Preview + Prediction Huck/Usyk and Gonzalez/Rungvisai

What a way to get rid of the sour taste the McGregor/Mayweather fight left in our mouths  ,instead of having a freakshow forced down our throats , this Saturday night is a night all fight fans should be going crazy for . On both sides of the Atlantic boxing fans will be in for a night of action packed drama , and I’m even going to predict we will see “2017 Fight of The Year” .

Usyk vs Huck (WBSS Cruiserweight’s)

Lets start with the highly anticipated WBSS match up between Olaksander Usyk and Marco Huck in Berlin , a show which DJayBoxing will be attending. This tournament since it was announced had a special feel to it , and with some of the names on show i am confident we are going to have some special nights over the coming months .

Marco Huck is one of those boxers who doesn’t do any one thing brilliantly but does all things well , and when you team that with fact that he’s as hard as an old East German car ,the former world champion still has the ability to to cause anyone problems. His style of just walking opponents down, bullying them ,roughing them up and wearing them down has worked well for him over the years , making him very popular among fans as his fights are usually exciting .

What can be said about Usyk thats not already been said . Coming into the WBSS as favourite and No1 seed , Usyk has picked Huck for one reason ….to make a statement . Usyk has came to the pros from a very successful Ukrainian  team after being a top class amateur , a lot like Vayl Lomachenko , and like Lomachenko he has had no problem adapting to the pros . Although Usyk might not have that fearce one punch power, he has superb footwork and a work rate that Marco Huck will struggle to keep up with .

Prediction: I can only see one winner here and that is Oleksander Usyk, Usyk is getting Huck at the right time for me. Huck will no doubt have his successes in the fight early doors but he will fade fast. i think the safe money goes on Usyk by very wide UD , but to make that statement i spoke about we might see Usyk stop Huck late .

Roman Choclatito Gonzalez vsSor Rungvisai II

Back in March we seen the remarkable first instalment of this fight, a fight which seen P4P superstar Roman Choclatito Gonzalez 46 fight unbeaten run come to an end when he came up against this very tough Thai Sor Rungvisai . The fight itself was an amazing specticle which for me showed why Gonzalez really is elite level . Knocked down early and cut badly by repeated headbutts , Roman was really under the cosh but where so many would have struggled and failed ,Roman recomposed and really took the Rungvisai to skool at times in the second half of the fight , for me Gonzalez done enough to win but it really was to close call .

Now i have to admit Sor Rungvisai was totally unknown to me before this fight , but my god this guy can fight . Like most Thai’s this guy has heart with really heavy hands , early in the last fight i think Gonzalez was really shocked by his power . Rungvisai is also rough and proved in the last fight he is not shy useing his head , a tactic surly the ref will be looking to make sure is not a feature in this fight . Coming in as a deserved champion if Rungvisai can pull this off again, i dare anyone to leave him out there top 10 P4P list .

Prediction: My god this is a hard fight to pick, on one hand i think Roman had Rungvisi worked out in the second half of the first fight and will take that into this fight , on the other hand every fighters time comes to an end and Rungvasi might just be that bridge to far for Gonzalez……..On this occasion i am going to go with my heart and pick Roman Gonzalez , and although i can’t say that with to much confidence he will win , what i can say is that we are in for another classic battle .

Also watch out for Cudras/Estrada also on the Superfly Card , Which will be shown on Sky Sports 

Steven Donnell

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Breaking Taboo -Boxing and Depression

It is often said boxing is a sport like no other , a sport that can give the ultimate highs and the deepest lows .Whilst the world celebrates and looks to join In with these warriors in there success ,the fighters at the other end of the spectrum are ignored and all to often left to face there demons alone , which can have tragic consequences .

I have got to an age now where my hero’s of the the ring have all but disappeared from the sport . One of my all time favourite boxers was Ricky Hatton , who has long since hung the gloves up after becoming a superstar within the sport in this country . After reaching the dizzying heights of boxing , Hatton knew when it was time to bow out , but as is so often the case with boxers, knowing when to hang them up is one thing , dealing with it is another . Ricky Hatton had a very pubic breakdown, battling drink,drugs and deep depression ,Hatton even admitted to trying to take his own life on several occasions. This once iconic warrior brought to the edge by a mental illness which Is rife throughout boxing but is hid like a dirty little secret  .

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I tried to kill myself several times,” Hatton said in an interview aired on BBC Radio 4.”I used to go to the pub, come back, take the knife out and sit there in the dark crying hysterically..”

Boxing has already lost so many young men who over the years just couldn’t cope with life outside the ring ,going back to Sonny Liston, Billy Collins jnr or more recently Arturo Gatti  all died young men struggling with depression , yet this epidemic is still rarely talked about withing the sport .A superstar like Iron Mike Tyson admitted to having severe depression whilst still fighting and going on a mission to destroy himself, yet across the press and boxing world he was ridiculed at the time .Just recently we had Nick Blackwell be very heavily criticised for sparring just months after being told he could never box again due to a bleed in the brain,which he picked up in his fight with Chris Eubank jnr . Now on one hand yes it does seem stupid to risk your life and it should never have been allowed , but take a step back and look at this from a different perspective . Nick Blackwell had his career taken away from him whilst still being a young man , all those years of work just taken away in the blink of an eye , surly that would be hard for any man to accept ? surly this spar should be seen as a cry for help .

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Mike Tyson: I used to equate sickness to blisters and dripping not psychological

So what’s the solution ?
When I was  interviewing Alex Arthur we spoke about his battles with depression when he gave up boxing , he agreed that boxing needs a better support structure for boxer’s suffering from depression after there final round is over. Boxing like society has to face up to this problem ,between fans,promoters and the boxers themselves setting up some sort of support network should be easy enough to fund . Boxing could learn from the British Army, when young soldiers are leaving the military they have the option of resettlement training which the army picks up the bill , rather than throw young boxers on the scrap heap why not give them the option to redirect there life . Most importantly I think boxing has to do more to acknowledge the problem itself as far to often guys like Ricky Hatton , who gave us some of the best nights of our lives ,are left to fight these battles alone  .

Steven Donnell

“The World Boxing Super Series” Is Fantastic For Boxing

We are now a month away from the start of one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events in recent memory, I am of course talking about The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) .On the face of it this tournament has everything fight fans want to see spread across two weight divisions. The cruiserweight division has the best of the best including Olecsander Usyk and Mairis Bredis willing to put it all on the line, whilst the Super Middle Weight division might be missing some of the division’s champions but still throws together guys like George Groves and Callum Smith, among other top Brits,which must be exciting for fans in the UK with the potential of massive domestic match ups to see  who will take the Mohammed Ali Trophy home .

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This tournament comes at a time when boxing is on a high, but whilst fights like Floyd Mayweather vs Conner McGregor are looking to cash in on the sport ,the WBSS Is looking to promote boxing and take it to another level .I have big hopes for this tournament, this is a chance for us boxing fans to see the best fight the best ,and hopefully throw up a few battles in the process .The WBSS has the chance to raise the bar and expectations of boxing fans so no more will we just sit back and accept the fights that some promoters want to spoon feed us ,and with fights taking place all across Europe it will open more fans eyes to the world of boxing and not just events in our own backyard.

Even though the WBSS hasn’t kicked off yet it has already showed its trying to be different . At its launch event in Monte Carlo, it had the feel of an Oscar’s ceremony until the seeded contenders appeared on stage one at a time to select an unseeded contender then have a face off , it was superb TV ,especially when George Groves selected Jamie Cox ……I loved it

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So roll on September 9th when we can get this tournament started when Usyk takes on Huck in Berlin, a fight I will be attending . It is early days yet but I am predicting the WBSS to be a massive success .
Steven Donnell (@DJayBoxingblog)      

Follow The World Boxing Super Series @WBSuperSeries

Trouble In Paradise : Is this the Beginning Of The End For Matchroom/Sky Partnership ?

For years now the Matchroom/Sky Sports partnership has been at the heart of most major events in UK boxing but now with the competition starting to get its act together, are we now seeing cracks beginning to appear in their marriage? The alarm bells really started going for me last year when at first Kel Brook, then Tony Bellew both became Eddie Hearn’s latest fighters to move from Sky Sports Saturday Night Fight shows to PPV, leaving a very weak stable to fill the sky sports shows .

Whilst the rest of the boxing world has flourished in 2017, Sky Sports has found itself struggling to find headliners. We have went from guys like Tony Bellew and Kel Brook headlining for Sky Sports, to guys like Martin Murray and Frank Bugglioni and no matter how you dress it up are Domestic to European level at best. Recently we have also seen one of Eddie Hearn’s top prospects, Ohara Davies take on Josh Taylor in a fight which saw him quit like a dog  on a card shown on C5 (free TV) which has put most of Sky Sports cards in 2017 to shame .

“There is only one person who can take the blame for this and it has to be Mr Eddie Hearn”

There is only one person who can take the blame for this and it has to be Mr Eddie Hearn. For too long, Hearn and sky sports had the monopoly in the sport in the UK and with compitition weak, Hearn knew the power he had and used it as a weapon within the sport. As Boxnation (Frank Warren) struggled along and Cyclone (McGuigans) had to work with C5 on small budget shows. Eddie Hearn was the the top of the pile with the might of Sky behind him….what could go wrong?

Eddie Hearn’s biggest mistake has has came from his own success in the PPV market. With Anthony Joshua being a marketing phenomenon and with Hearn making fights  like GGG/Brook and Bellew/Haye, he was printing cash but neglecting non-PPV fighters. Whilst Hearn was concentrating on the cream, Frank Warren had signed a very lucrative deal with BT Sport and right away Warren went about signing all the best young talent in the country, even taking guys like Warrington and Nurse from Hearn. Warren had seen the the standard of Sky Sports shows had dropped and made his move to strike. When BT have went head to head with sky sports, it is sky who looked to be struggling to keep the pace. We have also seen Cyclone finally get a formula that works for them, promising to put on closely matched fights on free TV, with guys like Carl Frampton and Josh Taylor signed to them, they must be taken seriously in the business now. At the same time, Hearn has been told by Sky they want more and more PPV shows (worrying when you think Eddie is struggling to fill Sky Sports slots) and Kel Brook – A PPV Fighter, has just came off two losses, quitting in both .

“Why would AJ need Matchroom to take a big lumps of cash if he could keep the lot “

There is one final crack that must be looked at by Eddie Hearn. A small crack just now but one with the potential to bring his empire down. It’s looking more and more likely that Anthony Joshua is looking to step into the management/promotion side of things. Joshua Buatsi has already signed with the Heavyweight champion and as AJ signs more and more talent the need for Matchroom becomes smaller. Why would AJ need Matchroom to take a big lumps of cash if he could keep the lot? If Joshua did split and go it alone, I would be confident Sky Sports would want to deal with AJ rather than Hearn. After all, he is the biggest star in sport in the UK .

Steven Donnell

Taylor vs Davis and Easton vs Jamoye Review

Well guys what can we say about Saturday nights Josh Taylor vs Ohara Davis show ? . Well from the start I think we should acknowledge that Cyclone,Channel 5/Spike have really made a massive statement that they intend to not only bring boxing back to the masses for free,but also intend to challenge the big boys like BT and Sky Sports whilst doing so.

Before lasnights main event we seen one of the fights of the year when Jason Easton took on the very experienced Steve Jamoye for the IBO Intercontinental title , in only Easton’s tenth fight. 

Jason Easton Interview with DJayBoxing

“Jamoye showed so much bravery and made Easton work every second of every round ,and this was a test I’m sure will push Jason Easton onto the next level .”

From the off Jamoye tried to force the pace and not let Easton get settled and had great success using this tactic . Jamoye just wouldn’t let Easton breath which saw both men trade blow for blow for most of the early rounds. As the fight went on Easton was regaining his composure and landing the cleaner,crisper shots ,really testing the Belgian chin ,but each question asked by Easton was answered with quick counter punches from Jamoye, which was making the youngster really have to think about his attacks . This battle finally came to an end in the eighth when Eastons relentless barage finally made the referee stop the fight before Jamoye’s bravery seen him take more punishment than he  had to take, a good stoppage in my opinion . Both fighters recived the well earned adoration of the fans , A fantastic test for Jason Easton, Jamoye showed so much bravery and made Easton work every second of every round ,and this was a test I’m sure will push Jason Easton onto the next level .

Jason Easton Interview with DJayBoxing

“Nowhere to run,nowhere to hide” came blaring out and  the crowd went wild , and as we where about to witness this song choice was spot on

After that great apitiser we where all set for the main event .Ohara Davis walked to the ring to the music of WWE Wrestler “The Undertaker” ,well at least that’s what I thought it was as the music was drowned out by the boos from the Glasgow crowd,which didn’t look to have phased Davis  .Then it was Taylor time “Nowhere to run,nowhere to hide” came blaring out and the crowd went wild , and as we where about to witness this song choice was spot on . As we got underway I honestly didn’t know what to expect , but half way through the first round it was easy to see that Davis was struggling to get anywhere near Taylor . Shane McGuigan and Josh Taylor had clearly came up with a plan to negate Davis long reach ,a simple plan really which seen Taylor always move to his right ,which looked to have Ohara Davis absolutely stumped . In the second round Taylor looked to be the more busier of the two whilst making Davis miss big . We had never really seen Davis being hit before, but as the second round came to a close Josh Taylor really started unloading on Davis body which saw  his defence lower considerably,and even though he shook his head it was clear to see he was hurt . As we moved into the third it was more of the same. Davis just couldn’t get near Taylor whilst Josh was getting more and more viscous with his own attacks. Even when both got up close  it was  Taylor who seemed to be more comfortable and picking the better shot which in turn seen him send Davis to the canvas . As the rounds whizzed by it was becoming more clear Taylor was levels above Davis . This really was a pasting Ohara Davis was taking ,looking slow,jaded and disheartened it was  becoming clear that this fight was not going the distance. In the seventh round Taylor looked to draw Davis in and open himself up . Now Ohara did catch Josh with a few nice shots but his flailing arms just didn’t have the power to trouble Taylor and as Davis tried to pressure Taylor In the corner, Taylor walked him right onto a beautiful right hand, that quick if you blinked you would have missed it ,which sent Davis down again and left him looking bewildered. Davis did make it up before the count but as Taylor went to press him Ohara Davis broke a golden rule and turned his back on Taylor ,who didn’t stop to take notice that Davis had QUIT and landed another couple of shots before the ref held him back . Davis disrespected  the warrior code and just gave up , the second matchroom fighter to do so in recent memory .

Josh Taylor will certainly go on to be a world champion at 140lbs of that I have no doubt, as for Ohara Davis? Well who knows but a boxer without heart really doesn’t have any place at world level so maybe Davis will have  to have a long hard look in the mirror and decide if this sport is for him .

Steven Donnell

Alex Arthur Interview with DJayBoxing

Mayweather vs McGregor Is A Farce

So finally it’s happened, the boxing casual’s have got there wish ,49-0 Floyd Mayweather has agreed to come out of retirement to take on zero fight novice Conner McGregor at the  MGM in Las Vegas as the rumours go ,in what can only be described as a blatant cash grab .

For years boxing has tried to shake off the legacy Floyd left 

As we have said on this blog numerous times in the past six months, 2017 has been an unbelievable year for boxing fans. For years boxing has tried to shake off the legacy Floyd left,a legacy of outrageous demand’s , crazy catchweighs and this silly notion of letting fights “marinate” rather than fight the best at there best for the fans. This fight is no different , after struggling through years of mainly shit fights at the top-level , boxing is coming back to the masses , bringing fans back to boxing that had jumped to UFC

” The fact that this fight can actually happen is what we Scots call a ” brass neck”

Boxing has never been the most honest of sports, from being influenced by the likes of the New York mafia in the old days, to the more recent times we have the matchroom mafia bringing the sport into disrepute, this is another case of “money talks” and that suites “The Money Team”   . The fact that this fight can actually happen is what we’re Scots call a ” brass neck” ,it’s shameless .We don’t see badminton champions claiming out Roger Federer ,so why anyone could try and justify this fight is beyond me.

stop letting these thieves and con men take our money 

The UK is inline to see eight PPV event’s this year and roumours are circulating this Floyd/McGregor fight could be as much as £50 , if true would be outrageous and I would urge anyone to join team stream and stop letting these thieves and con men take our money 

PS: @SatplexUK = Team Stream
Steven Donnell

Kovalev vs Ward II :Preview and Prediction

With 2017 being one of the best years for boxing in a long time we are about to be treated to another fantastic matchup , no I’m not talking about Paul Smith vs Tyron Zeuge, I’m talking about Andre Ward vs Sergy Kovalev II .

Since Andre Ward’s  contriversial points win in November to take the Russians titles  , Kovalev and his team have been on the offensive in the build up to this one. When i first seen some of the comments Kovalev was making i thought “He’s trying psych Ward out” but now i genuinely believe he is out to really hurt Ward .

Sergey Kovalev “I don’t have a prediction. I just have one goal to beat Andre Ward and beat all the s— from him because he doesn’t deserve the belt and the status of a champion. I want to put him back in his place.”

Now to a mere man like myself, I would be fucking shitting myself to go in the ring with Kovalev after seeing this , but Andre Ward is no normal man. Ever since the first fight Kovalev vigorously disputed the cards, and for me he has let that turn to hate , there have even been allegations of racist comments toward Ward which i won’t go into . This hatred can go one of two ways for Kovalev, the hate might bring out a performance like Frazier/Ali I, if that hate can be focussed there is every chance he could become a killing machine when doubled with his frightening power , or we could see the hate manifest like it did when Tyson took on Holyfeild and result in Ward picking him off and humiliating the big Russian.

Andre Ward is the superstar that never was , a man who gets nowhere near the credit he is due . Ward’s life has everything a great story needs, from a very hard upbringing with drug addict parents, to Olympian ,to now one of the best P4P fighters in the world ,so why isn’t he a household name ? . Well to be fair Ward looks like a difficult person to deal with,he is also very paranoid about the media ,with good cause . This makes Ward a bit of a hit or a miss with fans . Ward again as he did in the first fight has done very little to promote this grudge match ,which leaves all the soundbites for Sergy Kovalev to fill , which in turn wins the Russian more fans but leaves Ward like a forgotten man, well until fight night at least . All Wards personality comes out in the ring, he really is a master at taking your strength away from you , for him to just pick you off . Watching Andre Ward in the ring isn’t like watching any ordinery boxer. Ward turns the fight into a game chess, where every move must be thought out well in advance .

Andre Ward on fight “I think the first fight was a great fight. I think there was a lot of drama in the first fight, more drama than I wanted,” said Ward. “I think it was a tremendous fight and I believe, round two is going to be a tremendous fight.”

Prediction :

This fight boils down to Aggression/Power vs Skill/Ringcraft , Can Kovalev set out to hurt Ward without being exploited ? , I really don’t think so . Nobody has ever solved the equation of how beat Ward but i doubt its with brute force and anger , chances are Ward will take Kovalev’s aggression and ill temper and use it against him . Kovalev has fantastic power which sent Ward to the canvas in the first fight, he has that one punch power and a fantastic jab, so he has every chance of beating Ward. Who’s my pick ? ….i will say Andre Ward on points, i just feel Ward knows what to expect this time and will look to nullify Kovalev early , i also still have doubts about Kovalev’s gas tank .

Steven Donnell