Has The World Boxing Super Series SSN1 Been A Success

Firstly I would just like to let people know i am alive and well but thing’s were just a bit hectic the past couple of weeks so i took a wee break . So what’s been happening since i last put my thoughts down on cyber paper ? Well we have seen the full AJ/Wilder thing fall apart which now looks like the fight is now further away than ever , but everyone and there granny has had a say on that and I’m sure we are all sick of the full thing by now . The other massive news that’s been gradually breaking in the boxing world the past few weeks is the announcements of fighters and weight divisions for next season’s WBSS . With the likes of Josh Taylor signed up for Super Lightweight tournament and Zolani Tete and Inoue signing up for the bantamweight which had me excited but then it got me thinking , can we class season one a success ? .

Anybody that follows the DJayBoxing page know’s i am a massive fan of this tournament format . I have travelled across europe following Oleksander Usyk on his journey to the final , on show’s which were called ” The Road To Jeddah ” as the saudi’s had secured the right to the Cruiserweight final . At the time i tweeted out i thought this could spell trouble for the tournament and that turned out to be the case when the Saudi’s sold the rights to the Russians after Gassiev secured his place in the final . This lead to rumours that Usyk would pull out of the fight and these rumours gathered more pace when Usyk pulled out of the fight in May due to ” Injury ” . Thankfully all looks to be going ahead in Russia later this month .

Now on to the more worrying side of the season one tournament , the super middleweight final between Callum Smith and George Groves . This was a fight most boxing fans in Britain were buzzing about , a buzz that has since all but died . Right from the start this fight was in doubt after Groves dislocated his shoulder then it was announced that beaten semi finalist Chris Eubank Jnr was on standby should Groves not be fit on time . I heard that George Groves has started sparring which is great news for the legitimacy and prestige of this tournament and now it has been announced that the final is all set for September , so better late than never right ? ….Well no as it now seems that this all British fight will NOT happen in Britain , and may even take place in Jeddah , talk about throwing up obstacles and killing a buzz .

So has it been a success ? I would say yes for the most part . This tournament has tried to take boxing in a new direction which is built around momentum and the best fighting the best , bringing boxing back to a bygone era , that has to be appreciated and in there debut season I’m sure some valuable lessons have been learned . For us the fans we have seen how money and politics are never far away from boxing , even in this tournament that holds itself in such high regard . Roll on season two .

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Hearn vs Wilder/Espinoza – Round by Round

Hearn vs Wilder/Espinoza – Round by Round

Not one wise man has ever said that the worlds problems will be sorted on social media but it didn’t stop Eddie Hearn , Stephen Espinoza , Deontay Wilder and few others taking to twitter and arguing like little girls about who’s to blame for AJ vs Wilder not happening . I am going to attempt to take you through a tweet by tweet review and we will see who win’s this on the cards .

It all started when the reporter Brendan Schaub claimed that Deontay Wilder had agreed to EVERY demand Hearn and AJ made , to which Hearn refuted .

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So all seems amicable so far , but everybody knew it wasn’t going to stay amicable for long as Wilder was tagged in the tweet . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.10.46.png

Now the fun begins as Hearn starts talking about Stephen Espinoza and Al Haymon not proving they had the funds to pay $50m for the fight , even though these guys have put on the biggest grossing fights in boxing . Eddie Hearn claims he still wants proof , well that was enough to draw Wilder in and i have to admit i have to agree with Wilder , AJ has came out of this looking awful . Round 1 Wilder .

Hearn then attempts to even things up with his very own trade mark shot from the funny bone . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.22.03.png

But WBC World Champion Wilder was having none of it and in typical Wilder fashion he held nothing back . You can feel the rage coming from Wilder . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.31.25.png

But because Wilder didn’t bother to even argue with Hearn , Wilder just vented his anger  so we will score this a 10/10 .

Now it’s time to bring in a big hitter from the US , Stephen Espinosa who took exception with Hearn’s original tweet and there now there is some brains to back up Wilders anger , Hearn took a big blow against a big hitter here . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.47.39.png

Hearn could not and should not give up here and lose face , his gloves were off and he was going to attempt to claw Espinoza’s bastarding eye’s out (“Claw Bastarding eyes ” Is a Scottish term of aggression ) .  Round 3 Hearn Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.50.53.png

Espinoza still had his eyes on the prize , Hearn may have hit below the belt in his last tweet but Espinoza will not be deterred from getting his facts out there . but after a great start to the tweet he very nearly lost it toward the end when talking about  “loyalty ” . Round4 Espinoza

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Going into the last round i had it all square . Eddie Hearn had managed to manoeuvre himself into a position where he was the one asking the questions , a very smart ploy when it’s obvious to most what side is holding this fight up . Could Hearn keep it up for just one more round ? . Espinoza again dropped a big shot when pointing out how little Hearn is outside of the UK when it come’s to PPV . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 20.11.53.png

Now i was expecting Hearn to come back swinging , his standing in the game had just been challenged but what did we get …well this . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 20.12.19.png

To me Hearn just admitted he’s not sure if could sell a PPV to the biggest market in boxing …..This fight was there for the taking and he fluffed after such a good start . Round 5 Espinoza

The Show Must Go On – Frank Warren is having a laugh

The Show Must Go On – Frank Warren is having a laugh

As i sit here writing this article i am watching Matchroom’s Midweek NextGen show at York Hall which will be headlined by Luke Watkins vs Laurence Okolie , a fantastic fight with two young guys who have a great opportunity to to make a big impression on prime time sky sports . Not only is the main event a good fight but Eddie Hearn has made some fantastic match ups on the undercard in a sold out venue on a Wednesday night it really is fantastic promoting , a breath of fresh air after the week Hearn’s rival Frank Warren has had .

Last week I wrote an article called “Why are boxing fans treated with discontent ” which seemed to go down really well with most that read it but little did i know that the best example of this discontent was going to come a few days AFTER i had published . On Sunday the news broke that Billy Joe Saunders vs Martin Murray was cancelled after Saunders pulled out with injury for a second time ……but hey all you people that bought a ticket’s and booked hotels , travel etc to see Saunders vs Murray don’t expect a refund as the show will still be on , just not the main event you paid for .

Rumour has it that this show had only sold around 3000 tickets but it has to asked what was Frank thinking when this fight was made ? It was a fight that nobody was asking for . Since the turn of the year Warren has had nearly as many show’s or fights postponed or cancelled as he has go ahead , it’s actually at the point now were i would advise people not to buy tickets to his shows , and as a boxing fan that really pains me and i would ask what the BBBofC think about this as again fans are being hit in the pocket , not to mention fighters who have paid for full training camps .

I can’t help think that BT Sport have got to be questioning there own decision to partner with Frank Warren to launch boxing on there top class sports platform . Whilst Hearn seem’s to moving on from strength to strength , putting on NextGen shows that could match some of Warren’s card’s , Warren seems to be staggering along like an old dog waiting to be put put his misery .

Why Are Boxing Fan’s Treated With Utter Discontent

Why Are Boxing Fan’s Treated With Utter Discontent

Today i have been sitting reading the news that GGG vs Canelo rematch is all but dead due to negotiations breaking down because a dispute over purse splits , this come’s just a week after AJ vs Wilder broke down in negotiations and now also look’s like it wont be happening anytime soon . After such a promising start to the year the past month has really took the wind right of my sails which has me asking myself ….Does any other sport treat there fans with the utter discontent that boxing does ? .

Time after time we see fight’s that make sense at the elite level fall apart in negotiations , to the point that we see more of these fight’s fall apart more often than they are made . Ever since AJ beat Joseph Parker to pick up his third world title his team have been pushing this narrative that Deontay Wilder did not want to fight AJ . As a war of words kicked off between the two via social media Anthony Joshua told Wilder

“You pay me $50m and il sign the fight tomorrow ”

When Joshua made this statement it was a throwaway comment but to his shock team Wilder came up with the $50m , which would be Joshua’s biggest ever payday so the fight should get made right ? ….Well no as the next demand made was that AJ wanted home advantage , a move that would cap the earning potential of this fight , a demand that the money men behind this offer couldn’t agree to . As of now this fight looks dead in the water which is no big loss to AJ as he could make that kind of money in three easier fights here in the UK keeping his sponsors like StubHub happy as they make millions from ripping fans off to go watch AJ , but why are we as fans willing to accept this just because it’s AJ ? Boxing fans lost all respect for guys like Adonis Stevenson and Danny Garcia for doing something similar .

Over in the the US we have GGG insisting on a 50/50 split when he fights the biggest name in boxing Canelo Alvarez in there long awaited rematch . Now this one is a little bit more complicated due to Canelo failing a drug test in April and his fight with GGG being cancelled . The fight was due to take place in May with all sides agreeing on 65/35 split in favour of Canelo , giving GGG 5% more than he got in the first fight but since the failed drug test GGG and his team feel they should be compensated . Now i am GGG fan but there is no way that he brings 50% to the table, Canelo is by far the main draw here but when we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars there is more than enough cash on the table to get this fight made and to be honest it makes me feel sick that both sides cant get this fight made when I’ve spoke to guys who can’t even cover there training camp due to there purse being so low .

Could you imagine any other sport where the best don’t test themselves against the best . Imagine for a second that in football Barcelona refused to play Real Madrid or in tennis if Andy Murray refused to take on Djokovic . Why are we so willing to accept being treated like this as fans ? At the end of the day our power lays with the pounds , shilling’s and pence that is in our pockets , I think these so called superstars need to remember it is us the fans that put them where they are and we can bring them back down .

Fail To Prepare Then Prepare To Fail: Is Warren Going To Ruin Frampton’s Big Night At Windsor ?

There is an old saying that an old boss of mine used to use ” If you fail to prepare , then prepare to fail ” and at the time it used to rile me but after seeing how Frank Warren has handled this whole Carl Frampton fighting at Windsor Park in August , i am now finally starting to see wisdom in his words . After Frampton beat Nonito Donaire in his last fight it was announced that Carl would be fighting next in Windsor Park on the 18th August . At the time it had a lot of us thinking who is it going to be as most other real contenders already had fights scheduled and would not leave a lot of time to turnaround .

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It had been expected that Warren was hoping that the winner of Warrington/Selby would come through unscathed , even Carl Frampton was ringside to call out the winner which suggests to me that even Frampton thought this was the case . After Warrington beat Selby he looked to be up for a quick return to the ring in Belfast but Frank Warren soon put that to bed in the post fight media conference ……So what now ?

World Champion Leo Santa Cruz will also be busy when he takes on Abner Mares , who is another top ten fighter in the division . Garry Russell Jnr just fought another top 10 contender in Jo Jo Diaz last weekend which would all but put them out of the running  , There was talk that Kid Galahad might be drafted in but word is that Galahad will be served up to Josh Warrington as mandatory  . Oscar Valdez is recovering from a broken jaw he received against Scott Quigg …..Well there is Scott Quigg who would love to have a rematch with Frampton but there is the small matter of him being an Eddie Hearn fighter and with no title on the line I’m sure Hearn would rather see this show fall apart than let his man save it . One go my friends made a decent prediction that it could be Rigo at a catchweight but i doubt that Carl wants that .

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My big fear is that Frank Warren is looking to cash in on Frampton’s fanbase and take advantage of his thousands of die hard fans . The fact is that an opponent has to be named soon to give sufficient time to have a proper camp and the closer it gets the more it is looking like it is going to be an inferior opponent . Frampton said he signed with Warren with the guarantee that he could fight at Windsor Park so i think that puts any talk of this show being cancelled to bed , especially when you factor in that if and when Frampton/Warrington happens it will be in Leeds and not Belfast as Warrington is World Champion and a massive draw himself , whilst Frampton fans have proved in the past they will travel in there thousands . I fear the backlash Warren and Frampton could receive if they don’t pull a rabbit out of the hat here .

No Khan Do Kell

This generation of boxing fans have had to put up with something that at no other time in the sport of boxing have fans had to put up with “Fight Marination” and inevitibly as a bye product “Over-Marination” . Some say it started with Floyd Matweather and his super fight with Manny Pacquiao which took around seven years to get signed , and inevitably ended up a bit of a snooze fest . Others say it started back in the 90’s when Lennox Lewis looked set to fight Roddick Bowe in what would have been the biggest fight of that golden era of heavyweights , but after square up’s and heated exchanges the fight had over-marinated and intrest petered out robbing fan’s of the chance to see this amazing specticle . No matter who is blame for this frustrating and greed based addition to making the biggest and best fights all the harder to make , it looks here to stay .

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Brook calls out Khan in Liverpool (pic from Metro)

Over the past 6 years Britain has had two of the best 147lbs fighters in the world in Amir Khan and Kell Brook which has seen fans foam at the mouth at the prospect of both men meeting in the ring for what would be the biggest domestic super fight since Benn/Eubank in the 90’s . For years we had Eddie Hearn tell us this fight would sell out Wembley stadium and we had Kell Brook call out and insult Khan on a weekly basis tying to goad him into the fight , but although this fight made so much sense , Amir Khan would not budge nor would he bite . At the same time that Brook wouldn’t leave sheffield and chase big fights , Khan was out challenging the best in the division and picking up some big paydays along the way in the US . Although Brook was a World Champion his CV was weak and Khan used this to his advantage not to come home and fight Brook as Brook needed Khan a lot more than Khan needed Brook .

I think the real reason that the Khan/Brook fight didn’t happen is that although this fight would have made Khan a career high pay day four years ago , he just doesn’t like Eddie Hearn or Brook , instead of throwing Brook a bone he decided to take on the likes of Danny Garcia and Lammont Peterson , keeping the Brook fight as an option whilst trying to make fights with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Paquaiuo which never happened , in a period that also seen Khan badly KO’d three times , which really calmed all talk of the Brook fight being made and the fight looked all but dead  .

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Khan with New Promoter Eddie Hearn (pic from the Independent) 

Now years have passed and as it goes in the crazy world of boxing Amir Khan has now signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom boxing , reigniting hope that the Khan/Brook fight can now be made , i mean it makes sense right ? ….Well I’m not so sure . A lot of people don’t like to admit this but Amir Khan is still bigger name in boxing around the world than Kell Brook and that’s why i have my doubts that this fight will ever be made . I think Eddie Hearn will use Khan on his Matchroom USA show’s to help get them established in the US . Khan has already said there is more chance of him fighting Adrian Broner than Kell Brook , and that would need to take place in the US to maximise interest  , and that would be a great statement by Matchroom that they are serious about there US Venture .

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Brook after his first win at 154lbs ( pic from daily mail)

So where now for Brook ? , Well Brook has now lost his 147lbs title and moved up to 154lbs , one of the most stacked divisions out there at the moment but still not a lucrative division . The only route i see open to Brook is the WBO route , where champion Sadam Ali will face Liam Smith in May . Im sure Brook and Eddie Hearn will be praying that Ali wins that fight as it would be a lot easier to get a fight with Ali signed as Smith fights for Frank Warren and there is no way he would let Brook get his hands on the title . Kell Brook is not finished just yet , he could easily cash out with a Jerrett Hurd or Charlo coming to the UK in what would be a Sky PPV event , but i believe Brook’s next loss is his last one so i don’t see him rushing to sign up to fight those guys if he can avoid it  .

 

 

AJ/Wilder – I’m Going To Make Him An Offer He Can’t Accept

AJ/Wilder – I’m Going To Make Him An Offer He Can’t Accept

In 1972 the world was introduced to Francis Ford Coppola’s cinema masterpiece ” The Godfather ” which to this day is still one of the greatest movies ever made . This movie immortalised Marlon Brando as one of the best actors of all time with his portrayal of Don Vito Corleone , a mafia family leader . Vito Corleone is the kind of character that every man would want to be and every actor would love to play , A charismatic leader of men , a man with the power help or hinder , a character that will will survive time and to top it off he is a character with one of the best catchphrases in Movie History …..” I’m going to make him an offer can’t refuse ”

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It has emerged this week that Eddie Hearn has made Deontay Wilder a ” take it or leave it “offer of $12.5m (£8.9m) for what is one of the biggest fights in boxing today , Eddie has took Vito Corleone’s catchphrase and turned it on its head ” He’s made him an offer he can’t accept ” . On the face of it some would think that this is a good offer as it’s five time more than Wilder’s biggest purse to date as Hearn was quick to point out , but it was Hearn’s own language that aroused my suspicion . When Hearn was negotiating AJ/Parker we never heard a figure mentioned it was broken down into percentages , even when the fight was signed all we heard was Parker would receive between 30-35% , so why now is Hearn talking in hard figures ? Is it because he doesn’t want people to know that the offer to Wilder is around 20% , way less than the share received by Parker and Klitschko .

Pic From Ring Mag

We have also seen Eddie Hearn use his buzz words to make this look like Wilder is ducking Joshua , buzz phrases like ” Five times more ” , “If THEY don’t want it” and my personal favourite ” Thats all Wilder is worth , AJ brings the rest to the table ” . The projected figures for AJ/Wilder is it will make in excess of $50m which is much more than AJ/Parker so how can Hearn say Wilder doesn’t bring anything to this fight . There is also a contradiction to this ” take it , or leave it offer ” as Hearn finished up by saying

“If they don’t accept it, the fight’s not dead. It just means we’re going to fight Alexander Povetkin next, and we’ll talk again in December, or February or March of next year.’’

So my question is to Hearn what will change ? If both sides are the width of the Atlantic ocean apart just now in what they rate Wilders worth at , what is going to change to bring them closer …..Dillion Whyte ? ( laugh and now recompose for the last paragraph )

Now i am a working class boxing fan , i don’t like to discuss how many millions these millionaires should get , and to be quite frank i don’t care If i am being totally honest a big part of me thinks Wilder should just take it as $12.5m is more than enough for any man . All i want is the biggest fights in boxing and this offer just put’s AJ/Wilder way back , in a division where there is no real competition for either . AJ and his team have kept throwing obstacles in the way of this fight and they know this offer won’t be accepted and that has me asking myself the question , Is this a case of greed masking fear ? .

Read more here at Ring Mag