BOXING AND THE RECESSION
Here in New York there is a discernible and growing feeling of outrage in the air. The residents are seriously unhappy with the Wall Street bankers and the US Government.
I am constantly reading about corrupt and ineffectual politicians and it’s clear that the financial situation has finally taken its toll on the New Yorkers.
The dollar has been devalued, the education and health systems are not in the best shape and the banker’s excesses continue to be a visible strain on Americans.
More than 5,000 New Yorkers took to Times Square in Manhattan to voice their disapproval of Wall Street.
The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement flooded Times Square and similar protests took place in cities around the world.
Over 80 countries had ‘anti-austerity’ demonstrations with many turning violent.
The Wall Street movement has now amassed $230,000 from donations.
Interestingly, Hip-Hop mogul, Russell Simmons’ cash was rejected by the movements CFO, 21 year old art student, Victoria Sobel, but activist Michael Moore’s $1,000 was graciously accepted.
The straight talking speakers in Times Square criticised the United States capitalist leaders to roars of approval. The movement claims banks and businesses have unfairly tilted the economy towards the wealthy while the middle and lower classes suffer.
This has the feeling of the beginning not the end.
Even my gym in Brooklyn has had to look closely at its finance’s and felt forced to start cutting staff pay. I personally know of 5 staff members who have walked out in disgust.
I witnessed some of the gym instructors with over 20 years unblemished service, shed tears as they were forced to leave their place of work and genuine friends behind.
Everyone is hurting.
There is no doubt that the whole of America is feeling the financial strain.
I’m staying in Brooklyn whilst I am here and I see adults going off to work and kids going to school, all hoping for that better future. While kids are going to college to get their education, there is a growing feeling that there will be no jobs waiting for them when they graduate.
This is starting to feel all too familiar.
America is in a similar predicament to Britain. However, the political approaches feel so different.
It appears that President Obama has chosen to go the opposite route to Prime Minister Cameron. He is investing in America while Cameron is cutting public services in Britain.
The gamble of allowing all comers into the Eurozone is unravelling.
The Greeks should never have been allowed into the Eurozone, as now they are a massive strain on the European Union’s governments, who are spending billions they cannot afford on keeping Greece afloat.
The Greek government fiddled its data to gain entry into the EU. The EU’s fixation on building the ‘United States of Europe’ meant they took Greece’s false financial situation at face value, without careful consideration or the necessary due diligence and now they have to pay for their complacency.
Governments don’t suffer it’s us the people that pay the price.
Even though Britain is not part of the Eurozone, the EU commissioner, Jose Manuel Barroso, thinks we should help bail out Greece as we gave £7 billion to support Ireland.
Ireland is our closest neighbour, and we share a deep and historic relationship with them. Germany and France seem to be the two countries in the EU who will have to put the most money into Greece, as the other two major Eurozone economies, Italy and Spain, are broke right now.
I hope Prime Minister Cameron sticks to his guns, as we didn’t get Greece into their current situation. We warned everyone about joining the Euro, but they chose not to listen.
We have our own crisis at home with all public services being cut, we cannot afford to give money to other countries that we clearly don’t have. Right now we need to look after our own.
I fear that 2012 will see the rise of civil unrest leading to strikes in the UK, as the savage austerity measures start to take hold on everyday people.
David Cameron must stay firm and strong, just like Margaret Thatcher did 32 years ago in the ‘winter of discontent’.
In times of financial crisis, boxing tends to thrive as people look to escape from their financial troubles and go to watch a good honest punch up.
In America, during the great depression of 1929 to 1940, boxing thrived with some historic matches that brought many different people together.
Recent immigrants to America joined the downtrodden and thrived in a boxing industry which saw Jewish, Italian and Irish fighters become boxing stars across America.
They became the heroes that the hungry crowds could relate to in place of their failing and ‘out of touch’ politicians.
History has that horrible habit of repeating itself but the politicians never seem to learn the lessons.
The world has been here before, and recovered to thrive again.
This time around, given the immediacy of global TV coverage and social media, people of all nations across the planet will band together to demand the necessary actions that will steer us out of this crisis.
TALENT IS NO LONGER ENOUGH
My second week of training camp in New York has been excellent. That unique feeling of getting in better shape every day is both intoxicating and ‘un-missable’.
My strength and cardiovascular conditioning is going really well. My boxing workouts at Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn have been seriously on point. They can last up to three hours, despite their breathless nature it leaves me feeling like a ‘caged beast’.
The slight downside is that I get so focussed and ‘tunnel-visioned’ that I tend to lose sight of just about everything, and can unintentionally cut people off and become very emotionally detached. Thankfully, those close to me have come to understand this, and (most of the time), no longer take it personally. It’s the toughest game and demands 100% commitment – there are NO short cuts!
I sparred with World title challenger Dmitriy Salita at the Starrett City gym in Brooklyn. Dmitriy is unfortunately best known for his terrible showing against Amir Khan in Britain, but he is so much better than what he showed that night.
I am currently weighing 152lbs, which is 12lbs over my Junior Welterweight championship limit. I tend to drop 2lbs a week in training camp and therefore, make the weight comfortably. For my title defence with Jason Cook, my weight was a comfortable 138lbs and my energy, stamina and performance was there for all to see.
This is deep preparation for my upcoming mandatory title defence against English Champion Nigel Wright, on Saturday 10th December in Peterlee, Sunderland, in the north of England.
As a British champion it is important to defend the title against all comers, anywhere and everywhere. So going up north to beat Nigel Wright in his backyard is absolutely no problem for me.
Despite having to travel and going into the lion’s den, it provides a huge adrenalin rush and any true champion must want to do this again and again.
Amir Khan will be defending his world titles against Lamont Peterson on the same night in Washington DC, where Peterson is from. You cannot fault Khan’s courage or confidence.
Going into the lion’s den gives you that extra and unique buzz that real fighters crave. The home town fighter has a seemingly intimidating crowd cheering his every move and jeering the champion.
I personally love and thrive on the adversity. My best performances have happened abroad when I am in my opponent’s territory and hugely fired up – you have been warned. I’m in a feisty mood and getting hungrier for the fight by the day.
This weekend saw a night full of quality fights on both sides of the Atlantic. James DeGale picked up the European Super Middleweight title in a very close fight that could have gone either way.
James demonstrated that he has heart as well as talent. He really must not be allowed to end up like former Olympic and World champion, David Reid, who was fast tracked and eventually badly burnt out within a few years of reaching the top.
There is no substitute for experience, no matter how good the ‘raw talent’.
James can be a World champion, but from where I sit, he really needs to be a little patient and gain the necessary experience. He desperately wants to fight for a World title by the London Olympics in 2012, but I feel he needs to wait a little longer maybe until 2013. Carl Froch, Andre Ward and Lucien Bute are quite a bit above him at this point in his career, but he can get there. Patience is the key.
The much awaited and angry local British affair for the WBO 175lb World championship saw Nathan Cleverly beat Tony Bellew in a war of attrition, nutrition and conditioning. Bellew has come down from being an amateur heavyweight and a professional cruiserweight, and has looked less than ‘honed’.
Bellew started boxing nicely and winning rounds but as he got tired, Cleverly’s better conditioning and experience took over, and saw him win by the smallest of margins (despite the insultingly wide margins by two judges).
Tony had talked a lot and loudly in the build-up to the fight and he certainly backed up his boasts, despite not winning. He clearly demonstrated that he is a talented fighter and with three ABA championships behind him he has the same quality amateur pedigree as Joe Calzaghe.
He will come again.
Nathan Cleverly was also very good, but perhaps not quite ready for the world’s best just yet. Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Jean Pascal and Tavois Cloud are the four top fighters in the division. Nathan is Europe’s best, but he has a way to go before he is in the league of the world’s best.
Frank Warren is very shrewd and not keen on risking his champions unnecessarily stateside, so I will be very surprised if Nathan fights any of the top four fighters in the near future.
The world’s two top light-heavyweights went at it in Los Angeles. The ever young, 46 year old, Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins defended his World title against ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson.
A few years ago, Chad Dawson looked like he could be a huge future star of boxing but struggled to beat Glen Johnson and a surprise points loss to Jean Pascal, took the shine off him.
Ring Legends, Roy Jones Jnr. and James Toney both thought Bernard only wanted Chad Dawson as he has looked mentally weak in some of his recent fights. Bernard is a master of pre-fight ‘mind games’, as demonstrated in his recent lopsided points win against Jean Pascal. Jean was totally intimidated and showed far too much respect, as he had been led to believe that he was fighting a living legend.
Chad Dawson was not in the least bit intimidated by Bernard. He showed admirable focus and maturity going into their bout. He pushed Hopkins backwards for two rounds, until the pair got tangled up when Hopkins missed with a strange right hand and lent over Dawson before being thrown to the ground. Hopkins landed on his left elbow and told the referee he could not continue as his shoulder had come out of place. Chad thought Hopkins was looking for a way out. The referee did not rule it a foul, so it currently stands as a TKO win to Dawson.
The HBO commentary team, Emmanuel Steward and Max Kellerman, thought that it should have been ruled a ‘no contest’. I agree with them, as no punch was landed. It was an accidental situation, which led to Hopkins being unable to fight. There will be more to come as the outrage grows.
In the build-up to the Hopkins/Dawson fight, a previous opponent who I lost to by the thinnest of margins was fighting someone I was due to fight, but took on the South African, Kaizer Mabusa instead last February.
So, I watched Danny Garcia against Kendall Holt with huge interest. I was convinced that Holt would beat Garcia, but other than a few good rounds he was clearly outpointed by the younger man.
Danny Garcia now moves towards a potential fight with Amir Khan, but this will never happen, as Khan would easily dismantle him.
Golden Boy Promotions and top adviser to the boxing stars, Al Haymon, have performed their usual magic and positioned Danny Garcia excellently. Amir Khan will vacate his IBF and WBA titles after his December 10th bout, as he looks to fight Floyd Mayweather next year. Danny Garcia will no doubt fight another IBF ranked fighter.
The IBF had me ranked 4th in the World 12 months ago in their welterweight rankings but I’m now campaigning at light-welterweight.
A rematch with Danny Garcia for the IBF World title would be a great fight that I would jump at. Since our very tight scrap, Garcia has moved steadily up the rankings with wins over Mike Arnaoutis and Nate Campbell. Over the same period, I have beaten World number 3, Delvin Rodriguez, British champion Lenny Daws and Welsh champion and former European champion, Jason Cook. So we are both in very good form, and I am sure it would be an even better fight now.
Danny Garcia will now also move just behind world number one, Ajose Olusegun, in the WBC rankings. So after Erik Morales vacates, which he will, Danny Garcia and Ajose Olusegun could well fight for that world title. Al Haymon and Golden Boy Promotions will want to steer clear of Ajose; therefore the IBF title appears to be the safest route for Garcia. They have done an excellent job of getting him so well ranked after beating former world champions and world title challengers. His fight with me has been by far his hardest and he told me after our fight that he thought I had won.
The lesson here is that in today’s fight game, without talent you will go nowhere, but without the right backing and connections it’s nearly impossible to get to the top, no matter how talented you are.
NEVER GIVE UP ON A GOOD THING
It feels really great to be back in the good old US of A for another tough and testing training camp.
Despite leaving friends and family behind in London, I still really relish coming to New York for training camp. It provides me with the necessary solitude and enables a ‘laser focus’ on the job at hand.
In my opinion, this is just the sort of sacrifice and focus that being a champion demands. No dream can come true without real diligence and hard work, as much as I love the company of those close to me, this is my business and I don’t need any distractions.
In the US, the majority of top level fighters have the training camp as an integral part of their preparation.
My first experience of the training camp approach was with my good friend and top fighter, Dmitriy Salita, when he took me up to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. We then went on to training camps in Florida and the Catskills mountains.
It is all about getting the absolute best out of yourself, and sometimes reaching levels that perhaps appeared impossible.
This particular training camp is for my upcoming mandatory title defence against the English champion, Nigel Wright.
Nigel is a good, honest professional who is desperate for a British title, but every time he has stepped up in class – he has lost. To his credit, he has not stopped trying and has fought Paul McCloskey, Ajose Olusegun, Lenny Daws, Michael Lomax and Kevin McIntyre – losing each time.
I take every single opponent seriously, and Nigel will be no different, but I’m really confident that this will be a straightforward win for me.
Winning the Lonsdale belt was a great feeling and I am totally committed to winning it outright and keeping it for posterity. This will be my second defence and after three successful defences I get to keep it outright.
Timing is everything, and therefore this is just the most awful timing for Nigel.
Ricky Burns, the WBO super-featherweight title holder has just relinquished his title to move up to lightweight and requested me to help out with his sparring for his upcoming fight with Michael Katsidis, which I would have gladly done, but I was on the plane to New York when the request came through.
I have just completed my first week back in New York and it has confirmed why this is the best and necessary investment I make before every fight.
Former WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo has just signed with Golden Boy Promotions, and is fighting on the Bernard Hopkins v Chad Dawson undercard this week. On the day after my arrival, I had the warmest welcome possible by participating in some very intensive sparring with him at the Universal gym in Queens. There was no quarter asked for and none given – it was superb! I was a little sore but deeply satisfied.
Luis has fought Andre Berto, Shane Mosley and of course, Ricky Hatton. Enough said.
Just to keep my momentum going, later in the week, I sparred with two time world title challenger, Raul Frank, who is big, strong and very experienced.
My last week in London before setting off for New York, was a big week for me, as a few really important things we have been working hard on fell into place, and as they say, great things tend to come in three’s.
The iconic British clothing brand, Ted Baker, made me an ambassador for their outstanding and edgy menswear range; we had the first Treasure’s boxing gym approved and most of all, I signed up with Ricky Hatton’s first class promotional outfit.
I’ve already beaten a former World champion, a British champion and a World number three without the guidance, support and backing of a promoter – so with Ricky backing me I feel my time has come.
I’ll get to fight the World’s best on a regular basis and get that shot at the World title.
2012 will be an exciting and ground breaking year for me. I’m really looking forward to my first year with Hatton Promotions. This is more than just business, I was privileged to be at ringside in 2005 watching Ricky beat Kostya Tszyu for the world title and now he is backing me to win a World title myself.
Many of the boxing trainers in Gleason’s gym believe I have all it takes to become a World champion one day, as they have witnessed my improvement over the last six years. They have seen me spar with some of the World’s best fighters and know what I am capable of.
Just last week one trainer mentioned that “when I am World champion I would have earned it the hard way”.
I know they know what they are talking about, as praise is hard earned in this ultra-competitive environment.
My very good friend, Ajose Olusegun beat Ali Chebah in California last week which has set up a potential super fight with WBC champion Erik Morales. Humberto Soto has ‘called out’ Ajose recently. However, another former World champion that I have sparred with, Joan Guzman easily defeated Soto a few years ago and I would expect Ajose to do the same.
I’m extremely pleased for Ajose as I shared his frustrations as he beat all presented before him in the UK, but still the big fights he deserved eluded him. This led to him having to go stateside to achieve his boxing goals.
Darren Barker put up a more than decent performance against Sergio Martinez last weekend, which should see him get some more big fights and another crack at the title in the future. He deserves it.
Kell Brook looked very good in his win over Rafal Jackiewicz over the weekend to set up a potential show down with the WBA welterweight champion, Viacheslev Senchenko. I would favour Kell to win that fight, but the really big fights are with Andre Berto or Victor Ortiz. Fighting any of these would see Kell close in on a mega British showdown with Amir Khan, that he and his promoters seem ravenously hungry for.
Spencer Fearon had the first of his Hard Knock’s promotions televised by Premier Sports on Friday. He will bring much needed energy and character to UK promoting. I know his shows will just get bigger and better.
I have another full week of top class sparring and intensive training to occupy my mind and I’m focussed on showing why Ricky Hatton Promotions and I are the dream team.
My New York training camps are tough, relentless and unforgiving. Exactly what is needed on my journey to the World title.
This week has been an extraordinarily productive and exciting week for me.
On Tuesday, Hatton Promotions announced that I would be their latest signing.
I believe with Ricky and his team backing me, absolutely anything is possible.
I have been self-managed for the majority of my career and it is time to move to the next level and now with Europe’s number one promoter behind me, the timing could not be better.
I am ready to fight the World’s best, just like Ricky did, and I know he can make that happen.
It’s a great feeling when you and your promoter share the same ambition.
That would be more than enough of an announcement for any normal week, but I have also been made an ambassador for Ted Baker this week which is truly amazing.
The Best of British boxing working alongside the Best of British clothing.
The Ted Baker team are some of the most passionate and professional people I have had the pleasure of working with and you just want to see the gear. And see it you will, on me, all the time. Great British style with a little edge, just the way I like it.
And if that wasn’t enough…. We have been working on a number of local projects that would benefit the young people where I grew up.
The first initiative to come to fruition is a new boxing gym which will be opening in Queen’s Park, here in north west London, where I’m from.
It gives me enormous pleasure to announce that it will be called Treasure’s Boxing Gym.
I have been a member of All Stars boxing club for some 23 years now, so I am very proud to follow in the footsteps of my mentor, Mr. Isola Akay MBE.
Mr. Akay opened the All Stars gym way back in 1974.
Many great boxers have passed through the doors of his iconic gym over the years. I joined back in 1988.
We intend to follow the brilliant example and track record of the All Stars gym, if we can achieve just a small part of what they have done then we will have made a huge difference to this part of London.
Hopefully the two gyms can work alongside each other and offer the local kids something positive to do whilst teaching them about the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and self-discipline through boxing.
Mr Akay’s son, Tee Jay Akay, was British cruiserweight champion when I first joined All Stars as a kid, and just seeing him and Mr. Akay on TV was a source of great inspiration. This has helped fuel my ambitions and proved the power of ‘local’ role models to those of us from more underprivileged backgrounds.
Hopefully I can now inspire some kids from both All Stars and Treasure’s boxing gyms to follow in my footsteps.
And just to round off a fantastic week, I am a guest judge at Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knock Promotions ‘Ring Card’ girl competition on Saturday.
This is a bit of light hearted fun, as over 20 models will compete for a chance to win a contract for Hard Knock’s televised shows. Should be an interesting and testing afternoon.
Back to business, I start training camp in New York on Monday for my British title defence with Nigel Wright. I have lined up sparring with some of the World’s best and toughest southpaws.
So, what a week – joining Hatton’s is I believe the final missing piece of my ‘ambitions’ jigsaw.
I’m extremely excited and enthusiastically looking forward with a real positive attitude.
Nothing is best done alone anymore – collaboration works.
European middleweight champion, Darren Barker, fights the excellent Argentinian World champion, Sergio Martinez on Saturday night in Atlantic City.
Martinez is a mature 36 years old, and in the form of his life. He has recent big wins over Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and Serhiy Dzinziruk.
He has in the past visited the UK and beaten Richard Williams twice and dealt with Adrian Stone.
Darren Barker is 29 years old, but perhaps lacks the big level experience that Martinez has. He won the British and Commonwealth titles with wins over Ben Crampton and Darren Butler.
Darren added the European title belt to his waist with decent wins over Affif Belghecham and Domenico Spada.
Hardly world class opponents, but good wins all the same. Darren is seriously talented and he might just rise to the occasion and pull off the win of his life, but I think the odds are heavily stacked against him.
I’m a big fan of Darren’s, having sparred with him in 2006, he had great speed and super skills. I knew from then that he had the ability to go all the way to a World title.
There is no substitute for experience and Martinez has fought at a higher level and beaten some class opposition. I think this has come just a little too early for Darren, but I admire him for jumping at the chance, it might never come again. Even if he loses, he can still come back to tend to his unfinished ‘local’ business with Matthew Macklin, which is a good enough match to be a World title eliminator.
Back to the fight, Sergio Martinez messaged me in the week that he would knock out Darren and I found it very hard to argue with him.
My guess is that Martinez will probably take over from the fourth and end it by round eight but I honestly hope I’m wrong, because it would be great for Darren and British boxing if he could pull this off.
Every fighter dreams of fighting the best and that is exactly what Darren is doing. There will be no shame if he loses as he’s good enough and young enough to bounce back.
My very good friend, Ajose Olusegun, steps up to take part in a World title eliminator this Saturday in California and a win will make him the WBC champion, Erik Morales’, mandatory challenger. He deserves this and I believe Ajose has the beating of Erik, should the WBC ever sanction them to meet.
I have been sparring with Ajose over the last ten years and I have learnt so much from him, and I have seen and experienced his talent at close quarters. We have easily completed over a thousand rounds sparring with one another.
Over the years it was clear that despite beating everyone put in front of him, Ajose was becoming frustrated with the British fight scene. Having won British, African and Commonwealth titles, the big fights he deserved were eluding him.
I would go to see his fights only to leave disappointed, as our sparring sessions were way better than his actual fights. He was never really stretched, and found his opponents way too easy and therefore would box a little within himself.
I helped Ajose with ‘ultra-competitive’ sparring for his two wins over Nigel Wright, and it just so happens, that next up I have to defend my British title against English champion Wright.
Nigel has won all his fights since losing to Ajose, but I believe I am better than any fighter he has beaten, and therefore I’m very confident that my mandatory defence against him will be a straightforward affair for me.
I was strongly of the opinion that Jason Cook would have beaten Nigel if they had fought in the eliminator which was planned before I fought Cook.
This will be Nigel’s third challenge for the British Title and I will ensure it will be his third disappointment. Nothing at all personal – strictly business.
Nigel is a good fighter but you need a little extra something to be a British champion.
After beating Nigel, it would great to get it on with either Frankie Gavin, Commonwealth champion, Lee McAllister, or maybe even a rematch with Lenny Daws in order to win the Lonsdale belt outright.
The new season is under way and Frank Warren has created some excitement with his new weekly Fight Night with Box Nation. This adds to Ricky Hatton’s Promotions hugely innovative approach with You Tube and Eurosport and given Matchroom’s Prizefighter the fight scene in the UK clearly leads in Europe and probably everywhere outside of the USA.
It is really a great time for British boxing as now boxing fans have Eurosport, You Tube, Premier Sports, Channel 5, Sky Sports, ESPN, and now Box Nation showing decent boxing matches on a regular basis.
I cannot remember a time when so much boxing will be shown in a season.
Carl Froch and Amir Khan are leading the way on the World scene with Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell, Kell Brook, Nathan Cleverly, Paul McCloskey and confidently, myself looking to make our own waves on the World scene.
Ricky Burns will be fighting former World champion Michael Katsidis on November 5th, at my favourite venue in London, Wembley Arena.
Katsidis has fought some of the World’s best but always falling short when it really counts, but against British opposition he is two up, with crushing wins over Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell.
Ricky will need to be on top form but he can pull it off.
Exciting times indeed.
This is the real Champions League.
BLINK AND IT’S OVER!
Floyd Mayweather Jr. put on a real master class performance on Saturday night in Las Vegas. He showed the boxing world why he is the ‘P4P’ king with his knock out of Vicious Victor Ortiz.
Throughout the fight, Victor Ortiz was continuously using his head illegally against Floyd Mayweather. By the fourth round it seemed as if he was getting very frustrated with his lack of accuracy and limited opportunities, when in a premeditated fashion he lunged at Mayweather with his head. Joe Cortez, the referee, correctly, and immediately took a point off Ortiz.
Ortiz then somewhat bizarrely, apologized to Floyd by kissing him on his cheek and hugging him. Now, do you think that you would want to hug and kiss a person just after they had intentionally head-butted you in your face?
“Protect yourself at ALL times” is what we are told by the referee before every fight and Victor clearly failed to do that.
Many who have never been in the ‘heat of the ring’ are talking about ‘sportsman’s conduct’ – excuse me, but that does not come into this, as the referee clearly said “box”. So, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, when Floyd threw the left hook and straight right hand it was perfectly legal.
The referee, Joe Cortez has received a ‘lot of stick’ from British boxing fans and media after what happened to Ricky Hatton with Floyd Mayweather, but over the years he has remained a top level referee.
Saturday night was not one of his better days, and maybe he should call it a day now.
On the thorny subject of the venerable Larry Merchant; it has to be said that for years he has been taking negative ‘pops’ at Mayweather. Mayweather is a natural target because of his ‘cocky’ personality and you either like him or loathe him.
It’s far too obvious which camp Larry is in and we do need balance.
Larry Merchant has been a positive fixture in world boxing for a long time now and has been a welcome part of some great fights. At 80 years old, he has certainly done his bit and earned his recent and welcome appointment to the Boxing Hall of Fame, but this is a tough sport and no-one can beat Old Father Time and it could be time to hang his HBO gloves up.
Floyd Mayweather says he has five more fights in him. Well, Sergio Martinez, Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez make a mouth-watering potential list for Money Mayweather that we would all desperately want to see.
He really is the P4P king. We all may not love him but we can’t wait for his next challenger to step up.
British boxing is in a good place right now.
Spencer Fearon recently signed a six fight television deal with Premier Sports – the broadcaster which also screens the brilliant Main Event Boxing Show. Sky Sports is continuing to show a weekly fight too while Hatton Sports deal with Eurosport and YouTube ensures free-to-view boxing across the UK. Lots of action to keep the British boxing public entertained. And they’ve got a lot of fighters to look out for too…
It will be good to see if David Haye comes back after his poor showing last time out. I think he can come back and get in the mix. It all depends what he wants to do. He can walk away and he would have had a successful career or he may come back for another go at the world scene.
Ola Afolabi looks like he could be getting a world title shot soon and I think he can win a version of a World title if he keeps doing what he’s doing. The Monday after he knocked out Enzo McCarrelli, he popped down to All Stars Boxing Gym for a light workout. That’s a real fighter… back in the gym straight away.
Nathan Cleverly is the man at Light Heavyweight at the moment. He has a big fight with Scouser Tony Bellew. Bellew has been calling out Nathan for a while now. Talk is cheap, so it’s time for him put his words into action and take Nathan’s title away on Frank Warren’s October show.
Carl Froch has a mega fight with Andre Ward next up and this fight will decide who is the 168lb number one in the World. We have James Degale and George Groves on the domestic front so it will be an interesting season with both in Warren’s stable.
Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker are the top two middleweights in Britain. Macklin just lost out in a close fight to Sturm in Germany. Barker gets his shot at the number one in the World Sergio Martinez in a couple months. It will be Barker’s biggest fight to date and first at World level. And Kell Brook gets a run out against Rafal Jackiewicz next month which should edge him closer to a World title shot.
Amir Khan defends his WBA and IBF titles December 10th against an opponent to be named. It should be a decent opponent. Erik Morales has said he would not fight Amir Khan until 2012 which is great for me as I would love to go Mexico to fight him or even go to Argentina to fight Mattehysse. Morales fights Pablo Cesar Cano for the now vacant WBC title after Timothy Bradley was stripped of it.
Former British and Commonwealth champion, WBC World ranked number one Ajose Olusegun has signed with Lou DiBella in America recently and I think it’s a great move for him.
Ajose deserves this and has the talent to mix it with the World’s best. I’ve been sparring with him since 2001 and I have learnt so much from him. He was the better fighter for years but I was getting bigger wins than him.
I’m excited to see Ajose against the likes of Erik Morales, Marcos Maidana, Anthony Peterson, Timothy Bradley and Kendall Holt. He has star quality – now it’s his time to show the boxing world what they have been missing for all these years.
Joseph Abeko is another World Champion who I sparred with a few years back at All Stars Boxing Club. He couldn’t get a break in the UK and decided to go to America and that was the best decision he probably made as he has become a two time World champion now. He has fought some of the world’s best.
Kevin Mitchell and Gavin Rees can both get World title shots this season. Rees is European Champion now and on a good run. Kevin Mitchell has just stopped John Murray. Kevin wants a rematch with Michael Katisdis. Katisdis has now moved up to my weight but if the offer is right, the fight could happen.
Ricky Burns is on a great run of results and Frank Warren will do his best to stretch it. Burns wants big fights with the other World Champions. Hopefully he gets his wish but only time will tell.
There are big fights on the world stage for British boxers and hopefully I can get one of my targets this season which are Morales, Peterson, Bradley, Maidana and Humberto Soto. If my team can make one of these fights I will be a happy man.
In Britain, we now have corrupt cops, MPs abusing their expenses, bankers ruining our economy and News International tapping people’s phones. Other than a few MPs none of the above will go to prison.
Therefore, the people we are supposed to look up to are not the best role models.
If a normal person had done any of the above they would probably have been incarcerated.
The Labour leader, Ed Miliband seems more in touch than Prime Minister, David Cameron. He understands that normal people have been neglected and there are many social problems in England.
If these riots had happened when I was a teenager I would probably have been up for looting and rioting. I was expelled by two schools and it felt like the Government and society had given up on me.
Many of the youths and young adults feel this way now. There are no jobs, University fees have skyrocketed and they feel like there is no hope for their future.
It appears that all David Cameron is thinking about is policing, he is not thinking of how to support and help the people in need.
We can call them hooligans and trouble makers but it feels that I felt the same way not so long ago.
Nobody believed in me and I was left with absolutely no hope whatsoever.
If it wasn’t for my own drive and perseverance and wanting to make something of my life I would not be where I am today.
People’s opinions of me have never mattered to me. I always believed in myself and with hard work you can achieve your goals.
These communities are lacking positive role models or people that youngsters can look up to and listen to. If Tottenham had that, the youths and young adults would not have rioted. They were frustrated but they did not know how to voice that frustration.
Local MP David Lammy only shows up after the damage was done, instead of being with the mourners after Mark Duggan was shot and killed by the police. There is an on-going investigation into the circumstances he died under.
David Cameron says that parents need to take more responsibility with their kids.
I agree with this to a point. I can say that my parents were not criminals and taught me right from wrong. But that did not stop me from getting expelled from two schools, or getting involved in criminal activities.
My mother would ground me but when she forgot to lock the door I would run outside. My father would use very intense physical discipline. I was scared of my father growing up but that again did not stop me from doing what I wanted to do.
The Rioting and Looting in Tottenham, Hackney, Manchester and Birmingham by locals was pure stupidity as the rioters and looters were destroying their own communities and their own local stores.
On a more positive note, Tottenham Hotspur wants to build a new stadium at White Hart Lane and that will bring more jobs to the area and help regenerate and redevelop Tottenham.
This was not a race riot. Muslims, Sikhs, Whites and Blacks have been brought together through this ordeal. It was young adults and youths frustrated with their life and lack of hope in Britain.
Some normal law abiding citizens took advantage of the looting to do petty thieving whilst the criminals went about their normal business.
Communities all over Britain are coming together through this negative situation but how long will this last as the drastic cuts to jobs and public services will soon be felt again and I will not be shocked if there is another outburst from the youths.
They feel like they have nothing to lose and it is a shame the Government is not acknowledging the real problem at the heart of this.
I feel David Cameron and his Government are out of touch with normal people and they are not listening to the social troubles in our country.
Kids and young adults need to be shown that with hard work anything can be achieved as I’m living proof of that. I was expelled from two schools, spent time in prison for robbery but even though nothing positive was expected of me and no one believed in me. I expected and demanded more out of me and I believed in me.
Some of our People need real and active support and the Government must realise this now and act if any things going to change in our inner cities in our lifetime.