Posts filed under ‘Boxing’
Just over a week ago the Americans sent a team to London as part of the World Series Boxing to take on the British Lionhearts. The United States Knockouts who have yet to win a match in this AIBA run competition were spanked again, but then again they only had two Americans in their team.
The Knockout had two Americans, a Frenchman, a Croatian and an Irishman making up the numbers.
So poor are the boxing stocks in America that Golden Boy Promotions Oscar de la Hoya’s company have just signed their first post Olympic boxer, British Bronze medallist middleweight Anthony Ogogo. Gold medallists Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell are expected to sign up with Golden Boy in thc coming weeks.
It would appear that the days of American dominance are long gone, if the US has to look to Europe for talent. One can only hope that this will lead to more honest bouts between true contenders.
Six years ago former England under 21 footballer Curtis Woodhouse became a professional boxer, and he was successful in the pugilistic art.
Last year he combined his boxing training and fighting with being manager of the oldest football club Sheffield FC. He has recently quit his post with the Northern Premier League club to concentrate solely on his boxing. His resignation coming following a 5-1 defeat to Belper; no one saw the physio throw a white towel onto the park! Well it was a Boxing Day fixture, honestly!
The 32-year old was once a 1million pound midfielder for Sheffield Unite d and Birmingham City, but will now defend his English Light Welterweight title against undefeated Shayne Singleton. He hopes this will lead to a crack at the British title.
One thing that was certain when he was in the dug out no one argued about his substitutions. Good job a certain Manchester City striker wasn’t playing for Sheffield FC.
In boxing today many fans bemoan the fact that the current World Champions shy away from a fight with the top contenders as they look to hang onto their ‘alphabet soup’ world title a little longer.
One boxer who is tired of waiting for a crack at a World Title is Russian Super Lightweight Denis Shafikov, currently ranked number three by the WBC. He made the unprecedented move of flying to Cancun and attending the WBC Convention. During the Rankings session, where managers can question the ranking given to their boxers Shafikov stepped up to the microphone and asked for a tilt at the World Title.
Slightly taken aback that a boxer should come to the convention and throw down the gauntlet, WBC President Jose Sulaiman responded by telling Shafikov that the WBC ‘will consider you as an official challenger.’
Hopefully the Russian who boasts a record of 31 wins (17 by KO) 0 Losses and 1 draw will get his opportunity sooner rather than later and meets current Champion Danny Garcia in the ring before the middle of next year. For backing himself and travelling all that way, he certainly is a boxer to look out for.
There is no doubt that Boxing is heading for a major showdown. Just over a week ago AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association) ordered all boxing associations around the world to drop the word Amateur from their titles. Indicating the end of amateur boxing, a crucial part in the development of future World Champions.
This should not have come as a total surprise with AIBA creating World Series Boxing and selling Franchises around the world for boxers to sign up to. The winners receiving financial reward for their success. Many believe that this latest move is one that emphasises AIBA President Dr CK Wu looking to seize control of the sport world wide, especially as the noble art has suffered from too many versions of a World Title and lost market share to Mixed Martial Arts.
At the World Boxing Council Conference in Cancun a session was dedicated to this move and several of the smaller national boxing boards declared that they had been offered financial inducements to show allegiance to AIBA.
Ultimately it is believed that this move will see the end of amateur boxing, the end of boxers wearing headgear in fights, the end of national boards running the sport and the end of promoters as AIBA will determine who fights who and not the money men.
The WBC revealed that they had written to the head of the IOC Jacques Rogge asking where this means that boxing will stand in the Olympic Games, as if it is to no longer be an exclusively amateur sport then boxers from the professional field should now be allowed to enter the Games. At the time of the conference they had not received a reply, and so a delegation was announced that will be heading to IOC headquarters in Switzerland to discuss the issue face to face.
The fear amongst many at the WBC convention was that AIBA wishes to take total control of the sport along the lines of FIFA; which one would not think is the ideal model on which to base your sporting governance. However it was felt that if boxing is to become totally professional then the Olympic Games should be restricted to fighters who have had 15 or less professional bouts.
It would of course mean the end of the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO, so there is bound to be a large opposition from the professional ranks to such a move.
It is a shame that AIBA – who will no doubt have to change their name too – has taken this move even if it was inevitable as the amateur ranks and the Olympic games tournament has helped produce some truly great World Champions. Champions who have said that the amateur ranks were where they built up experience and also learned their technique, boxing greats such as Muhammed Ali, Lennox Lewis, and Sugar Ray Leonard.
It would appear that this is only round one, it will be interesting to see how the fight develops. One thing is for sure it may be a painful period for boxing, but if it results in less World Champions that has to be good for all concerned, however unity will be the key.
At the WBC Convention in Cancun last week tributes were paid to all those who passed away in the past year, including Olympic great Teofilo Stevenson from Cuba. Others to be acknowledged were iconic trainers, Angelo Dundee and Emmanual Steward.
One man who was meant to be attending the convention was Puerto Rican Champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, but unfortunately his life was cut short just a week prior to the convention when he was shot in the head while sitting in his car with friend Adrian Mojica Moreno, who was killed in the attack. Drugs are believed to have been the motive for the attack.
The WBC flew Camacho’s two sons Christian and Justin to Cancun to make a presentation to acknowledge the triple World Champion’s boxing achievements.
Following the presentation made by WBC President Jose Sulaiman Christian Camacho spoke to those in attendance and said “Dad, was more than a superstar, he was a brother to seven siblings, and father to four boys that he loved . He did take us for a roller coaster ride! But dad, being your son is an honour and teh times we spent together I replay in my mind. I am now one step away from being a pro-boxer and I know you will always be in my corner.”
Are sportsmen brave to come out and admit that they are gay? Do most sports fans really care if they are as long as they entertain and perform when they run out on the park, take the court, or climb into the ring?
Interestingly a fair few column centimetres were dedicated to news that Puerto Rican Featherweight Orlando Cruz admitting he is gay. Maybe because boxing is such a testosterone-fuelled sport that it is hard for many fans to comprehend.
Former Welsh Rugby International Gareth Thomas made a valid point when he finally “came-out” that he did not want to be known as ‘that gay rugby player.’ He wanted to be known first and foremost as a rugby player, a job at which he excelled. What other jobs outside of professional sport is your sexuality used as a prefix?
It really should not matter what preferences an athlete has sexually, unless it is inappropriate or as happened in the past, it effects the image of the sport. This happened most notably when Emile Griffith met Cuban Benny “the Kid” Paret for the third time. Griffith who at the time was rumoured to be gay, -this was 1962 and to admit it would have been commercial suicide – had won the world welterweight title off of Paret in 1961, and in a rematch had lost a split decision.
The third fight which was once again for the World title was also for bragging rights. Prior to the fight at the weigh in it was alleged that Paret called Griffith ‘Maricon’ a Spanish word meaning ‘faggot;’ a derogatory term used against homosexuals.
In round 12 Griffith knocked Paret unconscious, yet Paret did not fall to the floor. Propped up against the ropes Griffith struck Paret repeatedly for several seconds before referee Ruby Goldstein stopped the fight. Paret never regained consciousness, and died ten days later.
The ABC which televised the fatal bout, ended its boxing broadcasts and other U.S. networks followed suit as a result. Boxing would not return to free to air television until the 1970s.
Hopefully in the 21st century we are not so homophobic and a man or a woman’s sexuality should be of little consequence.
It is always sad when top athletes do not know when to walk away, as they often leave us with less flattering memories. One sport that seems to be hard to leave is boxing. There have been many who have retired only to come out of retirement, because they missed the adrenalin of climbing through the ropes one more time, or the commitment and camaraderie of pre-fight training. Some simply missed the adulation of the fans. Greats such as Muhammed Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard have admitted it was simply too hard to walk away, until it became glaringly obvious that they had to.
One of the biggest problems is often their support staff, who see the comebacks as another pay day, and think little of the safety or the reputation of the fighter. Some trainers do have the strength to step away when they feel the comeback is ill-advised, yet many feel that with them in the boxer’s corner they are less likely to come to harm.
One boxer due back in the ring after a three year lay off in which his weight has ballooned due to binge eating and drinking is Briton Ricky Hatton. Who also in that time lost his licence after an incident involving drugs.
Hatton was a superstar in Britain, before he was defeated by two of the greats of the modern era, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jnr. No shame in either of those defeats especially after defeating Kostya Tszyu to win his first World title.
He will now climb back in the ring in November and face another Australian Michael Katsidis hoping to relaunch his career at the age of 33. Hatton is rumoured to be worth GBP25million so one wonders why he has gone back to the gym. It has to be one of the aforementioned reasons as even a “Super-fight” against fellow Englishman Amir Khan is not that enticing?
Let us hope that he manages to not damage his past reputation or his health, as comebacks are undoubtedly fraught with danger in the brutal world of boxing
Former England cricket captain Freddie Flintoff was reportedly switching to boxing with a view to taking out Great Britain’s heavyweight title. Reports claimed he was being mentored by former World Champion Barry McGuigan, but to box he must receive a license from the British board of control, and they claim that no application has been lodged.
It seems a strange move by Flintoff who was forced to retire from his cricket career due to knee trouble, as boxing puts a great deal of strain on this particular joint, if punches are to be thrown properly.
The latest news is that apparently this is all part of a television program for Sky Sports and Flintoff will take the ring in Manchester on November 30th.
While many are questioning his ability to duck a right hook as opposed to a brett Lee bouncer one can’t help feeling that he would be better off opting for his other favourite pastime when on tour, darts. Maybe Steve Harmison could team up and play doubles, after all they had plenty of practise on tour with England with a dart board often set up in their hotel room.
Five boxers from Cameroon who went missing during the London2012 Olympic Games have been found. It appears that the lure of the “sweet Science,” was too much for them as the turned up at a boxing gym in New Cross, South London, asking if they could spar.
Coach John Addis is reported as saying that the sparring session was one of th best his gym had ever witnessed.
It is believed all five wish to stay in Britain and explore the possibility of turning professional. Should they go on and win World Titles for Great Britain one wonders if they may one day be labeled the Famous Five!
There have been many stories of Athletes who have toiled for four years to make the Olympic Games in London, only for something to go wrong when their event starts and our heart bleeds for many of them.
One is Chinese hurdler and 2004 Athens gold medallist Liu Xiang. At his home games in Beijing in 2008 he went into the games with the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, but also carrying an Achilles tendon injury. He never made it to the first hurdle, as he did further damage to it breaking from the blocks. London was supposed to be his redemption, but once again his Olympics finished at the first hurdle. Again he had an Achilles problem and that has been blamed for him losing power at the first hurdle and his front foot catching the hurdle, forcing him to fall and his race to be over. One thing is for sure he will not be forgotten, and sadly will be remembered more for trying to recapture the golden moment in Athens rather than for that success.
Incredibly in the same heat as Liu Xiang, only six of the nine starters finished. In Heat 3 there was more drama when Madagascar’s Kame Ali was disqualified for false start, without even getting to run on the Olympic track. In that same heat Bahamian record holder Shamar Sands fell and was out of the Games. He was disqualified for a lane violation as he had disadvantaged and impeded French athlete Ladji Docoure between hurdles 6 and 7. The French appealed as Doucoure had missed qualification, their appeal was upheld and the good news for Docoure was he was through to the next round.
However probably the worst story of an athlete missing out is Angolan Heavyweight boxer Tumba Silva. Silva is trained by former World Super Middleweight Champion Briton Chris Eubank, who set up a boxing academy in Angola. He was disqualified for failing to turn up to the weigh in for his fight and was out of the games without throwing a punch, his opponent Italian Clemente Russo being awarded a Walkover. It transpires that his coach, Eubank thought the weigh in was in the evening when it was in the morning.
Head of Angola’s Olympic team Antonio Monteira has claimed Eubank failed to attend the technical meeting and has branded him a “Plonker.” He also stated that Silva broke down and cried like a child when told of what had happened and was inconsolable. One hopes he manages to return in Rio, or uses this to inspire him to a successful professional career.