Introducing John L. Sullivan 1923

The Heavyweight King

Tyson Fury knows what the alphabet gangs do not: They don’t decide who the real champ is. Showtime’s Brian Custer recently referred to Deontay Wilder as the “world heavyweight champion” and so contributed to the mass confusion in boxing. Would-be fans —precisely the demographic the sport needs to attract— scratched their heads and wondered what […]

BOXING

Behind the Scenes on the Frampton Quigg Press Tour

When Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg signed the contract for their much anticipated IBF and WBA super bantamweight unification fight live on Sky Sports News, it was an indication that, as sporting events go, this is a particularly big one. That fact was brought into even sharper focus last week as the boxers and their […]

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The Sergio Prado Interview

When Jon Slowey withdrew from Friday night’s All On The Line card in the Waterfront Hall, it looked like the Marco McCullough curse was still going strong. The likeable Shankill featherweight hasn’t had the best of luck in 2015, with injuries, cancellations and shock defeats combining to make this year look like one he’d quickly […]

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The Conrad Cummings Interview

On the eve of the biggest fight of his life, I tracked down unbeaten middleweight prospect Conrad Cummings at his London training camp. There’s a likeability about Barry McGuigan’s 7 and 0 middleweight prospect, Conrad Cummings. Time in his company gives you a strong sense that what you see is what you get with the […]

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The Josh Taylor Interview

Five or six years ago, Barry McGuigan was telling anyone who would listen about a kid he had that was going to take over the world. “Calm down Barry,” we all thought, “go easy on the hyperbole.” That kid’s name was Carl Frampton, the current IBF super bantamweight champion of the world. Today McGuigan is […]

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Segundos Fuera: Friday Fight Night in Madrid

Earlier this year I penned an article in the Guardian questioning why a sport-obsessed country like Spain displays such indifference towards the sweet science. I described Spanish boxing as having been subject to a standing eight count for more than a generation and, while most involved in the sport here reluctantly agreed with my assessment, […]

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Postponed but Not Forgotten

Another year, another Tyson Fury opponent rendered unfit for purpose before the big man has had a chance to lay a glove on them. It is true that, given the limits fighters push themselves to and beyond in training, injuries and postponements have long been accepted as part and parcel of the bloody game. Fate, […]

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147lbs After Floyd: Al Haymon’s Private Playground?

And just like that, as mysteriously as he arrived, he was gone. For a while, anyway. The displays of faux indifference and cries of good riddance were to be expected in the aftermath of Floyd Mayweather Jr. outclassing Andre Berto in a glorified Vegas sparring session last weekend and subsequently confirming his retirement. A vocal […]

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Three Minutes: Corrales v Castillo I Round 10

Diego “Chico” Corrales should be celebrating his 38th birthday today. He should be waking up to hugs and presents from his wife and five adoring kids. He should be spending the day with his loving mother, step-father and two brothers that idolise him. Basically, he should be enjoying his existence and easing towards middle age […]

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Let the Clamour for Frampton v Quigg Intensify

At one point it looked like their respective first bells would chime simultaneously, like final-day-of-season football games in which one team’s result could affect the performance of another. And despite the ire of the millions desperate to enjoy both, perhaps that would have been fitting. Yesterday, at around 10pm in Manchester and 4pm in Texas, […]

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From Belfast to Banús: Jamie Conlan is Primed for the Big Time

“He’ll be a world champion within two years.  I’m absolutely certain.” Boxing trainer Danny Vaughan, a softly spoken Liverpudlian with over 20 years’ experience in the sport, is not one for hyperbole so when he tells me this, I know he believes it. The subject is his newest charge, Jamie Conlan, and we are standing […]

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Floyd & Manny: The Greatest Fight Ever Sold

Almost a week has now passed since I sat silently alone in an incipient Madrileño dawn to absorb the biggest prize fight of a generation.  My solitude was a function of the general indifference the average Spaniard feels towards the sweet science: particularly bouts that take place at 6am on a Sunday morning.  The silence […]

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Three Minutes: Pacquiao v Márquez IV Round 6

It is as jarring an image as we’ve seen in an elite-level boxing ring this century.  A recumbent Manny Pacquiao, prostrate and unmoving on the canvas floor, momentarily oblivious to the bedlam descending around him.  Some, his trainer and promoter among them, later confessed to having feared the very worst.  His wife and teenage sweetheart, […]

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Three Minutes: McGuigan v Cruz Round 15

Everything was a little off that igneous day in Las Vegas.  The location, the climate, the opponent, McGuigan himself: nothing felt quite right. Belfast and London had hosted the vast majority of Barry McGuigan’s glory nights, but after his historic victory over the legendary Eusebio Pedroza, the newly crowned featherweight champion of the world understandably […]

Erik Morales fights Marco Antonio Barrera at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Three Minutes: Barrera v Morales III Round 11

In the opening years of the 21st century, a mutual antipathy between two future Hall of Fame fighters festered and then flourished down Mexico way.  As Marco Antonio Barrera and Érik Morales rose triumphantly through the weight divisions, so their dislike for one another appeared to increase exponentially. Unusually for professional boxing, this shared enmity […]

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Kovalev Stops Pascal in Eight

The Sunday morning headline writers probably checked the pre-fight odds and thought they were in for an easy shift.  Massacre in Montreal.  Carnage in Canada.  Krusher Kovalev KOs …. You get the general alliterative idea.  But while the final result, Kovalev by TKO between rounds eight to twelve, was exactly where all the smart money […]