Burns vs Indongo :Big Fight Preview + Prediction

Well its nearly that time folks, another Ricky Burns Fight Night in Glasgow SSE Hydro as he takes on Namibian World Champion Julias Indonogo for the IBF, IBO and WBO Super Lightweight World titles as he tries to unify the division infront  of his home fans .

“I can tell you now this is not going to be an easy night for Ricky Burns”

Indongo who’s a southpaw is one awkward rangy costomer and as we have seen in the past Burns can struggle with this style at times .On Indongo’s last outing he beat bookies favourite Eduard Troyanovsky with a first round KO ( Watch here )in Russia to claim the IBO and IBF straps in a major upset to set up this massive unification fight with Burns , and the highly rated African is going to come to Glasgow looking to stop Ricky early and as we have seen he does have the power and skill to do it .

But its not all doom and gloom for Burns , not by a long shot . Ricky Burns has been one of the best Champions Scotland has produced in my lifetime . With his granite chin, work ethic and his Heart of a Rampant Lion , Burns is still a match for most between 135lbs -140lbs . Also Julias Indongo is a bit of a unknown quantity with only one recognised World Level opponent on his CV , where as Ricky Burns has mixed it with the likes P4P superstar Terrence Bud Crawford , Dejan Zlaticanin , Kevin Mitchell , Rocky Martinez to name a few and held his own ,if Burns can get back to anything near that level then he will be the unified Champion of the world ….that is a big IF tho.

“I do have a bad feeling about this one for Ricky Burns”


This a tough fight to call , from the very limited coverage i have seen of Indongo on youtube he does look like he has everything , but this is against guys nowhere near the level of Burns , his win in Russia was also to short to make a proper assessment of his skills . On Burns last outing i thought Kiryl Relikh outscored Burns in a close fight which the judges gave to Burns , that left me asking that night if age had finally caught up with Ricky? . I do have a bad feeling about this one for Ricky Burns but i am still going to back him to win on points,  his engine will see him thru, i think Indongo will start fast but fade as the fight goes on .

Steven Donnell

Williams vs Smith Big Fight Preview and Prediction

This weekend will see the biggest domestic bout of the year when Liam Smith takes on Liam Williams in the Manchester Arena for the interim WBO Super welterweight title, in what promises to be a great fight on BT Sports first show of there partnership with Frank Warren  .

Smith who is coming off a loss to Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez in his last REAL fight (Not counting Smiths 4 rounder in Spain last month) has been quick to shoot down anyone who claims this is a 50/50 but the truth of the matter is there is very little to choose between these two . Yes you could argue that Liam Smith has fought at a much higher level , but Liam Williams is a rising star in the division and will be wanting to show the World what he can do, that makes him a very dangerus opponent . If Liam Smith is to get his career back on track he has to get it right on Saturday night , he must draw on his experience ,as thats where he does have an edge on Williams .

Liam Williams has been waiting for this opportunity for a while now and i have no doubt when Saturday night comes he will be ready to go to war. Williams has also been getting some top sparring ,with the likes of commonwealth champion David Brophy and after speaking to David he told me Liam Williams is in top shape for the fight of his life . Although Williams may not have shared the ring with the likes of Canelo Alvarez he has came through some tough fights and is always eager to entertain which makes him a fans favourite .

Prediction; I think the biggest danger to Liam Williams in this fight is Liam Williams himself . Williams has a top class jab and with the way Liam Smith moves i.e. in straight lines with little to no head movement , Smith is tailor made for Williams , the big danger for Williams is his eagerness to go toe to toe , if Williams boxes and establishes his jab ,i see him going home with the belt

Steven Donnell

Crolla vs Linares Review + My Thoughts on Joe Gallagher

Well folks on Saturday night we got to see something special, we got to see Jorge Linares get back to his absolute best as he took Anthony Crolla to peices over the 12 rounds . Most people expected a Linares win but the way in which he went about this victory sent a message out to the rest of the division .

From the off Linares looked sharper,quicker and more accurate than Crolla and although  there was not a lot to cheer it was obvious that Crolla had a mountain to climb if he was to win back his world title . As the early rounds crept on past Jorge Linares quickly worked his way thru the gears , catching Crolla out with his wide variation of punches to which Crolla had little to no reply . Crolla was taking a massive amount of punishment  trying to get inside and force Linares backwards , but the few times he did get inside he done something that was ludicras , he covered up, stood static and tried to throw single shots , i really couldn’t believe what i was watching . The first time these two had met Crolla was on a bit of a good run and although he was clearly outclassed in that fight he was a threat and did give Linares problems , this time Linares was even better but Crolla looked like a shadow of his former self, he looked as if he lacked belief and by half way i had Linares up by six rounds and really on cruise control . In the seventh Linares was really opening up on Crolla and even sent him to the canvas with a lovely upper cut Crolla didn’t even see coming , and it did for a bit look as tho the end was near but Anthony Crolla showing some great heart seen out the round . The trip to the canvas seemed to wake Crolla up because he took the eighth, but still only landing single shots and never really putting Linares in trouble, but it did look for a while that Linares might have gassed but that wasn’t to be for Crolla , Linares was just having a round off . In the closing rounds Linares went back up the gears the ,Crolla was struggling and there was very little coming back but Crolla having the heart of a lion would not stop coming forward . At the end of the eleventh as Crolla made his way back to his corner, Crolla and his trainer Joe Gallagher seemed to have a confrontation , Gallagher was trying to stop the fight going into the last round but after some pleading Crolla came out and stuck on in until the end to take some pride  in taking  it to the cards, but it was only a formality as all judges had scored it 118-109 , this really was a masterclass from Linares setting him up nice for Mikey Garcia to see who’s the No1 in the division .

So what next for Crolla ?

I think there is only one logical route for Crolla and thats to finally demand Eddie Hearn give the fans the fight they want, Crolla v Flanigan ,two lads from the same city who went to the same school fighting for a world title , that fight sells big , if nothing else it could be a massive check out fight for Anthony Crolla ,but already Hearn has put road blocks infant of this fight demanding Crolla gets £1m purse for the fight which is insane for a guy coming off two losses and holds no belts .

Now onto Joe Gallagher, Saturday night was a disaster for Gallagher and any fighter worth there weight will leave or stay well clear of this outdated dinosaur. I said in my preview to this fight Gallagher must leave his ego at the door but very early on in the night we seen that could never happen . Youngster Marcus Morrison was left in the ring by Gallagher to be savagely beaten from pillar to post for ten rounds , a fight that shouldn’t have went past the sixth, and really did become painful to watch to the point Tony Bellew on commentary was pleading for Gallagher to stop it to no avail . Then in the main event Crolla was sent out with the same boring domestic level tactics of high guard ,no head movement and just to walk forward onto severe punishment from a world class operator in Linares , bizarrely Gallagher had seen enough after eleven rounds and tried to stop it , Crolla is an experienced boxer who had 3 mins left to fight for pride and Gallagher tried to pull him out , yet let a youngster fight be humiliated for most of the ten rounds earlier in the evening ………madness .

Steven Donnell

Crolla vs Linares II : Big Fight Preview

This weekend Anthony Crolla will try to avenge his loss to the very highly rated Jorge Linares in the MEN Arena in Manchester . The first fight was very enjoyable bout but one Linares never really looked like losing as he controlled Crolla from start to finish , even with one hand broken in the middle rounds . So whats the point of this rematch ? what can Crolla do different if anything this time round ? .

One thing i have noticed in the build up to this fight is that Crolla has removed himself from the build up as much as possible . After the first fight Crolla had said he thought he could have done more, he also claimed he had to many distractions outside the ring in the build up and diverting to much energy elsewhere .

“I was driving around Manchester dropping off tickets to people like I’ve always done and it took up a lot of time, which is stupid really. This time I’ve got a few mates who help me out with that.

“That’s a big thing. It’s been a load off my shoulders and I am just concentrating on getting my belt back.”

I also got the feeling Crolla and his team underestimated the “past his peak” Linares first time round, a mistake Linares made sure they won’t make again. Crolla has improved dramatically over the past few years and i think to many people got caught up in the momentum he had built ignoring Jorge Linares as an elite level opponent . Crolla’s trainer  Joe Gallagher also has to hold his hands up to mistakes  from the first fight. The famous “Gallagher Six Round Rush” does not work at this level especially with Linares ,who has two of the fastest hands in boxing , Joe is going to have to make up a game plan that will get Crolla in close enough to work Linares’s body but see him back out of range before Linares can throw his punches in bunches a big ask i know but surly 2015 Ring Mag trainer of the year will work it out  .

Prediction; Sorry Crolla fans but i just can’t see past Jorge Linares ,the more i think about it ,i can only see a repeat result this time round , it might even be a late stoppage for Linares .Make no mistake Crolla does have the tools to beat Linares on the night , but he must leave everything in the ring on Saturday night and his trainer must leave his ego aside and tell Crolla how to use these tools to get the job done.

Impressive Debut By Conlan

I don’t think i have ever seen a pro debut so eagerly anticipated as that of Michael Conlan as he took on Tim Ibarra over Six Rounds on this St Patricks Day bout  . Over 2000 Irish fans and press had made the trip across the pond to take in this spectacle , and Conlan did not disappoint.

From the first bell you could see Ibarra was an awkward costumer who had a slight reach advantage and was planning on using every inch of it to keep Conlan away , and for the first round, at least  it looked to be a decent game plan as Conlan was finding it hard to get in range . That being said Conlan took the first round easy as Ibarra didn’t throw anything worth talking about and as the round went on the irishman looked to be settling down .

There are not many boxers out there with a better amateur pedigree than Michael Conlan but the big question was, Can he bring it to the pros ?…. Well in the second round we got that answer . Conlan came out the second round with a lot more intent , you could see he was getting closer to Iberra and about half way through the round he he got his reward with a viscous bodyshot landing which seemed to take wind out Iberra. From this point Iberra looked well out his depth only throwing back in desperation rather than intent, and the pro Conlan fans who where packed into the Theatre at Madison Square Garden where loving it , they knew this fight didn’t have long left.

Conlan picked up where he left off in third ,really catching the wounded Iberra at will , and after two minutes of intense punishment to the body the referee had seen enough . You’ve got to give it to Micheal Conlan for this performance, with all the hype from fans,press and promoters the pressure was on and Conlan handled it with style …….impressive

Steven Donnell

@DJayBoxingBlog @Dinobhoy86

Stephen Simmons Interview 

So again i had been invited down to Airdrie to Billy Nelsons Gym for a catch up with the MTK lads and Stephen Simmons in particular to talk about his upcoming British Title fight he was scheduled to fight in March against Welsh top prospect Craig Kennedy , a fight which he had accepted on short notice but was more than confident that he was going to take the title back to Scotland , but as i was dong my final preperations before heading out i had noticed the fight had been removed from the boxer schedule so i went down to find out why . DSC_0024.JPG

On entering the gym the usual lads where there and one familiar face in Rocky Fielding was there who had travelled up from Liverpool for a couple of days of sparring with David Brophy , so today was going to be a good day , Then in walks a dejected Stephen Simmons who had informed me in a previous meeting he was desperate to get back in the ring, so we got the camera rolling as the rest of the lads set about there training .

Stephen you where scheduled to fight Craig Kennedy for the vacant cruiserweight title but doesn’t seem to be happening now, can you tell me whats happened ?Watch the full interview here

Well due to circumstances which where out of my control I’ve had to pull out . I had took the fight on short notice anyway but as i stepped up my training a back injury i had in December has flared back up again, so to stop it getting as bad as it was I’ve had to pull out and just cut back to rehabbing,and do some exercises to strengthen it up .

Do you think you will get another shot at it later in the year ?

Yeah i belive so, its gotta come again as i am up there ,theres not many people infant of me . I will fight anybody at the weight and i will give anybody a good fight , so its gotta come again.

So when will we see you back in the ring

I would like to be back April or the beginning of May, the rehab should only take a week to ten days so I’ve just got to step back from training and take a wee rest .

In your last outing you where on the wrong end of a split decision in Germany , did you believe you done enough to win that fight ?

Yeah , i done enough to win that fight easily in my opinion and in many other opinions, i won 8 of the rounds , so in my eyes i won by 4 rounds but it was a typical German decision .

Would you go back to Germany for the rematch or has that put you off ?

I would go back in a heartbeat because i know i would stop him, i started hurting him downstairs later in the fight, next time i would go there early doors and i would get the stoppage.

When i was down a few weeks ago i left amazed with how close a team this stable is , do you always pull together or is there any competitviness in the camp.

We always pull together as a team, Me and Brophy have been training together since we both turned pro ,even when i was away with other coaches we still kept in close contact . Now I’m back and we are close as ever and now Gary [Cornish] has now joined the wolfpack ,so we all gel together really well , and we have a coach in Billy Nelson who is on the same sort of mind level as us so we all get on really well . 

And just to finish up , i remember a few years ago things got a bit heated with you and Wadi Camacho ,is there still bad blood or was it all left in the ring that night ?

I wouldn’t talk to him if i walked past him on the street ….the guys a wank. I think he is an absolute disrespectful bastard so i would never talk to him infact il propably hit him a back hander .  

Watch the full interview here

DSC_0210.JPGMassive thanks again to the MTK guys and Billy Nelson for having us down , and we should have big News on Gary Cornish in the coming weeks swell as picking the brain of Billy Nelson which should be entertaining so watch this space .

Steven Donnell

@Dinobhoy86 also @DJayboxingblog