#Unbreakable Review by Paul Ready

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Reporting ringside from Sheffield.

At a choker-block Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, the Steel City welcomed home it’s favourite son – IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook (33-0: 23 KO’s.

The whole production had the real ambiance of a big show, a homecoming & celebration of Brook’s fantastic victory back in August.

Michael Buffer introduced the champion as he made his descent to the ring with his synonymous theme song “All Of The Lights” playing – you sensed we were about to witness a demolishing.

Southpaw Jo Jo Dan (34-2: 18 KO’s) was a man that bar the Kevin Bizier victory, I hadn’t seen a great deal of – once the first bell sounded the gulf in class was crystal clear.

Once the 28 yr old champion settled into his groove – the timing & array of shots frequently landed – he made mandatory challenger Dan look very basic.

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Photo by Lawrence Lustig

In the 2nd round Brook put his foot on the accelerator as he dropped the Canadian/Romanian twice – he was merely warming up for the grandstand finish.

There was a legitimate argument for Dan’s team to consider pulling him out in the 3rd as the butchery was relentless.

The 33 yr old somehow survived the 3rd and met the canvas twice more in the 4th – he clearly had nothing left. Dan’s corner themselves agreed he had received sufficient punishment and the challenger retired on his stool at the end of the 4th round.

It was a battering pure and simple. The only slight criticism you could have was that Brook was loading up looking for that Hollywood KO – which would have been fitting for the occasion. Brook is one of my favourite British boxers and I’m looking forward to seeing what and whom is next.

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Photo by Lawrence Lustig

“It was hard today holding it together. I felt this is where I belong. I am sorry I have kept you waiting but I hope you have had a good night. I am back baby.

“What a heart. I caught him with some good clean shots n he kept getting back up. He’s never been stopped and he’s a legitimate World title contender that has never been stopped and I have just taken him out in style.

“You see little bits of greatness but much more to come from me and I will be back out in June in a massive fight.

“Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios – those are the sort of names I want. Bring them on. I want to entertain the fans and want them to tell me who they want to see me fight – I think the answer is Amir Khan, and if he’s watching – let’s do it, come and fight me.

“I didn’t think I would ever walk again never mind box again and here I am defending my world title in style. I have been given a second chance. The best is yet to come.”

Brook v Khan is the overwhelming choice for the public and Brook’s camp – but how much does Khan genuinely want the fight?

I think he does but on his own terms. Interestingly I saw Adrien Broner tweet on Sunday that he held a “Facetime” conversation with Khan regarding those two meeting. Broner isn’t a natural Welter for me and a fight with Khan can be made the end of this year.

Brook v Khan, at Old Trafford or Wembley. I feel more confident about that fight happening than Quigg Frampton!

I would like to see Brook v Keith Thurman at some stage this year and with so many top Welterweights based in America – I hope we see Special K over there again in the not too distant future.

 

Frankie Gavin v Bogdan Mitic

Funtime Frankie made his debut for Matchroom in his first fight of 2015. The 29 yr old beat Mitic on points in what was a one-paced encounter.

Gavin’s last fight was back in November against Bradley Skeete – which he won on points in a rather forgetful encounter.

On May 9th Gavin faces the sternest test of his career against South African Chris Van Heerden. Both men have similar records and with the IBF International belt on the line – a shot at Kell Brook could be in the offing further down the line.

Gavin’s ability has never been in doubt but at the age of 29 he will know himself that it’s time to deliver performances that make everyone sit up and take notice – if he is ever to close in on a world title shot.

 

Adam Etches v Sergey Khomitsky

British boxing’s bogeyman Khomitsky struck again when he knocked Etches out cold in the 4th round.

The Ghost added the 24 yr old to his haunted list of Frank Buglioni, Jamie Moore. Nick Blackwell drew with the Belarusian back in October.

The 40 yr old veteran is beatable with 11 losses on his record – but only Gennady Golovkin has stopped him. Robert Stieglitz’s victory was a controversial cuts stoppage.

Many eyebrows were raised when Khomistky was announced for Etches, but after 18 fights he needed to be tested against a gatekeeper. Unfortunately for Etches he came up too short.

Etches looked wary of Khomistky’s power after the first few exchanges and the over-hand right you sensed was in the mail – about to be signed for.

The right hand that knocked Etches out left many gasps around the arena. When he stopped moving on the canvas, my instant reaction was that he had swallowed his tongue – fortunately this wasn’t the case and he eventually got back to his feet.

In the aftermath many have mentioned John Ryder – who was ringside – as an opponent for Khomistky. I feel the Blackwell fight is a better option for The Gorilla next as it’s for the British title and Khomistky is low-reward opponent.

Etches will need to re-build his career and look to get back in action soon.

 

Gavin McDonnell v Oleksandr Yegorov

McDonnell captured the European title on points in a dogged contest. I credit McDonnell for the victory as he was behind on the scores for me and both men were level going in to the final few rounds.

The 29 yr old is on the coat-tails of Kid Galahad and that would be a massive fight in Yorkshire. I would love to see that on the undercard of Brook’s next fight.

Many people I have spoken to about Galahad have described him as the real-deal & trainer Dominic Ingle rates him very highly.

The Super Bantamweight division domestically is becoming a real jewel in the crown. Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, Galahad, McDonnell and Gamal Yafai coming in the next few years.

On a packed bill in Sheffield, there were victories for Kal Yafai, Stephen Smith, Jordan Gill, Kyle Yousaf on points and TKO’s for Charlie Edwards and Leigh Wood in the 3rd and 1st round’s respectively.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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24/03 – Boxing Update by Paul Ready

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As British Summer Time officially begins in the early hours of Sunday morning, everyone becomes more upbeat.

Longer evenings, beach bodies made at salad bars and of course our glorious sport moves towards the business part of the season. 

  

With Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao finally announced it has yielded a much-needed “double vodka & redbull” to proceedings.

Let’s focus on where we are in the UK.

James DeGale (who I interviewed & spent time with last week) is expecting his IBF world title shot against Andre Dirrell to be announced momentarily.

Warriors Boxing based out of Florida won the purse-bid with an eye-watering $3.1m. Chunky will have to travel to America to make history in May.

Kevin Mitchell off the back of his career-best performance over Daniel Estrada in January has another crack at a world-title against WBC Lightweight champion Jorge Linares.

Matchroom have pulled a masterstroke delivering that fight in Mitchell’s home-town of London – the roof will come off the O2 on the 30th May.

Tony Sims told me a few weeks ago that Kevin Mitchell is the most talented fighter he has ever trained – the 30 yr old does things in camp that you can’t teach.

Mitchell brimming with confidence and I simply cannot wait for that fight.

On the same bill Lee Selby faces IBF Featherweight world champion Evgeny Gradovich.

Selby is the bookies favourite for this fight. I spoke to Selby last month and he was out in Omaha for Gradovich’s last fight. The 28 yr old perceives him as a similar come-forward fighter to Joel Brunker – the Welshman is confident he will break him down and stop him late.

Former two-weight world champion Ricky Burns makes his US debut on 9th May against Omar Figueroa.

Rickster has endured a hellish 12 mths breaking his jaw, losing his world title to Terence Crawford, a long protracted court-case with a former promoter, change of trainer to Tony Sims and culminated with a loss in the first fight under him.

Anything that could have gone wrong for the 31 yr old had. I think it says a great deal about his resolve that he still has that desire to fight – I hope he comes back with a bang.

Anthony Joshua has flown slightly under the radar this year due a back-injury.

The Olympic gold medallist was due to face Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson at the end of January – which has been rescheduled for 30th May – some card that will be!

When Joshua steps in the ring next month in Newcastle against a yet unnamed opponent – it will mark a near six month absence since his last fight.

The 25 yr old was involved in a brief spat on Twitter with former amateur foe Dillian Whyte some weeks back. Whyte who boxed on the recent Carl Frampton and Chris Avalos bill is very keen to face AJ again in the pro-ranks – I hope we get to see that score settled once and for all this summer.

Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn is reportedly due to meet Barry McGuigan of Cyclone Promotions tomorrow (Wednesday) morning in London to “thrash-out” a deal for Carl Frampton to face Scott Quigg this summer.

The two Super-Bantamweights have long been affiliated with one-another – all being well we can finally see this match-up in what I anticipate to be THE fight in the UK this year.

Amir Khan seems to be the one man without a date for the summer prom so far. He was stood up again by Floyd Mayweather and unless he moves quick he could be dancing on his own for a while.

Adrien Broner has declared on Twitter & Instagram that he would be keen to face the 28 yr old, but after The Problem was found out at 147lbs against Marcos Maidana – I feel he needs to box a bit longer at 140lbs before moving up naturally.

So who does that leave for Khan?

Timothy Bradley would be a good option but it was challenging enough to get Bob Arum and Al Haymon round the table for Mayweather v Pacquiao. I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

 

So as you can see, there are fights announced and plenty bubbling in the background.

 

The next few weeks and months will be seductive – time to musk up lads…

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing,net

#Unbreakable Preview by Paul Ready

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The return of the prodigal of son of The Steel City is upon us. IBF welterweight world champion Ezekiel Brook returns to the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield this coming Saturday – in what is certain to be an emotional night for him.

The 28 yr old achieved a boyhood dream of becoming world champion in America last summer.

The dream shortly became a nightmare when disaster struck as Special K was stabbed in the leg in Spain on holiday & nearly bled to death.

One can only imagine how harrowing and truly terrifying that ordeal was. 

  

(Photo by Mark Robinson) 

 “The attack was unprovoked. One minute we were chatting, the next I was being macheted up. There was blood squirting out of my leg. I could see death, my life flashing in front of me. He stood over me shouting and swearing and I scrambled away.

“All I remember is thinking about my daughter and that I needed to get away from this; there was so much blood, I was covered in it. I really feared for my life.

“Just two weeks before I had been on top of the world in America, winning the world title – not something many men from England have done – and now there I was at the bottom of the ocean. To be a world champion had always been a childhood dream. Had I not been found by paramedics, I would have bled to death.”

Brook amazingly made a full recovery and from speaking first hand to John Ryder who sparred him – Kell was an absolute beast in camp.

I feel that after the attack on Brook, when many believed he may never walk again – let alone box – his win over Shawn Porter has in a warped way received more credit.

If the Porter fight had been Brook’s last in the ring, many now view it as a masterclass performance. To some, it has taken a brutal attack on Special K for him to receive the warranted recognition – which I feel it wrong, but unfortunately that is the way of the world we live in today.

I’m expecting an imposing performance from Brook in-front of a packed home-crowd live on Skysports and beamed across the pond on Showtime.

Michael Buffer confirmed as the MC is really the cherry on the cake.

The world will be watching when Special K steps back through those ropes, many of his peers in the 147lb division will have various questions they will want answered:

Is Brook’s leg 100% healed?

Is he now vulnerable? How is his mindset?

What about the man in the opposite corner this weekend – Jo Jo Dan, who sounds more like a master in Wing Chun than an actual boxer.

The 33 yr old Quebec based Romanian is 34-2: 18 KO’s with two victories over Kevin Bizier and both defeats at the hands of Selcuk Aydin. Dan respects Brook of course, but the Southpaw is confident he can cause an upset – which I can’t see, I think Brook stops him inside 7 rounds. Then attention can and will turn to getting an illustrious name in the Welterweight division over this summer – Keith Thurman would be my top pick.

On a busy card, Gavin McDonnell faces Oleksander Yegorov for the vacant European Super Bantamweight title. Adam Etches faces rugged veteran Sergey Khomistky for the IBF International Middleweight title.

Frankie Gavin makes his bow as a Matchroom fighter against Bogdan Mitic before his crunch fight with South African Chris van Heerdan in May. Fellow Birmingham native and hard-hitting Flyweight Kal Yafai faces Cristopher Rosales.

Stephen Smith, Jordan Gill and Charlie Edwards are all in action in separate 6 round contests.

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

How the Boxing landscape lies so far in 2015… by Paul Ready

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Happy New Year to one and all.

To quote Michael Woods of The Sweet Science in America:

“I would like boxing to get to a point where so much of our coverage is not regarding negotiations’ and will they or won’t they conjecture.”

That is a vision that I think we all yearn for in the future of the sport. With that being said, let’s look at how the landscape lies currently – which fights are confirmed and who the big-names have been linked with:

 

Confirmed

17th January – MGM Grand, Las Vegas

Bermaine Stiverne v Deontay Wilder – WBC Heavyweight title.

Leo Santa Cruz v Jesus Ruiz – WBC Super Bantamweight title.

 

24th January – 1st Bank Centre, Colorado

Mike Alvarado v Brandon Rios III – Welterweight.*

*Alvarado recently arrested on weapons charge. Fight could be postponed*

Gilberto Ramirez v Maxim Vlasov – Super Middleweight.

 

31st January – O2 Arena, London

Anthony Joshua v Kevin Johnson – WBC International Heavyweight title.

Kevin Mitchell v Daniel Estrada – WBC Silver Lightweight title.

John Ryder v Les Sherrington – WBO International Middleweight title.

Tyler Goodjohn v John Wayne Hibbert – WBC International Light-Welter title.

Ricky Boylan v Tommy Martin – English Light-Welter title.

 

21st February – Monte Carlo, Monaco

Gennady Golovkin v Martin Murray – WBA Super & WBC Interim titles.

Lee Haskins v Omar Lamiri – EBU Bantamweight title.

Hughie Fury v Andriy Rudenko – Heavyweight.

 

21st February – O2 Arena, Berlin

Arthur Abraham v Paul Smith II – WBO Super-Middle world title.

 

28th February – O2 Arena, London

Tyson Fury v Christian Hammer – WBO International Heavyweight title.

Chris Eubank Jr v Dmitry Chudinov – WBA Interim Middleweight world title.

 

28th February – Odyssey Arena, Belfast

Carl Frampton v Chris Avalos – IBF Super-Bantamweight world title

 

11th April – First Direct Arena, Leeds

Josh Warrington v Dennis Tubieron – WBC Featherweight title eliminator.

Martin J Ward v Maxi Hughes – Super Featherweight.

 

There may be some that I’ve missed and no doubt the above confirmed fights will swell significantly in the coming weeks.

So that covers what is signed & sealed so far, but where are we with the pending super-fights and other big names?

 

Kell Brook

IBF Welterweight champion Brook is due to make his long-awaited comeback after the horrific injury he suffered in Autumn last year.

With an inaugural homecoming in March scheduled – attention turns to who he is likely to face. Names such as Juan Manuel Marquez and Paulie Malignaggi have been linked, but he could end up facing his mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan.

Amir Khan

After a complete shut-out against Devon Alexander before Christmas, Khan has made no secret in his desire to face Floyd Mayweather Jr in May.

The consensus is he will miss out again and a blockbuster fight at Wembley in the summer against Kell Brook for me appears the most logical and lucrative move.

 

Carl Froch

Strong rumours persist that the fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Las Vegas is signed for 28th March – all we are awaiting is the confirmation.

The fight will be a dual PPV in the UK and in America on HBO. James DeGale is the Cobra’s IBF mandatory and he has had an extension until the end of January to either negotiate with DeGale or vacate – smart money is on the latter.

 

James DeGale

To continue the “dominos-effect” theme in British boxing – DeGale will fight next for the IBF world title, be it against Froch or Andre Dirrell who is next in the rankings.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has openly discussed the possibility of making James DeGale v George Groves II for said belt but whether Dirrell would side step remains to be seen.

Regardless DeGale v Groves II is a must for 2015.

 

George Groves

Similar to DeGale, Groves’ next fight is also for a world title – the WBC belt against champion Anthony Dirrell, brother of Andre…. (try to stay with me!!)

Groves has made no secret in his desire to fight for the WBC belt next, if he was to win a fight with DeGale in a unification bout (should he win of course) would make the rematch even bigger.

 

Ricky Burns

Former two-weight world champion Burns is now back at Lightweight after his last fight was at Light-Welter.

The Rickster has already signed to face a big-name in a rumoured World title fight in America – with confirmation imminent.

 

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr

THE fight we should have had in 2009 but still haven’t – yawn – is “close” to being made.

If I’m honest, I’ll believe it when they are both in the ring – so I will refrain from boring you on it. I doubt it will happen so rumours have been circulating of Mayweather v Cotto II as Cotto’s ongoing talks with Canelo Alvarez appear to be dragging on.

In truth none of us bar Floyd & Al Haymon have any clue who he will fight next.

Miguel Cotto

As above talks are ongoing with Canelo Alvarez’s camp regarding a fight on Cinco De Mayo. Personally I’d love to see that fight – Puerto Rico v Mexico is one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport.

A rematch with Mayweather Jr doesn’t excite me if I’m honest – regardless of having Freddie Roach in his corner.

Gennady Golovkin is now mandatory for his WBC title and that would be monstrous in Autumn.

So as you can see there is plenty happening in the background. This January in boxing feels like the UK football transfer window has a rival with the rumour mill going in to overdrive.

By the end of this month we should know who all the big-hitters are up against.

2015 could truly be spectacular….

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

Meet @irishlightning2 previously trained by Freddie Roach & sparred Manny Pacquiao

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Elite Boxing:

Dean – great to meet you firstly down here. For people who don’t know you how would you describe yourself and your career so far?

 

Dean Byrne:

I’m a mad Irishman!

No I’d describe myself as a globe-trotter. I’ve been over in Australia, won a couple of titles in my first fights as a professional and went on from there. I then went to America and worked with the best trainer in the world Freddie Roach, he managed me, trained me and I sparred with Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz.

I’ve comeback to the UK as my son Deano was born and I couldn’t do the long distance thing. I missed him too much.

I made my pro debut in Australia – I won Australian Light-Welter title and a couple of minor titles before that. Then I went to America and went 6-0, Freddie Roach seen me & had me spar a couple of his guys then said to me; “We’ll keep you here.”

I had 6 fights out there undefeated, it was a great learning experience – been in and mixed it with the best. I could have got a lot more fights but it’s the luck of the draw. I came back to England, I was 15-0 and I signed with Frank Warren – I learnt the business more and unfortunately had a couple of losses – it was up and down really.

I was in & out of the ring when I signed with Frank – I was fighting once a year. I took a fight at 24 hrs notice and had my first defeat after losing too much weight. My career has never really got going really.

I took a fight in 2012 after two weeks back in the gym against Carson Jones – we all know he gave Kell Brook one of his toughest fights of his career and I got a draw with him. That fight I took at 3 days notice and done that.

 

EB:

So it no doubt made you wonder what you could achieve with a solid training camp and preparation?

 

DB:

Exactly. Everyone saw the fight and the stats proved that I won (against Jones) but that’s boxing. You take the good with the bad. I’ve never had the good unfortunately!

I’m living and learning – I’ve got the boxing bug back and as you’ve seen me this week I’ve been running hills and doing circuits with Peter Sims. It was really hard but I’m determined to get fit and train with this great bunch of lads here.

 

EB:

As a youngster growing up who was your idol?

 

DB:

I used to love Prince Naseem and imitate him. I’d put my hands down, have the tassels on my shorts and give it the biggun. Steve Collins was a warrior and World Champion himself and I used to look up to him growing up.

Today it’s Floyd Mayweather – everyone loves how skillful he is. Of course Pacquiao is someone I admire as I’ve seen his work ethic and how hard he’s driven and how hard he trains. I picked up so much from him.

I’m just looking forward to this year, I’ve got the boxing bug and you’ve got it yourself Paul with your writing and you’re not even training!

It doesn’t matter how you get it – you are just drawn to it.

I was running Christmas day and I have all the experience I just need the regular activity this year.

I haven’t fought for eight months so I need to spar first as the ring time is important. I think a couple of weeks but Peter will tell me.

 

EB:

Dean thanks for your time, best of luck on the comeback trail and I’m looking forward to seeing you in the ring.

 

DB:

Cheers mate – I think that’s the longest interview I’ve ever done! Enjoyed it.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

@EddieHearn on Mitchell, Ryder, Joshua and Al Haymon meeting by Paul Ready

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Elite Boxing:

Another big card on the horizon early next year.

Start with Kevin Mitchell firstly – Estrada v Figueroa was a good fight so what can we expect when Kevin faces Estrada?

 

Eddie Hearn:

Figueroa won most rounds don’t get me wrong, one round Estrada hurt him. Figueroa is a quality fighter.

It’s a perfect fight for Kevin, I’m so disappointed that he didn’t get the IBF title shot – that’s his mistake (Mitchell was over the check-weight limit on the day of the fight) that he has to live with. I think he would have beaten Miquel Vazquez too.

But now we look at Estrada, win that get the silver title and they should make that a Final Eliminator next week at the WBC convention when we lobby it – I think he will get it.

Kevin is ranked 4/5 Estrada is 4/5 it’s a natural fight and a really good fight.

 

EB:

John Ryder looks set for the Heiland fight….

 

EH:

They like the fight as it doesn’t look like they will get the WBC Final Eliminator so I’ve suggested for them to come over and fight John.

John and Tony are both looking really to fight anyone which is really refreshing. I don’t think there is one Middleweight I could suggest that they would say no to.

I just think with Heiland for the victory over Macklin and his position within the WBC is absolutely perfect.

 

EB:

Anthony Joshua confirmed to face Kevin Johnson as the headline.

If he knocks him out after that you are looking to get him out in Newcastle next year – is Chisora or Price next, I appreciate Chisora might be tricky to make with politics.

 

EH:

Chisora is a good fight for him. Let’s be honest Joshua gets him out of there so quickly compared to Tyson Fury. But he’s just doing his own thing.

People talk about the Fury fight as people want to see it – in time it will be massive.

Johnson was right in the presser with this being a 10 week camp for him will suit him better. This isn’t Kevin Johnson fighting on 2 weeks notice – he will come in and have a go and it will be a great night.

 

EB:

What I like most about this fight is the vocal nature of Johnson towards Joshua which is something up until now he hasn’t experienced.

 

EH:

Exactly. That is why it’s great for Joshua as there will be times when he doesn’t know what to say back. You nearly got it in the presser when Johnson suggested making a bet on a KO.

Normally they are Eastern European who don’t even talk English! So it’s good and a perfect fight for him.

 

EB:

So you’ve been out in LA recently meeting Al Haymon – what is he actually like?

I had visions of him sat down with the Watson brothers fanning him with a giant feather and Sam Watson feeding him grapes.

 

EH:

He’s great. We had a couple of hours together and it was fascinating – the landscape over there is changing all the time.

We were talking about Froch v Chavez Jr, Brook v Khan, talking about us doing stuff in America – it was a general chit chat really that was great.

It’s obviously a huge market over there.

 

EB:

I’m sure he pays close attention to what you are doing over here and the size of the crowds etc.

 

EH:

He knows exactly what is going on over here as well so there is plenty of stuff for us to do together.

 

EB:

Do you think Brook v Khan could be strengthened by Canelo Alvarez moving to HBO and publicly declaring he wants to fight in May & September on the two big Mexican dates. Which could nullify the interest in Mayweather v Khan on ShowTime.

For Mayweather it is either Pacquiao or he gets hammered on PPV by HBO.

 

EH:

Yeah definitely. If Khan doesn’t get Mayweather then he has to fight Kell Brook. I don’t believe he will get Mayweather. Simple as that.

We will see. We will be out there on the 13th December (Khan v Alexander) if he gets the win it’s great for Khan to be back on Sky and hopefully we can make Brook v Khan fight for May or June.

 

EB:

Would you consider taking Joshua over to Las Vegas to box on the Froch v Chavez Jr undercard?

EH:

Yeah definitely. He is going to box as much as possible. As long as his body holds up he will be out all the time.

 

EB:

Finally I wanted to mention Callum Smith. I know people moaned about that performance as he didn’t stop him but it was a great 12 rounds in the bank.

EH:

Exactly. He was a tough guy who Callum nearly stopped mid-way through. It was a great learning fight and he will move on to a Final Eliminator in the summer.

The WBC have taken him under his wing and the fights will be bubbling away early 2015 – they are looking to move him forward.

EB:

I would back Callum against Groves should they meet.

EH:

100% especially at the moment with Groves’ recent performances.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

Boxing Update 17/09 by Paul Ready #Mayhem #SaundersEubankJr #ReturnOfTheSaint

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Plenty of news/reviews to get through today so let’s dive straight in…

Mayweather v Maidana 2

Floyd “Money” Mayweather (47-0) beat Marcos “Chino” Maidana (35-5) via a unanimous decision on Saturday evening. It was a comprehensive victory for Money; I gave Maidana 2 rounds (4th & 9th) but we did see two sides to Floyd in this fight.

My first observation was his footwork was the most fluid I have seen from him for years. The introduction of Yoga in to his training regime is clearly reaping its rewards. However I recall him throwing one possibly two meaningful combinations all night, the trademark lower ab jab and right hook were his bread & butter all evening.

Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 Results: Highlights, Future Outlook for Both Fighters

What was most startling to me was the ease at which Maidana’s straight jab was getting through. Chino isn’t renowned for having a crisp jab but on Saturday he had frequent success with it. Many top welterweights would have watched that fight and seen signs that age is steadily catching up with Floyd. But make no mistake, even a Floyd in decline is still significantly better than the rest of the division.

The challenge for Mayweather’s camp is matching him in his remaining two bouts; do they look to conserve the unbeaten record and pit him against perceived easier opposition?

Or do they put him in with Amir Khan, Keith Thurman or shock the boxing world and finally make the Manny Pacquiao fight?

My belief is Pacquiao is unlikely to happen, Khan is a possibility but the hand speed he possesses will trouble Floyd. Keith Thurman would be my personal choice in May 2015 but he is the most dangerous opponent out there currently.

Love or loath Floyd, you have to admire the man inside the ring and what he has achieved in the sport. He’s one of the best fighters I’ve ever seen. The TBE (The Best Ever) motto is up for debate; I would back Sugar Ray Leonard to have beaten him in a fantasy fight.

The next two fights choices will be fascinating and I expect we will be made to wait until early 2015 to find out who is chosen.

 

29th November – Two big shows, one night

Matchroom and Frank Warren appear to be heading towards a blockbuster clash of boxing on 29th November with cards in Liverpool and London respectively.

Frank Warren has announced “Bad Blood” which is headlined by the rescheduled Dereck Chisora v Tyson Fury 2 fight, with Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr as chief support.

Matchroom are rumoured to be considering this same date to stage Tony Bellew v Nathan Cleverly 2 bout.

Two huge cards; 3 domestic grudge matches between 6 men who can not stand the sight of their opponent – and I’m in New York on holiday!

It’s an evening that will require the need for modern technology; one card on the TV, the other streamed on your tablet.

The Saunders v Eubank Jr fight for me is the most intriguing one. Reading tweets & various articles, opinion is well and truly divided on who will prevail. Some believe Saunders walks through Eubank Jr and it’s the evening he finally gets his comeuppance. Others, myself included feel that Eubank Jr shocks people and beats Saunders in a thrilling fight that has everyone on the edge of their seat.

One thing is for certain that the build-up for those 3 fights is going to explosive; the press-conferences will contain more trash than your local landfill site. The animosity between them will make Froch v Groves look like bum chums. I’m looking forward to the build-up on those fights dare I say more than some of the actual contests themselves.

 

George Groves v Christopher Rebrasse

On the subject of “Saint” George Groves, he makes his return to the ring this Saturday after his brutal knockout by Carl Froch in May. Now promoted by Sauerland Promotions, Saint GG is thrust straight in to a WBC Final Eliminator against durable Frenchman Rebrasse.

Rebrasse (22-2: 6 KO’s) shouldn’t pose a major threat to Groves and I back the Hammersmith man to stop the Frenchman late.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

@EddieHearn on Ryder, Boylan v Goodjohn, Bellew Cleverly 2, Brook v Khan, Mitchell

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Elite Boxing:

Eddie, another great card has been announced by yourselves. I think fight-wise this one does shade the Hull card.

In the press conference you alluded to Tony Sims and John Ryder looking at a number of top fighters in the Middleweight division, could you mention who else was looked at?

 

Eddie Hearn:

He (Tony ) was mentioning everyone in the Middleweight division basically.

You know, he was saying; “John is ready to step-up now”. He was calling out people, going down the rankings saying; “He’ll fight him, he’ll fight him.”

In the end I thought of the Khomistky fight and thought you know what, he’s got the profile as he sparked (Frank) Buglioni out and the response to that fight has been really good. Most people have gone “fucking hell!” you know. But it’s a great fight and there is no reason why Ryder can’t win the fight, but it’s definitely a 50/50 fight.

Khomistsky lost recently to Stieglitz in a really close fight. You look at (Robert) Stieglitz and Ryder, Stieglitz is a former world champion and Ryder lost for the British. Styles make fights and Ryder v Khomistky is a great fight.

 

EB:

Another fight on the card is (Ricky) Boylan v (Tyler) Goodjohn it has been amusing for us all to watch unfold on Twitter.

 

EH:

To be honest with you and no disrespect to those guys, but at English level they do make for great fights. The atmosphere will be great. Boylan will do 500 tickets, Goodjohn will do 300-400 it’s fantastic.

That division (Light-Welter) is really good domestically; you’ve got John Wayne Hibbert here, Tyrone Nurse, Willie Limond, Chris Jenkins, Tommy Martin; it’s a really good division especially in London.

 

EB: 

I agree. On a different note, did you see the recent pictures of Amir Khan looking overweight on holiday?

 

EH:

I couldn’t believe it. I think I’m in better shape than him at the moment!

Obviously he’s enjoying some down time, but I understand he’s fighting on December 6th, he’ll probably start his camp soon. If he wins, then Kell (Brook) wins also on December 6th they can both fight each other soon.

 

EB:

How are talks for that fight progressing?

 

EH:

It’s early stages. I think everyone realises that there is a lot of money to be made, they both would like the fight to happen.

So really over the next couple of weeks a priority is to secure the December 6th opponent for Kell then trying to make that fight asap.

 

EB:

Would you side-step the Khan fight for Brook in the unlikely event that an opportunity to face Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather presents itself?

 

EH:

In a way I think so, but financially there is more money in fighting Khan for both people than for the Mayweather fight.

It is definitely an easier fight than facing Mayweather. I think Khan will need to look at Brook and he probably thinks that is an easier fight than Pacquiao or Mayweather. But Khan has always wanted the Mayweather fight.

When Brook beats Khan, he can go on and fight those two; if Khan was to lose to Brook, where does he go from there?

 

EB:

Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly, I’ve seen a few tweets in recent days regarding whether that is still going ahead in December, could you clear that subject up?

 

EH:

We are looking at having that on the Brook 6th December card. We looked at November 29th in Liverpool but it’s a big fight, should Cleverly have to go back to Liverpool again (to face Bellew)?

Nathan likes the idea of a neutral venue and in Sheffield we have the opportunity to do it.

I’m seeing Tony on Tuesday so hopefully that can be all agreed.

 

EB:

Kevin Mitchell, I know the (Miguel) Vasquez has moved further away since he has signed with Al Haymon, do you have any update on him?

 

EH:

He’s supposed to be the mandatory challenger (IBF Lightweight) but now he’s not. He was due to be on the O2 card, he has a few niggles injury-wise but he will now box before the end of the year. 

It’s frustrating as that would have been the big one for him. But now we’ve got to try find another way.

 

EB:

Finally Eddie on to Lee Selby v Joel Brunker, another great fight. If he wins, with regards to facing IBF champion (Evgeny) Gradovich, when would you look to make that?

 

EH:

He had a mandatory. He’ll have a voluntary around the same time as Selby and we will look for that fight to take place in February.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

@SpecialKBrook A star is born…. by Paul Ready

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He came, he saw and he conquered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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