February 24th’s Random Boxing Rants

A week and a half away from the 2nd Grozny heavyweight freakshow, this time headlined by Uzbek-turned-conquering Chechen hero Ruslan Chagaev taking on the likable but limited Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, one wonders what theatrics despot Ramzan Kadyrov will involve himself in at ringside.

Last time, during the terrible Chagaev-Oquendo 2014 bout, he sat on a throne alongside David Haye (how many Russian prostitutes visited his hotel room that night?) and hilariously charged onto the apron to shove esteemed trainer Fritz Sdunek out of the way & bark instructions (threats?!) at Chagaev between rounds.

Whatever the case, it’s sure to make for an interesting Instagram post or two:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/the-putin-of-chechnya-shows-his-colors-on-instagram

 

Another question worth asking is will Browne escape Grozny alive if he manages the upset?

After all, Kadyrov has been known to order an assassination or two, and Oquendo claims to have had his life threatened while in Grozny if he had the temerity to actually win.

Better bring your own teapot, ‘Big Daddy’.

 

The February 5th gun attack at a Dublin hotel during the weigh-in for the latest MGM boxing promotion is one of the most shocking occurrences to rock the sport in recent memory.

One man was left dead, and two others injured.

Incidentally, my own presence at the weigh-in that afternoon was prevented only by an unavoidable family commitment, in retrospect highly fortuitously.

It is not the time to point fingers, but it’s obvious that all those associated with the individuals behind the MGM (boxers, trainers, promoters, reporters) need to take a long look at who they’ve associated themselves, and are partners in profit, with.

I can only speculate what will happen from here, but one would imagine this will be a huge hit to the MGM brand and their pretensions of doing business as a respectable boxing promoter, running regular shows in Ireland. I’d presume no more MGM shows in the Republic for the forseeable, if ever, and it cancels the plans for Billy Joe Saunders to defend his world title here in April.

The BUI, BBBofC and anybody else doing business with MGM on a regulatory level in boxing should be asking themselves whether it’s appropriate to continue doing so.

Boxing has been dragged ignominiously through the gutter again.

 

It’s surprising to hear that Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua is confirmed for April 9th.

The fight is an almost unprecedented case of a Haymon guy defending a title abroad, and an unexpectedly early title tilt for the unproven Brit.

That said, Martin has done nothing to prove he’s world level and I think Joshua stops him early. Then AJ can do as Deontay Wilder has, and defend against sub-top ten opposition for a while, as he continues to learn on the job.

Shrewd business from Hearn & co., and another genuinely big fight set by the Matchroom boss after missing out on Brook-Khan.

 

Speaking of big fights, we are just 3 days away from the mouthwatering Frampton-Quigg showdown.

The storylines are innumerable and the stakes are high. Ireland v England. Shane McGuigan v Joe Gallagher. Barry McGuigan v Eddie ‘Archbishop of Banterbury’ Hearn. And, to steal a line from Steve Bunce, too much pride.

This fight is something we get far too little of in boxing: a pure 50-50 affair with both fighters in their 20s, in the midst of their prime. To top it all off, both boxers come to fight with action styles.

No outcome would surprise me. Frampton is the better boxer and I could see him using Quigg’s aggression against him for a points win, or stopping him late.

However, I think a combination of home advantage and Frampton being tight at the weight before his last bout favours Quigg, who I predict wins a debatable split decision.

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