August 20th’s Random Boxing Rants

Frank Warren has received a lot of flack on this site in recent times, but big credit to the man if he successfully gets Frampton-Warrington & Wilder-Fury over the line for this year with a minimum of fuss or delay.

 

Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta (the latter of whom has amazingly challenged for the heavyweight title twice, 3 times if you count the regular belt) must rank as two of the worst challengers for a lineal title in boxing history, especially back to back.

 

Canelo-GGG II, Warrington-Frampton, Wilder-Fury, Usyk-Bellew, Joshua-Povetkin, Groves-Smith and probably more on top of all that.

That’s a lot of potential PPVs remaining this year for people in the UK and Ireland.

It’s an expensive time to be a boxing fan.

 

Perhaps taking a cue from this site’s monthly Judging the Judges segment (I kid), the Boxing Writers Association of America have begun a new initiative:

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/the-bwaas-officials-watch-list/

July 20th’s Random Boxing Rants

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Hello boxing friends…

No worries, Nathan. You’re forgiven.

 

13 euro for Usyk-Gassiev (inaugural WBSS final, just the fifth undisputed title fight in the four belt era & one of the best fights in cruiserweight history) is a PPV price worth paying.

 

Sam Eggington vs. Cook is a decent save after Kell Brook’s late withdrawal, and Mikhalkin is actually a better opponent for Buatsi than Summers, but Whyte-Parker is still not a worthy PPV.

Ian John-Lewis is the ref for this one, by the way, so be extra prepared for potential controversy.

 

A potential Ryan Burnett-Zolani Tete WBSS semi-final in the bantamweight tournament gives me palpitations.

 

Jaime Munguia-Liam Smith is the latest Warren fight not to be on Boxnation, as it is exclusive to BT sport.

The notion of Frank no longer having an output deal with his own channel is still ludicrous to me, and a slap in the face to the loyal subscribers who kept his channel (and promotional outfit) alive since October 2011.

A friend of mine recently sent me into fits by opining that he guessed this meant Frank couldn’t close the deal with himself: “he couldn’t get it over the line!”

 

July 3rd’s Random Boxing Rants

Kell Brook-Brandon Cook on the Whyte-Parker undercard is another useless matchup.

Amir Khan-Samuel Vargas I can tolerate, given that Khan has only boxed for 40 seconds in over two years.

 

Joe Joyce-Ivica Bacurin was a televised main event almost as bad as the Fury-Seferi freakshow.

Guess I didn’t have to wait long to answer my own question from the last edition of Random Rants.

 

Boxnation have cancelled the weekly magazine show, Boxing Matters, hosted by the knowledgeable Alex Steedman.

It’s like they are daring me to cancel my subscription.

I also had to laugh at the tweet they sent out saying that they no longer have an output deal with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.

One of the main bosses of Boxnation no longer committing to show his own cards on the channel he founded is hilarious to me.

 

Credit must go to Boxnation though for announcing output deals with Lou DiBella’s Broadway boxing and a supposed 12 cards per year from MTK.

 

And Channel 5 deserve a hell of a lot of credit for Josh Taylor-Viktor Postol.

What a terrific piece of matchmaking and in-ring entertainment.

Let’s not allow the horrible judging to spoil it.

 

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June 15th’s Random Boxing Rants

Sanctioning body hilarity: WBC currently ranks Kongfah CP Freshmart #30 at flyweight, and Jakkrawut Majoogoen #35.

The problem? They are the same boxer.

The WBO did this in the past with Pornsawan Porpramook/Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym and the IBF did it with Omar Nino/Omar Nino Romero.

 

Chisora-Takam is a fun fight, but the Whyte-Parker card simply isn’t Sky Box Office PPV worthy.

Sky haven’t been delivering up to standard this year with their domestic TV cards. All of the real quality has seemed to go on PPV.

 

I still think Joshua-Povetkin probably happends next.

On the other hand, I’m pleasantly surprised that Canelo-GGG II was made for September, and the (non) drama of negotiations didn’t drag on into 2019.

 

Reading between the lines, it seems like DAZN will secure the US rights to the next season of World Boxing Super Series, which will feature three weight classes.

Pretty cool for Stateside fans.

 

Fury-Seferi, from the comical weigh-in antics to the in-ring masturbation gestures and outside-the-ring crowd brawls, was as bad as could have been expected.

I struggle to think of a worse televised main event that I have ever seen.

Can anyone think of one? Please comment.

 

The state of Frampton’s Windsor Park opponent for August (with Fury versus bum on undercard) is sure to be ugly.

Unknown Luke Jackson is the rumoured frontrunner.

Not exactly the stadium fight we were all clamouring for, or the boxer Frampton would have envisaged facing in his dream venue.

Anthony Yarde vs. Dariusz Sek is also woeful from Frank Warren and co.

 

Ultimately, there’s a hell of a lot of boxing on UK and Irish TV these days.

Leaving PPV aside, Sky, Dave, Channel 5, Boxnation, BT, Eir Sport, TG4, S4C, Spike, ITV and others I’m sure I’m forgetting are all providing cards.

But how many of the fights we really want to see are being made available to us without having to fork out extra?

Not enough, in my opinion.

Sky PPV when it’s merited is one thing, but Whyte-Parker, the offerings from ITV PPV and what I fear we’ll get from BT PPV (Fury-Charr, anyone?) are taking the piss & cynically exploiting the growth of British boxing.

Vote with your wallets, people. I, for one, refuse to buy PPV when it’s not value for money.

 

May 29th’s Random Boxing Rants

There’s a certain hypocrisy to the difference in coverage many in the British boxing world have given to the doping test failures of Canelo and Tyson Fury.

The former is, rightly, a subject of widespread negative discussion, but Fury’s nandralone failure is being swept under the rug almost entirely.

 

Joshua Buatsi is going to be a hell of a lot better than Anthony Yarde, in my view.

 

The leads me on to my next observation, that Frank Warren’s recent comment that his stable is superior to Matchroom’s is possibly the dumbest boxing proclamation I’ll hear all year.

 

It was sad, but also fitting, to see David Haye go out the way he did against Tony Bellew: conquered by his failing body and an opponent he would have beaten comfortably in his prime, but probably ultimately laughing his way to the bank with four big paydays since his comeback that his diminished in-ring ability didn’t merit.

George Groves’ summation of it all was the most poignant:

The Ring magazine is absolutely finished, at least in its current incarnation or until it gets new, somewhat independent ownership –

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/ring-magazine-editorial-staff-overruled-by-golden-boy-and-forced-to-keep-canelo-alvarez-as-champion-despite-failed-tests-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-the-publications-credibility-doug-fischer-addre/

 

What to make of Eddie Hearn’s deal with new streaming service, DAZN?

We saw how disastrously the PBC has tanked, but Hearn is a different animal so I suspect it’ll do a hell of a lot better than Haymon’s failed experiment. The fact that he has his own platform guaranteed for at least two years, rather than buying airtime with no future license fees likely forthcoming, is a good start.

Hearn supposedly already has more money at his budgetary disposal now than HBO and SHO combined.

I suspect he’ll build an impressive stable of several dozen international names and it’s prescient of him (along with Top Rank and ESPN+) to move to an OTT streaming model. All sports, especially niche ones, are likely to transition to online platforms in the coming five or ten years. Amazon Prime have already taken the rights to tennis in this part of the world, for example. The way people view sport and entertainment is changing rapidly.

It’s a very exciting concept overall, but will all depend on who Hearn signs, what fights he can make with his large budget and how successfully DAZN takes off in the next couple of years.

 

16 extra fight nights per year at no further cost is a great deal for Sky subscribers in the UK and Ireland. This is on top of the 20+ cards already provided annually on the channel.

Compare that to Boxnation (who I’ve loyally subscribed to, and generally enjoyed hugely, since day one in 2011):

  1. Their acquisitions of international and domestic content has taken a significant dip since Warren joined up with BT, meaning less shows for the fans.
  2. The renewal of their deal with BT means that starting with Tyson Fury’s comeback on June 9th, none of the shows headlined by Warren’s biggest stars will be available on Boxnation. To watch these, fans will have to be subscribed to BT itself to see it on their channel.
  3. So much for proclamations from Frank when he embarked on the BT linkup that Boxnation subscribers would have access to all shows, including PPVs (which was the case for Canelo-GGG, but not anymore thanks to the new BT Box Office channel), at no extra cost.
  4. “A total of 30 live televised boxing events will see Frank Warren as Europe’s most active Promoter”, the press release in November 2016 stated. What happened there? A rough count yields a number of 13 for 2017. So far this year, how many cards has he put on? A grand total of three, when it was supposed to be 20 per year on BT, with a further 10 exclusive to Boxnation. His output has been pathetic.

April 7th’s Random Boxing Rants

Canelo-Golovkin II, now off after Canelo’s withdrawal, is still likely to happen in September, or, at worst, sometime in 2019.

But after the 118-110 & split draw result, the clenbuterol, the 155lb. catchweights of preceding years, the overblown PPV pricetag, the WBC/WBA pronouncements of his innocence, and every other cynical attempt to protect Canelo as boxing’s cash cow and to postition him as a cross between Oscar and J. C. Chavez, it’s hard for me to give a damn about the rematch or his career.

 

I will be so happy for Cork gent Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan if he’s the man selected to get a shot at Golovkin on May 5th.

 

I was quietly impressed by Anthony Joshua’s performance in defeating Joseph Parker to unify three belts.

Parker elevated himself in defeat by showing impressive back foot boxing, but after an even first half, Joshua took over the fight and basically won it off his jab and clever aggression.

In a post-Klitschko/Lewis era of giant heavyweights, this is the template for success.

 

Alexander Povetkin now stands as one of AJ’s mandatories after winning his shootout with David Price. 

Underestimate the Russian at your peril. It’s easy to dismiss him due to being rocked by Price and his failed drug tests, but he’s a skilled former Olympic champion and has a deeper resume than any heavyweight.

March 30th’s Random Boxing Rants

As alluded to in my November 19th ‘random rants’, can anyone really believe that Daniel Kinahan and co. are really not still running and financing things at MTK?

I doubt it, and find their Irish media blackout to be a completely ludicrous decision, one that ironically draws even more attention to their ties to criminality.

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/ewan-mackenna-for-the-independent-boxing-to-daniel-kinahan-is-what-football-was-to-pablo-escobar-and-its-choking-the-sport-in-ireland/

 

Rances Barthelemy and Andre Dirrell each made a strong case for 2018’s worst performance recently.

In the former case, it was sad to see a skilled 2 weight titlist seemingly so devoid of ambition, and in the latter, the diminished athleticism when compared to his wasted prime was a sorry sight.

 

Luis Nery, Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin, Lucas Browne, Jarrell Miller, Tony Yoka — all have failed/missed drug tests in the relatively recent past and it means practically nothing.

It seems the more stringent the drug testing that is put in place, the greater the excuses and political machinations that happen to allow these boxers to continue their careers relatively unabated.

And now we have Canelo Alvarez, the sport’s premier star, and his tainted meat.

Perhaps he will receive a 6 month slap on the wrist from the Nevada commission, but the juggernaut will keep on chugging and his indiscretions will soon be forgotten in the green glow of so many dollar bills.

 

December 30th’s Random Boxing Rants

My prospect of the year picks for 2017 were a mixed bag:

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/pound4poundirelands-2016-fighter-fight-knockout-round-prospect-upset-and-trainer-of-the-year/

Top pick Jarrett Hurd won a vacant title against Tony Harrison, then beat skilled veteran Austin Trout, both in entertaining fights, to set himself up for a unification against the likes of Jermell Charlo.

Unfortunately, #2 pick Jason Quigley suffered a setback with a serious hand injury, suffered in a tougher-than-expected win over Glen Tapia in March, his only bout of the year:

Hughie Fury boxed just once also, a close loss for a world title against Joseph Parker.

He was ultra-defensive and reluctant to engage, frustrating the plodding Parker in possibly the year’s most boring fight, one in which both men looked terrible.

Fury will get other chances in the future, but while he proved he has a skillset to hang with some of the divison’s top ten, he’ll have to be a lot more aggressive to succeed.

 

Unfortunately, just two of the ten bouts I craved in 2017 (Canelo-GGG & Ward-Kovalev II) actually took place:

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/fights-to-look-forward-to-in-2017/

This is surprising, perhaps, given that 2017 has to be viewed as a strong one for the sport, probably the best since 2013.

Some of the fights (Gonzalez-Inoue, Joshua-Haye, for example) withered on the vine due to the older boxers suffering losses and appearing to be shot.

 

Looking back at my monthly Judging the Judges pieces from the past year, the question emerges of who were some of the worst repeat offenders of the year?

Britain’s Bob Williams claims the unenviable #1 position amongst referees & judges with 5 separate citations for poor officiating.

Phil Edwards, Steve Gray, Steve Weisfeld, Ian John-Lewis, Victor Loughlin, Don Trella, Jamie Garayua, Steve Morrow, Tony Weeks, Irakli Malazonia, Richard Ocasio and Valerie Dorsett also picked up multiple mentions each.

Dishonourable mention must also be made of:

  • Adalaide ‘118-110’ Byrd
  • The Arkansas commission for allowing a HIV-positive boxer to fight
  • The New York commission for their sins as outlined by Thomas Hauser
  • WBO supervisor John Handelaar for not knowing the weigh-in rules of his own organization
  • Clark Sammartino for not knowing the identities of the boxers in the fight he was judging
  • And extra special mention to Bob Bennett and the Nevada commission for their sanctioning and subsequent justifications of Mayweather-McGregor, as well as the Rigondeaux-Flores post-fight mess.

November 19th’s Random Boxing Rants

Generally speaking, I have a higher opinion of promoter Eddie Hearn than most boxing observers on this side of the Atlantic do.

However, his decision to refuse refunds to those who wanted them once Pulev got injured and Takam was drafted in as a late notice replacement for Joshua is completely unjustifiable.

Sure, the vast majority don’t know or care about which opponent AJ would presumably be squashing & there were unlikely to be many refund requests, but it’s still unfair, as was Hearn’s specious reasoning that anyone who wanted a refund was probably a tout who only wanted to make a profit on his ticket in the first place.

 

Someone in power needs to ask the despicable WBC what the point of their VADA drug testing policy is if they’re going to allow Luis Ortiz and Luis Nery to box on with no consequences after their failed tests.

 

A genuine changing of the guard at the MTK Global (formerly MGM) promotional and management outfit, or simply the Kinahan crime gang putting themselves at a further step away from the public face of what still could be their company?

Am I being too cynical by feeling it could be the latter?
http://www.thejournal.ie/mtk-gym-sold-kinahan-3687386-Nov2017/

August 26th’s Random Boxing Rants

Articles from Ewan McKenna and Steve Bunce worth reading before tonight’s event:

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/boxing/mayweather-mcgregor/floyd-mayweather-conor-mcgregor-lovable-rogue-promised-las-vegas-fight-live-a7912141.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/boxing/mayweather-mcgregor/conor-mcgregor-floyd-mayweather-spoiler-blood-covered-defeat-bookies-odds-las-vegas-a7913451.html

 

What else is there to say about the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor freakshow?

I have little sympathy for Paulie Malignaggi, who allowed himself to be used and abused by the McGregor camp.

For a man so seemingly savvy (and certainly smart enough to try to parlay this ‘controversy’ into a fight of his own with McGregor), he got punished for his derision of McGregor: drafted in for one reason only, to snap a viral picture of him on the ground & capture a 30 second clip of McGregor success perfect for the social media age.

Who cares what else happened in their 20 full rounds of sparring? Who cares that Malignaggi was out of shape, jetlagged, shot, retired, knocked out by little known Sam Eggington? Who cares that the ‘knockdown’ was flash at best?

History is these days written by the social media winners and perception is all that matters.

And the widespread perception among casual sport fans going into tonight that will help drive ludicrous PPV numbers is that McGregor can box and he beat up a world champion…so why not do so again?

He’s wearing 8oz gloves, which supposedly gives the guy who’s never worn them an advantage over the guy who’s fought with them almost 50 times.

Thank god for bookmakers and legal gambling in this part of the world. I’ve never seen odds like this.

 

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Oscie isn’t happy that McGregor didn’t choose to fight his man:

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