December 7, 2016
December 7, 2016
Anthony Joshua vs Eric Molina

Action Images/Ed Sykes

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HEAVYWEIGHT sensation and IBF champion Anthony Joshua takes to the ring in Manchester on December 10 when he defends his title for the second time against Eric Molina. In what many regard as his toughest test yet, the former Olympic gold medal winner will look to make a big statement with 2017 looming, a year which could see him being involved in a number of career defining fights. Betsafe, one of the world’s leading boxing publications Boxing News and former light-welterweight champion Ricky Hatton step into the ring again ahead of the fight with this comprehensive betting preview.

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December 7, 2016
December 7, 2016
David Haye

Eddie Keogh

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DAVID HAYE insists landing a world title fight has nothing to do with rankings, but rather how much money a fighter can bring to the negotiating table.

Haye is highly ranked by numerous governing bodies but will fight WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew on March 4 in a bout that will do little for his heavyweight standing.

In fact Hughie Fury will leapfrog Haye into the WBO’s mandatory challenger spot, although the former two-weight king is well aware that market value will take him much further.

“Getting a world title fight isn’t about your ranking, it’s about how much money you bring to the table,” he said.

“This fight is the biggest grossing fight the O2 Arena has ever staged. When I fought in Manchester it was huge.

“Every time I’m in a biggish fight, this is a non-title fight, and it’s sold more tickets than Anthony Joshua’s fight.

“I know I’m the draw and I’m sure it’ll reflect in the pay-per-view numbers as well. When it comes to challenging for a world title, that’s on the table, as opposed to me just being some random guy who’s really dangerous and doesn’t bring any money to the pot. That’s always helped me throughout my career.

“I’m not concerned about what this does for my current heavyweight standing, all it will do is show this is a massive event.”

The fight has generated an enormous amount of interest and their fiery press conference last week only added to the intrigue, though Bellew is a significant underdog with the bookmakers.

While Haye acknowledges his status as favourite, he is not taking Bellew lightly – especially as blockbuster fights against the likes of Anthony Joshua potentially lie in wait.

“Tony Bellew can say what he wants but this is, by far, the biggest fight he’ll ever be involved in. He’s never even been on an undercard of something as big as this,” he continued.

“I learned that lesson many, many years ago, taking people for granted.

“Tony Bellew will come in stronger, faster and fitter than he ever has because he knows he has to. He can’t come in and get hit with shots like he did against BJ Flores because if he takes one of those, he’s a sleep. Whenever someone faces me they raise their game two or threefold.”

Bellew, originally a light-heavyweight although he did box as a heavyweight in the unpaid ranks, never appeared on Haye’s radar until he won the European cruiserweight title against Mateusz Masternak last year.

Haye allegedly tried to lure Bellew  onto one of his undercards, rather than box for the European title, which apparently caused a rift between the two. The Liverpudlian went on to win the WBC world title.

Haye said: “I never considered him a potential opponent until he won the European title. When they spoke about moving to cruiserweight and fighting for the European title I wasn’t too sure how he’d do but he’s achieved his potential at cruiserweight, now he has this massive fight at heavyweight and I think it’s a step too far for him.”

December 7, 2016
December 7, 2016
Anthony Joshua undercard

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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Click HERE for what happened when Dillian Whyte met Dereck Chisora

December 7, 2016
December 7, 2016
Muhammad Ali

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ARGENTINIAN Oscar Bonavena is certainly one of boxing’s more colourful characters, with his life outside the ring perhaps being more memorable than his career in it. He never won the world title, but gave everyone he fought a tough night, including on this day in 1970, “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali.

Ali, for whom this was the second fight back following his three year layoff, and claimed to the media that Bonavena would “be mine in nine” and he entered the fight as the 6-1 favourite to claim the NABF heavyweight title, and secure himself a big fight with heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.

Bonavena was not a man to overlook though, having already given Frazier one of the toughest nights of his career, and he definitely knew how to rile Ali. At the weigh in he taunted Ali about his decision not to go into the Army saying, “Why you no go in Army? You big chicken. Chicken!”

Ali responded in kind with “please! Tell everyone to go to your theatres. I have never had a man that I wanted to whup so bad!” The near 20,000 crowd at Madison Square Garden turned up expecting an early Christmas treat, following the war of words.

It was broadcast all over the USA, in 150 closed circuit locations, and there was a lot of expectation surrounding Ali who was having the second bout of his comeback following his famous suspension.

Many were even anticipating that he could stop Bonavena, a feat that had never been done before, to cement his place as the main contender to Frazier’s title and regain the crown that he never lost in the ring.

Ali delivered, but it wasn’t in the round he predicted, as the teak tough Bonavena would not go down without a fight. The bell rang to start the 15th and final round, with time running out for Ali to become the first man to stop the Argentine.

There was no doubt he would win the fight – despite showing signs of ageing for the first time in his career – with referee Mark Cohen having him 12-2 up, Joe Eppey 10-3-1 and Jack Bloom 8-5-1. He improved in the final round, and with 57 seconds to go he put Bonavena down for the third time, forcing the stoppage on the three knockdown rule, to pick up a huge victory and move on to a historical fight next time out.

Almost a year later, he would lose to Frazier in The Fight of the Century. That rivalry, of course, did not end there.

As for Bonavena, he passed away in 1976 after he was shot on orders, following an affair with a former manager’s wife. His body was left in state in Luna Park in Buenos Aires, where it was visited by over 150,000 people before he was buried.

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December 7, 2016
December 7, 2016
Lucian Bute

Esther Lin/Showtime

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FORMER world super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute will fight unbeaten light-heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez on February 24 2017.

Bute failed a drug test after his draw with WBC super-middleweight champion Badou Jack earlier in the year and after paying a fine and serving a six month ban, is now eligible to box again.

It has since been announced he will fight Montreal-based Colombian Alvarez at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City. With both men living in Quebec, the clash is set to be big business.

Alvarez, mandatory challenger for the WBC title, will set up a clash with world champion Adonis Stevenson should he move past the ageing Bute. Alvarez last fought in July when he outpointed Robert Berridge and is set to fight Norbert Dabrowski this weekend.

Bute’s only fight of note at light-heavyweight came in 2014 when he was utterly dominated by Jean Pascal.

December 7, 2016
December 7, 2016
Dereck Chisora

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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DERECK CHISORA and Dillian Whyte are due to box for the British heavyweight title on Saturday at the Manchester Arena. But Wednesday’s press conference spiralled out of control. There was bad blood festering between the two after they came to blows on a television appearance weeks earlier. There was concern hostilities would boil over today, which proved well founded.

After Whyte had said their grudge would continue after the fight, Chisora was outraged, complaining that his life had been threatened.

Then he stood and launched a table over the heads of promoters Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland and trainer Mark Tibbs at Dillian Whyte. Security had to contain both parties as they tried to brawl in chaotic scenes.

The British Boxing Board of Control had already instructed the two to be kept apart, there was no face off expected for instance, but the Board will surely take an even dimmer view of this altercation.

Watch the press conference here:

December 7, 2016
December 7, 2016
Bernard Hopkins

Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

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LEGENDARY former two-division world champion Bernard Hopkins  (55-7 2, 32 KOs) was recognised by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney with an honorary ceremonial Liberty Bell to commemorate his final career fight against Joe Smith Jnr for the WBC International light-heavyweight title set for Saturday, December 17 at The Forum in Los Angeles. The bout will be televised live on HBO.

Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, joined Hopkins and Mayor Kenney to celebrate the former’s legendary career that spans four decades.

Following the presentation with Mayor Kenney, Hopkins hosted a media workout in Philadelphia at Joe Hand Boxing Gym ahead of his “Final 1″ 12-round fight with Joe Smith Jnr.

Hopkins was joined by his head trainer John David Jackson and his promoter Oscar De La Hoyafor the media workout.

All photos: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

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