#StiverneWilder Review by Paul Ready

Standard

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

Advertisements

#MomentOfTruth Review by Paul Ready

Standard

Three fighters gained their 1st titles as Professionals at the O2 Arena on Saturday evening.

All three men box out of Simsy’s gym in Essex. It was testament to the hard work that brothers Tony and Peter Sims have done with these guys that paid dividends this weekend.

Middleweight contender John Ryder captured the WBO Inter-Continental title; Tyler Goodjohn won the English Light-Welter strap in what was the fight of the evening. Last but certainly not least was Anthony Joshua winning the WBC International belt by butchering Russian Denis Bakhtov.

Goodjohn and Ryder both made their pro-debuts on the same bill; Friday 10th September 2010 at York Hall to be exact. Former stable-mate Lee Purdy fought Ryder’s opponent from Saturday evening Theophilus Tetteh as the main event.

As expected the big fights delivered in an emphatic fashion – let’s look at these in more detail:

 

Lee Selby v Joel Brunker – IBF Featherweight Final Eliminator

 

I must admit I did think this would be a tough fight for Selby (20-1: 8 KO’s) – but he made Brunker  (27-1: 15 KO’s) look average.

The Welshman made a real statement by stopping the Australian, few would have expected that.  He displayed plenty of movement from the outset proving difficult for Brunker to get near; the Aussie was only going to ever win by KO.

Selby nullified his foe with ease and proceeded to give him a boxing lesson on the back-foot. The 27 yr old looked relaxed as he shuffled along to the music in-between rounds – he sensed Brunker couldn’t live with him.

As we headed towards the mid to late rounds Selby began to go through the gears as he looked for the stoppage.

In the 9th he caught Brunker with a body-shot that rocked him, he followed that up with a spiteful combo; Brunker was static on the ropes unable to return fire. The ref intervened and stopped the contest.

With American based champion Evgeny Gradovich due to face Jayson Velez in November on the Crawford v Beltran undercard, Selby will have to wait until Spring for his title shot.

The likelihood will be the fight being staged in America, The Mexican Russian is trained by Robert Garcia and Selby will need to show more of what he did on Saturday to prevail.

He is swimming with the big boys now – I’d fancy him to beat Gradovich but future fights with 2 time Olympian Vasyl Lomachenko, Nonito Donaire and Felix Verdejo will be much tougher.

 

 

Tyler Goodjohn v Ricky Boylan

 

This was the best fight of the evening, like most sat in my vicinity we were on our feet for the majority of the contest.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Tyler personally this year and I know how much this win means to him. It was a career best performance from him. Goodjohn’s boxing ability is vastly underrated and on Saturday you saw him prove he can do more than merely trade.

Credit to Ricky Boylan who was live throughout, but I felt that the game-plan devised by trainer Peter Sims was executed to perfection. El Tornado displayed fantastic offensive and defensive skills that Pretty Ricky struggled to cope with.

Goodjohn (11-3: 4 KO’s) proved it was second time lucky in his attempt to capture the English Light-Welter title. In a deep domestic pool of 140 fighters there are some huge fights for him on the horizon.

One name that has already cropped up newly crowned Commonwealth Champion Dave Ryan – who defeated Tyrone Nurse the week before. That would be ferocious fight.

For Boylan (12-1: 4 KO’s) he shouldn’t be too disheartened at his career-first defeat, he has plenty of time on his side to bounce back – he will learn a lot from this fight.

 

John Ryder v Theophilus Tetteh

 

After a horrendous 12 months for The Gorilla of injuries and setbacks, capped off with a late change of opponent due to politics – he can finally look forward to some huge fights in 2015.

Ryder (19-1: 11 KO’s) stopped Ghanian Tetteh in the 5th round capturing the WBO Inter-Continental belt in the process.

The 26 yr old’s intentions were clear; he wanted to take all of that frustration out on Tetteh. Ryder steamed in from the outset loading up on shots looking for a spectacular finish.

I thought Tetteh’s corner was going to pull him out in the 4th as he looked shattered. A sizzling right hook – uppercut cross was suffice for the referee to end the contest.

Having spoken to John post-fight I could sense the relief that he can put all of this behind him. Tony Sims and John will be firmly on promoter Eddie Hearn’s case to match-up him with some of the biggest names in the division. Ryder is now ranked with a governing body and I’d put him in with Brian Vera or Sergio Mora without hesitation.

 

Anthony Joshua v Denis Bakhtov

That was hands down Joshua’s most brutal performance so far; he scorched the Russian.

Bakhtov is no patsy, a durable guy who hasn’t been stopped in 9 years but the 24 yr old toyed with him away like a lion playing with its cub.

He could have stopped him in the first 20 seconds – but in Joshua’s own words he wanted to hurt him.

I was sat a few metres from the corner where Darth Vader was hemmed in, every thud of Joshua’s punches made you wince.

The ref initially hesitated with the stoppage in the 2nd to allow more punishment to continue, he then jumped in to halt the contest before some serious damage was done. It was the first time we have seen the vicious side of Joshua; expect more of that as we enter the next stage in his development.

The hardest challenge now is who to match him with. He beats every British Heavyweight bar David Haye for me. The November fight with Michael Sprott appears to be a pure dead rubber contest now – but who should he face?

I would stick him in with Eddie Chambers or Alexander Ustinov, I want to see someone try to have a real go at Joshua. But few if any can withstand that mutant power.

With David Price commentating for Sky on the show, talk naturally centered towards him against Joshua next year. Two huge punchers and Price being one of few men who would have a height advantage over the Watford man, it makes for an exciting 12 months ahead in the Heavyweight division.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

#MomentOfTruth Preview by Paul Ready

Standard

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:

 IMG_2342

“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.

IMG_2344

 

 

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.

 

 IMG_2346

 

 

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

Boxing Update – 24/01 By Paul Ready

Standard

Boxing Update – 24/01/14 By Paul Ready

Evening,

Friday baby, the weekend is here.
I need a Fred Flintstone moment when I finish every Friday, sound the horn and slide down the tail of a dinosaur, through the window of my car.

When I wrote this article, I was going to open with how quiet this week has been, not an abundance to report etc.
But the IBF had other plans, they have fully put the “cat amongst the pigeons” as Twitter has gone in to complete meltdown.

The IBF has ordered a rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves within 90 days.

Massive news.

Will Froch take the fight?

Will he vacate?

I would be completely staggered if The Cobra vacated.

So it is on like fucking Donkey Kong!

The Cobra has broken his silence since Christmas regarding a potential rematch against George Groves.
Speaking on SkySports News yesterday, here is what Froch had to say:

“The fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is one of the five options that I do have and that’s a fight that I can get motivated for, a fight that excites me,”

“Going over to America to fight in Las Vegas is something that all British pros with big aspirations to do big things in boxing (want to do).”

“To be on a pay-per-view channel in America – very, very few British fighters have done that.”

“So as an option for me, that is a realistic option and one that I’m very, very seriously considering. In fact, we’re closer to that happening than the George Groves fight.

“I will happily fight George Groves again, I’m happy to give him a return provided it makes sense and it’s realistic. It’s down to Eddie Hearn, my promoter, to make it happen and it’s down to George Groves to be realistic.”

“If I’ve got two fights this year – and I usually do fight twice a year – one of those I think should be George Groves and one should be Chavez Jr.

“I will happily fight George Groves again, I’m happy to give him a return provided it makes sense and it’s realistic.”

“But probably not in that order, Chavez Jr is the next fight, the big fight that we’re closer to doing.

“I spoke to my promoter Eddie Hearn yesterday and that fight is pretty much nailed-on as being done and I’m happy with it.”

Froch said: “I’m bored of listening to his whingeing and moaning and cursing. You’ll find out I do actually call the shots – I’ve got two world titles and he’s not got any because I beat him and defended my titles.

“Another thing which was spoken about was options and he’s talking about all these options that he’s got – he’s got very, very few options, especially without those world titles.

“I’ve probably got five or six options, but I’ve narrowed them down with my promoter Eddie Hearn to probably two.”

Make no mistake about it, Froch does want the fight, in his eyes, Groves’ is an annoying itch that he can’t shift.

But Froch feels that he has already won and has nothing to prove against George Groves. Which I’m afraid he is in the minority with that mindset.

It’s apparent today that the IBF agree with the Groves, who personally attended a hearing with them in New York last week.

Froch has it all to prove against Groves, he needs to knock him out. He won’t beat Saint GG on points, Groves wins a decision as he is the better boxer and speed kills.

The conundrum that faces The Cobra is two-fold:

1) Vacate and fight Chavez Jnr in the summer. Credibility to everyone outside of Nottingham is below zero. I am talking planet Pluto cold.

2) Froch takes the fight, win, lose or draw (please god no) and it comes to a fitting conclusion for him, Groves and the public. Both can move on.

I believe Groves will win and by a stoppage, he will be like a man possessed. If he drops Froch, the 25 yr old will not allow him to clear his head, he will instead be looking to take it clean off.

I’m not ashamed to say, I actually have a semi in my pants over this fight, and I doubt I am the only one.

Groves needs to now pick a promoter and quickly so he can ensure he gets a fair deal.

Froch released a statement to the press this afternoon regarding Groves rejecting an offer he was made.

Alleged to be double what he received in the first fight which is around £300k, (£400k originally but £100k went to Adam Booth remember). So for Matchroom to offer what, £800,000 -£1m absolute tops when Groves wasn’t mandatory challenger. To now having his mandatory status reinstated, he will surely be able to negotiate a bigger purse.

Watch this space!

It is like a male soap opera unfolding in-front of our very eyes.

Mersey Beat

Matchroom Boxing has announced their 3rd card of 2014, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

With the following fighters on the bill:
Tony Bellew, Stephen, Paul, & Callum Smith, Rocky Fielding, Kell Brook, Kevin Mitchell, Kal Yafai and Robbie Davies Jnr.

Tony “The Bomber” Bellew will be fighting for against Valery Brudov. This will be The Bomber’s first outing since his defeat against Adonis Stevenson in November.

In addition, it will be Bellew’s debut at Cruiserweight, and I fully expect him to progress rapidly.

The big fight in that division is of course domestic rematch with Nathan Cleverly, (who has also moved up to Cruiser).

Ola Afolabi another fellow Brit is ranked 4th by the Ring Magazine, just below all the title holders, so he is certainly someone Cleverly & Bellew could be facing in the future.

Bellew, Cleverly and Afolabi can look towards challenging for a World title against one of the following;

Yoan Pablo Hernandez (Ring & IBF), Marco Huck (WBO), Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (WBC), Denis Lebedev (WBA).

Huck and Hernandez for me are the two stand-out fighters in the division.
German Huck fights tomorrow (Saturday 25th) against Firat Arslan in an all German rematch in Stuttgart.

The first fight taking place in November 2012, which Huck won by a unanimous decision.

Opponents have yet to be announced for rest of the card and will be in due course.

Kell Brook for example, won’t be in a “life or death” match. Brook I would imagine would fight in a 10 round encounter, at say 150lb.

The 27 yr old does have to boil down to 147lbs and for me will at some stage fight at Light-Middle as he is a naturally around that weight. But for Brook, the key for this fight is to keep the mind and body sharp.

Special K has wait for his long over-due IBF Welterweight Championship match in June 2014.

David Price

David Price makes his long-awaited return to the ring on Saturday night against Istvan Ruzsinsky in Stuttgart.

The Liverpudlian was due to face Konstantin Airic, who was forced to withdraw after failing a medical test.
Ruzsinky (12-9: 8 KO’s) was due to fight on the undercard and has been parachuted in at the 11th hour to replace Airic.

It has been a crazy 12 months for Price; 2 back-to-back losses to Tony Thompson, changing promoters to Sauerland, changing trainers twice, originally teaming up with Adam Booth for a short period and now with American Tommy Brooks.

Brooks has worked with Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and the Klitschko brothers, you couldn’t ask for a more impressive CV as a Heavyweight.

This many changes can’t be good for a man, and you would hope that now he can put this all behind him and focus on boxing.

I wish David the best of luck, and hope this is a turning point for him as there are some great domestic Heavyweight fights out there.

Price is 30 yrs of age, it is his chance to make it happen before he has Anthony Joshua and Hughie Fury breathing down his neck.

Internationally

The fights we have this weekend are as follows:

WBO Cruiserweight Championship

Marco Huck v Firat Arslan – 25th January – Stuttgart

David Price v Istvan Ruzsinsky – 25th January – Stuttgart

WBO Super-Featherweight Championship

Mikey Garcia v Juan Carlos Burgos – 25th January – Madison Square Garden, New York

IBF Light-Welter Championship

Lamont Peterson v Jean Dierry – 25th January – Washington DC

Gabriel Rosado v Jermell Charlo – 25th January – Washington DC

Unfortunately the Mikey Garcia fight isn’t on TV, Washington DC card and the Stuttgart one are being shown on Boxnation.
I hope we see more International fights on SkySports in 2014 that is one glaring area they have minimal coverage of.

Right,

That’s me done.

Have a great weekend and catch you next week.

Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog
@PaulReady

Boxing Update 16/01… By Paul Ready

Standard

Evening,

How is January treating you so far, have you fallen off the “diet” wagon yet?

#Cake

We have had some fights announced and a retirement in recent weeks, so let’s cover these in the first instance.

Then I will discuss International Match-Ups which are scheduled for the next consecutive weekends.

Let’s dive in like you would on a gooey Chocolate Brownie…

20140116-155238.jpg

Hmm… That’s tasty…

Darren Barker

Former IBF Middleweight World Champion Darren “Dazzling” Barker announced this week his retirement from boxing.
Barker, who lost to Felix Sturm in December, has decided to call it a day with an impending hip operation due to take place.

I’ve written much about Darren over the past few months, but I believe he has made the right choice.

Barker has achieved every boy-hood fan’s dream of winning a World Title and can hold his head high. He has done himself and his family proud.

Dazzler defeated all odds inside and outside of the ring, leading him to reaching the “Promised Land” of becoming World Champion.

Darren has stated numerous times that he has no desire to become a trainer.

I can personally see him working as a pundit on fight nights for SkySports, or as an ambassador for Matchroom Boxing in a Bernard Hopkins-esq role.

Hopkins is an ambassador for Goldenboy Promotions in America, he is the “link” man between the promoter and the fighters. Bernard is a Hall of Fame boxer Stateside and commands instant respect from the stables fighters, young and old.

I feel young pro’s in Britain could learn plenty from Darren, remaining humble, hungry and down-to-earth are key traits to any aspiring World Champion.

I wish him all the best in whatever he decides to do.

Tyson Fury

Biggest news domestically has been Tyson Fury agreeing to fight on BoxNation.

It appeared that Frank had slightly jumped the gun assuming the deal was signed, when Fury’s camp denied it was agreed at that stage.

Tyson is still a Hennessy fighter, as is cousin Hughie Fury, but they will both fight on BoxNation for say 3 fights this year.

This opens the door immediately to a rematch with Dereck Chisora in the summer, something Warren spoke about hosting in a football stadium.

It should be an intriguing match-up domestically, as they are the top 2 British Heavyweights currently.

I’m choosing to exclude David Haye from this as he is still injured with a shoulder injury, despite posting pictures online of himself back in the gym.

I want to see Fury v Deontay Wilder this year; it is the biggest Heavyweight fight in the world.

Some may scoff at that, but two undefeated fighters, charismatic, some-bodies 0 has got to go!

Providing of course, that Fury beats a yet to be named opponent 15th Feb and Chisora of course in the summer.

James DeGale

The WBC has ordered a final eliminator between Mayweather Promotions Badou Jack (16-0: 11 KO’s) and James DeGale for the mandatory position of the Super Middle-Weight title.

This will be a stern test for DeGale, Jack is rated as one of brightest talents in the Mayweather stable.

The fight is scheduled to take place by June this year. I haven’t seen an abundance of Jack, but I would back DeGale to edge it on a decision.

The winner would then move on to face Sakio Bika who won a split decision last month against Anthony Dirrell.

George Groves

George Groves was interviewed by IFLTV at a SkySports press conference for recently released movie “Grudge Match”; which features Sylvester Stallone and Robert Di Niro in a box-office boxing match-up.

Groves confirmed that he has held talks with American based Goldenboy Promotions and Top Rank already, with two meetings arranged this week with Boxing king-pin Al Haymon and New York based Lou Di-Bella.

I don’t believe it will be too long until we know who he has signed with.

Imagine if Groves signed with Haymon…

Wow!

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, who promotes Carl Froch told SkySports earlier this week that the rematch between Froch & Groves remains a strong option.

Froch is keen to fight in Las Vegas before he retires, and as mentioned previously, Julio Chavez Jr, Gennady Golovkin and Andre Ward rematch as possible opponents.

Rumours have surfaced this morning of Froch agreeing to fight Andre Ward in Las Vegas on 1st June, but so far just word round the camp-fire.

I will now run through the first few cards that have been announced by Britain’s top two promoters, Matchroom and Frank Warren.

Reloaded, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – 1st February

European Featherweight title

Lee Selby v Rendall Munroe

Gavin Rees v Gary Buckland

Anthony Joshua v Dorian Darch

Erick Ochieng v Dale Evans

Chris Jenkins v TBC

I for one am looking forward to seeing Lee Selby fight again, Selby is an exciting fighter in and outside of the ring, one that Matchroom have huge hopes for.

I would expect Selby to dispossess Munroe with ease and use a big performance to push him on to World level opposition and a title bout.

Anthony Joshua make’s his long awaited return from injury against Welshman Dorian Darch.

It will be great experience for Joshua to be the “away” fighter in this one, Darch hails from Aberdare and will certainly have the packed crowd on his side.

How will Joshua respond to a booing, baying partisan crowd of Welshman?

I think he will thrive in it.

Gavin Rees will be keen to put a forgetful 2013 behind him, with losses to Anthony Crolla and Adrien Broner respectively.
Rees faces fellow Welshman Gary Buckland, who is stepping up a weight-class and was on the wrong end of my KO of the year against Stephen Smith late 2013.

Chris Jenkins, Light Welterweight winner of Prizefighter, has an opportunity to shine on Skysports again, and move towards establishing himself at 140. Jenkins looked a level above the opposition in that competition, I’m looking forward to seeing him blossom over the next few years.

Copperbox, Stratford, London – 15th February 2014

Last week Frank Warren announced the first card of 2014 that Queensbury Promotions will host.

This will be a solid card that will contain the below fights, including a maiden outing for Tyson and possibly Hughie Fury on BoxNation:

The European Heavyweight Championship

Dereck Chisora v Andriy Rudenko

International Heavyweight Contest

Tyson Fury vs TBC

The WBO European Super-Middleweight Championship

Frank Buglioni v Gaetano Nespro

The Vacant WBA Intercontinental Welterweight Championship

Bradley Skeete v Vivian Harris

Hughie Fury v TBC

International News:

Jean Pascal v Lucien Bute – 18th January

We have our first super-fight this Saturday in Montreal Canada, which is rapidly becoming a boxing-mecca with Adonis Stevenson’s exploits last year.

It promises to be an explosive encounter, two fellow countrymen, it could be a Canadian Benn v Eubank.

Bute, who you will recall was battered by Carl Froch in 5 rounds in 2012, has fought just once since then against Denis Grachev later 2012.

He will be looking to weather a “Polar Vortex” of early punches from Pascal who is renowned for explosive starts.

I fear for Bute in this, having had an extended period of inactivity. This coupled with moving up to Light-Heavy, could be too much.

I feel Bute is no longer the same fighter and he could be stopped inside 7 or 8.

Next weekend we see the fights ramp-up significantly; David Price’s comeback in his maiden outing as a Sauerland fighter:

WBO Cruiserweight Championship

Marco Huck v Firat Arslan – 25th January – Stuttgart

David Price v Konstantin Airich – 25th January – Stuttgart

WBO Super-Featherweight Championship

Mikey Garcia v Juan Carlos Burgos – 25th January – Madison Sq Garden, New York

IBF Light-Welter Championship

Lamont Peterson v Jean Dierry – 25th January – Washington DC

Gabriel Rosado v Jermell Charlo – 25th January – Washington DC

Lots to look forward to as we await the return of the big boys!

Ok guys that is your lot from me on this crisp evening.

Have a great weekend and tune in next week.

Cheers
Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog
@PaulReady

Mayweather, Ward, Froch & Groves

Standard

Bonjour,

I hope everyone had a delightful festive period. Mine descended in to a sea of wine & cheese spent with those who matter most…

My next post will be the fights I wish, no wait.. Demand.. That we have grace our screens in 2014.

I wanted to discuss the latest news/rumours that have come to light the past few days, hence the impromptu post.

Like the rest of us, boxers have been enjoying the holiday period and have taken to twitter to fuel the flames of potential fights next year.

You can picture it now, Andre Ward sat there after going to midnight mass, his nan has passed out infront of the TV with Santa Claus featuring Dudley Moore playing.

What is a guy to do?

Take to twitter of course and throw his two pence worth in on Froch/Groves!

@andreward: #UK fans still not happy with Carl “The Cobra” Froch huh?? That’s why I respect #UK fans, they ride for the home team, but tell the truth!!

He then went on to say that Froch has only two options.

Not just Groves rematch or retire, but a Ward or Groves rematch. In addition, that he would be willing to face Groves in the future.

What a match that would be.

I was salivating reading that, and I had the meat sweats at that point.

Ward fancies fighting Froch again, and who can blame him! Peak Froch couldn’t beat him, Froch on the slide gets stopped in my opinion.

For Ward to call Groves out shows how high his stock really has risen.

Everyone wants a piece of him, including American promoters.

‘There’s an awful lot of promoters interested in me,’ Groves told Sportsmail. ‘Because obviously I’m an exciting fighter in a good division, and I’ve got a successful future. I’m doing my job right and they’re interested. Plenty from Stateside – four from Stateside, all the big players are interested. I’m in a good position, I’m happy.’

In the aftermath of the Froch fight, I spoke about the merits of Groves taking himself Stateside for a brief period. It appears that this is something he is doing himself, for that I commend him.

Promoter wise, it would make sense for him to sign with DiBella Promotions.

Brooklyn based DiBella has great links with Goldenboy, Top Rank, K2 Promotions.
This would mean Groves could fight on Showtime and HBO, thus not restricting himself, as it would if he chose one of the GoldenBoy or Top Rank.

DiBella is a massive character, a man who tells it how it is, takes no shit and would be great for Groves

DiBella currently promotes Sergio Martinez and having an exciting fighter such as Groves, would prove to be a great asset for his stable.

We also had in typical Floyd style, headline stealing tweets regarding Pacquiao and other potential opponents for him next.

Firstly, he tweeted a picture of a guy in Tokyo who appeared to be a cross between Roach and Pacquiao with the caption “Manny Roach”.

Then preceded by digitally made posters of him versus Khan, Maidana and Pacquiao. Mayweather mocked them all, calling Khan a con artist, Maidana a biscuit boy (no idea) and the proposition of facing Pacquiao would be eating Marquez’ leftovers.

What I feel are intelligent about these tweets and the very nature of them, is that this has been done to gauge the fans perception of each potential opponent.

It’s an open secret that the Khan fight is close to be agreed, but it has been received by lukewarm response over here in the UK and in the States.

Mayweather, a renowned PPV fighter wouldn’t of ignored this and I feel the tweets are a reflection of that.

Mayweather v Khan was never going to topple “The One” PPV buys, but for a guy who has agreed a blockbuster deal with Showtime Sports, Mayweather needs to whip up a frenzy on the opposition.

Fans buy to see him win and lose.

Without having that realistic chance of the underdog winning, it doesn’t become a credible main event.

Hundreds of thousands in the States will shell out $60-70 a pop to see a ridiculously one sided main event.

Mayweather needs to be hitting the 750-900 units to ensure he is getting that “Money” and don’t assume the Khan fight is signed and sealed just yet.

In other news we had confirmation of the very brief Price & Booth partnership.

Rumours surfaced earlier this week that Price’s new promoter Sauerland brothers had an issue with Booth being his trainer and manager.

Only for Booth to take to Twitter to pour cold water on those rumours:

@boxingbooth: Contrary to very inaccurate reporting, my decision to stop working with David Price had nothing to do with @SauerlandBros

So with this one, I have no clue what happened and one can only speculate on a vast number of theories, which I’m sure will be revealed in due course.

Right.

That’s my cheese ridden thought process.

Enjoy the rest of your time off and tune in next week for my 2014 fight wish list.

Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady

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

Standard

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?

desert-strike-25

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.

article-2457356-18B5A92B00000578-835_634x463

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.

bradley_marquez

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.

Carl-Frampton-Jeremy-Parodi-IBF

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.

Adam-Booth---Dave-Hayes-t-001

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?

50591_3

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