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
An edited version of this article was published on TheFightCity.com on December 22nd, 2016: http://www.thefightcity.com/five-myths-about-judging-fights-kovalev-vs-ward/
In the aftermath of the unanimous decision for Andre Ward over Sergey Kovalev, a lot of attention has been focused on the scorecards turned in by the 3 ringside judges, with the usual barbs being tossed around on social media about “corrupt officials” and a so-called “robbery”. While the decision was certainly a controversial one and everyone is entitled to their opinion, there’s several scoring clichés that could do with a healthy dose of reality. Here are five of the most common to be aware of: Read more
This article was published by BoxingInsider.com on December 4th, 2016: http://www.boxinginsider.com/columns/conor-mcgregor-hype-train-can-good-boxing/
With the recent news that UFC star Conor McGregor was granted a professional boxing license in California, the media hype about a potential fight with Floyd Mayweather has gone into overdrive again – although this time, there is at least an element of substance to back it up. Reaction in the boxing world has been, quite reasonably, largely cynical about what seems to be a calculated publicity stunt on McGregor’s part. It’s hard to begrudge him though for piggybacking on the boxer’s name and modeling the brash persona that brought Mayweather unparalleled sums, and if the Irishman wants to sprinkle some of his star power in the direction of boxing, that can hardly be a bad thing. Read more