Tag Archives: British Boxing

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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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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Tyson Fury rises from canvas to deck Steve Cunningham, wins 7th Rd KO

20 Apr

  Tommy Barber- London

Manchester mauler Tyson Fury (21-0-0, 15ko) was knocked down and oft out-boxed by Philadelphian counterpart Steve Cunningham (25-6-0, 12ko) on April 20 inside the Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City but, in what is fast becoming Tyson’s trademark, the British-Irish puncher rose from the floor, regained his composure and pounded out a thrilling seventh round knockout victory.

Barber’s scorecard

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

Fury
10 8 9
9 8 10 10

Official verdict: Fury by way of 7th Rd KO.

Earlier in the week, On The Beak‘s Alan Dawson spoke with renowned sportscaster Al Bernstein, who told OTB that he foresees a world title belt around the Brit’s waist in the near future: “[Fury] has improved a lot in the last few years. I think he will win a world title at some point… time is on his side.”

Tyson took one step closer to a shot at a championship belt this weekend as his entertaining stoppage win over Cunningham propelled him further up the IBF world rankings. Fury, who pushed a fast-paced fight in the opening session, boxed reckless in the second stanza and failed to defend himself against an overhand right. Having canvassed his opponent, Cunningham stormed to a neutral corner and snarled excitedly into a cameraman’s lens. Fury, meanwhile, lay on his back for four seconds, cleared his head and relied on his survival skills to see out the round.

In the third and fourth chapters, Fury was able to land one of his own right mitts, but the more accurate puncher was Cunningham who, with the two-point lead from round two, stormed into a health advantage heading into the fifth. That lead was bolstered further in round five as Fury felt the wrath of the referee who administered a sanction as the Briton engaged in too many holds.

The fight’s conclusion in the seventh was set-up by body work from Fury. Through a combination of shooting to the midsection, leaning on Cunningham and using mild yet noticeable rough-house tactics, Tyson was obviously tiring his opponent. So much so, that a lone left glove was able to prop up Cunningham’s mush while the right shot in from the inside and cannoned in to the American’s jawline to secure a knockdown and knockout for the traveling 24-year-old.

Following the official announcement of his victory, Fury roared: “Cunningham put up a good fight, but he lost to the better fighter on the night. A good big one always beats a good little one.”

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Photo: The height advantage Tyson Fury enjoys over Steve Cunningham

18 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Words: On The Beak staff reporter

Photo: Larry Levanti/Main Events

Fast-improving heavyweight contender Tyson Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) makes his American debut on Saturday, April 20 when he takes on former cruiserweight ruler Steve Cunningham (25-5-0, 12ko) inside Madison Square Garden’s Theater, New York City. Fury, a monstrously tall heavyweight, enjoys a six inch height advantage over his weekend adversary and this was highlighted during the iconic face-off at the final press conference prior to the weigh-in tomorrow, Friday.

Credit: Larry Levanti/Main Events

Fury played up to the crowds at the pre-fight presser

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Matthew Macklin: Gennady Golovkin destroys everyone but bleeds like anyone

12 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, will play host to the highly anticipated middleweight bout between WBA/IBO champion Gennady Golovkin (26-0-0, 23ko) and top-rated contender and former world title challenger Matthew Macklin (29-4-0, 20ko) on Saturday, June 29 in the beautiful, state of the art MGM Grand Theater.

xxx. Credit: Sumio Yamada

GGG recently floored Ishida inside 3. Credit: Sumio Yamada

“I’m excited to return to the United States and once again fight on HBO. Matthew Macklin is a skilled, strong fighter and I look forward to the challenge of defending my titles on June 29th,” said Golovkin (pictured above, left). “I have seen a few of his fights and am very conscious of how tough of a battle this is.”

Macklin said: “Golovkin hasn’t put a foot wrong yet as a pro. He’s destroyed pretty much everyone and, as a consequence, he’s probably the most hyped fighter in the sport right now. People have made him out to be this monster, but he bleeds red just like everyone else and, for the first time in his career, he’s going to be stepping into the ring against a big, strong, proper world-class middleweight.

“When you compare my last three opponents to Golovkin’s last three opponents, it’s clear who the proven entity is, going into this fight. I got robbed against Felix Sturm in Germany, it was nip-and-tuck between me and Sergio Martinez until I got caught in the eleventh, and last time out, I blew away Joachim Alcine inside a round, a former world champ who was coming off a career-best win.”

Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions said: “Gennady is excited to return to the ring so quickly to defend his titles against a proven, top-rated middleweight in Matthew Macklin. Gennady was ringside for Macklin’s fight against Sergio Martinez last March and saw first-hand how dangerous he is, as he dropped Sergio in the seventh round.

“GGG has become one of the most talked-about fighters in boxing. This fight with Macklin will be a very hot ticket. We’re thankful to HBO for featuring Gennady again and also to the Foxwoods Resort Casino for hosting this event.”

Macklin’s promoter Lou DiBella added: “Golovkin-Macklin is one of the very best fights that can be made in the middleweight division and all of boxing. It figures to be a barnburner and we are thrilled that Matthew is getting another deserved opportunity at a world title.”

Known for his heavy hands and brutal knockouts, Golovkin has quickly become the most talked-about fighter in the sport. His 88% knockout ratio ranks highest among active world champions.

Irish middleweight contender Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin, is an intelligent boxer-puncher, who has shown that he is not afraid to engage or press the action when necessary. He is currently ranked number three by the WBC, 11 by the WBA, and 14 by the IBF.

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Ricky Hatton: Martin Murray can beat Sergio Martinez and secure greatest victory in British boxing history

11 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Ricky Hatton believes Martin Murray will go down in British boxing history if he defeats Sergio Martinez on April 27. ‘The Hitman’ himself scored what most experts consider to be one of the greatest ever victories by a Brit when he forced Kostya Tszyu to retire after 11 hard fought rounds in 2005. But he feels Murray triumphing almost 7,000 away from home in Buenos Aires will surpass his own greatest achievement.

Credit: Peter Acevedo

Martinez is one of the world’s best. Credit: Peter Acevedo

“Kostya Tszyu was number two pound-for-pound in the world when I fought him and I think Martinez is number three, but Martin is going away to box in front of 40,000 Argentineans so I think it’ll go down as one of the best wins ever by a British fighter,” Ricky said. “Martin is an underdog, he knows that, but he’s more than capable of winning the fight.

“He should look at fights like Lloyd Honeyghan v Donald Curry and John H Stracey v Jose Napoles because they’ll show him that it’s doable.”

Boxing in front of such a large and passionate crowd would reduce some men to quivering wrecks, but Hatton believes Murray will be in his element when he steps out at the Estadio José Amalfitani.

“When we went to the press conference over there it was like the Martinez show and some fighters would have crumbled under the pressure, but Martin took it all in his stride. You wouldn’t blame him if he was in awe of his opponent, but he wasn’t.

“People forget he went into the lion’s den in Germany against Felix Sturm and he handled that well. A lot of people asked whether it was too soon for Martin but he proved to himself and the public that he is world class and he’ll take confidence from that.

“I also think it might the right time to fight Martinez. He’s 38, he’s had a few injuries and he was hanging on for dear life against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I fancied Martin to beat Chavez Jnr anyway. We tried to make the fight and unfortunately at the time Martin couldn’t get into the United States. When you see Chavez Jr having success against Martinez, there’s no reason Martin shouldn’t think anything is possible.”

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Dereck Chisora wants to destroy Avila, flatten David Price then challenge for a world title

11 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Brash heavyweight star Dereck Chisora says he’s ready destroy when he makes his big comeback against Argentinian Hector Alfredo Avila on Saturday, April 20 at Wembley Arena. The Former British and Commonwealth champion will feature in a ten-round contest on a packed show alongside British stars Nathan Cleverly, Paul Butler, Liam Walsh and Scott Harrison, all live and exclusive on BoxNation.

Credit: KMG/ Dmitriy Abramov

Credit: KMG/ Dmitriy Abramov

The hard-hitting Londoner has been out of the ring since July last year when he was stopped in the fifth round by rival David Haye in a thrilling fight at West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground at Upton Park that attracted over 30,000 fans – the biggest live boxing event in the UK last year – and one of the most exciting domestic heavyweight fights in recent memory.

He took WBC World Champion Vitali Klitshko the distance last February and pushed the long-reigning Ukrainian the hardest since Lennox Lewis nearly ten years previously, only to lose on the judges scorecards.

Chisora’s British Boxing Board of Control license was reissued last month after it was withdrawn last year and the Finchley puncher is now desperate to fight his way back into world title contention as soon as possible.

“I’m back in business and I’m on the road back to the world title,” said Chisora. “I’m looking to destroy Avila first at Wembley Arena and then face one of the other so called rivals next, if it’s David Price then great, I know he wouldn’t be able to stand up to my power and he’d be a good step in the right direction for me.

“It’s exciting to be back in the ring after almost a year out. I’ve been working hard in the gym with my trainer Don Charles, making changes and improving, and we’re both tunnel focused on achieving the goal of winning the world heavyweight title.

“I’m still only 29 and I’ve had only 19 fights. Aside from Haye, I took Tyson Fury the distance despite not being in the best shape, I was robbed against Robert Helenius for the European title in his backyard and then took Klitschko the distance straight after.

“The world title is my goal and I will achieve it.”

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