The Rise and Rise of Jason Easton

- In the East of Scotland something of a boxing renaissance is underway, headed by rising super lightweight Josh Taylor, whose success has helped inspire a revival in the sport’s popularity in this part of the world. Taylor’s most recent outing under the McGuigan Cyclone banner saw him take apart with impeccable skill former lightweight world champion Miguel Vazquez in front of a packed crowd at a sold out Royal Highland Centre just outside Edinburgh.

In the East of Scotland something of a boxing renaissance is underway, headed by rising super lightweight Josh Taylor, whose success has helped inspire a revival in the sport’s popularity in this part of the world. Taylor’s most recent outing under the McGuigan Cyclone banner saw him take apart with impeccable skill former lightweight world champion Miguel Vazquez in front of a packed crowd at a sold out Royal Highland Centre just outside Edinburgh.

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Manny Pacquiao – when it’s gone it’s gone

Manny Pacquiao - I still remember the day I set eyes on Manny Pacquiao for the first time. It was 2001 and I was living in LA and a regular at the Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, where I trained to stay in shape. Though not quite the Mecca of boxing it was destined to become, the place was special even then, attracting a heady mix of up and coming pros, the odd genuine contender and former champs. You also found a liberal sprinkling of Hollywood types and a cornucopia of characters from every walk of life that had to be experienced to be believed.

I still remember the day I set eyes on Manny Pacquiao for the first time. It was 2001 and I was living in LA and a regular at the Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, where I trained to stay in shape. Though not quite the Mecca of boxing it was destined to become, the place was special even then, attracting a heady mix of up and coming pros, the odd genuine contender and former champs. You also found a liberal sprinkling of Hollywood types and a cornucopia of characters from every walk of life that had to be experienced to be believed.

Read moreManny Pacquiao – when it’s gone it’s gone

Kell Brook’s courage in taking a knee against Spence was exemplary

Errol Spence Jr., Kell Brook, Tony Bellew - The criticism levelled at Kell Brook in the wake of his 11th round KO defeat to Errol Spence is a stark reminder that boxing is and always has been a sport of extremes, wherein the very best and the very worst of human nature is exposed. Courage, respect, resilience, and skill is offset in boxing by cowardice, venality, brutality, and cruelty. Typically the former are expressed inside the ring on the part of the fighters, while the latter is the domain of the sport's fans and spectators, many of whom take the opportunity, when watching a fight, to give expression to their own lack of achievements, happiness, or self respect by taking delight in misfortune to befall a given fighter whose only crime is to have dedicated his life to the hardest sport there is and achieve a level of fame, success, and admiration conversant with that dedication.

The criticism levelled at Kell Brook in the wake of his 11th round KO defeat to Errol Spence is a stark reminder that boxing is and always has been a sport of extremes, wherein the very best and the very worst of human nature is exposed. Courage, respect, resilience, and skill is offset in boxing by cowardice, venality, brutality, and cruelty. Typically the former are expressed inside the ring on the part of the fighters, while the latter is the domain of the sport’s fans and spectators, many of whom take the opportunity, when watching a fight, to give expression to their own lack of achievements, happiness, or self respect by taking delight in misfortune to befall a given fighter whose only crime is to have dedicated his life to the hardest sport there is and achieve a level of fame, success, and admiration conversant with that dedication.

Read moreKell Brook’s courage in taking a knee against Spence was exemplary

The Anthony Joshua hype machine

Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko - By all accounts Anthony Joshua is a decent human being, an inordinately wealthy young fighter who hasn't forgotten his roots and who always makes time for the fans. His recent decision to buy his old amateur coach a new BMW was notable in this regard, though the fact that a film was made and released of him doing so says much about a hype machine which after just 18 professional fights against a hodgepodge of journeymen, domestic-level opposition, and fading contenders, sees the 27 year old IBF heavyweight champion faces a 41 year old Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 fans amid more fanfare than your average royal pageant. It is testament to the timeless words attributed to the great 19th century American showman, P T Barnum: "There's a sucker born every minute."

By all accounts Anthony Joshua is a decent human being, an inordinately wealthy young fighter who hasn’t forgotten his roots and who always makes time for the fans. His recent decision to buy his old amateur coach a new BMW was notable in this regard, though the fact that a film was made and released of him doing so says much about a hype machine which after just 18 professional fights against a hodgepodge of journeymen, domestic-level opposition, and fading contenders, sees the 27 year old IBF heavyweight champion faces a 41 year old Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 fans amid more fanfare than your average royal pageant. It is testament to the timeless words attributed to the great 19th century American showman, P T Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

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Joshua vs Klitschko: The Untested vs The Unloved

Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko - To point out that Britain's Anthony Joshua remains untested in 18 professional fights is to wallow in understatement. Indeed, the IBF heavyweight champion is perhaps the most untested world heavyweight champion in living memory, a claim to which his record attests; he is yet to face elite opposition in a division that is now so starved of personnel that cruiserweight Tony Bellew is currently on course to challenge for one of the belts.

To point out that Britain’s Anthony Joshua remains untested in 18 professional fights is to wallow in understatement. Indeed, the IBF heavyweight champion is perhaps the most untested world heavyweight champion in living memory, a claim to which his record attests; he is yet to face elite opposition in a division that is now so starved of personnel that cruiserweight Tony Bellew is currently on course to challenge for one of the belts.

Joshua’s meteoric rise from novice to pay per view star, whose clash with Wladimir Klitschko will be in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London on April 29, is testament not to his achievements in the ring but instead the promotional talents of Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn. The hype that has followed the 27-year old Olympic gold medallist since he entered the pro ranks in 2013 has been of the uncommon sort, to the point where you are left scratching your head in wonderment at the extent to which so many have been willing to suspend disbelief and allow themselves to be swept up in it.

Read moreJoshua vs Klitschko: The Untested vs The Unloved

David Haye and Tony Bellew served up more drama than Shakespeare

David Haye, Tony Bellew - In terms of drama, excitment, and raw emotion, Haye vs Bellew was a classic that will be talked about and debated for years to come. The inordinate bad blood that flowed in the lead up made the stakes involved higher than most world title fights have in recent times. That it also brought the sport into disrepute is a feeling that will not be shared by Eddie Hearn or Sky Sports given the number of PPV buys it undoubtedly generated precisely because of the bad blood and vicious pre-fight rhetoric, most of it from David Haye.

In terms of drama, excitment, and raw emotion, Haye vs Bellew was a classic that will be talked about and debated for years to come. The inordinate bad blood that flowed in the lead up made the stakes involved higher than most world title fights have in recent times. That it also brought the sport into disrepute is a feeling that will not be shared by Eddie Hearn or Sky Sports given the number of PPV buys it undoubtedly generated precisely because of the bad blood and vicious pre-fight rhetoric, most of it from David Haye.

Read moreDavid Haye and Tony Bellew served up more drama than Shakespeare

Haye vs Bellew: David Haye talks and looks like a man ready for war

David Haye, Tony Bellew - At the recent Haye-Bellew press conference in Liverpool, which was open to the public, something remarkable took place. We saw Haye emerge from it as the villain while Tony Bellew found himself slotted in to the role of the good guy - the wholesome family man who unlike Haye is in boxing for all the right reasons.

At the recent Haye-Bellew press conference in Liverpool, which was open to the public, something remarkable took place. We saw Haye emerge from it as the villain while Tony Bellew found himself slotted in to the role of the good guy – the wholesome family man who unlike Haye is in boxing for all the right reasons.

Now just think about that for a second. Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew, a fighter who’s spent his entire professional career unleashing tirades of invective at his opponents in the lead up to fights, whose every second or third word is usually an expletive, a man infamous for bullying and intimidatory antics, suddenly this guy is being depicted as a poster boy for family values and proper etiquette.

Read moreHaye vs Bellew: David Haye talks and looks like a man ready for war

Haye vs. Bellew – The Countdown – Presser Live Stream

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg5qEyZ8UJo

With less than a week to go before David Haye and Tony Bellew step into the ring at the O2 Arena in London to settle accounts in one of the most bitter grudge fights British boxing has seen in some time, the cultural and lifestyle differences between both fighters could not be more stark.

Read moreHaye vs. Bellew – The Countdown – Presser Live Stream