Category Archives: Boxing

There may be trouble ahead ..

Nikolai-Valuev-and-David-face-off

Brown trousers time for David Haye approaches fast ...

Finally, another special night of boxing is upon us and this time it really is farcical, as yet another picture of the relative sizes of the two men demonstrates; Haye is exactly 7 stones the lighter man as he prepares for their heavyweight title fight tonight in about 4 hours time.

Whether I watch the fight or not is now dependent on a dodgy sky HD box (with lemming like tendencies) ability to actually record it. I look forward to the spectacle and hope that the undercard is reasonable too, primetime’s recent super six broadcast was fine entertainment at a reasonable price and set a high standard for a pay per view boxing event in the UK.

Cleopuss wants my prediction in writing so I don’t go on about it afterwards .. and I would love to believe that David can win and become the only man to knock the giant Valuev out, but I believe his relatively weak chin will be exposed at some point in the fight. It goes without saying that if at any point David was to be cornered or walk onto something, then the power of the naturally (much) bigger man will trouble him. To win, he has to fight a very controlled strategy, hope that his luck holds out and that he doesn’t make his usual mistakes and leave himself an easy target for his opponents punches.  If Jean Marc Mormeck could hurt Haye, however fleetingly, then imagine what a man almost twice as big could do to him.

How Value copes with Haye’s power, or if David can connect with anything meaningful enough to discourage the champion, are both questions I look forward to answering tonight.

If the fight goes to a points decision, Valuev proved last year against a 46 year old Evander Holyfield that he is difficult to beat in his adopted back yard. Those backing Haye tonight cite this fight as a marker of what is possible against Valuev, as Evander more than survived the 12 round distance, and he was of comparable weight to Haye going into the fight. But David doesn’t have the teak tough qualities that make Evander one of few cruiserweight world champions to make the step up to heavyweight successfully. And when Evander was winning world titles he wasn’t facing todays 7 foot giants, but whatever my doubts, we at webwurld wish David all the best of British out in enemy territory … if he wins this fight it will be the making of him.

Let’s face the music, and dance.

Half term boxing musings …

I hope thats a sling in his pocket, I think he may be needing it.

I hope that's a sling in Davids pocket .. I think he may be needing it.

In the aftermath of the opening match ups of the Super Middleweight Super Six tournament a week or so ago, I thought it useful to remind our American cousins that you don’t win world titles by running away and holding desperately when close to your opponent. I am of course referring to the recent Froch v Dirrell fight for Frochs WBC world title belt, which he retained in controversial fashion last week. Froch won a split decision in a contest which was poor entertainment for the casual sports fan. But as a boxing fan, watching the puzzle Froch was faced with as he tried to hunt down the elusive Dirrell was absorbing viewing.

I am impressed by the athletic ability of Andre Dirrell, but disappointed with his lack of confidence in his own ability, as I think he will reflect and regret that he didn’t take Carl Froch on a little sooner. He has the ability to fire fast combinations and wouldn’t lack power if he only set his feet and stepped into his punches, as he started doing in the last round of the fight. As it is, I am not arguing with the decision, by an old measure, as the challenger for the title Dirrell didn’t do enough to take it home. He might well have done had he fought more positively.

Arthur Abraham did what I expect him to do throughout this tournament and mow down his opponent, after letting them throw their best shots against his arms and gloves for a few rounds. His opponent in this case was the unfortunate Jermain Taylor, now stopped with seconds remaining in the final round in his last two fights. I fear Jermaine may struggle to rise again in the competition and wonder who is on the shortlist to replace any withdrawals from the 2 year long tournament?

Altogether a top nights entertainment, despite the odd gaff from the inexperienced camera and production crew on the Primetime team, who included some pretty stellar names in Jim Rosenthal and  the ever amusing Steve Bunce. I hope that the Super Six promotional team can again manage to stage two contests on the same night, as I was quite happy to pay £16ish for the package of build up interviews, replays of previous contests involving the fighters and some Bunce magic in between some competitive action.

I judge the tournament a success also because I am extremely interested in finding out what happens next, in Wards fight with the clever Mikel Kessler and in the fights next year between Abraham/Dirrell and Froch/kessler. There isn’t a fight which doesn’t appeal, for fight fans around the world this is such a winner and I hope that future match ups don’t have the clash of styles that made Frochs fight with Dirrell one for the boxing geeks – as this Tournament is making ordinary people notice too. I especially look forward to Abraham/Froch where two rather heavy handed gunslingers will launch huge shots at eachother – utter heaven.

I heard sad news today that Kelly Pavlik’s Staph infection has caused a cancellation in his fight with Paul Williams at 160 pounds, the Williams camp unwilling to postpone the fight for a second time. Paul will instead fight someone else on the same bill on December 5th. I can hear Frank Warren crying into his pillow as my pay per view money disappears from his grasp once again. I like Amir Khan a lot, but he needs to appear on a bill where something else significant also happens. Pairing him with a few ex Olympians still feeling their way into the professional ranks got old long ago.

At the present moment, notwithstanding a shift of the boxing sands once again (which as we know in a hazy world of money, dodgy promoters and questionable decisions is never far from reality) the fight between the truly enormous Nicolai Valuev and the loud mouthed self publicist David Haye is still on. I have my fingers crossed that Haye turns up fit and avoids the injury problems that caused the cancellation of his fight with Vladimir Klitschco … by the looks of things it appears that David needs every advantage available to him  … and did you see how far he had to reach to knock the head off a life size cardboard cut out of his next (7 foot 2 tall 350 pound) opponent?!

David vs Goliath

David Haye and Nicolai Valuev size each other up ahead of their November fight ...

David Haye and Nicolai Valuev size each other up ahead of their November fight ...

I have seen many strange things in a boxing ring, from the rise and fall of some of our country’s most beloved sportsmen, to Oliver McCall’s nervous breakdown on live TV and Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off.

I think the UK’s David Haye is going to provide another one of these memorable moments in boxing history when he fights Nicolai Valuev for the WBA version of the Heavyweight world title on November 7th. The difference in size of the two men is staggering, David will pretty much be limited to a body attack and Valuev’s usual defensive strategy of taking a lot of shots on his arms means that it might not be the most exciting fight we get to watch in the (golden) few months before Christmas, as there is quite a choice of action to look forward to:

Miguel Cotto is (bizarrely) having to put his 147 pound world title on the line against Manny Pacquiao but weigh in at 145 pounds in their landmark encounter on the 14th November. This is an intriguing match up where if Cotto can catch and hurt Pacquiao’s body he should have some joy later in the fight. His problem might be getting to that stage without finding one of Manny’s Howitzers, although he would hope that Manny won’t be carrying concrete in his gloves like a certain shamed Mexican responsible for Cotto’s only career loss. The positive styles of both men will make this fight so watchable.

And tonight the eagerly awaited  super middleweight ‘super six’ tournament kicks off for Jermaine Taylor – who I predict will be mown down by Arthur Abraham, who (I believe) is under rated in this competition. And then later tonight, Carl Froch gets his chance to put two fingers up at the British TV executives who continue to fail to provide the wherewithall to screen anything but a delayed stream of his world title defenses so far, in his fight with Andre Dirrell. I have never seen Dirrell fight, he’s apparently quick, and like in his previous (Taylor) fight may make the rampaging Froch look stupid a few times in the fight. Froch does hit hard however and is durable enough to have a chance of wearing down his opponent. I will go with my heart and Carl to knock him out tonight.

. I have subscribed to Primetime am salivating at the thought of top notch action in two interesting fights tonight and then Michael Kessler and Andre Ward later in the year. I am loving the points system and subsequent league positions to decide semi finalists, this is exactly what boxing should have been doing 10 years ago.  Nowadays the sport I love has become a niche product because of neglectful greedy promoters taking cash over entertainment.

I love mixed martial arts fighting, not because I like to see 2 grown men wrestle eachother into sleeping submission holds for rounds at a time, but because it has forced boxing, or boxing promoters to take more risks to entertain the existing boxing fans, who, I guess for some, see cage fighting as better entertainment. The fights usually end by knock out, so there isn’t any discussion about bad points decisions and the best fighters actually have to fight each other and don’t seem to spend most of their career fighting overblown opposition making a name for themselves to make money from the 3 big fights that define their careers (some of which are a total let down for the audience who are starved of regular world class action for months at a time.) … breathe ant  … breathe …

Then on the 5th December, another chance to make that twat Frank Warren more brylcreem vouchers, when glass jawed Amir Khan defends his Light Welterweight world title against another light punching foreigner with a 23% knock out percentage. The bonus from this nights boxing is likely to be a much more exciting prospect – the Paul WIllians v Kelly Pavlik fight, where I expect the likeable Kelly to have problems with the work rate of Paul Williams. If an exceptional but aging Bernard Hopkins could out work him, he has no chance against the most avoided fighter in boxing. Props to Kelly for taking this one, its a risk for him.

So much top notch action coming our way, and all thanks to a few American wrestlers stealing pay per view dollars. (Cleopuss says – Come on Floyd, now fight someone your own size.)