Saturday, 5 April 2014

Prizefighter Preview: The Welterweights

Tonight sees Prizefighter return at the famous York Hall and this time round it's time for the welterweights to battle it out out for the Prizefighter trophy and the large sum of prize money! This one has an interesting line up and as always it's hard to pick a winner.

The eight contenders are Dean Byrne, Jason Cook, Johnny Coyle, Mark Douglas, Sam Eggington, Paddy Gallagher and Johnny Garton. You can make a case for any of these guys winning as after all it's different format to a normal fight with the 3 x 3 minute rounds.

The bookies have Paddy Gallagher as the favorite and this is probably down to him being an excellent amateur winning a Commonwealth title and it's clear he's got talent but is still a novice in the pro game having had only 4 fights, 4 wins and 3 coming by way of KO.

Then you have Dean Byrne who's as tough as they come. Byrne showed true fight and bravery in his last contest in Monaco on Golovkin's card where he went the distance with unbeaten, hard hitting Roman Belaev. With 21 fights Dean Byrne's one of the most experienced fighters in this Prizefighter and has only lost on 3 occasions and also has one draw to highly regarded American Carson Jones who's shared the ring with Kell Brook on two occasions.

I like the look of unbeaten London fighter Johnny Garton who's currently 11-0. He's a member of the iBox gym which boasts a good stable of fighters such as Bradley Skeete, Ricky Boylan and Iain Weaver who are all unbeaten fighters. I saw Garton's last contest and was impressed with his shot selection and work rate and could be one to watch.

The outsider in the tournament is Mark Douglas. The bookies have him 22/1. The Reading man has a record of 11 fights, 8 wins and 3 defeats, 2 of his defeats coming to World and European title challenger Lee Purdy where Douglas had to retire with a dislocated shoulder in the 4th round but was giving Purdy a fight up until this point. He also lost a close points decision to ex British champion Ashley Theophane. Since his defeat to Purdy he's come back and won 4 fights on the bounce and shouldn't be written off.

Jason Cook is the most experienced fighter who's had 36 fights so far in his career which has seen him win the European title. He's fought the likes of Gavin Rees and Lenny Daws. He is now 39 and much as he's an experienced fighter he's not as fresh as some of the others in this tournament which could be his downfall.

I don't know too much about Sam Eggington but he's only had one defeat in 9 outings and that came in a previous Prizefighter where he went out to Welsh boxer Dale Evans but since has beaten Dave Ryan who's recently beaten world title contender Paul McCloskey and I've heard that Eggington likes to fight.

Now we come to Johnny Coyle, like Sam Eggington I don't know too much about Coyle but he's got an undefeated record of 3 wins and 1 draw so far so this shows he's one of the most experienced fighters out of the eight but then again he's only 20 and this could be an advantage being young and fresh and winning Prizefighter could really put him on the map!

Finally there's Erick Ochieng, the ex English champion and British title challenger. Ochieng has lost his last 3 fights and looks to need this to relive his career. Since losing to Liam Smith for the vacant light middleweight title he's not looked the same fighter that he did early on in his career but he's still got bags of talent and winning this would put him back on the map.

This is a really good Prizefighter and it's genuinely hard to pick a winner. Anyone of these 8 fighters could win this tonight. It's live on Sky Sports 2 from 9pm so why not tune in to what's going to be an amazing night of boxing!

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Monday, 31 March 2014

Cleverly & Welsh Boxing

This week has seen Nathan Cleverly jump ship and join Matchroom sports after a long spell under Frank Warren promotions. This could be a good move for Cleverly after defeat to Sergey Kovalev in August of last year, which saw him lose his light-heavyweight world title.

Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have a number of quality Welsh boxers that they work with including Lee Selby, who's the current featherweight European champion, Gavin Rees, who's won nearly every title there is and he is also involved with prospect and Prizefighter champion Chris Jenkins. This move made sense for both Eddie Hearn and Nathan Cleverly as it allows Hearn to take big time boxing to Wales, with big names to sell out venues. It also gives Cleverly a chance to box in front of his home crowd with fellow Welsh boxers, whilst getting exposure on SKY sports.

Cleverly has decided that he's going to now campaign at cruiserweight and believes he will be better at the weight after spending years of trying to get down to light-heavyweight. There’s plenty of big fights for Cleverley at cruiserweight. The fight everyone wants to see is the rematch between Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew who fought before at light-heavyweight, in Liverpool. On that occasion Cleverly won but it was close and a quality fight. It’s definitely one that I'd like to see again and  I'm sure they'll get it on soon. It makes sense as they both now fight at cruiserweight and are both fighting under Matchroom. Add to that the fact they really don't like each other, the fight sells itself.  Big domestic fights like this are what the fans want to see.

Cleverly will make his matchroom debut in Cardiff on May 17th. It’s on a packed card, full of big domestic fights. I'm delighted to see that Gavin Rees and Gary Buckland will have a rematch for the British title just months after their first encounter, which was an all-out 12 round war and a massive fight of the season contender. On that occasion Gary Buckland got the decision but it's a fight that could've gone either way. I thought Rees had done enough but the judges thought otherwise. Big respect to Gary Buckland for taking the fight again straight away, it shows he's a real fighting man.
Also on the bill is highly regarded prospect and current English Super middleweight champion Callum Smith who will face Welsh boxer Tobias Webb. This is a good fight for Smith at this stage of his career and on paper it looks like a step up with Webb's only defeat coming to Rocky Fielding in the Prizefighter final. Webb will come to win but I personally believe Smith will have too much skill and power for Webb but that's the beauty of boxing, everyone has an opinion.
Lee Selby faces the possibility of fighting for a world title eliminator on the bill as his mandatory opponent for the European title doesn't seem to want to fight after being made a number of offers. So the route to world title looks likely for Selby who's destined for big things. Selby believes he can become the best featherweight on the planet.

This looks like a another cracking bill for Wales and boxing fans, it's good to see big time shows going to cities across the UK giving fans an opportunity to watch fighters in their local towns.
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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Chisora v Fury 2 Who wins?

This week saw the announcement of Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora 2. Who's going to win this one?
I think this is such a hard fight to call. It’s a genuine 50/50 domestic heavyweight dust up. The last time they fought, Chisora wasn't in a good place physically or mentally and he and got out boxed by Fury. Fury is still unbeaten in 22 contests and has 16 KO's to his name, Chisora on the other hand has lost on 4 occasions and won 20 times, with 13 KO's.
Ever since Chisora lost to David Haye in 2012 at Upton Park he has looked a totally different fighter, he has put together 5 back to back victories, 4 of them coming by knockout against a high level opposition. Another big difference in this fight compared to their first encounter is that this one is a world title eliminator and the first was for the British title. Although Chisora's European Belt is on the line this time, the stakes are extremely higher. A shot at the WBO world title against the long reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko awaits the winner.
You can make an argument for both fighters. Fury is the youngest of the pair and like I said he has yet to taste defeat. He genuinely believes he's the best in the world but he's not fought at world level yet.  Chisora has mixed it in higher class, he has fought the likes of David Haye, Klitschko and Helenius. In his last contest Fury looked heavier than he should've done but he had a number of personal problems in the week leading up to the fight. He still managed to get the job done. There's such a lot riding on this fight, I believe both fighters will be mentally and physically at their best. Its career defining for both men, although I can't see Chisora coming again if he does lose, whereas Fury is only 25 and has not lost.
There's so many different ways the fight could go.  Fury could just out box Chisora completely like before, however, I don't believe he will. It’s certainly not the same Derek Chisora and If Chisora does get inside and push Fury back then it could be interesting.  Chisora's bob and weave style can be more than affective against such a tall opponent like Fury, who's 6ft 9!
People have their different opinions and with this one and that's what we all love about boxing. When you get genuine fights that you can't call you don't need any bad blood to sell the fight, it'll sell itself as people want to see the outcome. So who do you think will win this one?
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Saturday, 15 March 2014

No Punch, No Pay

What the majority of ignorant boxing fans don't seem to understand is that if a boxer doesn't box through injury, or an opponent pulling out etc, then one, it's frustrating for the fighter, and two, they're not getting paid.

It's not like you're average 9-5 where if you take a day off sick you get sick pay. Its not like footballers who get paid to spend months on the injury table , or sat on the subs bench. I don't get why people find necessary to give boxers abuse for not fighting because they're injured?

I agree that it's frustrating for fans that have bought tickets, booked hotels or time off work to come and watch, but you have to think of how frustrating this is for the boxer himself. He doesn't want to be injured, he wants to be fighting and getting paid.

It's like when people were saying that Adam Booth cut David Hayes eye a week before his pay per view clash with Tyson Fury last September. People can have their conspiracy theories but Haye wouldn't duck out of that fight a week before after putting his body through months of torture and sacrifice. Think about paying all of the cost for his sparing partners, then to pull out of a fight that would've paid him five million pounds. You'd have to be seriously messed up in the head to do that.

I know people that think the shoulder injury that followed this prior to the scheduled rematch was fabircated but let's be honest David Haye's been fighting as a pro for over ten years now. Every punch he's thrown over the years has taken it's toll on his shoulder and its finally given way. Its not his fault that his shoulder gave up on him in the lead up to a massive fight like this.

You do have to feel for Tyson Fury who isnt going to be getting paid either. It cost him his biggest pay cheque to date and you can't begin to imagine how frustrated he must have been with the whole situation. He even claimed that he was retiring from the sport it got to him that much. That didn't last long!

This week Paul Smith Jr had to pull out of his fight against Welsh boxer Tobias Webb, the fight was scheduled for tonight in Liverpool. Paul suffered aninfection in his elbow that came from nowhere.People have been giving him stick on twitter but yet again why would he train his bollocks off for weeks just to pull out a few days before the fight, unless he was genuienly injured? He's been over to LA with the rest of the Gallaghers gym fighters and trained at the Wildcard, which I'm sure wasn't cheap. Why would people slag him off for an injury that's come out of nowhere and that he's no control over? Think of the boxer, he's in agony, frustrated and isn't getting paid.

I can assure you that the boxer is losing out more than you, even if you have bought tickets, hotels and booked time off work. You can still go and watch the boxing even if that fight isn't on? It's not as if the whole show's been called off?

Also this week the boxing board have stripped Derry Mathews of his commonwealth title. Derry has been out with a hand injury that required surgery so has been unable to defend it. It's not as if he's refused to fight. He's been unable to fight. This surely can't be right? This is unreasonable from the powers that be. Derry fought for the title and now they're taking away something that he has worked hard for because of an injury. I believe Derry should've been cut some slack and given the time to recover and defend his belt, he is the champ after all.  

Monday, 10 March 2014

Era of the Junior: Eubank, Collins and Chavez Jr

Steve Collins and Chris Eubank, two of the most respected warriors to step into a boxing ring in recent times. Both men were involved in massive fights in the super middleweight division which included two fights against each other that Steve Collins won on both occasions.

Both of these warriors now have sons that are looking to make an impact in the boxing world. Steve Collins Jr is a cruiserweight and Chris Eubank Jr campaigns at middleweight. Steve Collins Jr looks as strong as an ox but he looks raw and his lack of amateur experience has shown in his two professional contests thus far. It looks unlikely that he will go on to emulate his father’s achievements in the sport, but he's also reportedly a keen rugby player and could find success there.

Now Chris Eubank Jr may look like the real deal to the casual boxing fan, but he’s really just living off his dad’s name. He even uses the same ring entrance tune as his father in ‘Simply the best’. I think he should live in his dads shadow and make his own name. He is currently 13-0 with 8 KO's which at a glance is an impressive record; however, if you look closely he has been matched very carefully so far. He usually gets a weight advantage or faces an opponent that gets little notice. Any opponent with a name has been past their best. He should be looking to step up in class by now. After all you have to beat the best to be the best.

It's not as if everyone is running scared of Eubank Jr, in fact they are queuing up to beat him. The likes of James DeGale, Billy Joe Saunders, Gary O'Sullivan and Adam Etches are itching at the chance to get stuck into him but he doesn't appear to want those fights. If he was as good as he and his dad make out he is, then they would jump at the chance to face these fighters. He should stop strutting around the ring with arrogance as if he's the best thing since sliced bread and take a proper fight. I personally don't think Eubank Jr will win a world title like his father, the real Chris Eubank. In fact, I doubt he'll win a British title unless he grows a pair and mixes it with the best of our fighters at domestic level.

If you are a deluded Eubank Jnr fan and fancy a flutter, you can get 7/2 for Chris Eubank Jr to win a world title before 2020. I’d advise you to keep your money firmly in your pocket. Chris Eubank Snr has got more chance of winning another world title than his son has.

His arrogance shows in the fact that he's made a twitter account and hasn't bothered to follow a single person, despite having over 80,000 followers, whereas most boxers use twitter to interact with their fans and fellow boxers but not Chris Euabank Jr, he's too good for everyone.

Whilst on the topic of boxers living off their dads names I talked in a recent blog post about Julio Cesar Chazez Jr being shown favouritism by the WBC governing body. I say again, this clearly has something to do with his dad Julio Cesar Chavez being a boxing legend with an astonishing 115 fight career.

The difference between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Chris Eubank Jr is that Chavez Jr has already mixed it at the highest level and is a quality operator inside the ring, with fifty one fights and only one defeat at the hands future hall of famer Sergio Martinez.

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Saturday, 8 March 2014


My picks from tonights boxing 8th March 2014 (Live on Boxnation)

Kevin Satchell v Isaac Quaye- Kevin Satchell Decision 4/6

Kevin Satchell has only managed 2 KO's in his 11 wins and is facing Isaac Quaye from Ghana who's never been stopped despite losing on 4 occasions. 

Paul Butler v Oreste Bernabe- Paul Butler KO or TKO 2/5

Although Bernebe's record suggests he's never been stopped. If you look closely at his record every time he's stepped up he's lost. I don't believe he's been in with anyone like Butler and he's never been 12 rounds whereas Butler has on 2 occasions. I believe Butler will break him down in front of his home crowd and stop him in the second half of the fight.

Leo Santa Cruz v Cristian Mijares- Leo Santa Cruz Decision 7/4

Although the bookies believe that Leo Santa Cruz will stop Cristian Mijares I think that the experienced Mijares will go the distance as he's only been stopped once in 58 fights and has always mixed at a high level.

Saul Canelo Alvarez v Alfredo Angulo- Canelo by KO or TKO 4/6

Coming off a defeat to the pound for pound best Mayweather I believe that Canelo is going to make a statement against Angulo in this all Mexican fight.  Angulo's style is made for Canelo and can see him stopping him between rounds 7-10.

£5.00 on the selections above returns £46.35 @ Coral 

Please note that these are my personal picks and I'm not suggesting that they're going to win you a fortune or to put your mortgage on them but something for the people that fancy a flutter on the boxing.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

James DeRailed by WBChavez

Yesterday, a spanner was thrown into the works of the super-middleweight division by the WBC governing body. There were reports that Mexican fighter Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has been placed into the number one spot for a shot at Sakio Bika’s WBC crown, ahead of James DeGale MBE.

If these reports are correct, then it’s not fair. DeGale is the current WBC silver champion and was set to fight Badou Jack in an eliminator with the winner to face Bika. This was until Badou Jack was stopped in the first round against Derek Edwards, on Friday night. DeGale kept his focus on Saturday night and went on to stop Gervorg Khatchikian in the eleventh round, in a defence of his WBC silver title. It appeared that in doing so, he had earned himself a mandatory spot to challenge Bika in his next fight, live on Channel Five.

Also on Saturday night, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr fought in a rematch with Brian Vera for the vacant WBC Continental Americas title, which he won with a promising display, all three judges scoring it in favour of Chavez Jr.

It looks as though the WBC is showing favouritism towards Chavez Jr, as he's the son of Mexican boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez. If this is the case then it's harsh on James DeGale. He was set to face Marco Antonio Periban in an eliminator but the Mexican didn't want the fight, then Badou Jack lost and this looks to have derailed DeGale's route to a world title, for now anyway. I think the majority of boxing fans would agree it is wrong, whether they're a fan of DeGale or not. The bottom line is he deserves his shot.

I believe the fairest scenario would be to set up a final eliminator between James DeGale and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr with the winner getting to face Sakio Bika. DeGale was meant to be fighting for an eliminator in the first place. He shouldn't be completely shafted out of the picture because the WBC is favouring Chavez Jr.

If the WBC awarded DeGale his well-deserved shot and he was victorious against the current champion Bika, which I believe he would be, then how about a massive domestic unification fight down the line, with the winner of Froch v Groves 2? Could you imagine Froch v DeGale or Groves v DeGale 2 with three world titles on the line? I can, now there’s a thought.

If James was given his well-deserved shot then they'd probably have to make Chavez Jr the mandatory challenger for his first defence, or something along those lines. As it stands though, it looks as if Chavez Jr is going to get the shot ahead of DeGale.

I know a lot of boxing fans that aren't too keen on James DeGale, they either don't rate him, or find him arrogant. I admit he's not to everyone's taste and hasn't always been in the biggest fights since the loss to George Groves, but you can't deny he has a ridiculous amount of skill and talent. Let's face the facts, you don't win an Olympic gold medal and get awarded the MBE if you're not an exceptional boxer!

I hope the WBC sees sense, and either gives DeGale the shot, or sets up an eliminator against Chavez JR. Let's be honest, you wouldn't want to be screwed over the way James Degale has in any way, shape or form, would you?

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