Tag Archives: tyson

Tyson Fury Returns to Defeat Seferi


By: Oliver McManus

Tyson Fury’s much-awaited return saw The Gypsy King back doing his thing, Sefer Seferi’s soul was soundly shellacked as he made his first foray into fighting in the United Kingdom – probably his last, too – the raucous atmosphere of near 20,000 fans exploded into life and Frank Warren stood proudly in the ring like an old school teacher witnessing his pupil achieve the greatest of successes.

Having lost 8st 2lbs since getting back in the gym, Fury was still unbelievably 4st heavier than Seferi but, by gosh, was he by far the physically imposing figure and within 12 seconds he had already set about taunting his Albanian opponent.

Seferi looked reminiscent of Brian Sutherland – remember him? – but Tyson Fury did little to impress in the opening round just looking far too relaxed, almost mocking his opponent and appearing to treat this as an exhibition contest.

Farcical, almost, there were flashbacks to David Haye vs Audley Harrison except 10x worse but Fury began to actually throw punches in the second round with fast, fleeting hands finding the target but having very little impact.

Phil Edwards, the referee, had to have words worth Fury and there began to be a genuine thought that Fury could be disqualified but before any noticeable action happened within the ring, a fight erupted outside of it.

The state of this fight is perhaps best summed up by the fact my 53 year old father, who I was watching with, fell asleep before the end of the third round and, god, it was becoming a real snooze-fest.
Fury looked bored and for all the hype surrounding his comeback this was, make no mistake about it, a borderline disgraceful performance. Aside from the fact his opponent offered nothing in return, Fury knew he could do anything and still win every single round.

Four rounds in and he produced some serious stuff, showing the class that made him world champion with good shot selection and but in even more farcical scenes, Sefer Seferi stayed on his stool at the end of the fourth round having come to Britain, pocketed 30 grand and done nothing!

The less said about this fight the better but Tyson Fury got the win to kick-start his career yet again.

Terry Flanagan was moving up in weight class having made six defences of his WBO Lightweight title and faced Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker for the same organization’s super-lightweight belt; Hooker was first into the ring and remained convinced throughout that he would be the man to take Flanagan’s unbeaten record and planned to “punch Flanagan straight in the f***ing mouth”.
Hooker was one a half inch taller than Flanagan and came into the bout with a nine inch reach advantage over the, technically outstanding, southpaw.

Flanagan, in the bright blue shorts, was looking to become the 10th British multi-weight champion and the first to do so in the light and super-light divisions. Fast and nippy on his feet, Flanagan bounced in and out with ease to keep Hooker’s brain ticking over and whilst Hooker looked aesthetically the bigger man – no surprise given his larger stature – the opening round was awkwardly cautious with the American underdog failing to settle into a rhythm and Flanagan utilising his footwork as opposed to his hands.

Hooker failed to connect with anything meaningful but threw some overhand rights to signify his intent whilst Flanagan stayed busy, kept the higher work-rate, to establish his tag as the favourite.

A scamperous, enthusiastic Flanagan looked incredible in terms of movement as he bounced around the ring to stay out of range from Hooker resulting in technical opening third to the fight with neither boxer willing to commit 100% to their game-plan but both staying in contention with tough-to-call rounds.

Fourth round saw fire aplenty with both men starting to gain confidence and throwing shots more regularly, Hooker often followed through with secondary punches to double-up on Terry Flanagan before some nasty head-action followed by dirty punches from Hooker left Flanagan feeling uncomfortable.

Into the fifth round and Hooker enacted that game-plan of his, landing square to the face of Flanagan with the Manchester man getting visibly angered, leading with his head – there was danger of this fight all going to waste for Terry with him showing little interest in the bout.

Perhaps this would be an all too familiar tale of an unknown American coming over to Britain and catching us, maybe arrogant, Brits unaware – Caleb Truax, anyone? A huge cut from Flanagan opened up in the seventh after Flanagan fired sensational shots into Hooker, battering up his opponent like a jumbo sausage with the pressure being piled on from a fighter aware that time was not his friend.

Hooker acting like an amateur-dramatics teacher began to fall victim to the open irritation of Flanagan who tried to step up the pressure on a fatiguing Hooker with the pride of Manchester showing guts of his own to inspire the crowd, landing at will on the American as the fight began to hot-up, Flanagan finding rhythm.
Replays showed that a concussive crack of heads between the two fighters resulted in the gaping clash of heads and with Frank Hopkins in Flanagan’s corner there could be no better man to ensure Flanagan had every fighting chance possible to come out with his second weight world title.

ON THE ROPES was Hooker towards the final third of the eight with Flanagan teeing off on his American opponent with the cut ever worsening but the heart of an absolute lion the only thing carrying Terry into war-like territory.

Claret flowing into the eyes of Turbo surely put paid to criticism, beforehand, that Flanagan was a boring fighter because this was shaping up into a real fire-fight – intentional or not, that’s a different question.

The British fighter came into the fight with far more experience and expectation was that the championship rounds would see him home and Hooker’s corner seemed to be increasingly nervy as the final three rounds got underway but, without doubt, the scorecards were far closer than either corner could imagine.

Flanagan started the 10th with yet another burst of energy, springing into the face of Hooker and firing off with some delightful left hands but Hooker retained in close contact with the former Champion and it was anyone’s guess who was leading on the scorecards with two rounds to go.

Truth be told this was disappointing from Flanagan, vastly disappointing, and it’s hard to say he deserved the win but, then again, the same could be said for Hooker – it was just a fight that failed to really showcase either of their skills; Hooker was more flashy but you’d make an argument that Flanagan was the more gritty, technical boxer.

Flanagan raided into the 12th round, a man on a mission, and came blasting into the round sending fire and fury cascading into the face of Hooker – this was the crescendo hoped for and with Flanagan fighting to the tempo of the crowd it looked as though he was getting the better of an awkward, lanky American who was fighting to elevate his career into unknown potential.

Terry coped well with the pressure, Hooker dealt with the occasion well and the cleaner work was carried off by the British fighter, the more experienced professional whereas Hooker fought dirty but hard – it’s hard to take a warming to his style and many of the fans didn’t.

The bell sounded and there was a warm, nervous applause from the crowd at the Manchester Arena, no-one really knowing which way the fight was going to go.

A split decision, 115-113, 111-117, 117-111, in favour of Maurice Hooker seemed to tell a different tale to the fight that unfolded at the Manchester Arena. It’s unjust but it’s not a rematch you want to see.

Ricky Hatton’s heavyweight protégé Nathan Gorman was the opening bout of the television broadcast up against Sean ‘Big Sexy’ Turner who promised to wipe the grin off the rapidly rising 21 year old, Frank Warren fighter.

The fight opened tentatively with Gorman throwing repeated double jabs and when the Sean worked his way up close – into phonebox territory – Gorman launched flurry after flurry of ferocious uppercuts with menace packed behind them.

Turned – who went the distance with Filip Hrgovic earlier this year – was undoubtedly the most durable of opponents to have stepped in the ring with Gorman but appeared to be lazy in his head movement, becoming an almost static target for the relaxed fighter to pick off at will.

A right hand uppercut in the 2nd round dropped Turned in his own corner, a heavy shot that emphasised the gulf in quality between the two combatants but Turner rose on the bell and lived to face the third round.

Gorman started that third round, of a scheduled ten, with a sustained barrage lasting about 30 seconds in attempt to blast Turner out of the ring and whilst Big Sexy stayed mobile, Gorman hit back after a fifteen second breather with two successive uppercuts to rock the Irishman followed be a flurry on the ropes to stop Sean Turner on the ropes and move the talented heavyweight talent to 13 victories without defeat.

A statement made, no doubt.

On the undercard JJ Metcalf fought Aitor Nieto – who’d never been stopped – for the WBC International Super Welterweight title and took to the centre of the ring right from the off, establishing his superiority from the off to keep a sustained pressure despite the attempted high temp from his Spanish appointment.
A controlled performance from Metcalf, who always looked like the better technical fighter, looked to be going the distance but in the 12th round, Kid Shamrock unleashed a thunderous blind-side left hook to drop Nieto to the floor and with the Spaniard’s legs betraying him, ever-stiffening, Metcalf went in for the kill with Nieto looking to cling on.
With 90 seconds to go the fight was halted momentarily to let Metcalf re-bind his gloves, allowing Nieto precious time to recover but, if anything, Metcalf emerged the more invigorated of the two, stalking his opponent patiently throughout the ring before a HUGE punch sent his opponent scampering across the full diameter of the ring – Victor Loughlin came in with the merciful stop but, boy, did Metcalf show some stamina.
Mark Heffron was sin the shape and fight of his life against Andrew Robinson for the vacant WBC International Middleweight Championship. Heffron was the favourite but Robinson had never been stopped and both had their eyes on this as the fight in which to take a substantial step up.
Neither fighter shied away in the opening rounds with both standing in the middle of the ring – a little tentative in the timing of their punches but both showing conviction and intent a plenty. Heffron was hammering in shots to the body in order to fatigue the body of Robinson, at one point landing a substantially low blow, and the better work rate was enough to win the first three rounds over his more experienced counterpart.

An enjoyable fight to watch, the sixth round ignited with a continued body attack to the iron-will of Robinson but, consequently, in the barrage of punches there was a variety of low punches that saw energy sap from Robinson and Ian John Lewis giving a final warning.

A great shot in the immediate restart rattled the brain of Robinson as he began to duck and weave, bent over near the ropes, Heffron swinging wildly, connecting with some and missing with others but they all counted to the downfall of Andrew Robinson who fell victim to a sixth round knockout from the Oldham favourite who, yet again for this card, MADE A STATEMENT!

Also on the bill – Lyndon Arthur out-pointed, experienced and tough, Charles Adamu by 60-54, Jordan Thompson secured a 4th round stoppage as did Alex Dickinson to move 5 and 0 with the win against David Howe, Jack Massey got a 2nd round victory and Zac Burton successfully completed his debut with a 40-36 victory.

More Headlines

Tyson Fury Return & Flanagan vs. Hooker Preview


By: Ste Rowen

This Saturday night marks the return of the lineal heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury after almost 3 years outside of the ring since his 2015 victory over then heavyweight king, Wladimir Klitschko. Taking on Sefer Seferi 23-1 (21KOs) over a scheduled 10 rounds.

From being stripped of the IBF belt within weeks of clinching 4 titles (IBF, WBA, WBO & Ring) that came with beating the 11-years undefeated Ukrainian; then vacating the WBA & WBO citing health issues; to eventually losing the Ring Magazine belt due to inactivity earlier this year; it’s been a rollercoaster of events since that night at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf.

But the ride looks to be back on a steady rise again, and the lineal champion is ready to prove he’s better than ever.

‘I feel like I’ve been a goldfish in a tank and now I’m getting released back into the river where I belong,’ Fury told a packed-out press conference on Wednesday, ‘So just put me there and watch me swim.’
‘I’ve been out 1000 days, it’s a long time for anybody isn’t it? Not to mention the amount of weight I put on, 8 stone…I’m looking good, I’m flying…I’ve got better looking by the day.’

Fury, 25-0 (18KOs) admitted to rising to 27.5 stone. Compare that to the weight he expects to enter the ring this weekend, ‘Anywhere around 19’7.’

‘I feel sharper now, faster than I’ve ever been. More power. I just want it more.’

On his opponent, whose most notable fight came in a 10-round decision loss to Manuel Charr in 2016,
‘I’ve met his manager before, he was the manager of Christian Hammer, and I pumped his ass too. Listen Sefer’s a good fighter, I’m not underestimating Sefer. I look at him like I look at Wladimir, Joshua, Wilder, anybody.’

Seferi, according to Boxrec rankings, is Albania’s 2nd best cruiserweight (below brother, Nuri) and Europe’s 44th, having primarily fought most of his pro career at, or below 200lb. But, it was unrealistic to expect a top 10 level opponent as Tyson himself claimed a number of months ago.
Saturday’s fight is all about one man shaking off the rust and announcing his ring return.

Terry Flanagan vs Maurice Hooker

Fury may be the biggest name fighter on Saturday’s Manchester Arena bill, but he’s certainly not involved in the biggest bout. That honour goes to former WBO world lightweight champion, Terry Flanagan who takes on Texas native, Maurice Hooker, 22-0-3 (16KOs) for the vacant WBO super-lightweight championship.

‘Turbo’ Flanagan, 33-0 (13KOs) made five decent, but somewhat underwhelming defences of the lightweight strap he attained back in 2015, including convincing victories over Diego Magdaleno, Derry Matthews and Petr Petrov. But the Manchester native, who fights for a world title for the 4th time in his home city, was never able to secure the big unification bouts that were rumoured to be in development against the likes of IBF champion, Robert Easter Jr, or former WBA and Ring 135 champion, Jorge Linares.

In any case, speaking to ‘Fight Hub TV’, the southpaw is now ready to become a 2-weight world champion,
‘I wanted Linares, I wanted Lomachenko, I wanted them all, but they just didn’t happen…For some reason these fighters don’t. Maybe they see me as little reward and big risk.

‘I’ve prepared for elite fighters, I’ve not prepared for a Maurice Hooker, I’ve prepared for better,’
Terry fought just once last year, a 12-round defence against Petr Petrov and was due to fight his mandatory, Felix Verdejo around June time but pulled out because of a leg injury, before then deciding to make the move up in weight to 140.

‘Might Mo’ Hooker, trained by Vince Parra is yet to go the 12-round distance, going 2-0-1 in his last 3 fights over 10, including a split decision draw with former WBA lightweight champion, Darleys Perez on the KovalevWard1 undercard.

Hooker has so far made his career at super-lightweight and speaking to ‘British Boxers’, the American feels the difference in weight is going to be a big disadvantage for his British opponent,
‘The extra 5lb, my height, my power, my skills, everything; Terry’s not an exciting fighter and I’m ready for Saturday and I’m gonna take it to him.’

‘He’s soft. He was a champion at 135, how you gonna be a champion and not fight nobody?…He got a good matchmaker, they’re finding him these little guys to fight at 135.’

If Flanagan emerges the victor on the night, he’ll match fellow Mancunian, Ricky Hatton in becoming a two-weight world champion, and ‘Turbo’, though trying not to overlook his upcoming opponent, sees his future rising up at least another weight class,

‘I’m plenty big enough, I’m tall enough…I’m happy at the minute where I am but if them opportunities come up again at the weight above, I’ll jump at the chance.’

More Headlines

Tyson Fury’s Next Opponent: Sefer Seferi


By: Oliver McManus

Tyson Fury returns to the ring on June 9th after a substantial two and half year absence enforced by a variety of compounding issues resulting in the withdrawal of his license and despite such lengthy ring-rust the Lineal champion is looking in the shape of his life having lost eight stone since returning to the gym.

The former IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the world will be up against, 23-1, Sefer Seferi who calls himself The Real Deal – indeed the Albanian, born in Macedonia, will be looking to cause an upset of untold magnitude when he looks to dance with the devil in Manchester.

On the face of it that record looks like the opponent you want for a comeback fight – far more appetizing than the likes of a 17 wins, 19 losses, Jakov Gospic who, for many, was the expected level of opposition – with his 21 knockout victories appearing to be show immense one-punch power.

Look deeper at Seferi’s opponents and you’ll find that a mere five of them came into the bout with winning records and his last opponent – Laszlo Hubert – was a seventy-four fight veteran, 23 of those being losses (22 via knockout) and edging ever closer to his 43rd birthday.

The real deal got the job done in the 2nd round against the Hungarian who showed no real desire to fight and Seferi’s opponent prior to that was Marcelo Ferreira dos Santos for the World Boxing Federation Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title which brings us neatly onto the second issue with Sefer.
Very simply put – he’s a cruiserweight! Not a cruiserweight who’s floated up into heavyweight and had success – akin to David Haye but on a smaller level – but an out and out cruiserweight who’s only ever had one notable fight in the heavier division.

To be fair it’s hard to say that the Albanian has even made a splash in the pond of the cruiserweight scene so the credentials for picking him are slim-to-none and when he did step up to fight Manuel Charr – now WBA Regular Champion – in September 2016, he lost via a 10 round unanimous decision.

If you can take BoxRec’s rankings too seriously you’ll see that the 39 year old isn’t even ranked as the best cruiserweight in Albania – that honour goes to his older brother Nuri.

Nonetheless it’s the padded record we’re familiar with a variety of boxers such as William Bezerra (a 41-0, 40 KO cruiserweight who’d never advanced past South American level) and is a paper-opponent you’d expect to see in with Tyson after such a lengthy absence.

Indeed I’d raise the point that you can expect Seferi to go further than the 40 seconds that Phil Lo Greco endured in with Amir Khan at the back end of April and Khan received far less stick for his choice of opponent than Fury has done and, no doubt will continue to do so, after his performance on June 9th.
Whilst Sefer Seferi does little to raise hopes of an immediate return to world level for Tyson Fury, when you look at where Fury was 12 months ago it makes the prospect of him getting back where he belongs even more realistic because he’s back fighting and, let’s be honest, few of us truly believed we’d see him back – at whatever level – and whilst this journey will take longer than many would hope for, let’s just enjoy it whilst it lasts because you never truly appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.

More Headlines

Fury Responds to Klitschko, Shows Respect for Joshua and Wilder


By: Ciaran O’Mahony

Former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury has shrugged off Wladimir Klitschko’s claims that he will lose to Anthony Joshua and disappear from boxing “like a fart in the wind”.

Speaking to Michelle Joy Phelps of Behind the Gloves, Fury was unmoved by his former adversary’s words, stating “well that’s typical Wladimir Klitschko, he would never be able to give me the credit that I deserve.”

It’s no secret that Klitschko isn’t a fan of the “Gypsy King”, who constantly tormented him in the build-up to their world title fight nearly three years ago.

Fury rubbed further salt into the wound by comprehensively out-boxing him in Cologne and says “even on the night in Germany he couldn’t make the effort to say he lost to a better man and he did.”

“He didn’t just lose, he got played with. Like I’ve said time and time again, if that’s the so-called super-champion, he got beaten by a fat man so how dare he talk to me like that,” Fury says.

Klitschko says Joshua will beat Fury because he has more desire and discipline than the Manchester native.

However, Fury feels that the Ukrainian is only backing “AJ” because he has a better relationship with him and says the former lineal heavyweight champion is still bitter about losing to him all those years ago.

“I’m sure him and Joshua are chum buddies and they support each other, but in hindsight we know who gave Wladimir the hardest fight,” he says.

“Joshua won by the skin of his teeth and had to climb off the canvas, Wladimir couldn’t land a punch on me in 12 rounds,” according to Fury.

Prior to his hiatus from the sport, Fury had a reputation for trash-talking his opponents and getting under their skin.

However, he has had plenty of nice things to say about Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder recently.
“I think they’re very fine specimens of men, they’re very good looking, they’re very athletic and they’re very good boxers,” he says.

“They’ve come from nothing and I’m so proud that they’ve changed their stars, their family, everything. I’m sure they’re getting everything they’ve ever dreamed of,” Fury says.

He bears no ill-will towards either fighter and hopes that they will be set for life by the time their careers are over.

“People are talking about $50 million, I think they deserve $250 million. Any fighter that gets in there and gets punched in the face for a living deserves a lot more than they ever get,” he says.

“It’s the hardest sport in the world, not just physically and mentally, but also being away from your family, being locked away in training camps,” according to Fury.

“The public don’t understand how much pain, torture and sacrifice is needed to get to that level of success,” Fury says.

Fury believes that Wilder will prevail when they finally face each other in the ring, however, as he holds a speed advantage.

“Wilder’s very quick and very accurate and he’s very dangerous,” he says.

“Anthony is dangerous too, but I just think the speed factor favours Wilder and the fighter who gets there quicker and first will be Wilder for me,” according to Fury.

He has had a tense relationship with Joshua in the past, but Fury insists he is not biased.

“I don’t like either of them more than the other. I know Joshua, I know Wilder, and I’ve met them both face to face. I like them equally,” he says.

“It is a heavyweight bout and anything can happen while they’re in there, but if I was putting 20 quid on it, I’d put it on Wilder to win,”

If the fight materializes, Fury will certainly be watching with interest as he is likely to face one or both men in the future.

More Headlines

Tyson Fury Announces Return


By: Ciaran O’Mahony

Tyson Fury is officially back, but he won’t be fighting Joshua or Wilder just yet.

Former Heavyweight World Champion Tyson Fury has finally agreed terms with promoter Frank Warren and is set to return to the ring on the 9th of June against an as yet unnamed opponent.

Speaking at the official announcement in Manchester, Fury promised that he will recapture the belts he won against the great Wladimir Klitschko over two years ago.

“I’m back to reclaim what is rightfully mine and that’s the world,” says the outspoken former champion.

“There are a lot of people out there who are claiming to be the world’s best, and I know for a fact they’re not,” he says.
However, Frank Warren says he will not be rushing Fury into a world title fight anytime soon as he will need three or four fights to get “fighting fit” first.

“He’s going to be busy and he needs to get some rounds under his belt first,” he says.

Fury agreed, saying “by the time I return I’ll have been out for about 2 years and 7 months, so that’s going to be one of the longest comebacks in heavyweight history for a world champion”.

“It’s going to be an interesting journey if I’m honest and there are a lot of challenges out there that I’m looking forward to,” Fury says.

Fury, 29, is undefeated and rather than losing his belts in the ring, was forced to vacate them after suffering serious mental health problems.

In his absence, Anthony Joshua has claimed three out of the four heavyweight belts, while Deontay Wilder holds the WBC title.

Fury says that once he has a few fights under his belt, neither fighter will pose a major threat to him.

“Given the right time and the right amount of fights, all of those guys, I don’t believe that they’re going to be much of a match for me,” he says.

“My speed, agility and skill will be too much for what we have today, sluggers and wild punchers,” says Fury.

He says of Joshua “he’s looking for one punch all night, anyone who can move a little bit and who faints, he struggles against and he can’t land on.”

“I’ll outbox him for a few rounds and then knock him out, he’s not the hardest man in the world to hit,” he boldly states.

Fury says he bears no ill-will towards Joshua, however, despite the fact that “AJ” has taken his belts and become a huge star in the process.

“I’d just like to congratulate the fellow, he’s done very well. I gave up my belts voluntarily because I had bigger fish to fry and that was my own health and now I’m back and it’s up to me to get it all back,” says Fury.

“It hasn’t been frustrating, it’s been exciting. I’ve had many good Saturday nights watching the fellow. He’s an exciting fighter and I can’t wait to get in there and prove I’m still the best,” he says.

He feels that Wilder is the best fighter in the division at the moment because “he’s dangerous until the last two seconds of the fight”.

“As we’ve seen against Ortiz, he was losing the fight all the way through and he only needs to land one punch and unlike AJ, he has the agility and speed to throw from anywhere,” Fury says.

Fury sees plenty of weaknesses in Wilder’s game though, saying that “he’s a bit weak around the whiskers and he’s not the best boxer in the world so they’re all very beatable”.

Many have questioned whether Fury will ever be the same fighter after his mental health issues and enormous weight gain.

Having spent the last few months training hard and shedding the pounds, he says “let’s just say I’m a lot, lot, lot lighter than I’ve been in the past”.

He insists that he is now in peak physical condition and that his “timing, reflexes, everything, are better than they have ever been.”

“Achilles is back. I’m 29 years old and coming into the prime of my life. I’m stronger now and faster and looking at the competition out there, it should be relatively easy,” he says.

We’ll find out if he’s right in just two months.

More Headlines

Is The Gypsy King About to Reclaim his Crown?


By: John Hoolan

The supposed return of Tyson Fury to boxing has taken well over two years, his return to a boxing ring may well take longer or it might not even happen at all. However Fury is nothing if not the king of getting the media, via social media into a frenzy and everyone seems to have an opinion on him and what he should do next.

He has stated on many occasions lately via his social media outlets that he wants Anthony Joshua next. Not next month or next phase of the moon, but the very next fight. His comeback fight in fact. A great many think this to be a good idea, after all Fury beat the man (Klitschko) in his own back yard after ten years of dominance, and won the IBF, WBA, IBO, WBO, Ring Magazine and Lineal Titles, through a masterclass (I’ll come back to that), only to see him stripped of it all bar the supposed most important title of all.

Tyson Fury is still the Lineal Champion of the World and this is the thread/hope his supporters and himself cling too. The fact that he won it over two years ago, hasn’t come close to fighting since, has had some personal issues, served a ban and ballooned in weight to twenty five stone, seem to mean nothing at all and are totally irrelevant.

Is it right that a man can be lineal champion, not fight for over two years, announce his retirement at least three times in that time span and still be the lineal champ? I suggest not, quite a few others vehemently disagree with me. Fury is the king and will be forever comes the main chorus from that choir.

The world has turned a few times in the last twenty six or so months, perhaps it has stood still for some and gone backwards for others…

In fairness to Joshua he has remained fairly quiet on the subject of fighting Fury anytime soon until earlier today in the Daily Mail, when he said of the proposed fight –

“That’s more of a fantasy at the moment. It’s just that he’s not fit and he hasn’t had a fight. The ball is in his court. We’ve stayed consistent, we’ve defended the titles, we’ve won and we’ve captured more titles. If Fury was still fit, we would probably be talking about Fury for March.”

Of course this is already being called a duck by the Fury camp and his supporters, with Fury replying on social media –
“Just seen Anthony Joshua trying to play my challenge down saying I’ve not had a fight & not fit! I’m ready for this summer, don’t shit yourself now it’s been put on you!? When your the lineal champion in your division your number 1 even without alphabet titles. The truth. So whatever people want to say it will be AJ challenging me for my status!!! THE LINEAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION. & RING MAGAZINE HOLDER.”

The fact Joshua is almost certain to sign for the Parker unification shortly after weeks of negotiations will again mean nothing. David Higgins from Duco is flying over to the UK this week, so the deal is as good as done. Team Fury followers will be whipped up into a frenzy and Joshua will again be seen as a coward and the lesser champion.

Some would argue that Joshua already has the better legacy over Fury however, perhaps that’s a discussion for another time.

The highlight (and it was some highlight) of Fury’s career was clearly beating Klitschko to take all those titles however, it was not the masterclass, schooling or beating that many would like us to think. Fury actually landed a punch on Klitschko less than 90 times in the whole of the 12 rounds, or 36 minutes.

Let that sink in for a second.

Less than ninety times in the whole of the twelve rounds, that is just over seven punches a round, seven punches in three minutes.

So with that in mind lets get away from the nonsense thoughts of a masterclass and even “Ali-esque” as quoted by some. It was spoiling tactics against an ageing champion. To be fair those were tactics that won the fight and titles however and whilst there were many euphoric roars from the British media/public at the time, as people have looked back at it since then, especially since the Joshua vs Klitschko fight was given fight of the year, those roars have become more like whimpers.

Tyson is no longer trained by his uncle Peter and is now instead trained by the very capable Ben Davison. The split from Peter shocked a lot of the boxing world, certainly within the UK however, perhaps it could be the best for Tyson. A completely fresh start as it were.

All that seems to be missing from Tyson’s armoury now is a promoter capable of matching his potential ability and his persona with some big money fights. I can only think that Hearn or perhaps Warren in the Uk are the only two big enough for the Fury ego. Warren has already tried to tame him before, but wasn’t able too. Hearn may relish the challenge whilst the old friend of the family (Mick Hennessey) is not going to be able to promote Tyson Fury on YouTube.

Perhaps a potential link up with Hearn led to the split with Peter Fury.

Kubret Pulev has been out of the limelight since having to pull out of the Joshua fight through a shoulder injury. There is a strong possibility he could the first defence for Manuel Charr for his WBA “regular” title.

Tyson Fury could do worse than fighting David Price as a comeback fight and then fighting the winner of Pulev vs Charr. He needs to get rid of the rust and there will be plenty. Win those two fights and it’s an easy way for him to get a ranking and also a sure fire way to build a future huge money legitimate fight against Joshua or even Wilder.

Whatever the future holds for Tyson Fury, I hope he has now beaten his personal issues and can focus on the rest of his career.

Love him or loathe him, the world heavyweight scene is a hell of a lot more interesting with Fury involved.

The Boxing Mad Man.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TheBoxingMadMan

More Columns

Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua: A Fight of Compatibility


By: Waqas Ali

Without any doubt, this fight would be dubbed as one of the biggest domestic fights in British boxing history.

The comparison in styles, skills and techniques are completely in inarguable.

Both Joshua and Fury have immense talent that would make any boxing fan to use it as a tool of arguing ones point and as evidence.

But the question at this moment remains is: Is there any closure to getting the fight made?

Not quite or even the slightest.

Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) has called out Joshua numerous times on Twitter including a recent stating: “Fantastic first week in camp. The weight is pulling off. I’m more focused and determined than ever, if @anthonyfjoshua don’t have the balls to sign to fight me then I’ll be out in late April/Early May. Feel like I never left!

Joshua, who has been spending time in Dubai with his family has yet to respond to the tweet.

Joshua also known as ‘AJ’ last fought in October ’17 when he stopped Carlos Takam in ten rounds retaining his IBF title. Six months earlier, he fought in a competitive slugfest with 41-year-old former unified champion Wladamir Klitschko and stopped him in the eleventh round.

The fight was watched by more than ten million viewers in Germany and peaked at 658,000 viewers on America’s Showtime.

Fury’s last bout was back in November 2015 when he defeated Klitschko for the WBO, WBA, IBF, and the IBO heavyweight titles.

He also became the first fighter of Irish descent in 121 years to win the heavyweight title since Bob Fitzsimmons who won the belt in 1897.

Perhaps one of the main differences between AJ (20-0, 20 KOs) and Fury was the way they individually fought Klitschko.

Fury took control right from the very first round by using his height, reach and footwork to outwork Klitschko.

The famous Klitschko right hand did not come until ten rounds later when the Ukrainian finally landed the shot but did very little effect.

A complete clinical performance from Fury saw hit the Compubox numbers of throwing 371 punches and landing 86 with a connect percentage standing at 23%.

Klitschko, who constantly clinched and performed very little activity against Fury, threw 231 and landed just 52 (23%).

With Anthony Joshua, Klitschko gained some momentum in the fight. Especially in round five where he was knocked down by AJ and took control with the remaining one minute eleven seconds of the round and stunned the Watford born fighter.

Klitschko again took control in round six when he knocked down AJ with a 1-2 combination. The next remaining rounds were competitive with each fighter gaining momentum and exchanging hard hitting shots.

That all changed in round 11 when AJ stopped Klitschko after dropping to the canvas once again and forcing the referee to stop the bout.

CompuBox stats showed that Joshua landed 107 of his 355 punches thrown (30%), and Klitschko landed 94 of 256 (37%).

In terms of height and reach, Fury stands at six feet nine inches with an 85 inch reach. Whereas AJ stands at 6 feet 6 inches with an 82 inch reach.

By looking at the context of the bouts with Klitschko we can see a range of differences of how each fighter fought but the question of Fury’s inactivity of two years will be raised in many of the boxing fans’ mind.

More Columns

Tyson Fury May Be Right About Anthony Joshua


by B.A. Cass

On Friday, Tyson Fury took to social media to go after Anthony Joshua, claiming that the public should reconsider the potency of Joshua’s victory over Wladimir Klitschko.

Fury is certainly not the “Don of the heavyweights.” If the prefix “Don” can be applied to Fury at all, it is because, like Marlon Brando who played Don Corleone in the Godfather, he shares a habit of gaining too much weight between professional gigs. So let’s put aside Fury’s ridiculous claim and consider his more legitimate point about Anthony Joshua.

After going all out—and failing—to score a knockdown of Wladimir Klitschko in Round Five, Joshua was spent. The only thing that kept him standing for the remainder of that round is the fact that Klitschko was a bit tired too. Joshua planted himself and likely prayed for the sound of the bell. He made it, but in Round Six, Klitschko scored a knockdown.

The Joshua-Klitschko fight was exciting to watch. Both men had to push themselves beyond what it seemed their bodies were naturally capable of. Joshua went on to defeat Klitschko by TKO in the eleventh round. However, we should remember that Joshua is a fighter in his prime and Klitschko, coming off a recent loss to Fury, was clearly past his best days.

Whenever a young fighter faces an aging fighter, it is natural to ask what would have happened if both fighters could have faced off when each was in his prime. Would a twenty-eight-year-old Wladimir Klitschko have defeated a twenty-eight-year-old Anthony Joshua? We can never know, but it’s fun to speculate.

Klitschko had been beaten four times before he met Joshua in the ring, and it took Joshua—supposedly the next great heavyweight of the world—eleven rounds to finish him off. It’s unlikely the fight would have ended that same way had Klitschko been in his heyday.

In his next fight, Joshua faced Carlos Takam who, it should be noted, is also much older than Joshua—nine years older to be exact. Joshua defeated Takam by tenth round TKO, but his performance wasn’t spectacular.

There’s a reason Tiger Woods never competed against Jack Nicklaus. By the time Tiger Woods began to compete in the PGA Tour, Nicklaus was already competing in the Senior PGA Tour. If Woods and Nicklaus had competed, the younger man would have handily won.

In boxing, we have weight classes to even the playing field. Why not have a cut off for age as well? That will never happen, of course, but age does matter in sports. Muhammad Ali was done as a fighter several years before the age of thirty-eight when he was brutally dominated by his former sparring partner Larry Holmes, who was eight years Ali’s his junior.

We should never be surprised when a younger fighter beats an older one. It wasn’t a big upset that Joshua won his two most recent fights against older men long past their prime. The only thing that should have come as a surprise to us is how much Anthony Joshua struggled along the way.

Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch

More Columns

Mike Tyson Breaks Ground on 40-acre Marijuana Farm in California


By Bryanna Fissori

The “Baddest Man on the Planet” has announced that his next business venture will be in the cannabis industry. Former champion, Mike Tyson started off the New Year with a groundbreaking celebration on his 40-acre parcel of land in the small town of California City, California. “Tyson Ranch” is set to be a marijuana grower’s paradise.

January 1, 2018 marked the legalization of recreational marijuana in California. Now patrons 21 and older can purchase marijuana for recreational use and grow up to six plants per individual. Only 90 recreational business licenses have been allotted at this point, which is a small number given the state’s population. The industry is expected to generate $3.7 billion in its first year and $5.1 billion in 2019.

Tyson Ranch will be more than just a grow facility, though 20 acres are to be allotted for climate controlled cultivation. Tyson and partners Robert Hickman and Jay Strommen also plan on founding the “Tyson Cultivation School,” where people can take hands-on marijuana growing lessons from Tyson himself.

The former boxer is a long time proponent for medical marijuana, which has been legal in California for over 20 years. Tyson Ranch plans to conduct research to further define the benefits of cannabis for medical use. There is even a strain of marijuana named after Tyson.

After his career, Tyson admitted to using marijuana (an much harder drugs) during his matches. He tested positive after his October 2000 match against Andrew Golota, but has admitted to using the substance on multiple occasions. Many sports still have a zero-tolerance on marijuana, but some such as mixed martial arts are state specific with higher limits in states that have legalized cannabis.

“Tupac always wanted me to smoke weed with him, and I never did it, and I wish I did. That’s my biggest regret.” –Mike Tyson

Tyson Ranch is founded under the company name “Tyson Holistics,” which is said to be operated by a team of military veterans. Tyson has also trademarked the name “Iron Mike Genetics.”

That is not all that will be available on the company’s 40-acre marijuana amusement park-like mecca. Tyson Ranch will also feature a:

•Hydro-feed plant and supply store
•Extraction facility
•Edible factory
•Corporate retreat facilities
•Premium “glamping” campgrounds and cabins (camping with luxuries)
•Garden with a water feature
•Amphitheater

There is no word yet on an official opening, which may be a ways out considering that the ground has only now been broken.

Tyson is not the only celebrity looking to get in on the “green rush.” Snoop Dog, Wiz Khalifa, Whoopie Goldberg, Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong, Cliff Robinson, Richard Branson and Roseanne Barr are all on board with legalization of marijuana. Many have developed their own strains, contributed to research efforts or showed interest in opening their own dispensaries. With California entering the market, the possibilities will be open to a whole new market of celebrities, many of which may interested in a marijuana based business closer to home.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Joshua, Fury, Karperis, Santiago, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 26th to January 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Anthony Joshua Does Not Respect Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua recently spoke to the BBC and told them that he does not respect Tyson Fury, but that Fury is welcome to enter the ring with him.

Fury had a two year ban for steroids dating back to February of 2015, and in his last fight he defeated Wladimir Klitschko.

Joshua stated, “I don’t respect him. I don’t have much respect for many boxers in the heavyweight division. It’s not an acti with me. I’m being honest. I used to. I used to say very nice things.”

He continued, “If I speak well of Tyson Fury and say ‘what he’s achieved is so hard and I respect him’ it builds the credibility of the heavyweight championship belt up. But when Tyson Fury says ‘Anthony Joshua is a bum’ and ‘look at him, he’s struggling against this opponent’ it discredits everything I’ve achieved.”

Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/sport/boxing/42522589

The Return of Showtime: Anthony Karperis Returns to the Paramount January 26th for Rockin Fights

Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing will kick off the new year with a bang, as Long Island’s own Anthony “Showtime” Karperis returns to headline Rockin’ Fights 29 at The Paramount against tough Mexican brawler Erick Martinez in a 10-round jr. welterweight contest on January 26th.

Both Karperis and Martinez are looking to bounce back after tough losses. Karperis’ loss coming by the hands of highly rated prospect and former gold glove champion Louis Cruz, and Martinez’s loss coming courtesy of the up and coming Zachary “Zungry” Ochoa.

Earning hard fought, quality wins against Ariel Duran and Scott Burrell in two of his last three main events at The Paramount, Karperis returns for his fourth consecutive main event. With his strong Long Island following behind him, Karperis will use his crowd pleasing style, and infectious charisma in an attempt to earn his 15th victory.

Martinez will be no easy task for Karperis, as he has fought highly touted prospects in Zachary Ochoa, Juan Ruiz and Taras Shelestyuk. The crafty Mexican brawler will look to leave his mark on the soon to be sold out crowd at the Paramount, in search of a victory to steer his career in the right direction.

Promoter Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the main event, “We have put together a great card on January 26th to start the new year. Anthony Karperis always brings a unique and rowdy energy to the Paramount and his fans always show up, loud and proud. We have put him in against a tough Mexican brawler in Erick Martinez, who will be sure to test Karperis for the entirety of this fight. This is sure to be a great night of fights, so be sure you get your tickets now, as they will not be around for long.”

Daniel Baiz vs. Joey Dunmoodie for January 20th at the Scottish Rite Theatre

On January 20, 2018, the Scottish Rite Theatre in downtown San Antonio, TX, will host “FIGHT NITE AT THE SCOTTISH RITE”, a five-star boxing event presented by TMB & PRB Entertainment.

Headlining the main event will be an all-action showdown between hometown hero, Daniel “Da Beast” Baiz (10-1, 6 KOs), as he battles Joey Dunmoodie (9-2, 4 KOs), in a 6-round super-welterweight bout. The co-main event will feature a special female attraction when two local warriors square off against each other as Briana “Queen B” Gonzales (2-1) faces Brittany “Mi Vida Loca” Ordonez (2-1), in a 6-round bantamweight clash.

“Boxing is thriving here in San Antonio and we are expecting a sellout crowd,” said TMB & PRB Entertainment promoter Rick Morones. “The Scottish Rite is a beautiful venue and the fans are going to see some really good action-packed fights. We will be showcasing a lot of local talent. Every boxing fan that lives in San Antonio will be at this event so everyone please get your tickets in advance. Bring the family, everyone is welcome.”

“This will be a great event for boxing fans of all ages” said Greg Hannely, president of Prince Ranch Boxing, who manages Biaz and Pasillas. “Daniel Biaz has a crowd-pleasing style and brings a lot of excitement to the ring. Pasillas is returning after a long layoff and will look to stay undefeated. With all the other local fighters performing, this will be a fantastic show.”

Subriel Matias Matthew and Alfredo ‘Ojo’ Santiago Are Set to Return in February

WBA ranked #13, Alfredo ‘Ojo’ Santiago (8-0, 2 KO’s) and highly touted prospect, Subriel Matías Matthew (8-0, 8 KO’s), both from Fajardo, will be seeing action on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Fajardo Municipal Equestrian Park. Opponents will be announced soon by Fresh Productions.

With eight fights each, both fighters already have very impressive victories over prospects, world title contenders, and former Olympians.

Campaigning at the lightweight division, Santiago, a native of Moca, Dominican Republic, has three notable victories over: former Mexican Olympian, Arturo Santos Reyes by unanimous decision ( UD ), former world title contender, Jayson ‘La Maravilla’ Velez by majority decision, and the always seasoned, Andrés ‘Pajita’ Navarro by UD.

On his part, Matías Matthew, who is in the junior welterweight division, defeated in his fourth professional fight, rising prospect, Jeffrey Fontánez from Caguas by technical knockout in the second round.

In his last presentation, held in November at the Hotel Jaragua in the Dominican Republic, Matías Matthew, won also by technical knockout in the second round, over former Venezuelan Olympian, Patrick Lopez.

“As usual in Fresh Productions, the opponents of ‘Ojo’ and Subriel will be of great quality,” said promoter Juan Orengo, “We already have in our sights several Mexican fighters who are good and will be in great condition heading to February 17. We always look for more experienced opponents to face my fighters because that’s what a real development is all about. We do not sell dreams to the fans or to my boxers, they have to fight hard because they need to be ready for the big stage in the near future”.

More Headlines

Why Some of Boxing’s Most Famous Fighters Don’t Belong in the Hall of Fame


By: Patrick Mascoe

Being great and being famous are two very different things. However, one of the characteristics that often go along with greatness is fame. Sometimes being famous leads to the assumption that one is great, but they are not one and the same. For example, when a baseball player is inducted into Cooperstown there is certain unwritten criterion that the player is expected to achieve. In a sense, baseball has deemed that certain numbers quantify one as being great. It may be 3000 hits or 500 home runs. In hockey, 500 goals will get you into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In these sports, excitement, charisma, and entertainment value do not define greatness – statistics do.

Entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame is a lot more subjective. Statistics are still important, but charisma, courage, and bravery are also highly valued. As a result, not every boxer in the International Boxing Hall of Fame was great. Some were just very good. What allows them to be mentioned, in the same breath as the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis, are their intangibles.

Statistics can not measure a man’s will to win or his ability to take a punch. They don’t gage fan excitement or exhilaration. For example, Floyd Mayweather is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He exhibited greatness in the ring, was a multiple world champion, and remained undefeated throughout his career. Mayweather also possessed God-given talent that made it hard for the average fan to relate to.

When he clashed with Arturo Gatti, Mayweather made him look like an amateur fighter. Yet it was Gatti who could sell out venues and made every fight must-see-TV. The technically superior Mayweather was labelled “boring.” We as fans could relate to the Arturo Gatti’s of the world. We saw him labour and could appreciate his bravery and his tenacity. Floyd is boxing royalty while Gatti was boxing’s common man. Floyd Mayweather was great. Arturo Gatti was good, but made us feel great.

Arturo Gatti was not a great fighter. Nevertheless, in 2012 he was enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Gatti was not the only good fighter to enter the Hall. Other fighters also captured our attention. They shined so bright, we were mesmerized and captivated by their talents but failed to see their inefficiencies.

Here is my countdown of boxers who were very good, but not great, who rode a wave of excitement and adulation into the International Boxing Hall of Fame:

5. Matthew Saad Muhammad: In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Matthew Saad Muhammad was one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. He held the WBC World Light Heavyweight title from 1979 – 1981 and defended it eight times. He finished his career with a record of 49 wins, 16 losses and 3 draws. He was known as an all-action fighter, who was incredibly resilient. Just when it looked like he was on the verge of defeat, he would mount a magical comeback and win.

Muhammad was an excellent finisher and possessed considerable power. His one substantial weakness was his permeable defence. He fought every match as if he were working out on a heavy bag: all offense – no defence. His style made him fun to watch, but it also made him very easy to hit. Every fight, no matter how strong or weak the opposition, was a life and death struggle.

When we break down what Muhammad did in the ring, you have to wonder why he is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. First of all, he lost a quarter of his fights. Yes, eight of his losses came at the end of his career, but they are still losses. Almost twenty fights into his professional career; he was still being matched against fighters with losing records. Even after winning a world title and right up to his retirement, he fought boxers with losing records.

Muhammad did defend his title eight times. However, none of those title challengers stood out as being exceptional. In one of his most illustrious fights, in 1980, against Yaqui Lopez, he was hit with twenty unanswered punches. He was on the verge of having the fight stopped, only to come back and knock out Lopez in the 14th round. Ring Magazine declared it the “Fight of the Year.” Yaqui Lopez was a solid fighter but he was a fighter who, during his career, challenged for a world title five times and lost all five fights.

The only truly great fighter Muhammad ever faced was Dwight Muhammed Qawi. They fought twice. Qawi won the first match and took Muhammad’s Light Heavyweight Title by way of a ten round TKO. In the return match, Qawi won again, this time in six.

Muhammad defeated a number of good fighters, but he never beat a great fighter. Many of his victories were against weaker competition and when he did fight good fighters, he had his hands full. He also lost 16 times during his career. Did he have the heart of a champion? Was he entertaining? Was he incredibly courageous? Yes. Yes. Yes. Was he a great fighter? No.

4. Arturo Gatti: He was known as an absolutely fearless all-action fighter. Much like Matthew Saad Muhammad, Gatti had a supernatural ability to endure punishment while always pressing forward. He held the IBF Jr. Lightweight Title from 1995-1998 and the WBC Super Lightweight Title from 2004-2005. He retired with a record of 40 – 9.

Gatti was involved in the Ring’s “Fight of the Year” on four different occasions. He defeated Gabriel Ruelas, was defeated by Ivan Robinson, and had both a victory and a loss against Micky Ward. These fights were character defining, monumental battles for Gatti, but the men he faced were themselves not great boxers. They were like him, good solid professionals.

His will, power, and iron chin always made him a formidable opponent. However, he was easy to hit and was often out-boxed even in victory. In Gatti’s first defence of his IBF Junior Lightweight Title against Wilson Rodriguez, he was completely schooled and had been taking a hellacious beating before coming back to stop Rodriguez in a desperation finish. Against Angel Manfredy, another good fighter, but never a champion, Gatti was again completely out boxed and the fight was stopped in the eighth round.

When Gatti actually faced Hall of Fame level competition, he came up considerably short. He fought Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather. Neither fight was even close. Against Oscar, the fight was stopped in five rounds and against Floyd, the fight was stopped in six. These outcomes showed that although Arturo was a great fighter to watch, he simply did not posses the same calibre of skill as the elite fighters of the day.

Arturo Gatti may very well have been one of the most exciting fighters of his generation. He possessed a great chin, great power, and a great heart. Despite those valiant qualities, he was not one of the all-time greatest boxers in history.

3. Ray Mancini: If you judged Mancini only by his boxing style, you would swear that he and Arturo Gatti came from the same family. Like Gatti, Mancini was an in your face, aggressive pressure fighter. He had decent power and a granite chin. Whatever he lacked in skill, he made up for with unbelievable heart. Mancini held the WBA Lightweight Title from 1982-1984 and retired with a record of 29 – 5.

Mancini garnered national attention, not only for his entertaining fighting style, but because of a heart-rending background story. His father, veteran boxer Lenny “Boom Boom” Mancini, missed his opportunity to fight for a world title because of WWII. Ray, who idolized his father, took up boxing with the idea that he could finish what his father had started.

After compiling a 20-0 record, Mancini was given the opportunity to fight for a world title. Unfortunately, it was against Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello, arguably one of the greatest boxers of his era. Mancini fought bravely and took the fight to Arguello, but was eventually stopped in the 14th round. For the media and for boxing fans, this only made Mancini’s story more compelling. He won his next two fights and was again given a title shot, this time against Arturo Frias for the WBA Lightweight Title.

Mancini stopped Frias in the first round after almost being stopped himself. His fairy tale life story had now taken on the happy ending that all fans had wished for. Along with being a good fighter, Mancini always appeared to be a genuinely good guy. He went on to defend his title four times against the likes of Ernesto Espana, Duk-koo Kim, Orlando Romero, and Bobby Chacon and fought two non-title fights against George Feeney and Johnny Torres. Bobby Chacon was the only recognizable fighter Mancini faced as champion, and he was a natural featherweight who had moved up in weight for this fight. This would be Mancini’s last professional victory.

Eventually, Mancini lost his title, as well as a rematch to Livingston Bramble. He then lost bouts to Hector Camacho and Greg Haugen before retiring. Mancini was both exciting and entertaining. During his career he faced off against three Hall of Famers. He lost to two of them and defeated one. Mancini’s sentimental story was greater than his skills. I can’t help but think that without the story, he wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. Instead, he would be regarded as being very similar to the likes of Vinny Pazienza, an entertaining fighter who is on the outside of the Hall looking in.

2. Prince Naseem Hamed: He was known for his elaborate ring entrances, his unorthodox boxing style, and his one punch knock out power. Nassem reigned as the WBO Featherweight Champion from 1995 – 2000. He retired from boxing with an impeccable record of 36-1. Always a polarizing figure, some feel he was one of the greatest featherweights of all time, while others including his former promoter see him as one of boxing’s greatest underachievers.

Prince Naseem’s story is not about what he accomplished, but rather about what he never tried to accomplish. He defended his WBO Title a total of fifteen times. This was back in a time when the WBO was even more insignificant than it is now. His resume of title defences was a who’s who of no-name, average fighters; Said Lawal, Daniel Alicea, Remigio Molina, Tom Johnson, and Jose Badillo. Prince Naseem never fought the best fighters available at the time of his reign. The fighters he never faced tell us more about him than the fighters he defeated; Azumah Nelson, Jeff Fenech, Gabriel Ruelas, Arturo Gatti, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Diego Corrales, and Johnny Tapia.

Prince Naseem fought the vast majority of his fights in the UK, where fans obviously seemed unbothered by the lack of aggressive matchmaking. It was only when he came to the United States that the Prince was really tested. He knocked out a very good opponent in Kevin Kelly in the 4th round of their epic battle at Madison Square Gardens. Despite the victory, Kelly was able to expose Naseem’s defensive shortcomings as he put him on the canvas three times.

In 2001, Prince Naseem finally engaged in a high profile fight against a world-class opponent, Marco Antonio Barrera. Barrera had agreed to move up in weight in order to fight the larger Naseem. How did the Prince fare against a legitimate Hall of Fame fighter? He was given a complete boxing lesson. Not only did Barrera beat Prince Naseem physically, it looked like he beat the will to fight right out of him. When Barrera lost to Junior Jones, he demanded an immediate rematch. When he lost to Erik Morales he came back and fought him two more times. What did Prince Naseem do after losing to Barrera? He fought someone named Manuel Calvo, was booed by his hometown fans for his poor performance, and never boxed again.

Prince Naseem was far more flash than substance. Yes, he had a great record, but so did Butterbean. It’s not his many victories over subpar opponents that we should measure him by. It is his one loss and all the fighters he avoided that really define his legacy. Yes, he was famous, more for his ring entrances than anything else. That should get him on “Dancing with the Stars”, but not in the Boxing Hall of Fame.

1. Mike Tyson – From 1985 – 2005, Mike Tyson was the biggest name in boxing. Much like Prince Naseem, Tyson was a polarizing figure, both inside and outside of the ring. Once dubbed “the baddest man on the planet”, Tyson was the Heavyweight Champion from 1986-1990 and again in 1996. He was an intimidating force who possessed great power and fought like a ravenous predator. Tyson was well on his way to greatness. He became the youngest man ever to hold the heavyweight title and by February 10, 1990, he had a record of 37-0 with 33 knock outs.

Dramatically, the very next day, everything would change for Tyson and his cloak of invincibility would be shredded by Buster Douglas. Douglas was a tall rangy fighter with an excellent jab. He was a skilled fighter who often lacked motivation, yet against Tyson he refused to be intimidated. Despite being a 42-1 underdog, Douglas knocked Tyson out in the 10th round. It was at this point in his career that Tyson’s quest for greatness ended. No longer the intimidating figure he once was, his life began to fall apart.

He engaged in, and won two tough fights against Razor Ruddock. Then in July of 1991, he was arrested and convicted of rape. He spent the next three years incarcerated at the Plainfield Correctional Facility. Upon his release, he returned to the ring and defeated Frank Bruno to become the WBC Heavyweight Champion. The victory helped set up a much anticipated and long awaited fight against Evander Holyfield.

Going into the Holyfield fight, Tyson was considered a heavy favourite. Evander Holyfield was 34 years old and was thought to be washed up. Much like Buster Douglas, Holyfield was not apprehensive about facing Iron Mike and his celebrated reputation. By the end of the night, it was Holyfield’s reputation that had been boosted after stopping Tyson in the 11th round.

Their immediate rematch lasted only three rounds. Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear not once, but twice and was subsequently disqualified. This was the action of a man who chose quitting over fighting. As a result of his actions, Tyson had become a pariah. Numerous boxing commissions refused to grant him a license to box. In 2002, in Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tyson once again challenged for the heavyweight title. This time he faced off against Lennox Lewis. Lewis dominated the match, winning by knockout in the 8th.

Throughout his career, Tyson fought four Hall of Fame fighters. He defeated Michael Spinks, a great light heavyweight masquerading as a heavyweight and a well past his prime Larry Holmes, who came out of retirement for an appealing pay cheque. He was thoroughly beaten by Lennox Lewis and lost to Evander Holyfield twice – once by knockout and once by disqualification (which was nothing more than a way to quit rather than being knocked out again).

Why is Mike Tyson in the Hall of Fame? The most memorable thing he ever did in a ring was to bite a man’s ear off. Tyson had a great start to his career however, along the way he was exposed as nothing more than a bully and a quitter. Tyson did not just quit against Holyfield. He also quit in the last fight of his career against journey man boxer Kevin McBride. Tyson could have been great; in the end I don’t believe he was even one of the top three best heavyweight fighters of his era. Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, and Riddick Bowe were all superior to Tyson.

In conclusion, all five fighters mentioned on this list had one thing in common; they were aggressive warriors that endeared themselves to boxing fans. They were all great to watch, but they themselves were not necessarily great. Based on the intangible qualities of courage, bravery, and determination, I believe there is an argument to be made on behalf of Matthew Saad Muhammad, Arturo Gatti, and Ray Mancini, being in the Hall of Fame. However, there should be no room in the Boxing Hall of Fame for imposters like Prince Naseem Hamad and quitters like Mike Tyson, no matter how famous they were.

More Columns

Is The Heavweight Division Ready For More Fury?


By Johnny Walker

Is the boxing world ready for another member of the Fury clan holding a world championship belt around his waist?

The last time such an event occured was in 2015 when Tyson Fury–cousin of Hughie, who fights WBO heavyweight champion at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK, on Saturday–ended the long reign of Wladimir Klitschko over the division in a dreadful fight, one in which Wlad, distracted by domestic issues, appeared not to notice he was in until it was too late.

Tyson Fury simply used his length and awkwardness, plus the mental absence of Klitschko, to take the titles and–joyfully for some long-time haters of the brothers Klitschko in the boxing world–to become a most unlikely champion.

Clearly, Tyson Fury must have felt he got lucky that night, and bailed on a rematch with the former champ, instead boozing and snorting his way into oblivion. Excuses were made, promises broken, and Fury ended up retiring and unretiring from boxing depending what side of the bed he got up on.

The British Boxing Board of Control still has some questions regarding drug use (including PED usage), they intend to ask the fighter, but one assumes they won’t bother unless he actually tries to come back to the ring. Currently, Tyson Fury appears to be aging in dog years, and with his hair long gone and his gut ever-expanding, looks old enough to be Hughie Fury’s uncle instead of his cousin.

Personality-wise, Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) is the polar opposite of Tyson, a quiet sort who goes about his business with a minimum of fuss. At 6′ 6″ tall, he is like Tyson Fury long and rangy, but probably a better techinical boxer than his more famous cousin ever was. Fury goes to the body with authority, uses his jab well, exhibits good footwork and generally appears calm and composed in the ring.

Then again, the mastermind behind Hughie Fury is the same man who steered Tyson Fury to his -famous upset of Klitschko, Peter Fury–who also happens to be his father.

So the question is, can the Fury clan pull off another upset and take the belt away from New Zealander Joseph Parker tomorrow night?

Parker, also undefeated (23-0, 18 KOs) started off with a ton of hype, but in recent fights has begun to look a bit shopworn. A majority decison over Andy Ruiz Jr. and a unanimous decision over Razvan Cojanu have left some questioning whether Parker has been overestimated, or if he is becoming jaded fighting people who a true champion should be leaving on the canvas.

The truth is, the heavyweight division has been a bit of a mess since majestic reign of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko ended, and it’s time for someone to step up and show that he wants to be the man to replace the men from Ukraine.

Anthony Joshua has done that, but questions remain about his chin after he was rocked by Dillian Whyte and nearly knocked out by a 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko in his final fight.

Deontay Wilder’s win over a dehydrated Bermane Stiverne remains his best victory, and many still believe Wilder won’t last when he gets in the ring with someone in the upper echelons of the division, an issue that should be settled when he fights Cuban power puncher Luis Ortiz next.

Neither Parker, who while listed at 6′ 4″ tall looks smaller, or Hughie Fury–who at 6’6″ is more within the size range of other belt holders like Joshua and Deontay Wilder, not to mention the Klitschkos–have beaten a murderer’s row to get to this title fight, and one can truthfully state that the bout is a step up for both men.

Parker really needs to look good here, or he will be written off as a legitimate contender to unify the belts. A controversial points win simply will not do. Parker needs to stop Hughie Fury and he knows it.

As for Hughie Fury, he has the advantage of being prepared by a man who already helped to stun the boxing world once when he helped end Wladimir Klitchko’s reign, a result no one saw coming. A victory over Parker would not be near the shocker that Tyson Fury’s win over Wladimir was, but it would be an impressive upset nevertheless. No doubt he will use his length to try to give Parker fits when he tries to get inside.

If Peter Fury can do it again this Saturday with son Hughie, he truly may be a pugilistic wizard. And we’ll have a Fury as heavyweight champion without all the Twitter drama that Tyson Fury loves so much, and that cousin Hughie for the most part avoids like the plague.

More Columns

Some of the Pet Peeves Boxing Writers are Concerned About


By Ken Hissner

This writer has been writing for approximately 10 years. I sometimes say “the only thing more crooked than boxing is politics”. For example we see commissions that are not the most honest favoring certain people over others. By messing with managerial contracts favoring the managers and one sided hearings are a pair of examples what happens. One for instance in PA was holding a hearing for a boxer who was not allowed to have anyone but an attorney which he had. The manager came in with a non-attorney and was allowed an unlicensed backer to be allowed to listen in on an intercom. Obviously the boxer lost. The Boxing Director ruled in this case.

Pertaining to a referee I always remember Mills Lane when he did the rematch between Holyfield and Tyson. Lane knew Tyson had fouled Holyfield biting his ear and when over to the then Nevada commission head who more or less said “how would you stop a fight of this magnitude for this MINOR infraction?”

I believe that same commission head went to a much more violent sport like MMA after that. Mills returns and tells the fighters to continue and Tyson proceeds knowing he didn’t get penalized for what he did takes it one step or should I say 10 times further and bites off a piece of Holyfield’s ear knowing he is losing and will not be able to overcome Holyfield for victory. Mills had actually gone to the Tyson corner after the first infraction and they seemed to threaten him if he stopped the fight. Mills wasn’t a referee much longer after that fight.
Another example being Nevada who seem to have the most prestigious fights yet when referee Robert Byrd allowed Andre Ward to initiate 46 clinches against Sergey Kovalev and was never deducted “one point” just several warnings. That was in their first fight. All three judges had Ward ahead by a point so if just one point was deducted by Byrd for holding it would have been a draw and Kovalev would have retained his title. I had Kovalev ahead by 5 points based on 8-4 in rounds plus the knockdown. Go to www.youtube.com and see what I mean.

Byrd is without question the slowest referee to react of the Nevada referees. Was he being racist in his actions favoring the black fighter over the white fighter? Why Kovalev’s management or promoter allowed a black referee since Kovalev had the 3 titles and Ward none is beyond me. I suggested once to a manager who had the black fighter against a Spanish fighter to get a neutral person such as a white referee. The fight was great and close and the referee made no difference and their fighter won a decision.

It’s been my experience when I was a matchmaker for a short period of time a ring physician came over prior to the fight and told the referee who by the way now serves as a commissioner to stop the fight if the one fighter in particular “looks” like he is hurt. I told the ring physician “you can’t tell a referee that in advance”. The fight was stopped in the first round without that fighter being cut or knocked down. The promoter had to have a hearing based on too many stoppages on this promoter’s card. The top promoter who had just as many stoppages as this one was also suspended for 30 days.

The commissioner Jimmy Binns, Sr. held that meeting. I was told by the promoter Bob Connelly not to attend. I attended and sat at the table directly across from Binns. When I spoke up and informed Binns that the referee at the table Rudy Battles (now PA Boxing Commissioner) was told by Dr. Davidson to stop the fight if the boxer even looks hurt Binns said “what do you know about boxing?” I replied “maybe you would know something about boxing if you were to come to the weigh-in.” I had my matchmaker’s license revoked for that remark.

When Binns was replaced by Harold McCall he came to me during a boxing event and said “come into my office for I want to reinstate your matchmaker’s license”. I never did go in and never did matchmaking again. It is the hardest position of fights for the match-up may look good on paper but you never know how the fight is going to be.

Pennsylvania had a good secretary on the commission in Frank Walker. He worked behind the desk not running the shows. Now during Binns time he and Walker’s assistant were sent to work out of Harrisburg some 100 miles away instead of Philadelphia where the commission office was. Both Walker and his assistant suffered health problems and were replaced by Binns. Binns put Greg Sirb in charge as Boxing Secretary and he changed his title to Boxing Director. He runs all the events unless two are on the same night while the three commissioner’s sit there never correcting anything he does. When I let it be known in my report the entire press were told by a promoter you’ll never to sit at ringside again the promoter should have the right to where the press sits and not the Boxing Director.

This writer has found infractions on commission members and brought it to the attention of the state without any action being taken or even considered. It’s not what you know but who you know in this business too many times. I will continue to write what I see and not what the promoter or commissioner wants to see.

This writer has been banned from press row by two promoters because they “don‘t like what I write”. Guess what? That hasn’t stopped me from writing up their shows as I see them!” When Philadelphia had back to back shows with 14 bouts and 13 ended it knockouts in a bunch of mismatches this writer questioned it causing one of the promoters say “you should write what you see” while the other pulled my press credentials.

Recently in VA a rarity happened when Lamont White, 0-7, scored a knockout win over Roger Belch 8-0 at Norfolk on May 13th. Why the commission approved of the fight in the first place is strange but the way it turned out was even stranger.
Just thought I would “air out” some of the things writers can be faced with when they are “honest to a fault!”

More Columns

The Rise & Fall of Tyson Fury


By: Thomas Nicholls

Tyson Fury has once again announced his retirement, but only this time I feel it is for good.

Tyson, is quick to remind the world and rightly so about his status as the “lineal” heavyweight champion, the holder of the Ring Magazine belt which is by far the most desired and prestigious amongst the world’s fighters. Since his crowning night against WladimirKlitschko in November 2015, before his impressive rendition of Aerosmith, he spoke of how he’d love to be half the champion that Klitschko was – it becomes more apparent with each passing saga, unfortunately that will never be the case.

Tyson Pic 2

Before that night in Dusseldorf, where let’s not forget, Boxing’s “experts” never gave Fury a prayer, he was establishing himself as somewhat of a pantomime villain, an enigma and an uncompromising controversial rising star that hailed himself “The Gypsy King”. Fury enjoyed his role as the outlaw, he took great pride in swimming against the tide, in a world where sportsmen and women are under such media scrutiny, they very rarely speak their mind – instead they just say the things that people want to hear. Tyson is different.

At 6ft9, Fury is a giant and a giant with an equally enormous sense of vulnerability about him, a vulnerability which in previous times has captured the hearts of the nation i.e Paul Gascoigne & Ricky Hatton, but despite all of his successes, he never got the praise, respect & recognition he felt he deserved. A British Heavyweight that conquered the unconquerable, a new world champion from the British shores was jeered at the Sports Personality Of The Year Awards. People campaigned for him not to be allowed through the doors. Britain’s most successful sport’s star from the year 2015 and without a shadow of a doubt the biggest personality, was being ousted by the media & frowned upon by the public.
Laughably, Andy Murray was handed the trophy. Time to rethink the name of the competition perhaps?

Fury has been fighting from day one, a premature birth resulted in him being born weighing just 1lb, as he battled on to stay alive, his father John saw a fighting spirit that earned his son the name Tyson. Born into a family with a deep history of bare knuckle fighting, Tyson’s path in life was to emulate those before him and make a stir in the heavyweight scene. In a recent interview with Gareth A Davies, Tyson highlighted how he’d always wanted to become the most controversial sports star on the planet. Whilst, he’s certainly made a good attempt of it, it seems his career is coming to a close.

Two schoolings against the then highly regarded Dereck Chisora, a knock out win over the accomplished Steve Cunningham and a convincing win against Christian Hammer had propelled Fury into the mandatory position for a shot at Klitschko, but he was certainly made to wait. Team Fury had always said they had the formula to stop Klitschko and to do a number on him in his own back yard where many men had failed, most notably David Haye – who incidentally postponed two scheduled bouts against Fury which has since left an extremely bitter taste in the mouth.

Recently, it’s seemed the rebirth of Tyson Fury was in effect, a number of social media posts of him in the gym, a training camp in Marbella with old pal Billy Joe Saunders and a detail of his hunger to derail the Anthony Joshua “hype train”. Yet, in a surprising twist yesterday, Peter Fury & promoter Mick Hennessy were present in the HayeMaker gym, laying down the foundations for a possible fight next year should Hughie beat Parker in September. Peter, Tyson’s coach & uncle, has often stressed his dislike to the Haye camp following the two postponements which left Tyson in a world of lost time. Tyson clearly had no idea about this surprise rendezvous and after seeing the pictures online, he took to twitter to announce his retirement.

Tyson PIC 3

In reference to the picture of Peter & Mick Hennessy, Fury took to Instagram –

“Can’t believe you’re in that pr***s gym & even considering doing business with that piece of ****. I’m totally disappointed in you both #JUMPINGINBEDWITHTHEENEMY “

He followed that post with an upload signaling his retirement, “Been very blessed in my life & career to achieve the utmost in Boxing, was an epic journey along the way. Thanks to all the fans that supported & believed in me along the way, Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. THE END.”

Fury, is still in the middle of a UKAD investigation into doping dating back to 2015, he has claimed he has been taking cocaine since being out of the ring, he has a battle to get back to fitness should he ever wish to lace up the gloves again, but now most hurtful of all, he feels betrayed by coach & uncle Peter.

Previously, I’d been confident that he would return to the ring, there was a glint in his eye as he bid to silence all his critics and reclaim what he believes is his – the status as World’s number one. Now, however, It seems he may have fought his last fight in the ring, but certainly not out of the ring, by his own admission Tyson has been plagued by depression, he’d previously stated “I’m seeing psychiatrists. Everything. They say I’ve got a version of bipolar. I’m a manic depressive.”

“I’ve not been in a gym for months. I’ve not been training. I’ve been going through depression. I just don’t want to live anymore, if you know what I’m saying.”

“I’ve had total enough of it. They’ve forced me to the breaking edge. Never mind cocaine. I just didn’t care. I don’t want to live anymore. So cocaine is a little minor thing compared to not wanting to live anymore.”

“I am seeking help, but they can’t do nothing for me. What I’ve got is incurable. I don’t want to live. All the money in the world, fame and glory, means nothing if you’re not happy. And I ain’t happy. I’m very far from it.”.

For all the controversy, all the foul-mouthed rants, all the social media slurs, Boxing needs Tyson Fury and Tyson Fury needs Boxing.

Tyson climbed his Everest when he beat Klitschko in 2015, he had hit his peak at just 27 and now it seems we may have the seen the last of him as a sporting entity and if we don’t see him in the ring again, let’s just hope he wins his most important fight of all.

More Columns

Tyson Fury Appears To Retire From Boxing – At Least For The Moment


Tyson Fury Appears To Retire From Boxing – At Least For The Moment
By: Sean Crose

“Been very blessed in my life & career achieve the upmost in boxing, was a epic journey along the way. Thanks to all the fans that supported & believed in me along the way, Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. THE END.”

Vladimir-Klitschko-v-Tyson-Fury

The above words came from the Instagram page of one Tyson Fury, former heavyweight king. Fury, who stunned longstanding heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany back in late 2015 to sit atop boxing’s Mount Olympus, never defended his hard earned championship once. Indeed, the man ended up being overwhelmed by a cocktail of depression, drug use and perhaps alcoholism. Since giving up on a rematch with Klitschko over a full year ago, the 25-0 Englishman has been all over the place with his statements and actions.

Perhaps that’s why Wednesday’s abrupt announcement (if that’s really what it was) should be taken with a grain of salt. The truth is no one, perhaps not even Fury himself, is sure what he may say or do next. Fury, to be sure, is a controversial figure, yet he’s also a fascinating one. Even more tellingly, the man is a vastly underrated craftsman in the ring. Incredibly tall and oftentimes quite heavy, the awkward Fury knows how to fight and fight well. Should this announcement prove to be the genuine article, fans may end up wondering what could have been with the colorful boxer known as the Gypsy King.

The heavyweight division is now in the most exciting place it’s been since at least the time Lennox Lewis decided to hang up his gloves over a decade ago. With Anthony Joshua ruling supreme and Klitschko most likely lined up for a rematch of the war the two men had in London last spring, there’s lots to talk about. For instance, American powerhouse Deontay Wilder is a big part of the contemporary heavyweight picture, as are Luis Ortiz and Joseph Parker. Joshua may be the next heavyweight great, but it’s going to be a while before all the dust settles.

For it to finally settle without the bombastic Fury would be a loss for boxing – and for the current revved up heavyweight era. Perhaps with time, Fury will decide he’s ready to return (he’s still a young man at 28) or perhaps he’ll decide the life of a famous boxer isn’t good for him or for his family in the long run. Either way, the man will always be known for casting quite a shadow on the world’s most famous weight division. Just how long that shadow will end up being remains to be seen.

More Columns