Carlos Takam crushes Michael Grant for biggest win
By Michael J Jones
Tonight at the Gymnase du Clos de l’Arche, France, heavyweight contender Carlos Takam sent a message out to his division rivals by stopping long-time contender Michael Grant in eight one-sided rounds. With the victory, 32-year-old Takam, French-based but from Cameroon, won Grant’s WBF belt while scoring arguably his best victory to date.
Former Olympian Takam, 241¾lbs, began the fight sharply behind his jab and quickly gained a control of the contest he would never relinquish. Grant, 253¼lbs and a good few inches taller at 6’7”, looked ponderous in his first bout in 18 months.
After sweeping all of the previous sessions with sharp combination punching, Takam opened up in the eighth to hurt Grant on the ropes. As several meaty shots stunned the 40-year-old American, the referee rightly called a halt giving victory to the impressive Takam, now 28-1 (22).
The new champion’s only defeat was four years ago on points to fellow Frenchman Gregory Tony but has undoubtedly improved since then. He could feature in a heavyweight mix which appears to be rapidly gaining in intrigue.
Aside from a controversial points defeat to leading contender Tomasz Adamek a few years ago, this was the 48-5 (36) Grant’s first defeat in ten years. The American deserves praise for persevering with his career after humiliating knockout defeats early in his career to Lennox Lewis and Jameel McCline but should seriously consider his future after the beating he took a few hours ago in France.
Retzke-Lauren world title showdown at York Hall in July
Germany’s Jennifer Retzke and Sweden’s Mikaela Laurén are set to face each other, for the IBF Light Middleweight World title, at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Friday 5th July 2013.
Retzka, who won the IBF crown on her second attempt, has had a stellar career that has seen her capture not only the IBF World title but also the German Welterweight title.
One of the truly exciting female fighters, Retzka has a fearsome right hand, as is clear by her stellar record of twelve wins, nine by way of stoppage, with just the single loss to Daniella Smith, when they fought for the vacant IBF Welterweight title back November 2010.
Laurén, who has a record of eighteen wins, six by way of stoppage, and two losses, is a stylish boxer who has proved she can hold her own with the best boxers around, with losses only to World #1 Cecelia Braekhus and Loli Munoz.
This historic World Championship battle will headline the Dave Murphy, in association with Acourtier Events, promoted ‘Independence Day’ event at the famous home of Boxing in the capital, as part of an international spectacular featuring some of the most exciting young prospects in Europe.
Main support sees Dublin, Ireland, via New York, USA, newly crowned WBU International Lightweight Champion Stephen Ormond back in UK action. Ormond has a record of thirteen wins and just the single - highly controversial - loss, to Paul Appleby, will be looking to build his fan base in the UK as he targets both Kevin Mitchell and reigning WBO King Ricky Burns as future ‘victims’.
Woolwich, London, via Philadelphia USA, Featherweight Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston returns to York Hall, the scene of her sensational debut, which see the highly praised protégé of legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World, Smokin’ Joe Frazier and two time Cruiserweight King Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, stop Hungarian #1 ranked Gabriella Roman in just one minute and forty seven seconds of the first round back in April.
Another sensational South Londoner with American connections is Streatham Light Heavyweight Jovan Young, who makes his first trip to the York Hall as a pro.
The highly decorated former amateur star has a record of four wins, three by way of stoppage, and a single draw as a pro. Not a bad start considering Young has yet to fight in the UK as a pro, instead preferring to do things the hard way and fight overseas.
Another explosive big hitting young star taking part in this historic event is Denmark’s Osama Hadifi. The 27 year old Light Welterweight from Copenhagen possesses a perfect six wins – all by first round stoppage finish – and no losses.
‘Independence Day’ also sees the debut of two highly decorated young amateur stars making their professional debut.
Turkish teenager Shiya Ozgul has fought over a hundred times and has represented his country in many international amateur competitions.
Ozgul, who has been describes as a ‘natural’ by his manager and coaching team, is already being touted as a future World Champion – big talk you may think, but no this youngster has more than held his own in sparring with some of the country’s top prospects already.
Highly rated Birmingham amateur, Antonio Counihan, makes his pro debut on the 5th July. Couniham didn’t just represent his country, he was the Captain and a clear favourite to secure a Team GB berth for the Rio 2016 Olympics, before turning his attention to the professional ranks.
During his stellar amateur career Counihan was Midland area ABA, junior ABA and World Youth Champion and in his last amateur season reached the semi-finals of the National ABAs, as well a being an integral member of the Team GB development squad.
At time of going to press Dave Murphy is close to securing another major name, with exceptional credentials, to debut on the 5th July event – so watch this space for more news on this.
Jennifer Rezke versus Mikaela Laurén, for the IBF Light Middleweight World Championship honors, headlines the Dave Murphy, in association with Acourtier Events, promoted ‘Independence Day’ event, which takes place at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 5th July 2013.
Tickets, priced £30 (Gallery), £35 (Ground floor standard seated) and £65 (Ringside) are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com - www.mariannemarston.com - www.acourtier.com - or in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning town – www.tkoboxinggym.com - and Ringtone Gym in Euston - www.ringtonehealthandfitness.com - or from any of the boxers taking part in the event, or call – 07960 850645, 07809 499896 or 07557 641597 for further information.
Jimmy Montoya says a new beginning awaits Mikkel Kessler
At 76 years old there's probably nothing that Jimmy Montoya hasn't seen in boxing. Having worked with such historical figures like Salvador Sanchez, Alexis Arguello and Hector Camacho it's safe to say that the t-shirt has been bought over and over and will continue to be worn this weekend when his Viking pupil will attempt to unleash hell on an old foe.
At the O2 Arena in London tomorrow night, Montoya will once again be in the corner with his tried and tested warrior Mikkel Kessler. Both men have worked together for twelve years and only twice has their relationship been interrupted. On both occasions the Dane lost to Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward.
"My wife has had cancer so I have had to look after her in the past. The only two fights that I've not been there for Mikkel is the two that he lost to Calzaghe and Ward. I didn't train him for those fights. When we work together he has confidence in me his trainer and I have confidence in him. He knows what I want him to do, he knows what I expect. I don't have to shout at him to get work done. We have had so many experiences and because of that we work really well together," said Montoya when speaking to Livefight recently.
All those experiences will have to be drawn from when they enter a backyard that will be a cacophony of noise from first bell to last come fight night. The British sporting public are already gripped by what lies ahead and the atmosphere created will likely be as electric as the drama that will unfold in the ring. This is nothing new for Team Kessler. For Montoya, he was relaxed when discussing another lions den for his charge.
"I feel comfortable. Mikkel's coming to fight one man, not a country."
"Let's put it this way, Mikkel has nothing to prove. I welcome any pressure that's put on us. His victory over Carl has been brought up a few times but it's not something we need to talk about all the time. We know what we achieved, we know what we did and we know what we have to do this time."
Indeed it would seem that nothing different will take place in this sequel that will do well to live up the epic original. On that April night in Herning both Froch and Kessler engaged in a battle that wouldn't have looked out of place on the Saturday night cobbles. Unrelenting violence ensued as blow for blow, each man stood and tasted each other's power for better and for worse. Kessler edged it that night. Three years on and Froch, to many, appears the more improved fighter. Kessler has been inactive with 13 rounds boxed against Mehdi Boudala, Allan Green and Brian Magee. Froch has boxed over 40 rounds including a whirlwind performance against Lucian Bute.
"Yeah but my guy is fresher and has been hit less," responded Montoya.
"In Mikkel's last three fights he's knocked each man out. And he's got the power and the punches to do it to Froch too. As for Carl's win over Bute I'd expect any fighter to improve after a loss, especially one that was three years ago. Bute was ordinary. He's not that bad but he's not that great either.
"Mikkel has improved a lot and has a lot more to offer. He has more to offer Carl than he has to us. Mikkel has lots more different punches, can use angles better and can adapt to any style put in front of him. We're confident."
As Froch looks to avenge one of his two professional losses, Kessler will be looking to rectify one of his own should be emerge victorious on Saturday. The throne at 168lbs is currently taken by Andre Ward and the American is in town to work for HBO on this fight, of which he will have his own interest in. Ward comfortably took care of Kessler in 2009 and the winner of the 'Warriors Call' in London will likely be put forward for a rematch with one of the world's pound for pound elite. When speaking to LF, Montoya poured fuel on a fire that is yet to be lit with these remarks about Ward.
"A fight with Ward would all depends if he comes out of his cubbyhole in Oakland or not and if they offer better money than what they normally do. He has a lot of ability but he has a boring style. The only people that want to watch him are the people in Oakland. So why should we go back over there for poor money? He's meant to be the best so let's see him come out of Oakland and see the world."
Such a negotiation seems light years away. A potential fight of the year and century awaits the boxing world on May 25th. Kessler doesn't see himself losing in any manner. He is already on record saying that he will retire should he lose to Froch. After being involved in the fight game since the lates 1970s is it time for Montoya to walk away?
"I'll retire when Mikkel retires," he answered.
"Trust me, he is not thinking about retirement. I don't tell Mikkel what to say, I can't control it. This is not Mikkel Kessler coming to an end. Once we beat Froch it will be a new beginning for him."
William Hill are offering a free £25.00 bet when you place a £25.00 bet on this fight and are currently offering odds of 10/1 on for a Froch Stoppage between Rounds 10-12
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Super-middleweights top ten greatest world title fights part2
By Michael J Jones
Here Livefight completes its list of the top ten 168lb world title fights.
5. Joe Calzaghe W12 Mikkel Kessler, November 3rd 2007
After whipping Jeff Lacy the year earlier, Joe Calzaghe had one more rival to face to prove his supremacy at 168lbs. Danish rival Kessler was a perfect 39-0 and had claimed both the WBC and WBA world super-middleweight titles to make himself Calzaghe’s most formidable opponent to date.
More experienced than Jeff Lacy and not as one-dimensional, many tipped Kessler to become the first man to beat the gifted southpaw after 43 straight wins.
The two great champions met on Calzaghe’s home turf of Cardiff with three world titles on the line as Joe still held his cherished WBO belt.
After a close first few rounds, Kessler seemed to hurt Calzaghe with some good uppercuts in the fourth but couldn’t follow up as the hugely-experienced champion quickly regained the ascendancy.
Calzaghe was firmly in the driver’s seat by the middle rounds and out-worked the progressively sluggish Dane down the stretch for a memorable victory. The judges scores of 116-112 (twice) and 117-111 under-lined Calzaghe’s mastering of Kessler in his last bout in the division.
4. Sugar Ray Leonard D12 Tommy Hearns, June 12th 1989
It doesn’t come much bigger than a Leonard-Hearns rematch in Las Vegas. The two met for the WBO and WBC versions of the titles in a rematch from their epic welterweight bout eight years earlier.
Hearns had always maintained he had been stopped unfairly in the first fight and was eager to get his legendary rival in the ring for a rematch despite both men being many years past their peaks.
Neither man was really a super-middleweight which showed at the weigh-in; Leonard scaled just 160lbs to Hearns’ 162½ for the bout at Caesars Palace.
The two aged veterans produced another terrific give-and-take fight over twelve exciting rounds. Leonard, by this stage 33-years-old, tried to box and move but Hearns, two-and-a-half years younger at 30, couldn’t seem to miss with his dangerous right-hand.
Leonard was bludgeoned to the canvas in the third by two “Hitman” rights but fought back hard.
Leonard was behind after four but had a big fifth as he hurt Tommy on the ropes and poured on dozens of follow-up punches from both hands in a bid to end it there and then. Hearns managed to survive though showing enormous heart.
The general opinion going into the late rounds was that the “Hitman” was a shade ahead on the scorecards and when Ray went down in the eleventh, it seemed all over. A series of hard rights cannoned into Ray’s chin to send him stumbling to the deck for the second time. As with the first knock-down, Ray looked hurt.
His flashy skills may have been slowly fading, but Sugar Ray’s heart was still stout. In the opening seconds of the last, Tommy tried to finish strongly but by the last minute Ray opened up fiercely on the tired Hearns with a desperate frenzy of punches to try and pull out victory from the jaws of defeat.
Hearns wobbled, held and sagged but stayed up through the final three minutes though it was a huge round for the former three-weight world champion.
Hearns was adamant he had done enough to win but the judges couldn’t split the pair scoring 113-112 Heans, the same for Ray and a 112-112 to make it a draw.
3. Mikkel Kessler W12 Carl Froch, April 24th 2010
In their second respective bout of the Super Six tournament, the two men met in Denmark with Froch’s WBC belt on the line. Kessler had much to prove after a drab display in his opening contest of the tournament, losing a technical decision to Andre Ward in the US.
After his win over Taylor, “The Cobra” had squeaked by Andre Dirrell by split decision to get his Super Six campaign off to a winning start.
Both men were confident beforehand but it was Kessler who made the better start to the twelve-rounder showing good movement and fast hands.
The slower Englishman worked his was into the bout and after five it looked all even. Froch had a great fifth and even hurt Mikkel with a right but the Dane wouldn’t budge and rocked Carl back two rounds later with a big right of his own.
Kessler fought hard to hold a slight lead going into the final two rounds but the Nottingham puncher came right back at him as the two took turns inflicting punishment on each other to the crowd’s noisy approval.
Both were marked up at the end of an entertaining gutter war and the decision could have gone either way but the judges gave it to the home fighter by clear scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
2. Joe Calzaghe W12 Jeff Lacy, March 4th 2006
In what many thought would be a classic ‘changing of the guard’ battle, undefeated puncher “Left Hook” Lacy came over to battle the aging Welsh master Joe Calzaghe.
Lacy had built up a solid 21-0 record and won the IBF crown in his promising career. He also held an impressive seventh-round stoppage victory over former champion Robin Reid in defence of his title. Reid had ominously given Calzaghe one of his most difficult nights just a few years previously and many wondered whether the 33-year-old Welshman had enough left to beat a young hungry banger like Lacy.
Before the bout, Lacy called Joe a “slapper” and menacingly predicted a knockout but Calzaghe, at this stage WBO champion for nearly nine years, was not phased by the visitor’s reputation.
Both came out cautiously in the bout at the MEN Arena, Manchester, Calzaghe started confidently and easily peppered the younger man with his hard ‘slaps’.
Lacy just couldn’t get near the far-more experienced Welshman who countered and jabbed the younger man with contemptuous ease. As Lacy began to tire and mark up, the contest would become painfully one-sided.
After winning all of the first six rounds, the confident WBO champion upped the pace in the seventh to land blistering combinations to the shorter man’s chin. Lacy was badly hurt on the ropes and seemed close to being stopped but bravely saw out the round.
Calzaghe swept the remaining rounds, putting on a breath-taking display of skill as the pre-fight reputation of Lacy counted for nothing.
Calzaghe landed a cheeky shot behind the back of Lacy in the eleventh and got promptly deducted a point. It was the only success Lacy would have on the scorecards.
An accumulation of thumping head shots dropped the out-classed Lacy in the last as Calzaghe won by lop-sided scores of 119-107 (twice) and 119-105.
Calzaghe went on to cement his legacy with victories over Kessler, Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr while Lacy never got over the terrible beating he suffered on his biggest night and never won another major bout.
1) Nigel Benn KO10 Gerald McClellan, February 1995
What other bout could possibly top the viciously violent encounter between Nigel Benn and American puncher McClellan?
Like the Watson-Eubank rematch, this bout is remembered just as much for the terrible consequences as the pulsating war that happened between the ropes at the New London Arena.
Benn was the underdog going in; many didn’t see him surviving even the opening round against the ferocious-hitting McClellan.
The “Dark Destroyer” certainly seemed up against it taking on the formidable “G-Man”. McClellan was a former two-time middleweight champion who had won his last fourteen contests in five rounds or less and was 31-2 (29) overall.
Benn wasn’t fazed by the American’s reputation and seemed to pump himself up to super-human levels of fitness and endurance for the contest. Many kept forgetting Benn was actually the one defending his WBC title in Gerald’s debut at the higher weight.
The champion at 39-2 had plenty of experience but it counted for little in the first as McClellan badly hurt him on the ropes. The champion tried slipping the shots but several lethal-looking punches landed as he was sent clean out of the ropes.
The dazed Benn clambered back into the ring and, amazingly, made it through the near-disastrous first three minutes.
Benn incredibly came back to win the second round. Loading up with good, sharp power-punches, Benn drove the shocked challenger back to gain a foot-hold in the already-gruelling contest.
As action settled, both had their moments over the next five rounds. Benn kept courageously forcing himself forward but never seemed safe against his spiteful-hitting opponent.
The WBC champion appeared in the driver’s seat but back came McClellan in the eighth. Two smashing rights nearly be-headed Benn who bounced off the canvas for his second trip to the canvas.
With his own father screaming for the fight to be stopped at ring-side, Benn once more got up to see out the close of the round. McClellan had worryingly started to blink his eyes repeatedly; nobody knew then how much trouble he was in.
Benn edged a quiet ninth but in the tenth made McClellan back off again with whipping punches. McClellan took a knee to the crowd’s jeers but stood up to face Benn. The pumped-up “Dark Destroyer” landed a finishing right uppercut to floor his hurt foe for the second time. Head bowed; Gerald stayed down until the ref had reached ‘ten’ and Benn was the winner at 1:46 of the tenth.
McClellan still hasn’t recovered from the injuries inflicted in this fight. He can’t walk and is almost-completely blind. He is cared for by family at his home in Freeport, Illinois.
Benn held the title for another year but never got over his hardest-ever contest and retired two years later after three straight defeats.
Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeUndisputed
Super-middleweights top ten greatest world title fights part1
By Michael J Jones
Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated rematch between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler this Saturday, Livefight rates its top ten greatest-ever super-middleweight world title fights.
10. Frankie Liles KO3 Tim Little, June 8th 1996
Two American veterans meeting in a world title bout in Newcastle, England of all places; the bout went ahead as the chief support to Naseem Hamed’s WBO title defence versus Daniel Alicea and more-than matched the excitement of the main event.
Liles was defending his WBA world title against old foe Littles who had won a unanimous decision against the tall southpaw four years earlier. Liles was the favourite before the rematch after winning and defending his WBA belt in the previous two years but Littles came ready to cause the upset.
Liles, then 28-1 (17), was chasing a unification bout with Irish WBO counter-part Steve Collins and was expected to produce his usual dull points decision over his challenger. However, the UK fans were instead treated to a dramatic, foul-filled war won by Liles at 2:58 of the third round.
The tempo was quickly set in the first as Littles, with Eddie Futch in his corner, putting the pressure on the champion before a huge right uppercut dropped him heavily.
Liles moved in for the finish but a timing error saw the round conclude at the two minutes mark; it gave Littles much-needed recovery time.
The second was very messy with most of the fouls done by the over-eager challenger who was finally deducted a point after blatantly rabbit punching the back of Liles’ head.
In the opening seconds of the third though, Littles found the space for a big right which dropped the champion heavily. Liles held on as the challenger tried to follow up. Just as action slowed again, Liles dug in a short left which set up a superb right hook which blasted Littles to the deck for the second time.
The dazed challenger hurled himself up but was stopped by the ref as the Liles corner (including trainer Freddie Roach) celebrated wildly.
Liles would hold his WBA belt for another three years before getting stopped by Byron Mitchell. He never did get a unification fight but proved he was more than just a ‘boring southpaw’ on this night…
9. Joe Calzaghe KO2 Byron Mitchell, June 28th 2003
Just at the point when most of the boxing world were thinking Calzaghe would never reach his true potential, he produced his best-ever performance.
Defending his WBO title at the International Arena, Cardiff, Mitchell looked like a hard nights work for the reigning champion. America’s former WBA champion had only lost his title in his last fight via split decision to German Sven Ottke and was durable and hard-punching.
AT 35-0, Welshman Calzaghe set a furious pace from the start as Mitchell struggled to stay with him. The first was won by the energetic champion but Mitchell looked dangerous with his counters and surely Calzaghe couldn’t keep the frenetic pace of the opener?
Out for the second and Joe was loading up multi-punch combinations to the head of the American. The Welsh southpaw was well in command until a right-hook slammed into his chin to drop him for the first time in his career.
As the audience held their breaths, Calzaghe took the ref’s eight count before getting straight back into action. Mitchell tried to capitalise but two murderous left hands zeroed into his chin to send him down just seconds later.
As the groggy challenger rose from the canvas, the champion wasn’t about to let him off the hook. A sustained flurry of lefts and rights had Mitchell tottering forcing the ref to rescue him at 2:36 of the second round.
It would be three years later that the talented champion would get his big test versus Lacy while Mitchell didn’t box again for four years.
8. Chris Eubank D12 Nigel Benn, October 9th 1993
One of the biggest fights in British boxing history saw the massively hyped rematch between Chris Eubank and the “Dark Destroyer” Benn.
In the great rival’s first fight three years previously, Eubank had out-lasted Benn to rip his WBO middleweight title off the Londoner in nine blood-an-guts rounds. Benn was eager to set the record straight and had gone on to lift the WBC title at the higher weight.
Eubank was the WBO belt holder so the stage was set in a big-money unification show-down at Old Trafford, Manchester. The bout would be watched by a crowd of 42,000 and many sat on the fence picking a winner as both had remained unbeaten since their first thrilling battle.
Although a terrific occasion, the bout didn’t quite live up to the lengthy build-up as the two engaged in a nip-and-tuck chess match over the full distance.
Usually a come-forward puncher, Benn adopted a tight guard under trainer Jimmy Tibbs which Eubank found hard to penetrate as the WBC champion fought smart. There were no knock-downs but Benn generally landed the cleaner punches throughout and seemed to have edged his great rival by the final bell.
Alas the judges scored 115-113 apiece while the third made it even at 114-114. Livid Benn stormed from the ring in disgust; adamant he had done enough to win the fight.
Although the two men never faced each other again, many surmise the draw was as good as avenging his loss for the WBC champion. Particularly against a man who routinely won questionable decisions over disappointed challengers.
7. Chris Eubank KO12 Michael Watson, September 21st 1991
The tragic aftermath of this contest makes many erase from their minds the fact that this was one of the best fights ever seen on these shores and a super-middleweight classic.
After suffering a last-round stoppage defeat, Watson spent 40 days in a coma and had to have six operations to his brain. He subsequently sued the British Boxing Board of Control for errors made with ring-side medical assistance and also still suffers the after-effects today though is a hugely inspirational figure who works tirelessly for charity.
Eubank had won a heated decision over Watson in his final defence of the WBO middleweight title three months beforehand. After sweeping the early rounds, Eubank gassed out and Watson took over in the second half. Despite many thinking he had won a good fight, Watson went down on a controversial majority decision.
After Eubank expressed a desire to move up in weight, Watson also moved up to chase a rematch. The second encounter would be for the vacant WBO 168lb title and took place in White Hart Lane, Tottenham and Watson seemed to have supreme confidence for his third world title shot (he also lost previously to Mike McCallum).
Watson showed no respect for his co-challenger from the first bell and raked Eubank’s chin and ribs with his sharp punches. The fired-up former Commonwealth champion kept control of the bout for round after round as Eubank struggled to gain any foot-hold in the contest. Eubank looked to be a mile behind by the late rounds and worryingly out of gas as in the first fight.
In the penultimate round, Watson found the strength to put extra spite into his attacks and suddenly Eubank was wilting under fire. After more chipping head shots, the Brighton showman sunk to the canvas grimacing in pain.
As both men were waved back into action seconds later, Eubank steadied himself and threw a desperation right-uppercut which blasted into Watson’s unprotected chin and sent him down heavily to be saved by the bell seconds later.
It appeared Watson had only to stay on his feet for the final round to be awarded victory but as the bell to sound the session rang, Eubank picked up where he left off from the previous round and started fast. Watson took a few glancing blows before falling again to be stopped without another count.
However, the jubilation of a fantastic contest quickly turned to horror…
6. Carl Froch KO12 Jermain Taylor, April 25th 2009
Making the first defence of the WBC title he had earned by beating another quick-handed fighter in Jean Pascal, Froch took on former middleweight ruler Taylor in his first major bout overseas.
Taylor was more experienced at top-level having faced Kelly Pavlik twice, Bernard Hopkins twice and also Winky Wright but “The Cobra” relished the opportunity to face a big-name foe at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut.
The unbeaten champion got off to the worst-possible start though. After being thoroughly out-boxed for two rounds, Froch was dumped on the seat of his pants in the third by a right to the temple; it was the first time in 24 bouts he’d ever tasted the canvas.
Taylor stayed ahead with his faster hands and sharp skills until the eighth when he just started slowing down a shade. Froch, knowing he was far behind, stepped up his own attack but still seemed several points down going into the last round.
As the Nottingham puncher unleashed his best power punches; the rapidly-fading challenger started falling apart. Taylor was drilled to the canvas by a powerful right before a crunching follow-up flurry ended matters at 2:46.
At the time of the stoppage, Taylor was ahead by 106-102 on two of the judges cards meaning he had been just 14 seconds from victory.
The two would enter the Super Six tournament just a few months later with wildly-contrasting fortune.
To be continued...
Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler Head to head
Footage from today of the two fighters coming face to face ahead of their rematch this weekend.
William Hill are offering a free £25.00 bet when you place a £25.00 bet on this fight and are currently offering odds of 10/1 on for a Froch Stoppage between Rounds 10-12
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Junior Jones; “Barrera is a sore loser..Naz didn't want to fight me”
Junior "Poison" Jones talks to Livefight
By Michael J Jones
One of the most exciting fighters in 90’s world boxing was surely talented New Yorker Junior “Poison” Jones.
A lean, skilful fighter with deceptive power, Jones would win world titles in two different weights but it is his two famous victories over Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera which he will forever be remembered for.
The first victory in November 96’ was considered a huge shock at the time as underdog Jones neatly out-boxed the 43-0 WBO super-bantamweight champion (despite some rough-house tactics by Barrera) before ending the fight in style in the fifth. Jones dropped Barrera heavily with a great right-hand at the end of the round and, as he followed up, the fight was halted as the stricken fighter’s corner entered the ring to bring a disqualification over their man.
Jones also proved the first fight was no fluke just five months later, taking a deserved points decision over his great rival in Las Vegas.
Those two terrific wins were the beginning of the end for the slick puncher though as he went on to lose his WBO title to another underdog (and bitter rival) Kennedy McKinney before suffering further world-title defeats to Erik Morales and Paul Ingle.
The Brooklyn stylist eventually quit the ring in 2002 with a still-great 50-6 (28) record.
Still involved in boxing training young amateurs in New York, here’s what the 42-year-old former champion had to say-
LF) You were a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion as an amateur who turned pro in mid 1989. You quickly ran up a 30-0 unbeaten record before challenging undefeated Columbian Jorge Julio for his WBA bantamweight title in Atlantic City. What do you recall of that title-winning victory?
JJ) Julio was far better than I thought he’d be. It was my first (world) title fight and I’d seen a few of his fights and didn’t think he was that good. I was really shocked when he dropped me (but got up to win a clear decision).
LF) After a successful defence versus Elvis Alvarez you surprisingly lost the title to John Michael Johnson in an upset. I believe making the 118lb limit had become a problem by this time?
JJ) Well I’d beaten Johnson earlier in my career (on points in Jones’ third fight). I’d dropped around ten-to-twelve lbs in the last couple of weeks but the day of the fight I still had another 3lbs to shift. I couldn’t eat or drink for days before the fight and had nothing left come the fight.
LF) You had a strange fight with Darryl Pinckney later that year after moving up a weight to 122lbs. You had both gone down in the third and the ref’ stopped you awarding Pinckney the victory?
JJ) Yeah I don’t know why the ref’ stopped me it was just a bad call and a bad situation.
LF) You put the two defeats firmly behind you and in March 96’ put on a boxing master-class to clearly beat former long-time bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales on points for the IBC title. The scoring was strange for that fight; all judges had it one-sided but one judge scored for Canizales?
JJ) Yeah but I felt I won every round. The judge probably gave it to him because of who he was. That was the highlight of my career as Canizales had not long broken the world record for (bantamweight) world title defences.
LF) After two more wins in the same year you faced Marco Antonio Barrera for the WBO super-bantamweight title in Florida. You were a huge underdog before that fight but I know you were very confident about that fight?
JJ) I’d been watching Barrera for quite some time and I knew I had the style to beat him though nobody gave me a chance. I think he took the eye of the ball a little bit and thought it’d be an easy fight. I saw in his style he was perfect for me, he’d come forward and I knew I could counter him.
LF) You knocked him out but the history books will always say it was a disqualification; does that bother you at all?
JJ) No I got the win and everybody saw what I did to him (legitimately stop him). I had a feeling all the way up to that fight that I’d beat him inside five and it came true.
LF) You proved it wasn’t a lucky win by taking an immediate rematch just five months later. Were you surprised it went the full twelve after hurting him so badly in the first fight?
JJ) No not really, after the way I beat him the first time I knew he’d come at me hard in the rematch trying to avenge the loss. He came even harder than I expected but I still beat him. It was strange, I knew the first fight I’d stop him inside five and I also knew the second fight would be tougher and go the distance which it did.
LF) Barrera’s a great fighter but known to be a sore loser; were you a little angry after the fight when he said he had been robbed when it looked like you’d won even clearer than the judges had it?
JJ) I thought I won wider than the judges had it but as long as I won it didn’t really bother me. Barrera was just a sore loser who couldn’t take that I beat him twice the way I did.
LF) Eight months later you were surprisingly stopped by (former Barrera victim) Kennedy McKinney (on the undercard of Hamed-Kelley). Most people were of the opinion you would win easily; what happened?
JJ) I just fought angry with my emotions and shot my load (punched himself out). I’d dropped him in the third without really hitting him solidly but still went for the kill. By the next round I had nothing left (Jones was stopped in the fourth).
There was also a lot of pressure on me in that fight to win (being the big pre-fight favourite).
Note: The two rivals had history as McKinney had also beaten Jones as amateurs in the Olympic trials.
LF) You took a risky comeback fight ten months later by travelling to Mexico to take on the feared Erik Morales?
JJ) It was a risk but I watched him and thought I could beat him even over there but he was much better than I had anticipated. He was very good and a strong puncher. I felt it was close after three and I was winning but he caught me (getting stopped in the fourth in his second consecutive bout).
LF) The next year in 1999 you boxed some tough fighters, edging former world champion Tom Johnson, stopping puncher Richard Evatt and out-pointing Tracy Harris Patterson. They were very hard fights to take at that time?
JJ) At that point I was trying to take the best, most competitive fights out there. I knew I had to grab people’s attention to get me noticed again (to get bigger fights).
LF) You were awarded another world title shot the next year, fighting Paul Ingle for the IBF featherweight title in New York. You gave him a great fight and even had him down before he caught up with you in the eleventh round?
JJ) The whole fight changed when I had him down. After that knock-down I just lost focus and drifted in the fight.
LF) After three more wins you retired after a points defeat to unsung Ivan Alvarez in Michigan. Was it easy to walk away from boxing at that stage?
JJ) Yes because after that defeat I knew in my mind I had nowhere left to go. I lost to a guy like that so at that point I knew (my boxing career) was over.
LF) Were there any fighters you didn’t get to face but wished you had?
JJ) Yeah I wanted to fight Prince Naseem Hamed. We were meant to fight but twice a press conference was called and twice it got cancelled. I really don’t believe he wanted to fight me. He was a big puncher and awkward but I feel my style would have posed him some problems in there.
LF) I know you are a big Floyd Mayweather fan. You were similar in style and physique to Floyd how do you think the two of you would have matched up at 130lbs?
JJ) I probably had more power but he had a much better defence I don’t think I could ever have beaten Floyd. He’s got those fast hands and he’s very hard to hit cleanly.
LF) You fought them both and they were obviously great rivals but who do you think was the better overall fighter; Barrera or Morales?
JJ) Barrera was the better fighter. He could do pretty much everything; box, punch, move etc but Morales was a little more easier to figure out. Morales is like most Mexican fighters in the way he boxes but Barrera was that bit different though both gave me problems in different ways.
LF) Do you miss being a fighter?
JJ) I miss the competitiveness of boxing a little but not the pressure and the outside the ring stuff.
LF) Thank you Junior it’s been great talking to you.
JJ) Ok thank you.
Big step up for Eastend boxing ace on Chisora-Wilder Wembley card
By Tim Rickson
Billy Morgan, 23-years-old from Canning Town will take a big step up in his professional boxing career when he fights at Wembley Arena in front of a capacity crowd on 15th June.
The Eastender has not fought outside of his home venue, York Hall in Bethnal Green since turning pro in 2010. This fight will take him out of his comfort zone in front of the biggest crowd yet but it’s a challenge the youngster is relishing.
“I can’t wait to step up to a massive show at Wembley and showcase my boxing skills in front of a wider audience. I signed professional to box on big shows like this and now the time has come to step up to the plate and deliver for all my fans.”
The opponent is yet to be confirmed for the event at Wembley Arena in June but the rising star from the TKO Gym has been working hard with trainers Jimmy and Mark Tibbs.
“I’ve been training hard under the guidance of Mark and Jimmy for a good few weeks now, even before this show was announced we were working on new things in the gym.
I’ve grown and developed a lot since my last fight and had some top sparring with Colin Lynes and Dan Naylor so everything has gone according to plan.”
A win in June could take the Londoner to his 9th professional victory closing in on double figures and is looking to challenge for titles by the end of the year. Morgan turned pro in 2010 and will be approaching a full 3 years in the pro ranks by October this year.
“It’s now coming to a time in my career where I will be stepping up the level of opponents and hopefully challenging for titles in the near future. I’m relishing the opportunity and that extra excitement has given me a new lease of life for the sport and I am now even more hungry for success than I have ever been.”
Top of the bill sees an explosive Trans-Atlantic heavyweight showdown between Britain’s bad boy Dereck Chisora and unbeaten American star Deontay Wilder in a ten-round international contest. Wilder, dubbed the Bronze Bomber for his knockout style has blasted 26 out of 28 opponents away within the first three rounds with the last casualty being Audley Harrison.
The chief support fight on the night will be the highly anticipated clash at welterweight between Commonwealth champion Denton Vassell and British champion Frankie Gavin.
Vassell, 28 from Lancashire has an impressive unbeaten record of 20 wins and 10 knockouts. Nicknamed Achilles, he is also famed for being the half brother of former England striker Darius Vassell.
Opponent, 27-year-old Frankie Gavin from Birmingham won the Lonsdale belt from Junior Witter last November and can also boast an impressive unbeaten record of 15 wins with 11 coming by way of knockout. Nicknamed Fun Time Frankie, the Brummie was the first ever English amateur world champion and his performances in the ring have been living up to the hype outside the ring. Gavin will fight for the second time this year having stopped Jason Welborn in January but Vassell meanwhile will fight for the first time since he destroyed Ronnie Heffron on the undercard of Andrew Flintoff’s debut in Manchester last November.
Tickets are on sale now and likely to be a sell out with boxing fans watering at the mouth at the line up of talent featuring on the blockbuster show.
Ellesmere Port’s Paul Butler returns to London, bringing his all-action style to thrill fans when he challenges for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Super-Flyweight title. Butler, who holds the British title, won the Commonwealth belt last month at Wembley Arena with a devastating performance against Yaqub Kareem, stopping the champion inside five rounds.
Liverpool warriors Paul Smith and Tony Dodson meet again in a brutal rematch with the British Super-Middleweight title up for grabs.
Unbeaten London super-middleweight star Frank Buglioni features in an eight-round contest on the undercard as he targets his first title shot. The hard-hitting 24-year-old made it six KO’s out of eight fights with his third round KO of Darren McKenna last time out at Wembley Arena.
An action-packed undercard features unbeaten light-heavyweight and 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion Callum Johnson from Boston; Southern Area Welterweight Champion Bradley Skeete; Former Southern Area Light-Middleweight Champion Steve O’Meara; Wembley Light-Welterweight Gary Corcoran; Harrow Weald Super-Featherweight Mitchell Smith; Chingford’s unbeaten Tom Baker, Essex southpaw John Dignum plus Islington super-featherweight Joey Taylor.
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £70, £100 and £150 are available now from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk and Wembley Arena on 0844 815 0815 or www.wembleyarena.co.uk
To follow the rising star Billy Morgan on Twitter click here https://twitter.com/MorganBilly