I can remember.

I know how to have a good time.

Busy weekend of boxing, so many fights to watch, and loads to analyse so will condense this as much as possible.

Where to start, and it has to be in Germany:
Barker v Sturm

Darren Barker lost his IBF Middleweight World Title to Felix Sturm in Stuttgart on Saturday evening.

Absolutely gutted for Darren, really am.

He never got really going from the outset, Sturm steamed in and was surprisingly aggressive in the 1st round, The German could smell blood.

I read that Barker didn’t look comfortable on the pads before and certainly a guy who has unfortunately been cursed with countless injuries throughout his career was out of luck when his hip went.

I’ve seen interviews with the Dazzler, and he has said that his conditioning consists of swimming as he can’t simply run.

This isn’t Ledley King we are discussing playing football, it’s a boxer, trying to move, trade, have a tight defence, mentally stay sharp and having that to contend with is incredible.

Sturm took advantage of the situation knocking Darren down, Barker signalled to Tony Sims that his hip had gone; he knew his belt was moments from being snatched from him.

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The fight ended after a barrage of punches from Sturm and Sims’ reluctantly threw the towel in.

Barker protested initially, but after a short period of time he knew it was the right decision by a man he regards as his best friend.

Sims always has and always will have his best interests at heart.

For Barker, now is the time for no rash decisions, he needs to forget boxing for the time being.

Enjoy the festive period with friends and family. Go on a few benders, hey, go crazy and eat takeaways for 2 weeks. Really needs to let his hair down and relax, as only then he can take an informed, concise decision on his future.

My personal feeling is that the above will be well needed, but will not make a difference. I feel the injuries; emotional rollercoaster he has been on has left him drained mentally and physically. Perhaps he no longer has the sufficient drive to continue to compete and go again. Only he can answer that.

Barker will forever he will be itched in folklore as a World Champion in one of the most glamorous boxing divisions, he deserves that and no one can take that away from him.

Sturm who was fighting for not only to become a 4 time world champion but to secure a highly lucrative TV deal in Germany had it all to lose had he lost to Barker. Credit to the German, he was hungry, showed great determination and aggression. Sturm fully deserved the victory and what a great guy, genuinely humble and I wish him well in that division.

Sturm’s 4 fingers flashing at the end was reminiscent of Andrey Arshavin after bagging his 4th goal at Anfield some years ago.

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Martin Murray has called him out for a rematch which would be a cracking encounter.
I hope we see more of Sturm as you could have a Euro Fantastic Four between those two, and the two Irish boys Macklin & Lee, who are mooted to fight one another on St Patrick’s Day in 2014.

Malignaggi v Judah

We had the battle of Brooklyn between two childhood pals Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah.

Malignaggi won this comfortably for me by landing 230 of 607 punches thrown, including 122 of 376 jabs according to CompuBox.

For Judah, this was the third loss in four fights (losing to Danny Garcia also at Barclay’s Centre earlier this year) certainly time for him to call it a day in my eyes.

He is a five-time champion within the light welterweight and welterweight divisions, fought everyone, never dodged an opponent, pure fearless fighter.

Respect.

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But similar to Barker, he must question what direction he can and truly wants to go in. When it has gone, it’s gone and nothing more painful to watch than a fighter who is past it.

Malignaggi, is now an Al Haymon fighter, someone who he loathed and openly criticised before the Broner fight in the summer. It may be a surprisingly move to many, myself included initially.

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Signing with Al Haymon for Paulie makes perfect financial sense at this stage of his career, he will be placed in big match ups made by the match making Don . Within that come all the financial rewards and trappings that the huge stable he represents has. Expect to see Malignaggi cashing that cheque in 2014 before he retires to become a full time pundit, which he is exceptional at by the way.

Alexander v Porter

On the same card we saw Devon Alexander lose his IBF Welterweight title to Shawn “Showtime” Porter via unanimous decision.

Porter, who if I’m honest hasn’t seen a great deal of, looked like a world beater, or Devon looked shit scared.

Maybe it was a bit of both!

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Alexander was bashed around the ring with some giant shots, rocked constantly, I thought the fight would finish inside two. Alexander showed his best horse impression as he attempted to gallop out of the way of the oncoming bombs with jelly legs of a child that has just learnt to walk.

He simply didn’t look like he wanted it enough at the end of every round, Devon sat on his stall like a broken man, ignoring his corners’ instructions, and he wanted to be out of there, day dreaming of being tucked up in his St Louis’ onesie with a cup of cocoa and the Kardashian’s on TV.

As a new world champion, Showtime Porter has 6 months before he has to face mandatory Kell Brook.

So I’m told, existing champions have 90 days to agree a fight with the mandatory, so I expect to see Porter having a “tune up” beforehand. I believe boxing is the winner as Porter v Brook is a much better fight than Brook v Alexander, both will come to fight, should be a good scrap!

To this weekend, we have a stacked card at Excel courtesy of Matchroom Boxing.
With a total of 16 fights featuring Kevin Mitchell, Lee Purdy, Jamie McDonnell, Martin Murray, Anthony Ogogo, Paul Smith, Martin Ward, Kal Yafai, Erick Ochieng, Wadi Camacho, Ben Ileyemi, promises to be a big end to a great year for the Brentwood based promoter.
We learnt that this week that they have agreed terms with Top Rank and HBO for a mandatory defence between Ricky Burns and Terence Crawford in February. Top Rank agreed for the fight to be staged in Scotland, despite the ridiculous scoring of the Beltran fight.
I doubt we will get to points in that one, it’s sink or swim for Burns as if he doesn’t put the undefeated Crawford away early, he will get knocked out as I think he is the real deal from what I have seen.

Burns has been lucky in his past two fights with Beltran and Gonzalez, the latter who was winning and actually quit on his stall at the end of the 9th, refusing to come out for the 10th citing a hand injury despite being 3 rounds + ahead. I feel the 3rd time, his lucky will run out.

Broner v Maidana

In Texas on Saturday evening, we have the 1st defence of WBA Welterweight title of Adrien “The Problem” Broner which he won in unconvincing style.

This is a massive fight for Broner, make no mistake about it.

Maidana isn’t a world beater, but he is the type of guy you have to beat before you get those PPV super-fights.

The Argentinean has stopped 31 out of 37 opponents and will push Broner all the way, he isn’t a Malignaggi or Rees who will roll over for him.

Well, Malignaggi didn’t, but you get the picture.
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Broner needs to start backing up his claims of being the next boxing superstar as up until now it has been only hot air.

How good is Adrien Broner?

Sunday morning we will have a better indication of where he truly is.

If he wins this, then he is certainly someone we, the boxing public should take a bit more seriously.

Lose and he is another overhyped, overweight motor mouth.

He has talent that is apparent to even the casual fan, it’s his attitude that I have huge questions marks over.

I want to see him really tested, starting with Saturday night.

I want Maidana to bully him, get him in the trenches, and see if he can box, trade without losing his head.

Next year the quality of opposition needs to be seriously ramped up.

I’m talking Broner v Garcia, Broner v Pacquiao, Broner v Canelo, Broner v Bradley.

Pacquiao isn’t contractually obliged to fight on HBO, so how about that next summer?

Let’s see how good this guy really is, is he the heir to Money Mayweather?

3 weight world champion at 24?

This means nothing so far for me, so I’m sorry, it won’t wash just yet.

You want to be a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) Adrien, 2014 is the time for you, Goldenboy and Al Haymon to do it!
Right.

That’s me.

I’m off to watch the Masterchef Final

Note to self, never watch a cookery show if you are hungry

Catch you next week
@EliteBoxingBlog
@PaulReady

Brook not Special yet… Callum Smith… B Hop an Alien… By Paul Ready

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Evening,

The alleged “Wizard of Oz” esq storm that took place was simply the wind produced from consuming a tin of beans.

Upon looking out in to my back garden this morning, I noticed a giant trampoline appeared in the neighbour’s house directly behind ours, must of blown in from another garden.

I was disappointed to not see Tinie Tempah and 2 Chainz on it, and that they didn’t get hit by a swirling shed in the process.

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Yeaaaaaahhhh…

I was out on Saturday so caught up with the fights when I got in. Completely hammered, not often we get a child-less evening, need to make the most of it Vicious and somewhat unfounded rumours were rife of me cutting some serious shapes on the dance floor. It would of been more a two-step. It’s my drunk fail safe move.

Kell Brook KO’d Vyacheslav Senchenko in 4 rounds at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on Saturday evening.

This came as no surprise for me, this is the type of performance to maintain & surpass if he is to go up a level and graduate with the big boys.

Probably Brook’s best fight to date. Very aggressive. Boxed like a man with a purpose and a point to prove. Peppering Senchenko with shots, got behind the jab well, softened him up like buttery mash.

The Ukrainian caught him with a beautiful punch that left Brook dazed and almost could of swung the fight. But with the home crowd getting behind him, Brook managed to avoid what would of been a shocking defeat as he was fully in control in this encounter up to this point.

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Senchenko described by Brook after as a “world class fighter” for me is an exaggerated comment to say the least. Yes he was ex world champion, but he is not a top 10 fighter in the Welterweight division.

For Brook now, he will have one eye on Alexander v Porter in December as he will face the victor. Other potential opponents are Khan if he doesn’t get the Mayweather fight or Adrien Broner who is fighting Marcos Maidana also in December.

The Broner fight is one which appeals to me most. I for one can’t stand Broner. I really can’t, he looked good against Gavin Rees, but so would anyone. Rees is a tough guy. But he doesn’t possess the speed or durability to trouble anyone of real significance

For me Broner doesn’t live the life enough and I’m unsure HOW good he is. Brook could surprise people in that. It would do wonders for his profile in the US if it happened.

I remember watching an episode “All Access” for The One, he was talking to Floyd backstage at a rap concert, Floyd called him “One pack” due to sporting a pot belly, and Broner laughed it off and boasted about “being on tour”.

Click on the below video 2.30 mins in and check the gut. That was as long as I could stick of the self proclaimed AB.  You knoooowww. Oh dear…

Pretty embarrassing really for a fighter deemed as the heir to Floyd’s throne treating his body in that manner. He will end up having a very short career if he continues to do so.

He is the “I deserve everything for doing nothing” generation. This isn’t college/University where you can take the summer off getting on it because you simply fancy it.

It would make for an blockbuster match-up, Broner should stroll it if he is half as good as the critics say and perhaps deep down I believe he could be. But Brook being the naturally bigger boxer, walks around as a Light Middleweight naturally, should impose his power and win a decision. Eddie Hearn seems to believe they can get him over for $2-3m dollars, but that would be PPV and in the MEN arena. (Now Phones 4U arena)

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Earlier on the card we had Super-Middleweight Callum Smith stopping Ruben Acosta in the 6th round.

Smith, 23, again looked superb. Controlled the centre of the ring, marshalling Acosta who took him further than his past 6 opponents. Now 9-0 with 7 KO’s in his first 12 months as a pro, he folded Acosta like a deckchair with two knock downs from separate body shots.

These are almost becoming his trademark punch, reminiscent of a young Ricky Hatton. Hatton’s body shot of Luis Castillo is one of the best I’ve seen.

Smith, could be sharing a ring the end of 2014/early 2015 with James DeGale which would prove to be a good test and an exciting domestic match up to work towards. Smith would eat him like a biscuit.

A man who embarked on the second step of a journey Smith has completed, Anthony Joshua was next up.

Joshua stopped Paul Butlin in the 2nd round. This was a low key outing for Joshua, coming to the ring with “Holy Grail” playing, he is on a long path to the holy grail of Heavyweight boxing.

Joshua again exerted his power, snapped the jab, floored Butlin with a left-right combo. Splitting the eyebrow in the process which pissed blood.

To his credit, Butlin peeled himself off the canvas, had no idea what day of the week it was, for his corner to then throw the towel in.

Being critical, a mate of mine shouted that his combinations were still very amateurish. 2, 3 punch thrown. Which I would agree with.

I’d like to see him move his head a bit more, slip some shots, bring some more mobility in to his game.

But it will come, he has a fantastic attitude so he will continue to learn and grow.

My final piece is on the man that Father Time forgot, the newly named “The Alien” Bernard Hopkins.

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Hopkins now wants to be known as The Alien, as he is from Pluto apparently.

Look at Naazim Richardson in the background haha.

Shitting himself.

Even he looks unsure if that is actually Hopkins underneath. Or maybe Hopkins’ face was a mask and this is his real face?

You will never see another 48 yr old (49 in January!!) box at this level, to his standard..ever.

Hopkins beat Karo Murat (25-2-1) on a unanimous decision in Atlantic City on Saturday evening.

This was the most exciting fight B Hop has had since he lost to Calzaghe.

Rather than adopting his usual “chess master” tactics, he traded with Murat, throwing and receiving some big shots that he absorbed. A rarity to say the least.

If you’ve ever caught a B Hop video on YouTube, he’s certainly not backward at coming forward about his achievements in the sport.

A man I have the utmost respect for. Been in with everyone and anyone. Fearless.

He has been in prison, come out, turned his life round, boxed at the highest level for a period spanning 25 yrs.

Now in the autumn of his career, with the leaves falling, decaying on the soil below… Hopkins has become an ambassador for Golden Boy and is regularly seen at any big fight they are hosting,

You wonder how much longer he will continue, but I’ve been asking myself that question for 5 yrs, and he shows no signs of letting up just yet. Maybe he will get to 50 and then walk away.

Check out the below video, hilarious interview Steve Bunce had with him in a caravan, a personal favourite of mine. I would be shitting my pants if I was in Buncey’s shoes.

Finally a bit of self promotion, I’m writing for US based Pro Boxing fans on a frequency basis to be agreed.

Something I’m personally pretty proud of so early after only 13 posts including this one.

Hopefully it could lead on to some exciting things in the future, worse case it will result in some great exposure Stateside.

I have a few irons in some fires with house-hold boxers/trainers who shall remain nameless for now.

Hopefully I can get an interview/meet them in the not to distant future, stayed tuned for that!

I’m going to keep banging on the door, I’m confident someone will answer.

Maybe give me a treat, maybe ask for a trick!

Right

That’s your lot from me and my rambling.

I’m off to Amsterdam on Friday for a long weekend with the boys to celebrate my *cough* 30th.

Have a good week and catch you next week…. if I’m still alive!

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog