Boxing Update 16/01… By Paul Ready

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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…

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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

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Elite Boxing 2013 Awards

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

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

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

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Let’s get stuck in….

UK Prospect of The Year

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

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

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

Strong argument for Lomachenko, but he has only had 1 professional fight so far. Texan Southpaw Spence, competed at London 2012 at Welterweight, reaching the Quarter Finals. Currently at 9-0 ( 7 KO’s), Spence is seriously slick boxer, patient, picks his punches well. It’s easy to get carried away, but he looks special. Appears to be no ego with this guy either yet, one hopes he stays humble as the victories and women pile up.
Spence Jr became a somewhat overnight sensation for allegedly knocking Adrien Broner down in sparring and giving Floyd Mayweather a black eye whilst training at Mayweather Gym earlier this year. Spence Jr received a black eye himself, in what some described as the toughest sparring Mayweather has had for some years. Mayweather then proceeded to eject Spence Jr immediately from the gym in disgust, for him to only invite him back later that day.

UK Fight of the Year:

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

International Fight of The Year:

Bradley v Provodnikov

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

UK Trainer of the Year:
Joe Gallagher

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

Robert Garcia

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

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

International Fighter of The Year
Adonis Stevenson

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

Floyd Mayweather Jr

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

British Knockout of the Year:

Steven Smith v Gary Buckland

International Knockout of the Year
Adonis Stevenson v Chad Dawson

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

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

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

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

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

Regards

Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog
@PaulReady

Mikey impressive.. Prizefighter.. Donaire & Ward By Paul Ready

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Evening,

We are entering the sexy season for boxing now, fights coming thick and fast.

F*ck the festive season for now, if I see another John Lewis, M&S, Coca Cola advert, my TV is going out the window.

Far too early for me!

Although, I’m still staring at this picture and so are you….

Admit it…

It’s ok…take your time…

Let’s crack on with a look at the past weekends exploits in the ring.

Garcia v Martinez

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Mikey Garcia stopped Rocky Martinez in the 8th round in Corpus Christi, Texas on Saturday night.

In doing so, Garcia won the WBO Junior Lightweight title and was the 1st man to knockdown & stop Puerto Rican Martinez in his career. After suffering a knockdown from a flash punch on the button in the 2nd, this served as a shot of espresso to Garcia.

From then on we witnessed the usual high pressure, aggressive streak that we have come to expect from the Californian.

The body shot that crumpled Martinez in the 8th like a screwed up ball of paper, was for me better than Callum Smith’s recent body shot KO. Mikey caught him with an absolute a peach of a left hook to the lower abdomen, you knew the fight was over, no question, Martinez gasped for breath like he was drowning.

Garcia was stripped of his featherweight title in June, when he failed to make weight for a defence against Juan Manuel Lopez. This provided redemption to him and a clear indicator that he should be fighting at a bigger weight.

Next up could be Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0: 16 KO’s), which would provide a stern test for him. Outside of that match up, there aren’t many fights in this division to whet the appetite.

What Garcia now needs to do is capture the imagination of the rapidly growing fan base he has acquired. Lomachenko v Garcia, for example would be a cracker, they would smash the shit out of each other for however long it lasted. But I would like to see that grow over a few years in to a PPV fight. In reality I can’t imagine Top Rank being so bold making it next year, expect that in 2015/16.

Personally, I’d like to see Garcia move up further, to Lightweight and compete there. Alongside the Brit Pack; Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Crolla, Gavin Rees, Luke Campbell, fellow American Terence Crawford (who has been announced as Burn’s WBO mandatory) and Miguel Vasquez.

Donaire v Darchinyan

Nonito Donaire (32-2: 21 KO’s) stopped Vic Darchinyan (39-6: 28 KO’s) on the same card in Texas. Darchinyan wanted to avenge the loss that cost him the IBF flyweight title previously. He was floored twice in the eighth round in a hard earned victory that perhaps, one could argue Darchinyan was leading up until that point. I had Darchinyan leading until then.

Donaire connected on more than half of his power punches. He had surgery on his right shoulder after his most recent fight, a loss by decision to Guillermo Rigondeaux.

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“Vic hit me hard and it felt like he broke my jaw earlier in the fight and all I was thinking was, `I’m going to lose,” Donaire said. “But I continued fighting and found an opportunity to land a great shot.”

This is what great fighters do, in the face of adversity they manage to pull something out of the bag to win when on the night, they don’t deserve to it.

For Donaire, he will want to avenge the Rigondeaux defeat naturally next, but I would like to see him face Carl Frampton.

That would be a mouth watering match up; they have both exchanged a few tweets to the tune of meeting in the ring at some point. It would prove to be a big step up in class for Frampton and one that he would have a genuine opportunity of winning.

This isn’t the same Donaire from years gone by, the Donaire who beat Manuel Vargas in 2010.

The Flash looks slightly off pace, probably down to the surgery in the summer, less mobile, an ideal time for Frampton to put himself in the shop window and face a top P4P Super Bantamweight.

Forget Quigg for now or a Martinez rematch, regardless of the IBF title.

Cyclone Promotions, make the call!!

Boxing this week, we have a treat on Thursday night from York Hall with Heavyweight Prizefighter. UK v USA, Ryder Cup style. Michael Sprott the main man for the UK and Hall of Famer James Toney for the Americans.

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Always an enjoyable watch these, Toney is an absolute legend in the sport, 3 weight world champion, fought at Middle right through to Heavyweight, avoided by Eubank and Benn in the 90’s, beaten Holyfield, lost to Roy Jones Jr.

My concern for him is at 45 yrs of age, after 88 Fights, “Lights Out” has taken far too many punches, listening to him speak on Ringside was tough viewing to understand the slurred speech. You never want to see anyone hurt in the sport, but he needs to think about calling it a day sooner rather than later, if not for him, for the family.

But Boxing is a like a drug addiction, it’s hard to resist and walk away. Hence why we see so many fighters having comebacks.

Toney was & still is a big character in and outside of the ring, I remember seeing a clip of him on Jonathan Ross via satellite sat next to Mickey Rourke in the mid 90’s. Benn and Eubank were on the show and the trash talking from Toney was superb, Benn bit and had a pipe back, but deep down, he knew his place.

When I first watched this, I actually though it was Kat from Red Dwarf sat there not Benn, absolute spit of him!

I fancy Toney or Sprott to do the business and win the whole thing.

On the same card we have Anthony Joshua’s 3rd outing against Croatian Hrvoje Kisicek, in-between the Semi Finals of the contest, looking forward to the next step forward for The Don.

Moving on to the weekend, we have the long awaited return of P4P number 2 in the World;

Andre “Son of God” Ward, THE man in the 168lb division.

I look at Ward with a small sense of envy, same school year as me, same height, weight.

One of us is a (possible) future P4P Boxing Writer, the other an undefeated World Champion who has faced the very best before he hits 30.

Showtime Championship Boxing: Andre Ward vs Sakio Bika - November 27, 2010

Could have been me….

Maybe not.

Ward who relinquished the WBC title in May, over an inability to face a mandatory challenger. SOG cited a shoulder injury, but couldn’t evidence it when challenged by the board, all got very messy.

He faces undefeated Edwin Rodriguez (24-0: 16 KO’s) in Ontario, California on Saturday night. It is an opportunity for Ward to exorcise some demons, and shake off ring rust, having not fought for 14 mths since a 10th round TKO of Chad Dawson.

Ward as we know is an efficient counter puncher, somewhat dull to the mainstream fans, the hardcore contingency appreciates the tactical approach he adopts.

The fact remains, there is no real blue print to defeating him.

Froch tried to trade with him, and was embarrassed in the process. Danced around The Cobra, slipping shots and unloading combos.

For Ward, he is rapidly running out of credible opposition to face. Golovkin should step up to 168 for me and face him, although I would fancy Ward on a decision.

A possible rematch with Froch could be on the cards, should he come through Groves of course, which isn’t guaranteed.

Maybe Adonis Stevenson/Bernard Hopkins at a catchweight?

Time will tell, feel free to leave some comments who you would like to see Ward fight next year??

Right ladies.

That is your lot from me.

I’m off to watch “The Gloves Are Off – Middleweights” that I recorded.

Catch you next week.

Paul

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady

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