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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
The is part one of the best trilogy of fight’s there has ever been in heavyweight boxing . When Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfeild to see who would become the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World , in an era where that actually meant something , thats what’s we all want to get back to . I was born in 1986 so i do not remember this fight but i do remember my Father sitting up all night to watch it , which meant no one else could have watched it if they wanted to anyway because my Dad had very poor eye sight back then and had to sit infront of the screen and he used to take up the full TV screen so no one could see the fight . For years anytime boxing chat got brought up in our company my old man would always say ” Ali vs Fraizier was fantastic but have seen Bowe vs Holyfield ” . I would say i watch this fight maybe six times a year as it has everything in it .
Riddick Bowe is one of my all time favourite fighters and is usually the case with all the greats he had a very tough upbringing . Growing up in the tough streets of Brownsville , Brooklyn ( the same place Mike Tyson Grew up) Bowe was exposed to the harsh world to drink and drugs at a young age , but after his sister was stabbed to death by a drug addict and his brother died of AIDS , Bowe made it his mission that he was not going to die here . in the early 80s’s he took to up boxing and after a fantastic ameatuer career he turned pro . From there he took personal pleasure in dismantling opponents with his superb power and his jab , which is still regarded as one of the best jabs the sport has ever seen . Going into 1993 Riddick had earned his shot at undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Evander Holyfield , a fight that would go down in folklore
Evander Holyfeild is another of my faverite boxers of all time , a man who was a master of the dark arts of boxing aswell as having one of the best lead left hooks I’ve ever seen . Although Holyfield was born in Alabama he was raised in Atlanta in the Bowen Holme Housing Projects , a notorious place filled with crime . From 7 years old Holyfield started boxing and took to it like a fish in water . At 21 years old Holyfield went to the LA Olympics where he contraversially lost to New Zealand’s Keven Barry , As some of you may know is now Joseph Parkers trainer . Holyfield went on the beat Buster Douglas after Douglas pulled of the shock of the century by KO’in Mike Tyson in Japan to become the undisputed champion of the world .
What people need to understand is that Holyfield never got any credit at this time . Buster Douglas got a 13count on the canvas against Tyson that night . Even though Douglas got up and KO Tyson , people just wouldn’t accept Holyfield . Holyfeild’s first defence did nothing to win the fans over as he fought the very old George Foreman and then Journeyman Bert Cooper ( This Was Due To Tyson Pulling Out) . Holyfield wanted to test himself and was eager to take on the monster that is Riddick .
Thing’s To Watch Out For
Keep an eye out for Riddick Bowes jab from half way through the second round .
Also watch how Holyfield try to tie Bowe up inside , but doesn’t realise the giant Bowe is fantastic on the inside .
Finally look at how good Holyfield is at the dark arts , remember that is only cheating if you get caught .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .