Will it be third time lucky for one British boxer?

Full Stop

Last weekend we had a massive bill in Hull and since then things have been a little quiet.

The traditional summer break, as I allude to later, is getting shorter every year so we are scraping about for news at times but there is always plenty of opinions in the boxing world!

By Donald C Stewart (@CommuneArts)

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One boxer never short of his own opinion is George Groves.

This week he has been talking of how confident he is that this shall be third time lucky for him.

Having fought in two world title fights already, both against Carl Froch, he has been spending time telling everyone who will listen that this is his time and he will take the belt off Badou Jack on the 12th September on the Floyd Mayweather Jr undercard.

Groves, whilst having plenty to say for himself is actually worth listening to as he promotes, manages and fights so has a rounded view of the boxing world.

Some may say he has taken on too much but no one would suggest he has not done his homework.

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Eddie Hearn this week revealed that negotiations are ongoing about a Scott Quigg/ Nonito Donaire fight.

We are all talking about Quigg and Carl Frampton getting in the ring but Quigg clearly has other ambitions and whilst the Frampton fight is a juicy domestic dust up, other fish are swimming round like sharks for both of our World Champions.

Floyd Mayweather Jr has also been speaking this week – in defence of his final fight choice.

Last week I was reflecting on legacies that come with final contests and opined that Mayweather has his pick.

Well he picked Andre Berto and Amir Khan, for one, aint happy.

Khan has been that shark swimming round Mayweather for a couple of years and many think Khan’s style would threaten Mayweather.

I think Khan has the beating of Mayweather and that is why Khan was doomed to miss out.

Khan thinks so too and is suggesting that Mayweather’s legacy is being tainted.

Mayweather calls this a dismissal of a very good boxer in Berto. Then again he would say that…

In other American news Lee Selby, the humble Welsh boxer from Barry – featured in a BBC documentary recently that was simply excellent – has signed a new deal with the man behind Mayweather, Al Haymon, and joins Khan, Frampton and James DeGale in a powerful stable of UK boxers with a top promoter in the USA.

He can now look forward to some big money clashes in the US which could send his career into the stratosphere.

One match that has been made – though it is a rematch – is Jamie McDonnell back in against Japanese fighter, Tomoki Kameda.

McDonnell beat him on points the last time out and will be expected to retain his title when the date for this fight is announced too.

If he fancies a UK fight thereafter Stuart Hall has been suggesting another rematch should be in his calendar…

Finally, if you thought that the heavyweight division was settling down to some form of normality, here comes Hughie…

Deontay Wilder, it is reported and confirmed by Peter Fury, has offered Hughie a chance of fighting him for the WBC heavyweight title.

The issue is that he has been offered it in around 4 weeks time and Peter is trying to get the date pushed back.

The issue for the rest of us is, that although Hughie is undefeated, this looks like Wilder once again picking opponents that are fodder and possible screwing up some careers along the way.

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There is no doubt that the Fury camp believe that Hughie could be a massive contender but throwing him in to the ring against Wilder at this stage of his career is not going to help him develop into any form of champion.

Then again stranger things have happened and who should deny the kid his chance if it is being offered…

Flash Back

Last Saturday in Hull in the Rumble on the Humber we saw some highly explosive action as well as some massive questions answered.

I happen to love Brian “The Lion” Rose as a fighter and what a fighter he proved to be last Saturday.

He went into the battle ground against Carson Jones, won the fight on points to answer those that thought he was finished, gave the fans a massive dust up and saved his career.

The lion with a heart can now plan for the future rather than reflect on his past.

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We also got one of the most embarrassing and bizarre ends to a fight seen in recent years as Prince Ofotsu’s corner carefully threw in his towel during the fifth round; Ofotsu even caught it!

Having warned Ofitsu that he needed to try harder and seeing Ricky Burns ready to offload some heavy shots, the trainer declared enough was enough.

It meant Burns managed another win, looked good and impressive, put himself in the mix for better lightweight contests by answering critics who thought he was washed up and left everyone else wondering what kind of flight home, fighter and trainer were going to have…

Super featherweight Martin Joseph Ward beat Sergio Blanco for the WBC international belt on points and has put himself very clearly in the world title mix as he showed his trajectory is going in the right direction.

Heavyweight and future Anthony Joshua opponent Dillian Whyte knocked Irineu Beato Costa Jr out in the first round.

It means we can all look forward to a very real and exciting fight between Whyte and Joshua.

I said last week that Whyte had been under the radar, this fight blew that radar open and now Joshua has two real tests on his hands to end 2015. If he gets through both – against Whyte and Gary Cornish then a world title opportunity should open up in 2016.

Gamal Yafai beat Angel Lorente at super bantamweight on points over 6 rounds in a fight was a comfortable workout whilst Stuart Hall did the same against Edwin Tellez.

Finally top of the bill was indeed one of the most hotly anticipated fights for some time – Luke Campbell v Tommy Coyle at lightweight. The questions asked before the contest were could Luke Campbell handle Coyle’s style?

Could Campbell handle the pressure of such a massive fight and could Coyle beat that guy tipped for the top?

Campbell handled Coyle and stopped him, the pressure was dealt with and Coyle was unable beat the guy tipped for the top.

Those were the questions answered and whilst Coyle was gracious in defeat and suggested that he was no more than a domestic fighter most agreed he was far more than that and Eddie Hearn for one is suggesting European fights.

For Campbell the next step on the ladder is to get into world title contention and the way Hearn is operating just now this looks highly likely in the next 12 months.

Talk of Campbell does, however, detract from the showing that came from Tommy Coyle.

Coyle took the fight to Campbell and showed what a heart he had. Along with Brian Rose on the night we saw the brutality and the fickleness of boxing.

Coyle will reflect that calling himself no better than a domestic fighter was pain talking at being defeated in the biggest boxing night of his life.

Calm reflection tells us that Yorkshire breeds them tough and whilst we are looking to Leeds for the next step on Josh Warrington’s career we must not forget that in Hull we have 2 great lightweights.

Our own Charlie Flynn also on the Hull bill, got his fourth win of his professional career, on points against Dan Carr. The biggest news not told of the night was Kristian Laight’s 219th fight where he won for only the 10th time.

Beating undefeated Carl Chadwick – OK it was only his 3rd fight – Laight had been under pressure as the British Board of Boxing Control had recently suspended him cos he kept losing!

Having heard of the passing of Len Woodhall, Laight went in to win one for him and did so.

The ten bells sounded for the passing of trainer Woodhall therefore came after a man who has dedicated his life to boxing won one for him and sounded just a little sweeter over the air waves.
Finally from last week in Belfast, Rhys Pagan of Sanquhar went to Belfast and fought undefeated Alfredo Meli for the Celtic Nations middleweight title and lost on points.

A disappointment for the Scottish fighter who would have been hoping a win would have pushed his career on domestically.

Fast Forward

In the next seven days we have no domestic boxing. It used to be that boxing in the UK took a big summer break but, like football that close season is getting smaller and smaller as we are back next week with some action.

In St Louis Missouri, tonight former multi weight world champion James Toney climbs back in the ring against Charles Ellis for a comeback at 47, in a bill promoted by himself that may appear more vanity than any real attempt to get back into any kind of mix.

Will it be his 10th loss or 77th professional win? I shall keep my eye out!

Future History

Saturday 15th August
Paisley – Sandy Robb v Jody Meikle at light heavyweight; Craig McEwan v Lee Churcher at middleweight; Ronnie Nailen v Nathan Decastro at middleweight; Craig Docherty  v Michael Kelly at super welterweight; and also at super welterweight Sam Allen v Marty Keyes.
Friday 21st August
Gateshead
6 fights
Friday 28th August
Hull
1 fight
Saturday 29th August
York Hall – 18 contests; Doncaster 12 contests
Friday 4th September
Walsall – 4 contests
Glasgow – bantamweight Scott McCormack; lightweight Charlie Flynn; welterweight Stewart Burt; lightweight Barry Craig; and featherweight Joe Ham
Saturday 5th September
Leeds – Josh Warrington v Joel Brunker for the Commonwealth and WBC international featherweight titles; British lightweight fight with Scott Cardle; light heavyweight and undefeated Callum Johnson; bantamweight Stuart Hall
London – Liam Smith v Kris Carslaw for the British super welterweight crown; Ryan Walsh v Samir Mouneimne for the British featherweight belt; and cruiserweight Ovill McKenzie
York Hall – Heavyweight action with Richard Towers v Kamil Sokolowski and AJ Carter v Igor Mihaljevic
Ravenscraig – welterweight Michael McGurk v Luke Kelehar; Connor Law v Mathew Mallin at super welterweight; super middleweights Scott Edgar v Krzysztof Golec; Scottish lightweight title fight between Jordan McRory and Sean Watson; lightweights Shaun McShane and Richard Barclay; welterweight James Thomson and Teodor Stefanov; welterweight Mathew McAllister; featherweight Darren Traynor; super flyweights Jamie Wilson and Stefan Slavchev; and the debut of super lightweight Jason Easton.
Friday 11th September
Corby – In an eliminator for the English cruiserweight title – Simon Barclay v Micky Steeds

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