Category Archives: Blog

December 14, 2017
December 14, 2017
Tony Jeffries

Action Images

Feedspot followFeedly follow

CAN you think of anything that you have done 49,688 times? Slept, maybe? Well, if you’re 60 years old and have slept once a day, every day since you have been on Earth, then you have slept 21,900 times so you’re still not even halfway there.

The reason I ask is that I believe I have been punched in the head this many times and I know it has done some damage to me. Fighters never talk about the damaging effect boxing can have on you when they’re in the gym – it would be silly of us to think about it when we’re training. Yeah, we would have the odd joke, calling each other ‘punchy’ but that was about it.

It wasn’t until I had retired and I started looking into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, aka CTE or ‘punch drunk’, that I thought about it. So, I’m going to get back to how I figured out I’ve been punched in the head nearly 50,000 times.

I started boxing when I was 10, but before I fought I had to spar – and spar a lot back then. I used to only spar around four rounds at a time and this was three times a week. It was about four months of boxing training before I had my first fight aged 11.

Four rounds, three times a week comes to 12 rounds a week. If you multiply that by five months, it works out at 240 rounds sparring. Now, at this age when I was learning, let’s say I was hit 10 times each round, it meant I was punched in the head around 2,400 times aged just 11.

I had 106 fights in my career, and let’s say I averaged four rounds a fight; that’s 424 rounds I’ve fought. Now, let’s say for each of those rounds I was hit in the head seven times – I know it was more sometimes and fewer others –  that’s 2,968 times I’ve been punched from my fights.

So, if I sparred 10 times for each fight, and each spar was six rounds, that would mean I’d sparred 6,360 rounds. Now, stay with me here, seven headshots in each round would mean I’d received 44,520 blows to the head.

Add all of those numbers together from the sparring before I had any fights, then sparring when I was fighting, plus the actual fights, that number is 49,688. I know this is give or take, but you get the idea, right?

This is not including the times where I have been blocking punches on my guard and the impact from my hands hit me in the face.

Obviously, this has had some effect on my brain. I would be punch drunk if I thought otherwise. In Las Vegas, they are doing a fighter study where they have tested over 750 fighters’ brains, including mine. The guy leading the study, Dr. Charles Bernick, knows all about a boxer’s brain and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

I went there in 2016 for my first test as I was worried about the damage that being punched had done to me. I am afraid of early dementia, which is now the leading cause of death in the UK. This has nothing to do with boxing, but being punched in the head nearly, maybe 50,000 times has surely had some effect on me.

When I was there, he told me that my results were ‘average’ for my age, which I was very happy about. But he then went on to tell me that, as far as he knew, three years ago I could have been above average. This meant I had to go back this year to find out more results, this makes sense right?

I got a call from the doctor two weeks after the tests with my MRI results. He told me that I had a very large split in my membrane – the membrane is what attaches your brain to your skull. He explained that when you receive a hard blow to the head it shakes your brain around your skull which has caused the split. I was nearly in tears as he explained this to me and he told me around 50% of fighters who he has tested have this split, but there is no evidence right now that it affects you in everyday life.

I recently went back and did my tests again to find out if there were any improvements or decline with the mind. It was such a nerve-racking experience to go back and do this. A lot of people told me that they thought it was a waste of time because there is nothing you can do if you find out that you are punchy, but I found out from Dr. Bernick that this statement is false and there are things you can do. He was kind enough to come on my podcast to reveal my latest brain test results – you can listen here.

Tony Jeffries

I highly recommend all boxers to listen to this podcast and really look into the safety of boxing to see if there is anything you can be doing right now to make sure you give yourself the least chance possible of becoming punchy.

If you’re a boxer or know a boxer that wants to do this treatment, it’s free. They pay for your flight if it’s within the United States, and also your accommodation in Vegas. You can contact Pam for more details – email: DINOP@ccf.org.

But please if you know anyone that maybe suffering from CTE or anyone that you think would be interested in listening to this, share this podcast episode with them where I talk to the worlds leading fighters brain doctor, I really want to raise as much awareness to this as possible. CLICK THIS LINK TO LISTEN for free.

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/box-n-life-podcast-life-in-out-of-the-boxing-gym/id924241760?mt=2&i=1000395529550

 

 

December 13, 2017
December 13, 2017
Katie Taylor

Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

Feedspot followFeedly follow

SHE only won her world title at the end of October, but Katie Taylor makes the first defence of her WBA lightweight crown at London’s York Hall tonight in just her eighth professional contest. Her challenger is outspoken American Jessica McCaskill, who is only has a 5-1 (3) record and now must back up her boasts.

The undercard is stacked. Martin Ward fights Juli Giner for the European super-featherweight title, Jake Ball meets Miles Shinkwin in an intriguing light-heavyweight clash and look out for top prospects Joe Cordina, Conor Benn, Josh Kelly, Lawrence Okolie, Ted Cheeseman, Gamal Yafai and more.

Scroll down for the latest updates.

Updates refresh automatically.

December 13, 2017
December 13, 2017
Jeff Horn vs Gary Corcoran

Bradley Kanaris

Feedspot followFeedly follow

IN a year full of upsets, Australia’s unlikely Jeff Horn defeat all-time great Manny Pacquiao was one of the biggest. But in a close battle Horn scraped past to win the WBO welterweight title in Brisbane. Now it’s time for Jeff Horn vs Gary Corcoran.

Horn is taking a voluntary first defence against British underdog Gary Corcoran, a rough battler, at the Convention & Exhibition Center.

Scroll down for the latest updates.

Updates refresh automatically. 

December 11, 2017
December 11, 2017
boxing

Action Images

Feedspot followFeedly follow
  1. Roberto Duran vs Sugar Ray Leonard

In their infamous rematch, Duran’s air of invincibility evaporated when he turned his back and said ‘no mas’.

  1. Oliver McCall vs Lennox Lewis

McCall refused to engage and began to cry before the fight was ended in the fifth. It transpired that McCall was suffering with a mental illness.

  1. Andrew Golota vs Mike Tyson

After being dropped and dominated, Golota retired from the fight at the end of the second round, having suffered numerous injuries.

  1. Victor Ortiz vs Marcos Maidana

In a see-saw war, Ortiz quickly found out he may have bitten off more than he could chew and admitted to quitting the fight afterward.

  1. Nicholas Walters vs Vasyl Lomachenko

After seven dominant rounds from Lomachenko, Walters realised his chances of victory were minute and decided to pack it in.

  1. Vitali Klitschko vs Chris Byrd

Ahead on all three cards, Klitschko had no choice but to quit on his stool due to a nasty shoulder injury.

  1. Michael Gomez vs Peter McDonagh

Gomez took a series of unanswered punches in the fifth, went down, then left the ring while the referee was still counting.

  1. Luis Collazo vs Keith Thurman

Having worked his way back into the fight, Collazo then elected to not continue after the seventh.

  1. Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs George Foreman

Returning former champion Foreman outmuscled Qawi and forced him to quit on his feet in the seventh.

  1. Lucas Matthysse vs Viktor Postol

The fearsome Matthysse was broken down and dropped in the 10th, though he elected to stay on one knee for the entire 10 count.

 

December 10, 2017
December 10, 2017
Lomachenko-Rigondeaux

Feedspot followFeedly follow

VASYL LOMACHENKO won an anti-climactic battle inside New York’s Madison Square Garden, as Guillermo Rigondeaux quit on his stool after taking a steady beating for six rounds. The Cuban, expected to put up a far sterner challenge, citied an injury to his left hand as the reason for his retirement.

Both had won two Olympic gold medals each. As such, this was expected to be an exceptional bout between two of the most gifted boxers of the modern era. Lomachenko, for his part, was excellent but Rigondeaux, outgunned and out of ideas early in the bout, will likely be defined – cruelly given his array of achievements – by this surrender.

He becomes the fourth consecutive Lomachenko opponent to retire during a bout. We thought this would be different, but Rigondeaux’s fate is just the latest exhibit of the astonishing, spirit-crushing brilliance of the WBO super-featherweight boss.

Scroll down for the round-by-round updates from ringside.

Updates refresh automatically.

December 9, 2017
December 9, 2017
James DeGale vs Caleb Truax

Action Images/Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Feedspot followFeedly follow

IBF super-middleweight world champion James DeGale, the first GB Olympic gold medallist to win a professional world title, returns to his London hometown tonight (December 9) to defend his belt against Caleb Truax.

On the undercard look out for IBF featherweight world champion Lee Selby against Eduardo Ramriez and hot prospects Anthony Yarde and Daniel Dubois will also be in action.

Scroll down for the latest updates.

Updates refresh automatically.

December 8, 2017
December 8, 2017
Miguel Cotto

Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

Feedspot followFeedly follow

THE retirement of Miguel Cotto sees one of the modern greats move to the wings leaving a secure legacy behind him. His achievements have been outstanding, They started 20 years ago with a gold medal at the Pan American Championships in 1997 and in 2004 he won his first world title, the WBO light welter crown. Since then has gone on and on with the WBA welter title in 2006, the WBO welter title in 2009, the WBA super welter title in 2010, the WBC middle title in 2014 and the WBO super welter title in 2017. Six world titles in four different divisions. He is 20-6 in world title fights and 16-5 against former, current and future champions. He lost only twice inside the distance to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. In the fight after Cotto’s loss, Margarito was found using a substance to harden his hand bandages and there has to be a high probability that Margarito use the same dangerous material when stopping Cotto. Yes he lost his last fight but it seems likely that was influenced by a bicep injury suffered in the seventh round. He had won rounds six, seven and eight on all three cards but after that his work rate dropped dramatically; he rarely used his left arm and lost all of the remaining rounds on all three cards. Hopefully he won’t feel he needs to have one more fight to try to end on a winning note. He does not need to do that his legacy is already written in stone – and he never ducked anyone. He has his other life as a promoter so let’s hope that keeps him busy.

The last decade saw the “Four Kings” Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran. This decade has given us Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao. Being around at the same time has helped each of them to establish their greatness. Do we have a fourth? Juan Manuel Marquez perhaps, a seven-time champion across four divisions being 1-2-1 in four fights with Manny Pacquiao but a loser against Mayweather is a good candidate. There’s Tim Bradley who was 1-2 against Pacquiao and beat Marquez. His title defence against Ruslan Provodnikov was voted Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine, the Boxing Writers Association of America and Sports Illustrated. Shane Mosley a five-time world champion across four divisions but he did not beat any of the other three “Kings” and lost to Cotto, Mayweather and Pacquiao. I also have severe reservations over Mosley with regard to the BALCO scandal. You choose.

Miguel Cotto

Heavyweights are very much in the news with Tony Bellew vs. David Haye on and Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker near to confirmation. Bellew vs. Haye will be on May 5 at the O2 arena in London but no venue yet for Joshua vs. Parker. If Joshua wins he will turn the clock back to when Wlad Klitschko simultaneously held the IBF, WBA and WBO titles. It would be a massive fight if Joshua won and went on to fight Deontay Wilder which would give us a universally recognised champion. There have been universally recognised champions in the past but since the WBO title was introduced in 1989. No heavyweight has ever held the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles simultaneously

The International Hall of Fame Class of 2018 has been announced and it includes Vitali Klitschko, Eric Morales and Ronald Wright in the Modern category fighters and German promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl and broadcasters Steve Albert and Jim Gray in the Non-participants and Observers categories. Every fight fan should visit the Hall at least once. I remember finishing a conversation with Ruben Olivares (through an interpreter) and when I looked around there were the now sorely missed  Alexis Arguello and Aaron Pryor with another much missed Angelo Dundee sitting signing copies of his book. A fans fantasy land

Once again the sport shows that it is incapable of dealing strongly enough with boxers giving positive tests. Luis Ortiz tested positive for a banned substance for the second time. The WBA removed him from their ratings. The WBC had Ortiz medical background examined in detail and declared “The WBC Board of Governors hereby ratifies the Prior Ruling’s finding that Mr. Ortiz` failure to disclose his ingestion of prescribed high blood medication constitutes a violation of the WBC CBP Protocol, and confirms the $25,000 USD fine.” So Ortiz was taking medicine to deal with high blood pressure. The VADA, the WBC’s partners in the testing States in its Eligibility, Requirements, and Results Management Policy Section IIB: “It is each athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no prohibited substance enters his or her body. Athletes are responsible for any prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers found to be present in their biological samples. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing use on the Athlete’s part be demonstrated in order to establish a doping violation”. On that basis failing to declare he was taking the medicine is the offence the WBC have addressed. The far more important doping violation is one they have failed to address. They have failed to act in accordance with the VADA Policy and Ortiz has been allowed to slip out from under with a slap on the wrist. Ortiz fights on Saturday so he will get his $25,000 back and remains in line for a million dollar plus purse for fighting Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua. The only approach that will work is stringent testing and a zero tolerance stance based on Section IIB.

The WBC have clashed with HBO over the Orlando Salido vs. Miguel Roman fight with the WBC having agreed it as a fight for the vacant WBC interim super feather title and HBO saying for their schedule they want it to be over ten rounds. Rightly the WBC refused to sanction a ten round “world” title fight so the fight still goes ahead with HBO but as a ten round non-title fight. This is the real world where he who pays the piper calls the tune so HBO get their way. The puzzle now is what happens to the WBC interim title. They can’t give any recognition to the winner so will have to sort out another interim title pairing but it shows that in a money vs. title (particularly an interim title) money wins all the way.

No sooner had Germany finished celebrating that in Manuel Charr they had their first world heavyweight champion since Max Schmelling beat Joe Louis in 1938 than the embarrassment kicked in. Turns out that the Syrian-born Charr does not have a German passport and is not yet a German citizen. Oops!

The undercard to the December 13 WBO title fight between Jeff Horn and Gary Corcoran is naturally going to have a very Australian flavour. Rohan Murdoch (20-1), Nathaniel May (18-1), former world heavyweight title challenger Alex Leapai (OK he was born in Samoa but let’s not worry about that), former IBF champion Leonardo Zappavigna and Paul Fleming (24-0) and Shannon O’Connell will all be facing imported fighters.

Despite all of the publicity surrounding Horn’s victory over Manny Pacquiao boxing is still not a very high profile sport in Australia. Finding fight reports even in leading papers can be hard and in many big newspapers boxing can be found only after slogging through cricket, Australian Rules football, rugby, horse racing, netball etc.

Good to see the dates being rolled out for the cruiserweight semi-finals of the WBSS tournament. On January 27 Mairis Breidis will have home advantage in Riga against the tournament favourite Alek Usyk but don’t rule out a Briedis win. The other semi-final will be in Sochi, Russia on February 3 where Murat Gassiev will be the one with home advantage against Cuban Yunier Dorticos. I expect a Usyk vs. Gassiev final. With Dorticos being Cuban he will have to wait a while before he ever has the chance of a home fight but it can only be a matter of time before professional boxing returns to Cuba.

So sad to read of former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe in such dire straits. He has been declared bankrupt a couple of times and has now published an appeal for money as he is in danger of losing his home. He needs to find $100,000 but has already sold all of his boxing trophies to get out of previous financial difficulties There are plenty of trainers to teach you to box but very few people to teach you how to look after your money and the number of your friends often decreases in direct proportion to your declining finances. There are some out there who try to help such as the Retired Boxers Foundation led by Alex Ramos but Bowe is in too deep for even their help.

Better news for another heavyweight champion as filming has begun about the life of former WBA champion Gerrie Coetzee. The South African recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hollywood and African Prestigious Awards in California. Coetzee actually had the last fight of his career in Hollywood in 1997 when he lost to Iran Barkley.

Former IBF super-feather champion Steve Forbes is running his initial show in Portland, Oregon on Sunday. It will be the first show in Portland for more than twelve years and Steve is hoping it will be the first in a series of shows. I have good friend Fred Ryan who runs a great gym in Portland, Steve if you are looking for quality fighters… No charge for the plug Fred!

I see that Eleider Alvarez has accepted step-aside money so that Adonis Stevenson can defend his WBC light-heavy title against Badou Jack. Step-aside money used to be a regular feature in the fight game.

Zab Judah is in the picture again. The former three-division world champion is working in partnership with a Western Canadian boxing promotional outfit DEKADA. Judah will fight on their first show in Calgary on January 27 with the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino hosting what they hope will be the first of a series of shows.