Malik Scott keep career alive, survives knockdown to outscore Thompson
By Michael J Jones
LAST NIGHT in Orlando, Florida, heavyweight Malik “King” Scott won the battle of veterans by surviving a ninth-round knock-down to out-score Washington’s Tony Thompson. Scores of 96-93, 95-94 and (a far too-wide) 98-91 told the story as Scott put in a fine showing of skilful boxing.
The winner ups his record to 38-2-1 (13) after proving victorious at The Venue at UCF, Orlando. It’s hard to know where Thompson goes from here at 44-years-old but he’s bounced back many times from set-backs in the past and can’t be completely ruled out for future success.
The bout opened with the 35 year old Scott boxing neatly behind the jab. Thompson at 263lbs looked a little plodding as he calmly followed his faster rival around the ring but started making some progress in the third as he began to use his size more.
It could be argued Scott didn’t drop a round through the first seven rounds. The Philly stylist, 28lbs the lighter man at 235, riddled the aging “Tiger” at will and mostly kept out of harm’s way with good footwork and a tight defence.
In the seventh the cause looked hopeless for Tony as Scott remained firmly in control, even show-boating as the older man began to look all of his 44 years.
Thompson, now 40-6 (27), wasn’t quite done though.
In the eighth the 6’5” southpaw went to work and finally started getting through with some good shots to head and body. The two-time world heavyweight title challenger bagged his first conclusive round and the next would be more so when he landed a massive right hand to down Scott in the bout’s only knock-down.
Scott was hurt but recovered quickly to make it through the round in one piece but Thompson still needed a stoppage in the last such was the deficit on the scorecards. Scott didn’t take any risks however, and made it through the closing moments to take the spoils unanimously.
Scott may have scored the best win of his career and could feasibly get another big fight in the near future. One of his two defeats was to current WBC champion Deontay Wilder who knocked out the Philadelphian in the first round last year. Nobody would have thought a rematch possible in the aftermath of that contest but stranger things have happened in boxing.
Malik was also having his first fight in a year last night but got himself in great shape and boxed a near-perfect fight.
In the chief supporting bout, Haskell Rhodes suffered the first defeat of his career when out-pointed by Sergey Lipinets. Rhodes dips to 23-1-1 while his conqueror raises his record to 8-0.
RIP Sinan Samil Sam 1974-2015
By Michael J Jones
THE BOXING world was reeling last night at the tragic news of the death of former heavyweight contender Sinan Samil Sam. The Germany-born Turk was just 41-years-old and died of liver failure in hospital in Istanbul.
A former amateur star who became a world champion as both a junior and senior boxer, Samil Sam turned pro in April 2000 and within two years had forged a 15 bout unbeaten record. The winning streak lead to a European title shot against Przemyslaw Saleta with Sinan winning via seven-round knock-out.
For his first defence, the “Bull from Bosporus” would tackle in-form Englishman Danny Williams in a dangerous-looking match. Williams had avenged his only defeat to Julius Francis and was the reigning British and Commonwealth champion but Samil Sam would prove the better fighter on the night.
Williams, who had never previously been floored prior to the bout, was unable to avoid the hammer-like right-hand of the European champion and was dropped on three occasions before the contest was halted in the sixth.
Later that year, Samil Sam would face former cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez over ten rounds in New York in a battle of undefeated fighters. Unfortunately, Gomez’ superior experience told and he would hand the Turkish boxer his first loss as a pro.
Five months later, in February 2004, the 6’3” Samil Sam would suffer a second loss when losing his European title in a close fight to Luan Krasniqi but would bounce back with six wins on the spin. The winning sequence would also include Sinan claiming his second pro title in the WBC International belt.
The good form was brought to an end by the come-backing Oleg Maskaev who won a surprisingly-wide points decision over the younger man. Three return victories and Samil Sam was matched with former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall in a WBC eliminator. Sinan also had the benefit of facing the “Atomic Bull” in his native Turkey though it helped him little.
McCall, well into his 40’s but still capable and as durable as ever, used all of his toughness and experience to pound out a decision as Samil Sam’s world title hopes were gone forever.
The beaten man would box four more times and win them all. In his last bout in July 2008 he edged Italian Paolo Vidoz to reclaim the European title on a majority decision.
Samil Sam thus ended his boxing career with a fine 31-4 (16) record with the distinction of being the first ever Turkish boxer to win a European title above 140lbs. He never had the punch variety and skill needed for the very top but he was a solid all-rounder with a great right-hand and granite jaw. Three of his four defeats were to world champions and nobody managed to stop him.
After his boxing career had ended, the retired fighter piled on weight and turned to alcohol which ultimately lead to his premature death. In December 2010, the struggling former fighter was rushed into hospital where his liver condition was discovered. He was awaiting a liver transplant when his condition worsened with fatal consequences.
Sinan Samil Sam will be buried this week in Ankara.
RIP Sinan Samil Sam the “Bull from Bosporus” 1974-2015
Enzo gets Roy Jones Jr for WBA title
By Michael J Jones
IT WAS announced earlier today that the vacant WBA cruiserweight title will take place in Moscow between Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli and American legend Roy Jones Jr on December 12.
The two men will thus complete an unlikely pairing for a world title but it doesn’t stop it from being a decent fight. Jones Jr, recently made a Russian citizen by President Putin, is 8-0 (5) since his last defeat to Denis Lebedev four years ago.
Overall he is 62-8 (45) and, after winning world titles previously at middleweight, super-middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight, seeks to complete his vast collection by claiming the 200lb bauble.
Big punching Maccarinelli, was making waves in the 175lb division as the Commonwealth champion when he received a shot at Juergen Braehmer’s WBA light-heavyweight title 18 months ago. The Welsh underdog fought bravely through grotesque facial swellings but eventually was pulled out by compassionate coach Gary Lockett after five rounds.
Since his last defeat, big Enzo has stopped two opponents to raise his record to 40-7 (32) and is very much a live underdog. At 35 he will be nearly twelve years the younger man and can also boast the edge in height and reach.
Maccarinelli was the WBO cruiserweight champion for two years until David Haye knocked him out in a unification bout back in 2008. The two men have 77 knock-outs between them as well as eleven losses inside so a KO either way is surely expected.
Jones Jr was due to meet Tony Dodson in Liverpool before the Florida veteran pulled out just a week beforehand amid rumours of a vacant WBA title shot now proven correct.
Tiger Vs King: Livefight breaks down Tony Thompson vs Malik Scott heavyweight showdown
By Michael J Jones
THIS FRIDAY in Orlando, Florida, an intriguing heavyweight bout takes place between veterans with a combined age of 79. No that wasn’t a misprint as the fighters in question are 44 year old Tony Thompson who takes on fellow American Malik Scott, a mere pup of 35.
With the heavyweight division labouring slightly and both men clearly far from finished, the contest holds some interest with the winner surely not too far from a world title shot of some sort.
The older man by nine years, Thompson is coming off one of his best wins in his 40-5 (27) career. Facing old foe Odlanier Solis in Turkey, Thompson took full advantage of the younger man’s dubious conditioning and put a beat-down on the Cuban who eventually refused to box on after eight one-sided rounds.
That fight was back in February and one wonders how much longer “The Tiger” can continue mixing it with the best after 15 long years as a pro with around ten of those being spent somewhere around the world’s top ten big men.
The Washington southpaw is best known for two world title losses to current ruler Wladimir Klitschko in 2008 and 2012 respectively plus a couple of knock-outs over Liverpool’s David Price in 13’. Thompson turned pro late at 28 and spent the first five years of his career being avoided like the plague.
A 6’5” southpaw with power is not the type of opponent any prize-fighter actively seeks to fight but, apart from an early career reverse against Erik Kirkland, Thompson kept winning to eventually get himself in position to compete for the sport’s richest prize.
Since losing a rematch in Switzerland to Klitschko and those famous victories over Price, Thompson has had mixed success, losing decisions to Kubrat Pulev and Carlos Takam on the road but also scoring those two wins over Solis. The first had been a nip-and-tuck affair but “The Tiger” hammered the tubby Cuban to score an emphatic victory in their rematch.
Thompson looked as good as ever in his last fight and is still a solid competitor who is awkward and carries decent power. The Washington contender also sports a decent chin with only the mighty fists of Klitschko so far being able to make a notable dent in Tony’s only two inside-schedule defeats of his career.
Malik Scott offers similar credentials to his older opponent with 40 bouts to his opponent’s 45. Scott is only an inch or so behind Thompson in the height and reach departments though could be around 20-25lbs the smaller man come fight night.
Scott, just like Tony, turned pro in 2000 and won every one of his first 35 pro contests. The Philly prospect made his name with terrific sparring of the world’s best men including Lennox Lewis. The problem was “King” never seemed to nail that meaningful fight that gets a guy’s status from prospect to contender.
After several low key victories, Scott disappeared after a win in December 2008 and wouldn’t resurface until early 2012. Credit where it’s due; Scott has faced far superior opposition since his comeback.
Just a few months into his return, the talented Philadelphian stopped decent Bowie Tupou in eight before holding unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov to a controversial draw five months later.
In July 2013, the American brought his unbeaten record to Wembley to face Brit bad boy Dereck Chisora and boxed well early on but subsequently faded. He appeared to mistime the count after being floored and was halted in the sixth. Nine months later Scott was again the loser by stoppage in another strange-ending fight as Deontay Wilder stopped him in just 96 seconds.
The future (and current) WBC world champion landed a hook and a half-decent right in the first and Scott was counted out but some questioned the ending. Regardless, the Philly veteran came back with a dominant victory over former world title challenger Alex Leapai in Australia a year ago to prove he wasn't finished.
That unanimous points victory saw Scott up his numbers to 37-2-1 (13) and, just like Thompson, is at the point where the fight could prove a door-opener or a career finisher. Thompson has boxed at the top level for longer, is bigger and more powerful and carries the heavier artillery but at just-turned 44 can he deal with a younger, skilful box-fighter like Scott?
Thompson will look to put the pressure on and one can’t help wondering will Malik cave if he starts shipping those jolting left hands. Scott has the faster hands and feet and should look to stay off the ropes, keep the fight long and not get involved in close.
Thompson has a decent work-rate and if he gets into a rhythm and starts punching in combination, it could get very tough for Scott. It’s a good 'pick em' fight between two experienced, quality operators but this writer’s tentative pick is for Thompson to overcome a slow start to stop Scott in eight or nine rounds.
Incidentally, this will be Thompson’s first bout on home soil since May 2011 when he stopped Maurice Harris in three.
A good-looking undercard at The Venue at UCF is headed by the light-welterweight ten rounder between 23-0-1 Haskell Rhodes and 7-0 Sergey Lipinets. Also on the nine-bout bill is Antonio Tarver Jr who boxes his fourth contest against Thomas Allen over four rounds.
Underdog Gillen unfazed, ready to extinguish Singh
By Tim Rickson
Indian megastar, Vijender Singh (1-0) is the next opponent lined up for Nottingham’s Fighting Fireman, Dean Gillen (2-0) on October 30 in Harrow Leisure Centre, London.
It will be Fire v Police once again with Singh, 29-years-old, a Deputy Superintendent of Police in his native Haryana and Gillen, 33-years-old, a long-serving member of the Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service.
The pair due to lock horns on the eve of Halloween could not be any further apart, Singh has competed in three Olympic Games starting with Athens in 2004, followed by Beijing 2008 where he picked up a bronze medal and culminating with the most recent London 2012 event.
He has also competed in the same amount of Commonwealth Games, collecting a medal on each occasion, firstly with a silver in 2006 in Melbourne, a bronze in 2010 in Delhi, and another silver in 2014 in Glasgow.
Trained by Andrew Lowe and managed by Carl Greaves, Gillen’s only background in boxing comes from taking part in the 2013 World Police and Firefighter Games in Belfast, knocking out all three opponents on the way to winning gold.
Unknown to most, the occasion is a biennial athletic event attracting 10,000 applicants, only slightly fewer than the Olympic Games.
Gillen made his pro bow in May this year with a points win over fellow debutant Shaun White and followed that up in September with another points win over Lewis Van Poetsch (4-26) – both bouts scored at 39-37 to the Nottinghamshire man.
Gillen has a height and reach advantage over Singh, being 6ft 1” to the Bihwani boxer’s 6ft and possessing a longer 74” reach to his 72”.
In his native country, Singh is a national treasure and his debut on October 10th in Manchester Arena on the undercard of Terry Flanagan’s and Liam Smith’s respective World title fights, was televised live in India on Sony Six with an estimated 20 million viewers tuning in – arguably the largest ever audience for a boxer’s professional debut.
Singh kicked off his pro career that night with a third round stoppage of Sonny Whiting (2-2) and will now be looking to ruin the record of his first unbeaten pro fighter.
“It’s going to be another win for them or so they think,” began Gillen. “Basically, I got offered a fight on the undercard of an English title fight against a debutant last Monday but their team didn’t fancy it, and then I got offered this on the Wednesday and it took all of two minutes to think about it before I accepted!
“I totally respect what he’s done and achieved but ultimately there’ll be two men with gloves on, of equal weight, boxing to the same rules…I’m not kidding myself or anyone else but that is genuinely the way I am looking at.”
With both of Gillen’s pro fights so far being held on the small hall circuit, there will be the added pressure of the away venue and a further 20 million biased Indian fans for the father of three to contend with on the night.
“I’ve boxed in the World Police and Fire Games at Ulster Hall which was televised around the world and the number of 20 million viewers doesn’t feel real to me,” responded Gillen.
“When I’m in the ring doing a sport that I love and enjoy, you’re just thinking of that and nothing else matters.
“I might be fighting away but I’m no journeyman, I’m not going in to make up numbers, I’m ‘The Fighting Fireman’ and I come to fight and I fight to win; at some point he’ll have to get beat and that could well be his second fight against me.
“I said from the start of my career that every fight is a title fight and this is no different, losing is not an option for me.
“Getting that win would be a massive achievement for me, it’ll be like winning an Olympic medal.
“Plus, I’ve never lost to a Police boxer before!” He quipped.
Singh will be joining the exclusive 30’s club with Gillen, celebrating his birthday one day before the scheduled fight.
Currently with his head down in serious training in Manchester with coach Lee Beard, he aims to achieve his history-making dream and become India’s first ever World champion boxer.
“I can’t wait for this fight against Gillen, he’s talking the fight and it looks like he will bring me a challenge in my second fight,” said the star of Bollywood film, Fugly.
“From what I have seen of him he looks like a good opponent who will push me and I hope he does because then the better I will fight, I rise to my opponent and it brings the best out in me.
“He’s got an unbeaten record, albeit two fights, and it’s a big motivator for me to claim his first loss, if I can stop him, like against Whiting, then that will be another good win for me.
“Being a fireman, he’ll be used to dealing with fire and coping with heat but this is one fire he won’t be putting out and it will be an entertaining fight for the fans in my first pro fight in the capital.”
The Queensberry Promotions show is headlined by WBO European super-middleweight champion Jamie Cox (19-0). The southpaw from Swindon defends his title for the first time against an opponent yet to be announced over 10 rounds.
The undercard features red hot light-heavyweight Tom Baker (12-0) from Chingford in the chief-supporting contest against Margate’s Jack Morris (14-2-1) for the vacant Southern Area light-heavyweight strap.
The undercard features a host of top talents in Bushey light-heavyweight Miles Shinkwin (11-0) with opponent yet to be named.
Islington light-middleweight Georgie Kean (6-1) will be opposing Gillen’s teammate Nathan Macintosh (8-0), also from Nottingham.
West Ham light-middleweight prospect Sam McNess (1-0) will be getting tested against Kevin McCauley (11-107-6).
Ilford light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde (2-0) goes up against Derby’s Elvis Dube (6-41-2).
Jez Smith (3-0), the younger brother of Mitchell who was recently awarded 2015 Best Young Boxer of the Year, takes on Newark’s Fonz Alexander (3-20) over four rounds at middleweight.
Headline-grabbing flyweight from Acton, Prince Patel (2-0) faces Gateshead’s Gary Reeve (1-5).
Chingford lightweight Archie Sharp (1-0) tackles Hereford’s Dean Evans (1-8-1).
Two debutants complete the line-up, firstly West Ham light-welterweight Ben Smith who faces Nuneaton’s Kristian Laight (10-206-7) in what will be his 224th fight!
Secondly, Sidcup’s light-welterweight D.P Carr who takes on Trowbridge’s Dan Carr (3-76-2).
Remaining tickets are available from Ticketmaster on www.ticketmaster.co.uk and 0844 844 0444 and Frank Warren Box Office on 01992 550 888.
BoxNation, will televise the show live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com or watch online at Livesport.tv and via iPhone, iPad or Android.
Team Deano would like to thank his sponsors Jacks of London and American Fire Apparel and The Townhouse Bar & Kitchen and PR Manager Tim Rickson
To follow Dean Gillen on Twitter click here @TeamDeanoPro
For more info on Dean Gillen visit http://teamdeano.com/
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