News January 2011

Bradley contract up in May: Will rival promoters steal him


Gary Shaw

Coming off the biggest win of his career, Timothy Bradley will likely spend time polishing his titles and kicking back in style.

But one thing that will be prominent on his mind, will be the impending contract expiration with current promoter Gary Shaw Productions.

Shaw, who has seen previous talent like James Kirkland and Nonito Donaire join Goldenboy and Top Rank respectively, came under criticism along with Don King for putting such a marquee fight on in a boxing graveyard such as the Detroit Silverdome.

Shaw's larger than life character was reported to be missing from ringside on Saturday night, as he was alleged to be watching the tense action unfold from a TV screen within the premises.

Afterwards Shaw declared that the fight he is wanting to make next is with Floyd Mayweather and that he intends to talk in detail with HBO about Bradley's bright future.

With huge pay days looming with other fighters in the division such as Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana and Victor Ortiz (all signed with Golden Boy Promotions) and a successful debut on the cash-rich HBO channel, Bradley's decision might be to seek pastures new to facilitate the negotiations if Shaw does not come up with a package of proposals.

Bradley's affairs are taken care of by his wife Monica. But his manager Cameron Dunkin, a popular figure amongst fighters, will be tasked with seeing what opportunities are available to the Palm Springs native.

Cameron also managed the aforementioned Kirkland and Donaire - and has a reputation as respected, straight talking honest man when it comes to a fighter's best interests. Dunkin and Shaw have locked horns in the past when fighters have moved on.

It could well be that Bradley re-signs with Shaw, or maybe signs with nobody and becomes a free promotional agent.

But whatever happens forthwith, Bradley has a lucrative 18 months ahead of him, especially if he fights Amir Khan.


Prizefighter: Do the purse rules need changing


Travis with the trophy

It was another great night of action from the latest instalment of Prizefighter last night, courtesy of Matchroom Promotions and the Olympia in London.

We had stoppages, cuts, upsets and knockdowns in an eventful Light Heavyweight show.

Tony Dodson rightfully lead the pack as the tournament favourite and looked reborn with the additional weight. He took the fight to the naturally bigger Banbula and overcome his awkwardness with calculated agression.

Unfortunately the blend of styles and power punches thrown in the exchanges lead to a really nasty gash above Tony's right eye and it seemed as though his Prizefighter exit was imminent despite victory.

But the doctor ruled that Tony was fit to continue, that the damage was not affecting his ability to box, after the cut was brought under control.

But in the semi final, Tony's dominating stoppage win over Menay Edwards saw him receive another nasty cut and the existing damage become bloodier and worsen with each passing moment.

As soon as he was officially announced the victor he immeadiately sought out the changing area to rest and receive further treatment on the cut, as he readied himself for the final and a chance to grab the £32,000 in cash. Even in defeat, he would still look to collect £16,000 as the runner-up.

But the doctor ruled that the injuries sustained were sufficient for him to halt Tony's journey from going any further.

Sam Couzens, a substitute replacement then got the nod to fill Tony's shoes in the final. The replacement gave it a valiant challenge but was dispatched inside the second round by knockout, by a battle weary Dickinson.

But the ruling affords Sam the runner up prize of £16,000 and Tony, who'd earned his final place on merit (as well as blood and guts) will receive a much smaller thank you for his efforts, in the form of £8,000.

After training fees, hotels, tax and so forth - Tony Dodson will barely afford a weekend in Butlins. Wheras the substitute will walk away with about £4,000 per minute's earnings.

Joe Calzaghe, Nathan Cleverly and the Sky pundit team all concurred that it's a hard pill to swallow getting so close to the cash, yet to miss out due to injury.

It must be fairer to divide up the earnings on a pro-rata basis, whereby each successfully completed fight affords them a portion of the prize up for grabs.

If a contender arrives at the final, but unable to compete, then they should pick up the £16k on account of two successful fights. And the sub should only get the opportunity to fight for an £8k win and the trophy.

If a substitute with fresh legs, no cuts or war wounds takes the trophy, then finacial parity should be afforded them - but not the whole pot of £32,000.

Surely there are items that this author has not fully considered into the process to date. But in a nutshell if a finalist cannot compete on a doctor's ruling then he should earn more than the stand in substitute.

In closing, Matchroom have a wonderful product but they need to revise the rules in the spirit of fair play and those who have earned their crust should receive it. And those subs lucky to get airtime and a smaller amount of the pot in relationship to their input should be considered in the grand scheme of what their contribution actually was, apart from a lucky coin toss.


Rugged Bradley exposes Alexander


Last night saw Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander clash for the "king of the 140lb" title last night at the Silverdome in Detroit. The attendance for the show was rumoured to be poor in the days leading up to the event, but there seemed to be a few thousand who finally went along and bought tickets on the night itself.

Bradley launches at Alexander

The fight promised fireworks, but was a largely clockwork fight, with Alexander circling the outside and Tim Bradley hunting from the centre of the ring.

Bradley's natural man-strength seemed to give him the edge in exchanges against the thinner Alexander, who seemed to favour style over substance.

With Bradley edging the action for the most part, an unfortunate clash of heads opened up a large cut over Alexander's right eye. It was mistakenly declared as "caused by a punch" by the referee, who at first seemed to have called it correctly, but video replay showed the head land after the shot thrown by Bradley.

Alexander's defensive approach was now set in stone as a result of the cut. The action continued in the same vein for round after round in a predictable affair.

Then as the championship rounds approached, you felt that there was going to be a "final chapter" in Bradley's performance.

But within the 10th round, another clash of heads occurred, as both men came in to throw punches. Immeadiately Alexander was complaining and was examined by the doctor. Devon did not want to fight on and made that abundantly clear to the doctor, who seemed like he was leaving it down to the fighter to make the call.

The fight was halted and it then went to the judges' scorecards to declare the winner of the WBO and WBC titles on stake.

Bradley looked pensive as the scorecards were added up, whilst Alexander seemed confident. But as the scores were read out they were not even close, with all 3 judges seeing it loosely the same way for Tim Bradley.

The scores were 98-93, 97-93 and 96-95 for Bradley.

"I couldn't see after the headbutt. He's got a big head, he came at me full force. My eye was burning, I couldn't see man." said Devon after his defeat.

But Bradley was not impressed with Alexander refusing to continue “If that's the best in the world, that's weak,” Bradley said from ringside. “He jumped in and didn't want to get hit with the big shot.”

Talk of a showdown with Amir Khan for Bradley was squashed by Alexander roaring that he wants a rematch as per his contract.

"There's a rematch clause in the contract, and I want a rematch with Timothy Bradley."

But if their second fight is an exciting as their first one, then it's unlikely that their will be many punters looking to watch it live or pay for it on HBO.

Bradley now moves his record up to 27-0 whilst Alexander drops to 21-1.

"I would love a chance with Floyd Mayweather. I think I've got to take Amir Khan out next, then there will be no doubt who the best 140-pounder is in the world. The key name on the list down the road is Manny Pacquiao." concluded Bradley.


Will Khan split with Ariza affect Wild Card lifestyle


Khan with Ariza (right)

With the news emerging of Amir Khan's split with conditioning coach Alex Ariza over on, the question must be raised as to what impact this will have on the unity of the famous Wild Card gym in the long run.

Ariza has been working hard with Khan since his arrival around two years ago to Freddie Roach's gym in LA.

"When Khan first came to the Wild Card gym, He was too big in the upper body. We distributed so much of that muscle to his legs to make him the correctly balanced package." Ariza told the media ahead of the Maidana fight.

But what occurred between then and now is very sinister. Reports allege that Ariza's room was broken into and that his paperwork was stolen, including his contract with Amir Khan and other fighters such as Pacquiao and Chavez junior. He points the finger at Khan's party.

Since then Team Khan has announced they are no longer working with Ariza and are awaiting news of another conditioner being brought in to work with them.

This scenario is a very serious one for all parties concerned. The ambience around Freddie and his stable of fighters and gym workers is renowned throughout the world, with many names heading there to soak up the vibe.

In the last couple of months we have seen Felix Sturm and Matthew Macklin both head to LA to work alongside the likes of Pacquiao.

Roach and Pacquiao share a tight bond with Ariza, having worked so closely for the last few years and this situation will break the harmony.

To be accused of short changing your staff and breaking into their hotel room to take their legally binding documents from them is not something that will be taken lightly be friends of Ariza.

Pacquiao, who is a generous and good natured character will likely be very concerned if the allegations are confirmed.

Khan is often filmed in the Wild Card with swathes of friends and family he calls his "team" that don't actually appear to have any functional role. It is these people who Ariza is enraged with and not the fighter himself.

Recent media spats with Paul McCloskey also add weight to the Ariza situation. McCloskey is claiming that they offered him a "very poor" offer to fight Khan in Manchester, with reports of no shares of the TV sales or tickets being made to him, despite the huge Irish following he would bring to the bout.

Towards the end of last year, the Khan's persecuted the Great Britain coach Robert McCracken for failing to include their son Haroon Khan in the England squad. Pursuing him through national newspapers, who where none the wiser that Haroon had failed to make the grade in tournaments - that other British fighters had won their contests and rightfully deserved their place ahead of him on pure merit - and not name.

Previously headlines were made by Amir Khan for numerous driving offences, including running a man over and breaking his leg, after reports that he'd driven at speed through a red light. Other cases alleged that he drove at up to 150mph on the motorway.

Prior to heading to the States, Amir Khan began to burn his bridges with British public even further by declaring that essentially the country were full of bigots and that "If I were a white English fighter maybe I'd have been a superstar in Britain."

His father Shah sensed a backlash and began to distance his son's comments and on BBC Radio 5 live: "I don't agree with it. I don't know why he made those comments."

All of the above PR disasters where fading well, especially with the stellar Marcos Maidana fight as talented Amir defended his WBA light welterweight title on his Las Vegas showdown. Their fight was recently awarded the "fight of the year" by American scribes.

But the Ariza situation could drive a rift straight through the heart of the harmony of the Wild Card.

Whether Khan and his so called 'team' will be invited by Roach to work alongside Pacquiao and Ariza in the future remains to be seen, but will be highly unlikely.

With his April date on Sky all booked but with nobody interested in the low purse on the table, combined with this situation - Khan's 'team' have a lot to think about.

But one thing seems certain, the American fairy tale could now turn sour.

Khan has ridden the Pacquiao wave of fame, even picking up some of his fans in the process. How those fans will react to this latest story will be interesting, as they value Ariza as one of their own.

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Bradley and Alexander hit the scales VIDEO and GALLERY


Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander both hit the scales ahead of their impending light welterweight unification fight for the WBO and WBC titles tonight at the Silverdome in Detroit.

"I'm gonna be blazing....I'm gonna be taken over from round one through to round twelve." declared Alexander, who also won the coin toss and thus will enter the ring last.

Meanwhile Bradley was a man of few words but was in phenominal condition, with rippling muscle mass across his compact frame.

UK fans will be able to watch the fight on Sky Sports 2 (channel 402) from 2am tonight.


Exclusive Daniel Geale interview


By John Evans

Daniel Geale has beaten both Mundine and Karmazin

The middleweight division is one of boxings most famous weight classes. One only needs to take a quick look back through any boxing record book to see some of the legendary names who have held the 160lb belt aloft. Names like Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins jump off the page.

Sadly, until last year the middleweight division had been in somewhat of a slump. Since Hopkins' long reign as champion came to an end, nobody had been able to take the division by the scruff of the neck and emerge as the man to beat. Step forward Sergio Martinez. The consensus choice for 2010's "Fighter Of The Year" beat Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams to emerge as the undisputed king of the 160lb class. At the same time, a number of exciting young middleweights have emerged and the division seems set to spring back into life.

One of those fighters is 29 year old Australian, Daniel Geale. Having recently stopped Roman Karmazin in a final elimination match for the IBF middleweight title, the number one contender for Sebastian Sylvester's belt took time out from training to speak with to talk about his career so far and share his hopes for 2011.

LF: How did you find your way into the boxing gym as a youngster?

At the age of 9. My Dad ,Wayne, that suggested I give it a try. I loved all sports but as soon as I started boxing I felt a sense of wholeness.

LF: As an amateur you represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games and took a gold medal home. How did you find the experience?

The Commonwealth Games was a fantastic experience, I learnt alot about myself and what I was capable of accomplishing when I had confidence in myself and pushing my limits. Living your dreams is pretty amazing so I feel truly blessed for the support that my family, friends and Australian Institute of Sport have given me to achieve my
goals. I met many great athletes at both the Commonwealth Games and 2000 Olympics.

LF: Do you feel your style was always more suited to the professional game?

I dont believe that I was suited more when I was an amateur to being a pro but I found that when I decided to turn to professional boxing,
that the transition was quite a smooth, I have had to adjust many things and work alot on my power since 2004 and think I have improved on that immensly.

LF: Was there anything you had to change?

As an amateur you tend to sit higher in your stance, so I had to work on sitting down on my punches more in the pros.

LF: Your victory over Geard Ajetovic for the IBO belt now looks like a solid victory. Dmitry Pirog and Matthew Macklin also beat him over the distance after you.
How useful was this as a learning fight?

Geard was a good fight for me at the time. He was well known for his boxing skills, he had a very tight defence so I had to learn not to get frustrated at that and
try and break him down. I think that particular fight tought me how to be a little more controlled.

LF: The fight with Anthony Mundine was a big fight in Australia and very close. Although obviously disappointed not to get the decision, were you pleased with
your performance in your first high profile fight against a world rated opponent?

Although I was very disappointed in the decision in this fight, I was very happy with my performance. I did enough to retain my IBO title in my opinion,
however there are always areas you can improve on. The Mundine fight lifted my profile slightly in Australia .

LF What positives did you take from the fight?

I was in great condition, my coach Graham Shaw always prepares us well so I was happy with that. I also gained confidence in my own ability knowing that I can
push myself and probably beat anyone in the world in the middleweight division.

LF: In the Karmazin fight, every part of your game seemed to have gone up a level. How much of this was down to making adjustments in your game and how much was down to having gained the confidence that you were capable of being successful at the highest level?

My confidence in my own ability has been lifting considerably in my last few fights before Karmazin. I knew he was a very experienced fighter but as the rounds went
on my confidence increased more and more so more confidence I guess more played the part.

LF Give us your thoughts on the fight.

He was a very experienced fighter, he was tricky, I knew at any stage he was very capable of landing big shots. I also knew that if I was patient I would be able to
break him down.

LF: The manner of your victory must give you a great deal of confidence heading into your fight with Sebastian Sylvester. Many thought Karmazin beat Sylvester.

After watching the fight myself, I believed that Karmazin had done enough to win. He was unlucky, but most people that know boxing are aware that its hard to get a
decision in Germany against a German fighter. I am really looking forward to my opportunity to fight for the IBF World Title, I will make sure that I do enough so
there is no doubt in anyones mind who wins the fight.

LF: What are your impressions of both Sylvester?

Sylvester is a great fighter obviously or he wouldn't be the IBF Champion, however I believe I can beat him.

LF: Obviously as Sylvester fight was slated to on the 22nd (the fight was cancelled due to Sylvester falling ill), your chance could be 3-4 months away. That could mean a break of 6-7 months since the Karmazin fight. Would this inactivity be a worry and have you considered taking a ‘stay busy’ fight?

My team and I have discussed a stay busy fight, however I believe it to be best to focus on the fight with Sylvester. The inactivity does not bother me. I am a very
patient person.

LF: If Sylvester beats Bouada, and as rumoured a bout between you took place in Germany, what are your thoughts on the apparent favouritism shown to the home fighters there? Would you be concerned about getting a decision in a close fight?

This has been an issue for most visitors in the past, the judging is tough and some may say a little bias. I will do all I can to make sure that the fight is not
close, if it is close then I have to have faith in the judging. I dont spend alot of time thinking about that. I concentrate on my training and my family and when
the day comes I will take care of it.

LF: If successful in winning the IBF belt, where would your longer term ambitions lie? Your style would be a big hit in America and there is a new crop of middleweights emerging (Pirog, Lemieux, maybe Kirkland moving up, Martin Murray).

America is definitely where my longer term goals are aimed, I know fighting and winning in the U.S rewards you with respect and money. There are plenty of great fights for
me there so after Sylvester I will look forward to it.

LF: There would obviously be a clamour for a Mundine rematch (even after his recent loss). Would you entertain that or prefer to leave that part of your career behind?

At this stage in my career I am chasing bigger fighters than Mundine. I want to give the Australian public the fights they want to see so if Mundine beats Garth Wood
in their rematch (and thats a big if) then we may entertain the idea. if Geale v Mundine II happens I will beat him again.

LF: Give us your ideal plan for 2011.

Ideal 2011... Be patient for first part of the year, win the IBF title in Germany and negotiate some big fights in the U.S. Hopefully have 2-3 more fights for the year with the last one possibly a unification bout with one of the other champions in Australia.

LF: Any points you would like to get across that you haven’t had the chance to express?

I have been under the radar for a long time, now its time to step up and show Australia and the world what I do best and hopefully be the new face of Australian

LF: Finally, any hobbies when not in training? Who are your family?

I love to play golf. I pretty much love to play and watch all sports. I like to go fishing. My family consists of my wife Sheena, she is my backbone, and our three kids Bailey 6, Ariyelle 4 and Lilyarna 2.

Thanks Daniel, all the best.

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VIDEO: Tim Bradley works out at the Kronk



VIDEO: Devon Alexander works out at the Kronk



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