Monday, August 21, 2017
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Boxing

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Mayweather3Floyd Mayweather has confessed that his father is desperate for him to fight Bolton’s Amir Khan. Fresh after his convincing win over Marcos Maidana, the pound-for-pound king recently told reporters that he is tired of Khan trash talking all the time.

‘My Dad doesn’t like fighters trash talking his son – but he knows as well as I do that if the fight happens – then I am going to punish him. If he thinks he can trash talk me and get away with it he needs to think again.

‘He (Khan) is a good fighter – he has quick hands – but I am a far more intelligent fighter than him – and I could already tell you how I would beat him.’

He added: ‘My Dad wants the fight, I want to put him on his backside, so hopefully we can make it happen.

‘I have always said that nobody has any right just to get a fight with me. I am nobody’s pay day, I am nobody’s meal ticket. I take fights that I believe will test me, and will put on a good show for the fans.

‘I ain’t ever taken a fight just because somebody has been running off their mouth. If Khan gets his fight – it will be because I think he deserves a shot.’

If the fight is to happen, expect plenty of fireworks as Mayweather continues in his pursuit to reach the magical 50 – 0 record that would see him surpass the legendary record set my Rocky Marciano of 49 – 0.

Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather extended his unbeaten record to 47-0 with an emphatic victory over old foe Marcos Maidana with a dominating performance. The current boxing star silenced his critics with an adroit display of boxing skills that left his opponent often frustrated throughout the eagerly anticipated rematch in Las Vegas on 14 September.

Though the 37-year old champion won the unanimous decision, he was far from his best and at the start of the fight looked as though he may be in for a rough ride against his rugged Argentinian opponent. Maidana, who also lost a classic affair against Bolton’s Amir Khan in 2010, slips to a 35-5 record but has in the process received two of his biggest paydays against Mayweather.

Starting off brightly often cornering the champion in the early rounds, Maidana constantly pounded Mayweather’s body and in round eight, the champion’s frustration came to surface as he claimed to have been bitten on the glove by the Argentinian.

As the alarm bells started ringing, Mayweather used all his guile and experience to take control of the later rounds and eventually got the nod from all three judges. The judges scored the 12-round bout 115-112, 116-111 and 116-111. Adding to the immense fortune he has already managed to amass over his illustrious career, the champion picked up a cool $32 million for his latest efforts and leaves the world guessing over his next opponent.

Next Opponent?

Possibilities include Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Kell Brook and of course Filipino great Manny Pacquiao. The question is, how far and long will Mayweather dare to go? The big 50 will definitely be on his mind that would take him past the legendary Brockton Blockbuster, Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0. But the reality is that time is running out for Mayweather. Against Maidana he looked sluggish and flat-footed at times and his speed has diminished quite considerably. Mayweather’s greatest threat is Amir Khan.

Amir Khan

As much as the world want to see the super-fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao, Khan is the only realistic possibility of dethroning the champion. As long as he keeps focused and sticks to the game plan that his trainer Virgil Hunter will meticulously inculcate, Mayweather will find it very difficult to handle the speed, footwork and power of the much younger Bolton fighter.

But the question is, what will be Mayweather’s next move? Khan and Garcia are both too dangerous for him and Pacquiao has lost his mojo after back to back defeats. In saying that, the money involved would be hard to resist for both Pacquiao and Mayweather and the champions latest statements indicate that Pacquiao may finally get his chance. Whoever Mayweather fights next, it will be one hot ticket!

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If a Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen – Floyd Mayweather

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ADIL ANWAR – THE PLATINUM KID

Growing up in the nineties watching the likes of ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn and Mike Tyson would give any aspiring boxer the appetite to work hard and chase a dream of succeeding in this pugilistic sport. Though boxing has long had its detractors due to the unfortunate tragedies that have occurred in the ring in the past, notably in 1991 when Michael Watson suffered brain damage in a devastating defeat at the hands of Chris Eubank in their Middleweight title fight, boxing has always been an alluring sport to enter. But why would you consider boxing a boxer? It is one of the toughest and most competitive sports to enter and the likelihood of making it to the elite level are pretty low. Personalities such as Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis succeeded in taking the sport beyond the ring and into people’s lives and hearts with their impudence, larger than life antics and mesmerising skills in the ring. Hence, boxing is still one of the most popular sports amongst youngsters today and every time an aspiring boxer enters the ring for the very first time, he dreams of boxing like Ali, possessing the power of Tyson and live the lifestyle of current superstar Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.

One such youngster who grew up watching these greats on television was Leeds based welterweight boxer Adil Anwar. Starting his career at the tender age of 14, Anwar was encouraged by his father to take up the sport as he found it a good way of disciplining him and staying fit at the same time. “My dad was the one who took me to the gym and introduced me to boxing, and I took to it naturally. From there I developed a passion for the sport and couldn’t see myself not pursuing a career in boxing“, he tells the Urban Echo.

Growing up in Leeds, Anwar was mainly inspired by former heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali. Watching old videos of ‘The Greatest’ further enhanced his love for the sport and determination to make it to the professional ranks. Anwar tells us, “Like many boxers and people in general, Muhammad Ali was my boxing inspiration. He was an amazing athlete and an inspirational figure inside and outside the ring”.

But as Anwar quickly found out, boxing is very unpredictable and lonely sport as one punch can change the course of a fight as well as change the course of a career. In only his second professional fight he suffered a point’s defeat to Graeme Higginson. It was a bitter pill to swallow but it also gave Anwar a renewed passion and determination and in the process he went another eighteen fights undefeated and people started taking notice of the ‘Platinum Kid’.

Training every day of the week leading up to a fight and watering down to three days training when a fight is not scheduled, Anwar’s hunger for establishing himself as an elite fighter is just as intense as when he laced up the gloves for the first time many years ago as a kid. Although he lost his last fight to Chad Gaynor in a shattering knockout in round two, Anwar tells of his determination to succeed, “I have to stay dedicated. It’s an extremely tough sport with many ups and downs, but if you keep working hard and believing in yourself, it will be worth it in the end.”

Though the ‘Platinum Kid’ is currently fighting at welter-weight division, if the right fight does come along he will be willing to move down to light-welterweight. Currently ranked fourteenth in the country, Anwar’s potential matchups are very exciting and could be explosive. Domestic fights with the likes of current Commonwealth champion Willie Limond as well as a mouth-watering match up with former world champion Amir Khan at light-welterweight could be possibilities with the former being the best alternative as Anwar has all the tools to dethrone the Commonwealth champion.

The welter-weight division is full of big hitters as Anwar knows too well with his latest defeat against Chad Gaynor, who is currently ranked sixteenth in the UK. Depending on his next move and whether he overcomes his next foe, Anwar can potentially square up to bigger names in the division. Led by Sheffield based world title contender Kell Brook, other potential fights could be against Bradford based veteran fighter Junior Witter, Manchester’s highly rated Denton Vassell, or undefeated British and Commonwealth Champion Frankie Gavin.

With age still on his side, the next few years could be very interesting for the Platinum Kid! As Michael Buffer famously says before a fight… “Let’s get ready to rumble.”

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GREAT SPORTING EVENTS

IN THIS MONTH – September

Year – 1960

Location – Rome, Italy

Occasion – Games of the XVII Olympiad

Event – Final of the Boxing Light heavyweight Division

Competitors – Zbigniew Pietrzykowski (Poland) vs Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr (USA)

The 1960 Olympic Games in Rome are regarded today as one of the greatest Olympic occasions in history. Awash with talent from all around the world and held in one of the greatest cities in the world, Rome beat out Lausanne, Detroit, Brussels, Mexico City and Tokyo for the rights to host the games.

A total of 83 nations participated at the Rome Games with athletes from south Asian countries such as India and Pakistan also in the mix picking up three medals between them including a gold medal for the latter country in the men’s hockey competition.

But the Rome Olympic games will always be remembered for one athlete who went on to become arguably the greatest sports personality ever to walk the planet.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA on January 17, 1942, Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr (later known as Muhammad Ali) was a very active child and at the age of twelve started training at the local police station under the guidance of police officer and boxing coach John E. Martin after he complained to the coach that somebody had stolen his bicycle and he wanted to “whup” the boys who had taken it. Quickly realizing the potential and determination to succeed by the youngster, Martin coached the young Clay who went on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two National Golden Gloves titles and an Amateur Athletic Union National Title within six years. His next destination was the Rome Olympics and the brash eighteen year old was now full of confidence often predicting the results in advance. Clay started well in the second round of the competition stopping his opponent Yvon Becot from Belgium in round two with a devastating knockdown. The quarter final was a sterner test and Clay was forced to go the full distance against the durable Gennadiy Shatkov from Russia. Eventually Clay’s speed and flamboyancy easily outpointed his game opponent 5-0 on the scorecards. The semi-final was once again a tricky affair against the tough Australian, Anthony Madigan. Clay started well often confusing his opponent with his long, sharp jab and quick foot speed leaving Madigan desperate to land his trademark left hook in the hope of stopping his opponent. Unfortunately for Madigan he could only hit thin air and Clay went on to win on points 5-0. Clay’s opponent in the final was the experienced Polish boxerZbigniew Pietrzykowski. A bronze medal winner at the previous Olympic Games held in Melbourne four years earlier, the former light middleweight boxer was odds on favorite to win the gold medal. Pietrzykowski was seen by many as too experienced and too strong for his younger opponent and at the first bell he started by bullying Clay with body shots and right hooks. By round two Clay settled into his momentum picking his opponent off with precise jabs often coupled with powerful shots to the body. Clay would eventually wear down his opponent and dominate the fight to win 5-0 on the judge’s scorecards. Celebrating with his trademark shuffle (later known as the Ali shuffle) with both arms aloft, a new star was born.

After changing his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964, he would go on to become the greatest boxer of all time and the first boxer in history to win the World Heavyweight title on three different occasions (between 1964 – 1978) fighting some of the greatest boxers the sport has ever seen including the likes of Sonny Liston, Henry Cooper, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Larry Holmes.

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LET’GET IT ON!

Sheffield’s newly crowned world champion calls out Amir Khan for a showdown in England that could surpass the Groves-Froch II Wembley extravaganza.

Fresh after his victory in California by defeating Shawn Porter in California, newly crowned IBF Welterweight Champion, Kell Brook wasted no time in picking his next opponent. As bitter rival Amir Khan watched on in the studio whilst commentating on the fight, Brook at ringside called out Khan as the judges awarded him a majority decision with the scores 114-114, 117-111, 116-112.

The victory takes the Yorkshireman’s impressive record to 33-0 and could put him in line for a money spinner against current boxing king Floyd Mayweather Jr leapfrogging Khan’s ongoing struggles to secure a fight with the ‘Money Man’. Referring to his rival from his amateur days as “Queen Khan”, Brook goaded the Bolton boxer and former world champion into accepting the fight that could potentially take place in England next summer.

On a potential fight with Khan, he said: “The British public want it. He’ll probably say I need to win another title for the fight. I know he doesn’t like me. The fact is, he is getting it. I’m the champ of the world.”

Khan in return duly accepted the offer and if the fight is to take place, it could potentially become one of the biggest fights to take place on English soil for decades.

At this moment in time the tables have turned as Kell Brook is a world champion and Amir Khan is a former world champion. For the sake of boxing, this fight has to happen and bring two world class fighters together for what could be an explosive and dramatic affair and be a golden era for British boxing once again.

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