THERE are a couple of big fights on the horizon I’m looking forward to featuring boxers with a connection to VIP Promotions. Brian Rose – who I manage – takes on Carson Jones on February 14 with a view to getting back into the world title picture. And a week later, Martin Murray – who started his career with me as manager – has the unenviable task of trying to dethrone Gennady Golovkin.
When Brian was beaten by Demetrius Andrade for the WBO light-middleweight title last year, plenty of people wrote him off saying he couldn’t compete at the highest level, but I don’t think that’s the case. It may have shown he is not at ‘elite’ level, as I believe Andrade is a very special fighter. Brian admits he froze on the night, and it was a one-sided fight, but he came out with credit by having the balls to stay in there and trying to compete. With the experience gained I believe next time he will do much better and, if it’s his day, he can become a world champion.
I see Brian dominating Jones with his jab, and Carson is much more suited to Brian’s style than Andrade. I’m expecting a very good performance which will put him back in world title contention. Although Jones has fought down at welterweight and has twice been beaten by Kell Brook, I believe a convincing win by Brian will tell us he’s much better than he showed against Andrade. He’s the dominant light-middle domestically and needs to show the same against a fringe world class fighter in Jones.
Unfortunately in the Murray versus Golovkin fight, I see a win for Golovkin. I would love to see Martin victorious but, like everyone else, I think GGG is a special elite fighter with unnatural power to go with his ability. I’ve thought about it a lot and can’t really see a tactic that will work for Martin, other than a shoot-out, and that may not end well either!
Martin seemed to surprise people with his previous close performances against world champions Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez but I was really surprised Martin didn’t win those fights. I always believed Sturm and Martinez were way past their best and if Martin had believed in himself more, and put it on them, he’d have won both. I can understand the Sturm fight as it was his first really big fight, but the Martinez fight I struggle to understand why he didn’t really go for it.
I managed Martin when he turned pro. I started a job with him and would like to have seen it through but I gave him his contract back because he had an advisor I couldn’t work with. Anyone who knows me knows it’s not just about money but more about doing a good job and enjoying it. It wasn’t fun working with Martin at the time and we had to part. Since then, Martin has changed his advisor and I get on fine with him now. I have a lot of mutual friends with Martin who idolise him and who will share the dream with him if he can pull it off. I would love it for them, as much as Martin, if he can do it, but it’s a colossal task.
Steve Wood was speaking to John Hannen
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