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July 21, 2018
July 21, 2018
Mike Tyson

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OVER a quarter of a century ago today, on July 21, 1989, a near-peak and invincible-looking Mike Tyson defended his heavyweight titles against a talented boxer named Carl Williams – this fight marked either Tyson’s sixth defence as undisputed king  (since beating Tony Tucker in August of 1987 to capture all three alphabelt titles,) or it marked his second defence as the “real” undisputed ruler (since beating Michael Spinks in June of 1988 to win the lineal crown) – depending on your view.

In any case, a then 36-0 “Iron” Mike had no trouble whatsoever against the 22-2 Williams. Known as “The Truth,” 29-year-old Williams, tall at 6’4” and also athletic and in possession of a good left jab, had previously shown his qualities as a fighter by taking an ageing yet still capable Larry Holmes the full 15-rounds four years earlier. That close loss was Williams’ first crack at the heavyweight crown and now, against the feared Tyson, he was a huge underdog in getting his second shot.

The two had sparred a number of years before, with both men having differing takes on how the action, in Catskill, went. Tyson said that he was just a kid at the time and that Williams couldn’t do anything to him. While Williams stated to HBO that he had, after having endured a tough first day with Tyson, “busted him up” during the second day’s sparring. It was an interesting sideline to the fight at the Convention Centre in Atlantic City, but nothing more. To a fan, everyone felt Tyson would easily win.

Williams, though, was a good fighter. Fast, brave and having that nice jab in his arsenal, he had almost everything apart from a reliable chin. Williams had been down some seven times before his date with Tyson, and though he had a reputation for getting back up after being felled, his chin, the experts felt, would not allow him to survive too long against the 23-year-old champ known as “Kid Dynamite.” The experts were proven correct.

Williams, who certainly hadn’t frozen as had so many of Tyson’s opponents, took the fight to the champion and the action, as brief as it was, was interesting and exciting. Then, dipping inside, Tyson exploded a superb left hook flush on Williams’ suspect jaw. “Oh, what a left hook!” exclaimed Reg Gutteridge, doing commentary for ITV in the UK. Williams fell backwards to the canvas, struggled to pick himself up as he lay against the ropes, and was then deemed too badly dazed to continue. Williams had beaten the count, but referee and former fighter Randy Neumann chose to wave the fight off. Williams then went into a rage, claiming he had been clear-headed and fine to continue. Replays, though, showed how Williams, when asked if he was okay by Neumann, failed to either raise his hands or reply with anything other than, as Jim Watt said during his co-commentating duties, “a lifeless shrug.”

The time of the KO was just 93-seconds and once again, it seemed as though Tyson might never lose. Astonishingly, Tyson would lose in his very next fight, when massive outsider Buster Douglas shocked the entire world in Tokyo.

Williams never again enjoyed such a high profile fight, yet he did tangle with some notable names post-Tyson. Tommy Morrison stopped him, as did Frank Bruno. Williams retired in 1997 with a decent enough 30-10 (21) record. After boxing, Williams found employment as a security guard at Ground Zero, the scene of the terrible atrocities of September 2001.

Sadly, Carl passed away due to oesophageal cancer at the age of just 53 in April of 2013.

July 20, 2018
July 20, 2018
World Boxing Super Series

World Boxing Super Series

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THE quarter-finals for Season II of the World Boxing Super Series were set for the tournament’s Super-Lightweight and Bantamweight brackets at a Draft Gala Friday night at the Rossiya Theatre in Moscow.

With all sixteen participants in attendance, the fighters came face-to-face live on stage, with the seeded fighters picking their quarter-final pairing from the remaining four, except when predetermined by mandatory challenges.

The Draft Gala began with the Ali Trophy’s Super-Lightweight contenders taking to the stage. With number three seed Kiryl Relikh mandated to defend his WBA World title against Eduard Troyanovsky and number four seed Ivan Baranchyk ordered to fight Anthony Yigit for the vacant IBF strap, it was down to the top two seeds Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor to chose from the two remaining unseeded fighters.

As the tournaments top seed, WBC World Champion Regis Prograis had first pick and selected former WBO World Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan as his quarter-final opponent. Leaving hotly-tipped Scottish talent Josh Taylor to face fellow undefeated fighter Ryan Martin.

World Boxing Super Series

The drama at the Rossiya Theatre continued with the star-studded bantamweight bracket. A mandatory challenge determined IBF World Champion Emmanuel Rodriguez’s selection with the Puerto Rican set to face Australia’s unbeaten Jason Maloney.

Number one seed Ryan Burnett, who holds the WBA World title, selected ‘The Filipino Flash’, former four-weight world champion, Nonito Donaire. Second seed Naoya Inoue, the WBA ‘Regular’ Champion, chose Juan Carlo Payano as his quarter-final opponent. Meaning WBO World Champion Zolani Tete with begins his quest for the Ali Trophy against Mikhail Aloyan.

“These are sensational match-ups and I would hate to have to pick a winner in any of them,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “Season II of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy is going to be a truly global sporting competition and we can’t wait to get going.”

“We will soon announce our third and final weight class and I can assure that boxing fans will be in for a treat.”

WHAT THE FIGHTERS SAID

SUPER-LIGHTWEIGHTS:

WBC Diamond Championship: Regis Prograis vs. Terry Flanagan

Regis Prograis: “We are fighting for the Ali Trophy and Ali is a legend. He fought the best of the best and I want to fight the best of the best. Flanagan is a former world champion and that’s why I made this decision.”

Terry Flanagan: “You have to fight the best to win the tournament and I am here to win the tournament. I am confident in winning this fight.”

Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin

Josh Taylor: ”I am here to win this tournament so it doesn’t matter who I face in the first round. My boxing brain, speed and power I believe will give me the edge over my opponents in this tournament.”

Ryan Martin: “I am very confident and this is what I have been preparing my whole career for. Josh is clearly one of the best in the division so I’m excited!”

WBA World Championship: Kiryl Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovski

Kiryl Relikh: “I am looking forward to the fight. I want to win this tournament. The winner will become a super-star in the game.”

Eduard Troyanovski: “I am very happy to take part in the tournament and I feel confident in beating Kiryl. I am ready to take his belt.”

IBF World Championship: Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit

Ivan Baranchyk: “I am ready to fight and I will win this belt! I show everyone that I am the best in the division.”

Anthony Yigit: “It’s a great opportunity for me to show everyone what I am going up for. I want to entertain the crowd and I will take this home!“

BANTAMWEIGHTS:

WBA World Championship: Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire

Ryan Burnett: “He has been an amazing champion and he is a great fighter. I believe Nonito can bring out the best in me.”

Nonito Donaire: “I am very excited. I know that Ryan got what it takes so I am going to be at my best.”

WBO World Championship: Zolani Tete vs. Mikhail Aloyan

Zolani Tete: “I am looking forward to fighting the best fighters and the best fighters are here. I am looking forward to fight Mikhail.”

Mikhail Aloyan: “I am very proud that I have such an opportunity fight the best fighters in this tournament. I feel very confident that I have what it takes.”

WBA ‘Regular’ World Championship: Naoya Inoue vs. Juan Carlo Payano

Naoya Inoue: “It is an honour to be able to participate so I am excited. I am very confident that I will win this tournament.”

Juan Carlo Payano: “I am excited to fight Inoue and I am going for the win!”

IBF World Championship: Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Jason Maloney

Emmanuel Rodriquez: “I am happy for this fight and confident in defending my belt. I will do my best to win the tournament.”

Jason Moloney: “I am very confident that I can beat Emmanuel. He is a very good fighter as everyone in this tournament is. This is my time to shine. I’m ready!”

July 20, 2018
July 20, 2018
Liam Smith to fight Jaime Munguia

Action Images/Craig Brough

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LIAM SMITH hit the scales for his WBO super-welterweight title challenge against Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas on Saturday (July 21).

Liverpool’s Smith looked ripped, cutting a lean figure as he weighed in at 153.8lbs.

The champion, Mexico’s Munguia also made weight. He’s boiled his frame down to the exact same mark, 153.8lbs, smiling at the result.

They turned on one another for the obligatory face-off, Smith staring up at Munguia without flinching, the traces of a smile still playing across the Mexican’s face.

Munguia won his world championship in dramatic fashion, stunning Sadam Ali, the man who beat legendary Miguel Cotto in his last fight. Smith is the former holder of that same title, losing it to Canelo Alvarez in Texas in 2016. Now he wants to take back what was once his.

July 20, 2018
July 20, 2018
Josh Warrington

Action Images/Peter Cziborra

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Josh Warrington is intent on leading his army of Leeds fans across the Atlantic as he seeks to cash in on his reign as IBF featherweight champion.

The popular 27-year-old wrested the crown from Lee Selby in a thriller at Elland Road in May and now has his sights on the kind of exodus that could leave even Ricky Hatton in the shade.

Hatton famously took hordes of supporters with him Stateside for bouts against the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and Warrington harbours similarly big ambitions.


Elland Road Boxing
Josh Warrington won a thriller over Lee Selby in May (Dave Thompson/PA)

Warrington told Press Association Sport: “I’d like to unify the titles and hopefully then look at a big fight in Las Vegas and taking all the Leeds lot over there.

“My fan-base in Leeds is big enough to hopefully take over silly numbers. I’d love to replicate those Ricky Hatton days or even better than that.

“My first plan is to get more well-known around the country and that’s part of the plan that Frank Warren has set out for me over the next two years.  I want to become a nationwide star.”


Boxing – Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Weigh-in – MGM Grand Arena
Ricky Hatton famously took hordes of fans Stateside (Peter Byrne/PA Archive)

Warrington’s win over Selby took many by surprise and extended his professional record to 27 straight wins, enough to raise the realistic prospect of bouts against the likes of Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton.

Warrington added: “I’ve always taken every little step and it started with the ambition to become British champion. Then it was to become world champion and I’m not finished yet.

“When you reach the top people think you’re going to walk away and feel satisfied. But I don’t want it to sink in. I want to keep that fire in my belly and that hunger to go on to even bigger things.”


Warrington is currently taking time out to work with the Movember Foundation which aims to make men more aware of issues with their physical and mental health.

“I think when you’re in the limelight you can influence people in a positive manner,” added Warrington. “I’ve got a few guys in my team who have suffered with mental health issues so it’s a very important thing for me.”

:: The ManVan, funded by the Movember Foundation, is visiting Rugby League events across the country to raise awareness of men’s health issues. For more info visit https://uk.movember.com/

July 20, 2018
July 20, 2018
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Video: World Boxing Super Series

July 20, 2018
July 20, 2018
Jarrell Miller

Rosie Cohe/SHOWTIME

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THE draw for the quarter-finals of the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight and super-lightweight tournaments takes place in Moscow, Russia this evening and should, if the seeding is anything to go by, throw up one or two interesting matchups.

The seeds, announced this afternoon, are as follows:

At super-lightweight, (interim WBC champion) Regis Prograis is at one, Josh Taylor is at two, (WBA champion) Kiryl Relikh is at three, and Ivan Baranchyk is at four. Unseeded are Anthony Yigit, Terry Flanagan, Eduard Troyanovsky and Ryan Martin.

At super-bantamweight, (WBA champion) Ryan Burnett is at one, (WBA regular champion) Naoya Inoue is at two, (WBO champion) Zolani Tete is at three, and (IBF champion) Emmanuel Rodriguez is at four. Unseeded are Jason Moloney, Nonito Donaire, Juan Carlos Payano and Mikhail Aloyan.

Of course, while we wait for the draw, and do so with a great deal of anticipation, many of the quarter-final fights have already been made. Relikh, for example, must fight Troyanovsky, as per the WBA’s mandatory ruling, and Rodriguez must fight Moloney, for the same reason. Yigit and Baranchyk, meanwhile, will contest the IBF super-lightweight title in the quarter-final stage.

Boxing News understands a fight between Ryan Burnett and Nonito Donaire was being discussed for Belfast – meaning a return to Ireland for Donaire following his heroic exploits against Carl Frampton – but reports today suggest it might be Japan’s Inoue, rather than Burnett, who elects for the Filipino in the first round.

We shall soon find out.

Nonito Donaire


A couple of days after posting (and quickly deleting) a picture of Jimmy Savile on social media to rile Anthony Joshua, undefeated American heavyweight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller has been given an opportunity to work with Sky Sports on their heavyweight fight next Saturday (July 28) between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker.

It’s hardly the punishment he deserves for a calamitous attempt to be funny (?), but as a heavyweight with a big mouth, someone invested in the British heavyweight scene, the choice of Miller as a fight night pundit should come as no surprise.

“I am a student of the game and keep a close eye on the heavyweight division,” he told Sky Sports.

“Dillian Whyte versus Joseph Parker is a great, significant match-up.

“I look forward to giving the boxing fans watching Sky Sports a detailed view from my perspective on their physical and mental preparations for this exciting fight. See you ringside!”

We can put the Savile gaffe down to stupidity – Miller, after all, isn’t being paid for his intelligence – but it will be interesting to see what he can offer as a pundit. Moreover, it will be interesting to see what happens when the inevitable happens and he goes nose-to-nose with Dillian Whyte if the Brit gets past Parker and sends him the post-fight cue.

Failing that, I’m sure Anthony Joshua can be found somewhere in the O2 Arena, presumably close to the ring, and we all know ‘Big Baby’ is working on that fight at some point in 2019. As awkward as it is obvious, there’s no doubt those two will again cross paths on Saturday night – completely by chance, of course. Then: “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!” (“Just not right now, Big Baby. I’ve got another fight lined up, and then another one after that. For now, just push me and shout stuff.”)

Jarrell Miller

July 20, 2018
July 20, 2018
Murat Gassiev

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MURAT GASSIEV’S coach Abel Sanchez has studied Oleksandr Usyk ahead of Saturday’s Ali Trophy Final in Moscow and predicts problems for the Ukrainian if he doesn’t improve from his performance in the semi-final against Mairis Briedis.

“Usyk got skills, he is a very good fighter,” said Sanchez, known for creating and training world class fighters in Big Bear, California.

Russian Murat Gassiev is one out several champions who have been under the wings of the Mexican legend and his training methods.

“Dorticos, Usyk, Briedis, any of those guys, they are all very physical themselves so we have to be more physical. And I feel that our exercises and system make us a little stronger, a little better, a little faster than most guys,” said Sanchez.

Murat Gassiev

He has studied Usyk in detail ahead of the final and believes he has seen a chink in the armor of the first seed in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series.

“You can’t allow a fighter to be the one he wants to be and I believe Murat will be able to break Usyk down. Briedis allowed Usyk to move, allowed him to be first and when Briedis came close he was not effective.”

“But Usyk also allowed himself to be trapped and to be hit. If Usyk fights Murat the same way he fought Briedis he will be on his back before nine.”

“I always train my fighters to be the best they can be. It doesn’t matter what the other guys bring. How Usyk fought Briedis doesn’t mean he will fight Murat the same way. What you look for though is tendencies of what he likes to do and what he does after certain combinations. We have prepared Murat to be Murat and now Usyk will have to deal with him.”

The winner of Usyk-Gassiev at the Olympic Sports Complex will be the first boxer ever to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy and unify the cruiserweight titles in the four belt era.