MY TOP 5: BRITISH SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHTS

MY TOP 5: BRITISH SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHTS

5. ROCKY FIELDING (22-1)

The 5th spot was a tough pick between Rocky Fielding and Paul Smith but I have decided to go with Fielding, purely because he is still relatively early on in his career and Smith is declining. Fielding has a good record as a professional at Super-middle but has struggled recently especially after the defeat to Callum Smith. Both fighters went into the bout undefeated with people expecting it to be a close fight, but Fielding couldn’t handle Smith’s power and was knocked out within a round. Fielding had to bounce back quickly after the defeat and did so with a split decision victory over Christopher Rebrasse to win the WBC International Super-middleweight title. Fielding is certainly someone to look out for and a rematch further down the like with Smith could be closer than the first originally was.

4. MARTIN MURRAY (33-3-1)

The next two in my top 5 are due to fight each other next month so their places could well swap round, but in 4th I have gone with Martin Murray. The Brit has been unlucky in his career, losing in 3 of his 4 world title fights and drawing the other, both at Middleweight and Super-middleweight. As a Super-middleweight, he fought Arthur Abraham for the WBO world title but lost by split decision. Despite being 33 years of age and never really being able to show that he is a world level boxer, he still has some talent left and the fight with Groves could possibly be one of the most important of his career.

3. GEORGE GROVES (23-3)

The man who fought Froch in front of a sell out crowd at Wembley is yet again trying to revive his career after a third world title defeat. Groves’ most recent world title fight was against Badou Jack last year, a fight he lost by split decision. Groves was once looking like he would be on top of the Super-middleweight decison, especially being the only person to have beaten number 1 in this list. His world title defeats have really put a stop in his charge but he is on the comeback trail and looked good in his last fight. The fight with Murray will be interesting to see if he still has the ability to compete at the top of the game, a fight I expect him to win which would certainly open doors for him at world level again.

2. CALLUM SMITH (19-0)

Callum Smith is a man on the rise within the Super-middleweight division and is looking like becoming a world champion. The Liverpudlian beat Hadillah Mohoumadi in his last fight for the EBU Super-middleweight title, a fight many expected to be his toughest but ended up as a 1st round KO for the Brit. Smith is mandatory to Badou Jack’s WBC crown but many expect a unification fight to happen between Jack and DeGale fist. A domestic fight between DeGale and Smith has the potential to be a classic and one I expect to happen in the near future.

1. JAMES DEGALE (23-1)

Probably the best Super-middleweight in the world right now, James DeGale is looking a class act. He holds the IBF world title after beating Andre Dirrell in his own back garden last year and has continued to fight out in America. His last fight however was not is best as most people expected him to knock out Medina, but instead it went to the scorecards and ended as a unanimous decision. DeGale has shown signs of tiring mid-way through his fights due to the tempo of his fighting style and a world-class boxer could take advantage of that if he doesn’t adapt his game. Nevertheless, he is number 1 in the division and I expect him to stay there. A unification fight with Jack should happen later this year and if it does, I think we will see him up his game and unify the divison.

 

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TRADITIONAL MEDIA V ONLINE MEDIA

TRADITIONAL MEDIA V ONLINE MEDIA

Sticking with the same theme as my PR Event Analysis post, I’m going to look at the differences between how traditional media (newspapers) and online media (websites) covered the Amir Khan fight.

The fight was scheduled to take place at around 4.30am GMT due to the time difference between here and where the fight was taking place, Las Vegas. This already made it a disadvantage for the media in the UK to be able to cover the story of the fight. As we all know, Amir Khan lost after a devastating 6th round knock out to Alvarez but newspapers would not have been able to get the story out until Monday due to the fight being scheduled to be on so late in the UK. This meant that the online media had to take advantage of this and make sure they covered all angles of the story.

Websites such as Sky Sports will have had immediate reaction after the fight, with a quick summary of what happened whilst they gather more news. Sky probably isn’t the best example due to it being a rival of Box Nation so lets look at the BBC. The BBC covered the story with not only articles involving a summary of the fight, but with photos too and interviews with relevant people in the boxing world. As the traditional media were not able to release the newspaper version of the story until Monday, they used their websites to put out live blogs of the fight for people to read if they couldn’t watch the fight. Various Twitter pages also live-tweeted the event to keep people updated.

The big advantage for the online media, other than being able to cover the story first, is the media they can show on their websites. Where newspapers are unable to show videos and more than a small selection of photos, online media can have photo galleries containing a huge selection of photos from the night and can also include videos from the event. This makes the online media much more engaging for the reader meaning someone who is a fan of boxing would have a preference to getting their news from online media. Someone who is not as big of a fan, who only watches big fights would prefer newspapers as the big sport story would only be boxing if it was a massive fight.

Online media has so many advantages over traditional media especially in today’s world where we can get a news story for free at the click of a button. This is also an area where online media is supreme as people who are in a rush to work in the mornings might not have time to get a paper, so they can just look at their phones for the latest news. You would think that the people who prefer traditional media are those that have been brought up without todays technology and those people who don’t have a massive interest in certain things but still like to be in the know. This is why newspapers have moved online, to make sure they stay competitive as more and more people are getting their news from online websites.

PETER FURY Q&A

PETER FURY Q&A

Welcome to the first interview on my blog and we start with one of boxing’s best trainers, Peter Fury. Peter trains both the current world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and his own son Hughie Fury who holds the WBO Inter-continental heavyweight title. The questions I’m going to ask him will be based on Tyson Fury’s rematch with Klitschko, what the future holds for Hughie Fury and what he thinks about British boxing at the moment.

Hi Peter, thanks for giving me the chance to interview you for my blog. It’s refreshing that someone involved in sport, especially being the trainer of a world champion, interacts with fans like you do.

It was a historic night last year in Germany with Tyson beating the former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. I hope the rematch will be yet another special night in British boxing, what are you expecting to see from Tyson in this fight, will he go one step further and knock out Klitschko? 

“Yes we will be looking for the ko this time.”

Providing Tyson does win the rematch, do you think he will actually retire or will the potential for a huge domestic fight with Anthony Joshua motivate him enough to continue? 

“Hopefully Tyson comes through then we want Joshua or Wilder next.”

Hughie recently beat Fred Kassi for the WBO Inter-continental title, the future certainly looks bright for him. How far away do you think he is from a world title shot? 

“Hughie is 18 months 2 years away from his world title shot.”

Could we see him involved in some domestic fights against the likes of Chisora and potentially even David Price if his comeback goes to plan? 

“Yes there could well be domestic dust ups for Hughie.”

It has been a fantastic journey for Tyson and yourself getting those world titles, you make a great team to say the least. Do you think trainers receive the credit they deserve in boxing? 

“Yes trainers get the respect I think. It’s nice to be credited with your hard work.”

How are you finding life as the trainer of a world champion, has much changed? 

“Nothing has changed at all. Still same people we just thankful to the blessed Lord for our victories.”

Finally, British boxing is looking fantastic at the moment with so many different world title holders across a variety of divisions, this is the best boxing in the UK has looked for some time. Do you see us continuing to improve with the likes of Callum Smith, Kal Yafai and Hughie Fury coming through? 

“Yes I see British Boxing on a high right now with good gyms, trainers & serious talent coming through.”

I would like to thank Peter for his time and his willingness to answer my questions.

PR EVENT ANALYSIS

PR EVENT ANALYSIS

With every different Boxing event that happens, they are all promoted in a variety of different ways depending on several factors such as who is fighting, where they are fighting and what they are fighting for. The PR around a fight can determine how well the event is going to sell or be watched even if it is one of the biggest events around. Advertisement and PR is crucial for promoters such as Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren who want to make the most money possible whilst making sure their event is seen globally.

An example of this is the recent Amir Khan fight against Saul Alvarez for the WBC Middleweight world title. Khan was moving up 2 weight classes to Middleweight for the fight against the Mexican world champion and he was out to utilise his speed whilst Alvarez is known for his explosive power. All the pre-fight talk was about both their main attributes pitted against each other for a world title. Khan said in a variety of different interviews that he favoured his speed despite putting on weight to step up to Middleweight. An example of one of these interviews can be found here.

In the UK, the fight wasn’t advertised as much as you would have thought. A quick trip to the Sky Sports website in the build up to the fight and you would have been disappointed with the lack of content especially as this was one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport, certainly for Britain anyway as Amir Khan was involved. This was potentially because the fight was held in the US and shown on American channels as well as Box Nation, who are obviously Sky’s only rival boxing channel here in the UK. Eddie Hearn who runs Matchroom has an agreement with Sky to show their fights on box office or on Sky Sports 1, Box Nation however is its own separate channel and is run by promoter Frank Warren who has fighters such as Tyson Fury under his control.

With Sky Sports being the most popular way for sports fans to find out news, the lack of articles published due to the rivalry with Box Nation meant that fans who only like to watch the big fights might have not known that it was even on. It was also not advertised much in the UK because the fight actually started at around 4.30am GMT due to the time difference between here and the US making it hard for a lot of people in the UK to watch the fight. The only advertisements I saw for the fight were posters at some tube stations as well as people talking about the fight on Twitter.

The event was mainly marketed in America as Khan is favoured by the American audience and Canelo is a big fighter out there also. Different tactics were used to advertise the fight such as a promotional tour run by the event promoters which took the fighters around America for photos, open gym sessions and more. Photos were taken in places such as New York before the tour finished up where the event would be held, in Las Vegas. The fight was at the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas strip which opened just this year so the weigh in was held outside the stadium on the day before the event to give fans a little hint of what the atmosphere will be like come fight day.

I think the fight could have been better advertised to conclude, although I can only speak for people here in the UK. The fight, being mainly advertised to the American audience, looked well conducted in the US with the promotional tour creating a buzz around the event weeks before it was due to take place. The speed v power promotion was a good way to get people interested in the fight as it is two very different skills put up against each other for a world title. I think, despite the fight being on at 4.30am here in the UK, the power v speed promotion could have been better utilised in the UK to get people interested, especially people who don’t have a big interest in the sport. The lack of articles published about the event on UK websites was also a concern. I know Sky Sports is Box Nation’s rival in terms of boxing but when people go onto these websites they want to be given the latest news, there was a lot going on in the build up to the event but only interviews could be found. The customary Sky boxing ‘experts’ didn’t even give their pre fight predictions like they would for fights broadcasted on their own channels (they did it for Fury v Klitschko despite it being on Box Nation). I understand this is just competition, but it’s a poor way to gain more interest in a growing sport.

KHAN, CROLLA & CHISORA REACTION

KHAN, CROLLA & CHISORA REACTION

Welcome back to 12 Rounds UK, today is my belated reaction to this weekends main British action including Amir Khan’s crushing defeat to Alvarez, Crolla’s defining title defence and Chisora’s disappointing loss.

AMIR KHAN V SAUL ALVAREZ

Amir Khan gets knocked out by Mexican Boxing hero Canelo Alvarez after 6 rounds for the WBC Middleweight title.

It was a fight that looked so promising for the Brit Khan but ended up in a defeat that put him in the hospital, for precaution anyway. Khan came out in a fight that was built up as being speed v power and he started excellently, moving in close and using his speed to put some good combinations together. Alvarez however never looked like the speed of Khan would put him on the floor as he continuously took the shots on the chin well and looked to put together some combinations of his own. As Khan was controlling the fight, Alvarez suddenly caught him with a shot that cut his eye and put some doubt in ‘King’ Khan’s mind, this made the Brit make some defensive mistakes and that’s when Canelo delivered the knock out blow. As Khan showed a massive gap in his defence, Alvarez swung a big right hook that caught Khan on the side of the jaw and put him down and out, he couldn’t even get up for the count. Before Alvarez could celebrate, he made sure Khan was alright (he was later taken to hospital for check ups) and then after, the Mexican party began.

It was unfortunate for Khan in the manner in which he lost the fight but he can leave with his head held high after being ahead on the scorecards going into the 6th round. Unfortunately the step up in weight was just too much for the natural Welterweight as although he showed he still had the speed, he didn’t quite have the power to match Alvarez who was clearly much bigger in size. Khan will probably step back down to Welterweight and either challenge Danny Garcia for the WBC title or challenge Kell Brook for the IBF title, a bout people have been wanting for some time. However the same question remains, does Amir Khan have the jaw for the big punchers or will he continue to be found out at the top-level?

ANTHONY CROLLA V ISMAEL BARROSO

Manchester fan favourite Anthony ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla defends his WBA Lightweight world title after knocking out dangerous challenger Ismael Barroso.

The best performance from any Brit Boxing this weekend was from Anthony Crolla. He came into the fight as the world champion but also as an underdog as many thought Barroso will do what he did to Kevin Mitchell and knock Crolla out. Barroso started the fight well and was probably a fair distance ahead on the scorecards by the time he was knocked out. He was using his sharp movement, speed and power to try to get Crolla out of there early, that was his game plan there was no plan B. Crolla however just continued to soak up the pressure Barroso was putting on him using his solid defensive skills which have won him so many fights before. As Barroso began to tire, ‘Million Dolla’ moved in,  putting some good combinations together before finding a gap in the South Americans defence and hitting him with a good body shot. Barroso belatedly fell to the ground and was unable to make it back up, Crolla retained his title against the toughest of opponents.

Crolla surely has to be seen as the top Lightweight in the world right now after that performance, he was excellent throughout even if Barroso seemed to dominate early on. A unification match could be his next fight, potentially against fellow Lightweight world champion Brit Terry Flanagan. It would certainly be an interesting fight and one Crolla would hope he can win.

DERECK CHISORA V KUBRAT PULEV

Derek Chisora loses IBF title eliminator and European Title fight against Kubrat Pulev after 12 tough rounds out in Hamburg.

It’s a shame for the Brit, a fight against AJ could have been potentially a good domestic clash but it just wasn’t to be. Pulev always looked in control of the fight and it wasn’t until the later rounds Chisora really came alive but it wasn’t enough. Pulev never let Chisora attack him from close range, continuously grabbing the Brit when he got close enough to do any damage, unfortunately the referee turned a blind eye. It wasn’t really close on the scorecards either despite it being a split decision, 116-112 and 118-110 in favour of the Bulgarian and 115-113 in favour of Chisora, probably in protest about the contest grabbing from Pulev.

It was a hugely disappointing night for Chisora and he will go home looking to move back onto the domestic scene. I think that was his last chance at the very top of the game and he failed to make a good enough impression to make anyone worried about him.

KHAN, CROLLA AND CHISORA FIGHT PREVIEWS

KHAN, CROLLA AND CHISORA FIGHT PREVIEWS

It’s another huge weekend in British Boxing as there are 2 world title fights involving Anthony Crolla and Amir Khan as well as Dereck Chisora’s IBF eliminator for the opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua. Lets get straight into my previews for these 3 fights starting with the biggest one of the lot…

AMIR KHAN V SAUL ALVAREZ

‘King’ Khan’s big opportunity has finally come around and he has to take it with both gloves. The man from Bolton stepped up to Middleweight to take on the dangerous Alvarez, who has only 1 career defeat to Floyd Mayweather, for the WBC world Middleweight title.

The odds are massively stacked against the Brit and people are saying this as a ‘go big or go home’ sort of fight for Khan as he already has 3 career defeats on his record. A crushing defeat could signal the end of Khan’s career as it would mean he has been exposed on 4 separate occasions and the only fight that might be worth taking after that would be one against Kell Brook. However, I think Khan will put in a good display on Saturday night. People and pundits all over are giving him a discredit for moving up to fight Alvarez as they believe he will just be found out again as he has done in the past against the likes of Danny Garcia. I don’t think this is boom or bust for Khan, if he can put in a good display that shows he can still box the best fighters around, even if he loses he can open up more opportunities to fight at the bigger weight. Khan’s speed is one of his best assets as a fighter and he said this in the build up to the fight earlier this week:

“The speed has still been there, I thought it was going to decrease a little bit, but it’s still there. The sharpness of my shots and the power has definitely improved, So, I really believe he is going to have big problems going into the later rounds especially with the speed.”

“Like I said, with the speed now we have a lot of power, having put a little bit more weight on. When I do hit him with these quick shots, he is definitely going to be hurt by them.” – Amir Khan

It’s clear to see that ‘King’ Khan’s game plan might be to take the fight into the later rounds and by utilising his speed he can wear the Mexican world champion down before looking for a stoppage or winning by decision. Khan doesn’t get much support from the British crowd, he is often seen as someone with no chin and is much more favoured by American’s – more so as his fights take place in the USA. I hope Amir can prove to everyone he still has the quality and the extra weight he has had to put on has helped improve his chin. His speed and power will be influential in the fight, I hope he can win it would be excellent for both himself and British Boxing but unfortunately I think he’ll just miss out after a spirited performance, Alvarez to win by UD. 

ANTHONY CROLLA V ISMAEL BARROSO 

Manchester fan favourite ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla is back in action defending his WBA Lightweight title against Venezuelan Ismael Barroso who, as we all know, knocked out Kevin Mitchell in his last fight for the interim WBA title.

This fight should be the best of the weekend and it’s one I’m very excited for, two excellent fighters battling it out for a world title. Anthony Crolla has come a long way since the burglar’s that attacked him left him with significant damage to his body but he’s back, and he has a world title to his name after knocking out Darleys Perez in their second fight last year.

Ismael Barroso is a very dangerous opponent to be facing, especially for his first title defence. Barroso’s fight against Mitchell was a classic but left many fans heartbroken as it effectively ended Mitchell’s career as a top class boxer and ended his dream of a world title. The South American is undefeated in his 21 fights, drawing 2 and winning 18 by KO – a man not to be messed with. Crolla has to go into the ring with a game plan, as I’m sure he will do and try to stop Barroso from showing how powerful his shots can be. He is world champion after all and he needs to prove how good he really is. Crolla is an honest fighter and always wants to take on the best opponent he can, he had this to say at todays weigh in:

“I think when you’re world champion, you take on the best challengers. That’s what a champion does and I’m a proud champion. There was no way I was going to swerve Barroso.” – Anthony Crolla

I’m sure this will be a fight that will have some British fans biting their nails, with moments where both men will look like they have an opportunity to end the fight but that’s not how I see this finishing. I think Crolla wins by a close UD. Not to big this one up too much (as we saw how that went with May Pac) but expect a classic.

DERECK CHISORA V KUBRAT PULEV

An interesting fight for the European Heavyweight title and for a chance at Anthony Joshua’s IBF world title,  Dereck Chisora will step into the ring to take on Kubrat Pulev also on Saturday night.

Chisora always seems to be that domestic fighter that creates a lot of noise, but can never prove he’s good enough in the ring. We saw this against Tyson Fury (twice) and David Haye, he lost against both men. Despite having 5 defeats on his record and having only fought for a world title once, he interestingly has the opportunity as AJ’s IBF title providing he can beat the Bulgarian Pulev.

The European nicknamed ‘The Cobra’ has lost just once so far in his career against Wladimir Klitschko 2 years ago after being knocked out in the 5th round. Chisora however took the older Klitschko, Vitali, 12 rounds before losing by unanimous decision. This could be an interesting comparison to make if you don’t know much about these two fighters but despite not many people liking Chisora in the UK, you can’t deny he has a proper fighting spirit. He is always willing to take on whoever wants to fight him, win or lose he will put himself in the ring with the best. He has a huge opportunity at a second world title fight, an opportunity that won’t come round again so he has to take this and show his quality. People (including me) are hoping Chisora can win this fight to set up a bout with AJ, providing he can make a successful defence of his belt, this would be a domestic fight a lot of people would want to see despite not having the attraction a fight against Haye or Fury would have. Eddie Hearn is one of these people and he said this about Chisora:

“I’ve got my fingers crossed that Dereck can beat Pulev and win that European title and if he does, I believe he is a prime candidate to challenge Anthony Joshua if he can get past Dominic Breazeale.” – Eddie Hearn

So not the biggest fight of the weekend but one people certainly should have their eye on, especially AJ fans. I think it will be a cagey fight that will go the distance with neither men really going for a knockout so I’m saying Chisora will win by UD. 

All of my prediction’s for this weekend are unanimous decision victories, they’re all definitely going to be 3rd round knockouts now aren’t they. Thanks for reading, let me know your predictions if you have any!

MY TOP 5: BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHTS

MY TOP 5: BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHTS

Welcome to a new mini-series where I pick a weight class and choose who I think are the top 5 British Boxers in that division. Today we start at Heavyweight, fitting as yesterday’s post was about the possibility of Tyson Fury retiring after his rematch with Klitschko so go check that out if you haven’t already.

5. DERECK CHISORA (25-5)

This spot could have been given to David Price (even if slightly controversial) but the Londoner just edges into the top 5 in my opinion. He has been involved in one world title fight in his career, losing out to Vitali Klitschko on points 4 years ago. At the age of 32, Chisora still has something left in the tank and he is preparing to take on Kubrat Pulev in an IBF Heavyweight title eliminator. Unfortunately, he is behind Hughie Fury due to the fact that he has been knocked out by David Haye and Tyson Fury has beaten him on two occasions very comfortably. I think the top 4 in this list would all beat him but some credit is due as he never seems to go away and could potentially have a shot at AJ’s IBF world title.

4. HUGHIE FURY (20-0)

Tyson Fury’s cousin is starting to attract some attention within the Heavyweight division after winning the WBO Inter-contential belt in a win over Fred Kassi. The 21-year-old has a perfect 20-0 record and is trained by Peter Fury, who also trains the Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. He is already being tipped as a potential opponent for Anthony Joshua and it certainly would be an interesting fight between the two young Brits. I said in my post yesterday that Tyson’s retirement could open up a massive opportunity for Hughie if he continues to climb up the rankings and he could definitely be a world champion in the future.

3. DAVID HAYE (27-2)

The former world champion has recently come out of retirement a few years after pulling out of a fight with Tyson Fury and is on the comeback trail. He comfortably knocked out his first opponent since returning and faces unbeaten Arnold Gjergjaj on the 21st of this month hoping to show he still has the ability to compete at world level. Providing he wins his fight and Shannon Briggs does the same, his third fight after coming out of retirement should see him meet the American Briggs – who has recently been offering out anyone and everyone in the UK. If Haye can beat Briggs convincingly should the fight happen, it should put him in a good position to challenge for a world title. A potential fight with Anthony Joshua has been talked about and will continue to be talked about, it would be a fantastic fight – one he has a chance in.

2. ANTHONY JOSHUA (16-0)

The fan favourite from Watford who recently claimed his first world title against Charles Martin is second in my list, the top 2 pick themselves really. Eddie Hearn is trying to create a global superstar out of Anthony Joshua and not many can disagree with it happening, he looks unstoppable. It is true that his opponents haven’t been of the best quality but you can only beat who is put in front of you and AJ shows no signs of slowing down. He faces another unbeaten Heavyweight in Dominic Breazeale soon in an attempt to start marketing himself towards the American public. Providing he can continue the way he has been, there could be some huge fights in the future for the chance to unify the division.

1. TYSON FURY (25-0)

The undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world and the best Heavyweight in British boxing, Tyson Fury completes my list at number 1. There is no doubt he is currently the best and hopefully he can prove that in his much-anticipated rematch with Wladimir Klitschko. Fury has said he will retire after the rematch and unfortunately it seems like he will actually do so with there being no other real motivation to continue other than for the money. He isn’t a fan of boxing as he has said in the past and is just doing it to create a better life for his family so it would be a perfect ending retiring as an undefeated world champion. The only fight that could potentially entice him to remain in the sport would be a super fight against Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium. The potential pay-day from this fight would be huge and it’s a fight everyone wants to see.