Rivalry Rules

By luke / May, 18, 2011 / 0 comments

A lot is going on with me in the coming months, both in the ring and out, so expect to see plenty of activity on my blog and Twitter feeds.

Media-wise I’m in the current issues of Undisputed Fight magazine and Food Secret magazine, which have a great interview and article on me respectively, and I will be writing a column for them both in future issues as well – which will be fantastic. I will also shortly be posting up an interview with me on Primetime TV during their coverage of the Khan v McCloskey fight.

On the boxing front, last week Hennessey Sport won the purse bids again for the Tyson Fury v Derek Chisora British Title fight in July. It’s one to look out for and should be a good domestic clash and I’m happy that I am due to be defending my British title on the same bill.

It is two months away so I am just keeping in shape but last week I had two quality sparring sessions with Commonwealth titlist Liam Walsh and WBO European champion Dmitriy Nikulin.

I cannot wait to get back into the ring to defend my title and until then I’ll be keeping my eye on the other big fights on the horizon.

Saturday sees Commonwealth champion George Groves go up against British champion James DeGale at the O2 Centre, in what will be a grudge match with all the ingredients of being a great fight.

Will James walk over George with his amazing talent or will George shock the doubters and beat the Olympic champion?

Yet despite the intensity of the fight, they are both at the start of their careers so whoever loses can comeback stronger.

You just need to look at Michael Watson and Nigel Benn’s classic encounter twenty years ago to see that even though Benn lost that fight he came back stronger to win the world title twice. Nigel was the favourite in that fight and many thought he would walk over Watson, just as most experts expect James to.

I have seen George spar and he is a talented fighter. A couple years ago he came down to the TKO gym and did some rounds with the then 175lb British champion Tony Oakey. He had obvious talent and this fight with James is where he has a chance to show people what he is made of.

George seems the more polite of the two but James with his ‘Floyd Mayweather’-type persona sells tickets and looks like a future world champion.

Elsewhere in the super-middleweights, there are three good fighters out there at the moment in Lucian Bute, Andre Ward and Carl Froch. The winner of the DeGale v Groves fight will be twelve months from fighting one of the three in my opinion.

Boxing is filled with great rivalries. The ‘fabulous four’ comes to mind particularly; Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns. They all fought each other in some great fights which inspired me as a young child.

I would love my own rivalry as great careers are made of that. Fights with Devon Alexander, Timonthy Bradley, Joan Guzman, Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz are what I am focused on at the moment, and in the coming years I will be in some great fights.

British fighters like Carl Froch, Amir Khan, and a few years ago Ricky Hatton, had success in America after dominating Britain and their blue print is the one to follow.

James has said he hopes George comes to fight instead of boxing him, as he wants to stop George by the fourth round, so George has to fight to his own game plan to get a victory.

Staying calm and composed in this fight will be hugely important.

They were ex-teammates at the Dale Youth in Ladbroke Grove and this is fuelling the fire for James as he feels he was at the end of a controversial decision in the Northwest divisional finals many years back.

I was present and tend to agree with James but with that loss he went on to win an Olympic gold, which may not have happened had he won. George went onto win two National ABA titles.

I think James DeGale will have too much for George Groves but as I’ve said in previous blogs, at top-level boxing the underdog can always win as I have shown many times.

It will be an entertaining fight and I’m sure both the winner and loser will go on to have good careers.

Nathan Clevery also challenges Juergen Braehmer for his WBO 175lbs world title on the same bill. Frank Warren has stated that he would like to see Nathan fight the great and ageing Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal, who fight on the same night in Canada, after their controversial draw which happened last year.

I don’t know if Nathan is ready for the world’s elite just yet but he has time on his side so I’m sure Frank won’t be in a rush to send his Welsh star ‘to the lions’ just yet.

Whatever happens, Frank Warren has put together a big show and I’ll be watching the festivities ringside.

It’ll be one not to miss.

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