Davies sharp shooting paves the way for a new era
A bank of cannons fired a 21-gun salute to greet the new President of the United States in Washington on Friday afternoon. Last night, it took just a single gunshot to herald in boxing’s reemergence on terrestrial television.
The left hook which Livepool’s Robbie Davies Jnr (15-0 11 KOs) flattened Zoltan Szabo with sounded like a rifle crack from ringside. Szabo dropped instantly, the fight over.
Lapsed fans who were once knowledgeable but had their interest eroded by high monthly subscription fees will always return to the sport but the real power of terrestrial television is its ability to attract new viewers. Boxing is unique in its ability to provide shocking, memorable sporting moments and images and fortunately for all involved, 27 year old Davies’ sharp shooting was just one of a couple of incidents which should ensure floating viewers return to watch ‘The Big Fight Live’ on ITV again.
The vast majority of casual observers may not have noticed the way Jack Arnfield kept his cool and simply picked Mick Hall apart rather than getting involved a in heated brawl in a lively main support bout. They will, however, have been intrigued by the horrific swelling Hall suffered on his forehead and impressed by his willingness to continue pressing forward.
It is unlikely that a twenty something lad, disappointed to be on the sofa on a Saturday night and idly flicking channels until the ten minute free previews on the channels further up the menu began, will have realised that Szabo was being slowly but surely broken down by an increasingly relaxed Davies but they might just have texted a friend when Davies reached around the Hungarian’s elbow and shockingly sunk his left hook into his ribs.
Davies has operated just off the radar but has been highly touted by those ‘in the know’. His manager, Neil Marsh - something of an unheralded miracle worker on the British boxing scene - has refused to panic and jump at the first opportunity available. The pair have stuck to their plan and played the WBA ranking game, certain that a suitable chance to capitalise on the personable Davies’ natural ability would present itself.
For the first time in his career, Davies had to juggle training for the fight with a host of media responsibilities and interview requests, each adding an extra bit of weight to the burden of carrying ITV’s latest foray into professional boxing on his own shoulders. Performing on one of the biggest stages in British boxing seemed to tighten Davies up a little early on. He was playing all the right notes but his tempo was slightly too quick, the beat slightly off. Slowly but surely, Davies began to find his timing. Szabo, a far better fighter than his physique and manner suggest, began to slow down and had no choice but to trade with Davies more frequently.
Officially, the fight ended a couple of minutes into the ninth round but once Szabo opened himself up to the left hook, initially to the head and, conclusively, to the body the writing was on the wall.
The British 140lb division is thriving. Davies is part of a young, vibrant group that includes British champion Tyrone Nurse, Chorley’s exciting Jack Catterall, Scottish star Josh Taylor - who Davies already has history with after their amateur duels - the outspoken Ohara Davies and Tom Farrell. Davies isn’t going to shy away from any challenge but is happy to continue along the path which has finally brought him some national attention.
“I enjoyed the build up. I’ve never shied away from the cameras since I was a little boy so I’m certainly not going to start now,” Davies said about his evenings work. “Don’t get me wrong, I would never turn the British belt down if it ever came up. The way Neil [Marsh] has got me on this WBA route, we’re climbing and we’re building quickly and I’d really like to get a big name next. Maybe somebody else from the WBA top 15. There are some good names in there, maybe possibly somebody who has fought for a world title before. Somebody like Ashley Theophane.
“Theophane is in the gym all the time. You see it on social media, he’s getting pampered every day and he’s making the most of his living while he still can. If ITV or Neil could bring him to Britain, i’d be over the moon with that fight.”
Granted, any work discussions with people who watched last nights card are far more likely to be along the lines of “Did you see the state of that guys head?” than debating in which direction Davies should be moved next, but to criticise that is to overlook the fact that having the names of Robbie Davies Jnr, Jack Anfield and Mick Hall thrown in alongside the Monday morning staples of Wayne Rooney, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp is a great thing for the sport.
Renold Quinlan is the Road Warrior
Courtesy of Poxon Sports
Renold Quinlan is out to prove he is the 'Road Warrior' of world boxing, by flying 12,000 miles to defend his world Super Middleweight title.
Aussie Quinlan takes on Chris Eubank Jnr in London's Olympia in the first defence of his IBO world title - live and exclusively on ITV Box Office.
Quinlan won the title by sparking out former world champion Daniel Geale inside two rounds last year but instead of making a first defence Down Under, he has chosen to travel to the UK to take on Eubank Jnr.
He said: "Many people told me to fight at home against someone easier, but I'm different. I want challenges that seem impossible and being a long way from home against very good opposition is tough. Although I'm the champion I know many people have written me off which is what excites me. I'm very excited to be fighting in the UK. They are very passionate about their sport and I plan to put a on good show for them.
"My victory over Daniel Geale showed I am ready to become the best. He had only recently lost to boxing superstars Gennady Golovkin and Miguel Cotto. Geale underestimated me and was looking to knock me over and start a big campaign internationality again. That was until he realised the power I have and I feel Eubank has made the same mistake."
Quinlan is part Aborigine and part Fijian and insists he is immensely proud of his rich heritage - something which will give him strength in his eagerly-awaited battle against Eubank Jnr.
"My nan and pop raised me from about 18 months old and I have lived in Port Macquarie and Sydney.
"My Aboriginal heritage comes from my Dad. We are Dunghutti people from north east coast of New South Wales. My mother is Fijian so I have a strong cultural connection to my heritage. I will be taking this connection and all that it means to me, for my fight in the UK."
Quinlan, who lists his boxing heroes, in no particular order, as Mike Tyson, Anthony Mundine, Roy Jones and Thomas Hearns, says he is a historian of the sport. "I love boxing so much and enjoy all the great fighters from the past and present.
"James DeGale v Badou Jack was a great fight at the weekend and it is great to see the Super Middleweight division hotting up. But you will all be talking about Renold Quinlan after I put a stop to Eubank."
He has studied Eubank closely and says the Brighton boxer has never overcome anyone of the calibre of Geale.
"Eubank has a great record but he has never beaten anyone like Daniel Geal. That is a fact and the one time he was tested he was beaten by Billy Joe Saunders. I expect a tough fight but I fear no one and Eubank will understand this when we get inside the ring. Yeah I rate him, but he won't beat me.
"I have no concerns about the travel involved and I'm very excited to be coming to the UK. My team has taken the necessary steps to ensure we arrive early enough and have the right recovery to adjust to the travel.
"The reason I have taken this fight is the same reason I fought Geale. I don't want to have a fight just to build a record. I'm ready for the best. I'm here to beat Eubank then I want DeGale or Saunders - simple as that."
How to watch Eubank Jr PPV
Chris Eubank Jr's fight against Australian Renold Quinlan has been with scathing criticism that the bill is not PPV worthy.
The 23-1 son of Chris Eubank Snr is set to take on the visitor on ITV's brand new pay-per-view vehicle, with 'early birds' able to buy the fight for £9.95.
Viewers will need to register and pay for the bout up front by clicking on the link * HERE *
Do you think this fight should be chargeable? view our comments thread * HERE *
Crolla gets Linares rematch for March 25th
Anthony Crolla will meet Jorge Linares in a rematch for the WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring magazine World Lightweight titles at the Manchester Arena on March 25, live on Sky Sports and sponsored by Betfred.
Crolla and Linares met in the same venue for the belts in September with the Venezuelan coming out on top in an enthralling contest, ending the brilliant winning run of ‘Million Dollar’ who claimed the title with a stoppage win over Darleys Perez in November 2015 before destroying dangerous Ismael Barroso in May.
The 30 year old is delighted to get a second crack at the classy Linares, and believes he’s better placed to regain his title following their first meeting.
“There had been lots of talk on the rematch since the first fight with Jorge so I’m delighted to finally get this announced,” said Crolla. “I’ve been in the gym right the way up to Christmas even though the fight is a little bit of a while off. I’m working hard and making improvements, I will have to show improvements in the rematch if I am to win. I came up short on the night against the better man - with those improvements I believe I can change the result this time around.
“I see Jorge as the best Lightweight in the world and I want to be the best Lightweight in the world. It is always up for discussion that label of course, he is seen as the man at the moment and I want to test myself against the very best, even though I have already been in with him. These are the fights that I want to be involved in.
“No excuses from me from the first fight, I had a great camp - I came up short against a great fighter. I thought the fight itself was going well, I felt like I was in control up until the sixth round, he caught me with a great shot and buzzed me. I felt that in the next round it took a bit of zap out of my punches and legs. Fair play to Linares he used his experience and won the last few rounds, which is usually what I do!
“I’ve got to be in these big fights now. The last four fights have been the biggest fights of my career, all tough opponents. I’m up for this big nights and people start expecting them. The motivation is always there for me, walking out at that arena with that crowd - it’s the level I feel I’m at now.
“The better the opponent, the better I will perform. I’m approving still as a fighter and athlete despite turning 30 recently. I want to be remembered as being someone who took on the best around and being mentioned in the same breath as them.”
“I am really excited to be going back to Manchester,” said Linares. “I was treated very well by everyone and gained a lot of new British fans. Crolla is a tremendous fighter with a lot of heart so I know I must train twice as hard for another tough fight. I want to thank Eddie Hearn at Matchroom, my promoters at Golden Boy Promotions and Teiken. I promise another great performance and assure that the belts are returning home with me”
“I'm delighted Anthony will get a chance to win his WBA title back along with the WBC Diamond and Ring magazine belts,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The last fight was a Fight of the Year contender and Linares boxed out of his skin but one thing we know about Anthony is his ability to bounce back and he is so determined to win this fight. He has created some wonderful atmospheres at the Manchester Arena over the last few years and I believe March 25 will be the best yet."
Betting giants Betfred backed the brilliant first clash between the Lightweight stars, and Betfred boss Fred Done is delighted to be backing the rematch.
“Following the fantastic first fight I had no hesitation in sponsoring the rematch of Anthony Crolla versus Jorge Linares,” said Done. “As a proud Mancunian I hope and believe I will be celebrating with Anthony this time.”
Tickets go on sale at midday on Monday January 9 to Matchroom Fight Pass members at insert link and on general sale at midday on Tuesday January 10 from www.manchesterarena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000.
Tickets are priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 while VIPs tickets are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £250.
Face value tickets for March 25 will also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.
Hearn absolutely buries Eubank Senior
Promoter Eddie Hearn talks to iFLTV's Kugan Cassius for a recap of the year and the forthcoming year's bouts.
But it's the part of the interview at 25.00m onwards that captures our eye.
Hearn talks about how Eubank Senior asked for an 'appearance fee' to attend his father's surprise 60th birthday party and how his dad (whom was incidentally Eubanks best man for his wedding) paid the fighter 'double-digit millions' and yet states despite that, Eubank still managed to completely bankrupt himself.
Have a watch:-