Saturday, 24 November 2012
After three and a half years out of the game there was only ever one question hanging over the head of former World Champion Ricky Hatton, could he replicate the performances of the old 'Hitman'? The short answer is no, but there were moments of this fight that had the British public thinking otherwise. Vyacheslav Senchenko was the man in the way of Hattons dream of a World title come back, and it is the Ukranian that may well have put an end to the career of 'cheeky chappy' Hatton.
The 20,000 strong crowd was just as pumped as the 'Hitman' himself, so pumped infact they probably didn't even realise that Senchenko was sporting a Manchester United Jersey until his name and record was mentioned. Hatton's reception was incredible and the emotion was written all over his face, it was his moment to soak up and as he entered the ring it became obvious that it was all quite overwhelming for him.
From the opening bell Hatton seemed to feed of the energy from the MEN faithful, landing some great shots with sharp movement around the ring. Senchenko seemed happy though to Box from distance and pick his shots when they became available. As both men progressed through the opening part of the fight Hatton was clearly on top, looking the busier fighter it all looked as if the comeback was going according to plan.
As Rounds 5 and 6 came round Hatton was looking like the 34 years was creeping up on him and became a lot slower and Senchenko was becoming more and more comfortable and was able to land some great shots. Hatton continued to hit Senchenko but never really followed it up with anything else, that killer instinct that Hatton had become known for wasn't there, as both men traded punches it was Senchenkos that were the more meaningful.
Hatton became more frustrated as he seeked the KO punch, and his legs looked static by the back end of the fight. Rounds 7 and 8 were even more of a success for Senchenko, but it was round 9 that told the whole story. Hatton knew he had to come out the corner and impress the judges, like the rest of us he probably knew he was just ahead on points, but to be sure of the win he had to land some clear punches.
The punches never came and it was Senchenko that landed what may be the dagger in the heart of Hatton's career, a body shot that a young 'Hitman' would have been proud of, and as Hatton dropped to the canvas, so did the noise levels and atmosphere in the MEN arena. 10 was counted and Hatton's night was drawn to a close, but when Hattons head dropped his fans heads lifted and with a standing ovation.
He said he is gutted and so am i, never wanting to see any fighter in that position but that's the harsh reality of the sport, Senchenko may have landed himself a rematch against Paulie Malignaggi for the WBA crown and one that he deserves, a great performance of him and nothing should be taken away from the way he finished off Hatton.
As for the 'Hitman' he will have to go away and have a long hard look at himself and give an honest evaluation of his position in the sport right now. What he does know is, if he decides to get back in the ring then his fans will stick with him, and if he calls it a day his fans will stick with him, or if he opts for another comeback in 3 years time........yep you've got it, they will stick with him.
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
We can unanimously agree that the heavyweight division is not the strongest right now, but the new wave of heavyweights bring a lot of promise to the stage, none more so that America's rising star Seth Mitchell.
But this weekend the exciting star was undone by fellow American Jonathan Banks, the man who only two weeks ago trained Wladimir Klitschko for his own fight, this coming after the passing of legendary trainer Manny Steward.
This also seemed to be all the motivation Banks needed going into this fight, only taking two rounds to finish of Mitchell and landing himself in a position where he could meet Klitschko for a title shot.
Mitchell said after the fight not to feel sorry for him, but to feel sorry for his next opponent, I'm sure Mitchell will not want to be apart of another performance like this one.
Banks will now sit down and look at his position in the division and decide what to do, one thing is for sure, if he can produce the devastating punches he did this weekend it will be an exciting fight to witness.
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
OK so who had Yusaf Mack causing Carl Froch any trouble what so ever....anyone...no me neither. In fact the odds were so highly stacked against Mack as Froch is currently in the form of his life and this weekend looked better than ever.
From the opening bell Froch took charge and looked more than comfortable, Mack was never able to find any rhythm as Froch was sharp and accurate with every punch. Going into the fight Froch knew what was in store for him but i don't think no one quite realised how easy this was going to be.
After three rounds it was over and Froch retained his Championship crown, and now finds himself looking at another top draw fight early next year. Lucian Bute was the man who was next in line for Froch as a rematch was written into the initial contract earlier this year, but Bute's camp look to have pulled back slightly and may not be entering another encounter with Froch.
Theres only two other men out there that Froch wants and both have beaten him in previous fights, Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward remain the only two fighters that have gained wins over the 'Cobra'. Both have shown interest over the last couple of days, with Ward Tweeting that he wants to come over to the UK and fight, and Kessler saying he will accept Froch's challenge of a rematch.
Next year looks to be the biggest year yet for the man from Nottingham, if all goes to plan he may have a chance to avenge his defeats, and maybe even add another world title to his name.
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Legendary Boxing Champion Bernard Hopkins has confirmed he will be back in the ring March 9th to become Light Heavyweight Champion at the impressive age of 48. His opponent is likely to be WBO Champion Nathan Cleverly who picked up an 8th round stoppage this weekend.
It has been on the cards for a while now as Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren has been trying to get Hopkins in the ring with his man for the last few months. Hopkins said initially he had no intention on fighting the Welshman and that Warren was only mentioning his name to get his fighter some promotion. Since then Cleverly has travelled and opened his audience to America, which is where he is likely to face Hopkins if it happens.
Hopkins is looking to defy the odds again and become a 48 year old champion, many critics say that Hopkins is one step tofar for Cleverly, and i must admit i too think this could be a wrong move for Warren and Cleverly. Hopkins is a top draw fighter and although having reached the end of his career, still offers much in the way of a tough fight. No one knows the four corners of the ring better than the man from Philadelphia, probably the most awkward opponent that has ever stepped into a Boxing ring, Cleverly would have to produce the fight of his 25-0 career to retain his crown.
It was written on the wall but some question marks did hang over whether or not Wladimir Klitschko would be able to get through the unbeaten Polishman Mariusz Wach. After the recent passing of Manny Steward, and for the first time coming up against a fighter who was bigger than him, Klitschko was out to prove the to everyone there is a reason he is the number one heavyweight in world Boxing.
He went straight to work from the opening bell and worked the jab like only he can, keeping Wach at distance and moving around the ring with ease. The only time Wach looked that he was going to cause any damage was in round 5 when he rocked Klitschko with an over the top right hand that left him rocking on the ropes.
The more the fight went on the more it looked as if Klitschko was going to put an end to the fight and KO Wach. The KO punch never came but the final bell did, along with the announcement of Klitschko's UD win.
The question remains where does he go from here, the list of names that are available right now leaves nothing to get excited about, but the new batch of U.S and British fighters are climbing their way up the heavyweight ladder and will be knocking the Klitschko door very soon.
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
After recent Comments from former American amateur Boxing president Hal Adonis regarding homosexuality and child abuse, all U.S amateur Boxing has been suspended for three months.
He was reported telling the New Yorker magazine in May, "half of our girls have been molested; half of our girls are gay", and that physical abuse in childhood was a good grounding for a career in boxing.
He was quoted as saying: "When kids call me up, I say: 'Let me ask you an honest question: have your parents ever hit you?' If they say no, I say: 'I don't think you belong in boxing.'
"My father invented child abuse... I learned how to play chess when I was six years old. My father would have a strap and smack me across the face if I made the wrong move. So when I got on to the streets and got into boxing, I was so used to getting hit it was like, hey, this is nothing!"
He also went on to say, "before a fight I'd start smacking them real hard in the face. Because you feel, in boxing, the first couple punches. After that, the endorphins kick in and it's like someone gave you Novocain."
And pointing out a female boxer to the New Yorker's interviewer, he said: "Let me tell you a story about her: she was raped by a member of her family when she was a little girl! Half of our girls have been molested; half of our girls are gay."
After these incredibly strong and personal comments it leaves all American amateurs some as young as 12, without a ring to step into for the next 3 months.
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Tyson Fury finds himself again without an opponent in the space of a few weeks, his initial show down with Ruslan Chagaev was brought to an abrupt end when Chagaev looked elsewhere notibly Mike Perez of Cuba.
It then left a huge opportunity for someone to come in and take on the Irishman, step up Denis Boytsov. The 31-0 man was due to take on Fury in a WBC eliminator and would offer a huge stepping stone towards a world title shot. Unfortunately Boytsov has now pulled from the fight as well leaving unbeaten Fury with no where to turn.
With a 19-0 record and showing some great promise from his last few encounters, Fury looks all the makings of a legitimate challenge to the top Heavyweights, but now he will most probably have to take on a journeyman that will offer nothing more than another win on his record.
Ultimately the challenge has been sent to fellow British Heavyweight David Price but it will be a while before that happens as both men have contracts and commitments elsewhere for now.
Where next for Lucian Bute? well he seems to think a rematch with Carl Froch in his homeland of Canada. After this weekends performance against Denis Grachev it would seem that Bute has a lot of work to do before he is ready to try and claim back his championship crown. Looking very sluggish and of the mark at times, Bute managed to gain a unanimous decision over the Russian, but at times looked like the fight was slipping away from him.
Carl Froch who faces Yusif Mack this month will be looking to make quick work of the American so he can go into the new year ready for another big encounter, the initial plan would have been the rematch that was promised to Bute in March but Froch may want to look at the situation again and decide if taking on Bute again is going to propel him back into the spotlight. As the rematch has been written into their initial contracts prior to their encounter earlier this year Bute can call upon this and he can most probably negotiate a deal to hold the fight in Toronto, but i think even Bute knows that he is a million miles away from being able to stand toe to toe with the 'Cobra'
No further development in the Haye v Vitali saga, it would seem that Vitali has carried himself through to the next round of voting by finishing 3rd in the initial round 1 of voting in Kiev. Due to the recent performance in polls and the hunger Vitali has shown to prove his worth as a politician, all talks of the fight have now hit a stand still and we will probably have to now wait until next year before they pick up again.
Haye on the other hand has taken a different approach to get himself back into the public eye, recent reports confirming that the former world champion has signed up to enter the jungle in the hit reality TV series im a celebrity get me out of here. He has also just finished recording of a new fitness DVD that he has been working on. Haye who prides himself on image has yet again managed to put himself in the spotlight without actually stepping foot into a Boxing ring.
Hopefully next year we will see this encounter, it seems that its all Vitali has left regarding big pay days, and as for Haye, he confirms he will not step into the ring for anyone but Vitali.