THE HOME OF ALL BOXING CHAMPIONS
"This is gonna be a first class
education in humility."
Iron Mike Tyson - About his Fight with Mcbride who fires back
"It will be the whole of Ireland
hitting him on the chin."
“ Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die first.
"One day Jermain Taylor will be champion. But not this day. He's still got more schooling to do."
Bouie Fisher, about the Hopkins versus Taylor upcoming fight
TYSON QUITS AFTER SIX !
By Jim Amato
In a MAJOR upset Mike Tyson quit on his stool after six rounds against Kevin McBride.
So long Mike Tyson. It has been one hell of a ride. Still after your non performance against Kevin McBride, I wouldn't pay to see you fight Laila Ali. With his victory is Kevin McBride the new "baddest man on the planet" ? I hardly think so. This win may have put him a couple of notches ahead of 70's heavyweight Claude "Humphrey" McBride on the every heavyweight who ever fought list. My advice to Mike is a quote from "Smokin' Joe Frazier himself when he retired after his second KO loss to George Foreman. "It's time to hang the gloves on the wall and boogie". So go boogie Mike. You've left your mark on boxing. Any more losses like the one to McBride will just diminish your place in history. Remember Frazier came back for one unmemorable draw with Floyd "Jumbo" Cummings. I hope there will be no more come backs for Mike Tyson.
Oakey Challenges Haymer for English Belt
By Curtis McCormick
After two false starts Portsmouth, England's Tony Oakey looks to be finally getting back in the ring where he can launch an all out assault on the English Light Heavyweight title currently held by London's Peter "The Daddy" Haymer. The two clash on the undercard of "Lightweight Bragging Rights", headlined by the much awaited double title bout between British champion Graham Earl and Commonwealth beltholder Kevin Bennett to take place this Sunday at York Hall in London's East End. The show is being put on by Maloney Promotions in association with HIFX and BBE and will be televised by Setanta Sports in the UK and Ireland starting at 7:45pm and also worldwide on the web.
Oakey and Haymer were all set to go late last month at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth but the hometown hero contracted a case of food poisoning and the whole bill had to be scrapped at the last minute. In April, a contest between Oakey, 19-1 (5), and journeyman Paul Bonson at the same venue was cancelled when the South Coast ticket seller suffered a training injury. This time however the former WBU and Commonwealth titlist has stayed away from Chinese take-away and is sparing the heavy bag from his best shots, saving them for Haymer instead.
That would be a good idea as "The Daddy" is riding a three year, nine fight win streak and will certainly have fistfuls of confidence going into this weekend's match-up. Haymer, 14-2-1 (3), who stunned the favored Steve Spartacus in London last November to take the English belt, will be trying also to sting Oakey's manager Frank Maloney, who previously managed the London man but chose not to resign him to contract.
Will Tony Oakey regain the form that saw him achieve amateur glory and the Commonwealth and WBU titles along the road to eighteen straight professional wins? Or will Haymer strip bare the short, stocky Portsmouth battler and send his career into a tailspin such as the one Oakey suffered following his defeat to Matthew Barney a year and a half ago?
That question can obviously only be answered in the ring, but both men have looked very sharp in sparring and if that form holds true, coupled with the dueling motivations each man brings to the ring, they just may overshadow the Earl - Bennett domestic superfight that tops the bill of "Lightweight Bragging Rights."
Also on the card, undefeated Gary Woolcombe faces the rugged Welshman Taz Jones for the British Masters Light Middle belt and Nathan Ward and James Paisley argue for the British Masters Welter crown. Added attractions are bouts featuring Amir Khan's nemesis, the Manchester lightweight Craig Watson and red-hot cruiserweight prospect Junior MacDonald.
The entire three-hour "Lightweight Bragging Rights" fight card is event is sponsored by HIFX and BBE, and will be broadcast on Setanta Sports for just £8.99, while anyone across the world with a 1 megabyte broadband connection can watch the exact same live program as a webcast. Click onto Maloney Promotion's website, www.frankmaloney.com, to learn more.
Earl Has Bennett Firmly in Sights
By Curtis McCormick
British Lightweight champion Graham Earl has something to prove and the Englishman plans on doing so this Sunday night when he meets Commonwealth titlist Kevin Bennett at London's historic York Hall. Earl will be in good company as an English Light Heavyweight title fight along with two British Masters championship clashes are also on the bill as well as
bouts featuring two of the hottest prospects in the UK today. The Maloney Promotions event starts at locally at 7:45pm and will be broadcast as it happens on Setanta Sports in the both the UK and Ireland while also being shown as a live worldwide webcast on many affiliated websites via fightnight.com.
The fight card was originally scheduled for May 12th but a left-hand injury incurred by Earl a week before put the action back six weeks. Since that time Earl has regained most of the facility in the hand and the lightweight is fully prepared to carry out his fight plans. "I feel much better than I did a few weeks ago but it isn't one hundred percent better," he said. "Still, it hasn't been causing me any problems. I've been getting physio on it and I've been able to do my work. I'm not worried about the hand because once you get the adrenaline going, if you feel a twinge or some pain, you just fight through it. There'd be no point in me going out there if I couldn't use both arms."
The opponent Earl, 22-1 (11), will face on Sunday is determined to lift the Luton boxer's British belt and doesn't plan on placing his fate in anyone's hands other than his own. Commonwealth titlist Kevin Bennett, 17-4 (7), has pledged to knock Earl out but British champion just sees that tactic as an opportunity to turn the tables on the Hartlepool man. "Bennett's coming down to my territory so he probably feels that he has to try and knock me out, but if he goes looking for something like that he might get something in return," warned Earl.
In his most recent action Earl was outboxed in a non-title affair against an unbeaten Scottish prospect by the name of Ricky Burns this past February. The loss did not sit well with the Luton native, who would like nothing more than to use this bout against Bennett to make it up to his faithful fan base. Since the bout will be shown live on a worldwide basis Earl will have the opportunity to do that as well as win over man more new supporters. "My fans will see me perform a million times better than I did against Burns," declared the twenty-six year old. "They'll see a clever, thinking fighter in the ring, one good enough to win this fight. I just hope that all the fans come out and support me or watch the fight because if they do, they'll see me become a double champion.
"There's a lot riding on this and also because I lost my last fight, I've got a lot to prove. It's the biggest fight of my career plus there are two belts on the line, one of which I get to keep. I don't like to look past a fight but providing everything goes well, my next step will be the European title. It's time for me to move on as I think I've been at this level too long. I went a bit stale in my last fight so it's time to move on definitely. I want to win this fight, obviously, but I really want to win it for the fans."
In addition to the Earl - Bennett British and Commonwealth Lightweight title fight, English Light Heavy champ Peter Haymer defends against former WBU titlist Tony Oakey, Gary Woolcombe faces Taz Jones for the British Masters Light Middle belt and Nathan Ward and James Paisley argue for the British Masters Welter crown.
Added attractions are appearances by Amir Khan's nemesis, the Manchester lightweight Craig Watson and red-hot cruiserweight prospect Junior MacDonald. The Maloney Promotions event is sponsored by HIFX and BBE and starts at locally at 7:45pm.
The entire three-hour Earl - Bennett fight card will be broadcast on Setanta Sports for just £8.99, while anyone across the world with a 1 megabyte broadband connection can watch the exact same live program as a webcast, on one of many affiliated websites for just £4.99 (rough equivalent of $10 US dollars). Just look for the fightnight.com logo on your favorite website or log onto to find out which sites are carrying the webcast.
Former IBU Heavyweight Champion Shannon"The Cannon" Briggs knocked out undefeated and former IBC Americas Champion Abraham The African Assassin" Okine inside the third round at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, emphatically showcasing his determination to battle his way back into title contention.
Back in November of 1997 Briggs beat two time former champion Big George Foreman to become the uncrowned lineal champion, four months later he went down three times en-route to being stopped in the 5th round in his title challenge losing effort against WBA Champion Lennox Lewis. Since then he seemed to lose his enthusiam for the game due to the business aspect side of the sweat science, he went on to fight to a draw against Franz Botha, and a loss to behemoth Jameel Mccline and Sedrick Fields further diminishing his star appeal and slidding him down the rankings almost to a journey man status his poor showing may also have been due to his lack of proper preparation for these fights as he was featured in a few films including Bad Boys II and appearancess in K1 competitions which resulted in him fighting only once in 2004.
In this fight, his second in 2005 alone, he staggered a seemingly defenseless and unsteady Okine and dropped him down two times in the first round alone. It was great to see Briggs back in form with his usual common lets fight aggressive style, but Okine drew first blood by opening a cut on Briggs left eye and battled back through the 2nd round weathering the storm. The end came in the 3rd round as a visibly athletically superior Briggs who claimed Okine's camp chose him as a test for their fighter in this fight, now incensed by this blatant lack of respect unleashed three left hooks followed by a big right hand to the chin of the Assassin from Africa sending him crashing to the canvas, who knowing he was in trouble frantically tried to head for an exit as quickly as he could but he was nevertheless apprehended by the police personified by the referee who waved off the fight at the 0.54 minute.
With this victory Briggs has improved his record to fourty two victories including thirty six knockouts, with four losses and a draw. In the post fight interview with former trainer and ringside analyst , he claimed like all fighters do after a victory that he was focused and determined to claw his way back into contender status, you have to like his chances because although it looks like he has been around forever he is only thirty three years old and still has a few fights in him. Seeing him reminds you that there are still a couple of worthier title challengers than recycling losers like Andrew Golota through the system.
In Defense of
John "The Quietman" Ruiz
Recently reinstated WBA Heavyweight Champion John Ruiz just released an open letter to the President of the WBA - Gilberto Mendoza -
"It has come to my attention that, behind my back, James Toney and his people are attempting to have the WBA lift or modify the two-year sanction against him fighting for my title....his explanation about taking prescription drugs for an arm injury turning into a performance enhancing anabolic steroid is a lie.
The NYSAC has already rejected this false excuse. Ask yourself, why has he not appealed? The answer is obvious: Toney knows that if he does, the results of his blood tests would be open to the public, the extremely high levels of the illegal steroid he took would be revealed, and his "excuse" would be laughed at. Instead he hides behind this false story and is trying to have the WBA's two-year ban lifted in a similar way.
He has already brought shame upon himself and the sport of boxing by his illegal actions. The WBA would do the same to itself by not following its rules. Toney's failure to appeal is all the justification you need to reject any request he makes for relief from the sanctions the rules of the WBA demand, and all that the rest of the boxing world should need to realize that not only is Toney a cheat, he is a liar."
On my part, I have read with growing consternation the
comments against the The Quiet Man by some respected boxing analysts and
boxing fans after his open letter to the WBA about James Toney's steroids
use. Because John Ruiz has a lot to be quiet about, with a loss in the
first round to David Tua almost a decade ago or because he is not the
devastating knockout Champion we want, does not mean he should not command
our respect. Boxing fans and critics do indeed have short memories. You
must pay homage to a fighter who has to his credit re-grouped after every
disaster to surprise us with his dogged tenacity and perseverance.
MIKE TYSON VS MCBRIDE FIGHT ANALYSIS
On June 11, “Iron” Mike Tyson fights Kevin "The Clones Collossus" Mcbride at the MCI Center in Washington DC in a non title fight.
Iron Mike Tyson is no stranger to even the most casual boxing fan, under the tutelage of the legendary boxing trainer Cus D’amato he rampaged through the Heavyweight Division fighting as many as fifteen times in 1985 alone. He rose through the rankings like a meteor and after only twenty months as a professional he challenged WBC champion Trevor Berbick for the title on November 22nd 1986, he promptly knocked out Berbick in dramatic fashion in the second round to become the youngest Heavyweight Champion of the world at the tender age of 20.
He went on to annex the WBA and IBF titles from James “Bonecrusher” Smith and Tony Tucker respectively to become the first and youngest man in history to unify all the Heavyweight belts. He went on to defend his unified belt six times by crushing the challenges of seasoned veterans like Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks and Frank Bruno.
His dominance and title reign suddenly came to an end when he faced Buster Douglas in far away Japan, his poor preparation and conditioning got exposed and he entered the ring unfocused and lethargic. Buster sealed his fate by fighting valiantly enough to tire out Tyson before knocking him out with punches heard around the world and for the first time knocking out the once invincible Iron Mike Tyson.
After that the fairy tale story took a dive into darkness as personal problems outside the ring along with deaths in his management team, disputes with his new trainer and marital problems distracted him from the strict training regimen and focus that had carried him all the way to the pinnacle of boxing. His training skills deteriorated considerable thereafter and his opponents became more determined not to go out like a flame.
He managed to overcome challenges to his supremacy and was seemingly working his way back into title contention before he got sidetracked by rape charges. He was convicted of the charges and spent fifty months in jail while the world of boxing continued in a sleepy state awaiting the return of the king, he was eventually released in 1995 and the world of boxing was waiting to receive him with pomp and pageantry.
There was no doubt that he would be champion again as his manager and promoter Don King controlled the champions - and with a cash machine like Tyson the coast was already clear for his comeback to reclaim his titles. This situation with King allowed Mike to feast on mediocre opponents before stepping up against flat footed defenseless Frank Bruno in a rematch for the WBC Heavyweight title, Tyson showed he was even much better by battering Bruno out in three rounds as opposed to seven rounds the last time the fought. He went on to seize the WBA version of the title from an awe struck and terrified Bruce Seldon who caved from the very first shot in the first round no doubt from the feared Tyson punch but also from a nod by Don King present at ringside.
With just eight easy rounds and a long rest in jail behind him, he accepted the challenge from Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield in a long awaited fight that had to be postponed due to his stint in jail. But this time he had bitten off more than he could chew as Evander to date has never laid down for anybody and still is a durable ex champion even after all the numerous wars he has been involved – he is perhaps the very last of the fifteen rounders. Most fighters on the comeback trail are usually advised to fight a couple of journey men before taking on the lions of the division, Tyson did so in non competitive bouts against opponents already primed to go down at the slightest provocation and some might say due to the threats from Don King who controlled all the belts at the time. He was ill-prepared for the Holyfield assignment and was lulled into a false sense of security by his press clippings.
And in a another ring magazine acknowledged fight of the year and upset of the year The Real Deal ate all of Tyson’s shots and out boxed him thoroughly before stopping him in the 11th round shocking the boxing world. A rematch was ordained by a world hoping for his redemption, but that fight turned into an absolute disaster as a thoroughly frustrated Mike Tyson Bit off Holyfield’s left ear earning himself a disqualification, a fine and a sparking a row of bans by state boxing authorities that effectively banned him from the sport for almost two years.
Since then his ring experience have been marked by stints in prison and contratual disputes dessipating his enthusiasm for the game. Due to his ban in the US he could only fight overseas against mediocre opposition and a series of money problems and bankruptcy threats forced him into accepting a fight against Lennox Lewis knowing he could not beat him. He put up a brave effort but nevertheless got mauled by Lennox Lewis who knocked him flat down on his back forever crushing whatever invincibility he had left.
He took another hiatus away from the ring as he fought through bankruptcy and divorce proceedings before stepping into the ring against journey man Danny Williams who shocked him by knocking him out in the 5th round. During the fight Tyson tore his knee ligament which somehow mitigated the disaster of this loss, now he is pumped to take on the suitably nicknamed Cloned Collossus.
Now not much is universally known about the six foot six, two hundred and fifty plus pound Mcbride, the fragments of what we do know has been recently scalped together by boxing historians digging for anything to present the picture of a credible opponent. You may be interested to know that he is the Irish Heavyweight champion who also represented his dear Ireland unsuccessfully in the Olympics. Your eyes will widen when you discover that he won the unknown IBC Americas Heavyweight Title in 2002, but you will shake your head in despair when you realize that he lost to both Axel Shultz and Davaryl Williamson inside the distance by technical knockout.
In this fight he has a few advantages, one that Tyson is now a family man and not the same raving angry puncher he once was in the ring.Secondly he is Irish probably cut from the same ilk as his kinsman Irish Micky Ward and he is boasting about how his punch will pack all the fury of Ireland behind it, thirdly his weight might be an overbearing factor in his favor if he can lean on and tie up Iron Mike in clinches long enough to possibly exascebate the injury to Tyson’s recently repaired torn knee ligament which may force a capitulation by a burnt out Mike Tyson before the beginning of the fourth round.
Now back in the day there would have been no question about the outcome of this fight because Mcbride is tailor made to fall victim to Tyson devastating double uppercut. But Tyson’s vaunted uppercut no longer packs the power it once did and Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Danny Williams took those same shots before rebounding to plaster him to the canvas.
However nothing is guaranteed with Iron Mike and in this bout suitably dubbed, “Anything Can Happen”. At 39 we may catch a glimpse of his old form and some of the anger is coming to precede the fight as he was quoted as saying “I’m an icon. I’m an international star" further vowing that ""I'm interested in winning. Whether its the first round, second round, or the tenth."
He may now be hungrier than ever as he tries to come up with the other half of the payment to a house he is trying to buy. He may get that half by just stepping into the ring but then he would need some extra cash to go on the wild shopping sprees for the pet tigers and exotic pigeons he is accustomed too – it can all be had if he can get through the colossus in front of him and you have to reckon that he knows that.
May the best man win.
By Jim Amato
Many regard Tyson's scheduled opponent Kevin McBride as somewhat of a joke. As big as he is ( 6'6"-250+lbs. ), They word is that he is EXTREMELY slow. If Tyson has retained two weapons in his arsenal it is power and hand speed. Teddy Atlas who is a boxing analyst for ESPN and who worked with Tyson decades ago called this a one round fight in Tyson's favor. Teddy knows his stuff.
On a more interesting note there has been talk of a possible third meeting between Tyson, should he beat McBride and Evander Holyfield. Say what ?
Hey this could very well take place. They both have reportedly expressed interest in a rubber match. There is some unfinished business between these two warriors and there are probably enough fans willing to pay to pipe it into their homes.I've heard a lot of talk about them both being washed up and who cares, etc... Granted the critics have a valid case.
My point is if Holyfield and Tyson want to continue their careers they will. Why not let them fight each other ? They are both equally faded. I'd rather see them fight each other then to have one or the other thrown in with a big guy in his prime like Vitali Klitschko.
Hey don't laugh, I've seen stranger things happen in this sport. Tyson or Holyfield would net Klitschko a decent payday with a presumed low risk factor. Remember Vitali is defending against Hassim Rahman a boxer who was defeated by Evander a few years back. Vitali's last defense was against Danny Williams who got his shot by upsetting Tyson. If Tyson would have beat Williams it would have been him in that ring facing Vitali. Klitschko's people know that it is still Mike Tyson who puts asses in the seats.
So let Vander and Mike duke it out again if they want. You don't have to buy it if you don't want to. I have a feeling enough people will tune in and it will turn over a decent profit margin.
I'm not sure where Evander stands as far as his suspension by the New York Athletic Commission. That must be cleared up before any talk of Tyson-Holyfield III gets serious.
By John McCormick
"Lightweight Bragging Rights", the long awaited British and Commonwealth Lightweight title clash between Graham Earl and Kevin Bennett has now become a four title fight British mega card and becomes the only such event that will have been viewable live as it happens on a true world wide basis.
In addition to the highly anticipated double lightweight championship contest between British titlist Graham Earl and Commonwealth king Kevin Bennett, there is the English Light Heavyweight struggle between champion Peter Haymer and challenger Tony Oakey, two British Masters title fights consisting of Gary Woolcoombe meeting Taz Jones at light middle and Nathan Ward facing James Paisley at welter while hot prospects Craig Watson at lightweight and cruiserweight Junior MacDonald round out the stellar bill.
The action takes place at London's historic York Hall and is being presented by Maloney Promotions. Viewers in Britain and Ireland can see the action live starting at 7:45pm London time through Setanta Sports pay per view on the Sky platform. The entire three-hour card will be broadcast for just £8.99, while anyone across the world with a 1 megabyte broadband connection can watch the exact same live program as a webcast, on one of many affiliated websites for just £4.99 (rough equivalent of $10 US dollars). Just look for the fightnight.com logo on your favorite website or log onto www.fightnight.com to find out which sites are carrying the webcast.
Pay Per View and Web fans in for a treat
The Peter Haymer v Tony Oakey English Light Heavyweight title clash that had to be cancelled due to Tony Oakey suffering food poisoning has been re-scheduled to take place at York Hall on Sunday 19th June 2005.
The fight will take place on the undercard of the Graham Earl v Kevin Bennett British & Commonwealth Lightweight Title fight. Maloney Promotions who lost out on Friday are aiming to give the fans real value for money with four title fights.
The undercard will see the second professional fight of Craig Watson plus undefeated former Turkish amateur star Gokhan Kazaz.
Oakey’s training team have now employed the services of a top sports nutritionist and he has been strongly advised to stay well clear of Chinese resteraunts.
HIFX Currency specialists and Football First and BBE sponsor this superb show.You can watch this show on Setanta PPV or log on to www.fightnight.com. For additional information or tickets contact James Russell on 020 8692 6313.
The Title fights
12x3 British & Commonwealth Lightweight Title
Graham Earl v Kevin Bennett
10x3 English Light Heavyweight Title.
Peter Haymer v Tony Oakey
10x3 British Masters Light Middleweight Title.
Gary ‘Hot Stuff’ Woolcombe v Taz Jones
10x3 British Masters Welterweight.
Nathan Ward v James Paisley
Maloney Promotions officially announce the new date for the much-anticipated British and Commonwealth Lightweight title showdown between Graham Earl and Kevin Bennett as Sunday, June 19th. Historic York Hall in London's East End will host the fight card, which will now include popular British Southern Area Lightweight titlist Rob Jefferies. Other attractions include the British Masters Welterweight title fight between Nathan Ward and James Paisley as well as the pro debut of amateur sensation Craig Watson, the comeback of "Dynamite" Dean Phillips, cruiserweight hot prospect Junior MacDonald and the popular undefeated light middle Gary Woolcombe.
In Britain and Ireland all the action from start to finish can be seen on Setanta pay per view for just £8.99 on the Sky platform while across the globe the same three plus hour broadcast can be seen in it's entirety on the web for just £4.99 ($10 US dollar equivalent) on one of many affiliate websites. Log onto www.fightnight.com to find out which websites will link you direct to the webcast.
"EXPLOSION DE BOXEO"
LOS ANGELES - May 23, 2005 - HombreTV, the cable television network for Hispanic men, announced today that it will broadcast its first LIVE boxing card-"Explosion de Boxeo"--on June 24th at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, CA.
The event is promoted by Gloria Garcia of "One Tough Cookie" Promotions, marking the first time ever that a female has promoted a 4-title fight. "Explosion de Boxeo" will feature two WBC sanctioned fights with the main bout between Adam Carrera vs.Edel Ruiz* for the NABF Title, and the second bout featuring Luis Cervantes..
The fight is being produced by All-Star Entertainment Productions for HombreTV and will be available to over 10,000,000 million homes nationwide primarily on the cable network "Colours" (carried by Dish Network and Adelphia).
Mr. Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos, HombreTV's Director of the Special Committee for Boxing and Founder of the Retired Boxers Foundation, will be ringside for the color commentary, along with veteran commentator, Marcos Palmas. They will also delve into the back-stories and interview many of the evening's boxers for the television audience.
Brian Vermeire, Executive Producer of the event for HombreTV said, "We are delighted to be working with One Tough Cookie Promotions and All-Star Entertainment Productions. 'Explosion de Boxeo' will be a thrilling event and we are proud to offer it to a nationwide television viewing audience as we debut HombreTV's sports programming."
Gloria Garcia, Owner of "One Tough Cookie" Promotions stated, "One Tough Cookie Boxing Promotions is committed to offering the public the type of fights it wants to see; well-matched, competitive fights. We carefully match the fighters in order to show first-rate solid boxing events."
Trent Eye, Owner/Producer of All-Star Entertainment Productions said, "We are very excited to be producing HombreTV's first live professional boxing event. Our staff is working hard to ensure that we bring to HombreTV the best possible television broadcast."
The Hitman Shocks the World
Welterweight Champion Ricky “The Hitman”Hatton yesterday beat long time
defending champion Kostya “Thunder from Down Under” Tszyu to become the
new IBF Light Welterweight Champion on Saturday night in front of a
sellout crowd of 22,000 frenzied patriotic fans at the M.E.N. Arena,
Manchester across the pond in England..
Golota "Earns" Another Eliminator...
By Jim Amato
UNBELIEVEABLE...That is all I can say. Rumor is that Don King has not given up on Andrew Golota even in the wake of his dismal showing against Lamon Brewster. Somehow after being blasted out in less then a round by Brewster in an attempt to win the lightly regarded W.B.O. belt, Andrew has put himself in line for a shot at the W.B.A. version of the heavyweight title. Say what ???
Andrew may be matched with 7' Nikolai Valuev and the winner will probably secure a shot against newly re-instated W.B.A. titleholder John Ruiz. Go figure...
Today's heavyweight division is becoming a JOKE, plain and simple.Since Lennox Lewis retired the division has been in a total state of chaos and an end does not appear to be in sight.
Most people regard W.B.C. champion Vitali Klitschko to be the best of the lot. The I.B.F recognizes Chris Byrd who holds a win over Vitali but has lost to Vitali's little brother Wladimir. Byrd drew with Golota and Wladimir got clocked by W.B.O. claimant Lamon Brewster. Well then Golota lost a debateable decision to W.B.A. titleholder John Ruiz. This is the same Ruiz who lost his title once to Roy Jones Jr. Then he got his butt whipped by James Toney but Toney tested positive for steroids and John was handed back his belt even though Toney clearly beat Ruiz. I understand that rules are rules and James left himself open to being stripped. Nevertheless after losing to Jones Jr. and Toney plus a bogus decision win over Golota, how can anyone take the Ruiz claim to the title seriously ?
Now Vitali will meet the winner of Hassim Rahman-Monte Barrett. Rahman has a loss on his record to John Ruiz. Chris Byrd is scheduled to meet Sergei Liakhovich. Ruiz may have to meet the winner of Golota-Valuev.
Wait...It gets worse. Brewster who is fresh off his stunning one round slaughter of Golota may now have to meet Luan Krasniqi who recently took out Lance Whitaker.
I feel that I may be speaking for a lot of fans when I ask...Who's Da Champ ?
The 15 Round
The twenty six year old Hatton's physical condition displayed the "ripped to pieces" state obtained from a perfect preparation the Hitman endured under the guidance of trainers Billy Graham, Bobby Rimmer and Kerry Kayes. Hatton warmed up for the marathon training session by pounding the heavy bag with some seriously bad intent. The Manchester man's career-long mentor and trainer, Billy "The Preacher" Graham, continued to administer sage advice on blocking and slipping Tszyu's potent arsenal, including the IBF Champion's under rated left hook.
Hatton moved on to the infamous 15 round body belt session by unleashing wave after wave of punishment onto Graham, with the trainer wearing only by the torso protecting body belt and some battered punch mitts. Ricky finally started to feel the strain after dishing out 14 rounds of his own particular brand of ferocious violence and was treated to an improvised shower from a few water bottles.
Hatton came down the finishing straight and gained his second wind, ending the 15th and final round of the body belt impressively with his trademark withering body shot assault. Once again the Hitman had demonstrated just why he is the busiest and fittest fighter in world boxing today. Mission complete, Hatton removed his hand wraps and rests assured that the heavy work has finally been done in his preparations to challenge Kostya Tszyu and he's never looked so good doing it.
Kerry Kayes, Hatton's
's dietician and nutrition expert, commented, "Ricky has on his back
what's known in the bodybuilding world as a 'Christmas Tree' . It's a
definition of muscles off the spine of his back and it's the first time
they've ever been noticeable. It's a testament to the hard work he has
put in. With every fight we've gotten him stronger, and this fight is
without exception. We start every camp with a higher weight platform,
and the muscle composition in his body has never been as defined as it
is now. I also hoped that the definition wouldn't retract from his
strength, and it most certainly hasn't; Ricky has never been as strong
as he is right now.'
Harrison's Back Against the Wall in Manchester
By Curtis McCormick
WBO Featherweight Champion Scott Harrison faces a true do or die situation against his most dangerous domestic rival, three time world title challenger Michael Brodie, this Friday at Manchester, England's enormous MEN Arena. The Frank Maloney managed Glasgow man is coming off a sub-par title defense against Colombia's Victor Polo and can ill afford a slip up on what promoters Sports Network are terming "The Battle of Britain".
Many feel Michael Brodie an uncrowned champion as the Manchester native turned in a tremendous performance against Willie Jorrin at super feather a few years ago only to lose in highly controversial fashion on the judges' scorecards. Brodie also fought current WBC champion Injin Chi to a standstill in their first fight last year, forcing a draw with the Korean battler for the vacant title. The brave Brit was overwhelmed in the return bout a few months later, as he was handled convincingly by Chi before suffering a seven round stoppage.
Harrison has experienced great frustrations of late, barely escaping with his title belt intact after tangling with the vastly under rated Victor Polo most recently. Only a furious charge in the last round allowed the Scot to preserve his WBO crown. The champion goes into Friday's contest against Brodie with a sizeable strength advantage and it's crucial that the Glaswegian maximize that edge to offset the superior boxing skills wielded by the challenger. Harrison has been campaigning for a shot at title unification for some time now, yearning to share the ring with either IBF/WBA kingpin Juan Manuel Marquez or WBC titlist Injin Chi.
A loss to Brodie would conceivably rule out such a step-up fight but even a lackluster showing could seriously damage Harrison's chances to realize his greater ambitions.
If Harrison can mount an unrelenting pressure attack on his adversary, we could see Brodie run out of gas and resort to slugging with the larger man, something "The Real McCoy" would relish. No matter what course of action takes place at the MEN Arena the night before Ricky Hatton faces Kostya Tszyu, a very entertaining bout should take place between Scott Harrison and Michael Brodie for as long as it lasts. With Showtime screening the struggle in America, British boxing will definitely take a big step forward in the spotlight the industry has collectively worked so hard to obtain.
KARSNIQI SHOCKS WHOOPI
Germany's Luan "The Lion" Karsniqi knocked out NABA Heavyweight and WBO NABO Heavyweight Champion Lance"Whoopi" Whitaker in the sixth round to become the mandatory challenger for the WBO Heavyweight Belt currently held by Lamon Brewster at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart in far away Germany.
Whoopi who was the number one ranked WBO contender before this bout usually talks a good game, and for this fight he went the extra step by hiring the services of Steve"Crocodile" Fitch - Mike Tyson's former sunglassed military style, loud mouthed, trash talking speaker to add to the intimidation quotient of his entourage. Whoopi appeared to be in shape as he worked out for the press in the pre-fight hype as the Crocodile repeatedly predicted the destruction of the Lion to all. Whoopi backed up by the threats of his entourage and a crocodile even refused to shake hands with a vilianized Karsniqi who pushed him igniting a scuffle that nearly degenerated into a laughable riot with Whoopi threatening "I’m gonna knock him out today, I’m not gonna wait "til tomorrow, All these antics built up our expectations for a great long fight.
The bout was a stark contrast to all the Whoopi pre-fight braggadio as a seemingly angry Krasniqi comprehensively out-boxed him through the first five rounds before unleashing a right cross to the head in the sixth round that put Whoopi flat on his back for the first time in his career. We all stared in horror as Whoopi was unable to raise his 253.5 pound, six feet foot eight inch frame from off the canvas forcing the referee to halt the contest at the 2.33 minute of the round. Amazing.
Prior to this fight not much was known about the German since he has restricted most of his campaigns across the pond in Europe. To his credit he is the reigning European Heavyweight Champion and has so far amassed a record of twenty seven victories, suffering only one defeat and a draw. This victory against a high caliber veteran like Whoopi has finally showcased his ability on the world stage and catapulted him into the seventh ranked heavyweight in the world slot according to Boxrec.Com,
A review of his record shows decision wins over vaguely recognizable fighters like Sanil Sam Samil, Julius Francis and a draw against Timo Hoffman. Most boxing fans are going to place him as a favorite to dethrone Lamon Brewster for the WBO Crown but boxing experts should be wary of jumping on this bandwagon as ramrod stiff European style fighters are extremely prone to American uppercuts. His true pedigree will be revealed after the Brewster fight- That is if the fight even happens.
Hatton Plots the Downfall of Tszyu
By Curtis McCormick
Ricky Hatton knows that Kostya Tszyu is the single most feared fighter on the planet. He's well aware that the native Russian was unstoppable in the amateurs and went on to clean out the most competitive division in boxing earlier this decade, unifying the three major titles at light welter. Hatton also hasn't lost sight of the fact that Tszyu did not lose his WBC and WBA title belts in the ring and that the naturalized Australian returned from a near two year layoff to effortlessly shatter Sharmba Mitchell, who had been favored by many to defeat Tszyu.
Many believe that the twenty six year old Hatton must quite reasonably be quaking in his boots, as IBF Champion and his missile-like right hand are set to meet the Englishman in the ring on June 4th. After all, the prevailing logic goes, the Manchester native has never faced anyone who even approaches the skill, power or experience of the thirty five year old Tszyu.
Ask Ricky Hatton though and you'll hear a far different story.
"Without a doubt, I'll be going in there as the underdog and rightly so, because of what Kostya's done and achieved in his career," said Hatton. "But unless I've got it terribly wrong, and I like to think that I'm a knowledgeable fighter on boxing, tactics and strategy, unless there's something I'm genuinely missing, I don't see myself losing this fight with Tszyu."
Most fans and media alike are near unanimous in picking the transplanted Russian to not only defeat the Mancunian but to stop the high energy Hatton within the distance. Generally, Tszyu's cannon-like right hand is cited as the weapon the longtime WBU titlist won't be able disarm, but Hatton feels he has the code to nullify it's effectiveness after having worked with trainers Billy Graham, Bobby Rimmer and Kerry Kayes on doing just that.
"I've got an idea what Kostya Tszyu is going to do, he's going to try and use that big right hand to his advantage, particularly with me coming in at him," said Hatton. "His best chance is to try and finish me early because I get faster and stronger as a fight progresses. Kostya does have a very, very wide stance and that could be a problem if you get somebody who covers the distance, who covers the canvas quickly like I do. I plan on pushing him back, which he hasn't experienced very much in his career.
"The only person I can remember trying to push Kostya Tszyu back was Ben Tackie, but he was a slow ponderous type, not really giving much though as to what he was doing and not having the ability, speed or footwork to cover the distance which is what you need against Kostya. If you stand on the outside too long, he's going to set you up for that right hand. It's essential that you cover that distance very, very quickly and that's a strength of mine."
Strategically, the Hatton camp plan on taking a page from the blueprint written by Vince Phillips in 1997, when the former US Marine ended Tszyu's first title reign, handing the IBF kingpin his only professional loss.
"Vince Phillips set a ferocious pace when he beat Tszyu and I think Kostya felt that acutely," stated Hatton flatly. "Kostya hasn't really done many rounds in the last four years. He did two against Zab Judah, twelve against Ben Tackie, five against Jesse James Leija then was out for almost two years before coming back to do three against Sharmba Mitchell in their rematch.
"The last four years Tszyu hasn't had many rounds under his belt and I think that the pace of the fight could be a key but obviously I'm going to need a little more than stamina and workrate. I've got to show good ability as well, which I know I've got. I think the combination of my boxing skills, quickness, strength will be key factors in my winning the fight. "
Ricky Hatton is fully confident that he'll be successful in his long awaited world title bid, finally delivering on the promise his fans have long believed the Manchester Whirlwind to hold. Despite the fact that Hatton and Tszyu will square off at 2am local time, so as to be televised live in the US during prime time viewing hours, over 22,000 tickets were purchased within just a few hours, selling out the massive Manchester News Arena in record time.
"I know I'm always mentioning my fans but I'd like to say that I think that they're the best in the world," Hatton beamed. "Not only have I been demanding big fights for the last twelve to eighteen months but I know my fans had been very, very frustrated at the big fights falling through, as I've been as well. Even so, they've still always turned up in droves, even when we've haven't had the kind of opponents that both the fans and I have wanted. They still turned out in the thousands to support me.
"As much as I think fighting Tszyu is the opportunity I deserve, I think that it's the opportunity the fans deserve as well. I've said for some time that I was going to become the best light welterweight in the world and I believed that I could become the best light welterweight in the world. Now I've got the chance to do so. And it isn't just talk for the press or the newspapers, to just sell tickets, to worry Tszyu or for any rubbish like that.
"So I want to say to all my fans that when I say I believe that I'm going to win, it's for no other reason than that's how I really feel. My fans know what I'm like and they know I wouldn't say it just because people expect me to say it. I know there's mixed views out there with a lot of big Kostya Tszyu fans believing that this fight is a step too far for me but some people genuinely believe that this fight is very similar to the stage when Barry McGuigan beat Eusebio Pedroza at a time when Pedroza was at the top of his game.
"There are many similarities because Kostya is a big superstar in boxing terms, probably one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. But it's happened many times in the past where the great superstar champions have been beaten by the up and coming guys. Experience is great but what price can you put on youth. less miles on the clock, freshness and hunger? Obviously, Kostya brings the experience into the ring but I bring a lot of things as well and I genuinely believe I'm going to beat him."
By Robin York
As the big fight draws closer, opinions could not be more divided on the outcome of this summer's epic showdown between Manchester's undefeated star Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton
and the number one light welterweight in the world, Kostya Tszyu. It will be a lion's den that Tszyu will enter on June the 4th, performing in front of 22,000 Hatton fans at the MEN Arena in Manchester. The bout is for Tszyu's IBF belt, but more importantly for Hatton is the Russian's worldwide recognition as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world today.
Tszyu has proven time and time again that he is the best light welterweight in the world. Hatton has yet to convince everyone, especially in the US, that he even deserves world class status despite being ranked number one by the IBF and previously so by the WBO, all the while remaining undefeated in 38 fights.
But for Hatton's British fans, this type of fight has been long overdue. After potential challenges to Miguel Cotto, Sharmba Mitchell and Vivian Harris failed to materialise, Hatton seemed to lose faith in the sport. This unease was evident in his one sided victory in June of last year over Carlos Vilches. While the Mancunain did get the points win, it was a poor performance by the high standards that "The Hitman's" fans are accustomed to.
Hatton and his legion of supporters were frustrated alike and the pressure began to mount on promoter Frank Warren to deliver a big fight. The head of Sports Network told everyone doubting him that he would come through for Hatton and he has delivered admirably. Not only did he land Tszyu, the biggest name in the division, but also he enticed the IBF Champion to defend his title in the challenger's back yard. Credit must go to Warren and Hatton for targeting the hardest possible fight and also to the champion for accepting the difficult challenge of defending on away turf.
While the majority of American fight fans expect Tszyu to retain, many in Britain truly believe that Hatton has what it takes to dethrone the champion. And why shouldn't they? Hatton has defeated every man put in front of him and mostly all in style. Even when Hatton has laboured, he has never looked close to losing. When floored for the first and only time in his career, during the first round against the hard-hitting Irishman Eamonn Magee, Hatton remained calm and went on to easily outbox his bitter rival.
The Magee fight and a British title defense against Jon Thaxton were arguably the most difficult fights, in that Hatton had to contend with substantial adversity before prevailing. Hatton was always in control against Thaxton but was horrendously cut from the first round on. Somehow he managed to remain calm and batter Thaxton for the remainder of the contest, keeping his British belt.
Being able to remain calm under pressure is a quality that "The Hitman" is going to need when faced with the thunderous right hands coming his way from Kostya Tszyu. But Tszyu will also need that quality when faced with the lethal body attacks likely to come his way. Hatton sets a frenetic pace, seen in particular during his last fight when he became the first man to stop Ray Oliveira, and body shots are the trademarks of his non-stop attacks.
While Tszyu has the greater single punch power, the challenger has a wider variety of shots and his swarming tactics, coupled with a high work rate, may dishearten the champion if Tszyu's cannon-like punches are ineffective. But that is a big "if". The general feeling in the US is that Tszyu's power will tell against Hatton, who is perceived as largely untested. Hatton has been beaten some solid contenders, including Mike Stewart, Ben Tackie and Vince Phillips, who incidentally is the only man to have beaten the champion, but many are of the opinion that those fighters were past their best and nowhere near the class that Tszyu represents now.
Despite Tszyu's return from a long layoff to brutally stop old foe Sharmba Mitchell in the 3rd round last November, the Sydney resident is now 35 and there are just as many questions surrounding him as there are of Hatton. So while Tszyu will start off the favourite, British fans know that "The Hitman" could not be better prepared for this fight. If it's going to happen for Hatton, it will happen on June 4th. The champion, no matter how great, is not invincible and Hatton has the tools to reinforce that vulnerability.
With so many questions being asked surrounding this battle, come fight night we should get all the answers we require.
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Brewster Bombs Out Golota
In a performance reminiscent of a young Mike Tyson or Jack Dempsey, Lamon "Relentless" Brewster unleashed fifteen punches to knockdown the “Foul Pole” Andrew Golota three times en-route to securing a technical knockout victory in the 0.53 second of the very first round in front of a packed arena dominated by patriotic Polish fans at the United Center in Chicago.
Nobody could have predicted the outcome of this fight, and most boxing analysts and arm chair experts had Golota as a heavy favorite coming into this fight especially as this was his fourth title attempt. Brewster leapt out of his corner like a caged lion landing the first shot, digging hard shots to the body, hooking to the head and swinging with a wild left cross and all of a sudden Golota was crashing down to the canvas.
Golota beat the count but Brewster now smelt blood and leapt in breaking through Golota defense with a brutal flurry of punches that had Golota crashing to the canvas through the ropes for the second knockdown. Golota managed to beat the count but Brewster was unwilling to stop the barrage and he proceeded to unleash a vicious and even wilder flurry of punches that sent Golota crashing down to the canvas for the third time forcing the referee to halt the contest.
The fight ended so suddenly that Golota stood in the ring in a stunned stupor trying to grasp what had just happened to him, he did not touch gloves when Brewster offered too while dancing around the ring celebrating his victory. But finally the ignomy of the defeat hit him hard and he stormed out the arena missing the post fight interview with Larry Merchant and the press conference. He must have had a lot on him mind especially since his fourth and probably last title search had come to a disastrous end . Now at age 37 years with four title challenge losses to Lennox Lewis, Chris Byrd, John Ruiz and now Brewster he may be figuring that it is now time to hang up his gloves for good.
In retrospect in analyzing this fight, a review of past Brewster fight clips showed that he should not have been so underestimated in this fight especially when you consider that his trade mark wild inside crosses and hooks are tailored made to solve the riddle of ramrod stiff European style fighters like Golota who was virtually made to order for him. With this virtuoso performance Brewster has declared his intent on the division and boxing fans are now foaming at the mouths waiting to match him against any of the other trinket holders for a unification bout.
He is now on the road to superstardom and he best buckle up and get ready to shock us again to solidify our newly formed impressions of him against the winner of the WBO Heavyweight title elimination showdown between Luan Kraniqi and six foot eight giant Lance "Whoopi" Whitaker.
Lamon Brewster's one round blitz over Andrew Golota to retain his W.B.O. heavyweight title did a lot to hopefully spark a dull period in heavyweight history. Since Lennox Lewis stepped down the division has been in a state of turmoil and confusion. Sure the title was still split up when Lennox was around but most sane boxing fans knew who the real champ was.
Now the fans are left to wonder who the new "baddest man on the planet" is. A lot of people seem to favor Vitali Klitschko, the W.B.C. titleholder. Elusive Chris Byrd is the I.B.F. claimant. John Ruiz is again the W.B.A.'s top dog even though he was whipped handily by James Toney. When Toney did not pass his drug test the W.B.A. did what they had to do, re-instate Ruiz as champion. Golota drew with Byrd and lost a very controversial verdict to John Ruiz. Then Brewster bombs out the Golota in :58 seconds and guess what ? There's a new sheriff in town.
Former champion Hasim Rahman is meeting Monte Barrett for the right to challenge the recovering Vitali. Rumor has it that a Byrd-Ruiz unification could be in the works too.Let's say Vitali fights and beats the winner of Rahman-Barrett. I say Vitali should then entertain the thought of meeting Brewster to avenge his younger brother's loss to Lamon. Then let the winner of that bout face the winner of Byrd-Ruiz and then finally, we will have a rightful successor to Lennox Lewis and the linear championship. Lennox was the last linear champion. He beat Shannon Briggs who beat George Foreman who beat Michael Moorer who had defeated Evander Holyfield. No heavyweight today has a clear right to the title.
On the horizon you have a couple of legitimate prospects in Calvin Brock and Samuel Peter. You never know there still may be hope for Owen Beck and Dominick Guinn.
James Toney must still be considered a force in the division. Mike Tyson is coming around one more time. Wladimir Klitschko is attempting to rebuild his career and you've got a big strong kid named Liakhovich that's making some noise.
Fres Oquendo is still a viable contender and "Dangerous" David Tua is on the comeback trail. Jameel McCline is hanging on and needs to put together a couple of wins before he is again considered for a title shot.
Yes, Lamon sure stirred things up. He has injected new blood into a rather boring division. It will be interesting to see where his career goes from here.
DO NOT MISS THIS FIGHT
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