Category Archives: Blog

June 1, 2018
June 1, 2018
Jermell Charlo

Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

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I’m ready to go. I’m well-prepared. I’ve been in training camp for about 10 weeks. When you guys saw me before, I wasn’t this built but now I’m ready and I’m excited. I can take on any man in this division.

Training camp was great. We had world champion Errol Spence Jr in camp and a bunch of undefeated fighters. I stopped a few, dropped a few, but that’s not the name of the game. It’s all about training and getting the work done to be prepared for June 9.

Austin Trout is a veteran fighter but I don’t believe he’s going to stand in the pocket and try to fight me. I don’t think there’s a single fighter in this weight division that would try to do that, not even [Jarrett] Hurd. If Trout does try that, the night will end fast.

I’m definitely growing as a fighter and growing as a man. If Trout wants to bang, let’s bang. I don’t care what Barry Hunter has or what he does, it’s not going to be able to beat me and Derrick James. I don’t necessarily think Trout is as tough as me so if he can’t put up the skills and match my ability, he won’t beat me that night.

The Lara-Hurd fight was a great fight. Hurd did what he had to do but I’m a completely different fighter from Erislandy Lara. I’m not here to waste punches. I’m not saying Lara didn’t do a great job but I do believe that his conditioning wasn’t there. I’ve focused my whole life on training. I’m single, I don’t have a family that I have to focus on like some of these other guys. It’s all boxing.

This is a doubleheader. I’m not a co-main event or a featured star bout. I did that years ago. How many people leave after I fight? Everybody left after the [Erickson] Lubin fight. I’m going to continue to do what I do. I definitely want to headline for you guys and do it here at STAPLES Center and possibly in Brooklyn. I prefer L.A. though, it’s all nice people and palm trees. They don’t have that in New York.

I have a great team behind me that won’t allow me to get distracted by the bright lights of L.A. I don’t believe that it’s in my mind to worry about anything outside of the ring. My objective is to win Saturday night and then I can get out of the ring and have a great time with my brother.

I’m trying to come in and change some things about boxing. I believe I can make it happen. I think every boxer should have their own media day. [Leo] Santa Cruz had his own media day. Abner [Mares] had his own media day. I had my own media day. If we can continue that task as fighters, I think it will bring a much bigger audience to boxing.

I don’t think that whenever the WBC reaches out about a fight that they’re doing it just to play around. This sport is serious. We would love to be a part of a GGG fight. We’re tired of hearing the media say to put the Charlos in there with better competition. I’ve heard that every fight. As long as I’m winning fights and I’m entertaining the fans, that’s what I’m going to do.

I think I could definitely fight at 168lbs. I might just keep growing through the weight divisions. It’s easy.

I was super excited about the video that came out today with Gizzle. It was astounding to me to see an artist come out and produce a song like that about the Charlos and it was even better with the video of the knockouts that me and my brother have.

My fight is won in the gym. I definitely dedicate myself every time I go into a training camp and I spend thousands of dollars on my body and on my training. I sacrifice the fun of being in L.A. to train and be in the best condition possible to fight

May 31, 2018
May 31, 2018
Tyson Fury fight time

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SATURDAY June 9 sees the anticipated return of the charismatic enigma that is Tyson Fury. It’s been almost three years since we saw Fury wrench the heavyweight titles from then long reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko on a fateful night in Düsseldorf. That triumphant night was meant to usher in a new era for heavyweight boxing, the Klitschko reign was over and the Fury reign was just beginning. That, however was not meant to be. What followed was a tumultuous journey for the lineal heavyweight champion. It was a journey that saw Tyson battle challenges outside of the ring that were more difficult and dangerous than those he had faced in his 25-fight unbeaten professional career. Tyson Fury is now ready to return to the fight game and the world eagerly awaits…

A career comeback is inevitably loaded with questions that are waiting to be answered. Tyson Fury’s return is no different:

What does Tyson need to do to solidify his comeback?

Firstly, before we begin to salivate at potential blockbuster showdowns against Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder we need to see Tyson Fury active again. When I talk of being active I don’t mean just this comeback contest. I would like to see Tyson with a regular schedule of contests against opponents of perceived increasing difficulty. This would do two things; 1) build momentum with fans and boxing media & 2) build Tyson’s confidence (not that it appears to have taken a hit!).

Being out of the ring for so long would normally see some fighters’ “stock” drop, their marketability and fan appeal would lessen. Fury’s absence however appears to have had the opposite effect, giving credence to the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. While Fury is currently riding the crest of a popularity wave caution is reserved as fans can be both impatient and unforgiving. This comeback fight and his return in general will be about much more than just winning. Tyson now finds himself in the position of win and look impressive in order to capitalise on his increased fan appeal. Will the absence of his uncle, trainer and known disciplinarian Peter Fury in his corner see a much more fan friendly Tyson return? During his absence Tyson found himself being viewed as the man to come back and take the division by storm. From a fan’s perspective it is imperative that the performances match the lofty expectations.

Tyson Fury’s battles outside the ring have been well documented, none more so than his battle with the scales. In his peak fighting condition in Düsseldorf Fury tipped the scales at nearly 17 ½ stone in tremendous condition. He was nimble, light on his feet and showed terrific reflexes. In the depths of his despair Fury was reportedly weighing in at a whopping 25 stone. Fury deserves a lot of praise and credit for getting himself back into fighting condition and while he has shown tremendous dedication to get that weight off, it is yet to be seen what kind of effect it will have on him physically. We have to take into consideration that Fury was/is a fighter who relies greatly on reflexes, timing and speed. How this huge fluctuation in weight will affect those things is one of the biggest question marks of his comeback.

Tyson Fury

This comeback presents us with an age old question in boxing, one that sparks fierce debate; is ring rust real? Can you eliminate it during training camp? This is a topic that usually divides fans as some believe world class fighters do not suffer from ring rust and this is a testament to their preparation. I however sit firmly in the other group. From my own professional experience, ring rust is very real, how much it affects you can vary from person to person. While training camp will have got Fury into great condition and physically able to do things he used to do, doing them “under the lights” is a totally different scenario. Ring rust can rob you of that split second timing to slip a punch or that confidence to fire the hard counter shots at the right moment. These are only things that come with ring time, which again leads to me wanting to see Fury have a regular run of action.

Can Fury stack up against AJ and Wilder and what can we hope for 2018?

I feel that stylistically Fury matches up well with both champions. At his best he was a towering virtuoso capable of gliding around the ring and stinging opponents with hurtful counters. Joshua’s last performance against Joseph Parker and the struggles he seemed to have with Parkers box and move style has given great traction to the argument that Fury would be able to move, dance and outbox Joshua should the two meet. While Fury has always been seen as a difficult match up for Wilder given his size and boxing skills, this hasn’t changed, what has changed potentially is what Tyson Fury now has to offer. There is an air of looming inevitability around these showdowns but I feel as fans we will have to bide our time and wait a little longer. 2018 must be about regaining form and familiarity within the ring. Let Tyson use 2018 to get the ring rust off, let the fans see him and get excited about him being in the ring again then bring on the mega fights. I for one am looking forward to this chapter of Tyson Fury’s career, the best may well still be yet to come.

Aarron Morgan is a professional fighter and personal trainer. Find out more here

May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018
Kal Yafai

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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1. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

Having shocked the world in March 2017 with a majority-decision victory over former pound-for-pound contender and WBC super-flyweight world champion “Chocolatito” Román González, and later knocking him out in a rematch, Sor Rungvisai has become the biggest name in the division. In February the Thai beat Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada. A win for Kal Yafai over Sor Rungvisai would announce the Brit as the main man in the 115lbs division and quickly put himself in pound-for-pound discussion.

2. Jerwin Ancajas

If Yafai is to look for a unification bout, Filipino Jerwin Ancajas could become an option. The 26-year-old captured the IBF 115lbs strap by beating Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo and familiarised himself to the UK audience in November 2017 after dismantling Belfast’s Jamie Conlan in six rounds to defend his title.

3. Roman Gonzalez

Still a prominent name and arguably most well-known fighter in the division, a win over Gonzalez would announce Yafai on the world stage. Chocolatito was pencilled in for a May 5 showdown with former light-flyweight world champion Pedro Guevara however problems with a work visa halted his return. With Gonzalez ready to bounce back from defeat and already ranked one in the WBA (the title Yafai holds) this match-up could be easily negotiated.

4. Donnie Nietes

Three-weight world champion Donnie Nietes takes on the relatively unknown fellow Filipino Aston Palicte on August 18, for the WBO super-flyweight world title. Nietes is aged 36 and moving up from flyweight having previously competed at light-fly and even minimum weight. Promoter Eddie Hearn and Yafai will fancy themselves against an ageing and smaller Nietes or Palicte with the chance to unify also at hand.

Kal Yafai

5. Charlie Edwards

Having recently vacated the British title in search of a bigger fight, Charlie Edwards has made Yafai the target. The two exchanged words in a heated confrontation after Edwards won in February and Hearn who promotes both boxers admitted his desire to make the fight happen. Yafai responded by claiming he was not interested in the fight citing he was looking for bigger names.

May 25, 2018
May 25, 2018
Tyson Fury

Action Images/Lee Smith

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TYSON FURY’S opponent for his highly anticipated comeback fight on June 9 has been announced: Sefer Seferi will be the man he faces.

The Albanian has a record of 23 wins in 24 fights, with a massive 21 coming by way of knockout. The one defeat he has to his name came in a points loss and when I first saw this guy’s record I thought “oh s***, this guy is a beast”.

But then I dug a little deeper into his record and found out some interesting facts, such as all of his fights apart from one have been at cruiserweight.

Out of the 24 fights, only five of the boxers had winning records (which means has only five of them had won more fights than they had lost). He has only fought twice in the last two years, winning both by knockout, but I looked into their records and the guy he fought last month, Laszlo Hubert, had 24 losses on his record and had been KO’d 23 times. Oh, and he is in his 40s! The fella he KO’d before that had also been knocked out nine times in his 11 defeats.

With all of this being said, even though all of his fights have been against anything but world level fighters, he has done the business, by knocking them out

The match maker for this fight has done great, this is a perfect opponent for the Gypsy King’s return and I’m excited to see him back in the ring and back to his winning ways. Tyson is the most entertaining fighter outside of the ring Britain has had since the Naseem Hamed days.

He has the potential to be involved in the biggest heavyweight fight in British history if he ever fights Anthony Joshua.

Tyson Fury opponent

Listen to me talk more about this as well as break down the ESPN pound-for-pound list, te Badou Jack vs Adonis Stevenson fight and more on my latest podcast – click here to listen: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/box-n-life-podcast-life-in-out-of-the-boxing-gym/id924241760?mt=2&i=1000412115313

May 24, 2018
May 24, 2018
Adrien Broner

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

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ACCORDING to Adrien Broner’s Instagram account, a beyond generous $6.75m three-fight offer from Eddie Hearn to star in his $1 billion DAZN project has been turned down.

Presuming the offer is a genuine one, the monstrosity above begs several questions.

Firstly, why turn that down? While still curiously marketable despite failing to win any defining contest he’s had in the last four years, it’s exceptionally unlikely that Broner will be offered that sum by any other promoter.

His comments about being a ‘slave’ to such a deal also highlights the shortcomings of his thinking power. To most, particularly to a boxer with such poor form, a three-fight deal would mean security. To Broner it means he’s being controlled. And for Broner to be Broner, the talented yet grossly overrated product of the social media age, he needs to be able to roam free. Yet he still seems unable to understand that such freedom to do as he pleases has always been his problem.

For Broner to still be a contender in three fights’ time, he would have to be matched very carefully indeed. Furthermore, the chances of him knuckling down to some serious training while drowning in dollar bills during those three fights is also a stretch. Of course, he wouldn’t have to do any serious training if the promise of multi-million dollar paydays were already laid out in front of him. The life of Riley, then, was his. Was.

Which brings us to the second question, why offer it him in the first place? Despite Broner’s Box Office appeal – he’s been doing solid numbers for Premier Boxing Champions – he’s hardly a world title threat anymore. He would not have been a signing to make Hearn’s promotional rivals in the US feel any concern. Manchester United unveiling Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the early days of Jose Mourinho’s tenure, it wouldn’t be.

However, Hearn’s offer is more justifiable than the refusal. It would have been a luxury signing. Someone to stick on the bench who will sell a few replica shirts and someone who could fit into several different positions on the park. Someone who could provide a lucrative and sellable showpiece for the likes of Amir Khan and Kell Brook, and any future signings weighing between 140 to 154lbs. We could have even had Broner-Ricky Burns at last.

The possibilities were, if not quite endless, plentiful enough for Hearn to feel like he was getting value-for-money. But perhaps that’s why Broner turned it down. Perhaps, showing foresight that has never before existed in his brain, Broner could see that he was going to be the foil for the more established members of Hearn’s army.

None of the above answers the third and fourth questions: Why make the refusal public and why use the middle finger emoji so liberally?

A better course of action, if you’re truly unable to recognise what a great offer it was, would have been to politely refuse and go about your business. Keep your mouth shut, be happy that someone still thinks you’re a worthwhile fighter, and go on your merry way. Or, better still, go back and say, “Hey, I like this offer, but perhaps we could increase it a bit?” Negotiate further, no? Instead, AB comes across like AB’s always come across. Spoilt, and just a little bit dim.

Hearn, undoubtedly one of the best promoters in the world, hasn’t come out of all this particularly well either. The loud declarations of having $1 billion to build an all-conquering squad may have made his negotiations with boxers harder than they needed to be.

And the obscene offer made to Broner highlighted plenty that is wrong with the world today. Hearn, however, has the intelligence to learn from any mistakes in a way that Broner never will.

The early days of his American venture will not define Hearn, nor will Broner’s daft refusal upset him. Even so, like so many who have got caught up in the madness of Adrien Broner over the years, he probably wishes he’d never bothered.

May 23, 2018
May 23, 2018
welterweight

Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

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TO be the man, you don’t necessarily have to beat the man!

The welterweight division has for so long been boxing’s glamour division, beneath heavyweight. A tremendous blend of both blistering speed and bone crunching punching power has ensured a steady stream of classic material from the 147lbs weight class.

Up until his recent retirement Floyd “Money” Mayweather was the welterweight ruler. With his departure, a huge void has been left in the division, one which we excitedly wait to be filled. An old boxing idiom has always stated that “to BE the man you have to BEAT the man”. What happens when that is not actually possible however, can sometimes prove to be a lot more entertaining. In this very instance ‘the man’ is normally the last one standing after the dust has settled on some terrific contests. As fans of the sport we are in a privileged position right now. Just as is the case in a host of other weight classes, 147lbs is littered with an array of star studded talent all vying to be the “New Money”.

welterweight

While the World Boxing Super Series has been a breath of fresh air for the sport, 147lbs is one weight where I don’t wish to see an elimination style tournament. I feel that the division and the sport as a whole would benefit a lot more from a series of match-ups that could each stylistically provide fireworks. Here I will explore five potential match-ups that win, lose or draw for each competitor are bound to raise their stock.

  1. Danny Garcia vs Shawn Porter – This one has fight of the year contender written all over it. A sharp shooting, power punching, flat footed counter puncher vs an in your face, relentless, pressure fighting brawler. This stylistic match up would pose several questions for both fighters and hopefully give us fans both the answers and excitement we crave. Would Porter be able to disrupt Garcia with his rugged style or would his bull-rushing style see him run head first into Garcia’s patented “no look hook”? I for one hope we get to find out.
  2. Errol Spence Jnr vs Keith Thurman – Fans are salivating at the prospect of this fight already, and for good reason. Unified champion Thurman has proved that he is so much more than a crude “One Time” slugger over the last few years. He has shown great boxing skills, an underrated fight IQ and undeniable grit when faced with adversity in fights. While these are all enviable traits to possess, it’s the latter that has also raised so many question marks. Undoubtedly Thurman has shown he is tough and will fight through pain and discomfort but the way in which he has found himself hurt has led to people screaming that Errol Spence is the man to end his run. Keith Thurman has been visibly hurt to the body on several occasions, this could prove to be his undoing against the rugged Texan. Immensely skilled, fast, powerful and smart, Spence has also proven to be one of the premier body punchers in boxing today. This contest has classic written all over it. The boxing community wait with baited breath…
  3. Errol Spence Jnr vs Shawn Porter – This is the beauty of a series of match-ups rather than an elimination style tournament. We, the fans could have potentially been missing out on this match up that would surely be firefight. Two fighters who like to occupy the centre of the ring, hunt their opponent, corner them and then do vicious damage. I find it hard to envision this fight as anything other than a war. This would be the kind of fight, once again that would elevate both participants, regardless of the outcome.
  4. Terence Crawford vs Keith Thurman – the boss from the 140-pound division has set his sights on once again trying to conquer a weight class. Crawford took the bold step of moving up and challenging WBO king Jeff Horn so chasing a challenge as difficult as this assignment would come as no surprise. This match up pits switch hitting Crawford against the savvy power punching Thurman, two fighters who can both box as well as they can bang. Both fighters share the distinction of being much better in areas than they are given credit for, this is what I think makes the fight so interesting. Crawford, for all his technical ability and slick skills is a power punching, rugged fighter while Thurman is the power puncher who is a lot slicker and fleet of foot than people often realize. Who imposes their will? Who makes the adjustments? What a fight this would be.
  5. Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jnr – This would see two of the consensus best ‘pound-for-pound’ fighters in the world squaring off. Much has been said of both men, they possess that unique blend of speed, power, ring intelligence, durability and aggression. All the ingredients you would expect from the best “Pound for Pound” in the world. This contest, while undoubtedly being a huge money fight, could be the real “Money” fight. Could this fight be the one to anoint the heir apparent? Could this be the one that finally sees the end of the Mayweather era and beginning of the Crawford/Spence one?

The king is dead, long live the king. Whoever that proves to be…

May 21, 2018
May 21, 2018
Tyson Fury who is Sefer Seferi

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SO indeed who is Sefer Seferi? Depending on how you look at it he’s the second best cruiserweight in Albania. Or the worst (of the two.) Both, according to BoxRec’s rankings are true, with Sefer coming second in Albania only to Nuri Seferi, his 41-year-old brother.

Sefer is also the man Tyson Fury will fight on June 9, at the Manchester Arena, for the former heavyweight champion of the world’s return to boxing. On paper it is undoubtedly a mismatch.

The most striking thing about Seferi is that he is indeed a cruiserweight. Although he’s boxed at heavyweight a couple of times in his career, his one and only fight of 2017 was at cruiser and when he boxed in March he was just 202½lbs. Fury is not just a heavyweight, he’s a huge heavyweight. Tyson is six foot nine inches tall. Seferi will be diminutive in comparison. He was far smaller than Manuel Charr, himself hardly an imposing heavyweight.

There is also the dearth in comparative talent. Fury let’s not forget was indeed a unified heavyweight champion. He turned over Wladimir Klitschko in Germany to win the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in a stunning display of skill over 12 rounds.

Seferi’s claim to fame is the 12 rounds he went with Manuel Charr, a result which I suspect says more about Charr’s capabilities than the Albanian’s qualities. Seferi is not only small compared to a heavyweight. He punches with his arms, rather than his whole body, and can be hesitant with his shots. Unlike Charr, surely Fury isn’t going to plod forward and wait as an inviting target in the pocket. Depending on how long the fight with Fury lasts, expect Seferi to tire. But he is not irredeemable. He is tough. Even if he did wilt against Charr at times, he clung on to go 10 rounds. He is game, cantering forward to throw flurries of punches when he can. So Tyson can expect pockets of resistance.

Tyson Fury who is Sefer

Seferi is not a good opponent, he won’t beat Tyson Fury, but it has come as no surprise that the former champion is returning against a soft touch. He’s easing his way back in. Despite the boasts that naturally came when Fury announced the date for his comeback, his promoter Frank Warren reminded everyone that Fury had been out of action for more than two years. He needs to shed weight, which he has been doing, and shed ring rust which he will do in Manchester. He also has to forge a relationship with new trainer Ben Davison, who was clear that he wants Fury to get in rounds and be active before rushing headlong towards a showdown with Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.

This comeback will be functional, it’ll serve a purpose for Fury and give us an indication of how well he can still move after such long period without a competitive bout and without the discipline of being in camp, as well as how effective his power still is, albeit against a smaller man. But looking beyond his record, Seferi will not be the kind of threat you might expect a 23-1 (21) heavyweight to be.