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A Boy Named Steve Collins Jr

Ireland was a great place to be back in the mid-1990s.  World Cup qualification and Eurovision hegemony appeared a given, while the roar of a green, white and gold Celtic Tiger was ushering in an unparalleled, though ultimately arenaceous, period of economic growth and prosperity. Amidst the revelry, a Celtic Warrior rode the crest of […]

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The Third Man in the Ring: One Punch Too Early, One Punch Too Late

In Liverpool on the 22nd of this month, almost hidden within the stacked undercard of the Nathan Cleverly versus Tony Bellew rematch, George Groves will continue rebuilding his boxing world with a bout against the American super middleweight, Denis Douglin.  It will be exactly one day short of a calendar year from the moment, 25 […]

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Three Minutes: Saad Muhammad v Yaqui López II Round 8

Even by the standards of the traditionally harrowing backstories of rags-to-riches-to-rags prize fighters, the early years of the great light heavyweight, Matthew Saad Muhammad, are particularly heart-rending.  He was a 27 year old man before someone told him his birth name, and recollections of his time on earth as Maxwell Antonio Loach remained hazy until […]

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Three Minutes: Gatti Ward I Round 9

Round 9.  If you are going to produce a series of articles based on Ring Magazine’s coveted Round of the Year award, there is really only one place to begin.  Round 9.  The fact that, even with the above headline and photograph removed, boxing aficionados would already know we are talking about the first Arturo […]

antonew

Anto Connolly: Minimum Weight, Maximum Potential

It takes no great time, effort nor Poirot-esque powers of deduction, to pinpoint Anto Connolly’s three priorities in life.  In a very particular order they are as follows: family (partner Dee and young boys, Wyatt and Fionn), craft (professional boxer) and football team (Glasgow Celtic). The first literally screams out its presence to me from […]

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Frampton Quigg is No 50:50 Fight

Scott Quigg is a nice guy.  The number of fighters, managers, promoters and pundits to preface an opinion on the Bury boxer with a comment on his affability means that, despite having never met the man, I take his genuine pleasantness as read. Pronouncements of his niceness from rival camps are, of course, more often […]

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Floyd Mayweather: Loathing Without Fear in Las Vegas

I woke to watch this morning’s Mayweather v Maidana title bout with the intention of producing a bog standard write-up of the action.  I let social media alone during the fight before scrolling through reams of tweets immediately after.  The vast majority of people I follow are boxing writers, analysts or commentators of varying merit […]

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Jamie Conlan: The Calm Before & After the Storm

Before The folly of conflating the combatant and non-combatant shades of a boxer’s character is regularly lost on those not involved in the sport.  That fighters can be so brutal inside the ring and so gentle out is still viewed as a delightful paradox by many who, I can only presume, believe that boxers live […]

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The Night of the Jackal

For such a relatively small patch of land in the north east of Ireland, Belfast has a habit of producing very special sportsmen.  That rarest of rare breeds who, through the grace of God, are blessed with a particular, often intangible, gift that elevates them beyond the mere good and great and into the pantheon […]

carl6

The Carl Frampton Interview

I catch Carl Frampton just after 9pm on a Wednesday evening as he crosses the River Thames heading towards his temporary home in that most affluent of London boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea.  He is acclimatised now to the rarefied air breathed in by the Dukes, Earls and Knights listed as notable residents of the area, […]

kiko

The Kiko Martínez Interview

The sleepy Valencian pueblo of Torrellano nestles inconspicuously between Alicante and Elche in south eastern Spain.  With just 7,000 inhabitants and little to write home about, it is a small, rather unremarkable, one-horse town on the inner fringes of the Costa Blanca: but what a thoroughbred the sole caballo that resides there is. I meet the […]

RafaFed

Federer: Greatest of All Time or Second Best of his Generation?

There is a tennis Grand Slam tournament starting tomorrow and you all know what that means: reams of sycophantic articles in praise of the tennis doyen’s tennis doyen, Sir Roger Federer.  The Sir prefix is pure facetiousness on my part but it would not actually surprise me if a SW19 pressure group are currently lobbying […]

Kell

A Special Night for Kell

Kell Brook’s California dream became euphoric reality tonight as he took a majority decision verdict and the IBF welterweight title off American Shawn Porter at the StubHub Centre in Carson City.  It was a Bramall Lane-esque game of two halves as Sheffield’s new favourite son overcame a tentative opening to grow in confidence and do […]

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Carl, Kiko & the Book of Irish Invasions

The countries of Ireland and Spain have for centuries been brothers-in-arms.  In fact, their relationship began even before it actually began.  The largely mythical 11th century Lebor Gabála Érenn, or Book of Irish Invasions, describes how, long before Jesus walked the earth, the eight sons of the Galician Míl Espáine stormed Ireland to avenge their […]

marco

On The Waterfront Brawl

Before tonight’s Cyclone Promotions show, the Waterfront Hall hadn’t witnessed professional boxing since Eamonn Magee and Shea Neary went toe-to-toe in the final round of their grudge match fourteen years ago.  Much too long for a decent venue in a top fight city like Belfast if you ask me.  Magee was given a contested decision […]

drago3

The Russians (and members of former Soviet Republics) are Coming

Actually, they’re already here and have been for some time.  It is just that the American dominated boxing universe prefers not to draw more attention to the fact than is absolutely necessary.  The likes of the hermanos Klitschko and Gennady Golovkin aside, the American boxing public gives about as much respect to old Eastern Bloc […]