I was joined on the call by Riku to talk about all this weeks boxing including the WBSS finals between Inoue vs Donair and Taylor vs Prograis. We also spoke about Canelos win against Kovalev and Crolla’s testimonial fight. We also touched on the WBC’s poor 2019.
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.
On this weeks podcast me and Riku spoke about all his weeks weeks boxing news including World Boxing Super Series Review, Adam vs Smith confirmed, Wilder’s demolition of Dom Breazeale and discuss PPV vs Subscription.
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 .
This tournament has been described as the Champions League of boxing in the past and when you walk into the press conference you certainly get that feel . Representation from all the major media outlets were in attendance from BBC to ITV (STV) , then you have your big players in the boxing media like Ring Mag and IFL in attendance , but something the WBSS has got right when it comes to the media is that it’s not ” Job’s for the Boys” which is usually the case with these big showpiece events . The World Boxing Super Series have on more than one occasion now made space for small independent outlets like myself which is a breath of fresh air .
Nisse Sauerland got thing’s underway in the presser outlining exactly just what this tournament is trying to do ….build stars . Nisse also emphasised that this tournament is aimed at a global audience so although they faced criticism for Season 1 final being in Saudi Arabia they won’t change . Josh Taylor looked in fantastic shape and we found out why . Taylor now has a permanent training base in London which means he isn’t spending the full camps . Taylor said he ready fight now, a couple of weeks out from fight night and predicts still with some hard training to come in the next two weeks he will be in the best shape of his career .
Well it has took a while to get here but finally it is fight week for the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Final in Russia between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev . This will be the first time in ten years that the Cruiserweight division has seen a lineal champion . On Saturday night we will be treated to what may be the best fight of this year as there is very little to choose between these two elite level operators . You can take all the talk about splits and money that so often stops fights like this happening , this fight is what boxing is all about .
Oleksandr Usyk is one of my favourite fighters to watch . Another product of the Ukrainian Boxing system this guy brings a little bit of Vasyl Lomachenko style to the big boy weights and i for one love it . Like Lomachenko , Usyk has been fast tracked due to his extensive experience as an top level amateur which has seen him have to learn on the job at times but each time he has found a way to win . Usyk’s big most valuable asset is his hi intensity work rate , he doesn’t just come forward but he comes in from the sides , constantly looking to back opponents up waiting for that moment where there concentration lapses and he can pounce . Most of Usyk’s work comes off the jab which disguises where his attack will come from , a technique that does seem to be a work in progress but one that the Ukrainian is close to mastering . Usyk proved in his last fight in the semi final against Mairus Briedis in Latvia that even when things aren’t working he can go to war and win , something that he may need to draw on come Saturday . Up until Usyk fought Briedis we hadn’t really seen him tested , and nobody ever really knows how someone will react when they are dragged into a battle . In that fight i thought Briedis was unlucky , he just fell short of the mark and showed Usyk can be very naive falling for the traps that Briedis had set and time and time agains Usyk walked on to big shots , something Usyk Cannot afford to do this weekend or it will be goodnight .
Gassiev is someone who has benefited massively from the WBSS with his success in the tournament bringing him to front and centre in the division that is stacked with talent . Gassiev has a very fan friendly style as this boy can bang . In his last outing in the WBSS semi final he fought Doriticos , another top level Cruiserweight who gave Gassiev all sorts of problems early in the fight . I honestly thought Doriticos was on his way to a well earned victory after the first four rounds but Gassiev like any true elite level boxer showed what it takes to turn from a valiant loser into a gallant winner . That night Gassiev had every excuse to ditch his original game plan as he was being caught on the way in time and time again but he didn’t , he knew Doriticos would slow down the longer the fight went on . As the early freshness faded from Doriticos , he slowed that of a half second and Gassiev could get to work , landing the harder more punishing shots that gradually breaking Doriticos down . That night I couldn’t help but acknowledge that Gassiev must have the upmost confidence in his corner , to have the confidence to stick with a gameplan that didn’t look to be working the first quarter of the fight and make the slight adjustments shows his class . Gassiev isn’t the kind of technician Usyk is but that’s not to say Gassiev doesn’t have skills . A bit like like Usyk , Gassiev does his best work on the front foot , prodding , punching and breaking opponents down . Gassiev i really good at countering his opponents just as they launch an attack , and with Gassiev’s power that is a danger for anybody .
This fight doesn’t just have the potential to be the best fight of this year , it has the potential to be the best fight for years top come , that is how highly i rate both these guys . Across all social media and boxing press everybody seems split as to how this fight will go . I think if Usyk makes the same mistakes he made against Briedis he will be stopped , he must show more patience and maybe not try and iniciante every exchange as that’s is when he will be vulnerable . Gassiev cannot go into this fight thinking Usyk will slow down like Doriticos , as i said before Usyk’s gas tank is his biggest asset . I can see this one going the distance with heart stopping moments for both sets of fans . I can see both guys having to dig deep and survive at points . From the start of the WBSS i have said Usyk will win the tournament and my pick hasn’t changed , but i do think it will be a lot closer than i first anticipated .
Firstly I would just like to let people know i am alive and well but thing’s were just a bit hectic the past couple of weeks so i took a wee break . So what’s been happening since i last put my thoughts down on cyber paper ? Well we have seen the full AJ/Wilder thing fall apart which now looks like the fight is now further away than ever , but everyone and there granny has had a say on that and I’m sure we are all sick of the full thing by now . The other massive news that’s been gradually breaking in the boxing world the past few weeks is the announcements of fighters and weight divisions for next season’s WBSS . With the likes of Josh Taylor signed up for Super Lightweight tournament and Zolani Tete and Inoue signing up for the bantamweight which had me excited but then it got me thinking , can we class season one a success ? .
Anybody that follows the DJayBoxing page know’s i am a massive fan of this tournament format . I have travelled across europe following Oleksander Usyk on his journey to the final , on show’s which were called ” The Road To Jeddah ” as the saudi’s had secured the right to the Cruiserweight final . At the time i tweeted out i thought this could spell trouble for the tournament and that turned out to be the case when the Saudi’s sold the rights to the Russians after Gassiev secured his place in the final . This lead to rumours that Usyk would pull out of the fight and these rumours gathered more pace when Usyk pulled out of the fight in May due to ” Injury ” . Thankfully all looks to be going ahead in Russia later this month .
Now on to the more worrying side of the season one tournament , the super middleweight final between Callum Smith and George Groves . This was a fight most boxing fans in Britain were buzzing about , a buzz that has since all but died . Right from the start this fight was in doubt after Groves dislocated his shoulder then it was announced that beaten semi finalist Chris Eubank Jnr was on standby should Groves not be fit on time . I heard that George Groves has started sparring which is great news for the legitimacy and prestige of this tournament and now it has been announced that the final is all set for September , so better late than never right ? ….Well no as it now seems that this all British fight will NOT happen in Britain , and may even take place in Jeddah , talk about throwing up obstacles and killing a buzz .
So has it been a success ? I would say yes for the most part . This tournament has tried to take boxing in a new direction which is built around momentum and the best fighting the best , bringing boxing back to a bygone era , that has to be appreciated and in there debut season I’m sure some valuable lessons have been learned . For us the fans we have seen how money and politics are never far away from boxing , even in this tournament that holds itself in such high regard . Roll on season two .
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 .