NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09:  UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor takes part in UFC 205 Open Workouts at Madison Square Garden on November 9, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 676354763 ORIG FILE ID: 621958622

The May-Mac Illusion

I once described Floyd Mayweather’s 2015 mega fight with Manny Pacquiao as little more than a grand financial con. Well, Money May was up to his old tricks again tonight, albeit with a variation on the sting. Where May-Pac was a classic casino hustle, May-Mac was more a fantastical Las Vegas illusion, the audacity of […]

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Jamie Conlan: The Irish Gatti

On Saturday night, having just watched the Belfast super flyweight Jamie Conlan stop South Shields’ Anthony Nelson midway through the eighth round of a barnstorming Commonwealth title fight, I felt moved to tweet that we Irish and British fight fans now have our own Arturo Gatti to enjoy, a boxer seemingly determined to produce movie […]

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Ray, Jake & the St Valentine’s Day Massacre

The numbers and statistics that can be pulled from the great Sugar Ray Robinson’s record are truly extraordinary. A rapid and exemplary 85 and 0 amateur career preceded exactly 200 professional bouts, spread thick and heavy across a full quarter of a century. In that time he took on all-comers, from 129lb featherweights to 173lb […]

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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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A Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man

When we watch prize fighting, we see only the final external product of the two protagonists, and the feats or flaws we witness in the ring are almost exclusively physical in nature.  But at the elite level of boxing, a point where athletic excellence and intense dedication are a given, internal factors are often what differentiates the combatants: it is what they have or feel […]

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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 […]

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Frampton Teaches Avalos Some Manners in Belfast

If the temperature rose under the mock crystal chandeliers of the Europa Hotel’s Grand Ballroom at Friday’s weigh-in, the mercury surged north and burst free in the Odyssey Arena last night as super bantamweight champion of the world, Carl Frampton, destroyed his mandatory challenger, Chris Avalos, in thirteen and half raucous minutes. The Europa, as […]

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The Beautiful Brutality of Kevin Mitchell

There are various sports that, when played at the highest level by protagonists approaching peak performance, can be legitimately described as beautiful or brutal.  But it is perhaps only in the sport of boxing that the beauty and brutality arrive simultaneously: and even in the prize ring the occurrence is rare and fleeting. However, those […]

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The Rigolution May Now Be Televised

It was H.P. Lovecraft, that master of horror fiction, who first declared that the “oldest and strongest kind of fear is a fear of the unknown.”  When we can neither see nor fully comprehend something, imaginations are free to run wild and create their own hyperbolised reality.  That which may in fact be merely mildly […]

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Naoya Inoue: A Star from the Land of the Rising Sun

As 2014 draws to a close, two of the greatest boxers on the planet are strutting their stuff in the Far East.  One, Guillermo Rigondeaux, is in Japan through necessity.  As the most avoided fighter in world boxing today, he must set sail for whichever shores will yield an opponent willing to enter the same […]

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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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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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Mayweather Made to Work for his Money

It was the fight that Saúl Álverez should have given Floyd Mayweather last September.  A rodeo show brawl against an untamed criollo who puts his own personal safety a distant second to winning on his list of priorities.  Between weigh-in and first bell, Marcos “El Chino” Maidana bulked up to 165 lbs to enter the […]