DeGale: Put Up or Shut Up time

15 10 2011

James DeGale is ready to “win in style” as he looks to claim the European super-middleweight title from Piotr Wilczewski tonight.

DeGale: Back in action

DeGale, fighting for the first time since his controversial defeat to bitter rival George Groves, believes he will rise to the occasion and silence his critics.

DeGale told “I’ll win it style, just to shut the doubters up.”

Despite the loss to Groves, it’s DeGale who has landed the shot for the European title.

This is a massive chance for DeGale, with a win putting him in the frame for a potential world title fight at some stage next year; not to mention the eagerly anticipated rematch with Groves.

Sweet Science UK prediction

It will be a tough fight for DeGale as his opponent has only lost one of his 30 fights but I expect DeGale to really put on a show and earn a stoppage victory, somewhere between the 7th and 9th round.

DeGale will have to put any talk or a rematch with Groves out of his mind during tonight’s bout and concentrate on the task ahead of him and let his boxing skills do the talking.

If he does that; he wins this fight and the rematch with Groves will come.


Barker suffers late KO

3 10 2011

Darren Barker’s brave world title bid ended courtesy of an 11th round KO at the hands of Sergio Martinez.

Barker fails in title bid

Barker put up a valiant effort as he stifled Martinez attack and limited the champ to very few openings.

The champions’ power eventually told though as he landed a brilliant right hand that caused Barker to hit the canvas.

Barker proved a lot of people wrong by lasting as long as he did with Martinez and limiting the champ to very few attacks.

But Barker rarely troubled Martinez, despite giving the champ a bloody nose in the 4th.

Barker continued to work the bloody nose of Martinez in the 5th  but Martinez stepped it up a gear in the 6th and landed with some good combination work. Martinez began to show his class and finished the 7th and 9th round better.

The champ stepped it up a notch again in the 10th as he rocked Barker with two solid rights which caused Barker to return to his high shell guard to see out the round.

As Barker tried to open up in a bid to win the round in the 11th, Martinez landed that high right that caused Barkers’ knees to buckle and end the fight.

Barker walked Martinez down well enough, with his high shell defence working well. Yet it was his failure to really let his hands go when he had the chance that really put Barker at a disadvantage.

If you don’t throw punches, you don’t win fights.

Martinez, who wasn’t at his best, kept his hands low throughout the fight, almost goading Barker to trade with him. Had Barker done this, it is quite likely that he would have been KO’d earlier and this could be one of the reasons Barker was unwilling to let his hands go.

Barker by no means disgraced himself and should get himself a world title fight again; but he has to learn from this fight. He has a very good defence and a good boxing brain; but has to throw more punches.

On a side note; I can’t believe that Sky Sports Jim Watt had the fight (I believe) even going into the 11th round.

Yes Barker did well; but he wasn’t doing enough to win the rounds. In a championship fight, as the challenger, you have to WIN it. You have to be more active and really take the title from the champion, especially if your fighting away from home. I had Barker winning 2, possibly, 3 rounds. I do find it very odd how Jim Watt managed to score it the way he did; but we all look for different things in boxing.

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.

Khan’t please everyone

11 04 2011

Khan-McCloskey: Schedule change

Amir Khan’s title clash with Paul McCloskey will now be shown live on the cable station Primetime.

The fight, which was promoted as a Sky Box Office event only two months ago, has now fallen into the hands of the cable network station after Sky decided to pull the plug following several changes to the bill.

Sky did believe the fight will still be screen live on Sky Sports 3 after financial terms were initially agreed with the Khan camp but that is no longer the case.

A Sky Sports spokesperson said: “Khan vs McCloskey will not be shown on Sky Box Office or any of the Sky Sports channels as it has not proved possible to reach an agreement on TV scheduling.

“Financial terms were agreed and a solution was offered for the fight to appear on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3 following the decision not to broadcast on Sky Box Office. It was not accepted.”

Despite this obvious setback Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive, told The Sun: “There is no doubt that Amir is boxing’s next true superstar and, as a world champion, is a fighter that now commands pay-per-view billing.”

Now while I do agree with Schaefer to an extent, the fact Sky scrapped their box office plans for this fight should serve as a big warning to the Khan camp. While he is a fans favourite, he is not in the Ricky Hatton mould over here and there is a lot of work to be done on that front and he is not a huge star in America either, so Schaefer should be very careful about calling Khan “boxing’s next true superstar” as there are plenty more viable candidates.

Sadly not a lot of people will see this fight now as not many people have access to the Primetime channel, just ask Carl Froch, but Khan will have to win and win in style in order to get fans back on his side because at the moment something isn’t quite right with the chemistry.

And if this is the case, Schaefer and Khan can forget about being “boxing’s next true superstar”.

See below for a fan made promo video for the fight:

Hayemaker Promotions calls out rivals

6 03 2011

Hayemaker Promotions

George Groves has called out long-term rival James Degale in a bid to get the fight on, following his win over Daniel Allotey on Saturday night.

Groves, along with manager and trainer Adam Booth, told Sky Sports: “I’ve told everyone before, it’ll be a Groves win. Whether it be by knock-out or points, I don’t really care. He knows I’ve got his number.”

Adam Booth, who also manages and trains WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, has also hinted that the long-awaited fight between Haye and Wladimir Klitschko is very close to being a done deal.

Booth told Sky Sports: “We’re very, very close. Everything seems to be doing better than ever at the moment. I’m going to wait a few days because there is going to be a lot happening.”

Both fights, if confirmed, would excite the British public as well as the wider boxing world, in an age when so many big fights seem to collapse during the negotiation period. (i.e. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.)

Below is the full post-fight interview with George Groves and Adam Booth.