Category Archives: Boxing

In the Ring – – All American Clash -By Billie Marshall

Undefeated Tavoris Cloud will face future hall of famer Bernard Hopkins after the IBF approved the March 9th bout in Brooklyn for the all American clash.

48 year old Hopkins is a 60 fight veteran and will become the oldest world champion in history, breaking his own current record, should he defeat the hard hitting 30 year old from Florida.

Cloud is the current IBF light-heavyweight champion After defeating Clinton Woods in 2009 before making 4 successful defences against the likes of Glen Johnson and Fulgencio Zuniga.

Cloud, duly nicknamed ‘Thunder’ has knocked out 19 of his 24 opponents, however at the age of 48, Hopkins still could prove to be the hardest fight of the champions career to date.

Hopkins believes, even though he is 18 years older than his opponent, he can still walk away as the new IBF light-heavyweight champion come March 9th.

He said: ” Some people are trying to write my destiny, but when you see a guy that has a track record that has proven to be more right than wrong over 28 years, Cloud has to say that he has a challenge. In reality, he is going to have to train harder than he ever has before.”

Bernard Hopkins later added that if you were a betting man ‘the smart money would be on him’.

Hopkins has been out of the ring since losing to Chad Dawson by a 12 round majority decision in April 2012, meaning an 11 month lay-off before a title fight could see the veteran with a little ring rust.

However Tavoris Cloud hasn’t fought since winning a controversial 12 round split decision over Gabriel Campillo in February of 2012. An equally long break for a fighter supposedly in the prime of his career.

The winner will have to defend the title against mandatory challenger Karo Murat, despite a more appealing fight against WBO champion Nathan Cleverley preferred.

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In the Ring – Third time for Hatton – By Billie Marshall

Perhaps more famously known for being the younger brother of world champion Ricky Hatton, Matthew has had a career of being in the shadow of his sibling.

But, at the third time of asking, has the chance to gain the respectability he deserves after an up and down career.

Currently ranked 38th in the world of the welterweight division and the current EBU European Welterweight champion, Hatton has a chance at world glory again when he faces Chris Van Heerden in Cape Town on March 2nd.

Matthew has always stressed his inspiration, and idol was his brother, Ricky.

He said; “I always looked up to my elder brother, Ricky, he went into boxing and then I followed suit.

From just the tender ages of six and nine, Ricky and Matthew were “always sparring upstairs while mum was downstairs or in the pub, with the pots rattling.”

Matthew Hatton does however regret leaving the amateur ranks at such a young age. In 2000, he decided to turn pro at the age of 19, with just 22 amateur fights under his belt. With Ricky already making a name for himself in the boxing world, Matthew was determined to get there just as quick.

Despite the hype surrounding his older brother, Matthew himself, was becoming a well-respected welterweight on the national scene.

With Ricky Hatton headlining fights at venues such as the MGM Grand, Matthew Hatton was impressing on the undercard.

Matthew kept himself quiet, while Ricky was attracting the headlines, Matthew was slowly but surely, climbing the rankings himself.

Wins over Edwin Vazquez and Ben Tackie at the Thomas and Mack centre and the MGM grand, on the undercard of Ricky’s fights, gave Matthew his first shot at a Welterweight world title.

Lovemore N’Dou, a veteran of over 60 fights was standing in the way of Hatton and worldwide recognition. The chance to step out of his brothers looming shadow, and be known as Matthew Hatton, and not the younger brother of Ricky.

However, the big stage produced a huge bit of controversy, when the contest was announced a draw, even though Matthew Hatton clearly felt otherwise.

He said: “I don’t care what Lovemore says. I won that fight. I thought I more than nicked it, I thought I won it by three or four rounds.”

Despite the original disappointment, Hatton responded by defeating Gianluca Branco for the vacant EBU European Welterweight title, and a successful defence against Yuriy Nuzhnenko allowed Hatton another chance at a world title shot, against up and coming Mexican star Saul Alvarez.

Matthew Hatton was again to be left disappointed as Alvarez won a unanimous decision in 2011, to all but condemn Matthew to the European stage. Despite the result Hatton said: “The Saul Alvarez performance is the stand out one in my career” and was proud to match a boxer who is widely tipped as the next boxing great.

Rumoured fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr and Zab Judah didn’t materialise, however in probably his last attempt at gaining a prestigious world title, and stepping out of the Hatton shadow with Chris Van Heerden standing in his way.

March 2nd will decide if it is third time lucky for 31 year old Matthew Hatton.

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In The Ring – Froch to face Kessler – By Billie Marshall

Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler have agreed terms on an eagerly anticipated rematch, to take place in the United Kingdom in May.

Although an official date is still to be confirmed, Saturday May 25th at London’s O2 arena seems a likely destination for the fight.

Froch has only two defeats to his career record so far, one coming at the hands of Mikkel Kessler in 2010 after a unanimous decision victory.

Following an impressive wins against Lucian Bute and Yusaf Mack, Froch has a chance to gain retribution against the Danish fighter, who is the current WBA super middleweight champion.

Froch is likely to be stripped of his current IBF title if he fights Kessler, due to a mandatory defence against Canadian Adonis Stevenson being the governing bodies preferred choice.

Should Froch compete, he has to chance to become a 4 time world champion at the expense of 33 year old Kessler.

However, with Andre Ward the ‘super’ WBA middleweight champion, the Froch-Kessler rematch would have the potential to make the winner a direct challenger to the American.

Carl Froch has said he has never been more motivated for a fight: “If Mikkel thinks he saw the best of me in Denmark then he is in for a rude awakening.”

He added: ” I feared Kessler had second thoughts about his promise but the man has come good on his word. Our first fight was pure warfare. We went at each other for every minute of every round and the rematch promises to be even more fiercely contested.

“I seriously wish I was ringside for this fight because I’m gunning for revenge at all costs and the fight fans are in for a real treat.”

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In the Ring – Anthony Ogogo – By Billie Marshall

Anthony Ogogo has been announced as the latest recruit to Golden Boy promotions after signing his first professional contract.

The Olympic bronze medallist is coming off a highly successful year for British sport and the Lowestoft fighter is hoping to add his name to the long list of British success stories currently in Boxing.

Following his impressive displays in the London Games, in particular his defeat of world number 1 Levgen Khytrov, Ogogo attracted plenty of interest, including Matchroom sport, but chose to sign for the American company.

The 24 year old stated: “I can’t wait to get started, 2012 has been one of the greatest years of my life. To represent my country at a home Games was an incredible experience and the bronze medal I won will always be close to my heart. Following the Olympics I’ve been looking to the future and considering a number of options, and feel that the time is now right to turn professional with Golden Boy.”

Chief Executive of Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer has backed the latest recruit to be a big hit on the international stage in the future.

Schaefer said: “Anthony Ogogo has everything you look for in a boxer. He can fight, he has style and charisma and he has amazing crossover potential. I have no doubt that Anthony has the skills in the ring and the personality outside of it to make him a global boxing star.”

With names such as Danny Garcia, the WBC and WBA (Super) Light Welterweight Champion, and Floyd Mayweather, Ogogo is in the company of boxing greats.

An opponent has yet to be confirmed for Ogogo’s first professional fight, although it is likely to take place early in the new year on February 9th in Las Vegas.

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Flintoff Wins Debut Fight

Former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff last night embarked on a professional boxing career with a victory against Richard Dawson.

The ‘League of Their Own’ star climbed into the ring, winning on a points decision 39-38 after throwing punches and taking a few himself.

It did not go all his own way as he was floored in the second, but he came back strong with some attacking punches and his eagerness meant he was always ready to attack.

It was not a heavyweight contest that will be remember for its boxing however, but for the occasion it will go down in history.

The fight had caused controversy before it even started. Flintoff had been granted a licence to fight, even though he had not go through the proper avenues, and he had his whole reputation and that of the McGuigan family in his corner, where on the line.

Yet a spectacle his licence was well worth it, bringing in cross sport fans and promoting it to a wider audience. It is yet to be seen if he will continue this career path however as after the fight he stated it could be his last.

Flintoff has received praise in the recent hours over twitter and from boxing industry players, including Carl Froch, and has helped boxing get back into the limelight again.

As sports men go however, Flintoff has proved that he can battle it with the best in the ring, and with a bat or ball in hand.

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Weekend Roundup

This weekend saw some epic sporting moments, with tales of woe, success and heartache twinned with controversy and foul play.

In the Premier League, their were shocks a plenty as former assistant at Chelsea, Steve Clarke, took on his former employers and beat them 2-1. it was a victory that took his West Brom side up to fourth, one point behind the European Champions.

Elsewhere, Norwich City kept their third clean sheet in four to take victory at home against Manchester United. It was the first time since the 2-0 victory back in 2005, that the Canaries had defeated the Red Devils.

The North London derby finished 5-2 to Arsenal once more after former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor scored and was then sent off for a reckless tackle on Santi Carzola.

Man City took advantage of the other big boys losing and returned to the top of the table after beating Aston Villa 5-0. The scoreline did not tell the story as Joe Hart made some brilliant saves and two penalties cost the midlands side.

The other scores in the Premier League were: Liverpool 3-0 Wigan, Newcastle 1-2 Swansea, QPR 1-3 Southampton, Reading 2-1 Everton.

In rugby union, it was a poor weekend for the home nations as Wales lost heavily to Samoa, England could not add to their victory against Fiji previously and went down to a below strength Australia outfit and Scotland lost an entertaining battle to the South Africans.

Ireland did put some credibility on the weekend for the home sides, winning 53-0 against Fiji, as their coach Declan Kidney tried out some of his younger players.

Alistair Cook continued his great batting form as England tried to salvage anything from the first test. The England captain remains at the crease on 168 not out and in the process became the first England captain to score three test 100’s in their first three games as skipper.

He is joined at the crease by Matt Prior who himself has been great with the bat too. The final day is tomorrow and England currently lead by 10 runs after been forced to take the follow on by India.

In Boxing, Carl Froch defeated Yusaf Mack with a third round count as he continued to develop into one of the best boxers of all time.

The fight in Nottingham started well for Froch, who burst out in the first two rounds and then professionally took out his opponent in the third.

After the fight, Froch admitted he now wants to have a rematch with either Mikkel Kessler or Andre Ward.

Elsewhere, Sebastian Vettel took pole for tonight’s Austin Grand Prix, as he looks to wrap up a third straight drivers tittle. Fernando Alonso will start eighth on the grid after a poor qualifying display.

Luke Donald claimed another title this morning as he won Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan as as a result moves ahead of Tiger Woods and into second in the world rankings.

Still in golf and Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest winner of a European Tour event, aged 48 and 318 days, as he took victory in the Hong Kong open.

The World Track cycling is currently going on as Britain try to replace Victoria Pendleton after she retired from the sport. Jess Varnish and Becky James are however doing a good job as they took silver and bronze respectively.

You can catch more sports action in the week in our regular features such as Game On, Puck Plays and It’snowheaven or catch up with anything else by checking out the archives.

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Cobra Strikes Again- Billie Marshall

Carl Froch produced another devastating display to retain his IBF super-middleweight title with a third round stoppage of American challenger Yusaf Mack.

Oozing with confidence in front of a sold out Nottingham Capital FM arena, the three time world champion was in control from the outset, with rasping body shots, and deadly combinations causing the American problems in the early exchanges.

In his first defence of the title he won so convincingly against Lucian Bute, Froch made light work of the un-fancied Challenger.

“Yusaf Mack did not really have much of a chance tonight. I’m a level above,” Froch said afterwards. “I was a bit cautious early on, and then found my range and could see what was coming back. I did what I had to do.”

Froch landed several combinations in the first and kept the pressure up throughout, knocking Mack to the canvas shortly after, more good work with his combinations, ending with a right hook that Mack couldn’t avoid.

The punishment continued in the next round, with the American struggling to cope with the intensity and pressure Froch was putting him under. With the round seemingly coming to an end, Froch launched a flurry of punches, rocking the challenger who was only saved by the sound of the bell.

Ever the professional, ‘The Cobra’ finished the fight off in the third. More body shot combinations caused the American to be counted out and end any unlikely hopes he had of beating Froch on his home turf and capturing the IBF super middleweight title.

For a fighter that seems to be getting better with age, Mack’s pre fight comments of ‘a fake Joe Calzaghe’ seemed to spur Froch on even more. At 35, there seems to be more challenges than ever for Carl Froch to get his teeth in to.

With a possible rematch on the cards against the Canadian Lucian Bute – for who he beat so comfortably in his last fight – or a mandatory challenger in Adonis Stevenson nicknamed ‘Superman’, there is plenty to weigh up for Froch.

With Revenge matches against Andre Ward or Mikkel Kessler also a possibility, one thing is for certain, Carl Froch’s career will only get better from here and 2013 could be another successful one for the Nottingham ‘Cobra’.

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