So, again, a promoter announces “The biggest domestic fight in history”. This time it’s different faces, but the same old schtick is still there like an itch right in the middle of your back – just between the shoulder blades. This time, going against the grain of the Promoter, they could well be near the mark. I’m referring to the May 31st bout between Carl Froch and George Groves.
Froch/Groves 1 was a great piece of entertainment and some consider it one of the best UK boxing events for many, many years. I’m no different in that regard; for my part, and from the viewing position of my kitchen, I found the fight a real roller-coaster of all that can be great about boxing. From the early knockdown, to the early stoppage and the abject fickleness of the largely partisan crowd, the bout had all the hallmarks of a fight destined to be contested again; which meant leaving itself open to the wild vagaries of building more hype, tackling money in oak paneled offices, and planning the future – whatever the outcome. Continue reading
Having been told a while ago that Eddie Chambers was thinking of joining Team Fury, I thought “Astute of him. Where has he been?”. Here was a Heavyweight fighter with a record of W36 L4 who had been beaten last year in his only fight of 2013, after a bad decision to move down to Cruiserweight. Were the gears grinding down on “Fast Eddie’s” career? At 31, and seemingly losing love for the sport, Eddie was squandering the talent he had been given.
I had had a conversation with Peter Fury a few months ago after Chambers had been part of the Fury training camp for the, ultimately, disastrous Haye debacle. He was very impressed with Eddie’s skills and attitude. But you don’t need Peter to tell you Eddie can box/fight/win. Even a layman can see that Eddie Chambers has been in with the very best the sport has had to offer over the past 6 years: Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Dimitrenko, Alexander Povetkin, Tomasz Adamek, Samuel Peter. Continue reading
It was in January of 2013 that I first met the Fury family. I’d just beaten the snow out of the UK by twelve hours and was sitting in a freezing Dutch ferry terminal waiting for a lift from Peter Fury – a man I’d never met – to spend a week in the famous Fury training camp in Belgium. The Ferry ride had been tortuous; high seas and an even higher crew had meant a sleepless night and much paranoia. I was the first writer or journalist to ever set foot in the remote Fury HQ. It was a land few had even considered. Rumours of the harshness of the camp had reached my ears, but there was little in the way of facts. I had to see for myself, for good or ill. Two and a half months later, Tyson Fury would bamboozle the American press, beat Steve Cunningham without Peter in his corner, and sing to a bemused Madison Square Garden crowd. I wasn’t to blame. Continue reading
If the road to the top in any sport is beset with challenges and hard physical graft, then boxing must rank amongst the toughest. But despite the obstacles to greatness, boxing continues to make people rich and famous, just as surely as it leaves most fighters with questionable futures. In general terms, boxing is the oldest and most maligned sport in the world today, but that doesn’t stop the support, and it certainly doesn’t stop the money. Most eyes used to be on the Heavyweights – the blue ribbon event – but a continued dominance since the Klitschko brothers gained the titles in…erm… 1694, has brought attention to the other weights, culminating in the Mayweather deal; which still beggars belief in most third world countries and gives promoters across the USA cold sweats on dark nights. Floyd is a boxing freak though, a supreme talent, and a fighter like him only comes along once every 25 years. We owe it to ourselves to make the best of the time he’s giving us in the ring. But, like the saying goes “Make hay while the sun shines” and that sun is dipping low on Floyd no matter how hard we want to tell ourselves it’s not true. Continue reading