I was joined the line by Nathan Dowie and Riku to speak about all this weeks big boxing news including Jamel Herring picks up a World Title, Hughie Fury and will he ever fulfil his early potential . We also spoke about AJ/Ruiz as well as all the rest of the goings on in the Heavyweight Division.
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 .
Round 10 KO Frampton
When i hear the the old Cliche “Boxing is in my DNA” i pass it off as a template answer , something to fill in a blank ….well that was until i caught up with Irish Cruiserweight Gary Sweeney (23) . Gary comes from a real fighting family with four older brothers being Amateur Champions in Mayo Ireland , with his brother/mentor and now trainer Micheal Sweeney also being a former professional but Gary says it all goes back to his Grandfather .
“My Grandfather never liked talking to us about boxing because he never wanted us fighting and stuff , but he was a bareknuckle boxing champion . He didn’t want us getting into bareknuckle game , he wanted us to just get into the ring and start boxing “
Gary’s family comes from a traveling background which seems to go hand in hand in boxing nowadays with stars like Billy Joe Saunders and the Fury’s being some of the biggest name in the UK boxing today . Embarrassingly boxing is not the only thing that seems to go hand in hand with the Traveling community .
“My father used to box back in his day but when he finished he opened an amateur boxing club due to discrimination because he was from a traveling background . So we opened our own boxing club and from there i won 7 ameatur titles.”
Gary was inspired to get into boxing after watching his brother’s . Going to watch them in tournaments at eight years old he decided he wanted to have a go at the sport for himself .
“I remember when i was eight years old i remember i would get hit a punch and i would just smile . Once i was in boxing i just loved it “
Like any young Sportsperson the biggest fear is injury and in 2017 Gary found that out when a back injury kept him out for most of the year , which halted the momentum he had been building .
“It was very frustrating , i have lost 13 months of boxing and the full time I’ve been watching all these fights on TV and on Youtube and i was just eating myself . I had all these injuries with my back and i broke my hand so i had to just sit back and watch all these fights . Then finally christmas was gone and i got myself a fight , and now I’m back in the swing of things ”
“I was meant to go for surgery before my last fight but the surgery didn’t take place so what they done was drain it so its still a bit sore but it’s good enough to get me back in the ring , until i can get the surgery in the summer” .
Gary will be fighting in a six rounder on the MTK London card on March 3rd and although Gary doesn’t know who his opponents is yet , he is expecting it to be someone who will put him through his paces so he is coming over to Scotland to get some sparring with British Title challenger Stephen Simmons .
“Two weeks before my fight i will be Scotland and I’m going to get a good hard week with Simmons . You couldn’t ask for any better than that , going out and getting rounds of sparring with these guys is good for me. I am part of the MTK Global team and they have me out sparring all over the place which is just brilliant “
Fighting on this MTK London card will give Gary the opertunity of some big exposure in a small hall context due to there partnership with IFL TV who stream the cards on youtube .
“This card will be streamed again on youtube , which is brilliant . Last time they got over 140,000 viewers . To be on any sort of TV is brilliant but anybody can get this for free.
We would just like to thank Gary Sweeney for taking the time out to come and have a chat with us and we are looking forward to seeing him back in the ring . For tickets to the show Saturday 3rd March 2018 Ticket hotline 07876 238286 Ticket prices Tiered seating £40 Ringside tables with waitress service £60 / £70 Doors open 4.30pm .
I don’t think i have ever seen a pro debut so eagerly anticipated as that of Michael Conlan as he took on Tim Ibarra over Six Rounds on this St Patricks Day bout . Over 2000 Irish fans and press had made the trip across the pond to take in this spectacle , and Conlan did not disappoint.
From the first bell you could see Ibarra was an awkward costumer who had a slight reach advantage and was planning on using every inch of it to keep Conlan away , and for the first round, at least it looked to be a decent game plan as Conlan was finding it hard to get in range . That being said Conlan took the first round easy as Ibarra didn’t throw anything worth talking about and as the round went on the irishman looked to be settling down .
There are not many boxers out there with a better amateur pedigree than Michael Conlan but the big question was, Can he bring it to the pros ?…. Well in the second round we got that answer . Conlan came out the second round with a lot more intent , you could see he was getting closer to Iberra and about half way through the round he he got his reward with a viscous bodyshot landing which seemed to take wind out Iberra. From this point Iberra looked well out his depth only throwing back in desperation rather than intent, and the pro Conlan fans who where packed into the Theatre at Madison Square Garden where loving it , they knew this fight didn’t have long left.
Conlan picked up where he left off in third ,really catching the wounded Iberra at will , and after two minutes of intense punishment to the body the referee had seen enough . You’ve got to give it to Micheal Conlan for this performance, with all the hype from fans,press and promoters the pressure was on and Conlan handled it with style …….impressive