Gary Sweeney “I’m Back In The Swing Of Things

When i hear the the old Cliche “Boxing is in my DNA” i pass it off as a template answer , something to fill in a blank ….well that was until i caught up with Irish Cruiserweight Gary Sweeney (23) . Gary comes from a real fighting family with four older brothers being Amateur Champions in Mayo Ireland , with his brother/mentor and now trainer Micheal Sweeney also being a former professional but Gary says it all goes back to his Grandfather .

“My Grandfather never liked talking to us about boxing because he never wanted us fighting and stuff , but he was a bareknuckle boxing champion . He didn’t want us getting into bareknuckle game , he wanted us to just get into the ring and start  boxing “

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Gary’s family comes from a traveling background which seems to go hand in hand in boxing nowadays with stars like Billy Joe Saunders and the Fury’s being some of the biggest name in the UK boxing today . Embarrassingly boxing is not the only thing that seems to go hand in hand with the Traveling community .

“My father used to box back in his day but when he finished he opened an amateur boxing club due to discrimination because he was from a traveling background . So we opened our own boxing club and from there i won 7 ameatur titles.”

Gary was inspired to get into boxing after watching his brother’s . Going to watch them in tournaments at eight years old he decided he wanted to have a go at the sport for himself .

“I remember when i was eight years old i remember i would get hit a punch and i would just smile . Once i was in boxing i just loved it “

Like any young Sportsperson the biggest fear is injury and in 2017 Gary found that out when a back injury kept him out for most of the year , which halted the momentum he had been building .

“It was very frustrating , i have lost 13 months of boxing and the full time I’ve been watching all these fights on TV and on Youtube and i was just eating myself . I had all these injuries with my back and i broke my hand so i had to just sit back and watch all these fights . Then finally christmas was gone and i got myself a fight , and now I’m back in the swing of things ”

“I was meant to go for surgery before my last fight but the surgery didn’t take place so what they done was drain it so its still a bit sore but it’s good enough to get me back in the ring , until i can get the surgery in the summer” .

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Gary will be fighting in a six rounder on the MTK London card on March 3rd and although Gary doesn’t know who his opponents is yet , he is expecting it to be someone who will put him through his paces so he is coming over to Scotland to get some sparring with British Title challenger Stephen Simmons .

“Two weeks before my fight i will be Scotland and I’m going to get a good hard week with Simmons . You couldn’t ask for any better than that , going out and getting rounds of sparring with these guys is good for me. I am part of the MTK Global team and they have me out sparring all over the place which is just brilliant “

Fighting on this MTK London card will give Gary the opertunity of some big exposure in a small hall context due to there partnership with IFL TV who stream the cards on youtube .

“This card will be streamed again on youtube , which is brilliant . Last time they got over 140,000 viewers . To be on any sort of TV is brilliant but anybody can get this for free.

The Full Uncut Interview Click Here

We would just like to thank Gary Sweeney for taking the time out to come and have a chat with us and we are looking forward to seeing him back in the ring . For tickets to the show Saturday 3rd March 2018 Ticket hotline 07876 238286 Ticket prices Tiered seating £40 Ringside tables with waitress service £60 / £70 Doors open 4.30pm . 

Steven Donnell

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Who Was Looking Out For Ohara ?

Boxing can be an unrewarding , cutthroat business where you need to get yourself noticed . For young fighters it is imperative they surround themselves with the right people , that they find a manger/advisor and promoter that know boxing inside out and have the boxers best interests at heart .Image result for ohara davies

Ohara Davies is a man who divides opinion up and down the country by playing the pantomime villain . I have followed his career since he won the English title in 2016 . He has always been someone who’s excited me in the ring but in the past couple of years as his stock has risen inside the ring we have seen him become a personality outside the ring , which has turned me off to him . Now i am not naive , it is very clear to me that Davies has been advised to play the bad man which has been a sales tactic in boxing since the sport began, a tactic that keeps you relevant and can help sell tickets to your fans and haters alike . In today’s ultra connected world where everything is instantly out there and accessible this tactic is ever more risky as its a fine line between cocky and down right offensive and in today’s overly sensitive world that is a very dangerous game to play . A few months ago he had a go at Paddy Barnes Wife which for me is disgusting and immature . Before that he was calling the people of Liverpool minimum wage peasants causing massive uproar , but all the time being rewarded with big pay days and slots on big shows , reportedly earning over £100,000 for the Josh Taylor fight , but now it has all turned a bit sour for Ohara . At the beginning of January Ohara Davies sent out a tweet which got him caught up in the murky waters of Liverpool’s city wide Anti Sun newspaper campaign , which go’s back to the newspaper lies about victims of the Hillsborough Disaster . The backlash was massive and in my opinion well over the top . We seen fellow Matchroom stars like Tony Bellew turn against Ohara, Eddie Hearn released a statement and dropped from the Matchroom “British Beef Card” in London

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Who Was Looking Out For Ohara ?

Let’s not make any excuses for Ohara Davies , he is a grown man and every man must take responsibility for his actions . There are people close to Ohara paid to guide this young mans career who should be having a good look at themselves , people like Ohara’s Manger/Advisor and former TOWIE reality show star Charlie Sims . Whilst Sims (24) was laughing along and no doubt egging Ohara on , the rest of us could see this train wreck coming . He has either advised Ohara to adopt this persona or he has failed to get Ohara to tone it down , which has now cost Ohara the chance to fight on a card in his hometown and seen him barred from Tony Sims gym , not to mention the purse money lost . I think Eddie Hearn has missed opportunities to ask this lad to tone it down . At the press conference before Davie vs Derry Mathews fight in Liverpool you could see the £££ in Eddie Hearns eyes as Ohara insulted a full city , and made the bout a grudge match . This time he’s touched on something that can damage the reputation of Hearn’s brand and that’s why Hearn had to act . Time after time Ohara Davies has been rewarded for playing close to the line of what is acceptable behaviour so to now ostracise the lad when he goes over the line seems convenient for some . Hopefully Ohara will realise he has to get people around him who are there to look after him and his interests . Can he come back from this ? , yeah i think he will but you wont see him on any cards in the North West for a while thats for sure .

Steven Donnell

“When You Work This HardYou Appreciate It More” – Lewis Paulin Interview

“When You Work This HardYou Appreciate It More” – Lewis Paulin Interview

For boxing fans it is easy to be drawn to the very top of the sport , whether it be the glitz of Las Vegas , A massive stadium fight at Wembley or even watching the glamours World Boxing Super Series , following some of the biggest names in the sport . I think it would surprise a lot of armchair boxing fan to find out that some of the best fights actually happen in sport centres and halls all around the country , right on our doorsteps . On December 16 Lewis Paulin will fight for the Scottish Super Featherweight title against Stephen Tiffney in the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley . This fight see’s two lads from Edinburgh go head to head to see who is the best in Scotland and someones “0” has to GO and Lewis Paulin can’t wait .

“With us both coming from Edinburgh we are deffo fighting for bragging rights , we know each other , we are roughly the same age , we turned pro around the same time it makes sense for us to meet now and the winner will hopefully progress on.” 

MTK Scotland have some great card on this year but this “Christmas Cracker” did seem a little a strange as its in Paisley which is West of Scotland but the show is headlined by two fighter from the east coast .

“Yeah it is strange that its in Paisley but to be fair the venues in Edinburgh aren’t that great for boxing , Glasgow area does seem to have the better venues “

Hopefully it will be busy with i being Christmas time , I know the public response shows there is a lot of people buzzing about this fight so i think it will be a busy show and it should be a good atmosphere”

The winner of this fight could be in a great position to push on to challenge for the British Title which is currently vacant , something that Lewis has thought about .

 ” Of course i have thought about that but i can only look at one fight at a time , hopefully i can dominate Scotland and then push on to the bigger things , but that is deffo a road we would look to go down “

At the start we touched on the Glitz and Glamour at the very top end of boxing but i wanted to know what it was like for guys like Lewis who have to find the right balance of  working there family lives and work around boxing .

‘ It is difficult and it is an issue , unless you have big sponsorship and enough backing  do this full time and you don’t have to worry about working , but we aren’t all as fortunate as that . I do work full time , but my work have been really good giving me time off to travel away to England for sparring so thats helped massively and my sponsors have helped so i am appreciative of that . Hopefully after a big win i hope to get another couple of big sponsors and that would make it more likely i could go full time “

The life blood of any sport comes from the grass roots and in the cut throat world of boxing it is so hard hard to make it as there just isn’t enough money to go round . The landscape is filled with young boxers who just couldn’t get the breaks or funding and regardless of there talent have just gave up on the sport .

“Unless you are one of the lucky ones who have made it to the olympic games its very difficult to get sponsorship , those first few years are very hard . Its once you start to prove yourself thats when more sponsors want to come onboard . Right now i train before work , go to work and then train at night , you don’t get any free time . When you work that hard you will appreciate it more .  

When Lewis was starting out as a young amateur boxed for the famous Meadowbank Amateurs who has brought thru some of the best talent this country has produced , a club which is now under threat due to its home in the Meadowbank Sports Arena going thru a revamp which has seen the club evicted with nowhere to go , I asked Lewis about the full situation .

“I am pretty gutted , the Meadowbank does need refurbished but the club have effectively been made homeless which is pretty poor. The club get a lot of people through the door no they lads have to go train in other gyms which isn’t great . 

“Hopefully they get something set for all the young guys coming through” 

Lewis Paulin vs Stephen Tiffney will take place on December 16 in Paisley . For tickets get in touch with Lewis Paulin through this link or here MTK Scotland .

Full Interview Click Here

Steven Donnell

Rigo vs Loma~ Preview + Prediction

Rigo vs Loma~ Preview + Prediction

Well what a year of boxing we have had , a year packed with massive fights and a year that has made me fall in love with boxing all over again . From watching AJ pull one out the bag and stop Wladimir Klitschko to GGG and Saul Canelo Alvarez finally getting in the ring together in another fantastic fight , then there was Andre Wards controversial yet fantastic win over Sergey Kovalev in there rematch . This weekend we have a fight that has the potential to top all of the above when Guillermo Rigondeaux takes on Vasyl Lomachenko in bout which is a boxing wet dream in New Yory on Saturday night and i for one cannot wait .

Guillermo Rigondeaux or Rigo for short is a fantastic fighter who has been a casualty of his own ability . It is widely suspected that many boxers including Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg have avoided fighting Rigo , and for good reason . When it comes to skill Rigo is one of the best boxers on the planet , a man who will punish any mistakes with devastating power and accuracy helped by his superb footwork which always sees him in position to get big shots off . This counter punching style has drawn criticism from of the boxing media , with detractors like Dan Reafel who will swear flat out that Rigo is overrated and boring , which for me is crazy talk . Dan is the kind of guy who thinks walking forward is skill , he has no appreciation of the science of boxing of which Rigo is a master . If Rigo does have a flaw it could be his temperament as we seen in his last fight against Moises Flores .In that fight Rigo was really turning it on against the Mexican when inexplicably Rigo floored him a few seconds after the bell , which seen the fight result in a no contest . Rigo is also coming into this fight as the older, smaller man which could also have an impact on how this fight plays out but admittedly Rigo looked in fantastic shape at the public workouts .

Vasyl Lomachenko is the most exciting boxer in the world . A man who’s majestic footwork is an absolute pleasure to watch . He doesn’t just beat his opponents , he breaks them psychologically by outworking , outmanoeuvring and outthinking them , showboating the whole time , like we seen against Nicholas Walters which seen Walter just quit like a dog on his stool . A massive advantage Lomachenko has is that his style is so unique i really don’t see how his opponents can prepare for him in sparring . Loma is so much more than a mover tho, due to his fantastic footwork we see Lomachenko get into unusual position and unload with devastating power , which sees him score some photogenic KOs . Lomachenko has not come up against anyone near the class of Rigo before so this unique style will be put to the test which just makes this fight even more intriguing .

Prediction:

This fight has an outrageous amount of skill and boxing smarts so picking a winner is proving very difficult . I can see a positive outcome for each fighter , I wouldn’t be surprised if Rigo walked Lomachenko onto one and KO’d him, i also wouldn’t be surprised if Loma just beats Rigo down . How do I think it will go ?. I think after a quick and frantic start the pace of the fight is more than Rigo i used to . In the later rounds i think Rigo will feel everyone of those 37 years of his age which might see Lomachenko get the KO . Realistically i think Rigo will have enough street smarts to see the fight out , which will see Loma win quite convincingly on the cards , maybe after a shaky start .

Steven Donnell

What We Learned About Carl Frampton- Frampton vs Garcia Review

What We Learned About Carl Frampton- Frampton vs Garcia Review

Sometimes as a boxing fan it is hard to see one of your favourites boxers start to suffer at the hands of every boxers nemesis , Father Time . We as fans find ways to justify the slide of our favourite fighters , it becomes difficult to know when your giving an honest opinion or if your just lying to yourself .On Saturday i found myself in such a position when watching Carl Frampton make his long awaited return to the ring in Belfast against Horacio Garcia .

As The Jackel made his way to the ring the atmosphere was electric as the Belfast crowd welcomed home one of there most famous sons . Across from him in the ring was a Mexican kid called Horacio Garcia who had a record of 33-3-1 but was pretty much an unknown and a massive outsider with he bookies . After 10 months out of the ring Frampton was looking for someone to give him rounds but from the off Frampton showed little signs of ring rust and after landing some massive shots in the first couple of rounds it did look like this one could be over early . After a shaky start to the fight it became apparent that Garcia had come into this fight in fantastic shape and just kept plodding away at Frampton .

Frampton had won every round going into the fifth but was starting to look a bit weary , his legs looked a little bit heavier also and with Garcia applying constant pressure there was no chance of getting a rest . As we past the halfway point Frampton had slowed considerably and Garcia was going from strength to , it must be said Garcia was in no way flashy with his work but he was consistent and was having success pulling Frampton into a scrap . The pressure was further still put on Frampton when in the seventh round a slip and well timed shot was enough to send Frampton down . There was glimpses of magic from Frampton , he was landing some fantastic shots but all to often he was getting caught against the ropes and Garcia was working the body which was taking such a toll on Frampton . Carl Frampton finally stopped the rot in the tenth and final round , where he dug deep and stood toe to toe with Garcia and got the better of him , and on my card Frampton needed the final round . Frampton walked out the clear winner on all the cards which didn’t really reflect on just how tough a fight it was…..Framptons swollen face did .

The Verdict:

This was Carl Framptons first fight since January and it did show at times , and it has to be said that the tough Horacio Garcia might not have been the best opponent to come back to depending on which way you want to look at it . The Ring Rust wasn’t what stood out to me , i thought some of Framptons shot selection, especially early on was fantastic he also looked to carry the more power of the two . What stood out to me was that Frampton really looked to be feeling the pace after four rounds and this where my dilemma lays , has time caught up with The Jackal in his extended absence ? . The jury is still out just now and I’m sure we will know better after Framptons next fight but i cant help but think that Leo Santa Cruz or Lee Selby will be licking there lips at the thought of going to Windsor Park in the summer .

Steven Donnell

Preview + Prediction~ Conlan vs Ancajas

Preview + Prediction~ Conlan vs Ancajas

Boxing is often called a gentleman’s sport , that is of course by those guys involved in the ring , for fans boxing can bring out our inner caveman . For most fans what we want to see is a bloody battle that pushes the boundaries of what punishment a human body can take ,pushing it’s limits to near exhaustion and that will be rewarded by plaudits , respect and in some cases it will take its place in history and looked upon for decades . It is often said that the Mexican style of boxing is the most entertaining , toughest and all round the best style the sport has to offer for fans . Now granted this balls to the wall style is not good for a fighters health nor his/her career longevity , for spectators tho it will give us the most memorable of fights . This weekend we will see Irelands Jamie Conlan take on Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF Superflyweight World Title

Jamie “The Mexican” Conlan

Jamie Conlan is known and loved by fans for his all action “Mexican Style” which see’s his fights usually involve multiple Knockdowns for Conlan and his opponent , with all the blood and guts to go with it . When people talk about Conlan they sometimes tend to forget that he is a skilled boxer , who has good power with very good shot selection which seems to be over shadowed by his willingness to get into a battle , which is great to watch but means you are playing with a time bomb . Just last year we seen Jamie nearly come unstuck in last years fight of the year contender against Anthony Nelson for the Commonwealth Tittle fight . As both men got tore into each other we seen the pendulum of the fight swing countless times before Conlan finally got the stoppage . Nelson like so many others found it to easy to hit Conlan at times , something you may get away with at Domestic/European level but not at world level . I have no doubt Jamie will have worked on his defence and more importantly staying disciplined for this fight , he has know exactly when to throw and more importantly when not to throw .

Jerwin Ancajas

It wasn’t to long ago Ancajas was being tipped to be the next Manny Pacquiao and although Ancajas might not have reached that elite level of the Pacman yet it does show the kind of expectation on this lads shoulders . I will admit i have only seen Ancajas twice but both times he did look very impressive . Ancajas has a variation of styles , he can switch from lethal counter puncher to a pressure fighter in the blink of an eye . I was also very impressed with how he timed opponents attacks beating them to the punch . There are times when Ancajas wildly lunges in to attacks which could be the eagerness of youth or just lack of respect for lower level opposition as each time he was never punished for leaving himself open , an invitation I’m sure Jamie Conlan will be praying comes his way .

Prediction

I have been a fan of Jamie Conlan for a long time now , i love willingness to risk everything in every fight . I love the fact that Jamie never wants to be in a dull fight but sadly i think the battler in him is going to be his downfall . Ancajas is a top quality opponent who carries power in both hands and has the quality to match . I think as Ancajas frustrates Conlan , Conlan may get desperate and leave himself far to open . For me this fight doesn’t get past the middle rounds , i think Ancajas will get the stoppage . I will say this , i have never wanted a prediction to more wrong than this one , if Jamie Conlan can somehow pull this off it will be the best title win this year for me .

Steven Donnell

A Heavyweight Conundrum

A Heavyweight Conundrum

Back in the the early to mid 90’s Heavyweight Boxing was as strong as it had been at any time through history , guys like Evander Holyfield , Riddick Bowie , Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson to name a few filled the top ten , bizarrely there was even a time in 1995 when there was not a Champion in Ring Magazines top 5 . Now those days have past , and to be quite frank I’ve long since accepted that they will never return , heavyweight boxing has lost that glamour , that glitz and most of all that kind of talent .IMG_0023

Fast forward to 2017 and after an optimistic few years the division is again looking very weak and that is causing big problems for British Heavyweight Anthony Joshua . Joshua is nothing short of a marketing phenomenon , from Olympic Hero to Heavyweight Champion of the World and still keeping his media friendly “boy next door” persona intact , has seen Joshua and Eddie Hearn sell out the biggest stadiums the UK has to offer , AJ truly is a once in a generation marketable asset in boxing …..There is just one problem , competition .

As i write this there are two other World Champions in the mix in Joseph Parker and Deontey Wilder , both of whom have nowhere near the status of Joshua but that might not matter when it comes to negotiations . This week we have heard Parkers promoter David Higgins say that Eddie Hearns offer for a unification was “An insult” , reports suggest that the offer was in the region of 10% , which would be Parkers biggest ever pay day but with Higgins suggesting they where looking for closer to 40% both parties seem way off and it’s a similar story with Wilder as he is demanding a 50/50 split which again seems crazy , or is it ?.IMG_0022

It seems to me that Parker and Wilder have realised that the lack of talent at the top of the heavyweight division increases there stock to a more than there talent or popularity deserves to be valued at . It would also seem that Joshua needs Wilder and Parker more than they need him . I have no doubt that Wilder and Parker would happily fight other lower opposition leaving AJ and Hearn in the cold with more and more pressure building on them as each fight passes from there massive fan base to get the unifications made , Hearn will need to pay far more than Wilder and Parker are actually worth to get these fights made , this could bring a whole new meaning to “Earn with Hearn ”

Steven Donnell