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Boxing (277)

Anthony Joshua wins Boxer of the Year award

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Published in Boxing
Monday, 02 October 2017 09:13

Anthony Joshua has been named the Boxer of the Year at the British Boxing Board of Control's awards dinner in London.

The IBF and WBA heavyweight champion was recognised for his achievements for the 12 months from August 2016, in which he successfully defended his IBF title against Eric Molina before winning that of the WBA against Wladimir Klitschko.
Tony Bellew, George Groves, Terry Flanagan, Lee Selby and Kal Yafai were also in contention.

The Trainer of the Year was Rob McCracken, who oversaw 27-year-old Joshua's victories, and who was also awarded the Dennie Mancini Trophy.

Joshua-Klitschko, in which both fighters suffered knockdowns before Joshua eventually stopped the Ukrainian in the 11th round at Wembley Stadium, was named Contest of the Year.

The award for Overseas Boxer of the Year went to America's Errol Spence, who in May defeated Kell Brook in 11 rounds to win the IBF welterweight title.

Andre Ward, widely regarded as one of the finest pound-for-pound fighters in the world, has announced his immediate retirement from boxing due to a lack of desire caused by an ailing body.

Ward was the last American man to win an Olympic gold medal when he topped the podium at Athens 2004 and he went on to capture world titles at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight.
He had been rumoured to be contemplating a move to heavyweight but instead stunned the boxing world by ending a glittering professional career unbeaten with 32 wins in as many contests, 16 inside the distance.

In a statement on his official website, the 33-year-old said: "I want to be clear - I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigours of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there.
"If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting."

Gennady Golovkin and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez fought to a draw in the hotly-anticipated world middleweight title showdown in Las Vegas.

Golovkin was bidding to defend his WBC, WBA and IBF belts against Alvarez in the bout at the T-Mobile Arena.

But the match was controversially deemed too close to call, with the judges declaring a split draw at the end of 12 rounds despite Golovkin appearing to be the dominant force throughout the match.

The scores declared by the judges were: 118-110 (Alvarez), 115-113 (Golovkin) and 114-114.

Golovkin wants a rematch after being denied a 38th straight win of his unbeaten career.

"Look at my belts. I'm still champion. I pressured every round. Of course I want a rematch. I want a true fight," he said. "I won seven or eight rounds, easily!"

Boxing icons Manny Pacquiao and Lennox Lewis agreed with his assessment, both tweeting their disgust at the decision with Lewis insinuating that it a was home decision in favour of Mexico's Alvarez that he should have lost with stats showing he was outpunched by the hard-hitting Kazakh.
The controversial scorecard of judge Adalaide Byrd, who favoured Alvarez 118-110, sparked outrage on social media.

Dozens of Twitter users declared the victory belonged to Golovkin and expressed their fury at the result.

Bryd gave Golovkin just two rounds of the fight - the fourth and seventh - with the other 10 going to Alvarez.
Speaking after the bout, 26-year-old Alvarez declared he wanted a rematch.

He said, through a translator: "Yes, of course, obviously yes, if the people want it, yes.

"He didn't win it was a draw. I always said I was going to be a step ahead of him. In the first rounds I came out to see what he had, then I was building from there. I think I won eight rounds."
Golovkin, 35, also said he wanted a rematch, but the draw means he will hold on to his belts.

It marks Golovkin's 19th title defence, which puts him just one shy of the all-time division record held by Bernard Hopkins.

The Kazakhstan native holds three of the four major middleweight title belts.

GGG: Canelo fight huge for legacy

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Published in Boxing
Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:28

Gennady Golovkin believes his "historical fight" with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez will be huge for both his legacy and the middleweight division as a whole.

'GGG' will take on the 27-year-old Mexican at the T-Mobile Arena as he marks his Las Vegas debut on September 16 with the IBF, WBC and WBO world titles at stake.

The hard-hitting Kazakh, unbeaten in 37 fights, says that the unification showdown will bring the division back to the dizzy heights of times gone by.

Gennady Golovkin

The middleweight division will come back. 'Canelo' is a very special guy and for both of us it's huge. Especially for me, this is huge.

"I want to start and I want to win this fight because maybe for me this win will be like a history fight, like [Sugar Ray] Leonard against [Marvin] Hagler.

"The middleweight division will come back. 'Canelo' is a very special guy and for both us it's huge. Especially for me, this is huge.

"The story - in the middleweight division, it's a long story. I don't know, I remember a lot of great champions, like Carlos Monzon, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins.

"Right now I think new stories, new times for us. So many stories are huge in the middleweight division. To be a champion is huge."


GGG: Canelo a 'real Mexican' fight

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Published in Boxing
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 18:29

Gennady Golovkin says "everyone will remember" his middleweight unification fight with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, one he calls a "real Mexican fight".

'GGG' will take on the 27-year-old Mexican at the T-Mobile Arena as he marks his Las Vegas debut on September 16 with the IBF, WBC and WBO world titles at stake.

The Kazakhstan knockout artist, unbeaten in 37 fights, considers the fight to be the biggest of his career to date and one that is a gift for boxing fans.

Talking at a media workout in Los Angeles, 'GGG' said: "This is a fight boxing can be proud of. It is boxing's biggest fight. It is a fight for history. It is a real Mexican fight.

"Everyone will remember this fight. 'Canelo' is the number one in Mexico, a country known for great fighters. He is very special."

"Canelo' has looked good and looked strong in his last few fights. That is why we have worked so hard in training camp. We have worked on new things.

"This is my biggest fight. I worked hard to become of champion of the world. I worked hard with Abel to stay champion of the world."

"This is our Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend gift to boxing and to boxing fans. The fans have been asking for this fight for years. We are going to give a great battle.

"I am very excited to be finally fighting in Las Vegas, but I am more excited that it is against Canelo. The energy will be off the charts. Let me repeat - this is a fight boxing can be proud of."

Alvarez, whose sole career defeat came against Floyd Mayweather in 2013, is also of the belief that this is his toughest test of his already illustrious career.

"I know what I have in front of me. I know he's a strong fighter. He is the most dangerous opponent of my career, but I'm ready for him and what's next to come," Alvarez said.

"That's why we prepared, and to give the fans a beautiful fight. This fight's for you; this fight's for all the fans who have been asking for it.

"We know that in fights, it takes two to tango. I'm ready, and you know what you'll get from me. Let's just hope he brings it as well.

"I'm excited and happy that the fight is almost here. I've been focused like always with my training this camp. I'm going to do and use whatever I need to be one step ahead of Gennady in the ring.

"Without a doubt, our fight on September 16 will be one of the great fights in the history of boxing. Golovkin will bring out the best in me."

'Mexican' Mayweather returns!

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Published in Boxing
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 18:27

Nobody came to see a Floyd Mayweather decision win. But a nasty throwback to the days of ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ were a welcome reminder of the special talent that he has always been…

"I turned him into a Mexican!" Conor McGregor, through swollen cheeks and a black eye, was still cheeky enough to mock Mayweather's cautious style just moments after defeat. But the sight of an aggressive, blood-thirsty Mayweather in his record-breaking last hurrah is how his career deserved to conclude.

The 40-year-old marched forwards with a high guard, hunting his prey ruthlessly and eventually pounding out a larger, durable if inexperienced foe against the ropes. McGregor wished that the referee had let him go out on his shield. He's perhaps lucky that the referee didn't let a sharp-punching Mayweather have a few more digs.

The sight of Mayweather popping shots to the head and body is how his career should be remembered. Those who gave McGregor a notable chance of beating him on Saturday afternoon must not be allowed to dismiss Mayweather's 50th win as an exhibition against a novice, in the way that many of his achievements have been dampened with history.

He isn't liked because he's a "boring" fighter with an inhumane obsession with luxury, yet his first world championship win was a knockout of Genaro Hernandez, whose funeral was later financed by Mayweather when he discovered that the family couldn't afford it.

These knockout days didn't last because Mayweather, then competing 14lbs beneath the limit of his latest fight, intentionally chased greater rewards against larger opponents. His third world title in a third weight class was a vicious dismantling of Arturo Gatti, arguably Mayweather's pomp, when his punching was a mind-boggling variety of speed and accuracy. It was a fight, a performance and a Mayweather that perhaps belongs to a previous generation.

He overcame Zab Judah, a respected puncher, to go 36-0 and win his first championship at 147lbs on a night that inaugurated his decision-based evolution. It is testament to his trademark IQ inside the ring that he was able to continually grow through the divisions while finding different ways to defeat different body shapes.

Mayweather was still 'Pretty Boy' when he stepped up again to face the far larger Oscar De La Hoya, but the riches on offer fastened his transition to 'Money' - an intentionally obnoxious villain whose genius was to coax the three biggest US pay-per-view sales out of fans who criticised his methodology. Yet still they flooded his bank account, desperate for him to lose.

Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez failed to squash the far smaller man across the ring from them. The boos rang around because he constantly referenced his finances, much like McGregor has done in the past two years. Yet little regard was given for Mayweather's starting point in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a struggling city with an estimated 22 per cent illiteracy in 2013. That's why there was a serious side to McGregor's pre-fight jibe that "you can't even read". Mayweather is a staggering success story both inside and outside the ring.

The only black mark against his name was a lack of willingness to thrill his paying customers, seen by many as the gravest sin in the game. His 48th and 49th wins against Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto were criticised for a lack of risk-taking.

So to see Mayweather chugging forwards and forcing McGregor, the UFC titan who said that he was the American's biggest-punching foe, to stumble backwards was a welcome sight for boxing's future. He was expected to win but to bludgeon and ultimately humble McGregor was a bonus.

Critics suggested Mayweather vs McGregor wasn't truly boxing. Those same people will rest easy knowing that boxing triumphed emphatically.

His 50th win was never going to be his greatest but the manner of his performance was how Mayweather deserved to end his unparalleled tenure in the sport.

A ruthless Floyd Mayweather scored a 10th round technical knockout over mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor on Saturday, cementing his legacy as one of boxing's all-time greats.

McGregor, making his professional boxing debut, had boasted he would knock out the 40-year-old American early but his lack of ring savvy betrayed him as Mayweather improved to 50-0 to surpass heavyweight great Rocky Marciano's 49-0 record for most wins without a loss or draw.

"He (McGregor) is a tough competitor and I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see. I owed them for the Pacquiao fight," Mayweather said post-fight.

" He's a lot better than I thought he was. He was a tough competitor but I was the better man tonight.""
"Our game plan was to take our time, let him shoot his heavy shots early and take him down at the end.

"We know that in the MMA he fights 25 minutes real hard. After 25 minutes (tonight) he started to slow down.

Whether the megafight will be the richest of all-time, as promoters predicted, is still to be determined but Mayweather left no doubt of his place in the pantheon of boxing greats in what he said was his last fight.

By the fourth round Mayweather went on the attack and started landing blow after blow against a suddenly desperate McGregor who was bravely hanging on while clutching and grabbing the American.

In the 10th, Mayweather moved in for kill pinning a visibly fatigued McGregor against the ropes and landing a flurry of punches when the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

Changing shapes and sizes

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Published in Boxing
Friday, 25 August 2017 14:39

The scales can often tell us much more than just a number. Friday night’s weigh-in isn't just a chance to flex muscles for Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

Each man must believe that 154lbs, the weight division in which they shall meet, benefits them more. Yet their shapes and sizes have been tweaked throughout the years meaning either Mayweather, 11 years senior, or McGregor will bring a physical advantage to the table.

Mayweather has danced around bigger men throughout his career, dazzling the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in his last two fights at 154lbs in the manner that many believe he will do against McGregor. The Irishman, physically, should be a similar build to De La Hoya or Canelo compared to the naturally smaller Mayweather.

It is key to also remember that Mayweather, in neither the 'Canelo' nor the De La Hoya weigh-in, was anywhere near the limit. His heaviest ever weight was 150.5lbs, against 'Canelo', three-and-a-half pounds lighter than necessary. It will be intriguing to see if he comes in heavier than ever on Friday night, and what that might mean about his fitness and preparation.

Even against Marcos Maidana, Mayweather embraced being the smaller man. Those two fights were contested at welterweight (147lbs), as have Mayweather's most recent two bouts, yet Maidana dwarfed him by dramatically rehydrating in the 24 hours after weighing in. Mayweather's finest nights have come by willingly being the smaller participant.

By contrast McGregor's most crushing performances have come when he has been able to make full use of his size. The Irishman won the UFC's featherweight (145lbs) title when he fought through horrific weight cuts so he could eventually benefit from a natural size advantage. Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo, in particular, couldn't contend with the reach differential that he enjoyed.

The sight of the skeletal McGregor on the scales meeting his 145lbs limit would be alarming to newfound boxing aficionados who are accustomed to his newer, more muscular physique.

McGregor's second UFC title came at lightweight (155lbs), just one pound above the weight at which he will meet Mayweather. But even here he towered above then-champions Rafael dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez when facing off. He is expected to cut weight to make Friday night's 154lbs limit, whereas Mayweather is unlikely to need to.

So although Mayweather and McGregor should both hit the 154lbs target on Friday night, before their final face-off of the pre-fight build-up, the manner in which each fighter approaches the number is significant. Mayweather excels being smaller, McGregor likes to be bigger. Size matters, but which way?

'Dangerous' Wilder warns Hearn

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Published in Boxing
Monday, 14 August 2017 19:51

Deontay Wilder has warned promoter Eddie Hearn about his "dangerous" power after the WBC heavyweight champion was offered a fight against Dillian Whyte.

The American urged Hearn to arrange a unification clash with Anthony Joshua on social media after Wladimir Klitschko decided to retire instead of taking a rematch with the WBA 'super' and IBF champion.

"Hearn is running all the fighters over there and he feels that he wants to put me against some of his other guys before Joshua," Wilder told Premier Boxing Champions.

"I think he's trying to get a valuation of me to really figure me out a little bit more, because I am a dangerous fighter.

Deontay Wilder

I'm a dangerous fighter to anybody that steps in the ring, because I have two things you can't teach, and that's explosive power and awkwardness.

"I'm a dangerous fighter to anybody that steps in the ring, because I have two things you can't teach, and that's explosive power and awkwardness."

Wilder believes he has overcome his hand injury and hopes to make his next title defence against Cuban Luis Ortiz, who carries a reputation as one of the most avoided men in the top division.

Ortiz has already lined up a fight against Joshua as the WBA's mandatory challenger, but Wilder wants to offer him the next shot at his WBC belt.

"My coming back, I would love to have the Ortiz fight," said the 'Bronze Bomber.' "I would love to have that and get that going.

"Ortiz is considered the 'Boogeyman' of the sport, whatever that means? I'm the one that's calling him out. I'm the one that wants to see him in that ring, and I do mean soon.

"If you're the 'Boogeyman' of the sport, if people are scared to fight you, let me tell you who ain't."

Jones dethrones Cormier

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Published in Boxing
Sunday, 30 July 2017 16:37

Jon Jones marked his return to the octagon with a devastating third-round knockout of Daniel Cormier in their much-anticipated rematch at UFC 214.

Defending light heavyweight champion Cormier looked on course to avenge his unanimous decision defeat to Jones at UFC 182 after appearing to take the opening two rounds in Anaheim.

However, Jones - who originally held the undisputed title from 2011 to 2015 - produced a stunning head kick in the third round which eventually forced the referee to call a halt to the fight with Jones raining down punches on his prone opponent.

Jones (23-1) regains the light heavyweight belt just two years after he was first stripped of the title following his involvement in a hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"I made it back," Jones told the UFC after the fight. "It's such a beautiful moment. I did a lot of right things to get back in this position. Anybody at home who let yourself down, you let your family down, you let your parents down or your co-workers down, you let yourself down, it's never over.

"As long as you never quit, it's never over. I'm back here."

Cormier, whose MMA record now reads 19-2, struggled to come to terms with the manner of his defeat in the post-fight interview.

"I thought the fight was going well, I don't even know what happened," said Cormier. "They said I got kicked in the head.

"That was so disappointing. I guess if you win both fights, there is no rivalry."

Meanwhile on the undercard in California, British fighter Jimi Manuwa suffered a shock first-round knock-out defeat to Switzerland's Volkan Oezdemir, while Tyron Woodley defeated Demian Maia by unanimous decision.

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