July 4, 2014
July 4, 2014
gmayweather-mcgregor

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You have recently been elected as President of the WBC following the death of your father. What are your immediate priorities?

Continuity is our thinking. This has been a very strange and difficult time to go from a family situation to an organisation situation. It’s a confusing time but I will always be the son of Jose Sulaiman and my main goal is to keep the name of my father alive and to carry out the same methods to make boxing better, and safer.

He had a great ability to adjust to the times. He would look for rules that made the most of the advancing technology, with replays, and open scoring. He left a variety of programmes running, and over the coming years we will follow that path.

You mention the video replay that you currently use, during a fight, to review the cause of cuts, and fouls. It is not a new concept, but it is still seen as experimental within the boxing world. How will this progress?

It is being used all over the world but there are some jurisdictions that do not allow it. Other sports use video replays – football, tennis, cricket, baseball – so boxing should too. When an event is broadcast, the viewer has the best view – because they can see the replays. Officials in other sports get this view too so why not boxing? You cannot hide from the millions who watch on television. For us, it has been working very well. It has changed the outcome of many fights. It allows the officials to see if a cut has been caused by a punch or a headbutt – and that can be the difference between the right man winning or losing.

I realise the Carl Froch-George Groves fight was not a WBC-sanctioned bout, but it had a highly controversial finish. Can you foresee a situation where a referees decision to stop a fight is reversed when replays suggest a fighter is fit to continue?

It’s a difficult area. When the referee makes a call based on their criteria, it is different to making a call based on action. If there’s a punch after the bell, a low blow, a headbutt, you can review it. But when you are evaluating a referee’s judgement on stopping a fight, it becomes difficult. I don’t think you can reverse a referee’s decision because it will open a whole world of new problems.

One of the biggest problems in boxing is the amount of ‘worldchampions per division from various governing bodies. Can the WBC, from their perceived platform as the most powerful governing body in the sport, do more to ensure titles are unified?

We support unification matches when there is a good reason for unification matches, when they are for the good of the sport. We do not support them when they are done with an agenda. There have been cases when a fighter, or a promoter, will engineer a unification match-up because they want to avoid a mandatory contender.

We have participated in several tournaments to unify divisions. The problem is that each organisation has their own rules regarding mandatory commitments, regarding unification. That can get in the way. You also have to consider the fighter. If he has unified titles he then has to pay sanctioning fees to three or four organisations. It is a lot of money and they are not always willing to do that.

But we have discussed having a champion’s tournament, where one world champion per division is crowned after beating all other organisation’s champions. The governing bodies would retain their champions through all that, but only the winner of the tournament could be called ‘world’ champion – the rest would then just be called ‘XYZ’ [ie WBC or WBA] champion. However, that would take all organisations to work together. We are willing to do so.

There was recently a situation when Vitali Klitschko relinquished his WBC heavyweight title. Even though it goes against your policies, this would have been a wonderful opportunity for you to make a statement and let Wladimir – who is clearly the leader in the division – fight for the vacant title. Did you consider this?

Yes. But the issue here is the same. He has three other titles [WBA, IBF, WBO] and he is committed to three straight mandatory defences, and for a vacant championship, we cannot have a champion be a challenger. Also, there was already a process in place for Bermane Stiverne to fight Vitali. But there was a situation with Vitali’s country [Ukraine], which we support, and he was named as our ‘Champion Emeritus’ which means that at any time he wants to return, he can immediately fight for our championship. So if we put Wladimir as champion we would be betraying Vitali because he said he wants to be in a position to fight for the title in the future. Obviously, he would not fight his brother. So there are two things here – one is our loyalty to Vitali, and the other is Wladimir’s commitments to the other organisations.

Moving forward, though, surely the WBC would want the best fighter in the heavyweight division, the sports banner division, wearing their belt. Without question that fighter is Wladimir. Are you saying the situation with his brother rules Wladimir out of fighting for the WBC title in the future?

We are open to this in the future. We admire Wladimir and we want to honour him. We spoke to him and Vitali because, truthfully, Wladimir has expressed a desire to wear the green belt and the only the reason that has not happened is because of his brother. We have a special honorary belt that we intend to give to Wladimir because of what he has achieved. And one day, of course, we would love to see Wladimir as WBC champion. We will support Wladimir in any way we can, and we will discuss things with Vitali should a situation arise where his brother can fight for our belt.

Another criticism of the WBC is the amount of titles you award. Perhaps the WBA are the worst offender with three champions per division, but the WBCs silver title adds confusion too. What was wrong with the old system of just having eliminators, as opposed to silver title fights?

The silver championship needs to be clarified. It is not intended to be a world championship. In other sports, like football and baseball, there are separate leagues that allow teams to work their way up to the top league. The silver title is intended for fighters who are not yet at that highest level, but are fighting to prove they belong there.

We cannot hide the power that comes from TV networks and that power can mean that certain fighters have to wait for a long period of time for their opportunities. The silver title is used by fighters to become well known in their region, and for them to prove they are ready for championship status. It’s part of a process – Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr was a silver champion, Canelo Alvarez, Abner Mares. James DeGale is a silver champion. Tony Bellew’s silver title allowed him to move upwards and fight for our world title. We believe it is stepping stone, not a world championship. It merely says they are one division lower than the world champion.

But don’t the world rankings identify the level of a contender? If a fighter is ranked at No.3 or 4, for example, surely they dont need a silver title to indicate where they stand. The likes of Chavez and Alvarez would have gone on to fight for the world title, whether the silver title was around or not.

They took that title and they made three or four defences in 12-round fights that prepared them for the higher stage. It’s like the Champions League in football – teams have to qualify for that and it makes the sport greater.

I understand why people criticise but we do not want the silver championship to be confused with our world championship. It is called the ‘world silver championship’ because anyone in the world – unlike our regional titles – can compete for it.

AIBA are making huge steps in the boxing world. Are they a concern to an organisation like the WBC?

It’s a huge concern because they are threatening the integrity of the sport, worldwide. We have a lot of information that leads us to believe they are a threat to the sport in many countries. They took away the word ‘amateur’, so they are effectively saying there is no more amateur boxing. How can they say that? What about all the amateur programmes in the world? They use the Olympics as the only thing to grab and they are monopolising who can be selected for the Olympics: Only those signed with AIBA can compete in the Olympics. It’s a whole terrible mess.

Boxing should be about opportunities for all, and AIBA’s policies do not seem to support this.

The WBC has financially helped retired fighters in the past. How will this move forward? Are there any plans to create a retirement fund for all?

We have a fund. We raised $1million that was deposited in the Nevada Community Foundation – independent from the WBC – and they handle that money. Every month fighters from around the world are getting that money to help with food, rent, aid. But a generic mandatory fund for all boxers is far more complex situation.

You have fighters that compete for a year and then retire. You have fighters that compete for 20 years, there are fighters that compete for very little money, fighters that compete for fortunes. We have tried to get fighters to put money away in funds for the future and none have proved successful. Too often, fighters that are making money do not want to save. They listen before they make money, and then they listen after they’ve spent it all, but while they are making money, they do not want to hear about being responsible.

But we are going to implement a mandatory course for all fighters – and it will take time – that will educate fighters about nutrition, dangers of making weight, drug and alcohol awareness, future employment, and financial advice. The courses will be led by former fighters who have experienced all these negatives. It’s an ambitious plan, but we see it as a must. If fighters do not take this course, they will not be allowed to fight. We want to ensure that fighters have bright futures.

Suggestions of corruption have always been rife in boxing. To your knowledge, have the WBC ever accepted money to improve a fighters ranking or control the outcome of a fight?

Absolutely never, never, whatsoever. Anyone who says that knows nothing about the WBC, their members, or their president. My father had 38 years as president and that was for a reason. No one has ever been able to say that my father owes a cup of coffee to anybody. The integrity that he had is all proven by facts, and testimonies. We recently were on the receiving end of a horrible statement by Tyson Fury and we addressed it immediately – You prove it. You prove what you’re saying or you apologise publicly and retract it, otherwise we will look into it. Anyone that says we have favouritism in our rankings, in our fights, or any kind of situation, then they should put it forward. It’s impossible. We fight against this kind of thing. We fight against the common belief that there is still a darkness in boxing – those dark smoke filled rooms of the 1940s and 1950s of the Mafia. We no longer want to hear that boxing is corrupt or boxing is fixed. I have never in my life seen anyone be offered money to fix a fight.

There are still a lot of people who believe this is how things are, and I don’t see anybody, anybody, doing that.

July 4, 2014
July 4, 2014
tyson-fury

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WHEN you dwarf the vast majority of your opponents, it’s easy to overlook them. Tyson Fury has, at 6ft 9ins, seven-and-a-half inches over his July 26 rematch rival Dereck Chisora and whether this is the reason or not, seems happy to write off the chances of his former victim.

“I only see Chisora as a high-level journeyman for world-class fighters,” Fury opines during an interview the remainder of which can be found in the July 8 issue of Boxing News. “He knows he can’t beat me anyway, no ifs, buts or maybes. In the back of his mind, he knows he couldn’t beat me as a child of 22, so he can’t now I’m a full-set man; you don’t improve in that short time when you’re already a full-fledged man like Chisora was. He’s not got a prayer now. I could break a leg and just put it on the ropes and still beat him.”

As I expressed to Fury, the hope is that he does not fracture or sever any limbs in the his ruthless pursuit of victory. That said, the Cheshire traveller clearly feels he remains a cut above his foe, though is keen to point out this does not mean Chisora cannot rebuild once Fury has reaffirmed his superiority.

“[Promoter] Frank Warren has done a good job with Dereck Chisora, turning him round,” Fury concedes. “He gets beat and Warren gets him back in a good position, credit to Frank Warren, but I suppose it’s easy to get someone levelled up all the time; I could be Chisora’s manager and do that. I beat him the first time and when you’ve lost four times [as Chisora has], what’s another loss? You could be back in there for another world title shot with a decent promoter behind you.”

July 4, 2014
July 4, 2014
EvanderHolyfield

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WHEN Mike Tyson bared his teeth, clamped them into Evander Holyfield’s ear and tore away a strip of gristly flesh, he was paying the “Real Deal” a perverse compliment. Tyson knew he couldn’t beat Evander and waved a grotesque flag of surrender. After almost 13 years as a professional boxer, winning numerous titles along the way, Holyfield at last secured the respect he deserved when he bettered Mike Tyson for a second time in 1997. By then, he was used to proving people wrong.

“I grew up as the youngest of nine children,” Evander explained. “I was always told I was going to be nothing, that I couldn’t do anything. I was the kid who cried. I was the kid who was very sensitive and all the other kids would talk about me and poke fun. They would talk about my clothes, they would talk about my momma. They used to make me so mad that all I wanted to do was fight everybody.”

Which is pretty much what Holyfield grew up to do; courageous almost to a fault, Holyfield consistently fought and beat the best of his era.

Despite winning a light-heavyweight bronze medal (he was controversially disqualified in the semi-finals) at the 1984 Olympic Games, his reputation lagged behind the likes of US teammates Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker and Tyrell Biggs. But he was the first member of that dream team to claim a professional world title when, just two years after fighting in a vest and headguard, he went 15 hellish rounds with Dwight Muhammad Qawi and took the WBA cruiserweight title via a split decision.

He cleaned out and unified the division, beating titlists Rickey Parkey and Carlos DeLeon, along with top contenders Henry Tillman, Ossie Ocasio and Qawi in a rematch. During this time, he always had his eye on the greater prize in a land ruled by a monster called Tyson.

In 1988 he moved up and beat contender-cum-yardstick, James “Quick” Tillis in five rounds, dominated former champion, Pinklon Thomas, before winning a cracking bout with ex-WBA boss, Michael Dokes.

It still looked a stretch that he’d have a chance against Tyson, though. Holyfield, although winning, was making hard work of it in a way that Mike was not. While Tyson was blasting out Carl Williams in a round, Evander was slugging it out with Alex Stewart over eight. And then, the unthinkable happened.

In February 1990, Buster Douglas – a respected but not feared contender – knocked out Mike Tyson. Holyfield then knocked out an ill-prepared Douglas in three rounds and suddenly Evander was champion, almost by default. The world was waiting for Tyson to get his act together and rule again.

Holyfield was eager for the match, too, but after turning back the challenges of George Foreman over 12, and late substitute Bert Cooper in seven, Tyson was imprisoned for rape.
After struggling with wise old Larry Holmes, Evander lost his titles to the up-and-coming Riddick Bowe after a fantastic scrap. Holyfield’s days among the elite, not for the last time, looked numbered.

Incredibly, though, Evander won the rematch. For a while, it looked like that would be his last hurrah as he lost to Michael Moorer, and was then stopped in a rubber match with Bowe. Fans called for him to retire. But Holyfield had some business to attend to.

Tyson had repositioned himself as the baddest man on the planet after his prison sentence, knocking out all five comeback opponents with unerring ease, and agreed to take on Holyfield.

Evander had never been better, standing up to Mike’s power, blasting him back with painful combinations, and stunning the world. He knocked him out in 11 rounds before that infamous rematch scarred both men – for different reasons – forever.

The warrior rode this final wave of gritty brilliance for as long as possible, dispatching former conqueror Moorer in eight rounds, but he couldn’t keep up with Lennox Lewis in their drab 1999 superfight and was lucky to escape with a draw. He lost the more competitive rematch before his form plummeted.

A dire three-fight series with John Ruiz allowed him to masquerade as a four-time heavyweight champion (he picked up the WBA belt in one of their meetings) before losses to Chris Byrd, James Toney and Larry Donald convinced the New York State Athletic Commission to take away his license in 2004.

In 2006 he embarked on a comeback and, to his credit, fought well enough to secure two further title tries; losing a decision to WBO champ Sultan Ibragimov and was unlucky to be pipped by WBA champion, Nikolay Valuev in 2008. He fought on, crippled by debt, until 2011, and officially announced his retirement in 2014.

MONEY TALKS
“Every time I was fighting at cruiserweight I was selling the place out and I get $200,000,” Evander explained about his jump to heavyweight. “Tyson sells the place out – the same place – and he gets $2million. I said ‘How come I get paid that money and he gets paid ALL THAT money?’ At that point I wanted to move to heavyweight. He was fighting guys that were afraid of him, the guys I was fighting were not afraid of me. I was having to work harder and his guys were just laying down! That’s why I went to heavyweight.”

July 4, 2014
July 4, 2014
Holyfield-Tyson

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RICKY BURNS lost for the second time in a row in Glasgow and his career is in tatters. Boxing News’ Matt Christie and John Dennen discuss the Scotsman’s future. There was also a crisis for Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa when he lost to Terrence Crawford in Nebraska. Is it the end for Gamboa and has Crawford proved he’s a viable opponent for Manny Pacquiao?

There’s also time to look back on the career of the legendary Evander Holyfield, who retired this week at the age of 51, and discuss the fabulous British Smith brothers.

No politics, just boxing. Get involved.

July 3, 2014
July 3, 2014
Dereck-Chisora2

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BACK in 2011 when Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury met in the ring for the first time, Chisora weighed in at a career highest of 261lbs. In the first few rounds this extra weight worked to Dereck’s advantage as he managed to break through Tyson’s defences on numerous occasions. However, as the 12 rounds progressed the weight started to take its toll as Chisora slowed and fatigued at a greater rate than his counterpart, eventually losing the fight on points, with Fury becoming the new British heavyweight champion.

Sportskitchen by Soulmatefood have worked with Dereck from the first week of the camp in preparation for the crucial fight with Malik Scott, leaving nothing to chance in a fight that if he had lost, may have spelt the end of Chisora’s career.

Since the Fury fight and weighing in at 261lbs Chisora has weighed in at much lighter weights of 242lbs versus Scott, 235lbs against Edmund Gerber, 235 1/2lbs v Ondrej Pala and 238lbs opposite Kevin Johnson.

Whilst working with Chisora, as with any boxer or athlete for that matter, weight loss is not just an issue of how many pounds are lost on the scales. Anybody can lose weight, but doing it properly can make the difference between a win and a loss. The important factor in this is ensuring that as much lean muscle is preserved as possible, whilst aximising body fat loss. Other important factors to consider are maintaining training intensity, immunity, bone health and morale, plus many others.

One issue to overcome with Dereck was the fact that he became bored easily with meals, and while improving his nutritional intake was a top priority of his, he shared many boxers’ thoughts that the only way to drop weight is to have porridge for breakfast and chicken, boiled rice and broccoli for three-four meals per day, seven days a week. However much commitment you have, after two or three days or a week at the most, you will more than likely be sick of the sight of porridge, chicken, boiled rice and broccoli. The same went for Dereck. An intake like this is not only boring and likely to bring your mood and morale down, but is also not varied. The issue with an unvaried diet is that you are very unlikely to be consuming the required amount of vitamins and minerals to support your training, adaptation to training, recovery, immunity and health in general.

If you are looking to drop weight in a similar fashion to Dereck, try sticking to the following basic principles:

  • Aim for a protein intake of 2-2.5g per kg bodyweight per day, spread evenly over fivesix meals to help maintain lean muscle.
  • Consume carbohydrates only in the window of three hours before and one hour after training to help fuel training, and improve adaptation to exercise.
  • Keep variety in your meals; choose different meats, varied colours of vegetables, mix up your carbs – don’t just stick to rice, go for quinoa, couscous, lentils, beans, chickpeas.
  • Have a few good servings of dairy each day.
  • Stick to healthy fat as your intakes of fat e.g. nuts & seeds, oily fish, fish oils, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil. Avoid margarine and lowfat alternatives; these usually contain transfats and hydrogenated fats plus added sugars and additives to replace the taste that has been lost by removing the fat.
  • Fill the rest of your plate up with vegetables and salad to increase fullness and get those needed vitamins and minerals.
  • Make your meals enjoyable! If you enjoy the meals you are much more likely to stick to the plan and less likely to cheat or crave other less nutritious and calorie-dense foods.
  • If you don’t like vegetables, blend them up, add some fruit or a small serving of fruit juice and drink them down quickly. Do not skip the veggies!

Here is a rare insight into one week of Dereck’s personalised meal plan:

DAY 1

BREAKFAST Pear and raisin muesli
AM SNACK Pinenut and sunblush tomato hummus with pitta
LUNCH Oriental salmon stirfry with rice noodles
PM SNACK Beef bites with sweet chilli dip
DINNER Spanish lentils with prawns

DAY 2

BREAKFAST Granola, berry yoghurt and fruit
AM SNACK Edamame with teriyaki and Vitality smoothie
LUNCH Za’atar chicken with cranberry tabbouleh
PM SNACK Chilli and rosemary spiced nuts and seeds with protein shake
DINNER BBQ turkey with sweet potato wedges & corn

DAY 3

BREAKFAST Peach and raspberry yoatie
AM SNACK Dark chocolate and cranberry crunch pot with protein shake
LUNCH Fennel and broad bean salad with chicken
PM SNACK Sesame chicken bites
DINNER Herbed chicken and white bean hot pot

DAY 4

BREAKFAST Raw cacao and hazelnut granola with vanilla yoghurt
AM SNACK Mixed fruit pot with protein shake
LUNCH Pea and watercress soup with spinach and pine nut wrap with hummus
PM SNACK Greek spiced chicken with tzatziki
DINNER Quinoa-rusted salmon with greens

DAY 5

BREAKFAST Mango and coconut muesli
AM SNACK Mini turkey sausages with mustard dip
LUNCH Italian beef pasta salad
PM SNACK Lime and chipotle hummus with chicken dippers
DINNER Sesame crusted cod and beetroot chips with crushed peas and green salad

DAY 6

BREAKFAST Pina colada yoatie
AM SNACK Sweet potato bites with sweet chilli dip
LUNCH Chicken tikka, lentil and spinach salad
PM SNACK Popcorn trail mix and protein shake
DINNER Turkey goulash

To find out how Sportskitchen by Soulmatefood can support your training with our meal plans see www.soulmatefood.com.

*For training information and workouts from some of the biggest names in combat sport don’t miss the Fighting Fit: Train like the Stars special*

July 3, 2014
July 3, 2014
Is Amir Khan next for Manny Pacquiao?

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THE date and venue have been set for Manny Pacquiao’s next adventure, but the opponent joining him at Venetian in Macau on November 22 is still up for debate. Ruslan Provodnikov looked likely until he was upset by Chris Algieri, and recently Amir Khan has announced he would love the chance to tackle his old stablemate. Terrence Crawford’s bashing of Yuriorkis Gamboa elevated his standing, and Mexican veteran Juan Manuel Marquez will forever be linked to his dance partner from hell.

AMIR KHAN

Action Factor: 8/10

Why it could happen: Khan proved, while hammering Luis Collazo, that he is one of the best welterweights in the world and a scrap with Pacquiao could be an absolute thriller. By November 22, his body will be fully recharged from the strains of Ramadan – a factor in him missing out on the September date with Floyd Mayweather – and with Amir and Manny former stablemates at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, this would be easy to sell.

Why it won’t happen:
The Brit is signed to Golden Boy, and although there have been signs that Top Rank are willing to work alongside their promotional rivals, it seems exceptionally unlikely that either party would allow this fight to happen. The Macau venue is very much Top Rank territory, and not one they’d want to share at this stage. Even Al Haymon, Khan’s influential advisor, may struggle to make this happen.

Chances: 3/10

TERRENCE CRAWFORD

Action Factor: 7/10

Why it could happen: Crawford punched holes through Yuriorkis Gamboa to showcase his potential to the world. A fight against fellow Top Ranker Pacquiao would be fascinating. The fight might appeal to Manny, who would know a convincing win over Crawford – suddenly labelled a future superstar – would close any mouths declaring his career is as good as over.

Why it won’t happen:
It’s too early for Crawford for a number of reasons. Despite the Gamboa constriction, he is a novice at world level and currently campaigns at lightweight. Although Pac Man could make light-welter, it’s unlikely he’d drop down, making it necessary for Crawford to jump two classes to 147. Top Rank will be aware of Crawford’s potential, and throwing him in with Pacquiao at this stage could dramatically curtail his impressive progress – and future earning potential.

Chances: 5/10

JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ

Action Factor: 8/10

Why it could happen: They go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. Each of the previous four meetings were thrillers – particularly their most recent – and despite the marathon they have shared so far, the finishing ribbon remains unbroken. The opening three fights all ended with controversial decisions (two for Pacquiao and a draw), while Marquez won the fourth via brutal knockout. Again, this would not be difficult to market, and with both aligned to Top Rank, negotiations would run smooth.

Why it won’t happen:
Marquez seems content, for the time being at least, not to pursue this rivalry. The fourth fight enjoyed the most definitive conclusion and, although he failed to win any of the previous three, he is perhaps the moral leader in the series. Bob Arum might not be willing to make this one just yet because defeat to Manny would be a possibility, and it would be a reverse his career would struggle to recover from. Also consider that demand for part five is not high, and the veteran promoter may hold out until interest increases again.

Chances: 6/10

CHRIS ALGIERI

Action Factor: 6/10

Why it could happen: It seemed allRuslan Provodnikov had to do to secure the Pacquiao date was beat Chris Algieri. But the underdog triumphed in a cracking fight to put himself in the frame. Algieri exhibited courage in battle, and oozed charisma afterwards, and may be deemed as low risk foe for Pacquiao to close out his year. Easy fight to make.

Why it won’t happen:
Despite the win over Provodnikov, Algieri is the least famous name on this list. If the Timothy Bradley return didn’t sell well, this most certainly won’t. Algieri is at light-welterweight too, and although his stick-and-move style could give Pacquiao fits, the New Yorker would be a massive underdog in the eyes of fans. And Manny has reached a stage where he must feel challenged, but this assignment would test his wandering focus to the max.

Chances: 6/10

RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV

Action Factor: 9/10

Why it could happen: Despite his loss to Algieri, Provodnikov retains his high standing due to his all-action style. The points reverse was controversial, too. This is the fight Bob Arum originally wanted with good reason: action sells, and this almost guarantees it. The promoter had no issue with throwing Brandon Rios in with his prized charge after a loss, so it’s unlikely that will put him off here. Pacquiao and Provodnikov are also gym mates and would welcome a scrap knowing each is guaranteed to attack. The Russian has also confirmed that he will be fighting on November 22 in China.

Why it won’t happen:
There may be objection from fans if Provodnikov jumps from a loss into the biggest fight of his life. Certainly, the odds on a Pacquiao victory will have dropped since the Algieri fight and, as a result, some of the intrigue has gone. The logical step would be for Provodnikov to fight on the Macau undercard. Also, Freddie Roach would be forced to choose who he trains as both have made their names with him as their wingman.

Chances: 7/10

July 3, 2014
July 3, 2014
noe-gonzalez-alcoba

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NOE GONZALEZ ALCOBA (above right) says there will be no repeat of the mistake he made against George Groves when he tackles Rocky Fielding in a super-middleweight 12-rounder at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on July 12.

The Argentina-based Uruguayan travelled to London in May 2013 to face Groves on the undercard of Carl Froch’s clash with Mikkel Kessler at The O2, and walked onto a stiff short right-hand from the Hammersmith star in the fifth round that ended the fight.

Groves went on to face Froch in two memorable encounters in the UK after his win over Gonzalez and the 35-year-old says that this time around he will be the one ready to step into major fights after beating Fielding.

“I made a mistake against Groves and I realised that so I never thought about walking away from the sport,” he said. “I decided to carry on boxing. I waited for something and they called me from England for this fight. I never stopped training over the past year.

“I’ve seen Fielding and I think he’s a good boxer, he’s unbeaten so this is another opportunity for me to show people in England that I can do more. I don’t want to waste this chance because there could be even more important fights down the line.

“I’m going to go there to win by any means, if it’s by knockout then so much the better but if not, by points. I’m going to his hometown and the way to win has to be convincing.

“I was treated very well the last time I was there. In fact, it’s the best experience I’ve had fighting away. They took me everywhere and treated me well. I’m proud to go back and I don’t to waste this chance or show anyone a lack of respect. I need to look good in Liverpool.

“Groves is better than Fielding for sure, he’s at the top level, that’s why he was able to do well against Froch. Fielding will look at me as a stepping stone to better things but I am not coming over to get beaten, I know I can stop him on his home patch.

“I believe in myself, I’m training hard for this and on July 12 I’m going to show the English public what I can do.”