We already have the preview up of Warrington vs Selby which is a massive domestic fight taking place this weekend in the UK , but as much as i am looking forward that one my eyes keep being drawn across the Atlantic to what is happening in Montreial , Canada . This weekend we will get to see the unification fight between Badu Jack and Adonis Stevenson , a fight that has all of boxing intriuged .
Badu Jack 22-1-2 13KO’s WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
Badu Jack over the past five years has become one of my favourite boxers . This is not due to his skill’s or ring craft or anything like that , I am a fan of Jack because of his hunger and desire to fight the best . In has last five fights he has fought Anthony Dirrell , George Groves ,James DeGale , Lucian Bute and Nathan Cleverly , that deserves respect . I have always said that Jack doesn’t do any do anything outstanding , but he does everything well , and thats rare . Jack’s biggest asset is his jab which is crisp and sharp which he uses so well to open opponents up for combination . The way in which Jack switches from head to body is also very impressive and as Nathan Cleverly found out it is so effective when breaking an opponent down . Although Jack doesn’t have one punch power i wouldn’t call him feather fisted either , he has enough power to keep opponents off him and from what I’ve heard he’s actually brought more power up to light heavyweight . I think Jack is a superb talent but he does have some flaws that Stevenson will be looking to exploit . Jack can sometimes stay in range for to long and that’s something you can’t do against a guy like Stevenson . Jack also goes through the gears at the start of a fight and i am sure Adonis will try to exploit this early door’s .
Anybody that follows us on twitter will know i don’t have any time for Adonis Stevenson due to his past , but i really cannot wait for this fight . Adonis is a top class World Champion who has refused to fulfil his own potential over the years . Time after time Stevenson has refused to step up against the best , to the point now where most boxing fans outside Canada see him as irrelevant until now . There is no doubt Adonis Stevenson has unbelievable power in that left hand , something Tony Bellew found out to his horror back in 2013 . Now at 40 years old there is no doubt Stevenson is past his best but with the lack of top class opponents and Stevenson’s style he doesn’t have to much on the clock so don’t let age fool you , this guy’ only needs to land one punch to end a fight . Stevenson’s full style is set up for him to land big left hands which see’s him plant his feet , square up and lunge a lot of the time which may have worked so far but i have no doubt Jack will be looking to punish each and every mistake Stevenson makes and he has the quality to do so .
This is a tough fight to call this one as nobody really knows just how good Adonis Stevenson is as he has never pushed himself against the best , that is in contrast to Badu Jack who has went out and improved as a fighter and won respect after being KO’d in the first round back in 2014 . I think Adonis is going to come out and try to catch Jack cold early and with the power Stevenson has i wouldn’t bet against him finding the target . If Badu Jack can survive the first four rounds i think he will start to impose himself on the fight . At some point in this fight these guys will stand and trade , Jack has to make sure that it happens later in the fight when the 40 year old Stevenson will be feeling the pace . I wouldn’t be surprised if Jack and Stevenson both go down in this fight . All week i have been thinking Jack will take this fight on the cards but as i sit here writing this i have managed to convince myself that Jack will get the KO late on in the fight .
The weekend just past gave us one of the most technically skilled fights you will see this year when Lomachenko defeated Jorge Linares , so no matter who was going to follow it this weekend they would have a near impossible task . This Saturday we might not have the glamour and technical ability of last weekends fight but it is equally intriguing all the same . Over 25 thousand fans will pack out Elland Road when Josh Warrington will take on Lee Selby in a fight that has been in the making for some time but now we will finally get to see if Warrington is the real deal .
Lee Selby 26-1-0 9KO’s
As one of the UK’s longest reigning world champions Lee Selby is practically unknown outside of hardcore boxing fans but don’t let that fool you as Selby is a very skilful boxer . For me Selby’s biggest asset is his movement and the way in which he works off his movement with the jab is fantastic . Selby will keep his opponents at the end of his long jab and if they finally do get inside his quick feet get him out of harms way . Even me as a Lee Selby fan has to admit that this style can become boring to watch , but my god it is efficient as he is usually to elusive for opponents to land anything meaningful over a full fight . Selby does have a noticeable lack of power and killer instinct in the ring which see’s him go twelve rounds all to often against guys you would expect a world champion to stop and that could be a factor on Saturday night as Warrington will be coming to put pressure on Selby from the start .
Something else that could be a major factor on Saturday night is for years now we have heard stories of Selby nearly killing himself to make weight and that looked very apparent before his last fight . When weighing in Selby’s ribs were clearly visible and looked to be trying to burst through his skin and that is never a good sign , this lets you know the extreme lengths this guy is going to to get under the 126lbs limit and i really don’t know if Selby has it left in him to take a fresher , hungrier fighter the full twelve rounds .
Josh Warrington 26-0-0 6KO’s
Josh Warrington is the perfect example of why it is so important to get a good team around you that have your best interests at heart . Some young fighters in the sport are ready to be pushed on early in there careers and other might have the skill needed to be a top fighter but need more time to refine there style , Josh Warrington is the latter of the two . In Warrington’s last few fight’s as he’s been chasing down this Lee Selby his level of opponents has been stepped up , beating guys like Kiko Martinez and Dennis Ceylan which will prepare him well for his biggest challenge to date . Warrington has improved as a fighter over the years and proved against Martinez he can dig deep when he needs to . Warrington likes to keep fights at a high pace and is also willing to take shots to land them . I also believe that Warrington has more power than his record would suggest , maybe not the kind of power that can get guys out of there , but the kind that over a fight will slow opponents down and easier to hit . My one criticism of Warrington is that he can be to eager to get in range sometime leaving himself wide open and against someone like Selby who has quick hands an quicker feet he could play right into the Welshman’s game plan .
When i go over this fight in my head i can see it being an exciting matchup and i can see ways in which both guys can win . There is no doubt that Lee Selby is the far superior boxer of the two but i how long can he keep cutting weight like he does ? every time a fighter does that he loses a little bit of himself and this might just be the night it all come falling down for Selby . Josh Warrington will be fighting at his favourite football teams ground in front of 25 thousand fans who will all be behind him . After working so hard for this chance he might just step it up another gear and show the world he has arrived . I think this will be Selby’s hardest fight since Eric Hunter and Selby is not the same fighter now who beat Hunter . I think Warrington is going to come in with a game plan to keep the pace high and stay ontop of Selby not giving him a minutes rest . I think Selby will win this fight but only by the skin of his teeth , and if you are looking for an upset this weekend this fight could most definitely be it .
If i can ask you to cast your mind back to a few months when we all thought the month of May looked to be a dream month for boxing fans , but that dream has slowly became a nightmare . Firstly we had the final of the World Boxing Super Series called off due to an injury to Oleksandr Usyk then the super fight between GGG and Canelo was called off due to Canelo failing a drug test and being suspended by the Nevada Athletics Commission . So who will save this Month for us ?…..Step forward Vasyli Lomachenko and Jorge Linares . This weekend we will see two of the best technicians in boxing go toe to toe and i cannot wait .
Jorge Linares 44-3-0 27Ko’s
I have been a fan of Jorge Linares for a good few years now , so much so i made the trip from Glasgow to Manchester to see him take Anthony Crolla apart . Linares in full flow is a joy to watch , with his lightening quick hand’s and superb shot selection Linares is really is a handful . Linares isn’t just a nightmare offensively for opponents , due to his fantastic footwork Linares is very rarely tied down or caught against the ropes and can even make his opponents look foolish when they try to do so . There is one criticism that has always stuck to Linares and that is that he lacks heart when things get tough , now i don’t know how much stock i can put in this nowadays as Linares has just came through a hard fight with Luke Campbell , a fight that maybe at one time Linares would have folded mentally but i do think he has matured mentally as a fighter . Linares also has a another flaw , a more biological problem than a flaw in skills and that is that Linares is a bleeder and i do think that could be a big problem for him this weekend .
Vasyl Lomachenko 10-1-0 8Ko’s
Well what else can be said about this man ? In just eleven fights Vasyl Lomachenko is a two weight World Champion and he will fight in his twelfth fight to become a three weight World Champion , an absolutely outstanding statement of intent from the Ukrainian . Where do you start when talking about Loma , never have i seen a man with the ability to destroy opponents mentally , forcing them to quit like his last four opponents giving Loma the nickname “NoMasChenko” in reference to the infamous Leonard vs Duran 2 fight . The beauty of watching Lomachenko is that when you watch him fight you realise you are seeing are a great in the making , the way he glides across the ring literally acting like a matador toying with a raging bull , the way he launches attacks from obscure angle’s that opponents don’t see coming . I don’t have any negatives to say about Loma , so far he has been perfect …disregarding the shambles of a fight against Orlando Salido of course .
Well as you probably can already tell i have made my pick . I think Vasyl Lomachenko really is something special and no matter how good Jorge Linares is I just cant see him getting the better of Loma . The big question is will Linares make it to the end of the fight or will be another quit job ? ….Well i think Linares will make it to the end , i feel with the fight being Loma’s first at 135lbs he will maybe just lacking the power to hurt Linares …….then again I wouldn’t put it past Loma to stop Linares and make no mistake he will going in there to get the stoppage .
Just as i sit here ready to write my review i think i should apoligise to a few people out there that asked when the Haye vs Bellew 2 preview would be up on the site . Due to me being a bit of a socialite i have been out of the UK for the past ten days and added in with the fact i had absolutely no interest in this fight i just couldn’t make the time to write the preview due to being as us Scots say ” Pished ” ( Drunk) . On Saturday night we seen the rematch that no one wanted . A fight that was little more than a money making exercise to top up two old guys pension funds first time round , but due to the casual appeal of this fight both guys grabbed the opportunity to do it all again , and do you know what i will never grudge any man making money for his family , but as a sporting event it was little more than a circus .
In the build up to the fight the little few video’s i did see i thought David Haye did look that bit sharper but for me he was still to heavy on the scales for what his body can handle . Tony Bellew on the other hand looked in fantastic shape considering he isn’t a heavyweight and that is all down to the big scouser and his trainer who i rate very highly Dave Caldwell . As usual there were stories doing the rounds on social media and boxing media that David Haye was still really struggling the weeks before the fight , but as usual i don’t really pay that much attention to these stories as some people just like to act as if they are in the know and 90% of the time it is all bullshit .
From the opening bell it was obvious David Haye was struggling . His twinkle feet of yester year were well and truly gone . Anyone who has ever attended any boxing gym will tell you that although your rear leg should carry most of the weight it should never be flat on the canvas , yet from the opening bell Haye was leaning over his front knee which is another ” NO NO ” in basic boxing whilst dragging his rear leg , he was leaving himself wide open to an uppercut or more vitally he wasn’t leaving enough time to get himself out of range . Now lets not take anything away from Tony Bellew here as i thought he boxed really well . Bellew knew even a slow flat footed Haye has fantastic power that can end fight . It all started to unravel for Haye in the third round when he was caught with a fantastic counter by Bellew which had Haye on his weak back foot , and instead of covering up to survive he threw off balance with his feet square , another bit of fundamental suicide which Tony Bellew was only to happy to punish and send Haye down for the first time . Haye did take the shot well but his legs looked even heavier now and it wasn’t long before Bellew sent him crashing down again but this time we could see Haye was really struggling to get back up to his feet .
In the fourth round David Haye looked little better than a white Coller fighter as he couldn’t step in behind his jab , his legs had all but deserted him by now . Still Bellew stayed of range picking his shots well and then stepping up the pace to cut off the ring . Going into the fifth and what would turn out to be the final round there was little left that Haye could try , he was in there on a fighter’s heart only . At this point Bellew was just cutting the ring off and Haye had nothing left to offer . He had lost nearly all his mobility and had nothing left throw as he couldn’t tranfere any power from that rear leg. I cannot be a 100% sure of this but i thought i seen Bellew ask Haye to quit in this fight but both time’s Haye shook his head . Bellew had given him the chance to quit to no avail so Bellew took Haye down once more with a beautiful right hand to the head which seen Haye go down hard , and once again he got up , only for the ref to step in as Bellew went in for the kill . A much easier win this time for Bellew and for me that has to be the end of David Haye .
A lot of credit has to go to Haye , to many guys in the modern sport don’t want to go out on there shield . I do think there has to be questions asked about Haye actually being fit enough to step in the ring in the first place . As for for Tony Bellew he deserves a lot of credit for the way he executed Dave Caldwell’s gameplan . He could have been to eager and made this fight a lot hared than it needed be and after having a very difficult few months i bet Tony Bellew is the happiest man alive .
What Next For Tony Bellew
The question was asked of Tony Bellew and i got the impression if the money is right he will go back to where he belongs at cruiserweight and take on the winner of the WBSS ( Usyk or Gassiev ) and I’m sure that’s the fight we all want to see him in .
There are some sporting events across the world where the crowd are not only part of the show , but very often they become the show . Crowds where the combination of passion and desire awakes the inner caveman in us as human beings . Here in Scotland we have the Old Firm game between Celtic and Rangers , In Spain there is the El Classico between Barcalona and Real Madrid and even in Holland , the most chilled out country in the world there is the De Klassieker between Feyenoord and Ajax . This weekend we will see that special atmosphere in Belfast when Carl Frampton takes on Nonito Donair at the SSE Arena which will be live on BT Sport .
Nonito Donaire 38-4-0 24ko’s
Nonito Donaire comes from the same island in the Philippines as boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao but as a child he and his family moved to the US . As is the case with so many poor immigrant children Nonito suffered terribly at the hands of bullies which is why he took up boxing . Over the next 20 years Donaire went on to become one of the top P4P fighter’s in the sport . With his skill , speed , power and aggression Donaire has really been a fans favourite over the years . Now at 35 years old Donaire is not the monster he once was , as is the case with every great fighter throughout history , time has ate away at this future ” Hall of Fame ” boxer but i am sure that what is left is still very capable of causing an upset this weekend . For me Donaire has the best left hand in boxing , whether it comes in the way of an upper cut or left hook it will land with devastation , but this is not to take anything away from his right hand which is also a great equaliser . Donaire of old was the perfect all round fighter who could fight off the front foot and back foot which made him a nightmare for opponents to figure out but now as time goes on his reflexes and ability to let his hands go have greatly diminished . This weekend Donaire will be asking himself for one last great performance and who would bet against him producing it .
Carl Frampton 24-1-0 14ko’s
Carl Frampton is one of the most popular fighters in the British Isles , a lad who can bring the divisions of N Ireland together when he’s fighting , a guy who on fight night even us here in Scotland will come together in song and celebration and that is the power Carl Frampton . Frampton fights are rarely dull due to his open and exciting style which see’s him throw punches in bunches , switching between head and body then getting out of danger before his opponent has the chance to counter . Frampton did have power to go along with his combination punching but since moving up to featherweight the power didn’t come with him , now he look’s to break opponents down with accumulative shots rather than that one big punch . The past couple of years have not been easy for Frampton since losing his World Title to Leo Santa Cruz he has fallen foul to management disputes , dispute which are still going through the courts today . He also split with highly rated trainer Shane McGuigan over the same incident which seen Frampton sit idle for ten months . After teaming up with trainer Jamie Moore , Frampton fought Horacio Garcia on his comeback . An unknown Mexican that most of us hadn’t heard of , a fight most of us expected Frampton to walk but when Canelo Alvarez had made the journey over to Belfast it should have been a warning sign that this guy wasn’t here to roll over . Carl had to dig deep in the fight after hitting the canvas to come back and win the fight on the cards in a fight which at one point looked to be slipping away from the irishman . It has to be said that Carl Frampton looks in fantastic shape going into this one and with Donaire having such a big reach advantage over Frampton , he is going to have to work hard and hit hard once in the inside and looks to have given himself every chance of doing that .
This is a really hard fight to call as we don’t really know where both fighters are at the minute . Yes Donaire is on the slide but has he slid enough for Frampton to be to much for him ? . Was Frampton’s last fight just a little ring rust or has Frampton peaked aswell ?. I believe Donire has a good 4 or 5 rounds left in him where he will be immensely dangerous , especially as Frampton can be easy to hit . I feel this is a fight where we could see both guys hit the canvas and i also think this is a fight where both fighters will be out to prove people wrong , and that always makes them more dangerous . I think Donaire will start this fight strongly but he will start to fade badly after the fourth . Frampton has been working with Man City’s strength and conditioning coach for this one and i think it will pay off going into the last third of the fight , where Frampton will get a stoppage .
Every so often boxing will throw up a big upset and last year’s biggest upset was when Caleb Truax beat IBF Super Middleweight Champion James DeGale in a very convincing victory in what was supposed to be a relatively easy fight for DeGale . That night the 21st century got it’s very own Cindarella Man …..Well to an extent . This weekend we will see DeGale look to avenge his defeat in Las Vegas on the Lara vs Hurd undercard which will be shown live on Boxnation and BT Sport .
James DeGale 23-2-1 14Ko’s
There are some guys in boxing who go out and make things happen for themselves and James DeGale is one of those fighters . Since winning Gold at the 2008 Olympic Games DeGale was earmarked for big things in the sport whilst building a fanbase here in the UK , but that all came to a shuddering halt in 2011 when he fought George Groves and Groves beat him . After that loss though DeGale done well to rebuild himself and in 2015 he won the IBF super middleweight title on the road in Boston against Andre Dirrell . DeGale successfully defended his title against Lucian Bute and Rogelio Medina on the road again , in fights he was expected to win but we seen DeGale form a bad habit in these fights , a habit of taking a one sided fight and turning them into battles which has seen DeGale really start to slip in recent times . DeGale also fought Badu Jack in what became a classic battle in which he took some heavy and sustained punishment and if you go back and check DeGales post fight antics ( bottom of the page ) its clear to see he was acting out of character , almost insane like which suggested me he must have had a concussion , and after these previous fights where DeGale has took punishment i really think it has started to deteriorate DeGales reflexes which really showed in the first fight with Truax .
DeGale also has a poor gas tank which can cause him to take a rest on the ropes which leaves him so vulnerable . It’s not all doom and gloom for James DeGale though as i have always thought he was superbly talented fighter who looks fantastic when throwing quick combinations to the head and body and then pivoting back out of range . DeGale knows going into this fight that he is the better boxer of the two so if he boxes properly he should win .
Caleb Truax 29-3-2 18Ko’s
Now i have to admit i have seen Caleb Truax a grand total of one time , but in that one performance he did really impress me . Truax is very basic in his style but is also quite smart in how he uses the talent he does have . In the first fight Truax made DeGale look very ordinary trapping him on the ropes and going to work , even showing a bit of class when destroying DeGale with a left hook then a spin out of range which DeGale couldn’t answer the full night . I am also a big believer that once a fighter becomes a champion something changes in there mentality and they start training like a champion , they now have something to protect and that will make Caleb Truax more dangerous .
This fight has really flown under the radar up to now , not getting any coverage which is a shame as this should be a good fight on a good card . In the last fight DeGale looked to be really struggling for most of it which some put down to DeGale rushing back from injury , but i think it is something deeper than that , i really think James DeGale is showing signs of being a shot fighter , the big question is can he muster enough up to to avenge his defeat to Truax ? . I have went back and fourth with this in my mind but the more i think about it i have a feeling Truax will retain his title . I don’t think James DeGale’s heart is still in boxing and when going to America he will be fighting a man full confidence in Truax .
I think the American will take this fight on the cards but I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Caleb Truax stopped DeGale .
Well I’ve took a few days before sitting down to write this review of the AJ vs Parker fight thinking once i had digested it i would be able to find some positives , i thought that I would have put some sort of spin on it by now , but no matter what the sky company men have been saying or even AJ himself since the fight , it was still a very poor fight . I will struggle to keep you entertained talking about it , so i will keep the review of the fight short and sweet and maybe divulge into other aspects of what we seen like one of the worst commentary performances I’ve ever heard and maybe even take some time to clear up this whole Deontay Wilder stuff and hopefully that’s enough to keep you a reader .
Since Saturday there has been a spin attached to this fight which started ten minutes after the fight ended and has mothballed into something amusing but so inaccurate at the same time . Just after the fight we had Sky pundits describe how well Joshua boxed then even AJ himself called his performance a “A introduction to the sweet science ” . Now anybody that seen the fight will know this is just pure make believe and I’ve seen enough on social media the past couple of days to know that even the biggest casual fans know what they saw . There is credit to be given to AJ i had him winning 9 – 3 or 8-4 in rounds which is a clear victory against a good opponent but this suggestion of “Sweet Science” is way over the top , and even though the gameplan was the right one by McCracken to get the job done , for the most part i don’t think AJ boxed that well . AJ was happy to keep Parker at the end of his long jab which Parker didn’t have the head movement or ring craft to get past , so for that you have to give Joshua credit but there was little in the way of creativity from Joshua and even tho his jab won him the fight it got progressively worse as the fight went on as two one dimensional fighter plodded away in what was a poor mans game of chess . Another major issue in this turning out a stinker was the referee who was shocking and totally overwhelmed by the occasion . The key to the fight for Parker was him being able to get inside and work on AJ but the ref was far to eager to get in between both guys killing any chance of this one catching fire which you could see was frustrating both fighters as AJ is very good on the inside also . Then I must comment on the poor judging with two judges only giving Parker one round and the other giving him two rounds which is so disrespectful to Parker who for me won a minimum of three rounds clearly and you could add another couple of swing rounds on to that so yet again a big fight is partly killed by officials . In the end Joshua this was a clear winner but Parker can take positives from this fight , he stayed in there and fought for the full twelve rounds against AJ , something no other person has achieved so far and the AJ Hype Train keeps rolling on with now with just one more title to collect to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world .
Sky BoxOffice Show (commentary)
This is not something i usually comment on but i feel obliged to say something on how bad Carl Froch was as part of the Sky commentary team on Saturday night . Now usually i just turn the sound down enough that you can barely hear what’s being said but loud enough to still hear the crowd , after all what you want at home is to still capture the atmosphere and i think that is something that is being lost by most shows shown on the TV as they continually speak all the way though the show but on this occasion i watched it in a friends house so we had to listen to the ramblings of cliche driven mad man . It is obvious that TV commentary teams nowadays have been instructed to have no free air , no prolonged periods of silence , no time to let fans sit and enjoy the fight , which would be fine but it encourages complete drivel to be spoken which if anything distracts you from the fight . Froch was a world class boxer but he is not a fan of boxing and his knowledge of fighters and division is little to none and egged on by Adam Smith , Froch continually makes a fool of himself and it really does make for painful listening . This week we will be putting another classic fight on Casual’s Corner so listen out for how less is more when it comes to boxing commentary . Casual’s Corner
To top off Saturday’s show we finished up with Eddie Hearn pushing this narrative that because Wilder didn’t come over to the UK for the fight he doesn’t want to fight AJ ….What a load of nonsense . Deontay Wilder was booked to come over right up to ten days before the fight when Hearn announced that Wilder would NOT be allowed in the ring to call out AJ , a tried and tested stunt which is proven to drum up interest in a fight After hearing he wasn’t allowed to enter the ring Wilder read what was on the wall , he was going to be hijacked by Dillian Whyte who Hearn is now selling as a gatekeeper to AJ . Hearn jumped in the ring and started insulting Wilder right away about ticket sales etc , he’s spent the past four weeks insulting Wilder’s manager because they dared to expose the emails between both camps showing that Eddie doesn’t want to make AJ vs Wilder . Whilst Eddie Hearn was was mid rant post fight i couldn’t help but think , I’ve watched Wilder/Ortiz five times i don’t think i will ever rematch AJ’s last two fights . Lou Di Bella says it best in a fantastic interview with FightTalk.Net .
( Follow the fight talk guys on twitter @Sam_OReilly1 @craigscott209 @Fight_Talk1 )