Tag Archives: Boxing News

It’s war! Ola Afolabi tells Marco Huck he’ll need a wheelchair after their trilogy

9 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Darren Lewis – London

The third installment of fights between cruiserweight rivals Ola Afolabi and WBO 200lb titlist Marco Huck promises to be the most thrilling as the Briton and German fighters have both declared war. The normally mild-mannered Afolabi, known for his affable personality and technical grace in the ring, advised Huck he’ll need a wheelchair after their June 8 battle at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin while Marco implied that Ola had just given him that extra motivation to put curtain-calling exclamation point to their trilogy.

Credit: Photo Wende

Battle for the belt. Credit: Photo Wende

“Huck shouldn’t be able to call himself world champion anymore,” said Afolabi during a recent press conference. “In my opinion, he lost on three previous occasions. He lost against Lebedev, he lost against me and also against Arslan. He should only be able to call himself German champion or champion of Berlin.”

Speaking directly to Huck, Afolabi added: “Everybody knows that I have always been a good technician, but now my fitness level is also excellent. I will seriously hurt you come June 8. You will need a wheelchair after the fight.”

Huck brushed off the unpleasantness: “Afolabi is starting to get on my nerves. I beat him in December 2009. After I fought Alexander Povetkin for the WBA heavyweight belt, it was difficult for me to find the right motivation for my rematch with Afolabi in May last year. However, I believe that I actually won that bout, even though it was scored as a majority draw.

“That won’t happen again. I will win in my own backyard. We won’t be playing cat and mouse anymore. This will be a war –

“I won’t be holding back.”

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Mikkel Kessler sparring Nathan Cleverly and George Groves to prep for Carl Froch

9 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Sam Janes – Leicester

Mikkel Kessler is preparing for his Saturday, May 25 pay-per-view showdown against IBF super middleweight world champion Carl Froch by sparring against WBO light heavyweight incumbent Nathan Cleverly and Froch’s promotional stalemate George Groves.

Kessler said: “It´s great to have them in Copenhagen. This is the best preparation I could have asked for. To have three guys (including Sweden’s Eric Skoglund) like that – a world champion, a youth world champion and a top-ranked contender – is probably as good as it gets in terms of sparring. They are young, hungry and unbeaten. They will push me to the limit [and] that’s exactly the kind of warm-up I need to beat Carl Froch again!”

Kessler is a Viking Warrior but Scandinavia has a number of emerging fighters. Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

Groves and Clev will grow from Mikkel experience. Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

While Groves and Cleverly are excellent choices for Kessler to prepare for Froch, the sparring arrangement says more about Groves and Cleverly’s ambition than it does about the Viking Warrior.  We would fully expect Kessler to take this fight seriously by employing the best sparring partners available. In Cleverly and Groves, he has two keen young fighters chomping at the bit to get recognition.

Kessler’s promoter Kalle Sauerland explained that the sparring partners chosen reflect the fighter’s desire to win: “Mikkel is the kind of fighter who always wants to test himself against the very best, no matter whether it’s training or the actual fight.

“Cleverly, Groves and Skoglund – the fact that he wants to get it on with them in training really shows you what the Viking Warrior is all about. When push comes to shove on May 25, the fighter with the better preparation will prevail, and that’s just another reason why Mikkel will leave the ring victorious.”

We expect Kessler to be testing himself in sparring for such a big fight… so we should look more at the British pair and their decision to go to Denmark. Groves and Cleverly are at similar points of their career: both undefeated, young and managed by strong promoters, so they should be starting to reap their rewards in the ring and financially – yet they are not.

Credit - Hayemaker.com

Groves’ big night at the 02 Dome is still his most significant win to date. Credit – Hayemaker.com

Groves has fought a string of lowly ranked fighters since his close decision win over rival James ‘Chunky’ DeGale, as has Cleverly since his win against Liverpool’s Tony Bellew. Despite both of them proving they’re above domestic level they have failed to go on to claim the big fights internationally.

I have no doubt that if George Groves was fighting at light heavyweight and not the stacked super middleweight division he would have won a world title by now, much like Cleverly.  The pair sparring against Mikell Kessler is a shrewd move by both men.

We could easily see Groves calling out the winner of the Froch-Kessler rematch, which would be another big fight in Britain. Groves is testing his abilities against a world class fighter in Kessler, so either his abilities will improve and take on Froch should the ‘Cobra’ win, and if Kessler wins, ‘Saint’ Groves should have experience of fighting the Dane.

Cleverly is probably not in a position to start calling out either man, but he can use the practice against world class opposition in a bid to ready himself should a mega-fight with Bernard Hopkins land. It is ironic, however, that it was Hopkins who earlier this week suggested that a Carl Froch showdown would interest him more as opposed to fighting the Welsh champion.

Preparing Kessler could put himself in a better position to get the Hopkins fight, or potentially face Kessler himself, as the Dane has fought at 175lbs before.

It is fair to say that both Groves and Cleverly need a fight that will take them to stardom. Winning alphabet titles and beating journeymen is fine but the real money and recognition their talent warrants means taking tricky fights against superstars like Froch, Kessler and Hopkins. The decision by both of them to join Kessler’s training camp suggests that the two of them are prepared to make that jump.

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Burns’ trainer: Ricky can beat Adrien Broner at 135lbs or 140

9 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Tommy Barber – London

Billy Nelson, the long-time trainer of Scotland’s two-weight world champion pug Ricky Burns, has claimed that his charge can beat motor-mouthed publicity machine Adrien Broner at lightweight, or even super lightweight. The two have been in talks to box before, at the super featherweight division limit, but Burns headed north, to the 135 pound pool.

Both men have since made great splashes with Burns’ hat-trick of lightweight triumphs over Michael Katsidis, Kevin Mitchell and Paulus Moses, and Broner’s teekayo torturing of tough Mexican hombre Antonio DeMarco and gritty Welshman Gavin Rees. Burns is in action this weekend, defending his WBO strap against Jose Gonzalez at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. Meanwhile, a June 22 clash at New York City’s Barclays Center with welterweight titlist and fellow smack talker Paulie Malignaggi awaits Broner.

(Video embedded above credit – MatchroomBoxing, YouTube)

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Defensive wizards Floyd Mayweather and Wladimir Klitschko continue to rule their respective weight classes

7 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Sam Janes – Leicester

Last weekend we saw OnTheBeak’s top two Pound for Pound fighters enter the ring for the first time in 2013, with Floyd Mayweather Jr outclassing Robert Guerrero over 12 after Wladimir Klitschko overpowered and eventually knocked Francesco Pianeta out in the sixth. Both men retained their Ring Magazine titles and further more cemented their status as untouchable in their own weight class.

Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

There are plenty of similarities between Mayweather and Klitschko, despite the huge gulf in weight. Firstly, they are both masters of defence. Mayweather’s head movement, speed and shoulder roll have resulted in him only being knocked down once (versus Carlos Hernandez at super featherweight) in 2001. Since then no man has knocked Floyd to the canvas or defeated him. Shane Mosley, Oscar de la Hoya and Miguel Cotto have had limited success, but as Max Kellerman noted on ESPN.com after Mayweather’s controversial first fight with Jose Luis Castillo in 2004: “Mayweather is so seldom hit cleanly in his face”, which shows how hard it is to score against ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’.

Wladimir has tightened up his defence since his surprise defeat to Lamon Brewster by TKO in 2004; Emmanuel Steward turned him into a clinical, safe fighter who has won 18 on the bounce since that loss. ‘Dr Steelhammer’ keeps his distance as a fighter, sticking to his rock hard jab which no fighter has been able to get around, as David Haye found out in 2011.

Both fighters are now unquestionably the number one fighter in their division, despite both facing accusations of being boring fighters. Mayweather was booed frequently on Saturday night for failing to knock Guerrero out or share exchanges, and Klitschko has been accused of widely outpointing opponents or picking them off late, but failing to provide any genuine excitement.

Getting involved in wars is not a part of Mayweather or Klitschko’s DNA and this is one of the main reasons the two of them have amassed so many victories and belts. Both have also been accused of picking safe fights over recent years, preferring to protect their records rather than truly challenge themselves. Critics point to Pianeta’s lack of contender credentials and Guerrero’s win over ex welterweight belt-holder Andre Berto being the sole reason for getting a chance at Mayweather as being poor mismatches for fights, and these critics are right.

But this is not the fault of either fighter.

Floyd and Wladimir have beaten the majority of quality fighters available to them. Klitschko has beaten (and is planning to beat Povetkin in September) every genuine heavyweight challenge who doesn’t share his surname. David Haye, the last genuinely deserving challenger, was outmatched by the dominant Ukrainian in comfortab fashion. Floyd has beaten legend after legend in De La Hoya, Gatti and Mosely but people argue his inability to fight Manny Pacquiao or move up to face Alverez or Martinez signals Mayweather’s reluctance to risk his record.

If Klitschko beats Povetkin in September, there is very little out there for him to fight in an even contest. Deontey Wilder and Tyson Fury are developing well but by the time the two of them have truly peaked in ability, Wladimir should be well retired. Until retirement, Klitschko has very little option but to keep beating undeserving challengers.

Fortunately for Wladimir, his fights are so popular on German TV he is paid exceptionally well whoever he fights, so he has very little incentive to go looking for riskier fights with Fury and Wilder.

Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

Mayweather, however, has a host of potential opponents from Pacquiao, Martinez and Alverez to up-and-comers like Danny Garcia and Amir Khan. All these fighters are desperate for a chance to take on  “Money” and the PPV revenue he brings.

Again, Floyd offers such a dedicated fan-base that means whoever he fights he can expect well over $10,000,000 in PPV revenue*, so Floyd can decide to take the lower risk fights as it is equally as lucrative.

Despite both essentially clearing out their divisions based on solid fundamentals and defence, the pair will continue to be criticised for taking an easy road. This is unlikely to change unless one gets beaten, but this looks very unlikely over the next couple of years. Mayweather and Klitschko are so big in the sport that they can fight anyone they like and make millions in revenue. They have achieved everything that has been asked of them and so, if they do take a few more comfortable fights and ride off into retirement with their money, I’d argue they’ve earned every right.

*The six-fight Showtime deal Mayweather signed earlier in the year was reported to fetch the athlete a guaranteed $200m over 30 months, with potentially an extra $10m per fight in PPV revenue.

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Videos: TKO series documents Peter Quillins training camp and life outside boxing

7 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news
Take a look at the life of Peter Quillin during training camp. In part one of this two part docu-series, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin provides fans with a look into his life outside of boxing. Whether it’s taking salsa lessons or teaching boxing classes, Quillin provides a glimpse into his world leading up to his fight at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY on April 27, 2013 against Fernando Guerrero.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, PeteyQuillin)
Peter Quillin

In part two, Kid Chocolate exclusively shows his training camp and all that it entails. Training for a championship fight is difficult, but Quillin shows fans what keeps him motivated as he prepared for his fight at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY on April 27 2013 against Fernando Guerrero.

(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, PeteyQuillin)

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Jean Pascal wants to fight on May 25 despite Lucian Bute withdrawal

7 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Tommy Barber – London

The highly-anticipated duel between Canadian prizefighters Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal, dubbed the greatest fight in Canada’s storied history, has been postponed. Following on from the official announcement by InterBox earlier, co-promoter Yvon Michel accepted the decision, claiming it is an unfortunate part of the sport of boxing.

Pascal v Bute

“Obviously, when we first heard the news a few hours ago, we were all in shock,” said Michel. “This is part of boxing and we are aware that we have to live and deal with these contingencies. Our perception is that this only a postponement. We ask Quebec to show understanding and patience. We wish a speedy recovery to Lucian.”

Jean Pascal added: “I was so excited when I met with the media last week. I thought that I was in the best shape of my life and very optimistic about my fight with Bute. We now need to start over but I am a professional. I know that these things happen and I think that sooner or later, we will both be in the ring to settle our differences.  And I would like to add that I would still fight on May 25; I am ready to face anyone.”

GYM and InterBox are currently in a research and analysis solution mode. Full details will be announced as soon as there are new developments.

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Floyd Mayweather toys with out of depth Robert Guerrero, wins on points

5 May

Alan Dawson- London

Floyd Mayweather‘s 23rd world title fight followed a familiar pattern as, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 4, the highest-earning athlete on the planet earned yet another comfortable victory. Robert Guerrero provided a game challenge but never troubled Mayweather whose defensive nous and accuracy in attack (66% of his power punches landed) highlighted a clear gulf in class…

Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Mayweather
10 10 10 10 10 10 9 10 10 10
10 10
Guerrero
9 9 9
9 9 9 10 9 10 9 9 9

Official verdict: Mayweather by UD (117-111 x3).

Welterweight contender Robert Guerrero, despite his legitimacy, was a 6-1 to 10-1 underdog depending on your bookie. However, as the undercard got underway an increasing (yet still minor) buzz began in press row that suggested that undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr was perhaps advancing in age just enough to give the determined Mexican-American a big chance in upsetting the odds and inflicting a career first defeat onto the pay-per-view attraction.

In the first round alone, though, Mayweather bragged the tools that have typified his altered style since returning to the ring from a self-inflicted hiatus following his KO victory over Ricky Hatton six years ago. His defensive maneuvering around the outside of the ring kept himself clean from Guerrero’s attempted rough-housing, while his hard right-hand leads and swift hand-speed ensured his attack was more efficient than his gallant counterparts.

The reintroduction of Floyd Sr to Mayweather’s corner was inspired by the fighter’s competitive and blood-strewn encounter with popular Puerto Rican pug Miguel Cotto. While the bout was fan-friendly, Floyd Sr appraised his son and claimed his defense was not as on point as it should be. In round two against Guerrero, his head movement continually confounded Guerrero’s gloves as Robert missed with two one-two combinations in quick succession. Floyd Sr’s influence in camp, therefore, was telling.

In rounds three and four, Mayweather’s imperious dominance continued. The straight right – the nemesis punch for a southpaw like Guerrero – was utilised exceptionally well and, when required, Floyd boxed off the ropes in as dazzling a fashion as his yellow snakeskin trunks. Mayweather was boss. And, in the fifth session, he rattled off a number of single-fire artillery shots that drew gasps from the pepped crowd.

Mayweather’s unrelenting accuracy, timing and countering ability took an obvious physical toll on Guerrero by the sixth stanza. In short, he was getting touched up so much his face was clearly reddening and, between rounds, he had the look of a man who had no clue how to end the maddening molestation.

There was a sheer contrast in activity-levels in round seven, with Guerrero going punch-happy and Mayweather content to take a breather but that break cost Floyd the round. Guerrero, though, could not capitalise on his momentum in the eighth as he still had no answer for his opponent’s straight right shot; a punch that depleted him of stamina every time it pierced his body armour and opened up a cut around the eye when it was head-bound. Mayweather’s form was unstoppable and a hellacious hooking punch tested Guerrero’s chin and watered the eyes of his crestfallen wife sat ringside.

In the championship rounds, Guerrero didn’t change his game plan. He kept pushing forward, he threw his punches, but he walked into shots and had his gloves to low as Mayweather looped in cuffing left mitts, jabbed him with his lead left and crushed him with the straight right. Mayweather was masterful, majestic and a defensive wizard who had successfully beguiled his 44th challenger with enough boxing artistry to pitch a near shut-out. Yes, he may be increasing in years, but performances such as these are ageless.

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Audley Harrison retires from boxing following first round KO loss to Deontay Wilder

1 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Sam Janes – Leicester

Audley “A-Force” Harrison announced today what the boxing public has known for a number of years… that his career as a heavyweight boxer was over. It seems that Deontey Wilder’s 70 second knockout put the final nails in Harrison’s coffin. After another 1st round KO on Saturday night on the undercard of Khan-Diaz, Audley announced his retirement from the fight game. He retires with a record of 31 wins (23 KO’s) and 7 losses.

Audley rose up from the Sydney Olympics with a Super-Heavyweight gold medal around his neck, and went on to win his first 17 fights on the BBC, however when the BBC television deal fell through, Harrison wandered the boxing wilderness for a number of years, and his career stalled with defeats to Danny Williams and Michael Sprott. Harrison’s lowest point came when he was outpointed by original Prizefighter winner and Belfast taxi driver Martin Rogan, ironically on the undercard of another Khan fight, against Oisin Fagan.

Audley recovered, however, by winning Barry Hearn’s Prizefighter series himself, and with a last gasp KO against old foe Sprott, ‘A-Force’ had the chance to box for a world title against Britain’s own David Haye. In a much hyped Pay-Per-View bout Haye out-classed Harrison to knock him out in 3 rounds.

Further disappointments against David Price left many assuming retirement was imminent, yet Harrison recovered to win his 2nd Prizefighter title, avenging his defeat to Martin Rogan in the semi final.

Harrison will not be missed by many British boxing fans due to his continual inability to mix it at the elite level, however Harrison deserves enormous credit for continuing to rise when many would have given up, blessed with a huge left hook Harrison was clearly a level above most domestic opponents, but lacked the chin and perhaps heart to warrant being at the top level.

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Amir Khan’s world title hopes remain after Julio Diaz battle, Floyd Mayweather Jr fight rumoured

1 May
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Sam Janes – Leicester

Amir Khan rose up from the canvas on his way to winning a close 12 round unanimous decision
against game Julio Diaz. Khan largely dominated the fight but was on the end of some telling blows
by the powerful Mexican (now 40-8-1), especially with a sharp left hook in the 4 th which put Khan
down.

Can Khan return to title-winning glory?

Can Khan return to title-winning glory? Credit: Stacey Verbeek

Khan responded by out-boxing Diaz over the following round, but Khan’s coach Virgil Hunter will be
disappointed at the amount of times Khan was drawn into a war with the previous IBF lightweight
champion of the world. The three judges favoured Khan’s skills over Diaz’s power 114-113, 115-113
and 115-112 all for Khan. Khan improved to 28 wins and took his post fight interview as a chance to
call out for rematches with Lamont Peterson and current The Ring light-Welterweight champion Danny
Garcia, both who are previous adversaries.

Richard Shaefer, CEO of Khan’s American promoters Golden Boy seems determined to match Garcia
against the winner of Peterson’s upcoming bout with Lucas Matthysse, and have Khan to fight the
winner in late 2013. Only a victory for Khan could keep Amir’s long term aim of fighting Pound for
Pound superstar, Floyd Mayweather Jr, a reality.

Mayweather has fuelled rumours of a potential fight with Khan as his advisor Leonard Ellerbe
suggested Mayweather plans to fight in the UK as part of his 6 fight deal with Showtime. With
Golden Boys recent attempts to crack the UK market shown, perhaps Khan could get his dream fight
on home turf.

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Photos: Saul Canelo Alvarez drops and decisions Austin Trout: I want Floyd Mayweather next!

21 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Words: Alan Dawson – London

Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime (unless otherwise stated)

Popular junior middleweight prizefighter Saul Alvarez enjoyed a convincing points victory over 154lb rival Austin Trout on Saturday, April 20 at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, however, the fight was far more competitive than the scores submitted by the judges at ringside. Trout capitalised on Alvarez’s slow start yet could not cope with the Mexican’s famed tenacity and power and was eventually felled in round seven. Having become the first to defeat Trout, Canelo Alvarez reaffirmed his desire to take on pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr and take his zero also.

Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Alvarez put 38,000 bums in seats. Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

“Canelo shocked us,” said Trout after succumbing to a career first defeat as a professional. “He boxed better than I thought. He moved a lot better than I thought. I did not underestimate him – we just prepared for a totally different fighter. He was the better man,” added the American with no excuses. “He was quicker. He was stronger. He was… better.”

Credit: Tom Casino

Saul clobbered Austin’s noggin’

Credit: Tom Casino

Punching the sweat off Trout’s neck

Credit: Tom Casino

Scoring the seventh round knockdown

Alvarez extended his ledger to 42-0-1, 30ko and added the WBA and The Ring Magazine title to his WBC belt. Having fortified his claim as the junior middleweight’s number one, Saul declared his eagerness to pit his pugilistic wits against Floyd: “Obviously I want Mayweather next.”

On Trout, he added: “Austin was a difficult fighter but I figured out how to fight him. I was connecting with my right and with my jab. My jab was perfect… the key.”

Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Alvarez salutes his huge fanbase whilst sporting his loot

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