Tag Archives: Heavyweight

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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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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Amir Mansour drops Jason Gavern four times in one round

13 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

WBF intercontinental heavyweight champion Amir ‘Hardcore’ Mansour had a short night on Friday, April 12, at the Dover Downs Casino and Hotel in Dover, Delaware, as he stopped late substitute Jason Gavern in the first round to successfully defend his title.

Mansour was originally scheduled to fight 2004 Olympian Devin Vargas who pulled out with a training injury. Then he was matched with Raphael Zumbano, but the Brazilian had to withdraw too and Gavern gamely stepped up to the plate on late notice.

However, the 35-year-old Orlando resident, who holds a draw with Jonathan Banks and went the distance with Steve Cunningham only seven months ago, was no match for the hard punching Mansour and after only two minutes and forty-three seconds it was all over.

Mansour officially dropped Gavern four times before referee Vic De Wysocki waved it off, but one of the knockdowns was really a push. No matter the circumstances, it was a scintillating performance by the champion who again showed that he is one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the world.

Making his first title defense, Mansour from nearby Wilmington improves his impressive professional record to 18-0-0, 14ko while Gavern drops to 21-14-4, 10ko.

At 40 years of age Mansour obviously has no time to waste, and he recently called out all the big names in the heavyweight division. He claims he is being avoided, and when you consider his aggressive style and monstrous power you tend to believe him.

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James Toney travels to Australia to take on undefeated Lucas Browne on April 27

11 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Multiple world boxing champion and movie star of the 2001 film Ali, James ‘Lights Out’ Toney is heading to Australia to fight in the main event against Australia’s undefeated heavyweight boxing champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne in Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sunday, April 28.

Credit: Blitzco

Unmistakably Toney. Credit: Blitzco

“This is my first ever boxing promotion and I’m so excited to bring such a controversial, interesting and accomplished fighter in James Toney to our shores. Between Toney and Browne, 60 of their combined 89 fights have ended in knockouts. This will be a night of great boxing made in heaven… or hell!” said co-promoter and former heavyweight Mick Gatto.

Toney (74-7-3, 45ko) has been a champion in the heavyweight, cruiserweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and super middleweight divisions. He will be fighting his next battle in his first ever fight in Australia. Perth’s Lucas Browne, 33, has never been beaten, having won 15 fights including 14kos.

A multiple division champion and future Hall of Famer, James Toney is known for his legendary ‘old-school’ style, consisting of his shoulder roll, his ability to fight off the ropes, his slick body movements, and his in-fighting.

On April 30, 2005, Toney defeated John Ruiz and, at that moment, was just the third world middleweight champion to capture a version of the heavyweight title, along with Roy Jones Jr and Bob Fitzsimmons. However, on May 11, 2005, Toney tested positive for a banned substance, and his victory over Ruiz was changed to a no-contest. He was also suspended for 90 days and fined $10,000. On May 17, 2005, Toney was stripped of the WBA title for his positive test, and the title was restored to Ruiz.

Toney was named The Ring Fighter of the Year for 1991 and 2003. He was also The Ring Comeback of the Year fighter for 2003 as well as The Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year for 1991 and 2003. He has won 4 of his last 5 fights and during his career has fought some of boxing’s biggest names including Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr.

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Tyson Fury sends message to Steve Cunningham: You’re in big trouble!

10 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

On The Beak staff reporter

Picture credit – Photo Wende

Towering heavyweight Tyson Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) takes his pugilistic tour to the historic Theatre at Madison Square Garden, New York City on Saturday, April 20 and faces Philly prizefighter Steve Cunningham (25-5-0, 12ko), a former cruiserweight champion. Fury may have a six inch height advantage but this is his tallest order since turning pro, but he needed no second invitation to send his rival a warning…

xxx. Credit: Photo Wende

Hernandez troubled Cunningham during their duel

“This is a great opportunity for me to come to the US and showcase my talents at a great venue such as Madison Square Garden,” said Tyson, a 24-year-old combination puncher cut from Gypsy cloth. “The fight fans better be prepared for a good old fashioned fight, because I’m coming to town and I’m taking no prisoners.”

Fury continued: “Steve Cunningham, you’re in big trouble, I hope you’ve been training really hard because I know I have and it’s fight time. We’ve given ourselves plenty of time to prepare, we’ve been [in Canada] now for six weeks, so that’s more than enough time to acclimatise and get used to the time difference.”

Promoter Mick Hennessy is delighted that the April 20 also gifts him an opportunity to showcase a second Fury to American audiences, Hughie (1-0-0, 1ko): “I’m delighted to deliver this fight to a transatlantic terrestrial TV audience,” said Hennessy.

“Tyson Fury is going to shake up the world of heavyweight boxing and Hughie Fury is going to show why he’s such a special, young, heavyweight talent – and they’ve both got the biggest platform possible to do it on.”

The fight will also be broadcast by Channel 5 in Britain.

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Deontay Wilder: Audley Harrison is on the menu – bon appetite!

5 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (27-0-0, 27ko) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama will be crossing the Atlantic to take on Harlesden’s 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Audley ‘A-Force’ Harrison (31-6-0, 23ko) in the co-featured fight that will headline the undercard on ‘The Return of the King: Khan vs. Diaz’ bill at Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield on Saturday, April 27.

khan_diaz_banner

Wilder, a rising star on the American heavyweight scene, has shown his phenomenal punching prowess by blasting his way past all of his opponents. The knockout king now steps into the ring against the veteran Harrison. The pair will clash in a 12-round heavyweight showdown with the victor propelling themselves into world title contention.

“There’s nothing like the day before, the morning of and night after you’ve claimed victory,” said Wilder. “The emotion, the excitement and adrenaline rush that I have is ready to explode out of me. I’m a starving lion that’s ready to eat. On April 27 my next meal will be served; on the menu: Audley Harrison… bon appetite.

“For the many fans in England, Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder is coming. You’ve been waiting for this moment and now it’s here. I can’t wait to show you guys why I am the light and the way for this dark division.”

Said Harrison: “Deontay is a fast, dangerous puncher, but he has not been tested as a pro. I have lot of respect for him, so it’s not personal, but this is the door I must walk through. Lose and it’s over, win and I’m in the top ten for sure, eligible to challenge for the world title. Biggest risk, for the biggest reward. It can’t get any better than that.”

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Steve Cunningham workout gallery: Tyson Fury’s trying tricks, imitating Muhammad Ali, not getting under my skin!

5 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

By Alan Dawson – London

Headline-grabbing heavyweight Tyson Fury, 24, can try all the tricks in the motor-mouthing book but he will not get under Steve Cunningham‘s skin. The 36-year-old American, an experienced cruiserweight seeking a title shot in boxing’s glamour division, has claimed Tyson’s trash talk efforts are all futile as they will not divert him from his original game-plan.

Credit: Wendy Benedict

Cunningham smiles as he has his hands wrapped by Brother Naz. Credit: Wendy Benedict

“He wants to get under my skin with his antics, imitating Ali, doing all these tricks,” Cunningham (25-5-0, 12ko) said during an open media workout this week. “He wants me to just come in and punch him in the mouth, but I will stick to the game plan and not get out of control. It’s all about the game plan.”

Credit: Wendy Benedict

Cunningham warms up by shadow boxing. Credit: Wendy Benedict

The two clash on Saturday, April 20 at the hallowed Theatre inside Madison Square Garden, New York. Whilst Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) is no stranger to taking his show on the road having fought in Quebec, Canada in 2010, his tussle versus Cunningham will be his first on American canvas. And Cunningham is aware Fury intends on using him as his ticket to trans-Atlantic stardom.

Credit: Wendy Benedict

Steve shows his physical strengths while working the ropes. Credit: Philly Boxing History

“We’re getting ready for the best Tyson Fury that the world has ever seen,” he said. “He can say what he wants to say. It’s only going to make him look bad when he gets beaten by a supposed light heavyweight. I’m going to utilise my strengths… we’ve worked on my weaknesses. So you’re going to see some different things. I feel great. I feel strong. I feel energetic. I’m excited about this fight.”

Credit: Wendy Benedict

Steve gets stretched while son Cruz watches. Credit: Wendy Benedict

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Photos: Chris Arreola working on waist and head movement ahead of Stiverne test

2 Apr

By On The Beak staff

Bruising heavyweight Chris Arreola, 32, returns to the ring on April 27 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California, following a 14-month layoff and is looking to make a statement at the expense of fellow WBC contender Bermane Stiverne. In order to ready himself for his ring return, Arreola (35-2-0, 30ko) has been working on his punching power…

Credit: Goossen Tutor

Credit: Goossen Tutor

“I’ve been working on my usual aggressive power punching style and focusing on waist and head movement,” said Arreola at a recent public workout. “It has been a year since I have last fought and I am feeling anxious to get back into the ring and shine on HBO. I’m ready to fight for and claim the top spot in the world in the heavyweight division and that includes the current world champions. I’m ready.”

Credit: Goossen Tutor

Credit: Goossen Tutor

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Tyson Fury: Sooner or later I’ll catch Cunningham and knock him out!

2 Apr

By Alan Dawson – London

Never one to shy away from a soundbite, bonkers big man Tyson Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) has spoken out ahead of his trans-Atlantic tussle with former cruiserweight king Steve Cunningham. The two trade leather on Saturday afternoon, April 20 at Madison Square Garden and Irish Mancunian Fury is predicting a highlight-reel KO on what will be his American debut.

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“All of the top heavyweights in the world need Americans to watch them fight and that’s why I’m making my U.S. pro debut in New York City for all Americans to see on national television,” said the monolithic heavyweight who stands at 6’9.

Speaking from his Canadian base at the Casino Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Fury – who has his equally charismatic 18-year-old cousin Hughie Fury (1-0-0, 1ko) training alongside him – added: “I was supposed to fight in America a few times but they fell out for different reasons. We needed good television, a good arena, and good opponent. Now’s the right time; we have all that.

“I am the Irish Heavyweight Champion and there’s never been another like me. The Irish love real fighters, like me, who always say it like it is. I like to fight and I’m looking forward to fighting in front of so many Irish fans in New York City and watching across the states on NBC.”

On his opponent, Fury mused: “Cunningham is a good boxer and world champion who fought in different countries. He’s a smal heavyweight who will come in with a good game plan and strategy. I anticipate him running but, sooner or later, I will catch him and knock him out. If he runs, I hope the fans boo him out of the arena. He’s going to have to fight me. I’m coming to fight and put on a show.”

Sharing the April 20 bill is Hughie, who is just one inch shorter than Tyson. The pair will be present at an open workout on Thursday, April 4, 14:00 local time at the Final Round Boxing Gym, 15 Eccles Street, Ottawa, Canada.

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Tyson Fury wins near shut out over spoiler Kevin Johnson

1 Dec

Alan Dawson – London

Tyson Fury emerged triumphant in a fight to forget on Saturday, December 1 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland as, even though the British/Irish heavyweight is normally an entertainer, he was up against an opponent famed for his spoiling. Kevin Johnson did what he did best, defend, throw little and survive, but it was ultimately an ugly showing and Fury thoroughly deserved his unanimous decision.

Direct link to article.

Dawson’s scorecard

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

Official verdict: Fury wins via UD (119-110, 119-108, 119-108).

With a name like Tyson Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) it was never going to be hard attracting attention as a prizefighter. Yet the 6’9 boxing behemoth has the style and personality to match his moniker. Making his way to the ring, Fury lapped up the attention, smiled and waved at his home fans and sang along to his entrance music. This, after Kevin Johnson (28-3-1, 13ko) played up to his role as the American import as he wore American football gear to Alicia Keys’s modern classic; New York.

The match-up was a commendable one… Johnson was a one-time world-title challenger, however, he is everything Fury’s not: he has a capable defensive system and cares not for winning the event. He is not an entertainer. He is a spoiler – and that is exactly what he once again showed in Belfast.

“I never came in to knock him out, this guy is a world class fighter,” said Fury to Channel 5 after his victory. “I boxed to a game-plan. I didn’t go in for a war. I out-boxed him.”

There was no room for introductions once the opening bell chimed as Fury immediately charged to the blue corner in order to attack Johnson, a man he noticeably towered over when he looked to jab Kingpin and keep his man at bay. Interestingly, it was Johnson who had control of the centre of the ring and it was Fury who was the mover.

Much is made of Fury being fortunate to escape with a points nod during his first bout with John McDermott, together with the notorious YouTube clip of him uppercutting himself in the kisser, but Fury… this year and last… has made incredible developments.

The man is likely one of the most improved professionals in the game and this was demonstrated against Johnson in the opening round as he kept his chin protected with a high mitt while throwing lead lefts in an astute manner. He even threw a fairly fast combination to boot – something replicated at the beginning of the second.

The second minute of the second round involved both fighters enjoying spells with the other backed into the corner. During the exchanges, it was Fury, though, who had the better say.

Johnson was his own worst enemy in the bout as there was a clear lack of urgency in his work and, because of Fury’s activity, it was something that he would be marked down on. Fury even switched postures and fought as a southpaw for moments in the third (a tactic he used exclusively versus Martin Rogan) and, punctuating his argument for the ten score in round three, combo’d well with a particularly well-placed uppercut.

In what was turning into a downright weird confrontation, Johnson stopped in the middle of the ring and dropped his fists by his waist, obviously infuriated with Tyson’s box-and-move method. Fury, undeterred, continued to circle but, the first punch he threw since Kingpin’s frustration, was a jab right into the American’s gum-shielded teeth.

Prior to the fifth, Fury confessed to trainer Peter Fury that he “felt heavy on [his] feet”, however, this was never going to be a factor in a fight where his opponent actually looked bored to be there. Even Johnson’s posture in between rounds looked like he wanted to be somewhere else as he refused to take to his stool and casually propped himself up on the ropes.

Fury boxed with renewed energy in the sixth round, varied his jabbing to the belly and to the mouth and collected another straight-forward winning score. In the seventh, he stalked Kingpin with his jab but was deducted a point for punching after the break. And, in the eighth, Johnson successfully stunk the joint out as catcalls and boos were voiced from the masses in attendance.

In the final rounds not much changed. Referee Howard Foster even implored the two combatants to actually fight: “Come on guys, you’re getting paid to fight, now fight!” He said before the tenth round got underway. His attempted motivation fell on deaf ears as Johnson ignored this to continue with his signature tactic of single jabs thrown as if each one cost him money.

Fury, to be fair to him, tried. He was the aggressor, the one throwing more shots… landing more punches and the only one who came to swap slugs and win. He did his job. He earned his pay, won the decision and enhanced his global ranking in the heavyweight division.

“Any time someone gets in the ring with me and wins he is a step closer to a world title,” said Johnson. “I’m world class. Not one time did he step to me, he boxed. When you have two boxers you have a boring fight.”

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