An Open Letter to Ricky Hatton

Ahead of tomorrow’s press conference I’d like to express an open, heartfelt thanks to Mr Ricky Hatton.

Ricky, I’m pretty sure that, at this press conference, you’re going to announce a comeback.  A decision, which, I’m sure will be scrutinised from pillar to post by all of boxing’s experts. Each will have their own opinion on whether it is the right decision for you and for the sport. So before the mayhem ensues (if indeed that is what happens) and behalf of the fans, I’d like to say a massive thank you for your contribution to British boxing and the sport of boxing in general, over the last 15 years. Like many, I knew from an early stage in your career that we were experiencing something very special. I still remember you stepping out in Madison Square Garden for your 2nd pro fight against Alvarez and thinking, ‘This kid has got some balls.”  Eight years later I had the absolute honour of being at the M.E.N in Manchester the night you won the IBF light welterweight title from Kostya Tszyu. It remains one of the greatest nights of my life. Ask your legions of fans the greatest night of their life and I’m sure thousands will tell you the same thing. You didn’t just win a world title though. You put the spark back into boxing. You made it exciting again, at a time when the likes of Benn and Eubank were fading. You had an irrepressible thirst for success and took on all comers. You made it to the top and then took on the worlds elite. In my eyes you are a true boxing legend. In my eyes, you have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone in the world of boxing. You’ve done it all, and more than most already. For the memories and also now for inspiring a fresh crop of exciting youngsters, I thank you most sincerely.

Do I think you should return to the ring? It doesn’t matter what I think. I’m a fan. OK, a fan who likes to think he knows a little about the sport, but that does not give me the right to judge another man’s decision. What I will say is this. Whatever the announcement tomorrow, I wish you all the success in the world. And if that happens to be a comeback, I’ll be rooting for you all the way.


Edge of Glory?

This weekend, boxer Kell Brook fights for the IBF interim Welterweight world title in Sheffield against heavy handed American Carson Jones.
The Special One takes on 25 year old from Oklahoma in what is widely agreed to be his biggest challenge yet. And Jones has been talking the talk too. At the press conference to announce the fight, heated exchanges between the two were just the beginning of an interesting run up to Saturday nights encounter.
Brook has won all of his previous 27 bouts, with 18 by way of knock out, including an impressive recent win over domestic rival Matthew Hatton. He has been Britain’s star in the making for some time, most are agreed now is his time to shine. Future bouts against Devon Alexander, Amir Khan and Paulie Malignaggi have all been talked about in the run up to this bout. Those are big names and all would without doubt be another step up in class for Brook.
But what of Jones? Well, he does have a decent KO record, having knocked out 24 opponents in his 34 wins. He has however been beaten 8 times in a career that started back in Apr 2005 including a TKO loss to former TV series ‘The Contender’ third place and recent Saul Alvarez victim, Alfonso Gomez. This kind of result might tell us little of the American’s chances given he has not lost in almost two years…but does he have what it takes to defeat Brook? His power is undeniable, but will he be slick and quick enough to prevent Brook landing his own power shots? What we also must remember is that Brook’s chin has been tested on a couple of occasions and so far stood the test. His foot movement is also outstanding but I’ve yet to touch on his most fascinating attribute.
Many have likened his technique to that of the former World champion Naseem Hamed. Hailing from the same city and under tutelage of Hamed’s trainer until his 7th fight, Brook has matured under Dave Coldwell since then. As has his technique, which blends the obvious natural talent with a lot of hours, grit, determination and hard work, resulting in the exciting boxer we see today.

Statistics may show one thing, whilst sports writers and boxing pundits have their own opinions too.
I certainly agree with everyone else who sees this as Brook’s biggest challenge yet.
But do I think that Jones stands a ‘realistic’ chance of beating him?
Nope, not really. I think Brook will be too fast, clever and stylish for the American. I see him wearing him down and stopping him in the middle (somewhere between 6&9) rounds.
I do think Brook will shine though. I think he will put on a great show for the Sheffield crowd and go on to fight one of the aforementioned big names.
And what then? Well, that’s when things get really exciting.
Tune into SkySports this Saturday to see for yourself.(unless of course you’re lucky enough to have a ticket:)
Twitter users be sure to get trending #brookcarson #boxing #satnightfightclub


21st Century Boxing

Here goes again. I hear the fight between Derek ‘Del Boy’ Chisora and David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye has now been sanctioned by the WBA and the WBO.
In a Statement released earlier today, Paco Valcarcel, president of the WBO, said, “We have to go ahead and approve the fight. The Luxembourg Boxing Federation is a member of the WBO and the problem is between the LBF and the British Boxing Board of Control, not the LBF and the WBO.”

The “Licensed To Thrill” card, is being staged by BoxNation in association with Hayemaker boxing.
Now, I may still have separate thoughts about the overall quality of live boxing being aired on the pay channel but they have delivered this fight. And clearly, judging by the number of tickets it has already sold, it is a fight the public wants to see.
The British boxing board of control will not sanction the fight and have stated they will terminate the license of anyone taking part.
Also, siding with the BBBoC are the WBC, stating they will remove licenses of those involved, including the suspension of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation, whose affiliation with WBA and WBO has sanctioned the fight.
Just for a second, consider this… The WBC are the same governing body that allowed Mike Tyson to fight for their version of the heavyweight title after he had bitten off Evander Holyfield’s ear.

I’m going to keep it quite simple really..
And it is a question to those again considering themselves the purists of this sport.
Do you really believe that it is the actions of boxers that are bringing the sport into such disrepute?

If you really do, then here’s a suggestion for you all…
The reality is that is the combined efforts of the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF, WBU, IBO et al that are actually killing boxing. You are like the boxing equivalents of religions, each one of you proclaiming to be the ones that will clean up the sport. What a complete nonsense.
So, 2012 will see the commencement of a new tournament.
Forget the Super 6!
I give you the regulating bodies barn burner…
A knock out tournament to the death, leaving only one remaining governing body.
Where does that leave us then?
Well, next up, Goldenboy, Hatton, Don King, Showtime, Frank Warren, Eddie Hearn, Frank Maloney and cohorts duke it out to become the head honcho.
The boxing boards of control of all nations swear allegiance to them, or are terminated themselves.
A new universal proclamation is made, The magna carta of boxing is created by A committee of elder boxing statesman, as voted for by the paying public, which boxers, promoters, boards of control and the the chief of the new world order all sign up to.
Chisora and Haye get it on, Haye wins, fights Vitali Klitschko, loses, retires properly this time, and boxing takes over world as millions switch allegiances back from the UFC.
It may be confusing for a while but the public will see the fights that they want to see and we’ll be rid of this alphabetic chaos.
As it all falls together, Mayweather fights Pacquiao and 21st century boxing is baptised and again crowned king, on the same night.

A New Era for Boxing?

Am I the only person who is seeing that a positive effect can still come of the weekends boxing events?
Of course, I am referring to the slap, the water spitting and the brawling which have all overshadowed a magnificent performance by a British boxer, challenging for a (and once most prestigious) version of the Heavyweight championship of the world.
The boxing experts, governing bodies, promoters and worlds press are all onboard the band wagon, criticising and expressing their disgust at the behaviour of men who fight for a living.
Does anyone else sense just a little irony here?

Continue reading “A New Era for Boxing?”

The Heavyweight India Experience – Part 1

Bathgate, Boxing, Bombay.
This visit took place between the 13th -26th Nov 10.
It was a follow up to last years India trip. Like last years trip, it was undertaken for work purposes but became so much more.
I only realised at the time of arranging this trip, it clashed with the biggest British boxing event for 20 years.
And I just happened to have tickets for it.

Continue reading “The Heavyweight India Experience – Part 1”