Imtech Arena to host Haye-Klitschko

21 04 2011

Klitschko v Haye: Finally on

David Haye’s long awaited unification bout with Wladimir Klitschko will finally take place in Hamburg on July 2nd.

The fight will take place at the Imtech Arena, home to Hamburg FC, where Haye will take on the WBO and IBF champion almost two years after the fight was originally scheduled but cancelled due to Haye pulling out with a back injury.

Haye has been baiting the Klitschko brothers ever since stepping up to the heavyweight division and will now have his chance to prove to everyone that he is as good as he says he is. There is no doubt the Klitschko brothers have been angered by Haye’s continuous taunts and Wladimir will head into this fight more pumped up than ever.

This fight promises to be a fantastic clash and with Wladimir admitting that he wants’ to knock Haye out, we could well see a different approach from the usually conservative champion.

This is a massive chance for Wladimir to silence a lot of experts and fans who have been critical of his choice of opponents and style of fighting. We all know Wladimir has been down before so the question is; will he have enough to deal with Haye’s speed and power?

We all know what this fight means to David Haye. If he wins it goes someway to cementing his legacy in the sport, lose and he’ll probably be remembered for being a loud mouth who knocked out Audley Harrison. Will Haye have enough tactical nous and skill to penetrate the Wladimir jab?

One thing is for sure; the build up to fight promises to be explosive.





Mitchell-Murray back on

20 04 2011

Mitchell-Murray confirmedThe long awaited showdown between Kevin Mitchell and fellow Brit John Murray will finally take place this summer.

Mitchell had turned down a clash with the unbeaten Murray earlier this year, but has now done a U-turn and is ready to face his rival.

Mitchell said: “Murray’s done well but he hasn’t faced me yet and, if he had, we wouldn’t keep hearing about his unbeaten record, I was 31-0 too with more stoppages than him, until I lost out in my 32nd fight which he will too.”

Mitchell will be looking to prove to his fans that he is ‘back’ and that his brutal stoppage defeat to Michael Katsidis was a one off, while Murray will look to extend the current longest unbeaten run in British boxing.

Murray, who has long been avoided by boxers both domestically and internationally, will finally get the chance to showcase his talent on a big stage. The question for Murray is can he step up to the challenge and prove to everyone that he can fight at a higher level.

The question for Mitchell though is much bigger. Can the Dagenham born boxer come back from that crushing defeat, which sent him spiralling into depression? Does he have that ‘fire in the belly’ to establish himself amongst the best Britain has to offer? Or, if he were to lose, sink back into depression and stay away from the sport?

Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure; it’s sure to be one hell of a fight for British fans.





Froch: A free agent

18 04 2011

WBC Super Middleweight Champion: Carl Froch

Carl Froch has officially confirmed his split from Hennessy Sports promotions.

There have been rumours for weeks but the WBC super middleweight champion has confirmed the split from long time promoter Mick Hennessy.

I’ve been a long time fan of Carl Froch and firmly believe this could be the best thing to happen to him. For one reason or the other, Froch has not received the backing from British fans or TV stations, while the likes of David Haye, Amir Khan and even Audley Harrison have received fantastic backing from the TV stations.

Froch has admitted he’ll promote himself for his next two fights, which are already mapped out in the Super Six tournament, but once that is over I believe one of the big UK boxing promoters should step in and sign Froch up. He is a fantastic fighter who never backs down from a challenge and is always in exciting fights; he is a promoters dream in my eyes.

If I was Ricky Hatton, I’d be straight on the phone to Carl and sign him up. He is just the sort of fighter Hatton needs to help his promotion company; he could be their star name.

And Hatton could do wonders for Froch too. Hatton is probably the most popular British boxer in history and his popularity could definitely help Froch gain the wider exposure he deserves.

Whatever happens, I really hope Froch does get some better exposure because he has been greatly under appreciated by British fans for far too long.





Khan fails to shine

17 04 2011

Khan-McCloskey: Controversial ending

Amir Khan held onto his WBA light-welterweight title after a controversial ending to his fight with Paul McCloskey in Manchester.

The fight was called off in sixth round following a clash of heads which left McCloskey with a small cut just above his left eye.

The doctor strangely enough was immediately called into the ring to check out the cut, and despite the cut bleeding along the challengers nose instead of into his eye, referee Luis Pabon stopped the fight.

The result went to the score cards with all three judges giving Khan every round.

Khan was clearly in control throughout the six rounds and was never really tested in truth by the challenger. The awkward Irishman never really threw too many combinations, as he threw just one or two shots at a time and definitely didn’t deserve to win a single round.

Khan peppered McCloskey with shots throughout the six rounds without really hurting him but was firmly in control as he displayed his lighting fast hands and good discipline. However there were occasions when Khan seemed to be running in with his shots, and against a better opponent you can bet he would get punished for that.

The sad thing about this fight was I believe McCloskey would have at least gone the distance with Khan as he was rarely hurt, despite Khan’s dominance. The fans, those there in the arena and those who paid to watch it at home, were robbed of seeing a full fight.

The referee must surely be looked at following this fight and serious questions will have to be asked as to why McCloskey’s cut man wasn’t given the chance to look at the cut. I mean what’s the point of having a cut man if he isn’t allowed to chance to do his job?

Hopefully McCloskey will have a chance at world level because it is sad to have your dream taken away because of a bad refereeing decision.

One thing is for sure, Khan will have to significantly improve to have any chance against Timothy Bradley. One this form Bradley will have no problems dealing with Khan and will be the one to unify the division.

See below for the explosive post-fight press conference:





Khan must deliver

16 04 2011

Khan-McCloskey: Who will win?

Amir Khan takes on Paul McCloskey in a defence of his WBA light-welterweight crown tonight (Saturday 16 May) at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

Khan has come under criticism from some quarters for taking this fight on but with Khan wanting to fight around this time of the year, was there really another viable opponent?

Those expecting him to fight Juan Manuel Marquez or Bredis Prescott are quite deluded. Marquez, despite his age, is still a class above Khan, while Bredis Prescott was no more than a flash in the pan who was school by Kevin Mitchell last year.

We all know it’s a stay busy fight for Khan who should win before going on to face American Timothy Bradley this summer in a unification bout, that is assuming everything goes to plan for the Bolton-born boxer who has had to deal with the fight being withdrawn from Sky Sports and moved to Primetime cable network.

So Khan’s will need to display the mental toughness he showed following his defeat to Prescott and in those few rounds when rocked against Maidana.

The last time Khan was expected to walk over an opponent like this was when he faced his darkest hour – as he suffered a KO at the hands of Bredis Prescott. Now I’m not saying McCloskey will do this to Khan as Khan has become a better fight under the guidance of renowned coach Freddie Roach.

But McCloskey is a tricky opponent who is undefeated and he’s coming over here with a real desire to win. He’s not just here to make up the numbers. He can punch and be very awkward at times with the way he throws his punches.

Some people forget that McCloskey is a champion in his own right and he has every chance of causing an upset. He is the total underdog and has nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Sweet Science UK prediction

If Khan starts quick, which he tends to, and McCloskey has his mind elsewhere this could all be over within 4 rounds.

However if McCloskey can weather the storm in the first few rounds then he has a punchers chance. McCloskey’s best bet is to draw Khan into a toe to toe battle because McCloskey can punch and Khan’s chin is still questionable despite his performance against Maidana.

But I think Khan will have too much hand speed and power for McCloskey and I believe Khan will come into this fight with a real desire to put a show on for his homecoming fight.

I can see Khan winning via KO inside 7.

See below for HBO’s Max Kellerman’s prediction.

Don’t forget to tune into Primetime from 8pm to watch the fight.





Tony Dodson: It’s my time

15 04 2011

Dodson: My time

It seems an age since we last saw the likeable Tony Dodson, so The Sweet Science UK sat down with Dodson to discuss his future plans in the sport and who he thinks will be the next British star.

The last time we saw Dodson in the ring, was earlier this year in the unforgettable light-heavyweight version of Prizefighter.

Sadly for Dodson things didn’t work out as he planned, who looked fantastic up until a cut cruelly forced him out.

“Yeh, I haven’t boxed since. I’ve just had to let my cuts heal.

“There is no doubt that I would have gone on to win that tournament. I was boxing great and I was far to experience for Travis (Dickinson) and that counts for a lot. You only need to see my previous fights to know I would have beaten him.

“But since the Prizefighter, I’ve just been ticking over and trying to stay in shape. I’m just looking forward to fighting again to be honest.”

Dodson will be looking to face Darren Stubbs for the English title after he officially moved up to the light-heavy weight division, which he believes is the right division for him.

“Hopefully this fight will take place at the end of May.

“I should have moved up to this weight like five years ago. I have no doubts that I’ll win a title here, I’m made for this weight class.

“The overall goal is just to keep winning, working myself up those rankings and if a title shot comes; I’m going to grab it with both hands.”

Talk soon turned to the state of British boxing and the next few fights of our current stars, with Dodson giving us his opinion and prediction.

James DeGale v George Groves:

“I think Groves will beat DeGale via KO.”

Amir Khan v Paul McCloskey:

“Khan will win inside 6 rounds.”

Nathan Cleverly v Juergen Braehmer:

“Cleverly’s fight is the toughest by far but I think he has the tools to beat this guy either by late stoppage or points.”

He also predicted previous opponent Carl Froch to win the Super Six tournament and declared Froch a “class act”.

“When I was growing up I looked up to Tyson but now it’s the likes of David Haye and Carl Froch. They’re the best at what they do. They’re so professional when it comes to the training and the way the hold themselves in public. Real role models.”

Dodson also predicted Martin Murray to become Britain’s next big boxing star.

“Murry is world class and a proper nice fella.”





One to watch: Joe Collins

15 04 2011

Collins (left): One to watch

With the state of British boxing looking better than ever, The Sweet Science UK sat down with rising star Joe “Crackers” Collins to discuss how he got into boxing and how he sees his future in boxing panning out. 

The 24-year-old Manchester based-boxer is a bit of a late bloomer to the professional ranks and relatively unknown but with his last fight being promoted under the Hatton Promotions banner; he is sure to be a face British fans will soon come to recognise very soon.

“I first got into boxing through a friend. I was coming off a knee injury I sustained in a football match and I was just trying to get fit again to play football.

“But once I was there I couldn’t turn back. The atmosphere in the gym and the work rate was first class and after I had my first sparring session, I didn’t look at any other sport. Boxing had and has taken over my life.”

Studying boxers and boxing itself became the norm for Joe, who counts the likes of Marco Antonio Barrrera, Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe as his idols.

“I used to look up to the likes of Hatton, Calzaghe, Michael Brodie, Scott Harrison and, of course, Barrera. They were brilliant to watch.

“My favourite fight has to be the second fight between Barrera and Erik Morales, it was an incredible fight. But Michael Gomez v Alex Arthur was a bit special too and has to be up there.”

The light-welterweight now trains under the well-respected coach Bob Shannon at Shannon’s Fighting Fit gym in Openshaw.

“Bob Shannon is a great trainer who is very determined and very knowledgeable about the sport.

“I look up to all the lads I train with at Shannon’s gym. Denton Vassell, Prince Arron, Kieran Maher and of course, Matthew Hatton. It’s a top set-up there and everyone in the gym helps out. They all play their part in the gym and they deserve all the credit in the world for making it such a success.”

Talk moves on to Joe’s style of boxing, which may shock a few of you considering his “Crackers” nickname.

“I like to slip and roll under shots you know. I’m not adverse to mixing it up but that’s definitely my style.

When asked on which boxer he’d like to fight, the response wasn’t as I’d expected.

“Rocky Balboa! (Haha) Why not? To be honest I’ve never really thought of who I’d like to step into the ring with.”

Following a defeat in his last fight (the fight was stopped in the third following a clash of heads which left Collins with a broken nose) we asked Collins how he sees his career in boxing panning out.

“I want to get as far as my ambition and drive will take me.”

When asked if he feels he could become a title holder in his division, Collins responded quite simply.

“If I don’t believe in myself no-one would ever believe me.”

There is no doubting he’s got people who believe in him. The likes of Hatton Promotions, Bob Shannon and his stable mates. But most importantly he has that inner self belief that is the most crucial thing for a boxer.

Finally we finished up the interview by asking Collins, a student of the game, on his prediction for the up-coming Khan – McCloskey fight.

“I think Khan will win by stoppage late on, around the 10th. McCloskey will be very tricky and he can hit too, so it will be a tough fight for Amir, a lot tougher than some think.”