“Lethal” @LucienReidy Exclusive Interview by Paul Ready

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The latest starlet to join Matchroom’s stable is 21 yr old Super-Bantamweight Lucien Reid.

Reid, makes his pro-debut on May 30th at the O2 Arena in London.

The prospect’s amateur career is impressive – he claimed a Senior ABA Elite 54kg title in 2013 and was a finalist at 56kgs the following year.

 

 

Elite Boxing:

Lucien – it’s great to meet you. Tell me, what got you in to boxing as a boy?

 

Lucien Reid:

What got me in to boxing was that me and my brother were having a fight outside my dad’s house. My brother was fighting another guy and to tell you the truth I was a bit scared!

My brother wasn’t throwing the right punches, dad came out and told us both that we need to learn how to defend ourselves – so he took us down to Repton Boxing Club.

Ten years down the line, I’ve signed a professional contract with Matchroom Boxing so it’s gone really well!

 

EB:

So are you saying that prior to that fight happening with your brother, boxing wasn’t really a hobby or sport that interested you?

 

LR:

I was 11 at the time, we initially got in to it for fitness purposes and to defend ourselves. It was never my intention to turn professional. Since then I wanted to be a boxer, I always loved the blood and the sweat, no tears at the age as I was only young. But I’ve done really well so far.

 

EB:

What was the first fight that you remember watching that made you fall in love with the sport?

 

LR:

It was shortly after I had my first competitive fight, I was round a friends house and we watched a Floyd Mayweather fight.

I loved his skill, loved his defence, I loved his movement and that’s what I base my style on. (Peter Sims believes he is similar to Kal Yafai).

My style is based on a lot of movement and a lot of speed & fast reactions.

 

EB:

The Super-Bantamweight division you are entering is really exciting not only domestically but also internationally.

How do you view the division at the moment?

 

LR:

I’m glad I’m in such a great division as all being well there could be some big fights to be made a couple of years down the line.

But I’m looking forward to getting out there, exciting people and letting the big guys in the division know my name.

I want them to know that I will be coming in the next few years to challenge for some titles!

 

EB:

I think everyone shares the sentiment that Guillermo Rigondeaux is the main man in the division. 

Just underneath that you have Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg in the UK. That fight is hopefully going to happen in the summer – how do you see that bout panning out?

 

LR:

Rigondeaux is unbelievable and definitely the best in the division. 

The fight with Frampton and Quigg if it happens is going to be amazing, I really can’t pick between them. It’s a great blend of styles and its a definite 50-50 contest.

The winner of Quigg and Frampton I’d like see face Rigondeaux.

 

EB:

To go back to yourself Lucien, talk me through your amateur career in more detail.

 

LR:

My amateur career started around ten years ago. I boxed for Repton for five years and for West Ham for five years. 

For Repton I got to the NABC Finals and lost by 1 point which was disappointing obviously. In the same year I got to the ABA Juniors Final and I lost by 1 point as well.

I went into the Seniors, I’ve done three Senior Championship’s, first I lost to Reece Bellotti in the Quarter Finals on a close decision.

Second year – 54kgs I went in and beat everybody comfortably winning the ABA’s. In my third year I got to the final at the Liverpool Echo Arena and lost to Qais Ashfaq. Qais is Team GB’s number 1 at that weight, he got a Silver in the Commonwealth games.

 

EB:

You are on the verge of making the transition from amateur to pro under Peter’s guidance.

Outside of this gym, who have you sparred so far?

 

LR:

I haven’t sparred many pro’s prior to coming here. I had sparred Charlie Hoy which was great for me – he has great head movement that helped me develop.

I’ve had loads of trials in Sheffield at Team GB, I had around ten trials over two years. I’ve sparred the top guys in the country there – Charlie Edwards, Jack Bateson, Peter McGrail, Jack Daniels, I’ve sparred loads up there.

 

EB:

You’ve been with Peter now for a month I believe. He’s a massive character isn’t he?

 

LR:

Haha! Yeah he is, but he’s a nice man. I know he wants the best for me.

I can’t wait to make debut on such a big show at the end of May.

I keen to progress quickly and I feel that I have the best team around me now. The sparring I can get at this gym, Tony Sims’ gym and possibly going up to spar Scott Quigg in the future would be fantastic for my development.

 

EB:

Lucien, it’s it’s been great talking to you. I best let you go and do the rest of your training before Peter comes looking for me!

Is there any final things you wish to add?

 

LR:

Thanks Paul – enjoyed it.

I’d like to thank my mum & dad for putting up with my diet and my moodiness!

A special thanks to my sponsors D&G Glazing, Muscle Food and L&O Meats.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@PeterJSims1 “A champion is a contender that never gave up”

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Elite Boxing:

I’m here today with Peter “The Pirate” Sims and his rum!

2014 has been a good year for yourself – you’ve taken some extra fighters on and you are now back at your spiritual home in Hainault.

Firstly from your perspective, how has the year been for you when you reflect back?

 

Peter Sims:

It’s been alright Paul. As me and you just discussed – we’ve had some ups and some downs in the gym.

It started off on a down with the Wadi Camacho fight against Stephen Simmons, with Wadi getting stopped in the last round with a 1:54 to go. That wasn’t the best start to the year. For Tyler he won the English Light-Welter title at his second attempt, signed for Matchroom and the fight earlier last year against Tyrone Nurse he got beat.

So there has been some ups and downs.

 

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EB:

In my opinion the Wadi fight with Simmons the build-up took a lot mentally out of him. You had the confrontation at the first press conference, then the Simmons injury and when it eventually came to the fight he perhaps had mentally exhausted himself.

Similar to what happened with Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly recently but on a different scale.

 

PS:

There is no excuses for the outcome of the fight. I don’t think it helped the fight being put off the first time. We went to Lanzarote for the training camp and the day before we were due to go Simmons had to pull out due to a costal cartilage injury in his rib. So that took a bit of spice out of the fight.

Then we had to wait – Wadi had a fight at York Hall in-between. When the fight did eventually happen it did go the way I wanted to as I wanted Wadi to spoil the war really. I wanted him to get on his back-foot, use his long reach and jab – then look to land a big shot in the middle to late rounds.

Unfortunately he got caught as a I said and that’s boxing, that’s life. It has been a massive defining point in his career now.

 

EB:

You could hear you telling him that on Sky. At the end of the 9th beginning of the 10th you said:

“This round will define will career”

 

PS:

I did tell him that. “This round will define your career and your life.” In both aspects; your boxing career and financially in your life. Unfortunately has nearly proven to be so. He has another half bite of the cherry with the Craig Kennedy fiasco up in Wales. We are looking to get him back on track really.

 

EB:

I do wish Wadi the best going in to 2015. With the news of him becoming a father it should give him extra impetus and more desire in his career.

Moving on to Tyler, he went in to the fight with Tyrone Nurse with various injuries. That fight didn’t go to plan but credit to Tyler he went back in the gym, worked his socks off and got his reward winning the English Light-Welter belt..

It was clear to see when I was here how hard he works – he was hardly out of breath.

The Ricky Boylan fight was one of the best I saw live last year.

 

PS:

Going back to the Nurse fight, we make no excuses but no one wanted to fight him. He was injured as is well documented but we took the fight.

Tyrone Nurse kept his word as before we fought him and I’d like to make a point for this as a lot of people don’t understand or take it on board – before we took we had a gentleman’s agreement that the winner would vacate the belt.

Nurse done what he said when he won which was decent of him and he kept his half of the bargain. We told him we had injuries before and they agreed to vacate if he won. A lot of people have claimed that they had mandatory positions and they let Tyler fight for the English against Boylan. Perhaps in the eyes of the British Boxing Board of Control others were mandatory but the gentleman’s agreement got us the Boylan fight.

Tyler done all that was asked of him against Boylan, switching tactics and he got a bad cut on the eyelid – he came out victorious and we are very proud of him as he deserved that.

My problem with Tyler is holding him back as he trains like a lunatic. I have to hold him back and monitor his runs so he doesn’t peak too early. I’ll say go do a 6 mile run and he’ll go do a 9 mile one!

That’s the sort of kid he is – he’s a pleasure to have in the gym.

He just loves a fight that kid. I’ve only ever seen two people in the gym like that; Tyler and Lee Purdy as they both love a fight. He doesn’t care about getting beat, he’s like a Mexican in a way as he just wants a scrap and he has nothing to lose but his pride.

As long as he keeps his pride and he does himself justice in a tear up. He’d rather come out of a fight battered and bruised than come out victorious by running away.

When Tyler wins the WBC International he will get a top 30 world ranking so we’d like to be in that place but he wants to go for the British Title and fulfill his dream. These WBC Silver’s and International’s are all well and good but he wants the domestic titles – the British or Commonwealth belts.

Let’s get the (John) Hibbert fight out-of-the-way first then we can focus on that.

 

EB:

Ben Hall is someone who you have taken on last year. A young fighter who already I can see has much more confidence in himself. When I first came down he seemed in awe of the stars of the gym; Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell, John Ryder and Anthony Joshua.

Physically Ben looks bigger, fitter than when he first joined. What kind of change and transition have you seen from him since he joined?

 

PS:

I’ve had Ben three months and he’s had 3 fights. He had two fights on Steve Goodwin bills and he had a fight on October 11th on the Matchroom O2 bill. It took three fights for me to get what was going on with him.

One thing he does as he’s a puncher is load-up on shots, secondly we discovered that he holds his breath and no one has ever told him any different. I couldn’t work out why he was getting so tired – it was a combination of nerves and adrenalin – he held his breath when he punched.

This made him take massive gasps of oxygen then holding – it was like fighting underwater. He’s a different kid from that now. I’ve loosened him up now, he was very stiff, very tight. Every shot had to be a big shot, he thought he could KO people with his jab.

In my opinion the kid is an absolute talent and go beyond domestic level – he has such fast hands, unbelievable power.

Ben has been sparring with John Ryder and John commented the other day: “He can properly punch that kid.”

Wait till he fills out to a proper Light-Middle, he’s only 21 and by the time he is 23-24 he will be a force in the Light-Middle division.

 

EB:

Jimmy Cooper is the other fighter you have and he’s got a busy start to 2015.

 

PS:

Yeah little Jimmy Cooper, it’s been a slow process with him, getting his licence done. He’s boxing on 25th February on a dinner show, nice and relaxed, no pressure of selling tickets or anything like that. Then 28th March he’s on a Steve Goodwin show in Portsmouth – he’s from Southampton.

 

EB:

Is it easy for Jimmy to travel up and train with you during the week?

 

PS:

He comes up and stays with Mark Seltzer’s at his house with Ricky Burns, he’s got a three bedroom house so he pays rent and that.

We are going away on 6th January, me, Tyler, Ben, Jimmy and we’re going out to the MGM Marbella Gym for sparing and a 12 day training camp prior to O2 bill.

Looking forward to getting away with them as the weather has been atrocious here recently.

 

EB:

With your stable now larger, I bet you’ve got some funny stories from the boys in camp?

 

PS:

Ben Hall has me in fits everyday. He’s a funny geezer. Ben is always on sun beds now, he’s got this thing about them. I bought him some moisturizer the other day – he came in the gym and he was orange!

But he hadn’t washed his hands and was an absolute classic! We always have a laugh in our gym every other day.

I’m just waiting to do the New Year’s general knowledge quiz, it’s 10 questions. We done one last year with Tony’s guys as well and I think Kevin Mitchell got 4 out of 10 he was the lowest. We have a great laugh doing that.

Ben has taken Tyler’s nickname of “The Log” as he’s thick as a plank.

 

EB:

Peter just wanted to thank you for all the access and introductions you’ve given me this year. I really appreciate it and look forward to catching up with you early this year.

 

PS:

Cheers Paul, thanks for the rum mate – been a pleasure.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

Boxing Update 31/03 by Paul Ready

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So here we are, nearly April. Unreal how quick the year has gone already.

I browsed at the International calendar of the forthcoming months and we have some absolute crackers in store:

 

Saturday 12th April; MGM Grand Casino, Las Vegas

Manny Pacquiao v Tim Bradley 2

WBO Welterweight Title

 

Saturday 19th April; DC Armory, Washington DC

Bernard Hopkins v Beibut Shumenov

WBA & IBF Light-Heavyweight Title

Shawn Porter v Paulie Malignaggi

IBF Welterweight Title

Peter Quillin v Lucas Konency

WBO Middleweight Title

 

Saturday April 26th; Stubhub Center, Carson CA

Keith Thurman v Julio Diaz

Lucas Matthysse v John Molina

 

Saturday May 3rd; MGM Grand Casino Las Vegas

Floyd Mayweather Jnr v Marcos Maidana

WBC Welterweight & WBA Super

Amir Khan v Luis Collazo

Adrien Broner v Carlos Molina

J’Leon Love v Marco Antonio Periban

 

Saturday 7th June; Madison Sq Garden, New York

Sergio Martinez v Miguel Cotto

Ring & WBC Middleweight Title

 

Add to the above advanced talks between Chavez Jnr v Golovkin in the summer, there is plenty to look forward to.

 

This is Belfast, Odyssey Arena

Carl Frampton faces Hugo Cazares in a Final Eliminator for the WBC World title at the Odysessy Arena on Friday.

This is the final obstacle for the Ulsterman to overcome before he is unleashed on to the world stage.

Supporting “The Jackal” will be Conrad Cummings, Ryan Burnett, Eamonn O’Kane, Marc McCullough, Jamie Conlan and Stephen Ormond.

The 27 yr old’s opponent is a two time World Champion and no doubt be surprised on Friday evening when he enters the Jackal’s lair.

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Fantastic picture courtesy of Russell Pritchard.

Frampton had this to say regarding the bill:

“Four of the fights are title fights and we have a few prospects coming through, so it is the biggest bill in Belfast for a very long time. I am very proud to be topping the bill in my home town.

“I can’t wait and I think we will have to find somewhere a bit bigger the next time.

“It’s great that it was sold-out so far in advance and some of the undercard fights were only announced today.

“It is great for Belfast and great for the local boxers on the bill.

“The atmosphere cannot be beaten in the UK – even Europe. There is no atmosphere like a Belfast show. The place will be bouncing.”

Whilst neither Frampton nor his team will overlook the Cazares fight, the prospect of him v WBC Leo Santa Cruz is a captivating match-up.

I’m excited as any Irishman to see Frampton announce himself on the world stage. I have no doubt he will capture the American audience’s imagination.

He will travel exceptionally well; the Irish fan base that will support will challenge Ricky Hatton’s contingency that came to follow his progress Stateside.

Whilst I feel Frampton is some way off from being at Rigondeaux’s level, I would feel confident of him against Nonito Donaire and shading a win against Santa Cruz.

Conrad Cummings, a recent signing to Cyclone looks a lively talent. Cummings has experienced world class sparring against fellow Middleweight Andy Lee at the Hayemaker Gym in London, which would of been a great benchmark of what level he could reach.

 

John Ryder, Wadi Camacho, Ricky Boylan & Welterweight Prizefighter – York Hall, London

 

John “The Gorilla” Ryder faces Jez Wilson in a British Middleweight title eliminator on Saturday evening.

Ryder headlines the Prizefighter show and fights a mere few weeks after a 6 round win in Liverpool.

In reflection of his loss to Billy-Joe Saunders last year, Ryder had this to say:

“If you lose and you learn, it isn’t such a bad thing and I will come back a better fighter,” said Ryder. “I didn’t get hurt and I learnt a lot. There are good things to come from me and I will be better for having had that fight, and I will be better over the distance now.

I felt that the 25 yr old from Islington had done enough against Saunders to get the win last year.

The Southpaw finished the stronger of the fighters and had there been another round, I fancied him to have stopped him.

Whilst it was a setback for Ryder, he has bounced back and will be looking to put on a blistering performance the weekend against a robust Wilson.

The Yorkshire man has a (11-1-1: 7 KO’s) record and hasn’t boxed for a year, The Gorilla will be fresher and looking to capitalise on that.

I saw Ryder spar at Simsy’s gym 2 weeks ago and when I first stood by him; I was impressed with the sheer size of him.

He leaves everything in the ring and the come-forward style he displays will no doubt excite the crowd at York Hall on Saturday.

On the same bill, fellow stable-mate Wadi Camacho (11-2: 7 KO’s) fighting in a 4 round Cruiserweight contest in his “numero uno” outing of 2014.

The Canning Town Catalan has had a self-imposed absence from the ring due to Stephen Simmons obtaining a broken rib.

Macho Man was due to face Simmons on the Ricky Burns v Terence Crawford bill on 1st March, from what I’m hearing this will be rescheduled around the end of June.

The pair traded taunts in a heated press-conference and the antagonism will no doubt continue in the build-up to the fight.

Light-Welter “Pretty” Ricky Boylan (10-0: 4KO’s) makes his debut as a Matchroom fighter.

“It’s a great achievement for me to join the best stable in Britain,” said Boylan. “I’ve worked hard my whole career to get to this point and it’s paid off. I have to keep working hard though which I will do, and this promises to be a big year for me.

“I’m looking at the English and British titles of course. I’ll be getting really good exposure and that’s important to build my profile up, so I’d like to be knocking on the door of the British title by the end of the year after defending the Southern Area title and hopefully winning the English.

Boylan is in a sizzling division domestically that contains Curtis Woodhouse, Darren Hamilton, Chris Jenkins, Tom Stalker, Tyler Goodjohn and Tyrone Nurse.

The latter two squareing off on April 19th for the British title in Manchester.

The Welterweight Prizefighter competition has a cool cheque of £32,000 for the victor.

It will be contested between Former European Lightweight champion Jason Cook, unbeaten Johnny Coyle, Mark Douglas, Johnny Garton join former British Light Middleweight title challenger Erick Ochieng, Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Paddy Gallagher, Midlands Area champion Sam Eggington and Dubliner Dean Byrne.

The Prizefighter format does have its critics, but I feel it does have a place in the British boxing calendar.

It quench’s our primal gladiatorial thirst; the fights are fast and frantic, I feel that it is only right being staged at York Hall.

The balcony over-looking the ring adds to the atmosphere of the casual crowd & the hardcore contingency.

Containing fresh-faced, unblemished young fighters with a point to prove as they cut-their-teeth in the most unforgiving of sports.

To the veteran wily foxes, old heads if you will who have been there, seen it and got the t-shirt.

These men want to prove to themselves and their doubters that they aren’t over-the-hill just yet.

I will be in attendance and am looking to see which of the young starlets catch my eye.

I recall seeing Chris Jenkins last year and being very impressed with him technically.

A great weekend of boxing both Friday and Saturday in store, I can’t wait.

 

“This Is Belfast” will be shown on BoxNation on Friday evening.

“Ryder and the Prizefighters” will be shown on Skysports on Saturday evening.

 

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady

Nathan Cleverly to Matchroom by Paul Ready

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Nathan Cleverly has completed a move across the road to Matchroom Boxing this week.

The Welshman has spent his entire career to date boxing under Frank Warren Promotions.

The 27 yr old has not boxed since his career first defeat to Sergey Kovalev last summer thus losing his WBO Light-Heavyweight title.

I had a sneaky suspicion that Cleverly was going to join Matchroom when I spotted him sat ringside on 1st February at their last show in Cardiff.

Coupled with him being on SkySports Ringside last week discussing “the second chapter and second coming” the cat was well and truly out of the bag.

Cleverly has cited intentions of moving up to Cruiserweight as he feels more comfortable at the weight as opposed to boiling down to Light Heavy.

The agreement with Matchroom I believe is on a fight-by-fight basis as Cleverly is out of contract, but it is inevitable that he will end up fighting former nemesis and now stablemate Tony Bellew.

Bellew has already made the step-up to Cruiserweight and this will be built in to a big domestic fight.

“It’s chapter two for me. I’ve had a bit of time off and I decided to team up with Eddie,” said Cleverly.

“Matchroom and Sky Sports is the place to be to get back to the top and I can’t wait to get back in there – let’s bring it on.”

Reflecting on a possible second bout with Bellew, Cleverly said: “I think it’s inevitable. We’re both on a collision course, we’re now in the same weight division.

“We’ve already had one great fight, which was an entertaining, crowd pleasing fight, so I think the fight fans want to see it. Bellew wants the fight, I want the rematch as well. Even though I won the first fight, I’m prepared to give him a rematch. I’m sure we’ll get it on.”

In an exciting division domestically that contains Ola Afolabi, Benga Ileyemi and Wadi Camacho, there are plenty of great match-ups that can be made.

Cleverly spoke exclusively to IFLTV yesterday and had this to say on his move:

One of the best arguments at a press-conference actually took place between Cleverly and Bellew on the Groves v DeGale card, the fight didn’t end up happening then, but it’s great viewing never-the-less.

 

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady

 

Peter Sims – Interview (Part 1) By Paul Ready

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Many cutsman often turn up on fight-night, get paid and go home without fully understanding the man in the corner they are patching up.

Peter Sims is different.

He is different because he dedicates his whole time to the gym.

Not only does he now train 3 fighters, but he spends time around the fighters whose corner he will be in beside brother Tony.

Peter understands what each man is susceptible to for cuts and the best methods to prevent them from occurring.

He is recognised and renowned as one of the best cutsman in the business.

Alongside brother Tony, they are the only brothers in boxing who work together as trainer and cutsman.

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What struck me most about Peter was that he is a real throwback of men of yesteryear.

Born and bred in listening distance of the Bow bells and the home of British boxing; Peter is one of the most genuine guys I’ve met for a long time.

A great host to me in my maiden visit to Simsy’s gym, even though he had Wadi Camacho and Benga Ilyemi beating holes in one another sparring, he constantly checked I was comfortable and catered for.

Whilst we watched Martin Ward and Romeo Romaeo spar in a session that Bruce Lee would have been proud of, we stood there rabbiting away like a pair of old women in a laundrette.

You would learn plenty listening to Peter talk about boxing, I certainly did.

I felt like a boxing boffin sat in the front of the class, all that was absent was a thick pair of glasses and a Granny Smith to give to him.

Elite Boxing:

What made you get in to boxing initially?

Peter Sims:

Well I started boxing when I was 10, me and Tony (Sims, Peter’s brother) were brought up in Bethnal Green. My Junior School was right round the corner from Repton Boxing Club. I remember I walked in to Repton at 10 years of age and started going in there a couple of times a week.

When I was 11 I started boxing for Poplar as an amateur and went on to Stepington St George’s. Tony went over to Fitzroy Lodge.

That was my real introduction to boxing really.

Our family are a good boxing family; our dad won the Force’s Champion as a Middleweight, our uncle Jimmy Davis fought Randolf Turpin who later went on to fight Sugar Ray Robinson.

Boxing has always been in our family.

 

EB:

It sounds like it’s been handed down from generation to generation in the Sims family like a trade..

PS:

Definitely. It’s stemmed from the area that we’ve come from, working class background.

When we left school we went down to Billingsgate fish market, which had Billy Walker, Georgie Walker and loads of other fighters from years ago.

It was the environment we grew up in, you were surrounded by boxing and that’s where it all starts from really.

 

EB:

What has kept you in the sport since then to the present day?

PS:

I came out of the sport for a bit as I had a club out in Spain for a few years. Funnily enough I was training fighters out there for at a gym in Marbella.

I was back and forward from there doing cuts with Tony and his guys when he first started with the likes of Butch Leslie, Dave Stewart and obviously Darren Barker came along in the early years.

Then 8-10 years ago I decided to move back from Spain to England, my children were then old enough to go to Secondary School and then I came back in the gym with Tony.

I was working full-time then doing the conditioning with the fighters, I had other business interests and didn’t want to go to deep in looking after fighters, and it happened by accident that side of it really.

I was quite happy doing the cuts for Tony.

EB:

My perception of a cutsman is one of the toughest jobs on fight night as you have a matter of seconds to work between rounds. What skills have you learnt over the years?

PS:

As much as you follow old school tactics and techniques of the likes of Mick Williamson (former cutsman for Ricky Hatton), you learn from your own experiences.

I know Mick well as he was friends with my father-in-law for years and years.

He was at my father-in-laws funeral. He’s been a friend of my family outside of boxing for 30-40 years.

What has inspired me to get in to cuts being in the gym and around the fighters.

You can learn a lot about the fighter that a lot of cutsman don’t do, they just turn up on the night.

When you are in the gym with them and they get facial injuries, you learn to know about the structure of their face and I believe it’s an important thing.

Some people have got sharp cheekbones and sharp eyebrows, you have to be careful and watch them where they swell up, where their weak points are.

Have they got an injury in sparring that they could take in to a fight?

That is something people don’t know about , but I certainly do.

A lot of cuts people get wearing the headguard, they need to Vaseline the headguard as well as the face.

Many of the fighters don’t want Vaseline on the headguard as it slips.

But it’s very important to keep the headguard supple and greased.

It’s something that I enjoy doing and now I’ve gone on to training fighters in the last couple of years.

 

EB:

To discuss your fighters in more detail, how did you end up training Tyler Goodjohn firstly?

PS:

Well as you know, Tony used to train Tyler. At that time Tony was looking after a number of young fighters like Ryan Taylor and Tyler.

Tyler went in to a fight with Vinny Woolford, basically a journeyman who could wack a bit.

He had a condition called hypoglycemia and even now we have to check his blood sugar levels are ok.

Basically it was caused by bad diet and bad advice by a nutritionist he was using at the time and it resulted in him developing hypoglycemia.

It was brought on by fructose in fruits, but we didn’t know he had that problem at the time.

He went in to the fight with Woolford with that condition, he was gone before the fight really, and he didn’t look the right skin colour.

It was a big defeat for a young kid that turned pro at 18 and won a National Title as an amateur, they had high hopes for him.

Then he boxed Danny Connor for the British Masters and got beat on points and it was a 2nd defeat.

It’s quite common knowledge in our gym that if you get 2 defeats and you are fighting for Masters Titles, you are shown the door.

It’s different if you are competing at European or World Level as you can comeback.

Tony phoned Tyler to come spar Ryan Taylor, and was actually training himself.

After the spar Tyler told me he was really pleased with the instructions I gave him during the spar and that he had never felt that confident in a spar.

He told me he had an upcoming British Masters fight and would I train him for it.

To be honest with you, I was reluctant did I have the time?

I had my hands full with a Recruitment company in Darlington and my Jab Wear (Boxing apparel) business.

I agreed to train him for the fight and go from there.

EB:

From speaking to Tyler you can tell how much he respects you. It may sound cliché but it’s almost like a father son relationship.

He listens & believes in everything you say and you show a lot of confidence in him, providing constructive criticism where necessary.

Off the back of that how did you end up inheriting Wadi Camacho and Benga Ilyemi?

PS:

Benga is the cousin of Anthony Joshua, when Anthony turned pro with Matchroom. Ilyemi went along to the same meeting mentioned he wanted turn pro, he won 2 National Titles as an amateur.

So he came in to the gym, me and Tony spoke about it in-depth, we looked at him. Tony trained him for a session and I trained him for a session. We went away and decided between us that I’m the one that should train him.

I thought to myself at that point, what have I let myself in for, now I’ve now got two of them!

From Ilyemi came Wadi Camacho, Wadi came down to spar Ilyemi before the Conquest fight.

He went in to the Conquest fight, got beat for whatever reasons, then I got a call from Jess( Wadi’s manager) he wasn’t happy with his current stable, he felt I could offer him more.

Wadi is a Southpaw which is always an advantage.

Same thing again, me and Tony spoke about it as Camacho does come with a bit of baggage.

Not being disrespectful to Wadi, at that time I didn’t know him as a person or what his personality was like.

He is tarred with a tag that he is a bit flash and a bit arrogant; he’s actually the complete opposite and a really nice guy.

And that’s how I came about Wadi Camacho.

Wadi is half Spanish as you are probably aware, I can speak fluent Spanish after living out there for a number of years. We speak Spanish to one another in the gym and take the piss out of people who are completely clueless. We are considering doing it in the corner for his next fight, I’m sure Skysports will lap it up!

(During the interview Wadi comes in to talk to Peter in Spanish, I’m sure they were discussing numbers but I could have been the joke and was blissfully unaware!)

 

EB:

As you’ve stated that you and Tony talk in-depth when looking to bring a new fighter onboard like Joshua or a fighter rejoining like Kevin Mitchell, I presume you both discuss is this a feasible move for the gym?

PS:

Well you have to look after the fighters who are already in the gym; you just can’t focus on someone who comes along wanting to join asking:

 “Can you train me”.

You don’t think about them or what they’ve got to offer, your main focus is the existing fighters.

Our gym is the most grounded gym for fighters you will ever go in.

There are no fighters here deluded, if they are; we take it away from them.

Ego gets left at the door before you come in this gym.

There is no ego shit in our gym; you have to be grounded to come in here.

Some fighters don’t like it, and we don’t like them, that is just how it goes.

It’s horses for courses, fighters get out what they put in here.

There is no ego from me and Tony like some gyms, I’ve seen egos being passed down from trainers to their fighters if gives them false sense of belief.

**Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow – where Peter discusses his Jab Wear business, what key attributes they look for in a prospect and the expectations of their fighters**

Boxing Update 26/02 – By Paul Ready

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The monks who founded Hull in the 12th Century would have been turning in their grave last week.

I’m sure they would of disapproved of rap freestyles and colourful street talk between Curtis Woodhouse & Darren Hamilton in the build up to Fighting Pride of Hull.

The only monk who would have endorsed that particular type of behaviour is the character played by Jason Statham in the movie “Mean Machine”

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I was surprised firstly at how good the fights ended up being; the Tommy Coyle v Daniel Brizuela one for example exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Before we discuss that, let’s look at the latest news:

Amir Khan


We found out on Friday evening that Amir Khan will not be fighting Floyd Mayweather Jnr on May 3rd.
The 27 yr old took to twitter and confirmed in a number of tweets that he felt Mayweather had dodged him as an opponent.
King Khan is of the belief that Maidana is an easier option and this has sparked mass debate of Floyd’s perceived “cherry picking” yet again.
Whilst I do genuinely sympathise with Khan for the shoddy treatment he has received from the Mayweather camp, there has been question marks of whether he was deserving in the first place.
Khan has fought 3 times since the start of 2012, two poor wins against Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz respectively and a TKO loss to Danny Garcia.

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His last outing was in April 2013 where he put in an abject display against Diaz in Sheffield.

This isn’t the type of preparation you have prior to facing the best boxer of our generation.

Amir has openly admitted that he should have faced Devon Alexander in December rather than opt out of the fight and “sign” to face Floyd.

In light of this recent news, it has sparked mass debate and hype around a potential match-up with long-term foe “Special K” Kell Brook.

Brook is mandatory for the IBF Welter title but he has admitted he would consider surrendering that if an opportunity to face Khan presents itself.

King Khan I’m certain will feel that he should face Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman or another top 147 fighter over facing Brook. Which I respect and is a fair argument.

But if he was to fight on Mayweather v Maidana under-card, it would be like attending the wedding of your ex who dumped you last year.

Embarrassing.

Forget pride, I wouldn’t go to the wedding and neither should Khan subject himself to fighting on the under-card.

He should seriously consider the highly lucrative Brook fight and should he win, use that as a pedestal to kick on with his career.

Fighting Pride Hull

Gavin McDonnell won the British Super-Bantamweight against Leigh Wood by a 6th round stoppage.

McDonnell, twin brother of Jamie the former IBF World Champion weathered a storm in the first half of the fight.

I had Wood winning comfortably before the ref intervened after a flurry of unanswered punches descended on him from McDonnell.

By securing the Lonsdale belt, Gavin and Jamie made British Boxing history by becoming the first twins to win it.

Luke Campbell displayed maturity in his 8 round stoppage against a resilient Scott Moises to take his record to 5-0.

Campbell got some much-needed rounds in the bank and adopted a patient approach in breaking Moises down.

You have to respect to Moises who absorbed the kitchen-sink that Campbell threw at him; I didn’t expect a stoppage but credit to the 26 yr old, he became the 1st man to stop the Norfolk native in his career.

Curtis Woodhouse delivered on a promise he made to his late father by winning the British Light-Welter belt against Darren Hamilton.

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Woodhouse a former professional footballer won on points to spark an emotional dedication of the victory to his father.

I felt Hamilton had done enough to edge it, despite Woodhouse arguably winning the late rounds.

But you couldn’t begrudge Woodhouse the victory and I will be surprised if he decides to continue as he should retire on a high.

He would admit himself that he has no aspirations to compete at European or indeed World Level.

Trained by Adam Booth and his team prior to the fight, their input in to preparation no doubt gave Woodhouse that extra boost between rounds can’t be overlooked.

Even for Booth, who has won world titles with David Haye in 2 weight divisions, this will rank high on his CV.

I take my hat off to Hamilton and manager Spencer Fearon; they displayed humility in defeat.

I have no doubt that Hamilton will come again and perhaps reclaim the Lonsdale belt should Woodhouse retire.

Coyle v Brizuela
Tommy “Boom Boom” Coyle defeated Daniel Brizuela in a pulsating fight that saw 8 knock-downs and 3 point deductions in total.

Coyle was stunned in the 2nd when he was caught with a right hand and hit the deck.

The 24 yr old was knocked down in the 6th with a sickening body shot that I was amazed he managed to get up from.

 

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Boom Boom knocked down the Argentine in the 8th with a right to go ahead on the cards for the first time in the fight.
Both fighters were penalised in the 8th and 9th respectively for low blows.

The 11th round wouldn’t have looked out-of-place in a Rocky movie. Brizuela twice chopped Coyle down with vicious body shots, exploiting a clear chink in his armour.

The man from Hull on the 2nd knockdown took an 8 count and proceeded to walk straight over to the Argentine and lamp him with a huge right.

Brizuela was sent sprawling to the canvas in my favourite moment of the fight.

In to the final round which you never wanted to end, Coyle retained his IBF International Lightweight title by throwing yet another right that dropped Brizuela. On this occasion the ref intervened to halt the fight to cue rapturous applause for Boom Boom.

In the post fight interview, when most men would attempt to catch their breath, Coyle spoke about aspirations of fighting Kevin Mitchell on the Froch Groves 2 under-card.

Whilst I think it would be a great fight, I feel that Kevin Mitchell is a level above Coyle at this stage.

Mitchell has looked superb of late since rejoining Tony Sims and I believe he would stop Coyle well within the distance.

Man of Steel – Glasgow

This Saturday sees the return of WBO Lightweight champion Ricky Burns against Terence Crawford after his broken jaw injury.
Burns who wrongly retained his belt against Raymond Beltran in September 2013 on points, has plenty to prove to his doubters after two poor displays of late.
The Rickster is relishing being the underdog in this bout against hot-favourite American Crawford who has been billed as future star of Top Rank’s stable.

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“I’ve been made out to be the underdog in some of those other big fights as well. It’s just taken more pressure off me,” he told Sky Sports.
“Obviously fighting at home in front of 10,000 fans, that’s big enough as it is.
“I always try and put that in the back of my mind. I know things are going well in the gym so I’m just hoping to go out there and put on a good performance because I’m due one, especially after the last couple of fights.”

Burns fully acknowledges that he is well over-due a big performance and I make comparisons to historical fights from ghosts of boxing past.

I view this fight as a Benn v McClellan, Calzaghe v Lacy and Froch v Bute moment for the Scot.

He has the backing of 10,000 partisan crowd and needs to blast Crawford away in emphatic fashion to make the rest of the world sit up and take notice.

The Glasgow crowd need to create an intimidating and volatile environment to give Burns a psychological edge from the outset.

I have seen 2 of Crawford’s fights and he is a tricky customer, he has the tools to make it a very difficult night for Rickster. It should make for compelling viewing.

With a stacked under card supporting it should be yet another great night for British boxing:

Anthony Joshua MBE v Hector Avila
John Murray v John Simpson
Scotty Cardle v Paul Appleby
David Brophy v Jamie Ambler
Anthony Ogogo v Gary O’Neill
Michael Roberts v Romain Peker
Martin J. Ward v Craig Woodruff
Ryan Smith v Ibrar Riyaz
Ryan Collins v Mariusz Bak
Scott Allan v Francis Croes

Internationally we have a number of cards taking place this weekend:

WBO World Super-Middleweight Championship
Robert Stieglitz v Arthur Abraham – Germany

Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr v Brian Vera – Texas, USA

WBO World Featherweight Championship

Orlando Salido v Vasyl Lomachenko – Texas, USA

 

@EliteBoxingBlog
@PaulReady

Boxing Update – 24/01 By Paul Ready

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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

Ringside.. Froch/Groves, Ward, Pacquiao.. by Paul Ready

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How are we doing?

I had an absolute touch last week; I ended up winning a competition to be in the crowd at SkySports show Ringside on Friday. They had the legendary Larry Holmes on for a Special featurette on his career. I was sat on the second bench behind him and was a pleasure being in his company and hearing some great stories from him.

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He felt somewhat aggrieved that people constantly quiz him on Ali, Tyson who was the greatest, when Holmes feels that he was the best ever. Certainly a Hall of Fame fighter, but when he beat former sparring partner Ali, Ali was 38 and was beginning to show signs of Parkinson’s Disease.

Not to dilute Holmes’ achievements as he has mixed it with the very best, one fight that never happened that would have been a barnstormer would have been Holmes v Foreman.

Holmes had some choice words to describe Lennox Lewis, he felt Lewis was overrated, and gave him 4 out of 10. Which surprised me, Lewis boxed in a great era in the 90’s. That won’t make the final cut they show on the telly nor will the colourful language.

That is one thing that does irritate me on fight night, commentators apologising at 10pm/3am for the corner swearing? This isn’t Tots TV, it’s two men going to war.

Holmes was at Prizefighter the night before to see Anthony Joshua fight and feels he has the lot to go all the way.

Great endorsement and Joshua certainly boxed like he wanted to impress Holmes, getting behind the jab well, and landed some accurate combos.

From a personal perspective, being at Ringside, it was good to have a chat with Johnny Nelson, top guy and mentioned myself as an inspiring blogger/writer, he gave me some sound advice which was well received and provided some food for thought.

I did throw in a curve ball question about Groves and Booth to Nelson, does he know why they really split. But he wouldn’t say, believes it will come out at some point, which I do believe myself after the Froch v Groves fight.

The fight itself Groves and Froch feels like he has absolutely flown round. Seems like yesterday it was announced.

Lots of build up this week on TV, Tactics, Behind the Ropes with each fighter, Final Press Conference, Weigh In to name a few so we will all be more than ready for the fight come Saturday.

Froch v Groves

Let’s go right in to my prediction and how I feel the fight will pan out.

I fancy Groves to shock the world here, and let me tell you why.

Carl Froch, the warrior, man who has boxed everyone and anyone in front of him is one dimensional.

He comes forward, forward, and forward like pavement roller. It is an effective and flawless tactic against a Kessler, Bute. You put him toe to toe with any boxer in the world; bar Golovkin, he wins.

Against a smarter, more intelligent boxer, Andre Ward for example, he struggles.

Now I’m not for one second comparing Groves to Ward, but Groves is mobile, intelligent and has one of the best jabs in the division (although Ward would beg to differ!) Groves has fantastic head movement and I genuinely feel Groves’ stylistically is all wrong for Froch.

Boxing - Carl Froch v George Groves Press Conference - Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel

If Groves tries to trade in the middle of the ring with Froch, he gets knocked out. The Cobra at some point will tag Groves and we will see how well Saint GG’s chin is. Groves has never swam in these waters before, Froch is a huge step up in class.

So for me, if Froch hasn’t knocked him out in 6 rounds, Groves will outbox him and win on points.

I feel Froch is too “gung ho” and can’t box on the outside, struggles to move out of the way of punches quick enough.

It makes for a great spectacle, two contrasting styles collide together like a thunder cloud.

In addition to the main event we have a stacked card that contains; Scott Quigg, Martin Murray, Anthony Joshua, Anthony Crolla, Scott Cardle to name a few.

I’m personally gutted that Super Middleweight prospect Callum Smith has had to pull out due to injury; he is definitely one of my favourite domestic fighters currently and has a huge future.

Smith v Groves in the future anyone?

Ward v Rodriguez

In Ontario, California Saturday just gone, we had the long awaited return of Andre Ward against undefeated Edwin Rodriguez.

Ward won a unanimous points victory against Rodriguez who was 2lbs overweight at the weigh in. In doing so, Rodriguez surrendered part of his purse and in reality Ward was fighting a Light Heavyweight based on the weight of his opponent.

In a scrappy first few rounds that drew boos, the pair of them wrestled, grappled in what was more reminiscent of a WWE encounter than a boxing match. The ref even docked 2 points a-piece for un-sportsman like conduct, which ensured the official had his 2 minutes in the lime light.

Ward, like any elite fighter demonstrated that “ring rust” is a pure myth. He proceeded to school Rodriguez in the art of boxing. It was a lesson pure and simple, master v pupil, Miyagi v Daniel Son.

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Ward delivered some spectacular jabs that were as powerful as a hook, the weight behind the punch that was expelled from his legs was sublime. Rodriguez’ neck was snapped back on numerous occasions, I was half expecting him to leave at the end in a foam neck brace with whiplash and his team on the phone to an injury lawyer.

In Round 6, 27-4 was the number of punches landed by Ward, compared to those landed by Rodriguez, according to CompuBox. Ward displayed an incredible offence in this fight, people often take for granted and pigeon hole him as a pure counter puncher. He was very much the aggressor in this, taking out 14 months of frustration on his opponent.

Round 10 he landed a huge left hook that Rodriguez still wouldn’t have seen on the replay it was so quick.

Overall it was an impressive return from Ward and showed that he is untouchable in the Super Middleweight division.

Next he should face Golovkin or move up to Light Heavy again and face big punching Kovalev.

Kovalev you will recall had Nathan Cleverly for breakfast in the summer.

Ward finds himself in a similar situation to Mayweather with the lack of credible opponents rapidly evaporating in front of our eyes.

Who he is next matched with will be interesting indeed.

In addition to Froch v Groves this Saturday, we have a feast of a fight in Macau, China in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the return of Manny Pacquiao who faces punching juggernaut Brandon Rios.

Pacquiao v Rios

Manny Pacquiao is one of my favourite fighters of the past 10 yrs, I have loved the journey he has embarked on, it has been a real rollercoaster.

From beating De Le Hoya, putting Hatton’s career to sleep, battered Cotto and Margarito, The Pac Man has been in some wars and thoroughly entertained.

Pacquiao’s last fight was the brutal knock out by arch nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez at the 4th attempt.

My fear in this fight is that Pacquiao is facing the hungriest fighter to date.

We will see how hungry he still is. Philippine politics won’t have a law that can save him this weekend.

In light of the recent tragedy in the Phillipines, you would expect Pacquiao will dedicate a victory in their honour.

Rios is monster. Loves a scrap and is a sadistic fucker who thrives on getting hit, the taste of his own blood only makes him smile and crave more punishment.

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“Boxing for me is better than sex” I heard him say. Brandon, you either aren’t doing it right or you genuinely are that much of a nutter.

What I like about Rios and his training camp is the camaraderie they have at the Robert Garcia gym in Oxnard, California.

Those of you who have ever watched any of Ellie Sechbach’s videos, you will see that Rios’ is a proper lad, loves a piss take and is firmly the joker of the gym.

Garcia created a tight knit environment within the stable, that boasts some impressive names, Nonito Donaire, Marcus Maidana and of course Garcia’s brother Mikey. A stable to rival any worldwide, notably Wild Card in LA.

Could this be Rios’ time? Absolutely.

If Manny isn’t on his game, he will get folded up like an origami swan by one of Rios’ rib shattering body shots.

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But if I’m honest, the speed and boxing ability for Pacquiao should be enough to gain a late stoppage in the 9th/10th.

I feel that Rios will stand in the centre of the ring and just keep coming forward, like a young Froch.

Bam Bam will throw those big uppercuts and bodyshots that we have come accustom to with him. It will certainly test Pacquiao’s resolve and heart, something I believe he will struggle to exceed Rios in. Pacquiao needs to match and supersede Rios’ work-rate.

But don’t take your eyes off that one for a second, blink and you will miss it.

Ok.

That’s it from me.

I’m off to catch up on Boardwalk Empire.

Laters

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog