Cleverly-Bellew: Who’s ‘0’ will go?

15 10 2011

Cleverly-Bellew: Clash at weigh in

The wait is finally over as bitter rivals Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew clash at Liverpool’s Echo Arena tonight for the WBO light-heavyweight title.

After months and months of back and forth trash talk, the two get the chance to settle their differences in the ring.

I’m not too sure why there is so much animosity between the pair, so much so that the police were called after Nathan’s father/trainer clashed with members of the Bellew team during a press conference, but the time for talking is now over.

Cleverly is the favourite with the bookies but Bellew shouldn’t be under-estimated by anybody.

Bellew packs a thunderous punch and Cleverly would be best served not to let Bellew test his chin too much.

This fight has the potential to go down alongside the other great all British wars. Eubank-Benn, Clazaghe-Woodhall and Cooper-Bugner.

Promoter Frank Warren has said that the winner of this will be looking at the winner of Dawson-Hopkins, with the preference being the living legend Bernard Hopkins as he would be the bigger draw.

For me, this is the wrong direction to take either of these fighters in. Both are good fighters, Cleverly with the potential to be a real good boxer but the likes of Hopkins and Dawson, when his head is right, are levels above these two fighters at the moment.

Sweet Science UK prediction

I expect this to be a good old fashion tear up, with both fighters doing their best to knock each other out. The animosity between the two is so fierce that it makes DeGale and Groves look like the best of friends.

Bellew has said he’ll look to box Cleverly, which would be a mistake for him. Cleverly is a better boxer. Bellew’s best bet is to drag this into the trenches and turn it into a real war. If he catches Cleverly clean; we’ll really see how good his chin is.

Cleverly should really look to box Bellew and not get drawn into a slug fest; which can happen with Cleverly as we’ve seen in the past. He has to stick to using his skills and not get drawn into Bellew’s kind of fight.

I’m expecting a cagey opening couple rounds as both boxers try to figure each other out before things eventually explode into action. I do think Cleverly will look to stand toe-to-toe with Bellew and try and blast him out of there, even though I think this is the wrong option for him.

But I expect Cleverly to retain his title via a late stoppage.

Watch Cleverly-Bellew clash at the weigh in below:

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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.”