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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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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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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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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 Transnational Boxing Rankings Board: A Call to Arms to Save Boxing’s Soul

Imagine a world where at least four athletes walk away from each event in the Olympic Games with shiny gold medals.  Where on a Sunday evening every April at Augusta National, four or five different golfers pull out of Magnolia Lane and head for home with a winners’ cheque tucked into the breast pocket of […]

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Three Minutes: Foreman v Frazier I Round 2

Muhammad Ali’s star shone so brightly throughout the 1970s that it is easy to squint and blur the rest.  And when other figures from that golden age in heavyweight boxing do come into focus, it is invariably on account of their orbit having brought them into close proximity with the GOAT rather than an acknowledgement […]

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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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The Boxing Duck: Modern Fad or as Old as the Sport Itself?

We’re not sure exactly what James Whitcomb Riley had in mind when he very neatly illustrated the philosophy of inductive reasoning with his famous, if it walks, swims and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, line.  While it may have been simply a flippant remark to end a tiresome debate on the intricacies of […]

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Three Minutes: Tyson v Spinks Round 1

Towards the end of his eye-opening/watering 2013 autobiography, Michael Gerard Tyson compares the merits of his own heart to that which beats in the chests of modern-day prize fighters and can’t help lamenting the paucity of passion burning within the new breed.  “They spring from a milieu too meagre to comprehend my kind of reality” […]

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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 […]