Canelo vs GGG – Robbery ? …Hell No

Canelo vs GGG – Robbery ? …Hell No

Why do we as fans love boxing ? For me personally I love the way in which these athletes can perform under intense pressure . The way in which these men and woman can function whilst being punched ,completely blocking out pain at times . Of course what we get to see in the ring is only a fraction of the time , hardwork and methodical training that’s gone in for the week’s and months before fightnight . On Saturday night we seen two of the very best in the sport go toe to toe when GGG vs Canelo got there rematch underway in what would prove to be a masterclass in boxing , something a lot of fans have forgotten how to enjoy .

Elite >”A select group that is superior in terms of ability”

The above is how the dictionary defines elite , words that could have easily been replaced by a photo of GGG and Canelo . Any doubt as to the Mexican superstars pedigree were put to bed early on in this fight as he shocked everybody by coming and taking the centre of the ring  forcing GGG to box off the backfoot , something we have never seen him have to do before .

The first half of the fight we really seen Canelo look comfortable and relaxed doing some great bodywork , whilst GGG smartly stayed behind that fantastic jab until he could adjust to Canelo, who had clearly caught the champion off guard . Although Canelo looked to be doing the better work it really was getting harder to score as the fight went on . As each round passed by GGG looked to be breathing very heavily due to a combination of great bodywork from Canelo and the high pace of the fight .

I have to admit I thought the fight was beginning to get away from GGG at the end of the seventh but then just before the eighth round GGG’s corner told him he was losing this fight . In the eighth a switch seemed to flick in GGG prompting him to go meet Canelo in the middle of the ring and what came next was like watching physical and violent poetry . GGG was definitely having more success fighting this way and clearly picking up a few rounds , the full time starting to feel pity for the judge’s , and It wasn’t going to get any easier for them . As GGG would dominate the first half of around Canelo would finish stronger and vise versa , rounds would swing back and forward . As the fight came to an end one thing was for sure , this was close , really close .

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Robbery > To take the property of anther in his or her person or presence

The Judges had the unenviable task of trying to separates these two warriors and as both stood in the ring battered and bloodied a sobering wave of dread came across most watching, as this could be another draw , a result that would totally deflate most spectators . We came for a winner and a winner is what the judges gave us . With one judge calling it a draw and two agreeing Canelo shaved it , it was the Mexican’s hand that was raised in the ring , a fair result right ? Well not to the many people who for one reason or another shouted robbery and fix . These claims leave a sour taste in my mouth . How anybody can totally disrespect the show these two put on is beyond me . Yes GGG could easily have won and the judges could have still have went home with there head’s held high . I feel that to many fans allow themselves to become emotionally involved when watching a fight , remember this isn’t football you really shouldn’t let yourself get overly attached as it clouds judgment , just like it does in football . If you cant sit back and just enjoy what you had watched without judging through tinted glasses then your denying yourself so much , you would enjoy the boxing experience so much more . Keep yourself impartial , watch out for feints , defence , positioning ,footwork and all the other stuff both these guys put together in the ring and just watch in awe .

Revenge > To exact punishment for a wrong on behalf of , especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit

It was clear that the storyline didn’t go to plan on Saturday night as Canelo who has just come back from suspension for failed drug tests walked out winner , but regardless of storylines it was a fair result . This fight had been brewing for months in some bad blood with jibes being aimed at both men in the build up . Twice now this match up has thrown up some unbelievable boxing . This isn’t a Hollywood movie , this was real life and just like in any walk of life whether it’s in a boxing ring or just an average joe in his workplace things go against you , there are those who will give up and think what’s the point , then there are those who will push on knowing that luck has a funny way of going in circles and roundabouts and GGG is certainly due some luck .I really hope GGG doesn’t retire as he still has so much he can give to the sport , and who know’s maybe if he chases that third fight he will get it and we all as fans wins as we watch them do this all over again .

Steven Donnell

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Drug Cheats ~ Hero’s and Villains

Drug Cheats ~ Hero’s and Villains

Most of my readers won’t know this but my father is blind , but any of you that do know my old man will agree that he is one of the most amazing people you will ever meet . From cycling on his tandem to mountain climbing he has done it all but his real passion is weight lifting . My Dad’s in the gym most days of the week and just approaching 59 he is still one of the strongest men in his gym . My dad has told me how so many young guys have come and gone over the years and how others are who have trained with him have got noticeably bigger and stronger over short periods of time , and with my Dad not being a man to hold back thats usually where his relationship with these guy’s end , You see my Dad maybe blind but he can see a cheat a mile away . For him training is all about the hard work and dedication so when people who ask to train with him take shortcuts and cheat he takes this as a personal insult . As is so often the case my Dad’s strong feeling’s on doping has passed down to me .

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Now my hatred for drug cheats has served me well and led me to hammer those caught at any opportunity i could . When Louis Ortiz failed a drug test for the second time i was only to happy to get tore into him . When Alexander Povetkin failed his drug test just before he was due to face Deontay Wilder i wanted a lengthy ban , when he failed another i wanted him out of the sport for life . Yeah things were good sitting back and taking aim at these fighters i felt no attachment to but that all changed in February when one of my favourite boxers in the sport , Canelo tested positive for Clenbuterol on two separate occasions .

Now like all dopers Canelo denied any wrong doing blaming the failed test on the notorious contaminated Mexican beef . Now I never bought into this excuse no mater how many times the WBC tried to force it down our throats . Now seeing Canelo coming into this fight with GGG he noticeably smaller , now i never knew what Clenbuterol done to the human body until i seen Canelo in a picture recently and that for me has removed any doubt that he cheated , as a fan of his boxing style and ability it really has left a sour taste in my mouth . On Saturday night if GGG wins then boxing wins , but what about if Canelo wins ? Will he get the credit for being the first man to beat GGG ? , I doubt it , will it clear his name and legacy ? Nope , will he be remembered for it ? I don’t think so …….which got me thinking .

One of my favourite fighters of all time is Evander Holyfield , for me a modern legend of the sport . Holyfield was involved in some of the best fights to take place in my lifetime and to this day i still go back and watch them , we even have one on our Casuals Corner . What boxing fans like to do is overlook the fact that “The Real Deal” is a drug cheat . When people talk about the Klitschko’s it is often met with “yeah Vitali was the better brother” and people will point to how Vitali was schooling Lennox Lewis until the fight was stopped prematurely due to a cut , another modern day great , another drug cheat . If you didn’t know Roy Jones Jnr was a drugs cheat you would never hear a boxing fan tell you , instead they would go on about how he is a future Hall Of Famer .

We as fans pick and choose when we want there to be a hardline zero tolerance of PED enhanced boxers and when we give them a pass . The truth of the matter is that boxing can be a popularity contest outside the ring which see’s us turn a blind eye all to often . It would seem that we only want a hardline when it suits us .

Steven Donnell

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Welcome To The Jungle – Hearn Will Never Take Over The US Market

Welcome To The Jungle – Hearn Will Never Take Over The US Market

Here in Britain we really don’t appreciate how simple our lives are when it comes to boxing . Yes we may moan about having to pick up Boxnation and BT Sport on top of our Sky Sports Subscription ( Unless you click on the Satplex picture below which you can thank me for later ) all just to watch boxing . Here in the UK we accept boxing is not one of our main sports but we see it as a stimulant . Our Boxing platforms don’t wrap up boxing in a bow and serve to to us , boxing is there to excel the Liverpool vs Man Utd game that may have took place earlier on in the day , or to keep you tuned In after the Celtic vs Rangers game has finished and do you know what it’s worked , it has came off for guys like Eddie Hearn who have brought boxing to the masses and tapped into that football ( soccer ) mad culture that engulfs all of these small isles .

With the formula of success in his hands who could blame Eddie Hearn for heading to the biggest sports market in the world shouting ” I am here to take over ” . Many people fall into this belief that there is a “western culture” due to there being a McDonnald’s in New York as well as London , due to there being a Taco Bell in Glasgow as well as in LA . The Atlantic Ocean is often overlooked as a pond that separates the UK and the US but it isn’t , it is a massive wild ocean which separates two very different cultures of people and businesses . Eddie Hearn is finding out the hard way that the wars of American Independence of 1775 have made him an outsider , in fact he is now a red coat looking to repatriate the US shouting ” I am here to take over ” .

Hearn has announced he has teamed up with DAZN in an attempt to take over the US , an online streaming platform with Hearn claiming its a deal worth $1B . Now i have been very sceptical about this deal since Eddie announced it , especially since Eddie announced that AJ was not part of the deal , which seems weird as AJ seems to appears on most of there online posters .

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Now a major part of modern American culture is Cinema . With Mafia movies being classed as Cinematography masterpieces . Movies such as the Godfather Trilogy , Goodfellas and Casino being all described as classics in there own right . These movies are powerful due to the fact they show what the modern America was really built on . Instead of being fictional stories they are seen more like documentaries of how some came to the US and ” Took ” the American Dream . Hearn is finding out that there is a MOB mentality ingrained in the US boxing market , with the five families being Top Rank , PBC , Golden boy , DiBella and Tom Loeffler (K2) and like the mafia these people don’t need nor want any outside interference .

As Eddie Hearn has flashed his $1B he has found door after door slammed shut on his face . Hearn didn’t factor into his plans that he is an outsider in a country that is becoming increasingly more insular . With US super powers such as Top Rank already having deals with ESPN , Golden Boy with ESPN + Facebook and PBC now officially teaming up with Showtime there is no need for DAZN . Time and time again we have seen guys like Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence, both Charlo Twins and Adrian Broner say ” Thank’s but no thanks ” .Hearn is finding himself more like Oliver Twist begging for the the scraps from the table rather than the a man who’s landed in the states looking to claim boxing back in the name of King George the III .

Eddie Hearn is a shroud business man who has took boxing and the live boxing show’s experience to a new level here in the UK . There is a whole new generation of boxing fans here in the UK that believe that Hearn invented sport and that the UK is now Mecca in boxing terms . To these people i say the sport needs you but take yourself back away from the pin hole you look through , Mecca is still a bingo hall in the UK , the home of boxing is and always will be in the US . Eddie Hearn is learning the hard way that a big fish outside the bowl will die , whilst the the big fish inside the bowl will fight over scraps .

Steven Donnell

KSL vs Logan – Good or Bad ? Here’s The Pros And Cons

KSL vs Logan – Good or Bad ? Here’s The Pros And Cons

On Saturday night Isaac Dogboe really impressed me with a superb first round stoppage of a tough and durable opponent in Hidpenori Otake . Then in the main event we seen Pedraza pull off a bit of a shock and when he beat Beltran rather convincingly in my opinion showing any young boxer just how important it is to master the jab in what a good night of boxing . Now if your not a so called ” Hardcore ” fan you may be sitting there thinking ” awwww this must be the PPV YouTube bloggers fight I’ve seen across every media network ” and you would be forgiven for thinking this as Saturdays TWO WORLD TITLE FIGHTS got little to no coverage , which has sparked the debate , Is this kind of exhibition fight good for boxing ?

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The Positives

I have to admit right here i have no idea who KSI or Logan are . I could walk past them on the street and not have a clue i was standing beside two guys who packed out the MEN Arena and did 800k PPV buys on an online platform , and i think that might be a positive right there . This fight wasn’t aimed at boxing fans like me or people in my age demographic . This “Fight” was aimed at youngsters who live in this online celebrity world . These kids went to this ‘boxing show’ and got a first taste of “Boxing” , these kids who may never have had any interest in boxing may now want to go see the real deal . I think the way boxing has been flirting with online platforms has been looked at sceptically by most , but these two novice wildcards have not only shown the way for the future of PPV but they have blown it out the the water with massive comercial success , with a rematch already agreed which will probably do even bigger numbers . There is another positive here , one in which boxing has brought on itself and that is the creation of a family atmosphere . The UK seems to be obsessed with massive venues for boxing which is great , but as we have seen more and more over the past few years trouble at shows has been on the rise . It is safe to say that most people now attending big boxing events will leave the wife and kids at home , but these kind of exhibitions events could easily fill that gap in the market .

Negatives

Well there is no way to dress this up , this was not boxing and to say it was is an insult to the many men and woman who give there all to the sport , a lot of the time losing money more often than they make it . I have seen a clip with one of these guys dancing in the ring during the fight making a fool of himself . These potential new fans to the sport that these events could bring need to understand that this is not boxing , showboating is something only the greats can do . There is an old cliche that comes to mind ” You do not play boxing” . I also feel that after how big a success this show was, it will open the door to more and more of these teen celebrities to come ” Play Boxing ” which could be something else the small hall shows may now have to compete with not only in selling tickets but in newspaper space which which most boxers already struggle with .

Steven Donnell

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Fury vs Wilder – Bravery or Folly From Fury

Fury vs Wilder – Bravery or Folly From Fury

The weekend just past had the boxing world engrossed as Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury came face to face in Belfast . The planned showdown could not have came across anymore choreographed but my god it made for good TV which finished with it being announced that the fight between the two was all but done for later this year . If this fight get’s made it is a fantastic statement of intent from Tyson Fury , but with only two fights against weak opposition since his two year absence from the ring it has to be asked , is this bravery or folly from the Gypsy King ? .

What did we learn on Saturday night about where Fury is on his comeback . We seen a Tyson Fury who has got himself into fantastic shape weighing in only 10lbs heavier than he was when he beat Wladimir Klitschko to become unified world champion three years ago . When you see the change in Fury over the past year it is impressive , but it also tell’s it own story as Fury is putting his soul into bringing his weight down and neglecting the finer points , and his boxing skills are suffering . Tyson Fury has never been a big puncher but in the past weekend he looked very feather fisted , he couldn’t hurt the tough durable Pianeta . Time after time he bent that left hook round Pianeta’s guard which really was a beautiful shot but it had zero effect .

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Tyson Fury of old probably had the best defence in the division due to his long reach , quick reactions and even quicker feet . On Saturday night it was obvious the reactions have slowed as well as the feet . On the very few times Pianeta did show a bit of ambition offensively , Fury looked slow and vulnerable . It wasn’t all bad for Fury though as he managed ten rounds relatively easy and there was moments where the Fury of old was shinning through . There is always the argument that Fury was also fighting down to his opponents level which could be partly to blame for a mediocre performance .

There has been comparisons between Tyson Fury’s comeback and that of the “Greatest” Muhammad Ali who also came back after a long lay off to regain his World Title . For me that is NOT the comparison that should be made with Ali but there is one comparison i can see . When Ali came back into the ring he found out to his horror that his famous feet had slowed , he wasn’t the same fighter that he had been , some have even claimed that we missed the best years of Ali , I am not one of these people . I think it showed how “Great” he was that he was able to take the tools he had left and mould himself into a new fighter , that is where Fury should be drawing inspiration . We are all waiting on the Fury that beat Klitschko to comeback but the truth is i don’t think that Fury exists anymore . Fury should take the skills he does have left and reinvent himself , he does still have the hand speed , very quick feet for a heavyweight and a fantastic boxing brain .

I will never criticise a fighter for daring to be great . I think Fury taking on Wilder in his third fight is a breath of fresh air to the sport and could see him become a modern day great . I also fear that Fury will not admit to himself he is not the same the fighter and if he makes the same mistakes he did on Saturday night when he’s in with Wilder he will be punished .

Steven Donnell

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“Frank Warren Has Signed BoxNations DNR”

“Frank Warren Has Signed BoxNations DNR”

So what a slow couple of weeks it has been for boxing fans . Going through the boxing news looking for inspiration to get an opinion piece out has been painful and disheartening and with interviews not booked in until next week things have been slow . So what could i write about ??? I have never really spoken of my devastation of watching Boxnation “The Home of Boxing” die a slow painful death .

BoxNation was launched back in 2011 the brain child of promoter Frank Warren who had the vison of giving the basket case which is boxing a home . Boxing is a sport like no other when it comes to tv deals due to the amount of platforms world wide that like to dabble in the sport . For so many years international fights could only be seen on dodgy streams online or if YouTube would let people upload the fights without infringing there copyright rules , and if you remember the days before the internet international fight were brought to you through Ring Magazine where you could read reports and even build up relationships with fellow readers across the world by answering adverts and exchanging video tapes via post ….. i am stressed just think about that . Warren had the simple but great idea of giving boxing a home , a place where his stable could be on show to a TV audience who would buy into the idea to have a place to watch these fights and some top class fights from around the world which would otherwise go unnoticed . This idea was met with scepticism across the board as this was a pre Anthony Joshua world we lived in and no matter how you dress it up the sport just wasn’t that big in the UK , boxing was a stop off , a gap filler and nobody is going to subscribe to channel dedicated to it was the cry from many across the board , but for a while they were wrong .

I do not like using the phrase ” Casual ” or ” Hardcore ” for two reasons , one is i think to label yourself makes you a wanker and the second reason is a fan through definition is someone that supports the the sport in some way or another and boxing isn’t a big enough sport for fan snobbery . The ” Hardcore ” element bought into the concept right away, enjoying some great small hall shows and even the prestigious amateur team boxing tournament The World Series of Boxing . As Warren started bringing massive international fights , even securing the rights to bring GGG vs Canelo to the UK screens the ” Casuals ” started to buy into the concept as well and BoxNation was must have for boxing fans .

We all knew from the start that this was never going to to be a massive success and take over boxing but BoxNation did hold it’s own and for a while , it even outperformed the super power that is Sky Sports , forcing Sky to try and compete on the International fight stage , something they had never done before unless there was a PPV attached , as time passed even the most avid boxing fan started to wonder how long this could go on as we had it all and in real terms it wasn’t costing to much to have it either .

For months there had been story’s emerging that the BoxNation was struggling but Frank Warren was in talks with BT Sport , another Super Power in UK sports leading to the assumption that BT Sports would take control of BoxNation and the channel would be safe guarded as long as Warren could keep BT Sports happy , but soon after the deal between Warren/BT Sports was agreed things didn’t seem right . In the beginning BT Sport subscribers were told ” Cancel your BoxNation subscription as it is part of your BT subscription now ” which was fine until the same fans were then told that those who get Boxnation through BT will need to fork out for Canelo/GGG what , what was going on ? Was BoxNation a separate entity ? .With the backing of BT Frank could now attract the like of Carl Frampton and Tyson Fury but in the build up to these domestic superstars shows fans didn’t know if the fight would be shown on BoxNation , which you would think can only be right since people are forking out £12 per month for BoxNation ….well no that wasn’t the case . As it turns out guys like Frampton and Fury were not signed on the same deal that included BoxNation having the rights , which in effect cut this small pioneering tv channel loose . So subscribers were left asking ” What am I paying for ?” Click on picture if you do not want to pay crazy PPV

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BoxNation has just signed fight deals with MTK and Top Rank after a few month of nobody knowing what was going on and the channel showing nothing but re-runs . This deal has diluted the channel to what the Nay sayers had predicted from the start . I for one love what MTK do for there fighters and if you speak to any of the MTK lads they cannot speak anymore highly of the MTK team and brand but small hall shows are small hall for reason . Small hall shows historically have been used as an apprenticeship to the big time in boxing , in the words of Frank Sinatra ” If you can make it there you’ll make it anywhere ” . These guys go and learn there trade away from the cameras so in three years time you might see a 12-0 prospect who has grafted to be on TV , this deal fly’s in the face of that . Another concern i have is that the biggest pressure on small hall fighters I’ve learned through speaking to them is not what they do in the ring , in the ring they are in control , the feedback i get is the pressure of ticket sales can take it’s toll and even make promising youngsters give up the sport , so i don’t see how putting these show on TV will help these guys in the ticket selling department .

It is obvious that Frank Warren has signed BoxNation’s DNR , the channel which kept his credibility through the hard times of playing second fiddle to Eddie Hearn has been cut adrift and i for one am devastated .The effects are already being felt in the UK with massive international fights like Garcia vs Easter Jnr and Kovalev vs Alvarez going untelevised here in the UK in just the past couple of weeks , a couple of years ago we had it all now it’s back to the same old …from where i am sitting BoxNation is all but dead .

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Is Mikey Garcia About To Make The Biggest Mistake Of His Life

Is Mikey Garcia About To Make The Biggest Mistake Of His Life

Last weekend we had the pleasure of watching one of the best technicians in boxing Mikey Garcia become a unified champion in the 135lbs division when he beat Robert Easter Jnr . I always find the week after a Garcia fight I find myself reeling , replaying some of his actions over in my head , he truly is a joy to watch .

Garcia may be one of the best in the business but surprisingly he is far from the superstar that his his skills deserve . It seems a lot of the usual ever loyal Mexican fanbase just can’t bring themselves to love this man who is proud of his Mexican heritage . I have heard all sorts of reasons for this like the Mexican fanbase lost interest whilst Garcia sat out on two years of boxing trying to get out of deal with with top rank . Another reason I’ve heard is that Garcia doesn’t embrace the Mexican fighting style , he is to much of technician . If there is anybody out there that thinks the latter of these reasons then maybe boxing isn’t the sport for you , but could Garcia be about to make a massive mistake to prove these people wrong ? .

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It has been reported this week that Showtime are planning a Garcia vs Spence PPV in December, a fight that Mikey has been shouting for . This fight could be suicide for Garcia as it would see him have to jump up TWO weight divisions from 135lbs to 147lbs , not to mention that Spence is massive at 147lbs , a crazy fight choice especially when there is a better fight at his own weight waiting to be made .

If you asked any boxing fan to name three fights they would want to see , Garcia vs Lomachenko will be on that list . This is a fight that would bring two styles together with two master craftsmen come together in there prime . Yes there is the full Top Rank issue who promote Loma but I’m confident that both could come to an agreement . This is also a fight that at long last would get Mikey Garcia the recognition from the boxing world he deserves .

Steven Donnell
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