Sunday, July 31, 2016

Big Fight Report: Carl Frampton Comes Alive And Dethrones Leo Santa Cruz


 
Photo: Skysports

By Peter Silkov 

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was witness last night, July 30, to one of the fights of the year, as challenger, Carl Frampton (23-0, 14koes), produced the performance of his career, to tear the WBA world featherweight championship away from Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18koes.)  In a match that, for a change, lived up to all expectations, as Frampton proved to be the better all-round boxer, and was able to control the action more, especially in the early rounds.

Photo: Beacher Report
The fight started fast and kept up a good pace all the way throughout its 12 rounds. The key to Frampton’s victory was the balance that he was able to achieve, between using his superior boxing skills to frustrate and negate Santa Cruz, and his ability to stand and trade with Santa Cruz when he had to. Most telling was that Frampton was able to hurt the champion, staggering him in the 2nd round, after which Santa Cruz was always a little circumspect in his attacks. Frampton’s jab was also an important weapon in this match, as it allowed him to score points, and keep the defending champion from launching his usual non-stop attacks. The match featured a number of exciting exchanges, but Santa Cruz was unable to build up the kind of non-stop windmill attacks for which he is most known. Frampton’s intelligent use of the ring and his accurate and potent counter attacks saw him build up a clear lead in the first half of the fight. 

In the second half of the match, Santa Cruz, realizing that he was behind, stepped things up and tried to drag Frampton into the kind of toe-to-toe action that would suit him more. Frampton traded punches well and kept his boxing together to emerge a deserving winner.  The scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 114-114.  The Boxing Glove scored the fight 115-113.  After the fight, an unhappy Santa Cruz indicated that the pro-Frampton crowd had influenced the judges, and that he wanted a rematch in Los Angeles. This is certainly a fight that could be done again, whether it will be though is another thing entirely.  Frampton now will have a number of lucrative options for his future fights and is liable to take his time before jumping into a rematch with Santa Cruz.

Photo: The Guardian
For all the criticism that he has had (deservedly so) leveled at him due to his avoidance of Guillermo Rigondeaux, and his performances in his last two fights, Frampton performed brilliantly last night, showing guts, strength, and skill.  Santa Cruz, on the other hand, showed why he is a good fighter rather than a great fighter, as he was exposed as being one-dimensional at times against the Irishman.

Certainly this was a career-best performance so far from Frampton, and indicated that the extra weight at featherweight may well make him a better fighter, than he was at super-bantamweight.  Watching Frampton’s performance, it become even more disappointing that he has been steered away from a match with Gullermo Rigondeaux.

It is hard not to feel sympathy for the exiled Cuban, who has spent the past couple of years searching for fights, while fighters whom he is very capable of beating, fight each other instead of him, for purses he is probably still dreaming about.
Yes boxing is a business, a very cruel business.  The biggest loser of last night’s fight was neither of the two boxers in the ring.

Photo: belfastlive.co.uk
With this win, Frampton annexed the same WBA world featherweight championship that was won by his manager and mentor, Barry McGuigan, back in 1985. After Frampton had been declared the winner, McGuigan, who had been an emotional spectator of the fight at ringside, was finally overcome, and in tears. After the let down of the Quigg match, this was finally a fight and a performance to be proud of ,and one which is likely to make Frampton an international star.

On the under card of the Santa Cruz vs. Frampton showdown, Mikey Garcia (35-0, 27koes) made his long awaited return to the ring, after being sidelined for over two and a half years, by a bitter legal dispute with his former promoters, Top Rank.

Photo; Edward Diller/DiBella Entertainment
Garcia stopped former world champion Elio Rojas (24-3, 14koes) in the 5th round.  After a slow start in the first 2 rounds, Garcia started connecting, and showed that his punching-power had no rust on it whatsoever. Rojas was floored heavily twice in the 3rd round, and then again in the 5th, as it was clear that he just could not take Garcia’s power and strength. The referee wisely stopped the contest after the 4th knockdown with Rojas having regained his feet, but indicating that he’d had enough.

In one of the performances of the night, Philadelphian, Tevin Farmer (21-4-1, 5koes), gave favourite Ivan Redkach (19-1-1, 15koes) a 10 rounds boxing lesson, winning 99-89, 98-92, 98-92.  Farmer only started boxing at the age of 19 and turned professional at the age of 21 in 2011. He lost 4 of his first 12 fights (with one draw and 7 wins), but instead of taking the road of becoming a journeyman, he has now won his last 15 contests in a row. His win over Redkach has shown he is a genuine world class talent.  Farmer’s victory was even more impressive given that he usually fights at junior lightweight.  This is definitely a boxer to keep an eye upon.

Paulie Malignaggi (35-7, 7koes) scored a 96-94, 98-92 and 98-90 10 rounds point’s win over Gabriel Bracero (24-2, 5koes.)

Northern Ireland middleweight, Conrad Cummings (10-0-1, 4koes), won an entertaining, and sometimes bad tempered, 6-rounds brawl with the game, Dante Moore (9-2-2, 4koes).  Moore, from Cleveland Ohio, is one of those fighters who looks as if he could do more than just be a semi-journeyman, while Cummings is strong and entertaining, but will have limited progress unless he works on his defence.




Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com




TBG Book Review: Fen Tiger: The Success of Dave 'Boy' Green



The Boxing Glove Sunday Night Book Review

By Peter Silkov

"Fen Tiger: The Success of Dave 'Boy' Green" by Bob Lonkhurst


"Fen Tiger: The Success of Dave 'Boy' Green" is the biography of one of Britain’s most popular and exciting fighters since WW2.  Dave ‘Boy’ Green was an all-action fighter, with a ‘do or die’ attitude that made all his fights exciting. Dave ‘Boy’ Green was born on June 2, 1956, in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, the same rural town that had produced the original ‘Fen Tiger’ Eric ‘Boy’ Boon. Back in the 1930s and 40s, Boon had been one of Britain’s most exciting fighters, and had become the youngest British lightweight champion. Green would grow up hearing about the ring exploits of Boon, and would go on to recreate the excitement that had been generated by Boon, throughout his own career as a light-welterweight and welterweight, in the 1970s and early 80s.


Jean-Baptiste Piedvache
It is no coincidence that the author of "Fen Tiger," Bob Lonkhurst, is also the author of Eric Boon’s biography. Like “Chatteris Thunderbolt” (which has been covered in a previous review by The Boxing Glove) “Fen Tiger: The Success of Dave ‘Boy’ Green” is a fast moving, entertaining read, with highly detailed accounts of Green’s fights. It is an insightful account of his roller coaster career, as well as his life outside of the ring.

Green fought at a time when there were far less ‘world champions’ and getting into the world top 10 was a feat in itself. In 1974, Green turned professional at the age of 18, following a bright amateur career. He then enjoyed an amazing run, which saw him compile a 24-fight win streak up until 1977.

Stracey Vs. Green
In the process, he became one of British boxing’s top attractions. In those 24 fights, his manager, Andy Smith, guided Green into world title contention. Dave 'Boy' then won the British and European light welterweight titles in 1976. In 1977, in a hugely anticipated domestic showdown, Green stopped John H. Stracey in 10 rounds. Stracey was the former World welterweight champion, and was expected by some to be too good a boxer and too experienced for Green. But the ’Fen Tiger’ proved to be too strong, and too relentless for Stracey, in what proved to be one of the decades-classic fights. The win over Stracey catapulted Green into a world title shot three months later, when he challenged the hard-punching, Carlos Palomino, for the WBC world welterweight title. Palomino had won the world title from John H Stracey, and he broke British hearts again when he knocked Green out in the 11th round, after what was another classic fight, and probably the high point of Green’s boxing career.

Stracey and Green
Throughout “Fen Tiger,” Lonkhurst describes Green’s most important contests with great insight, going behind the scenes, and examining the action of each contest.


Green would rebound from his loss to Palomino by winning the European welterweight championship, and then in 1980 gain a second shot at the World welterweight title, this time facing Sugar Ray Leonard, which would prove to be an ultimately painful encounter for the Fen Tiger.


Palomino vs. Green
Looking back over Green’s career there is little doubt that he was at his peak against Stracey and Palomino, and by the time he fought Leonard, he was already a slightly faded force. Green retired in 1981, and unlike so many other ex-boxers, he has prospered in retirement with various business ventures, as well as becoming a tireless worker for charities.

Too many boxing biographies reveal bittersweet stories of fighters that have reached the heights, only to fall onto hard times after their careers are over. Green was lucky to have a manager in Andy Smith who took the time and care to pave the way for Green to start a new career when his boxing life had finished, and this approach certainly gave Green a head start towards his successful business career. It is an interesting example of how fighters can be helped towards post-boxing careers when their managers take the time and effort to help them in this direction.
Green officially opens the Whittlesey Amateur Boxing Club
‘Fen Tiger’ is packed with photographs and also contains his full amateur and professional career records.

This is a very interesting biography of one of Britain’s most exciting fighters; a fighter who, without doubt, would be a world champion if he was fighting in today’s era. It is another reminder of how much the fight game has changed in just the last three decades.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

On This Day: Torpedo Billy Murphy Remembered



By Peter Silkov

 

‘Torpedo’ Billy Murphy was a dynamite punching fighter, who had a relentlessly aggressive style, which made him a huge favourite with the fan.s He was a dreaded opponent for fighters at or near his weight class. Although he was never more than a bantamweight, Murphy would regularly take on men two or more stones heavier than him, including heavyweights.

Born Thomas William Murphy on November 3, 1863, in Auckland, New Zealand, Murphy left school at the age of 12, and became an apprentice Tailor, yet his real ambitions lay in pursuing a ring career. Murphy started his fighting career in 1882, and for three years, fought all comers. At this point, Billy was boxing with bare knuckles, but by 1886 he had run out of opposition in New Zealand, and moved to Australia, where gloves were now used for most boxing contests. Murphy found that he hit just as hard with gloves on as he did without them and he soon became well known in Australia, and was trained by the renowned Australian fighter turned trainer, Larry Foley. ’Torpedo’ fought as often as he could, against all-comers, and was soon running out of opposition in Australia.

In  1889 Billy sailed to America, where his energetic and aggressive fighting style made him an instant hit with the fans. On January 13, 1890, Murphy knocked out Ike Weir in 14 rounds to win the World featherweight title. Murphy held the title until September 2, 1890, when he quit after 15 rounds against defensive genius Young Griffo in Australia. Although this fight was recognized as a world title fight in Australia and England, in America Murphy had been ‘stripped’ of his world title, for leaving America to return to Australia.

’Torpedo’ was so frustrated by Griffo’s hit and not be hit tactics that he ripped his gloved off and quit the fight, losing his world title in the process. 

Murphy tried to regain the World featherweight title from Griffo on July 22, 1891, but was beaten on a disqualification in the 22nd round.

The Torpedo continued fighting until 1909, taking on all-comers, and often giving away large amounts of weight. His last shot at a world title came on January 22, 1897, when he challenged George Dixon for the World featherweight title in New York, and was knocked out in the 6th round. 

When his fighting career had passed its peak, Murphy formed a booth, which he would take around Australia and New Zealand. 

Billy’s final fight was on August  24, 1909, when at the age of 46, he drew over 4 rounds, with Jimmy Ross.  Murphy’s final record was (100-53-27, 76 koes) Murphy’s impressive knockout record is a testament to why he was nicknamed ‘Torpedo.’

With his fighting career over Murphy returned to his earlier trade as a Tailor and clothes presser.

Billy Murphy is still the only New Zealand born boxer to win a world title.  He was also known during his career as ‘Australian’ Billy Murphy and had three brothers who also had careers as boxers, Tim Draffin Murphy, Bert Murphy, and Jimmy Murphy.  Tim Murphy held the Australian Middleweight title for 10 years.

Torpedo Billy Murphy died on July 26, 1939, aged 75.





Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Big Fight Report: Crawford Proves He’s A Cut Above The Ice Man

Photo: www.totalsportek.com



By Peter Silkov



Terence ’Bud’ Crawford (29-0, 20koes) last night, July 23, gave Viktor Postol (28-1, 12koes) a 12-rounds boxing lesson, and added Postol’s WBC world light-welterweight title to his WBO world title belt. Fighting for the first time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Crawford took the first step on the road to what he hopes will lead him to taking over from Floyd Mayweather as boxing’s number one attraction, and pound-for-pound king.

In a fight that many expected to be competitive, Crawford dominated after some close early rounds, as Postol was unable to adjust to Crawford’s superior mobility, and faster hands.

Photo; http://www.boxingnewsonline.net
The first 3 rounds were close, as both men engaged in a battle of the jabs, and felt each other out. The 4th round saw Crawford step it up a gear, and begin to connect with sharper shots, that made Postol look visibly uncomfortable. Crawford had his big breakthrough in the 5th round when his sharp shooting resulted in Postol touching the canvas twice for disputed knockdowns. Certainly the first knockdown seemed to be a stumble, but the second was more of a genuine knock down, as Postol struggled to deal with the combination of Crawford’s constant movement, and impressive hand speed.

From this point on Crawford had control of the fight, and pretty much did what he wanted, as Postol began to look more and more frustrated and dispirited. Most rounds followed the same pattern as Crawford made good use of the ring, with plenty of side to side movement, while catching a constantly following Postol with flashy counters.

Crawford looked like he could step thing up if he really wanted to, but preferred to play it safe and be content to out-box the physically imposing Postol.

The final round saw Postal finally try something different and go after Crawford with both hand and try to rough him up.  Had he tried this change of tactics some rounds earlier it perhaps might have made for a different fight, but it was too little and too late. Crawford dealt with Postol’s last round onslaught by going toe-to-toe for a little bit, then spending the final portion of the round on the move, and sticking his tongue out at Postol. All in all it was an impressive performance by Crawford, but while he proved that he is indeed the best 140-pounder in the world, Postol for his part proved to be a disappointment, with no answer to Crawford’s superior boxing skills.  Postol’s trainer, Freddie Roach also seemed surprised by Crawford’s speed and movement, and was unable to coax a plan B out of his fighter.

Postol’s frustration was compounded in the 11th round when he was deducted a point by Referee Tony Weeks for hitting Crawford repeatedly behind the neck.

After what amounted to a 12-rounds showpiece of Crawford’s boxing skills, the point’s verdict for him was unanimous and predictably, one-sided. The scores were 118-107, 118-107, and 117-108.

Photo: ringtv.craveonline.com
Before this unification fight promoter, Bob Arum, had likened it to the 1982 light-welterweight showdown between Aaron Pryor and Alexis Arguello, for Pryor’s WBA title, but such comparisons are really a slight on both Pryor and Arguello. Last nights fight, while a good match between two solid boxers, and featuring an outstanding performance from Crawford, was a world away from the legendary Pryor vs. Arguello showdowns.   

While Crawford’s ability is undeniable, it is still too early to start talking about him as being the number one fighter pound-for-pound in the world, let alone compare him to the likes of Pryor and Arguello.

Saturday’s win looks to have set Crawford up for a November showdown with the come-backing, Manny Pacquiao. Although this is for some an interesting clash, there is something sad about the prospect of Manny being hauled out of an, all too brief retirement, to face a much bigger, younger, and hungrier fighter such as Crawford.  The suspicion is that now he has found his new ’star’ promoter Bob Arum is happily cashing in his ’old’ star Pacquiao.  

On the under card, Oscar Valdez (21-0, 18koes) produced a stunning performance of power-punching that almost stole the show from headliner, Terence Crawford.  Valdez completely overwhelmed previously unbeaten Matias ’La Cobrita’ Rueda (26-1, 23koes) and won the vacant WBO world featherweight championship that was recently vacated by Vasyl Lomachenko.  From the start of the 1st round, Valdez threw every punch with ’bad intentions’, but they weren’t just power punches, they were fast and accurate, and Rueda had no answer to them.  Indeed, Rueda did well to keep his feet through the first round, and already looked as if he had gone ten hard round when he returned to his corner at the end of the 1st. 

The second round saw Valdez’s onslaught continue, as he fired bombs from both hands, and Rueda resembled a wavering leaf in a heavy storm. It didn’t take long for Rueda to break, as a switch to the body saw him collapse to the deck.  He bravely beat one count, but was soon on the deck again from another body punch, and this time it was over at 2.18 of the round.

Valdez was highly emotional in victory, and looks to be a fighter to watch.


Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Friday, July 22, 2016

On This Day: Tony Galento the Two-Ton Heavyweight Remembered



By Peter Silkov

Tony ‘Two Ton’ Galento was one of the most unusual and colourful characters ever to enter the boxing ring. Standing just 5' feet 9” inches tall (some said that he was an inch or two shorter), Galento was the height of most middleweights or welterweights, but was as wide as he was tall, and at his peak, weighed around 220 to 230 pounds. Galento displayed his disdain for regular training for all to see, and preferred to spend time in the bar that he owned in Orange, New Jersey, rather than do road work or train in the gym. Galento’s attitude to each upcoming opponent was the same, ‘I’ll moider da bum’ he would famously say. The media loved his outlandishness and the fans loved his all-out, bar room brawling, fighting style. Yet behind it all, Galento was in truth a very formidable fighter, with heart and toughness in abundance, and one of the most dangerous left hooks of its time. He also had a good deal of ring guile, and knew all the tricks in the book, both legal and otherwise.

Galento was born Dominick Anthony Galento, on March 12, 1910, in Orange, New Jersey, and started his ring career at the age of 18, in 1928. Despite his barrel shaped physique, which grew ever wider as his boxing career progressed, Galento was not named ‘Two Ton’ because of his physical shape, but because of the job he had early in his career of delivering ice when he was not employed within a ring. Galento fought his way steadily into contendership, really hitting his stride by the mid-30s. 

The highlight of Galento’s career was undoubtedly his world title shot in 1939 against Joe Louis, in a fight that (while it lasted) was one of the most brutal, and exciting contests ever seen for the World heavyweight championship. ‘Two Ton’ challenged Louis for the world title on June 28, 1939, in what was his 106th professional contest.
The fight became a bloody brawl after Galento hurt and shook the champion in the 1st round, and shockingly floored him in the 3rd round. But, Galento was himself down in the 2nd round and was already bleeding from various cuts on his face by the time he had Louis down in the 3rd round. Tony’s brave challenge finally came to an end in the 4th round, with the heavily bleeding ‘Two Ton’ still on his feet, but being bludgeoned mercilessly by Louis. It was a gallant defeat, which gave Galento a special place in heavyweight boxing history.

Galento would have just 6 more fights, which included his infamous victory over Lou Nova when he stopped the favoured Nova in the 14th round, after what has been described as one of the dirtiest fights ever seen. Galento then lost to Max Baer and Buddy Baer on 7th round stoppages, before ending his career with three straight wins over mediocre opposition. ‘Two Ton’s’ final fight was a 3rd round knockout of Jack Suzek, on December 4, 1944. Tony Galento’s final record was 80(57koes)-26-5.

In his retirement from boxing, Galento appeared as a heavy in a number of movies, most notably ‘On The Waterfront”, acted on Broadway, and also did some wrestling. People never grew tired of hearing him talk about his brave challenge for the World heavyweight title against ‘The Brown Bomber’ Joe Louis. Tony suffered from many health problems later in life and especially diabetes.
He died on July 22, 1979, at the age of 69 years old, in New Jersey. 



Joe Louis Vs. Tony Galento:




Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Thursday, July 21, 2016

On This Day: Charlie Allum: A Warrior Remembered




By Peter Silkov




Charlie Allum was a hero inside, and out of the ring, losing his life in the terrible WW1.  Born on April 23, 1876, in Notting Hill. Charlie started boxing as an amateur in 1896, and with such success that some of his opponents accused him of being a professional.  In 1899, after the outbreak of The Boar War, he joined the 2nd Battalion of Royal Fusiliers, and in 1900 went to South Africa, where he distinguished himself, fighting at the front, especially during the Siege of Ladysmith. 

On his return from South Africa, in 1903, after serving three years, Allum turned professional, and quickly became a popular performer. 

Charlie would face some of the top welterweights and middleweights who were operating in England during the 1900s.  Men like, Peter Brown, Charlie Knock, Pat O’Keefe,  Frank Craig, Jack Scales, Jewey Smith, Jim Sullivan, and Ted Nelson.

On November 16, 1903, in his 16th contest, he won the English welterweight title, when he knocked out Charlie Knock in the 9th round.  On February 27, 1905, Allum won the British and English middleweight title’s (150 pounds) when he stopped Jack Kingsland in the 10th round.

Allum lost his titles to Pat O’Keefe on April 23, 1906, when he was knocked out in the 6th round.  In his next contest, three months later, on September 8, 1906, the big punching Frank Craig knocked out Allum in the 5th round.  After this Allum’s career faded somewhat, with him going 9-10-3 in his last 22 contests, but he still was fighting at a good level, against quality opponents.  However Allum won his last 4 fights, retiring after he beat Louis Verger on a 7th round disqualification on October 21, 1911.

With the outbreak of WW1, Allum went to France with the Royal Fusiliers, where he had the rank of Sergeant.  Allum died in action in France on July 21, 1918.  He was 42 years old.  It is said that Charlie battled Germans bare-fisted when he mistakenly ended up at the German front, after thinking it was his own lines. He is memorialized on the World War I memorial in the cemetery at Ploegsteert in Belgium. His son,

Charlie Allum’s final record 22(12koes)-19-8.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Big Fight Preview: Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol: Can The Hunter Melt The Ice Man





By Peter Silkov



When Terence ‘The Hunter’ Crawford (28-0, 20 koes), takes on Viktor ‘The Ice Man’ Postol (28-0, 12koes) this Saturday, July 23, at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, there will be much more on the line than simply both men’s world title belts. This fight is a little bit special, as it pits two of today’s most promising young champions against each other, this Saturday.

Crawford will be putting his WBO world light-welterweight title on the line, while Postol seeks to defend his WBC world light-welterweight championship.

At a time when so many world champions are doing everything they can to avoid fighting each other, this fight comes as a breath of fresh air.

Photo: Getty Images
Out of the two men, Terence Crawford is already a star in the making. He has made steady progress over the last few years, winning the WBO world lightweight title from Ricky Burns in 2014, defending it twice, before moving up and adding the WBO world light-welterweight title to his collection in April of last year.

It is a sad fact that, in the modern era, fighters collect world titles from different weight division in a blink of an eye, and often without facing any matches of substance along the way. That said, Crawford vs. Postol is a match of substance, which should tell us quite a bit about both men.

Postol’s main problem during his professional career so far has been finding boxers willing to fight him. The Ukrainian finally achieved his ‘breakout’ fight in his last outing nine months ago, when he stopped Lucas Matthysse in 10 rounds, to win the vacant WBC world light-welterweight championship.

Photo; http://thesportsfanjournal.com
Now Postol has a real chance of becoming another one of boxing’s growing Eastern European stars, if he can upset ‘The Hunter’ Terence Crawford.

This has all of the hallmarks of a  well-matched fight. Both boxers are sound technicians, with good punches.  Crawford however, looks to be the one with that little bit extra. He is more flexible technically than the slightly robotic Postol, with superior speed, and it would seem, a sharper punch.  Yet in Postol, Crawford is facing an opponent who is actually bigger than him. One of the biggest questions in this fight is just how good is Viktor Postol. The beauty of this fight is that we have two world class boxers who are both undefeated, both matching each other in size, age, and both coming into their athletic primes, and the result will be that they should produce the best from each other. This is what world class boxing should be about, and we should be seeing matches like this and upcoming (we hope) Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev showdown, far more often. 

The winner of this contest will emerge with a good argument for being the true number one boxer at 140 pounds, and will be a step closer to achieving that tantalizing ’stardom’ that so many fighters are now chasing since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather. The pity for boxing is that too few of today’s ’world champions’ are chasing stardom the right way, that is, by fighting their most dangerous rivals.

This particular showdown between Crawford and Postal looks set to be a tantalizing technical war, rather than a gung-ho, all-guns blazing, shoot out.  It could very well be a battle of the jabs for much of the fight, as both men look for chins in the others armour. As the fight progresses, Crawford’s extra speed and power will give him those crucial edges that will lead to him making a breakthrough by the later rounds, by which time he should have gained control of the fight.


Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
This will be Crawford’s biggest challenge so far in his professional career, but it is one that he should be able to pass impressively in the end, with either a late stoppage or a clear point’s decision. Good though he is, Postol will find that Terence Crawford just has that extra something, which can make the difference between a boxer being a good fighter and a genuine champion with star potential.
 
In this fight, Crawford will be stepping into Mayweather’s old haunt, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, for the first time.  He will be hoping that this is the first step to him taking over from Mayweather, as boxing’s number one, pound-for-pound, superstar.

HBO Documentary "My Fight":




Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Sunday, July 17, 2016

On This Day; Jack Slack: The Norfolk Butcher Remembered

By Peter Silkov


Jack Slack was a Bareknuckle prizefighter who won the Heavyweight championship of England.  Though standing just 5’ feet 8” inches tall, he was a powerfully built man, weighting round 200 pounds, and although he was not skilful or fast, he was very strong with a heavy punch.

Nick named ‘The Norfolk Butcher’ Slack was born on 1721 (month unknown) in Thorpe, Norfolk, England. 

Slack had his first serious fights in 1743, when he won the Heavyweight Championship of Norfolk.  In 1748, Slack sold a butchers shop that he owned and moved to London, and opened a school of boxing in Bristol.

On April 11, 1750, Slack won the Heavyweight championship of England, when he beat long time champion Jack Broughton in 14 minutes.

Slack defended his title 4 times over the next 10 years, losing his title in his 4th defence on June 17, 1760, when William Stevens beat him in 27 minutes.

Following the loss of his title, Slack retired from the prize ring, and opened a shop in Chandos Street, London. 

Jack Slack died on July 17, 1768 (though some reports have Slack dying in 1778.)


Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

On This Day: John McCluskey: British Flyweight Champion Remembered




By Peter Silkov

 
John McCluskey was a quick and skilful flyweight, who could also mix it up when he needed to do so.  During a ten year career, McCluskey was one of the best flyweights in Europe from the late 60s to the mid 70s, but never managed to secure a world title shot.

Born on January 23, 1944, in Hamilton, Scotland, McCluskey began his professional career in 1965, at the age of 21.  Throughout his career McCluskey was well traveled, fighting in England, Sweden, Italy, South Africa, America, Switzerland, Australia, Zambia, Wales and his native Scotland.

In just his 8th professional fight, on January 16, 1967, McCluskey won the vacant British Flyweight title, when he knocked out Tony Barlow in the 8th round.  McCluskey would hold the British title until his retirement in 1976.

McCluskey tried 4 times to win the Europeon flyweight championship, but was beaten each time.  Fernando Atzori knocked him out in the 4th round on June 26, 1968, then out-pointed over 15 rounds by Franco Zurlo on April 4, 1970.  In his third try for the European title on March 19, 1971, McCluskey was out-pointed by Fernando Atzori, after a hard fought battle, which many thought he had won. In a 4th and last bit to win this title, McCluskey fought Fritz Chervet on December 26, 1972, and was beaten on points.

McCluskey did win the Commonwealth Flyweight title, out-pointing Harry Hayes In Melbourne, Australia, on June 16, 1970.  McCluskey held the Commonwealth title till August 5, 1971, when Henry Nissen stopped him on cuts in the 8th round.  

John McCluskey had his final fight on December 4, 1975, when Wayne Evans surprisingly stopped him in the 1st round.  He retired with a final record of 23(10koes)-15. 

John McCluskey died on July 17, 2015, at the age of 71.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Big Fight Report: Rumble at the River in Pittsburgh


 
Photo: Christopher Nolan


By Stephen Donatelli


The bright lights of the ‘Rivers Casino’ were in full effect, and the river was calm, as a mild breeze brought about a near perfect atmosphere for the Friday night boxing show (July 15th) at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Many boxing fans were proudly wearing their ‘Made Men’ T-shirts, as they got ready for the boxing matches, which entertained the full crowd in the heart of Pittsburgh, PA.  First off, cruiserweight Lawrence Blakey (4-4, 3koes) from Homewood, Pennsylvania, used his superior body punching to overcome the previously unbeaten Mike Stull(1-1.)  The first two rounds were pretty academic, as Lawrence used effective aggression to stay on top of Stull, until a pair of blistering body shots in the 3rd round, froze Stull onto one knee, and he was unable to rise before the count of 10.

The next bout showcased undefeated ’Appalachian State Champion’ light-welterweight, Matt ’Sweet Child’ Conway (6-0-1, 3koes) going in against Chris Alexander (4-2-1, 3koes), and representing Norfolk, Virginia.  My good friend Skeets Levandosky is a second in the corner of Conway, as his head trainer is Conway’s Father.

Conway started this scheduled 6-round bout by using a decent double jab, and at every opportunity, was digging to the body of the sturdy Alexander. After the fight was over, it seemed that ’Sweet Child’ Conway got pushed a bit during the 6 rounds, yet handled it really well. However, the scorecards told a very different story. The judge’s cards read as follows, 57-57, a draw, 59-55 Conway and an incredible 59-55 for Alexander, making the fight a very disputed draw. I was baffled, bewildered, and sort of wondered if I had made my last eye appointment.  The Father of Conway was visibly and verbally irate,and for good reason.  Don’t get me wrong, Chris Alexander had his moments, but they were few and far between and that’s what left me, and the majority of the crowd baffled.  Hopefully this doesn’t discourage a great young kid like Conway, who has loads of potential.


Following the Conway fight, Dustin Echard (13-4, 10koes) ran through cruiserweight, ’The Handsome Hitman’ Josh Himes (9-1, 5koes), as it was evident from the start who was the better boxer. As much as Himes tried to move and stay game, he felt the thudding power of Echard, and was steadily worn down before being knocked out in the 4th round.

 
The main event of ’The Rumble at The River’ pitted heavyweights Ed ’Black Magic’ Larimore (13-0, 7koes) against Juan Goode.  Latimore fights out of the ’Dog House’ Boxing Gym in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while Juan Goode (6-4, 5koes) is from the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan.  This fight started out a bit tactical, with a lot of posturing.  As the fight progressed Latimore concentrated mainly on the body, while Goode basically went into a defensive shell for most of the contest.  Black Magic tried casting that potion or spell which would bring the fight to an end before the need of any scorecards, but it was not to be, and the fight went the full 6 rounds.  Here is where the judge’s scorecards seemed to go a bit crazy once again!  The scores read 59-55 Goode, 58-56 Latimore, and 58-56 Latimore.  Giving Latimore the victory, but only by a split decision.  I can’t speak on behalf of everybody, but the judge that voted 59-55 for Goode, left me scratching my head!. 

In any case, aside form some unexpected judge’s scores, it was an thoroughly entertaining night of boxing at The Rivers Casino.  Hopefully there will be many more fight cards like this in the future, promoted by ‘Made Men’ promotions.  Pittsburgh boxing is slowly but surely making a resurgence, which makes everybody happy.  


Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Big Fight Report: Deontay Wilder vs. Chris Arreola: The Bronze Bomber Picks Apart the Nightmare


 
photo: www.commdiginews.com
 

By Peter Silkov



Photo; boxingjunkie.usatoday.com
Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36koes) retained his WBC world heavyweight championship against Chris Arreola (36-5-1, 31koes) last night, July 16th. It was a clinical and at times brutal display, which showed that Wilder is maturing and improving as a boxer.

Fighting at the aptly named Legacy Arena, in Birmingham, Alabama, in front of his home fans, Wilder never let Arreola get into the fight. Wilder weighed 226 and a quarter pounds, to Arreola’s 246 and a quarter pounds. From the start, ’The Bronze Bomber’ used his snakelike jab to slowly pick his challenger apart, and constantly frustrate ’The Nightmare’s’ attempts to get on the inside, and turn the fight into a brawl.

Arreola started slowly, visibly conscious of running into the champion’s big bombs, but as the rounds went by, it became clear that either on the inside or the outside, ’The Nightmare’ had no answer to the champion’s speed and power.  The few time that Arreola did manage to get off any punches, they seemed to lack any sharpness, and bounced off Wilder harmlessly.  Wilder’s punches however, seemed to sting and shake Arreola every time he landed.

photo: www.mirror.co.uk
Arreola was floored heavily in the 4th round by a cluster of shots, and did well to last the round, as Wilder seemed to be going for the finish. At the end of the round, Arreola staggered back to his corner, and the fight could easily have been stopped at this point.  However no one has ever questioned Arreola’s heart, and he bravely carried on, although now Wilder was using him for target practice with the left hand.  After the fight it would be revealed that Wilder had broken his right hand in the 4th round, and torn his right bicep during his 4th round assault upon Arreola.  From the 5th to the 8th round Wilder relied almost exclusively on his left hand, pounding it repeatedly into the brave Arreola’s increasingly battered face. By the end of the 8th round Arreola was becoming a gruesome sight, with his face bloody and swollen, and his left eye almost closed. Even Wilder himself seemed hesitant to inflict much more damage upon his challenger, and it was a relief to all when Arreola’s corner pulled him out of the fight after the conclusion of the 8th round.

It was a impressive and dominating display from Wilder.  While there are those who questioned Arreola’s credentials for gaining a world title shot at this point in his career, his experience and toughness over the years is unquestioned.  This was one of those fights where Wilder was expected to win, and needed to win well to impress and over all he did just that.  While the fight went longer than most people had predicted, Arreola has never been the kind of fighter who is blown out early.  Wilder took his time in this fight and would most likely have ended things earlier if he hadn’t injured his right hand and arm in the 4th round.

photo: http://cdn.newsapi.com.au
The Bronze Bomber won every round against a challenger who was outclassed, but showed his usual heart and toughness, before he was stopped.  Unfortunately Arreola looks like a fighter who at 35 years of age, and many blood and guts ring wars, has reached the end of the road as far as being a viable world title contender is concerned.  That said, with his recognizable name and big-hearted brawling style, it is unlikely we have seen the end of ’The Nightmare,’ even though he should probably walk away right now. 

What was most impressive about this performance was the technical improvements by Wilder.  He has an unorthodox style and does a lot of things ’wrong’, but at the same time, he has showed that he is learning how to use his height and reach to its full potential. Many of his previous crudeness has disappeared, and has been replaced by a much smoother more educated boxer, whose mixture of size, speed and power, will make him a tough match for any of the other top heavyweights. At this point Wilder does seem to be the 2nd best Heavyweight in the world behind Tyson Fury, and a unification fight between those two next year, is something that the Heavyweight division really needs.

photo: http://www.boxingnews24.com
Fight of the night was the bruising battle between two welterweight southpaws, Sammy Vasquez (21-1, 15koes) and Felix Diaz (18-1, 8koes). This match was a good mix of styles, with the bull like aggression of Diaz, pitted against the more refined style of Vasquez.  The fight ebbed and flowed though out the 10 rounds, with frequent meaty exchanges.  Despite coming in as the favourite, Vasquez showed some serious defensive flaws as the match progressed, and Diaz slowly emerged as the stronger and more ring wise fighter of the two. Vasquez showed a lot of heart to keep coming back every time Diaz looked to be on the point of overpowering him, and he also had to deal with a nasty looking cut mouth.  Diaz looked to be unlucky not to have come away with a win after 10 rounds, with the scores of 96-94 (Diaz), and two 95-95s rendering the bout a draw.  However bearing in mind that Vasquez had two points, rather harshly deducted, due to his mouth piece coming out of his mouth twice, because of severely his cut lip, a draw was perhaps the fairest result after what had been a close fight.  Cue perhaps a rematch, which would be no bad thing, at least for the fans.

One fighter who definitely needs to walk away from the ring is Vic Darchinyan (42-9-1, 31koes.)  The former flyweight, and super-flyweight world champion is now 40 years old, which is ancient for a little guy, and has been knocked out in 3 of his last 6 fights.  Now fighting at super-bantamweight Darchinyan faced Sergio ‘Finito’ Frias (18-6-2, 9koes) and after a quiet 1st round, Frias landed a tremendous right hand in the 2nd round, which put Darchinyan down and out.  Hopefully Darchinyan will not be yet another boxer who continues to fight long after the lights have gone out for him.





Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Big Fight Report: The Jackal Ends Dickens' Dream With One Punch






By Peter Silkov


It took just one punch for Guillermo Rigondeaux to show tonight, July 16th, why he is boxing’s most avoided champion. ‘The Jackal’ successfully defended his WBA world super-bantamweight title at the Ice Arena, in Cardiff, Wales, when challenger, Jazza Dickens, was pulled out by his corner after the 2nd round with a broken jaw. The injury was caused in the 2nd round, when Rigondeaux landed the punch of the fight, a left hand to the side of Dickens face, which the challenger did well to take without going down.  However when Dickens returned to his corner a few minutes later, it was found that his jaw was broken and despite his protests, he was pulled out of the fight.

It’s hard to think of a more heartbreaking result for Dickens, who was holding his own, aside from that one big punch from the champion. The brief fight had been uneventful up to the point of impact, with Rigondeaux making his usual slow start in the 1st round as he studied his challenger and Dickens himself trying not to give anything away.  What few punches did connect cleanly in the 1st round came from Rigondeaux. 

The second round followed a similar pattern as the 1st, with both champion and challenger boxing cautiously, but even at this cautious pace, it was easy to see the class in Rigondeaux work. What punches Dickens did throw were missing by mere fractions of inches, as the champion moved his head and upper body to slip the punches almost imperceptibly.  This is where Rigondeaux’s genius lays, he is a master counter-puncher, almost a lost art in this ancient sport, and an art which is certainly undervalued by many of today’s so called experts and certain promoters.

The Jackal waits for one chance, one opening, then he strikes.  This is what happened when he landed with that one punch on Dickens’ face.  The challenger had been fighting an intelligent fight, trying not to give anything away, yet also attempting at times to land some punches of his own, while remaining cagey.  In the end, Rigo landed that one, dynamite left hand, and that was all he needed.

It was a bittersweet victory for The Jackal, whose appearance in front of the Welsh fans was disappointingly brief.  On one hand the champion had showed that his reflexes look to have remained sharp, despite his age and recent inactivity, he also showed the potency of his punching power, which is a big clue as to why his opponents are so often unwilling to come forwards against him.

Photo:Sky sports
Unfortunately for Rigo, he was unable to gain many rounds, which he probably regrets.   

Rigondeaux now seems to be set for a return to Wales on September 17, 2016,  with his opponent unknown.  Once again it is unlikely that ’The Jackal’ will find too many fighters that are eager to face him, and we all know why.



Watch the fight:




Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

On this Day: Andre Routis: A World FeatherWeight Champion Remembered




By Peter Silkov
Andre Routis was a very quick and clever boxer, with heart and durability, who during the 1920s fought the best bantamweights and featherweights in the world.  Born on July 16, 1900, in Bordeaux, Gironde, France. Routis won the French Amateur Bantamweight title in 1918, before turning professional in 1919. 

Starting his career as a bantamweight, Routis was soon facing top class opposition, and would go on to face the very best at both bantamweight and featherweight.  Routis would fight top fighters such as, Charles Ledoux, Bugler Harry Lake, Johnny Brown, Kid Francis, Harry Corbett, Jack Kid Berg, Cowboy Eddie Anderson, Tony Canzoneri, Joe Glick, Panama Al Brown, Johnny Cuthbert, Sammy Dorfman, Dick Finnegan, Buster Brown, Al Singer, and Battling Battalino.

Routis was a busy fighter and fought around the world against the best opponents available, and was very popular wherever he fought.  In addition to boxing in his native France, he also appeared regularly in rings throughout England and America.
On September 28, 1928, Routis caused a huge upset when he won the NBA and NewYork State World Featherweight title, with a 15-rounds point’s win over Tony Canzonerei, after a thrilling fight.  Routis held the title until September 23, 1929, when Battling Battalino out-pointed him over 15 hectic rounds. Battalino would go on to say that he was not crying from happiness after winning the title, he was crying because he had broke both his hands in the 4th round, while boxing Routis.

After losing his world title, Routis had just one more fight.  On November 5, 1929,  he was out-pointed over 10 rounds by Davey Abad.  Routis retired with a final record of 54(12koes)-25-7. Andre Routis would go on to own a bar in France, and upon his 69th birthday, died from a heart attack.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com