#StiverneWilder Review by Paul Ready

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It has been nine long years since an American, Shannon Briggs held the WBO Heavyweight title – 25-30 yrs ago that would have been unheard of.

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas too has experienced a long absence since it hosted a Heavyweight title bout – the last championship fight was a hungry Mike Tyson snacking on Evander Holyfield’s ear – some 18 yrs ago.

I must admit like many I did back the Haitian born Bermaine “B Ware” Stiverne to win, citing Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder’s lack of experience – how wrong I was.

The Tuscaloosan put on a jabbing clinic that Larry Holmes would have been proud of and nullified any threat from the WBC champion. The pre-fight talk was around who was going to land first and at the end of the second round it appeared that Stiverne was about to fold.

B Ware’s legs buckled as the 29 yr old landed a “bomb” that left the champion wobbling – resulting in a rugby/NFL take-down that floored both men after the bell sounded.

The Bronze Bomber never looked back and accelerated in to the lead on the cards as he entered uncharted territory; seeing the fifth round. As he waned towards the championship rounds, the fight was destined to go the distance with Wilder taking a majority decision – what were the odds??

“I think I answered a lot of questions tonight,” Wilder said.

“I already knew it. We knew we could go 12 rounds. We knew we could take a punch. We knew we could give it. All the hard word is done in camp.”

Whilst I was impressed with Wilder’s patience and notably his jab, I couldn’t help but feel his boxing ability has many holes that a top heavyweight would exposure. I don’t recall him throwing one meaningful body-shot, he swings erratically when he connects, which leaves him wide-open for a counter-punch.

For such a slender heavyweight (Stiverne weighed in 20lbs heavier) I would expect much slicker footwork & lateral movement, but how can you develop your ring-craft if you have nailed all of your 32 opponents inside four-rounds?

I’m pleased for Wilder as American Heavyweight boxing desperately needed a new poster-boy – crowned on Muhammed Ali’s 73rd birthday no-less. The All Access preview show documented the adversity the Bronze-Bomber has faced with his daughter’s health – I’m not ashamed to say tugged at my fellow parental instinct; the champion has secured her financial future.

For Stiverne, the 36 yr old will take sometime to reflect & regroup after a gruelling camp that commenced in August:

“It wasn’t my night,” Stiverne told Showtime’s Jim Gray after the fight.

“I felt 100 percent before the fight but once I got in the ring I couldn’t cut the ring, I couldn’t move my head like I usually do.  What can I say?  Congrats to him.

So who is next for the newly crowned champion?

The likelihood being “Uncle Al” Haymon will move Deontay from ShowTime to his newly created PBC – (Premier Boxing Champions) schedule on NBC Sport and have at least one gimme outing as WBC champion.

Wilder never the shy & retiring type made no secret about who he wanted next:

 

‘I want Fury next, then Wladimir Klitschko for all the other titles by the end of this year. 

‘Me and Tyson would be one helluva fight. We’re both big punchers and entertainers. 

‘I would love to do it in the UK, where I’ve always enjoyed my visits. No problem for me.’

 

The UK is where the future of Heavyweight boxing is at – fights against Tyson Fury, David Price, Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in the future can and will be huge. Not forgetting his former sparring partner David Haye – should he return of course.

I think he should give a unification fight with “Dr Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko a wide berth for the remainder of this year at the very least. The Ukrainian is King and the young Lions coming through have some way to go before they can consider dethroning him.

 

Heavyweight boxing has finally awoken from its deep sleep, it is showered, dressed and currently posing in the mirror with some sunglasses on before it steps outside….

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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#MomentOfTruth Preview by Paul Ready

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Next stop for Matchroom is the O2 Arena in London this Saturday. In a packed bill that contains some of the brightest talents on these shores & some fights that will mould many of their careers.

It’s going to be a busy night for trainers Peter and Tony Sims with five fighters between them competing on the card.

Let’s assess the bouts in detail:

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“Pretty” Ricky Boylan v Tyler “El Tornado” Goodjohn

This for me could be fight of the night. El Tornado (10-3: 4 KO’s) will be hoping it is 2nd time lucky in his quest for the English Light Welter title.

The 23 yr old lost to Tyrone Nurse in a cracking fight earlier this year, but one thing is guaranteed with Goodjohn; he comes to fight. Goodjohn reminds me of Brandon Rios in the way he grins at the sight of his own blood & thrives being in a genuine tear-up.

Undefeated Pretty Ricky (12-0: 4 KO’s) agreed to fight with Goodjohn after an amusing exchange between them too place on Twitter.

The 26 yr old has not faced so far what you would consider stern test and this Saturday will be his first one. Boylan is regarded as one top talents in Britain at 140lbs and I’m looking forward to seeing how he will cope with the pressure Goodjohn will apply.

Both have had world-class sparring in the lead up to this fight and with two noisy fan base’s supporting them; I’m confident the fight will live up to expectations.

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John “The Gorilla” Ryder v Theopus Tetteh

Firstly I’m disappointed for Ryder (18-1: 10 KO’s) that due to circumstances beyond his control he isn’t facing Sergey Khomistky on Saturday.

The 26 yr old only found out recently that Khomistky was under contract with a rival promoter who has exercised his right to activate a 1 fight option.It is like knowing you are out for dinner tonight, you have been looking forward to having a steak for weeks & get to the restaurant to only find out they’ve got none left.

It is frustrating of course for The Gorilla but I admire his attitude; he has shrugged this off and is fully focused on blasting the Ghanaian away.

What do we know about Tetteh?

He is 16-6 with 9 KO’s; he lost to Lee Purdy in 2010 on the same bill Ryder made his professional debut. With the WBO Inter-Continental belt up for grabs; there is plenty here to motivate the Islington man.

I’m confident Ryder will put on a great performance and use this as a springboard for some big fights in 2015.

 

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Lee Selby v Joel Brunker – IBF Featherweight Final Eliminator

 

Make no mistake about it; this is the acid test for the Welshman. Selby (19-1: 7 KO’s) for me has always flattered to deceive; I’ve seen glimpses of his ability that make me believe he can mix it at World Level. On other occasions however he has boxed ok and I often I question whether he would look out of his depth with Vasyl Lomachenko, Jhonny Gonzalez or Nonito Donaire.

Aussie Brunker (27-0: 15 KO’s) is here to grasp that mandatory position for himself and prove Selby is a hype job. Brunker is rated #3 in the IBF, Selby is #6 and for me it is another 50-50 fight.

How hard does Brunker punch? Can Selby out-box him?

It makes for a mouth-watering contest and the winner will face champion Evgeny Gradovich in spring.

 

Anthony Joshua v Denis Bakhtov – WBC International Heavyweight title

 

It will be exactly a year on Saturday since Joshua (8-0: 8 KO’s) made his professional debut. It has been an exciting journey already with the 24 yr old frighteningly still in 1st gear.

We constantly hear the term “stepping up” regarding opposition for the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist; but he is progressing faster than anyone envisaged.

Next up to attempt to give the man-mountain some rounds is Bakhtov (38-9: 25 KO’s).

Darth Vader (yes that is his alias) has been in with Konstantin Airich – who Joshua knocked out in 3, Manuel Charr and further back Danny Williams.

I expect nothing less than a KO which will serve as an early birthday present for Joshua – he turns 25 next week.

Joshua participated in an open-workout Monday in his hometown of Watford and spoke to Skysports about facing the likes of David Price, Dereck Chisora and David Haye:

 

“I work hard. You have to be confident in your ability. I believe I can compete with these guys at a high level, probably get a win, but is it about competing with these guys in a tough fight, 12 rounds, coming out battered and bruised – or you bide your time?

“When the time is right, these fights will happen. Right now October 11 is my priority and in the future, on a piece of paper, these names are on a tick list down the line and hopefully we can do it at Vicarage Road or Wembley. Somewhere special.”

 

Young prospect Ben Hall (4-0) faces Simon Henry (3-0) on the undercard. Fantastic moment for Hall and his family seeing him fight for the first time on a big card. From what I’ve seen and heard; it won’t be his last.

Light-Welters Tommy Martin and John Wayne Hibbert will both have eyes on the Boylan v Goodjohn fight after they dispatch opposition of their own.

O’Hara Davies, Phillip Bowes and Erick Ochieng are all in action to complete the exciting bill.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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

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Evening,

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

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

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Desert Strike. Mega Drive. Old School.

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

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

Lomachenko v Ramirez:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monster

Bradley v Marquez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Jackal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brilliant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Plenty to ponder…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tune in next week.

Cheers

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog

Haye/Fury off. Lightening strikes twice…. Mathews underrated? By Paul Ready

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Bonjour,

Currently nursing one of my worst hangovers for a few years. This isn’t me being a pussy, well maybe! At a school friends wedding all day yesterday. Great day, known him 18 yrs! Fuck that makes me feel old. My worst hangovers tend to be after a wedding.. Note to self…

Anyway… David Haye. Well well. Where do I start? Another high profile fight he’s pulled out of, has he been hanging out with Kell Brook? Jokes aside, clearly he can’t fight with that cut, nasty one. See below.

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I’ve seen those fake scars in fancy dress shops…

Haye has been sparring with some seriously big hitters; Deontay Wilder, Pole Mariusz Wach and 6ft 9in Richard Towers.

“Adam wants the environment in the sparring to be way more intense, way more dangerous than it is when I actually get in the fight,” Haye said.

“They’ve hit me with some big, big shots. I managed to stay on my feet, but it has been harder than any other training camp I’ve had.”

Double edged sword this for me. It’s great as it really pushes you. You are being pressed, harassed and forced to trade with these guys. Downside, exactly what has happened. Makes you susceptible to cuts, or a stress fracture etc.

Fury is naturally gutted, and responded by abusing Haye on Twitter. Calling him a “shit house”. Come on Tyson, you need to work on your insults my man. We’re not in Year 5!

I hope this fight is merely postponed until December say. My fear is, it won’t happen. Fury will move on to probably have a tune up fight in the interim. With one eye on  Wlad Klitschko V Povetkin on 5th October, Fury can expect a title shot early 2014.

Fury: Disappointed we won’t hear him sing next week. Or is that just me?

Haye? Well he’s in serious limbo for me. Does he retire AGAIN? Who is there to fight? An explosive win over Fury would of firmly had him banging on the door for a Klitschko fight.

Scott Quigg’s title fight against Salinas has now been added to the “Carpe Diem” bill on 5th October at the o2. Alongside Luke Campbell. Should be a great bill, capped off with Anthony Joshua’s pro debut.

Saunders edged Ryder in what I’m hearing was a terrific fight for the Lonsdale belt. Yet to watch this one, so can’t comment a great deal.

Derry Mathews scored another impressive stoppage, to cap a superb 2013 for him. Following the KO of Tommy Coyle, who was winning the fight by a canter. He stopped troll hunter, ex footballer Curtis Woodhouse last night.

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Mathews must be knocking on the door for a world title shot within his next 2 fights. He’s fought Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla twice (win & draw), Gavin Rees twice (draw & loss). Lightweight division in UK is red hot currently. I’d like to see him in Ricky Burns when he’s recovered from his jaw injury and given Beltran a deserved rematch. Add Kevin Mitchell to the mix and we have some exciting potential match ups. I genuinely don’t think Burns would want anything to do with Mathews. Especially based on Burns’ last two outings.

On the same card, the famous Smith boxing family. 4 boys, Paul, Stephen, Liam and Callum. Remarkable really to have one family with not with one boxing, but 4. Rooney family had 3/4 boys from memory. Wayne obviously made it. His other brother was playing League 1 football I recall. Ended up going to MLS.

Liam Smith captured the British Light Middleweight title, with a unanimous win over Erick “The Eagle” Ochieng. This win created history as it completed a hat-trick of British Lonsdale Champions in the Smith family. Joining Paul and Stephen, 1st time in the 104 year history of the Lonsdale belt. Truly astounding. No pressure Callum!

Capped a great week for the Smith boys, they were honoured in Liverpool for services to Boxing. It’s not a matter of if, but when the 1st of them is crowned World Champion. Liam is definitely my favourite.

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Pride of Liverpool… Soon to be UK?

I’ll leave you with one final thing. A fighter who I feel is definitely “one to watch”. Mikey Garcia. (32, 32 Wins – 27 KOs).

Mexican/American Featherweight. Beat Danny Garcia as an amateur. Younger brother of Robert Garcia. former World Champion. Robert is a highly respected trainer Stateside. With Maidana, Rios, Donaire in his stable. Previously trained “The Ghost” Kelly Pavlik.

Mikey is 25, and he KO’s people for fun. Patient fighter, he picks his shots well. Doesn’t pounce. Definitely tipping him to unify this division after his next fight against Roman Martinez for WBO title. Don’t be surprised to see his name appear in P4P top 10 in the not to distant future.

Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday evening.

I’m off to go find my balls and dignity.

Laters

Paul

@PaulReady