This article was published on TheFightCity.com on May 11th, 2017. Thanks to Michael Carbert and Zachary Alapi for their help in editing and publishing the final version: http://www.thefightcity.com/andre-ward-skips-hbo-face-off-prima-donna-or-gamesmanship/
It’s fair to say that Andre Ward is not every fight fan’s cup of tea. In fact, it would be more accurate to say the reaction his name elicits online tends to be fairly scathing. Whether it is vitriol directed at the judges’ verdict awarded to him over Sergey Kovalev or scorn heaped on his “diva-ish” behaviour at the negotiating table, it seems few people have a positive word to say about the man these days. So with the news that he failed to show up for a planned HBO Face Off segment opposite his Russian rival this past weekend, it did not take long for the critics to once again come out in force. Read more
Author’s Note: This article was written on 17th April, 2008, and was my first ever attempt at a full-length boxing article. I’d like to extend a huge thanks to Thomas Hauser and T.K. Stewart, who kindly took the time to read it and offer feedback and words of encouragement.
After a combined total of 44 world title fight victories including two of the longest title reigns in the history of boxing, culminating in both fighters becoming undisputed champions in their respective divisions and one of them a two division champion, finally Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins and Joe ‘The Pride of Wales’ Calzaghe will meet in the squared circle. The fight will determine not only who can call himself the best light-heavyweight in the world, but which man can claim supremacy over an entire era. Most likely niether fighter will remain in the sport of boxing long after Saturday’s contest, regardless of the outcome. So as another of boxings era’s draws itself to a close – with the likes of De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Mosley, Trinidad, Barrera and more all likely closing out their hall of fame careers in the near future – so two more legends of the modern era duke it out to decide just who can ride off into the sunset with his pride in tact; his will executed. Read more
This article was published by BoxingInsider.com on February 14th, 2017: http://www.boxinginsider.com/columns/kell-brook-serves-haters-humble-pie/
Boxing is a tough sport, and boxing fans are a hard bunch to please. Opinions dished out from die-hard behind-the-keyboard fans are usually harsh, though often these criticisms are eminently fair and promote the better values and traditions of the sport (the backlash against Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy for dropping his WBC middleweight belt like a hot potato in order to avoid facing Gennady Golovkin, after publicly stating they would do no such thing, would be one example). Often times though, the messages spouted on forums and over social media cross the line into the unreasonable, unnecessary or just plain nasty. Sometimes, it seems, a fighter can do no right – even when they’ve already exceeded expectations and dared to achieve far more than most fans ever believed they would. Read more
An edited version of this article was published on TheFightCity.com on February 13th, 2017: http://www.thefightcity.com/super-middleweight-super-six-boxing/
Since being established by the major sanctioning bodies in the mid-1980s, the super middleweight division has produced some classic contests. I was fortunate enough to be growing into an avid boxing fan in the midst of the division’s heyday for British & Irish boxing, during a wonderful era in the 1990s. James DeGale didn’t quite manage to emerge victorious in his recent IBF/WBC unification fight against Badou Jack, but he nevertheless earned a rightful place in the discussion alongside Britain and Ireland’s best 168lb fighters. Looking at each man’s achievements in the sport, as well as why they earned a special place in my heart as a boxing fan, here’s my personal Super Six: Read more
This article was published by BoxingInsider.com on December 30th, 2016: http://www.boxinginsider.com/columns/ronda-rousey-returns-biggest-upset-combat-sports-history-not-long-way/
Friday night sees the long-awaited comeback of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey following her shocking defeat to Holly Holm last November, in a result infamously described by UFC commentator Joe Rogan as, “the biggest upset in combat sports history”. Prior to her defeat, Rousey had demolished a string of 12 opponents with only one of them making it out of the first round – a devastating record by any standard, and there’s no doubt that Holm’s knockout was a truly enormous upset, with the challenger overcoming odds of up to 12-1 against her.
That being said, it takes two people to make a fight, and the bookies’ published odds are not the only ingredient that goes into a big upset – the wider context of the underdog’s role is also vital. Ronda’s record was indeed formidable, but keen observers had noted that it could be a far more difficult task than anything she had faced before, with Holm being a former world-boxing champion and arguably the first bona fide world-class striker “Rowdy” had faced off against.
So while Rogan’s assertion that it was the “biggest upset of all time” might be right as far as UFC or even MMA history goes, once we include the sweet science the scale of Ronda’s defeat falls a few rungs down the list of “greatest ever upsets”. Here are five of my favourite shocks in boxing history that eclipse Holly Holm’s upset victory over Ronda Rousey: Read more