Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Caris Boxing Club: ' The Big Spar' Helps Raise Funds & Awareness for the Homeless

By Peter Silkov

On Saturday night I had the privilege of going to Caris Boxing Club’s annual ‘Big Spar’ at Pooles Park School, London.  Boxing often gets bad press in the general media, but if you want to see the good that boxing can do in people’s lives, then you need look no further than the Caris Boxing Club. Set up by Sam Hadfield with the aim of helping the homeless, and those suffering from addictions, depression and special needs, the Caris Boxing Club is not about producing professional boxing champions, but about making its members champions of their own lives. Sam and other volunteers help those in need overcome the kind of issues that can affect anyone, such as addiction and depression, but often go ignored, and untreated. 

Sam Hadfield is much more than just a boxing coach, he is also a life coach and mentor, who has a great affinity with his boxers. Caris is open to people of all ages, but it is also especially geared to helping young people who have had a difficult start in life, and have lost their way. The Caris Boxing Club provides support and motivation with boxing training, help with housing, and dealing with addictions.  Caris also helps its boxers with education and training for work.

Boxing has long been a sport which can build peopl’es characters and confidence, as well as physical fitness, and the Caris Boxiong Club is a powerful reminder that the sport is not all about producing professional champions.

The Caris Boxing Club has been registered with the Amateur Boxing Association, making it the first boxing club for the homeless to receive such official recognition.

Saturday nights Big Spar saw the club raise almost £2000. The annual event is a mixture of fund raiser and celebration, featuring a night of sparring between its members and guest appearances by amateur boxers from other clubs, as well as some veteran ex-fighters from both the professional and amateur ranks. Judging by the large turnout, The Big Spar is growing in popularity year by year

One of the highlights of the night came when Sam handed out his awards, which are given to outstanding members of his club, not so much for their boxing ability, but for how they have used their boxing at Caris to turn their lives around. The night was given an added bonus by the arrival of Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who proceeded to help present the awards. It was nice to see such a high ranking politician giving something back in such a relaxed manner, seemingly devoid of spin. 

All in all, it was a great night, and a powerful demonstration of why Caris is such a positive thing.  In these times of hardship, we could do with many more clubs like the Caris Boxing Club, helping communities, and providing support and guidance for people who have lost their way in life. The CarisBoxing Club is breaking down barriers, and showing that there can be a way out for people whose lives have taken a wrong turn. Homelessness and addiction are still taboo subjects for many people, but it shouldn’t be that way.  

The Caris Boxing Club are trying to raise money for The Big Spar 2016 Fundraiser to support the club.

Caris Boxing supports the homeless, vulnerable adults with mental issues.If you would like to donate:

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved.  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Robert Guerrero vs David Emanuel Peralta: The Boxing Glove Big Fight Review: The Ghost Is Busted By The Pirate.

No matter how much you love it, following Boxing can often make one cynical. The mismatched fights, and the dodgy decisions, the catch-weight fights, and the big matches that never happen, can all be a long term health hazard for even a die hard devotee of the sport. Yet every once in a while a fight will come along that will reaffirm what is right about the sport. David Emanuel Peralta’s upset win over Robert Guerrero last night, (August 27) showed once more how at its purest, boxing can change a mans life with a suddenness which few other sports can ever match.

Before yesterday Peralta was an unknown, plucked from his native Argentina to be used as fodder for Robert Guerrero’s latest drive at yet another title shot. Yet if this was considered a precooked warm up towards greater things for ‘The Ghost’ someone forgot to give Peralta his script, and not for the first time in boxing history, the ‘warm up’ proved to be a little too hot to handle for the favourite.

Fighting in front of his home fans, at the Honda Centre, Anaheim, California, Guerrero (33-5-1, 18koes) was hoping to use this match as a showcase, to press for a rematch with WBC world welterweight title holder Danny Garcia, who out pointed ‘The Ghost’ in January. Instead, the loss to Peralta (26-2-1, 14koes) may well indicate that ’The Ghost’s time as a world title contender has come to an end. Guerrero has now lost 4 of his last 6 contests, going back to May 2013, and including three failed bids for a world welterweight title. It looks increasingly likely that a 4th bid for one of the welterweight titles will be (or rather should be) out of Guerrero’s reach.

For the 33 year old David ’El Pirata’ Peralta, victory was a life changing event. Having turned professional in 2005, Peralta is one of the many South American fighters who toils in relative obscurity, fighting where and when he can, with a vague dream that one day he might get that big break, and hopefully the money and recognition which goes with it. It is clear from looking at his record that Peralta has been fighting just to keep active, and get fights. Over the past 5 years he has fought just eight times, running up a less than dazzling 5-2-1 record. Last night was his first fight in fifteen months. In fact so precarious were Peralta’s boxing dreams, that he had been working as a cab driver, and seriously considering retirement from a boxing career which had never taken off.

Then an offer to fight Guerrero came out of the blue, a sudden lottery ticket win for the Argentine. But Peralta did more than simply take his cash, and his first trip to America, and go through the motions with ‘The Ghost’. He came to America with the courage and desire to actually win.
From the start Peralta had the look of someone who would not be content to just be a soft touch. He has a tattoo of death on one shoulder, and a tattoo of a lion on the other shoulder, because, ‘death is always ready to pounce’.  Having a mentality such as this, undoubtedly helped Peralta seize his sudden chance at the big time. 

Like most Argentine boxers, Peralta has that mixture of toughness and technique, which always makes them formidable opponents. This, mixed in with an idiosyncratic awkwardness, and a confidence which was visible from the start, and it soon became clear after the first bell, that ’The Ghost’ was not going to have an easy night.

Guerrero started the early rounds well, landing with the better shots, as Peralta tried to find the range with his jab and straight right hand. Peralta is tall at 5 feet 11, and has long arms (though surprisingly, according to Box Rec, not as long as Guerrero’s) but uses his height and reach very well. The Argentine’s punches have a loopy awkwardness about them, but as the fight progressed they proved to be surprisingly fast, and surprisingly accurate. Despite Guerrero edging the first two rounds, Peralta had already made it clear that he hadn’t come to America just to get paid and see the sights.

In the 3rd round Peralta gave a clue to things to come when he caught Guerrero with a solid right hand and a left hook. He was also displaying the nimble footwork which would frustrate the more flat footed Ghost, throughout the fight, including a quirky little shuffle which Peralta does with his feet every time he changes direction. When later in this round Guerrero tried to rough the Argentine up on the inside, he found that Peralta could more than hold his own in this area as well. Even a cut over the Argentines right eye, caused by a butt during some rough inside work, late in the 3rd round, failed to stem the underdogs growing momentum. Interestingly the referee saw the cut as being caused by a punch, and this was just one of a few interesting calls he made during this fight.

By the 4th round Peralta was beginning to land with frequency with his jab, and his left hooks and right hands were finding their way increasingly through Guerrero’s defence. ’The Ghost’ was now increasingly looking for the big punch, and it was Peralta who was beginning to dictate the pace of the fight. 

Peralta’s success increased as the fight progressed, with Guerrero looking at times frustrated and befuddled. Peralta’s movement saw him move frequently out of Guerrero’s range, but then just as quickly he would be back in range to catch Guerrero with the jabs and solid right and left hands, which ’The Ghost’ struggled to avoid.

At times during the second half of the fight, Guerrero upped his pace in an effort to turn the tide of the match, but Peralta never seemed troubled by any of ’The Ghosts’ shots, and showed a good chin during some entertaining exchanges. Too often though Guerrero was guilty of being one paced, as if stuck in 3rd gear, when he simply was not throwing enough leather, and this resulted in Peralta winning some close rounds due to his higher workrate.

In the 9th round a right and left hand drove Guerrero back and he fell down into the corner, with just the ropes stopping him from hitting the canvas completely. Yet the referee failed to rule it a knockdown. In fact the referee failed to acknowledge the incident at all, not even indicating that it had been a slip or a trip. Guerrero rose quickly, (without any count of course) and tried to act himself like nothing had happened. However, knockdown or not, Peralta was now clearly winning the fight.

Over the final three rounds Guerrero was aggressive, but it was Peralta who seemed to be putting that bit more into his work, as he caught Guerrero with the better punches, with the same right and left hands that had been haunting ’The Ghost’ all night. At the final bell, despite his exertions Peralta seemed to be as fresh as he was at the beginning of the fight, while Guerrero looked drained and weary.

The scores were 113-115 for Guerrero, 116-112 for Peralta and 115-113 for Peralta. One of the positive factors from this fight is that there was no ’hometown’ decision for Guerrero. Perhaps though, Peralta was lucky that the referee was not one of the judges. There was little protest from Guerrero’s hometown fans, many of whom seemed to have been won over by the Argentine’s performance. 

The Boxing Glove saw Peralta winning by 116-112.
In his post fight interview Peralta was understandably ecstatic, as he explained the impact just getting this shot at Guerrero had made upon him…
‘I wanted to retire before this fight. I was a cab driver, driving cabs in Argentina. I was offered a chance to fight in the U.S. and came away victorious. I came to fight and I knew that I would win. He is a very good fighter, but I hit him with the harder shots. I thought I knocked him down but if the referee feels its not a knockdown I have to respect that. Now I want to fight bigger names. No way I’m going to retire now. I’ll be ready again to fight soon, this was no joke and I can beat a lot of great fighters. Hopefully I get good fights after this performance. I won’t be a taxi driver anymore’.

In the fickle world of boxing, lets hope that Peralta will be able to build upon this victory. It has taken him ten long years to achieve his overnight success.  Whether he will get fights with any of the other big names in the welterweight division only time will tell. It is to be hoped that after winning the fight of his life, Peralta will not be once again left disappointed by the political machinations of the sport to which he has dedicated his life. This is a ‘Rocky’ story that deserves to run a little longer. 

On the undercard of Guerrero vs. Peralta, Alfredo ‘El Perro’ Angulo (24-6, 20koes) was outpointed over 10 rounds, by Freddie ‘El Riel’ Hernandez (34-8, 22koes). In a bloody and bruising brawl, which was made at super-middleweight, despite both men being little more than blown up light-middleweights, Hernandez overcame a badly cut left eye to both out-slug and out-box Angulo. 

As always, Angulo seldom stopped coming forwards, trying to land his heavier shots, but it was Hernandez who was landing the more punches, frustrating Angulo with his reach and superior speed and movement.

The biggest surprise was when Hernandez showed that he could stand and trade with Angulo. Never a defensive master, at times Angulo’s defence seemed non-existent against Hernandez. His speed and timing were also very poor, a telltale sign of the wear and tear caused by too many brutal ring wars. After ten rounds the scores for Hernandez were 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93. The Boxing Glove also saw it 97-93. 

If he cannot get past a fringe contender like Hernandez, then it is time for Angulo to consider his future in the ring. Angulo is the kind of fighter that you want to root for, and see do well. ‘El Perro’ is a throwback to the fighters who feared noone, and would walk through walls in order to win. He still has all the heart in the world, but this one time asset is becoming increasingly dangerous for ‘El Perro’ as his skills continue to diminish and every fight he has becomes a brutal struggle of survival. It is time for this brave warrior to hang up his gloves for good.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

On This Day: George Godfrey The Black Shadow of Leiperville Remembered

By Peter Silkov 

George Godfrey, the ’Black Shadow of Leiperville’ was an outstanding heavyweight boxer who fought the best heavyweights of the 1920s and 30s. Godfrey stood 6’ feet 3” inches and weighed between 210 and 250, and despite his size, he was surprisingly fast.  He also had a devastating punch, and although he possessed these attributes, Godfrey was held back during his career due to his colour.

Due to the colour bar, Godfrey was never able to fight for the genuine World heavyweight championship, and for much of his career, he had to face his fellow coloured fighters. When he was matched with white contenders, Godfrey was often 'handcuffed' and told to ‘carry’ them or even to lose. There are a number of fights that Godfrey lost suddenly when he had been winning; usually getting himself disqualified with low blows.   In addition to this Godrey was the victim of a number of very dubious decisions when fighting white opponents.  With such obstacles in front of him it could be said that Godfrey's career is all the more impressive. 

Born Feab Smith Williams in Mobile, Alabama, on January 25, 1897, Godfrey moved to Leiperville, Pennsylvania, where he resided for most of his career.

Williams took on the name George Godfrey to honor the original George ‘Old Chocolate’ Godfrey, who was a great contender in the 1880s and 90s. Unfortunately, Godfrey would be as much a victim of his colour as was his namesake, ‘Old Chocolate.’ For much of his career he was trained by Jack Blackburn, the famed ex-lightweight contender, who would later train Joe Louis.

Godfrey's official career started in 1919, at the age of 22, but it is likely that he had fights previous, but have not been recorded.  His career really started in earnest after he met up with the legendary Sam Langford, who then took him on as a sparring partner. Godfrey then accompanied Langford  in his travels, for a number of months, as Langford continued to take on all-comers. Godfrey's official record tells us that he would fight Langford for real in just his second professional contest, and hold his employer to a draw.  Godfrey would carry on fighting top liners for the rest of his career.  At least the top fighters who would face him.  No reigning world champion would ever put his title on the line against Godfrey. Interestingly, Jack Dempsey, who would spend his whole title reign avoiding Sam Langford and Harry Wills, did not draw the colour line when it came to sparring partners, and took on Godfrey as a sparring partner when he was getting ready to defend his world heavyweight title against Tommy Gibbons.  However, Godfrey is rumored to have floored or even koed Dempsey during one sparring session, and his services were quickly canceled, with the official line being that Godfrey had injured his ribs.

Despite the colour bar, which Godfrey had to deal with throughout his career, his record still holds an impressive list of the many of the top heavyweights, both black and white, of the 20s and 30s.  Including men like Bill Tate, Jack Renault, Tut Jackson, Fred Fulton, ‘Tiny’ Jim Herman, Jack Sharkey, Larry Gains, ‘Bearcat’ Wright, Jack Roper, Jim Maloney, Paulino Uzcudun, Johnny Risko, Primo Carnera, Seal Harris, Jack Gross, Tiger Jack Fox, Obie Walker, and Pierre Charles.

One of the reasons why many of these fighters agreed to fight Godfrey was due to the fact that he was such a draw with the fans, because of his size and his ability.  Boxing fans were both thrilled and fascinated with him. Indeed, when he traveled to Europe to fight he was a sensation.  For this reason, Godfrey's opponents were well paid when they got into the ring with him, due to him being such a big draw. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Godfrey, despite the fact that during his career he should have earned a fortune. Unfortunately Godfrey's manager, Jimmy 'Baron' Dougherty, who handled all his business and booked his fights for him, saw Godfrey as a meal ticket before anything else, and took full advantage of Godfrey's lack of formal education, and the ability to either read or write.

Godfrey won the World ‘Coloured’ Heavyweight title on November 8, 1926, when he stopped Larry Gains in 6 rounds. He would hold this title until August 15, 1928, when he lost to Larry Gains in 3 rounds on a disqualification. In February 1931 he would win the vacant Mexican Heavyweight title against Ricardo Rosel and held it until June 1932 when he vacated it. Godfrey regained the World ‘Coloured’ Heavyweight title on August 24, 1931, when he knocked out Seal Harris in the 2nd round.  Godfrey’s 2nd reign lasted until October 9, 1931, when he was out-pointed over 10 rounds by Obie Walker.

In the early 30s, as his boxing career began to wane, Godfrey took up wrestling to supplement his boxing career, and at times would feature on mixed wrestling and boxing shows, and would feature in a wrestling match and then a boxing match on the same night.  Godfrey also took part in some films in the early 30s, and received much praise for his performances. 

Godfrey won another version of world title on October 2, 1935, when he beat Pierre Charles for the IBU World heavyweight title on points over 15 rounds. Godfrey never defended this title after he was stripped by the IBU for not paying his sanctioning fee.

In his last fight on August 10, 1937, he lost to Hank Hankinson on a 8th round stoppage.  Godfrey retired with a final record of (99-21-2, 81koes.)

Unfortunately retirement was not kind to George Godfrey, as he began suffering from ill health. He suffered a stroke in 1938, and was also troubled by heart and kidney aliments. In addition to this, Godfrey was also nearly penniless, having been mercilessly ripped off by his own manager. What little he had been given of his earnings was long gone. When he was well enough Godfrey made ends meet by working odd jobs, such as working as a bouncer at night clubs, while living in a tiny hotel room.

George Godfrey died of heart disease on August 13, 1947, at the age of 50.

Looking beyond his 'handcuffed' performances, it is safe to say Godfrey's true ability would have seen him will the World heavyweight title had he been granted a shot during his prime. 

Ring Magazine named Godfrey in their top 100 punchers list in 2003 and in 2007, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Big Fight Report: Ward Vs. Brand: Ward Wins But Fails To Shine

AP Photo-Eric Risberg

By Peter Silkov

Andre Ward (30-0, 15koes) last night, August 6th, ticked off what should be his final ‘warm up’ match, in his build up to an eagerly awaited showdown with Sergey Kovalev on November 19, for Kovalev’s World light heavyweight titles. As warm ups go, Ward’s have been lengthy and ultimately uninspiring. Indeed, it could be said that Ward’s whole career, since his brilliant performances in the “Super 6” Tournament, now 5 years passed, has been in essence, a warm up for his promised November encounter with Kovalev.  Harsh perhaps, but Ward’s 5 opponents since he beat Carl Froch in the Super 6 final in December 2011, have all failed to raise the temperature against the ’SOG.’

Last night was no different. In front of his home town fans at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California, Ward jousted with Alexander Brand (25-2, 19koes) for 12 rounds, and posted a shut out, winning every round, but as in his recent fights, his dominance wasn’t coloured by brilliance. The fight was dull and Ward failed to shine. Ward’s technical gifts are beyond dispute, but when a fighter is considered one of the top p4p boxers on the planet, something extra is expected of him against fighters of Brand’s calibre. It is not so much Ward’s failure to stop Brand that is troubling, rather his failure to show much, beyond the ordinary, for most of the fight. We only saw flashes of the kind of ability that Ward showed over 5 years ago now in the Super 6 Tournament.

AP Photo-Eric Risberg
Brand himself was game and came to fight, in what was his chance of a lifetime shot against Ward.  Yet the 39-year-old, who has spent his career fighting at super-middleweight against opponents several levels below that of the ‘SOG,’ was out-matched in every department. In many ways, the match looked like a fight between a full light heavyweight and a super-middleweight, with the difference in size and strength, compounding Ward’s advantages in speed, and skill.  Yet despite being out-classed, Brand never seemed in danger of being stopped, and with his gutsy efforts, he at times threatened to drag Ward into the kind of physical fight that would have suited him. It does beg the question as to how the fight might have been different had Brand been a full- fledged light heavyweight, rather than a pumped up super-middleweight.
After 12 rounds of uneventful boxing, where each round tended to gel into each other, Ward won an unanimous point’s decision via three scores of 120-108.

In his post interview, Ward was joined in the ring by Sergey Kovalev to confirm and talk up their November 19 showdown. Refreshingly, both fighters are respectful of each other, giving a nice throwback feel to their the November 19 match.  This is a genuine match between two very talented fighters for a genuine world championship, with not a catch weight clause in sight. While Ward will deserve credit for taking on Kovalev, whether he wins or loses, one must question the opposition that he has chosen for his warm up fights. There is a nagging feeling having watched Ward’s most recent fight that he would have benefited from being matched against a genuine world class light heavyweight contender, rather than the inexperienced, and overmatched opponents of his last 3 fights. Also, are 5 competitive fights in five years enough preparation before taking on someone like Sergey Kovalev.

It is true that ‘The Krusher’ himself was not overly impressive in his recent title defence against the slippery and defence-minded Issac Chilemba. The difference between Chilemba and Brand is that Chilemba is a full-fledged world class lightheavyweight, who is capable of making the very best fighters look ordinary, while Brand is simply a gutsy, but limited fringe contender, who usually operates at super middleweight.

Ward stated recently that he didn’t even watch Kovalev’s recent title defence against Issac Chilemba. If that is to be believed, then one must wonder whether Ward is taking ‘The Krusher’ too lightly. The truth, however, is that Ward has probably been poring over every minute, every round of Kovalev’s most recent performance.

It is hard to see how Ward’s most recent opposition will prepare him for what he will face against Sergey Kovalev. It will take brilliance from Ward for him to beat ‘The Krusher’ on November 19 later this year. It is a brilliance that Ward has not had to show for almost 5 years. One thing that is for certain is that against Kovalev, Ward will face his first real live challenge since he met Car Froch , an the ‘SOG’ still shine?

The highlight of the Ward vs. Brand undercard was lanky light welterweight, Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker’s (21-0-2, 16koes) 1st round demolition of Ty Barnett (23-6-1, 15koes.)  After dropping Barnett with a vicious left-hook, bombarded Barnett with bombs when he beat the count, until the referee had finally seen enough after 2:17 of the round. With this win, Hooker retained his NABO Light welterweight title and showed that he is one to watch.

Also on the undercard:

Light heavyweight Junior ‘The Young God’ Younan (10-0, 8koes) koed Jinner Guerrero (8-7, 6koes) in the 1st round.  A spectacular left hand flattened Guerrero.

At Heavyweight, Darmani ‘Rock Solid’ Rock (4-0, 3koes) was taken the distance for the first time over 4 rounds, by Mike Kyle (1-3-1, 1ko.) Rock had Kyle down in the 4th round but couldn’t keep him there. Scores for Rock were 40-35, 39-36, and 39-36.

Junior lightweight Daniel ‘Twitch’ Franco (14-0-3, 9koes) koed Marcelo Gallardo (7-4-2, 3koes) in the 5th round, after having him down in the 1st.

Ward Vs. Brand:

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

TBG Book Review: Sibbo The Tony Sibson Story

The Boxing Glove Sunday Night Book Review

By Peter Silkov

“Sibbo: The Tony Sibson Story” By Jim Kirkwood

Tony Sibson was one of Britain’s most popular and exciting fighters during the 1980s, when the middleweight division was enjoying a golden period, and was the most popular division in the country, with fighters like Alan Minter, Kevin Finnegan, Mark Kaylor, Errol Christie, Herol Graham, and Sibson himself, all vying for the major domestic titles.  It was a time when the division in Britain was full of outstanding talent and distinctive characters, and for much of the 80s, Sibson was right at the top of them all.

‘Sibbo,’ as his fans knew him, was a stocky slugger, with one of the best left-hooks in the division.  Fans were usually guaranteed heavy-hitting action when Sibson was in the ring. A converted southpaw, Sibbo could punch hard with both hands, but his best weapon was the left-hook, which was one of the most potent left-hooks in the division. There was hardly a dull moment when ’Sibbo’ was in the ring, yet in addition to his strength and power, Sibson could also box as well, something which was often overlooked during his career.

With so many fighters from Sibson’s era having had their biographies published, it has always been something of a surprise that Tony Sibson didn’t have a book written about him, and his drama filled career sooner. Then again, it is perhaps not so surprising when you bear in mind that, outside of the ring, Sibson is known for his shyness and his reticence for being in the limelight.

In “Sibbo: The Tony Sibson Story” Jim Kirkwood takes us back to the 1970s and 80s, and the drama’s, and showdowns of that era.

Tony Sibson was born on April 9, 1958, in Leicester, Leicestershire, with Romany heritage, and always seemed destined for a boxing career, after starting boxing as an amateur at the age of 11, and leaving school by the age of 14 to take up work as a hod carrier. Sibson began boxing as a professional on his 18th birthday, and over the next 12 years, he would have a exciting, roller coaster career, full of ups and downs, that would see him win every major title except for that coverted world championship.

“Sibbo” takes us behind the scenes, and examines Tony Sibson’s career fight by fight, from his early days when he was fighting more or less just for fun, and a little money, to his championship heydays, when he was one of the best middleweights in the world.

Packed with interviews with Sibson himself, and his trainers and managers of the time, “Sibbo” does a great job of taking us behind the scenes of every major fight that he had, showing us the build up to these fights, and the various highs and lows of Sibson’s career.

Despite his aggressive all-action style inside the ring, Sibson was a complicated and emotional man out side of the ring, who throughout his career, struggled with the demands of being in the limelight, and had a love-hate relationship with boxing.     

Sibson’s somewhat jaded attitude to his boxing career can be traced to the various boxing politics that he encountered from early on in his career.  His relationships with his managers, trainers, and promoters are recalled. We are given an in-depth view of the inner workings of the boxing world.

Sibbo’s boxing career had many highlights, including his wins over domestic rivals Frankie Lucas, Alan Minter, Mark Kaylor, and his three tries to win a world championship.  Unfortunately for Sibson, he never produced his best form in any of his world title attempts. 

In his first shot at a world title Sibson challenged the legendary, Marvin Hagler, for the world middleweight championship in February 1983, and was stopped in 6 rounds after a gutsy performance. Sibson had to wait over 3 years for his next shot at a world title, and when it came in September 1986, it was against the rock-hard tough man, Dennis Andries, for Andries’ WBC world light-heavyweight championship. Sibson again came up short, after a rough fight, with the often underrated Andries proving to be just too strong for ‘Sibbo’ and stopping him in the 9th round.

Sibson’s last attempt at a world title came 18 months after the Andries’ defeat, against Frank Tate, for the IBF world middleweight championship. By this time Sibson was visibly slipping as a fighter, and Tate proved to be too young, fast and ambitious for the sluggish Sibson, and stopped him in the 10th round. This match proved to be the last for Sibson.

Although it has become something of a cliché to highlight outstanding fighters of 1970s and 80s, and say that if they were fighting in today’s era they would be ‘world champions,’ it is not hard to envision Tony Sibson picking up a world title if he were boxing today.

‘Sibbo’ is a fast-moving, entertaining read, and an in-depth study of both Sibson the fighter, but also the man outside of the ring.  ”Sibbo’ is also a vivid trip back to the 1970s and 80’s when boxing had a far higher public profile than it does today, and even domestic champions, were often household names.

John Kirkwood has also written a biography on Dave Charnley, the British lightweight champion of the 1950s, and 60s, who came so close to winning the world championship against Joe Brown.

Marvin Hagler Vs. Tony Sibson February 11, 1983:

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved.

Big Fight Preview: Ward Vs. Brand: The Last Warm Up For 'The Son Of God'

By Peter Silkov

This Saturday, August 6, Andre Ward (29-0, 15koes) has his final ‘warm up’ fight before taking on World light heavyweight champion, Sergey Kovalev, in November.  Ward will be fighting fringe contender, Alexander Brand (25-1, 19koes), at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California.  The 39-year-old Brand is a strong and willing fighter, with an awkward and unpredictable style. Although he has just one defeat on his record, he has not mixed in with the kind of opposition that Ward has faced during his career.

Indeed it is hard to see how Brand will get Ward ready for Kovalev, beyond taking him a few rounds.  At the same time, Brand is the kind of physical and unpredictable fighter who could cut Ward if they happen to clash awkwardly. This is the kind of fight that Ward will want to end sooner, rather than later. Look for a Ward win within the first 5 rounds. The ‘Son of God’will want to be impressive in what will be his last fight before his big showdown with Sergey Kovalev. Anything less will be an early victory for the World light-heavyweight champion.

An interesting fight on the undercard of Ward vs. Brand is the light-welterweight fight between Maurice Hooker (20-0-2, 15koes) and Ty Barnett (23-4-1, 15koes) for the WBO NABO light-welterweight title.  With Ward vs. Brand likely to be a rout in favour of Ward, this looks destined to be the fight of the night. 

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved.

Interview: Blaine Donkor Makes His Pro Debut On October 1 in New Jersey

Stephen Donatelli Lounging with Friend and Pugilist Blaine Donkor

Exclusive for ‘THE BOXING GLOVE!’

By Stephen Donatelli

S.D: Man it’s great to actually see you getting this PRO debut. When and Where will it be taking place?

Donkor: It’s on October 1st and somewhere in New Jersey. 

S.D: What are some of your earliest memories of boxing and if possible, what age?

Donkor:  Happy Lora vs Bernardo Mendoza, I was 3 years old. 

S.D: You were born in Ghana , right Bee? You came to USA when?

Donkor: Yes, I was born in Ghana. I came to the USA when I was 5 years old. I now live in Maryland. 

William Joppy & Bee Donker
S.D: Name me some of your current favorite boxers [Old or Current]. 

Donkor: Favorite 5: Jersey Joe,  Archie Moore, James Toney, Tommy Loughran, and George Benton.

 3 Current......Nobody, but I like Crawford, Lomachenko, and Plant...they have showed old school boxing; no running, just giving distance, but able to fire right back, good defense, hand speed, good power, and movement. 

S.D: Who were your  2 favorite earliest boxers as a kid?

Donkor: ‘Joltin’’ Jeff Chandler and ‘Miguel’ Happy Lora!  

S.D: {Laughs} We talked about this, and Me and You both know, Lora should be in the Boxing Hall-of-Fame!

What delayed you from turning to the professional ranks?

Donkor: I wanted to turn Pro when I was 19, but unfortunately, I suffered my hands (twice). 

S.D: What Weight Class will you fighting in and what’s your amateur background experience?

Donkor: Welterweight. My amateur background was (25-4,20koes) by stoppage, fought Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia and lost by bull-crap, sparred Joachim Alcine!  Also, Trainer, Jesse Reid, didn't want me sparring Gabe Rosado, sparring Phil Jackson, embarrassed Willis Lockett, didn't see any point of the AIBA or ABF because the experience was already there. 

 S.D: What is your favorite punch?

Donkor:  And my favorite punch is the left hook, NATURALLY!  LOL.

S.D: If you could spar any time fighters from any era , who would It  be?

Donkor:  James ‘Lights Out’ Toney and Billy Graham!

S.D: You have any tattoo’s on you?

Donkor: 1 tattoo. Outside of boxing, favorite athlete has to be Zinedine Zidane, and Clarence Seedorf, I grew up a huge football aka soccer fan, and Tony Yeboah of course.

S.D: Do you have any siblings that are into the boxing scene?

Donkor: Just me!

S.D: You and I always talk about ‘The Pittsburgh Windmill’, Harry Greb, quite possibly being the greatest boxer of all-time, but I noticed you didn’t bring him up amongst your top 5 Pound-4-Pound pugilists fighters; why is that [Laughs]?

Donkor: None are better than Greb at all, Greb is a God, so would never put him in a top 5, he's the creme de la crème!

S.D: How would you construct a perfect boxer if you could, thanks?

Donkor: Brains - James Toney. Muscular structure - George Benton. Power - Jersey Joe Walcott.  Jab - Billy Graham. Uppercut – SRR. Stamina – Loughran. Footwork - Jersey Joe Walcott!  

That about wraps it up, my man, Blaine Donkor (Bee Love)! I’ll be talking to you as usual and ready to envision you as the champion at welterweight one day! Thanks so much for doing this for uS at THE BOXING GLOVE, respectfully!

*Stephen  Donatelli is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and contributes to If you would like to contact him on Facebook:

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