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 .


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

Dejan Zlaticanin Interview : An Old Skool Fighter

Dejan Zlaticanin Interview : An Old Skool Fighter

Before we get started let me paint you a picture , lets roll back a few years , back to a summers night in Glasgow 2014 . There is an air of optimism surrounding the bout for the WBC International Lightweight title in Braehead Arena , a night where Ricky Burns was going to get his career back on track after a contentious draw with Ray Beltran that was followed up by the loss of Burns WBO Lightweight title to future P4P superstar Terrence Crawford .The general consensus was that Burns would win this fight and get into position for a shot at the WBC Crown, all that stood in Ricky’s way was Dejan Zlaticanin , a little known 18-0 fighter from Montenegro , Well we all know what happened next .



Dejan recalls “I can remember almost every detail from the moment i stepped in the UK . There was so much excitement , not just because i had a tough test against a two weight world champion , but also the same day my had wife gave birth to my daughter Sofija. I was so excited and i knew nothing was goin to stop me beating him (Burns) and devoting the win to her” . That was the night Dejan broke my heart , but that was also the night Dejan Zlaticanin announced himself to the boxing world .Dejan really took Burns apart in Glasgow that night , even dropping Ricky in the process , no one knew Dejan Zlaticanin when he came to Scotland , but everyone knew him when he left .

Winning the WBC Internatinal Title in Glasgow moved Dejan up the ranking and it wasn’t long before he was fighting for the real thing . In 2016 Dejan Zlaticanin beat Bolivia’s  Franklin Mamani for the Vacant WBC Lightweight Title , He says ‘When i beat Mamani i made history and became the first man from Montenegro to win a World Title, I touched the sky that night and the feeling was unbelievable “. One would be forgiven for thinking Dejan would be a superstar in his home nation , i mean being the first person from your nation to be World Champion is a massive achievement , monumental even ?. Well you could imagine my shock when i asked Dejan if after achieving what he had achieved , has boxing became more popular in Montenegro and if that was his legacy , he answers “No ! They didn’t respect my achievements like they needed to do . If i was from the UK i would get all that respect . You know I didn’t even win sports  man of the year award because of some law . People in Montenegro don’t know what it means to be WBC Champion of the world “. But Dejan doesn’t let that lack of acknowledgement stop him from giving back to the children of Montenegro  “My Brother and I open our Boxing Gym and we get a lot of kids in there , and that makes me happy as it keeps them safe and off the streets” 

Once Dejan had won his World Title we seen the return of the “Champion in recess” Jorge Linares to the ring from a layoff with injury as “WBC Diamond Champion” who the WBC said should fight Zlaticanin to see who was the true champion of the division . This was a fight fans wanted to see but as time went by it became apparent that this was another case of a “Great Fight That Never Was” , Dejan says “Linares is a fighter who studies his opponents and will avoid them ,that’s what he did when he was supposed to fight me , that’s what he’s doing to Mikey Garcia now . Boxing fans don’t like that, he’s not an old school fighter ”  . Now that the Linares vs Garcia fight seems to have fallen through i asked Dejan if he would be trying to chase the Linares fight down for his return to the ring . “I would like to fight Linares , He doesn’t need to run from me now he’s seen i have a weakness ‘(referring to his KO loss to Garcia ) but i think he’s still scared to fight me , He knows i only need to catch him with one one good punch and fight would be over . We as boxers fight for the fans and give them the fights they want to see , if you avoid these fights that’s bad for boxing and means your not a real champion”


In Dejan’s last fight he had hit the big time fighting in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas , the Mecca of boxing against the returning Mikey Garcia “The MGM is incredible . It was unbelievable for someone from Montenegro like me to go there and fight ” .The very talented Garcia was on top form that night and scored a third round KO , Dejan tells “I just wanted Mikey to stand in the centre of the ring like a real Mexican and we could exchange punch for punch , bur Mikey was to smart for that and he deserved the win”.  But although Dejan accepts Garcia deserved his win , Dejan tells us he didn’t have the best build up to the fight “There was a lot of thing that meant I wasn’t going to be leaving Vegas the winner . I had some difficulties in camp but I didn’t want to pull out this fight , i am a fighter but this time it just didn’t go to plan” . Mikey Garcia is widely viewed as one of the best in the business , a real fighter who only wants the best fights , i asked Dejan what it was like to share the ring with Garcia ? . ‘                                    “Garcia is an excellent fighter , he’s very intelligent and a big puncher but he looked better that night than he actually is because i was not in my element . That night it felt like i had been hypnotised and worst of all i was slow , i really don’t know what happened to me in that ring , i felt like it wasn’t me in the ring that night “. 

Dejan Zlaticanin is the kind of fighter that will always get fans tuning in , and i really look forward to his long awaited return to the ring . Dejan is the kind of boxer who will fight anybody and i cant help but think if Jorge Linares really wants to validate his CV here is a man ready and willing  .

Steven Donnell



Taylor vs Vazquez – Preview and Prediction

Taylor vs Vazquez – Preview and Prediction

All to often in modern boxing we are being asked to fork out more and more money for subscriptions to boxing platforms such as BT,Boxnation and sky sports as well as a growing number of PPV events on Sky box office or ITV PPV , boxing is becoming a very expensive sport to follow . This weekend will see the latest instalment of Cyclone Promotion and Channel5’s boxing adventure when one of th UKs top prospects Josh Taylor takes on Miguel Vazquez in what should be a great fight and a fantastic night of boxing available to all on freeTV .

What can we say about Josh Taylor that hasn’t already been said . Taylor had a very good ameatur career picking up a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and then took the gold when the Games came to Glasgow in 2014 . Barry McGuigan signed Josh as soon as he turned pro and is convinced that Taylor is heading for a world title , saying in September

‘I don’t want him to be waiting too long. I want to get him into a world title fight within a year.’

And after the Tartan Tornados last fight against Ohara Davies its very hard to argue with McGuigan. Taylor didn’t just outclass Davies , he broke his heart forcing the Englishman to quit . It is hard at this stage to pin point any flaws in Taylor’s style , his footwork is superb, the way in which he glides inside to land his shots and then gets out before anything can come back is fantastic to watch .Maybe you could say that against Davies , Taylor was maybe to keen to get involved in a tear up on the inside , which all the experts had warned against ……then again he took Davies to skool on the inside aswell as the outside . If we want to be hypercritical we could point to the fight in the MGM in Las Vegas where Taylor took on Mexican Alfonso Olvera . Taylor didn’t look his usual free flowing self , Olvera was having some success in spoiling , and that is what Vazquez will come to do ,it will be up to Josh Taylor to find a way to win and win with style in front of his home fans .

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Miguel Vazquez is a very experienced fighter who has shared the ring with some of the best around , with the likes of Saul Canelo Aleverez and Timothy Bradley on his CV . As a former world champion with six successful title defences to his name ,Vazquez will be coming to Scotland demanding respect and looking to cause an upset . Anybody who has seen Vazquez fight would have noticed he does not fight like a Mexican , if you haven’t seen him and are hoping to see the style of Antonio Barrera or Juan Manuel Marquez , i am afraid you are going to be disappointed . Vazquez is a very good counterpuncher who will jab and move and look to work off anything coming his way from Taylor rather than force the fight  . The Mexican uses the full ring very well , is fit and disciplined but With just the 15 KO’s from his 39 wins Vazquez doesn’t have that one punch power , and that will mean Taylor will be able to take more risks without the worry of being cleaned out .


This is a fascinating matchup which could see the winner move into a great position to challenge for one of Terrance Crawford’s vacated titles . This fight does have potential to become a chess match as Vazquez will look to land single shots and disengage . The fight will be decided on how Josh Taylor closes the gap , as i have no doubt that once Taylor closes Vazquez down , he will land the bigger, better shots . I think that after a slow start Josh Taylor will work the Mexican out and open up a big lead on the cards , i cant see Taylor stopping Vazquez due to the cautious style of the Mexican but i do think after a tricky start Taylor win wide on the cards .


Steven Donnell










Jason Easton Interview

When people from the west of Scotland think about the Capital Edinburgh they think of a beautiful tourist destination , a castle fortress up on top of a cliff which casts a shadow over a city steeped in history . A place where you will see an image of Scotland that the country wants to project to the world  , even if not necessarily a true reflection of Scotland it is something that tourists from USA and Canada eat up . People from Glasgow or Paisley look across and think they see a different country with happy ,wealthy people and that somehow we are being given a raw deal , which is of course total bullshit .

Just a few miles from the city centre as you pass some traveler sites you will hit Nidrie ,a place you could easily confuse with with Glasgow’s Gorbals or Paisley’s Ferguslie Park , a place that will lay out all your misconceptions of this City in front of you and show them up as narrow minded . Just up a small side street you come up to an old beat up community centre . Inside there is an after school care providing a vital service and just behind that you will find Sandys Gym . As i arrived i was greeted by Kenny McCartney (Jason’s trainer) and as we wait for Jason to arrive me and Kenny talk Celtic,Rangers, Jason’s sparring with Ant Crolla and we also spoke about  Kenny and Jason’s trip to Norway . Jason arrives and after some small talk and the odd bit of banter we get underway .DSC_0392.JPG

So Jason how is preparation going for your next fight ? 

Everything is going really well, i am feeling fit and strong and I’m ready to go .

Your next fight is against Josef Zahradnik who is ranked No1 in Czech Rep but is bringing a bit of an unknown quantity in, have you seen anything of him ?

I ve seen him a couple of times , one of them against Philip Insingi and he took his 0 , but if you watch the fight it was a close contest , the boy (Insingi) isn’t a big puncher and left himself open so he can’t take to much credit for that. He’s good but whether he has the grit and determination we will find out next week.

*Before coming out to the interview i had asked Barry McGuigan about his recent signing Jason Easton and his plans for him , this is what he said .

“Jason Easton is very exciting with a crowd pleasing style, this young Super Lightweight is making great advances and has already won the IBO Title. In the UK the Super Lightweight division is red hot with Josh Taylor Jack Catteral Tyrone Nurse & Robbie Davise all vying for contention. There’s no reason why Josh and Jason can’t maximise there potential by winning various different Titles with the prospect of meeting each other further down the line.. You cannot put a price on the advantage a Terrestrial TV deal can give to a fighter. Channel5 can give you that advantage.”

Jason i have spoke to Barry McGuigan and he said he’s looking for you and Josh Taylor to pick up multiple titles with the potential of both of you fighting each other in the future , does that give you something to get excited about ? 

Yeah thats a fight at the top level, Josh has fought at the top level in the amateurs and as a pro , so thats where i want to be .

In your last fight you fought Steve Jamoye which was a brilliant fight for the fans but the way you fought must have been giving Kenny fits . ( Jason looks at Kenny and laughs as Kenny just shakes his head at him)

Yeah i was stupid, i should have showed my ability a bit better but at the start of the fight i was just pacing myself for a twelve rounder but he (Jamoye) came out flying and got involved , which was stupid . He wasn’t really hurting me with any of his shots but i was stupid to take them in the first place . I learned a lot from that and Kenny had me back in right away working on basics , head movement and footwork and just feel i have improved so much since then .

You get so many guys now with padded records but you probably learned more in that one fight than some do in 16 fights .

Oh yeah big time , i didn’t expect the guy (Jamoye) to be that tuff , he made it a difficult fight at times . I expected to get him out of there a bit quicker but he just kept walking thru them and made it a good fight . Full Interview Uncut Here

I would just like to thank Jason for giving us his time to speak to us . Jason will be fighting on the Josh Taylor vs Vazquez undercard on 11th November which will be shown live on C5 and Spike (freeview) for ticket enquiries get in touch with Jason via Twitter on @JEastonn

Steven Donnell


All That Was Worth Talking About from Saturday’s PPV

Saturday night showed PPV in the UK can be shameless at times . An already weak card was depleted further by injuries ,pull outs and a world champion’s missing weight but that didn’t deter sky sports box office as they still expected boxing fans to pay £20 for the privelage of watching 1 sided fights and listening to Carl Froch take his aweful commentating  to new depths . the night wasn’t a complete waste though as two massive underdogs showed enough grit and determination kept us entertained .

Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam
As both men had made there way to the ring we had heard Adam Smith, Carl Froch and Tony Bellew on commentary all go full casual and predict an early stoppage for AJ , completely disregarding just how good and tough an opponent Takam was .Right from the off you could see with Takams height , or should I say lack of it and his movement it was going to be hard for AJ to put down his power . If AJ didn’t realise he was in for a tough night right away ,he would realise in the second round when Takam looked to have broke AJs nose with an accidental clash of heads ,but to AJ’s credit he seemed to cope pretty well .

Although AJ was finding it hard to hit the gritty Takam he did have him touch down in the fourth and opening up a bad cut above Takam’s eye . The longer the fight went on the more trouble AJ was having hitting his opponent which saw him box more than we are used to seeing and Takam looked really good on the counter countless times . By round 10 Joshua was really feeling the pace and now looked content with keeping Takam on the end of his jab, that was until AJ landed a beautiful uppercut which did rock Takam , followed by a 4 or 5 nice shots but Joshua didn’t look to have his usual power at this stage of the fight. As Takam moved back out of danger he was closed down by AJ , as AJ launched his next attack the referee grabbed Takam in a headlock and called the fight off , which seemed to me and most of the 70K fans in the arena very premature as Takam was protecting himself and was still slipping shots at the stoppage . Both men deserve credit here , Joshua for finding a way to win and Takam who took this fight on 3 weeks notice and came in fit and ready to have a go and ask questions of the champion , not to mention how tough he was .

Katie Taylor vs Anahi Esther Sanchez
What a year it’s been for Ireland’s Katie Taylor and she had a the chance  on Saturday night to top it off as World Champion if she could defeat the tough Argentine Sanchez , who had lost her title on the scales the day before . Right from the off Sanchez made it clear she was there for a scrap , but it was obvious that Taylor was the better more skilled fighter of the two . 

The fight looked to be over in the second when Taylor caught Sanchez with a beautiful bodyshot which took her to the canvas , I’m sure most where thinking like me that this was only goin to be a matter of time, but that bodyshot seemed to waken Sanchez up . For ten rounds Taylor beat Sanchez with everything she had and this girl just kept on coming , landing on Taylor in the exchanges . After 10 rounds Taylor won the fight by a wide margin on the scores cards to become World Champion after only 7 fights as a pro . Sanchez made Katie fight every second of every round , that kept us fans entertained and I am sure there will be more and more woman and girls going to Boxing events and taking up the sport due to Katie Taylor and her efforts which I think is fantastic .

So on a very poor night of boxing their  was some unexpected entertainment on a card that really failed to grab the imagination.

Steven Donnell