WHAT a contrast. In the same week we had Manny Pacquiao donating $50,000 to a cancer charity organisation. The Filipino star participated in a charity walk and handed over the cheque to a representative of the Cancer Patient Care Society during his visit to the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile Floyd Mayweather Jnr posted a video showing him literally throwing money around at 5.00am at a private party surrounded but women clad in little else except thongs and straps. Pacquiao class in the ring and class outside the ring. Mayweather class in the ring and crass outside the ring. However you can be sure that there will be people down on their hands and knees and willing to forgive anything short of murder to get Mayweather to fight again. The returns for the Pacquiao fight were astounding. Close to 4.6 million buys totalling more than $437 million revenue. Incredible.
Heavyweights seem to be coming back into vogue-well some are. Obviously the Wlad Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury fight is looming. Klitschko should give Fury a bonus as the big Brit has worked overtime promoting the show but it is a sell out so you can stop clowning now Tyson. Next month will see the much anticipated Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte fight in London which sold out in just a few hours of the tickets going on sale. Both are big punchers so don’t blink. A lot has been made of Whyte flooring and beating Joshua when they were amateurs but having watched it on You Tube it is irrelevant as both were then such raw novices. Deontay Wilder will be making a title defence on January 26 and he is playing the “Mayweather “game of holding back the name of his challenger with names being thrown around of those that want the next dance. For me Wilder has lost a great opportunity. Since beating Bermane Stiverne he has taken two relatively safe defences and don’t expect the third to be any tougher. As a champion he has so far been a disappointment and the sooner he fights Alexander Povetkin the better. Heavyweight interest in Europe is not confined to Klitschko. Erkan Teper’s defence of his European heavy title against the “Nordic Nightmare” Robert Helenius in Helsinki has already sold 7.500 tickets and is assured of being a sell-out. Things don’t look nearly so good for former champion Bermane Stiverne. The Haitian-born Canadian fights in Las Vegas this weekend against Derric Rossy but Showtime will be taking the fights on the show for Frank Galarza and Sergey Derevyanchenko but not Stiverne. Eighteen months ago he was a world champion now he can’t even get air time – yesterday’s man!
As I said Fury has done a great job of selling the Klitschko fight and nothing sells as well as a real grudge match. That certainly seems to be the case for the fight in Denmark between Patrick Nielsen and Rudy Markussen. These had to be pulled apart at a press conference and the fight is not until December 12. By then they could have dug trenches and be tossing grenades and it will be another sell out.
In upgrading Adrien Broner to super champion the WBA again show their cynical machinations. At one time to be a “super” champion with the WBA you had to also hold one of the other sanctioning body titles. Messy but some logic to it. Then they realised that it was a dead end as sometimes there were no fighters holding two titles so they were stuck with just a WBA champion. When rules get in the way of sanctioning fees the rules get trodden into the dust so now they create “super” champions under the smallest pretext and free up their secondary title to earn more fees. Then you have the WBA taking away Guillermo Rigondeaux’s title and making him champion in recess just in time for the much anticipated fight between their then secondary champion Scott Quigg and IBF champion Carl Frampton to be a real unification match. Whilst Quigg was only holding their secondary title it could not be a unification title fight but now they have shifted (shafted) Rigondeaux it can be. So the Cuban gets “stripped” for failure to defend since December.
In a different way the WBC is also at fault. The late Jose Sulaiman announced that the WBC were discontinuing interim titles as they just caused confusion and they would be replaced by Silver titles. Despite this the WBC are still sanctioning interim title fights and the least they could do is be honest and come out and say they have reversed the policy put in place by Jose and interim title are part of WBC policy as also are Silver titles and Silver Silver titles etc. etc.
I have not yet found the time to ingest all of the WBC Convention reports but I will. There is one very positive thing that has come out of the growth of four major sanctioning bodies and that is their medical and officials meetings/seminars. Before the sanctioning bodies arrived there was no forum for sharing of information of recommendations for change or lessons learned in these areas. For that alone they, but particularly the WBC, have made a major contribution to safety in boxing. It is also good to see some of the top referees going to pass their knowledge to others. Hall of Fame referee Stan Christodoulou has given teach-ins in many countries.
Still on ring officials Kenny Bayless is giving his time to go to Uganda to help launch a project there the “Beyond the Ring” which aims to develop a fund to which both current and former boxers in need can go to for assistance. There will also be a charity boxing show featuring amateurs and professionals with Bayless refereeing some of the fights.
Perhaps Bayless has a future pupil in Vic Darchinyan. The little Australian/Armenian was credited with breaking up a fist fight between Billy Dib and Will Tomlinson. There is genuine bad feeling between the two so a ring fight is a possibility but Vic won’t be allowed to referee that one.
Floyd Mayweather Jnr may like girls half dressed at parties but not on the cover of boxing magazines. He criticised Ring Magazine for putting female UFC fighter Ronda Rousey on the front page. It was not clear what was upsetting him most Rousey being a participant in UFC or being female. I have to admit for my own part that I rarely watch women’s boxing but when I have they have mostly been entertaining fights but are just not my thing. However now and then something opens my eyes to some aspects of female boxing. A recent one concerned Bulgarian boxer Galina Ivanova. My mind-set sees people coming into boxing for a variety of reasons but I tend to see this motivation through male eyes. For Galina the impetus was something that anyone could recognise and approve of. Galina is a single mother who is fighting to achieve a better life for her daughter. She started boxing in 1999 and there have been ups and downs but she has been EBU, WBA, GBU and WBC champion but last month lost in Venezuela in an attempt to again win the WBA title. I can’t think of a more worthwhile cause and I truly wish the fighter and mother from Bulgaria every success.
Mexican boxer Nery “Pantera” Saguilan is a colourful character and not just because he wears a panther mask into the ring. The last picture I saw also had him accompanied by two Mexican “bandidos” with Viva Zapata moustaches wearing crossed bandoliers and armed with rifles. If one of his fights is a close decision he would get my vote like a shot.
Antonio Douglas continues to make impressive progress and I am wondering if he goes on to win a world title and his sister Tyrieshia does the same whether it will be the first brother and sister pairing to win world titles. In any case it is good to see them both enjoying success as they were brought up in foster care and life cannot have been easy.
The policy for allocating TV dates in South Africa has descended into farce from the start. Putting aside the court injunction that is being ignored the policy was that each of the nine Provinces would be allocated a TV date that their promoters could bid for. Well the first date was allocated to a promoter in his province and then the South African TV told him to take the show to Johannesburg which makes nonsense of the whole policy. The promoter rightly refused as it would cost him a lot of money to shift the fighters, officials etc. at such short notice and he was finally allowed to promote in his own Province.
When reviewing upcoming fights I see plenty of TBA’s up until less than a week before the scheduled fight which just highlights the easy relationship between the sanctioning bodies and the promoters. If it is not a major fight you can stick anyone at any time as long as you pay the sanctioning fee. Typical is the WBO. They don’t have any European ratings so if a promoter wants to stage a WBO European fight, for the vacant title or a defence, they can pretty well make any match they want which is alarming when you think that winning their European title guarantees the winner a place in the WBO’s top 15 even if his opponent would not make it into the top 100. Quality of an opponent becomes irrelevant.
New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker has been impressive in putting away a reasonable level of opposition in gradually more testing fights. That policy seems to have stalled. On December 5 he faces Daniel “The Mountain” Martz who has a 14-2-1 record. Not too bad at first glance but Maiz is tackling the man rated No 6 in the world by the WBO despite Maiz having been stopped in two rounds in April by Grover Young who had an 11-15-1 record at the time. Not much progress there. Also on the Hamilton show will be Polish heavyweight Izuagbe Ugonoh who is 14-0 with 11 wins by KO/TKO.
WBO cruiser champion Krzys Glowacki has reported that his injured left hand is healing and he is aiming to defend his title in January or February. Already making his pitch to be first in the queue is the new IBO champion Ola Afolabi. After three close decision defeats in previous title fight Afolabi finally took the decision out of the judge’s hands with his kayo of Rakhim Chakhkiev. Smart move Ola.
Good to see that Nicholas Walters is returning to action in Verona on December 19 against Jason Sosa. It will be first fight for Walters since losing his title on the scales in June. Sosa has not fought at the same level as Walters but is unbeaten in his last 17 fights so it will be interesting to see how the Jamaican performs. Amnat Ruenroeng puts his IBF fly title on the line on December 7 in Hua Hin, Thailand against South Korean Myung Ho Lee. I sometimes wonder how far in advance promotions are planned. Lee’s last fight was on July 20 but he was not in the IBF ratings posted August 2. Without fighting he suddenly appeared at No 10 in the ratings posted on September 2. Now if I had a suspicious mind…
A much better flyweight title fight will see Kazuto Ioka defending his WBA secondary title against Argentinian Juan Carlos Reveco. Ioka took the title from Reveco on a hotly disputed decision in April so it is nice to see the WBA do the right thing and get Reveco his chance for revenge.
It is not unusual for winners of a big competition to parade their trophy before their fans in an open bus. They are doing it the other way around in Namibia. Paulus Ambunda and the other Namibian fighters on the December 5 show where Ambunda defends his IBO super-bantam title against Australian Jason Cooper will be parading in an open top bus before the fight to encourage their fans to support them.
On November 21 in Hanover German super-middle prospect Tyrone Zeuge takes on former European light-heavy champion Eduard Gutknecht. Last time out he got a useful win over Nikola Sjekloca so is steadily moving up in class. Also on the show is Juergen Doberstein (19-2-1) who faces experienced Argentinian Ruben Acosta.
A charity boxing show in Ludwigsburg, Germany at the weekend raised quite a bit of money for the charities involved. That was the good news. The bad news is that veteran Danny Williams was trotted out again and lost in four rounds against Luan Krasniqi. I worry about the health of the popular Williams.
A few notes on a show I missed (yes it is possible). In Keta Ghana on November 6 on a landmark Promotions show Braimah “Bukom Banku” Kamoko extended his winning total to 28 wins with a fourth round stoppage of David Okine. It was Kamoko’s first fight for almost 18 months and the rust showed early. The Ghanaian cruiserweight it very popular in Ghana and his fight in May last year with Ayitey Powers drew a record crowd. Powers was also supposed to fight on the show but he failed to turn up. In other bouts undefeated feather prospect Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe, 21, won the West African Union title with third round stoppage of John Obliti Commey. The Ghanaian was English ABA champion in 2013 and represented Ghana at the 2012 Olympics. At super welter Obodai Sai halted Gabriel Adoku in two rounds and welterweight Patrick Allotey stopped Fuseini Ahmed in two rounds.
The announcement that Daiki Kameda has retired due to a detached retina in his left eye hopefully might lead to the end of the acrimony between the Kameda clan and the JBC. Koki has also retired leaving only Tomoki carrying the flag for the only family to have three brothers win world titles. Relationships between their father and the JBC hurt boxing in Japan but for Tomoki’s sake I hope the rift will heal.
There was one of those strange inexplicable incidents at the weekend as Italian Giuseppe Brischetto failed to turn up for his challenge to EBU super-middle champion Hadillah Mohoumadi. He did not arrive on his scheduled flight to Milan and neither his manager nor his trainer had any idea where he was. He had no right challenging for the title so had to be slipped into the EBU ratings to let it happen but it would have been the biggest opportunity and his biggest payday so very curious. The disappearing Brischetto. Mohoumadi will now have a voluntary defence in Turin on November 28 against a TBA but that is short notice for any challenger.
A few years back when I was at the WBC Convention in Las Vegas I saw a dignified looking elderly man sitting on a chair by the elevators. It took me a second glance to realise it was the great Jose Napoles and it was a pleasure just to exchange a few words with the great man. The Napoles name is still alive in boxing. Angel “Mantequillita” Napoles, 17, the grandson of the former welterweight champion is enjoying success in amateur tournaments and has a 9-0 record with 6 wins by KO/TKO. Early days but who knows one day another Napoles could be hitting the headlines.
If you mention Nottingham and boxing the automatic connection is Carl Froch but boxing in that city goes way way back. A reminder came this week with the final restoration of a statue in the city of William “Bendigo” Thompson. The wear and tear of weather had damaged the statute. Thompson was a real character. He won the “world” heavyweight title in 1839 then retired only to come back and win it again. Thompson loved to fight but not always in the ring. As a result he was jailed 28 times but had a conversion whilst in jail for that 28th time and became an evangelist drawing huge crowds. Now all it needs is a lick of paint to finish the work recognising one of Nottingham’s most famous boxers.