Great Britain’s Olympic boxing coach Terry Edwards told Setanta Sports News he was in a ‘no win’ situation however well his boxers performed in Beijing this summer. Edwards’ team of boxers were dogged by controversy before a single punch had been thrown. Frankie Gavin was unable to compete at the Games having failed to make his target weight, while Billy Joe Saunders faced allegations of lewd behaviour..
In an interview on Steve Bunce’s Boxing Hour Edwards explained that Gavin’s health and safety was his main priority.
“There was an American boxer who failed to come to the weigh in [before the Games]. When they found him he was actually unconscious on the floor through dehydration. Now, Frankie was starting to dry out [to lose weight] three days before the weigh-in. That could well have happened.
“The criticism that he should have competed in a different weight doesn’t hold water. It’s no secret that since the World Championships Frankie had struggled with the weight. It was just impossible for him.
“He wanted to give it another try and two days before we left I gave him that opportunity. I left a coach behind with him; he had a physiologist, a nutritionist and a sports psychologist with him. And then I took the decision that I wasn’t prepared to take a risk with Frankie’s health.
“I’ve heard all sorts of rumours; that he was on drugs, that he was on this and he was on that. Whichever way it went I would have been criticised. Had he made the weight he would have been dead on the weight and he would have been beaten in his first bout. It was lose, lose, lose.”
Edwards also questioned the manner in which the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) suspended Billy Joe Saunders following an incident at a training camp in France. Edwards had confronted Saunders about the incident and asked the ABA for further information. When the information was not forthcoming Edwards thought that was the end.
“If there’s an inquiry into a boxer for breach of discipline, that’s fine. It’s the timing that this happened. To be fair it could have happened today instead.
“I’m not suggesting that David Price or Tony Jeffries actually lost because of it, but to be honest it affected me and the team. The accusations and the rubbish that was written in the newspaper article, some of it was nearly three years old. It was blown out of proportion.”
First Lady to support Russian Giant
Nikolai Valuev can count on some special help this Saturday when he takes on John Ruiz in a clash for the WBA heavyweight title. Supporting the Russian Giant from ringside will be Cecilia Braekhus, who even cancelled a live TV appearance in her home country Norway to watch the
fight. “I am a big fan of Nikolai,” the First Lady said. “Not only is he very strong but he is also a very nice guy.”
Braekhus also witnessed Valuev´s last performance, an impressive victory over Sergej Liakhovich in their eliminator in February. “That was a very good fight,” Braekhus added. “I am sure Nikolai has gotten even better. It will be interesting to see how he does against Ruiz.”
Even though Valuev and Braekhus are in the same boxing stable, they have yet to spar against each other. “I don´t think I would be a tough opponent for him,” Braekhus laughed. “I could only hit his knees!”
After a well-deserved rest in Norway following her first fight in America (June 21), Braekhus returned to Germany last week to prepare for her next bout, which will be in Bielefeld on September 20. “There are not so many places in Norway to professionally practice boxing so it´s
good to be back in Germany to shape up,” she said. “I kept in shape as I worked out every day and did a lot of running and swimming. The time in Norway was very nice and has given me a lot of energy.”
Braekhus is looking for the ninth win in as many fights when she returns to action on the undercard of Marco “Captain” Huck´s European cruiserweight title fight against Jean-Marc Monrose. “I will extend my winning streak,” Braekhus added.
TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT: CHAMPIONS AHEAD IN ONLINE POLL
At exactly six in the afternoon today, the boxing ring at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel & Casino will come alive as mitts hit flesh with the opening round of this month’s biggest Cebu City boxing promotion, “WBO Night of Champions,” which brings at the main card two regional title defense rumbles between WBO Intercontinental super bantamweight champion Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista and Mexican warrior Eden “Anestesista” Marquez and between ALA Gym’s first world champion, WBO World mini-flyweight king Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and Nicaraguan contender Eddy “Torito II” Castro.
Popular favorites turned out to be defending champions Bautista and Nietes, based on a total voting population of 2,417 voters at the Pacland-sponsored online poll. As of 8:29 in the morning yesterday, 61.2% of the 1,555 voters predict that Bautista will win the fight by KO; 25.7% believed it will be Marquez by KO. Unanimous decision and draw for either pugilist are by less than 10% of voters.
The Nietes-Castro rivalry turned up 862 votes. Nietes got favored to win by KO in 56.8% of the voters, while 21.2% believed it will be through a unanimous decision favoring him. A quarter of the voting fans who participated in the poll believed that Gastro could win by KO. Less than five percent of the pollsters believed on a draw or a Castro win by unanimous decision.
The poll is ongoing. To join the poll, go online and visit the Pacland kingdom at www.mannypaquiao.com.ph. Simply place this address in your address bar to get a quick access: http://mannypacquiao.ph/.
This fistic extravaganza is presented by ALA Promotions in cooperation with Cebu City Waterfront Hotel & Casino and ABS-CBN Sports. Major sponsors include Lai Garden Restaurant SM City, Visayan Electric Company, KIA Motors, Hola España, Chika-an sa Cebu, SM City Cebu, Gaisano Grand, La Tegola Cucina Italiana, Cebu Daily News, The Freeman, Sun.Star Daily, Y101 Always First, Sunriser Motorcycles, and Media Images & Production Concepts.
Tickets are available at the following outlets: ALA Promotions Office, ALA Gym Banilad Town Center and Shang Mactan Town Center, Islands Souvenirs Ayala, Bisaya Ispisyal Ayala, USA Sports Ayala, and Marfori Bakeshop Mandaue. For reservations, please call Jeana (0928-5057980) and Brent (0917-3253005).