Everything you need to know #DegaleJack

James Degale vs Badou Jack has the potential to be on of the fights of the year. Both fighters are keen and hungry, and have stated they are “ready for war”.

It’s the WBC and IBF super-middleweight unification fight, taking place at the Barclays Center in New York.

I expect the fight to begin around 3am, so either set an alarm or brave out the night and face the consequences in the morning.

The show will be broadcasted on Sky Sports One (including the undercards). Surprisingly its not a PPV event, which is refreshing considering the shambles of previous and up and coming ‘PPV shows’.

Fighters current records are as follows. James Degale: 23 (14KO’s)-1-0. Badou Jack: 20 (12KO’s)-1-2.

 

 

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Isaac Chamberlain

‘Chambo’ has an aura about himself that oozes flair, professionalism and self-driven determination that only makes his fights more exciting. He is a star in the making, and under Eddie Hearn I can assure you that Isaac will become a boxing hotshot. As he isaac-chamberlainmost definitely has the potential to become the number 1 ranked Cruiserweight in the UK and in good few more years he should be gunning for a world title. But first he needs to keep on track, keep winning fights and gain that experience that can only be earned in the ring.

At the moment, he boasts a clean record of 6-0-0, and has beaten many worthy fighters in those 6 fights. Including the likes
of Wadi Camacho in a thrilling encounter at York Hall. This was the main event and what a main event it lived up to be. As mentioned in my article on Felix Cash (who was on the undercard), I fortunately was able to watch arguably the FOTY live. The atmosphere was special and everyone anticipated a good’ol cruiserweight tear up, and indeed it was, but what surprised me was Isaac’s genuine boxing ability. Obviously we cannot ignore the tremendous heart he showed that night as his shoulder popped out of place during the fight, but his ring craft and quick reflexes was what really impressed me and many other fight fans that night.

He is set to fight on the 4th of March and I can assure you I will most definitely be watching. One to keep an eye on.

 

Greatest British Boxers of All Time

The Great British Box off.

Britain and Boxing have a very, very long association. We take tremendous pride in the gentleman’s sport and boxing’s roots are deeply  entwined with our British History. In the early days noble men would stand toe-to-toe (usually bare knuckle until the Queensbury rules were  established) fighting for their honour. It then tended to finish with a handshake and a pint afterwards. Nowadays British boxing has became more professional and competitive but the principles of fighting for pride still applies, which may be perpetuated by national treasures such as the Lonsdale belt. Currently there are 12 British world champions, which given the size of our tiny but proud island, only goes to show how much we still impact the world of boxing. Our magnificent history only makes constructing this list harder but I’m sure most will struggle to knock any of the following legends off my list.

Honourable mentions: Lloyd Honeyghan, Randolph Turpin, Henry Cooper, Ted Lewis, Bob Fitzsimmons, Tommy Farr, Freddie Welsh, John Conteh, Steve Collins.

10)Barry McGuigan-This man never left his opponent alone in the ring, not a second’s peace. Constantly sinking shots into the body which would eventually devastate his victims. One of Irelands most prized fighters; his fights were thrilling to watch. Not to forget his special victory against the Panamanian Pedroza, who held the WBA featherweight championship. Although it was a short reign, Barry’s dynamite performances seals his spot in my Top 10 list. Currently Mcguigan is still prominent in the boxing scene, mentoring the fellow Irish champion Carl Frampton.

9)Ken Buchanan- Tough fighters such a Buchanan don’t come around often these days. Ken was the only British fighter ever to win the American Boxing Writers Fighter of the Year – outperforming the likes of Ali and Frazier that year. Technically he was sublime, stamina was second to none, and he had a speedy stiff jab that his opponents could never escape from. The spring in his legs meant he was able to pounce on his opponents in a flash. He faced boxing icons such as the great Roberto Durán, but lost on a controversial low-blow with Buchanan being on the receiving end. However some experts claim Buchanan was beating Durán up to that point. Nevertheless the Scotsman will go down as a British hero.

8)Ricky Hatton- “Walking in a Hatton wonderland…” The chant that was bellowed by his devoted Mancunian fans, and would raise the roof off countless venues around the world. He was famously labelled as the ‘Peoples Champion’, and he still is. The build up before a fight was close to matching the fight itself. Outside the ring we’ve established what a quick-witted character Ricky Hatton was but inside the ring Hatton was an animal. He perfected the art of body punching and would leave you clinching your sides after just spectating one of his bouts. The stunning victory over Kostya Tszyu is a strong contender for one of the best British performances.

7)Prince Naseem Hamed- Not only a great boxer but a great acrobatic, performer and entertainer. He pulled in fans from across the world who would tune in to see his impeccable style and even more impeccable ring entrances. If it wasn’t for his unfortunate defeat under Barrera and short lived career, Prince Naseem would make it to the top of my list. I can’t help but find myself constantly re-watching Naseems fights, because they were just so exciting. One second the Prince would be down, and the next his opponent would be hanging over the ropes… Every second of his fights tempered with uncertainty. The Prince brought in many unlikely fans who were unaware of the sweet science and managed to change boxing matches into a spectacle, rivalling theatrical shows on Broadway.

6)Carl Froch- The ‘Cobra’ possessed a granite chin, which meant he could leave his hands low and rip into his opponent the second they took the bait. You could never write Froch off in a fight because he always had the brute power in his locker to knock his victims out cold- As shown against Jermain Taylor and of course, George Groves. During most of his career Froch was extremely underrated but once he retired the boxing community went into mourning. All that was left was watching some of his thrilling fights on replay and only now has the Cobra been given the credit he deserves. We shall never forget: He “knocked out George Groves at Wembley in front of 80,000 people”.

5)Chris Eubank- Exciting, dangerous and oozing with flamboyance. Don’t let the fancy suits and calm persona fool you, once Eubank stepped (or should I say summersaulted) into the prize ring, he transformed into a executioner. Outside the ring Eubank’s weird and wonderful character lead him to superstardom, which is one of the reasons he holds one of the most famous voices in the sporting industry. Similar to Froch, Chris had an iron chin and bucketloads of heart but he could also turn some of the hardest fighters into wobbly-legged dancers. A deathly stare from this man can leave you sleepless for nights on end, and if you haven’t seen Eubank striking his formidable pose/stare then I highly recommend you do.

4)Nigel Benn- Its doesn’t get much darker than ‘The Dark Destroyer’. He was ruthless in the ring and he only had one mindset: knockout. Amazingly Benn didn’t even start boxing until he was 18 when he joined the army. The rest is history. He fought and won in one of the greatest yet tragic fights of all time against the warrior Gerald McClellan. Never has an underdog replicated what Nigel did on that night, and if it wasn’t for the devastating outcome it would go down as the greatest fight involving a British boxer- it was like a scene out of Rocky. Furthermore Nigel Benn was involved in the most significant, famous rivalries in British boxing with the above boxer: Chris Eubank. These two loathed each other and it wasn’t just to sell tickets either.

3)Jimmy Wilde- This historical boxing icon is widely (no pun intended) regarded as the greatest British fighter of all time. The ‘Mighty Atom’ pretty much sums up Jimmy Wilde, for his measly size of 5 ft 2 he sure packed an explosive punch. But it was his defensive style that stood out- Timeless. He looked like a modern day boxer. Jimmy could have written the book on self-defence. The Welsh legend could find any faults in his foe and expose his opponents weaknesses in devastating fashion, which is why he holds the staggering record of 132 victories and only 3 losses. RIP

2)Lennox Lewis- Avenged his 2 losses out of his 41 victories meaning he defeated every man he shared the ring with. He dominated the heavyweight scene for over a decade. Lennox’s unique athleticism and intelligence combined to make a destructive knockout machine. His kayos against Tyson, Rahman and Ruddock were works of art, which could be technically analysed for weeks. Furthermore, no matter how technical Lennox ‘The Lion’ Lewis was, he still could dig deep as shown in his final bout against the boxing great Vitali Klitschko which turned into a quality slug fest. Although riddled with a controversy and questioning throughout his career, Lennox managed to rise above it and become one of the ATG heavyweight boxers.

1)Joe Calzaghe- A handful of Calzaghe’s accomplishments include: being the longest reigning super-middleweight in history, defeating Roy Jones Jr, Bernard Hopkins, Eubank,  and Jeff Lacy (who was deemed as the ‘new Mike Tyson’), winning BBC SPOTY in 2007 and of course remaining undefeated throughout his career. His résumé is endless but it wasn’t just his achievements in the sport of boxing that puts him at the top of my list, it was his lightening fast hands and Welsh heart that made him the Hall of Fame and ATG boxer that he is today. Joe the ‘Italian Dragon’ carried many injures which consistently acted as an anchor during his career, he also faced plenty of criticism and doubters but despite all of this, he proved to himself and others that he was a true warrior and one of the boxing greats.

Born Today- Bob Foster

On this day on 1938 Robert Lloyd Foster (Bob Foster as we know him) was born; the light-heavyweight who wouldn’t be afraid to step up and give the heavyweights a taste of his thunderous punching power. Muhammad Ali famously said that Bob Foster- AKA The Deputy Sheriff- had “the punch of a mule”, and he wasn’t far from the truth. This legend carried 46 knockouts out of his 56 wins. Even more impressively, he knocked out 89 of the 94 men he beat as an amateur! You’re probably wondering why you never heard of Foster winning an olympic medal with such an outstanding amateur record, but he had to step aside to a young light-heavyweight prospect who later won the gold medal in 1960. His name was Cassius Clay. Something which I believed scarred Foster with a eternal feeling of jealousy towards Ali.

Bob Foster was the world light-heavyweight champion from 1968 to 1974, untouchable at that weight, but unfortunately could never build enough weight to become a heavyweight. Nevertheless in order to make a living, Bob would still fight Heavyweight greats such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Ernie Terrell. After he retired from boxing he took a step back from the sport, stating that there was “too many crooked judges and promoters.”

How would he mix against todays light heavyweights? Simple- he would obliterate the division. Arguably the greatest light-heavyweight of all time. RIP.

Chris Eubank Jr set to fight Renold Quinlan

Chris Eubank Jr is set to fight Renold Quinlan in 2017 for the IBO World Super Middleweight title, showcased on ITV Box Office. Yes- you heard correctly, ITV are branching out into the Pay Per View industry. Just what boxing needs. But thats a topic for discussion another day.

Eubank jr says “I intend to deliver more of what my father did: speed, power, accuracy, showmanship and the will to fight and beat the best of the best. Maybe even with a little bit more swagger!” – He told ITV.

Although there is never a boring fight with Eubank jr, its quite hard to get excited for this showdown. Especially when myself (and i’m sure many others) had to look up who Quinlan was. From what i’ve seen through my ‘extensive research’, Quinlan fights with his chin wide open, which i’m sure Chris will take full advantage of- drilling in his ferocious uppercuts. They both hold one loss on their record but I can only see this going one way, a Eubank jr KO victory.

Either way this is the sport of boxing and as we all know, in this sport anything can happen. Overall It will be interesting to see Eubank Jr’s progress, particularly because of his elbow injury that has inhibited him from training/fighting.

If Eubank jr wins this fight, does this deservedly put him up next in the queue to fight the dreaded Gennady Golovkin?

Felix Cash

felix-photoPreviously Cash was boxing with Team GB as an amateur but recently turned pro with Matchroom boxing, and has had a steady record of 4 wins out of 4 (3 KO’s). Personally watching Felix perform on the undercard at York Hall, I was not only amazed at his speed but his ability to read his opponent. He knew when to strike with his flurries of punches, or keep his distance with the stiff jab. Furthermore he managed to engage the whole crowd and create an amazing atmosphere; I can see Eddie Hearn featuring Cash in a Main Event just because of how entertaining he his. He boxed as an amateur with fellow pro Jake Ball at Guildford City Boxing Club under the legendary coach John Edwards. I believe his successful amateur career will give him the right grounding to one day become champion of the world- which is a strong possibility if he trains hard enough and attracts the right attention.  Let’s hope we see more of him in the future.

Check out Felix Cash’s humble interview with iFL TV: Felix’s Post Fight Interview

Anthony Yarde

Coming from London, England, this name is definitely one to look out for. This young light-heavyweight prospect has a perfect record of 9 fights, 9 wins (8 KO’s).

With aFrank Warren Show, Boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom - 10 Jun 2016n extremely athletic build, you would think Yarde would be relying on his knockout skills to finish his opponents, which is often the case for many British fighter such as the great Nigel Benn. However Yarde is a very technical boxer and although he has the capability to put his opponents to sleep, he likes to suss out his opponents. Stalking them down while looking both calm and relaxed, this allows him to snap his shots from any angle, and when they land (99% of the time) then its game over. If you’re looking for someone to get excited about then it’s this guy.

He’s currently under the promoter Frank Warren, and you can watch many of his fights on Box Nation. All thats needed now is for Anthony Yarde to gain more experience and I’m sure he will become a world champion.

Check out Anthony Yarde ‘s Brutal Knock out.