I was joined by Riku on the line to talk about all this weeks boxing news and views including Crawford/Khan,Garcia/Granados, Matchroom UK card. We also spoke about Jarrell Miller’s failed drug test’s and the problem in boxing. Tete pull out of WBSS/WBSS to Sky Sports , Whyte/dubois is on , This weekends Previews and much more .
Hope is a dangerous thing. We hear all the time from a political class who promise us the world and time after time they fail to deliver but we still choose to continuously self harm with hope because there is no alternative. Boxing is now a place where hope is not a desirable trait.
Back in December the world was treated to one of the best Heavyweight fights in years when Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder locked horns in the ring for the WBC Heavyweight Crown. The fight ended in a draw but it far exceeded the expectations of most fight fans beforehand. Since then boxing fans have been left wanting to see it all over again, living in hope that this would be one of the few times common sense would prevail in boxing. News broke this week that dashed all of our hopes not only of seeing this rematch but there is now a very strong chance that the top three fighters in the division will not meet in the ring for the foreseeable future.
The Heavyweight landscape is already a minefield of party allegiances but with the latest news that Tyson Fury has now nailed his colours to the ESPN/Top Rank mast in a big money multi fight deal, it has made an already complicated situation ……Well all the more complicated. This is not due to the fighters themselves but the money men and powerhouse platforms behind them.As i sit here writing this I still live in hope. I hope ESPN and Showtime pull together for the good of the sport. I hope Bob Arum and Al Haymon can now finally bury their hatchet and work together to bring fans another great night of Heavyweightboxing. I hope that Eddie Hearn, Al Haymon and Bob Arum do what’s right and leave the path open for their respective fighters to finally get in the ring and fight it out and see who is No1 in the division, after all that what all boxing fans want. The sad reality is that what boxing fans want and what boxing fans get is two very different things, we are now further away from any of these big fights happening than we ever have been.
We have all been in that near intolarable position when we have been completely caught off guard. A time when a situation has you completely rattled and searching your brain to find you a way out. Now anyone who has found themselves in this position will tell you it is your immediate reaction that will make or break how you recover from it. Some take it in their stride never really letting anyone know the panic and dismay hidden behind their poker face whilst others get flustered, ramble maybe even get a little embarrassed as the situation gets the better of them. This week we seen Anthony Joshua may have just found himself in one of the afore mentioned kind of situations.
In the crazy world of boxing the top fighters may only fight three times per year so it is imperative that fans are kept entertained in the long spells between fights. With the help of technology and fans thirst for instant information we have created a kind of WWE type soap opera which keeps fans in the loop and entertained. The emergence of personalities like Eddie Hearn has seen boxing revitalised in the UK. Hearn is a master at exploiting social media and instant news outlets in a way that no other promoter can, but over the past few months we have seen Hearn take a few L’s in the boxing the media with his lies leaving poor old AJ in a tough position.
Anyone who has seen a deposition on TV or a police interview tape will know once something has been recorded it cannot be taken back. We have all seen a courtroom drama where a witness or a suspect may say something which contradicts a previous statement, this is usually the final nail in the coffin in the movies where the the tower of lies come crashing down. In boxing terms it isn’t the the final nail in the coffin, it’s much worse for a promoter, it means fans will now scrutinise every word you say on the situation past, present and future and that’s something no salesman wants.
For the last year the AJ/Wilder saga has played out in the boxing media. At the start it was entertaining seeing all these big characters go at it on a daily basis but as it became clear that no fight was not forthcoming it became more of an annoyance trying to keep up with the who said what. The more time past the more it seemed to me that Eddie Hearn was on the back foot starting with him banning Wilder from entering the ring to call out AJ after Joshua had beaten Parker, then we had him shouting about proof of funds when Wilders team made an offer of $50m after Joshua had publicly demanded that sum. Team Wilder played their ace card when they agreed to fight former unified champion Tyson Fury. Once announced Hearn said the fight would not happen, he said it would be a snooze fest and as it turned out he was wrong on both accounts. Wilder vs Fury was a great fight and ended up doing well commercially and will more than likely do even bigger numbers in the rematch which looks like it could happen next year, leaving AJ locked out.
This week we have seen Anthony Joshua appear on US TV in an attempt to regain the initiative in the AJ/Wilder saga, but with one hand tied behind his back I think he failed miserably. The problem Anthony Joshua had was that his team have made so many contradictory claims in the past that he didn’t really have anywhere to go. For the first time I thought AJ looked frustrated and a little out of depth. In the interview when talking about a unification with fellow Brit Tyson Fury, Joshua says he has never heard anybody talk about being lineal champion and that people when starting out wanted to be IBO,WBA,IBF,WBO and WBC Champion, which is a bizarre statement to make especially when he used the IBO title to discredit the Lineal title. He also said something along the lines that they had booked Wembley for the Wilder fight, but again that just isn’t true as only a couple of months ago Team AJ set a deadline for Wilder to sign to fight AJ at Wembley, the deadline was BEFORE Wilder fought Fury in the biggest fight of his a career.
I have to admit I did feel sympathy for AJ as his trip to the US seemed like a forced attempt at damage control for the AJ brand. He came across very transparent on US TV and it looked to me like his team that have turned him into a superstar have really let him down on this instance. Where could Joshua go after the countless Eddie Hearn IFL interviews with different claims and counter claims each week. What could he say that wouldn’t see him dig an even bigger hole and be dragged into the abyss of contradictions. I have said time and time again that I have no doubt that Anthony Joshua the man, the fighter wants to fight the best. The problem AJ has is that he is commodity with many shareholders who are not willing to risk there asset in a fight…..not yet anyway.
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 .
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 ”
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 .
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
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 )
Five years ago i predicted that the heavyweight division was coming into another Golden Era after years of mediocrity , and i predicted this due to the likes of Tyson Fury , Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker all coming of age and with the likes of Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin already around the top of the division the future looked bright , but it hasn’t panned out that way . Tyson Fury had a brief stint at the the top of the division when he beat Wladimir Klitschko but then served a ban due to drugs and had retired from the sport , Povetkin is another who had failed a drug test and since his return to the ring hasn’t looked the same fighter so now there are three and this weekend we will see two of them go toe to toe on Saturday night when Anthony Joshua takes Joseph Parker of New Zealand .
Anthony Joshua 20-0-0 20Ko’s
This weekend the AJ hype train will again roll up in Cardiff as Anthony Joshua looks to get his hands on another World Title to go along with his IBF and WBA straps when he fights Parker for his WBO title on his way to being king of the heavyweights . Over the years the hype that has been built up around Joshua has been like nothing ever seen before in this country which has even swept up the most cynical of us at times , and now building up to one of AJ’s biggest fights we must strip back the all hype and separate the man from the myth when trying to break this fight down . There is no doubt Joshua’s main asset is his power and shot selection , which even after all this time watching the big Englishman still has the ability to shock . We seen a great example of both assets when AJ took on Wladimir Klitschko last year when Joshua caught Wlad with a superb uppercut which nobody saw coming , not even the legendary Klitschko and although that wasn’t the Knockout punch it was the punch that won fight .
Countless times we have seen AJ pull a variety of power shots out of the bag to the expense of opponents like Dillian Whyte and Carlos Takam . For all AJ’s power and shot selection impress there is no getting away from Joshua’s biggest flaw ….his gas tank . We have seen AJ gas out after four rounds against 42 year old Klitschko who showed the world the blueprint to beating AJ is with movement and agility and had Wlad not been so old or inactive i firmly believe Joshua would have picked up his first loss . There has been a lot of talk coming out of AJ’s camp that they are looking to come in light for this fight which would suggest they have been working on his stamina , but is it enough to last twelve rounds ? …..I’m not so sure .
Joseph Parker 24-0-0 18Ko’s
Around 18 month’s ago i wrote a scathing review for the Boxing Asylum on Joseph Parker when he took on Andy Ruiz Jnr in a fight he won narrowly won on the cards . After being high on Parker for a while i had seen him gradually lose all the qualities that made him a top prospect not to mention he looked to be coming in far to heavy . Since then i have found out i may have been a bit harsh on Parker as he was struggling with injuries on his shoulders and elbows at the time , which has since been operated on and i have to admit Joseph Parker is coming into this weekends fight in the best shape i have ever seen him . The best tool in Parkers locker is his lightening quick hands which he will need to use to full affect this weekend . Seeing Parker coming in so light for this fight means he is coming to be mobile , which isn’t really his style but if he does it right he might just be able to pull it off . Joseph Parker can be very one dimensional and has a habit of getting lazy the longer a fight goes on which could be his undoing against AJ .
If you would have asked me two months ago who was going to win this fight i would have told you AJ would win easily , but seeing Joseph Parker this week it really does look as if he means business . The talk from Team AJ is that they have been preparing for a twelve rounder and i really hope he has been as i can see Parker employing a hit and run tactic which would kill the engine of Joshua . So who is my pick for this weekend ? ….Well i am going to stick with my original pick of Anthony Joshua but rather than predict it will be a 4 round demolition , now i am going to say a 9th round KO in a game of chess type of fight . I think Parker will implement his gameplan early but he will get careless at some point and that’s when Joshua will pounce .
Anthony Joshua 9th round KO
I’m sure every man fantasises about being a multi millionaire , I’m sure we would all love to live a life of excess , travel the world , and I’m sure we have all fantasised and dwelled on the illusion that our lives would be trouble free due to our bulging bank accounts . I’m sure that as young boys we all fantasised about being a sports star, for me personally i used to dream of being a footballer , playing in the champions league in front of 60,000 adoring fans , granted i was an average when it came to talent as a young footballer but that’s the great thing about imagination , it doesn’t need any substance and it can defy the rules of reality . Today along with millions of other average Joe’s i go watch all sorts of professional sports and support guys who had the talent and watch them inspire the next generation to dream .
Antony Joshua is all of the above , he is a boxing superstar in the UK , he is a man that has came from humble beginnings to one of highest paid boxers on the planet, a man living all our dreams . A major factor in AJ’s success is the way in which he has been promoted by Eddie Hearn , Hearn has created an image of AJ that everyone can buy into and in doing so he’s created a product that big business will fall over themselves to be associated with , it really is the blueprint on how to make a superstar , but lately is there signs that this facade has started to crack ? .
A couple of weeks ago as Eddie Hearn was in New York seeing the launch of his first Matchroom show in the US when a very a out of character tweet to Tyson Fury from AJ’s verified account said ” @Tyson_Fury get fit you fat fuck” , this tweet flew into the face of the squeaky clean image that Eddie Hearn has tried so hard to project of Joshua , but what ensued next between IFL’s Kugan Cassius and Rogue AJ was actually entertaining and refreshing , have a look .
Then a week or so after this twitter exchange there was something even more bizarre and a bit more sinister to come from Rogue AJ on twitter . Eddie Chambers took to twitter claiming Joshua had sent him a tirade of abuse on twitter , and even a slight undertone of racism , again have a look .
I am the first to admit that this really doesn’t feel like AJ but for me Matchroom and Joshua’s silence has bee deafening . Eddie Hearn went on the defensive and claim it was a fake account , then 5 days later changed his story to he thinks the account has been hacked , but between these tweets Joshua had been active on his twitter posting pictures of his holiday in Dubai . Rouge Joshua has not limited to twitter , this week he took to snapchat and gave his views on Zimbabwean President/Tyrant Robert Mugabe being forced to resign due to pressure from his own people and the international community , a man who has ruled with an iron fist , using torture and greed to force his country into near starvation aswell as promoting Anti White propaganda . Here is what Rogue AJ had to say .
: “Why do they despise Robert Mugabe?” He later posted a selfie along with the caption: “Mugabe… is your view what you’ve been told?
““Or what you have learnt through research? Or what you’ve been programmed to know via media outlets?”
Now i am not one for letting a boxer influence my views on world affairs , especially not one who asked Kugan Cassius if Sri Lanka was in India , but this kind of talk is dangerous and irresponsible and if it is not the real Anthony Joshua , then Joshua and his team should be in the public eye trying to distance themselves from these image damaging comments. There is no doubt that Rogue AJ is far more interesting than the the AJ we have been spoon fed over the years but this race driven undertone doesn’t sit right with me . I do hope this is some hack but as i have eluded to , the reaction of his team does not fill me with confidence .