Hearn: Bellew and Adonis weigh in was craziest so far
Promoter Eddie Hearn, over in Canada this weekend has said that the weigh-in between challenger Tony Bellew and light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson was the craziest he has seen during his time as a boxing promoter.
The pair had to be separated by security after nearly coming to blows on the stage and tonight's fight on Sky and HBO will sure to contain even more fireworks:-
Vivian Harris talks career turn around hopes to get rematch with Ortiz at 147
By Michael J Jones
Former WBA light-welterweight champion Vivian “Vicious” Harris certainly shocked a lot of people last month when upsetting welterweight prospect Danny O’Connor in Philadelphia. The Guyana-born Harris edged his much-younger opponent by split-decision after ten brisk rounds to stop a bad run of form over the previous five years.
Now 31-9-2 (19), the 35-year-old “Vicious” was keen to put his story straight about his virtual isolation from boxing following the loss of his title eight years ago. The man who holds victories over the likes of Diobelys Hurtado, Souleymane M’Baye, Otkay Urkal and Stevie Johnston, feels he has been unfairly treated in recent years by certain quarters of the boxing establishment while simply trying to continue his career.
After a run consisting of defeats to Lucas Matthysse and Victor Ortiz among others, the former champion has discovered his hunger for boxing again and has won his last two contests this year to stop the rot.
Pulling no punches about his career frustrations, here’s what Vivian had to tell Livefight a few days ago…
LF) Firstly congratulations on your recent win over Danny O’ Connor. Talk us through the fight and what did you make of the peculiar scoring?
VH) The fight with Danny O'Connor was a good fight. I worked hard (to get in shape) and got (notice) to train for it and the fight before (both victories this year). I also got to look at fights of O’Connor to get to prepare for him. It was not a two weeks notice (assignment) like the ones I had when I got the losses after I moved up to 147lbs.
The O'Connor fight was an easy one because he’s a fighter that just comes straight forward and wants to keep you on the ropes. They wanted to rob me that night but Jesus was looking over me, they had the first judge to do what he did (scoring a shut-out to O’Connor) but God is good.
They’ve asked for a rematch, I say yes to one, if I fight Danny O'Connor again I'm going to stop him. All I want right now is to get a rematch with either Jessie Vargas or Victor Ortiz at 147 because, right after my fight with them, they moved up to welterweight. Why could I not be their first (opponent) at 147? It’s because they just wanted to take the “Vicious” name before they go (up in weight) and say they have a win over me but its okay. I'll be the last man standing because they do not have the talent and the heart and work hard like me.
LF) Tommy Rainone called you out recently how likely is that fight to happen and have you seen him box?
VH) I am happy Tommy has called me out. Once we have a promoter that wants to put the fight on it’s the next win for me because I (currently) do not have a good promoter. My goal is to win every fight that comes in front of me now.
LF) Many people thought you were finished at 35 after going just 1-6-1 in the previous five years. Did the negative press spur you on to your recent success with two straight wins this year?
VH) I do not care what some of the press say about me; some of them do not even know anything about boxing. I care about what God says now (instead of) what people say and once I wake up I go and do what he put me on this earth to do and that's boxing
It's never going to stop (the press) are going to always put someone down that believes in not giving up. Sometime I wonder what these people teach their kids; when you fall you have to get up.
What I am about to do now is going to show the kids and people its what Jesus says it’s not over until he says over. Remember this interview he is going to use the same people to get me back to the top. I'm becoming world champion again. Some press talk a lot of crap about fighters for the promoters.
LF) Of the losses you endured in recent years to fighters such as Victor Ortiz and Lucas Matthysse were there any you felt were unfair defeats?
VH) The Lucas Matthysse fight I had him beat in Mexico. It was one of the worst a stoppages in boxing (Harris was halted in four though it did look a strange stoppage).
The Victor Ortiz fight they knew I could not make 140 anymore and did not want me to fight him at welterweight. When I asked them to make the fight at 147 (my team) said it was a good fight for me; that's why I went ahead and took it. While training for the fight I suffer an injury. I did not pull out the fight and still went ahead and fought him because I knew he wasn’t a fighter but, that night, he fought a smart fight by staying away from me and boxing.
From then on I start getting calls to fight on short notice and you know a man with a family with bills to pay is not going to say no. When I got a call for the Jessie Vargas fight I said ‘yes’ and I tried to get it to be at 147 or 145 they said no and that was at three weeks notice. I had to take that fight because the fight before was seven months earlier with Victor Ortiz and I did not get paid for that fight. I had a judgment against me with Main Events that I did not know about.
When fights were coming on short notice, I was just taking them to make money. The Brian Rose fight in London, I went there to fight him at 154lbs and he could not even make it and he says right there he wasn’t going to make it. I said I wasn’t going to fight so his promoter said they were not going to pay me so I say I am not going to come all the way here and not get paid so I fight lost the fight and retired.
Before that I had to stop loving boxing and the way how (promoters abuse) fighters. No-one cares about a fighter just his family. Some of my good friends wrote to me and said “do not retire Vicious, you have a lot left in you”, so what I did was I started looking back at my fights and other fights and stayed in the gym everyday and I started working on things I used to do and I start back getting to love to be in the gym. I remember I was in church and I was asking God to help me to get back the way I use to fight better.
They just have good people promoting them and they get to prepare for their fights like I used to when I was coming up. I had promoters that just wanted to use me and when I put a stop to it, I was the bad one in the boxing industry. I guess it's because I'm from the islands so they thought they could just use me. I'm not a bad person to work with but when people can not get you to do what they want you to do to benefit them and not you, you are the bad guy…well I will take that name.
LF) Going back to the start of your career, you won your first 16 fights in the USA and have fought continuously high class opposition since then. Does any part of you regret turning pro in America where the standard is so tough?
VH) No I have no regrets, the best thing to happen to me was turning pro in America…I just did so with the wrong people (who had) bad intentions for me.
LF) After suffering only one defeat in your first four years of being a pro, you stepped up to beat very respectable contenders such as Golden Johnson and Michael Clarke. Your big chance came against WBA champion Diobelys Hurtado in October 2002. He was a tough Cuban fighter who had only lost to Pernell Whitaker and Kostya Tszyu yet you wiped him out in just two rounds
Can you describe the moment when you were announced as the world light-welterweight champion after the win?
VH) I was very happy becoming champion of the world for my family and my friends and fans. God did that for me so I could enrich a lot of people. My world title fight was a great fight (for me).I worked hard on things that would trouble him in that fight and I stuck to the game-plan to get the victory.
LF) In nearly three years as the WBA champion you would make only three defences; why were you so inactive in that period and was there a particular fight you wanted at that time?
VH) Because everything was just for (Main Events). Every one of those defences my promoters made 33 percent from me because of the contract I signed when I was 19-years-old. I did not know any lawyer, I had just come from Guyana five years earlier to win the New York Golden Gloves and (Main Events) sign me up. I just wanted to get on because I know I'm going to do good with the right people behind me but they started taking advantage of me after I become champion of the world. They sent me to Germany twice to defend my title with the same guy (Oktay Urkal). Before that my first defence they lost the purse bid to Don King. From all of that I see they didn't want me to make any money, right after I came back from Germany the second time.
Yes I always wanted to fight the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Miguel Cotto. They were my number one (contender) at one time for my championship there were a lot of good fights out here in America. For a promoter when a fighter becomes a champion you promote him so everyone can know who he are not just make money off of him and send him to different places to fight not even on TV.
LF) You surprisingly lost the belt to Columbian puncher Carlos Maussa in June 2005. You had never shown any weakness around your chin and had never been stopped before what happened?
VH) My promoters had asked me to go to London and fight Ricky Hatton for $750,000 with 33 percent to go to them and 20 percent to my manager at that time. I said no get me a million dollars so I could come up with something because I also have to pay 25 percent in taxes too. That's why the fight didn't happen with me Ricky Hatton.
Then they asked me to fight (Maussa) on a Mayweather card and I took the fight. I bought ringside tickets worth $10,000 for my family yet on the night of the fight my family was sitting in the stands. I got mad at (the promoters) and went into the fight angry and lost my world championship. I’m not taking anything away from Carlos Maussa he fought a determined fight; even though he hit me when I was on the ground. He won the fight, then they sent him to fight Ricky Hatton. That's what they wanted all the time; you see what these promoters do? They never lose, they send you to fight and get options on the winner. They do not care about the fighter once you lose.
A lot of new promoters are out now. I just hope that they clean the sport up because boxing is a beautiful sport. Two men going in there and giving their all after preparing two months for it, not touching the wife, not seeing they kids, because they are in camp preparing for war…then the promoter wants to send them home with nothing.
LF) You came back with three solid wins to set up a WBC title fight with Junior Witter in the UK. It was expected to be a close fight but he won resoundingly; did you under-estimate him a little?
VH) When I become number one in the world (winning a WBC title eliminator vs Juan Lazcano) I could not make 140 anymore. I was eating one meal a day going back up to the number one spot. The Witter fight was a great fight too, he had a great game plan, I had a bad one and he got the victory. Even though the situation I was in there (being severely weight-weakened), I give him credit.
LF) You must dread the thought of boxing in the UK again after your experiences over here (vs Witter, Barnes and Rose)?
VH) I love fighting in the UK I will always come to fight. I got a call to fight Frankie Gavin for December 21st I said yes to everything and they never called me back. I then go on ‘Boxrec’ and see he is fighting someone else! I wish Gavin all the best I hope to get (the fight) sometime when they're ready.
LF) Who do you think would have won had Witter had fought Ricky Hatton in a fight the UK boxing fans long cried out for?
VH) Hatton would have won that fight with Witter.
LF) Is it true you were at one time trained by a man who once knocked out your brother (Lennox Blackmoore)?
VH) Yes (Lennox) Blackmoore was my trainer. He fought my brother when I was a kid. I am training with Raymond Big now, someone that I came up with. He is helping me to get back to my old self and doing things that I used to do.
Note: Blackmoore stopped Wayne Harris in June 1986 for the Guyanese title. The bout came two days before Vivian’s eighth birthday. Wayne Harris would later box Reggie Johnson for the WBA middleweight title.
Welsh wonders: Jenkins wins despite injury, Morgan scores shocking 64 second win
By Michael J Jones
Last night in Swansea, local prospect Chris “Rock n Roll” Jenkins made it twelve out of twelve as a pro with a clear six-round points decision over tough Mark McKray. The bout at the Oceana, Swansea, saw Jenkins box sensibly to pile up the points against his Jamaican-born opponent.
After six crowd-pleasing rounds, the 25-year-old gained the decision by 59-55 against an opponent who was never going to win but gave the Welsh star plenty to think about.
It was Jenkins’ eighth win of 2013 and he is now 12-0 (5) overall. In July he lifted the Prizefighter trophy after a dazzling display in York Hall, Bethnal Green.
It was revealed after the contest that Jenkins had suffered a hand injury during the contest which he did well to conceal.
Tottenham’s McKray slumps to 5-23-1 (4) after his latest defeat.
Both boxers scaled 143lbs at the weigh in.
Shock of the night was provided by hulking local Darren Morgan who blew away the very durable and experienced Lithuanian Remigijus Ziausys in just 64 seconds of the first.
The visitor is usually a cagey operator with a great chin, but the big-hitting Welsh heavyweight gave him no time to settle at all and was soon hammering in big shots to soon gain the stoppage.
To put the win into perspective, this was the only time since his debut six years ago Ziausys has been halted. Since then the savvy journeyman has been the distance from many high-ranking heavyweights all around Europe including UK names such as Dereck Chisora and Sam Sexton.
Morgan turned pro way back in 2005 and won his first five contests before a series of defeats (all in good company) saw him leave the sport three years into his career.
He came back in September to score a stoppage (also in the first); this was his second comeback fight.
At 37-years-old he may yet do something in the division. Now 7-5 (5) after his stunning victory, the “Beast from Bonymaen” certainly can punch though was some 70lbs the heavier man at the weigh in.
Ziausys is now 20-56-4 (4) and will probably wake up today wondering what hit him.
Anthony Crolla talks Foster Jnr victory and hopes for 2014
It is a sign of Anthony Crolla’s progress that many seemed to view the outcome of his fight with talented former European super featherweight champion Stephen Foster Jnr as something of a formality.
Having spent weeks preparing to take on British lightweight champion Martin Gethin on the huge Carl Froch – George Groves card, Crolla, 27-4-1 (10 KO’s), refocused to patiently and effectively shut down late substitute Foster Jnr, forcing the Salford fighter to retire after six rounds.
Crolla and trainer Joe Gallagher paid Foster Jnr the respect he deserves and their diligence was rewarded.
“It was a high risk fight for me. Stephen’s a dangerous fighter to take at short notice but I enjoyed every minute of it.” Crolla told Livefight. “Me and Joe spoke over tactics and the plan was to make Stephen fall short. We obviously know what a great left hook he’s got and we didn’t wanna take chances. That was why I didn’t go forward too early on and start looking for the big shots to try and end it. Stephens dangerous so I knew I had to soften him up first.”
After the fight, Crolla, 27, was asked if he had been working on body punches. Having seen him in action from close quarters over the last few years, I can assure you that Crolla has always been able to punch to the body. Herve De Luca probably still has nightmares about the punishment he took at Wigan’s Robin Park Centre a couple of years ago.
“Like you say, it’s not something that’s new to me. It’s just that over the last few fights there has been a risk in throwing them. It’s not been right to throw them. I had been working on them but with different opponents and different fighters, different punches work.”
Crolla’s attention to detail was restricted to in ring activities this weekend. ‘Million Dollar’ is usually serenaded to the ring by Whitney Houston but got caught up in the excitement of the night and forgot to send in his walk out music. Nonetheless, Crolla’s face lit up as thousands of his fellow Mancunians drowned out the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army with a rowdy verse of ‘Whoah, Anthony Crolla!’
“I missed her on Saturday!” he laughs. “As soon as my music started I realised I’d forgotten to send it in. I didn’t get in mixed in in time. Whitney’s coming back though! A lot of people on twitter weren’t happy but she’ll be back next time.
“I’ve dreamed of fighting in a meaningful fight there [at the venue formerly known as the MEN Arena]. There was a good crowd in there too. As soon as they shouted my name I stood and looked around and saw a Team Crolla flag. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve waited a long time for this.’
He’s come a long way too. Twelve months ago, Crolla was preparing for a make or break fight with Kieran Farrell. Almost a year on from that freezing night at Manchester’s Bowlers Arena – and at that very same venue - former European lightweight champion John Murray returned from a two year lay-off and took out his frustration on Nicaraguan scapegoat Michael Escobar.
An all Manchester showdown with his former gym mate would provide Crolla with a high profile war. Rescheduling the Gethin fight would give him the opportunity to become a two time British champion.
Those are just two of the possible challenges Britain’s thriving lightweight division could throw his way. With a new son and mortgage to consider, Crolla faces a big decision as to the direction his career will take.
“I’m just gonna see what happens over the next few weeks. I’ll sit down and talk with Joe and Eddie [Hearn] and the team around me and see which way Eddie wants to take me. The Martin Gethin fight has been due to take place twice now. Martin’s been injured and it is genuine. Martin’s a good lad and he’s a tough lad. Hopefully he gets better and it can be made again. We’ll see what happens in the new year. Whatever my team reckons is best for me is what I’ll do.
“I just wanna be in meaningful fights all the time. If that [a fight with Murray] is a meaningful fight that everyone want to see and it makes sense, well, obviously I’ve got a house and family now and want to make a good living. Whatever makes the most sense. I’m not after easy touches or anything like that. I’m in the business to make money, Eddie wants to put together a good bill and the fans want to see a good fight and get value for money.
“Obviously John’s been in active but that’s a much bigger fight locally. Martin’s just come out of a world title eliminator though and carries a higher ranking. With Eddie, that’s what we have to decide and see what’s best for me. John’s a mate but there’s a lot of talk and it’s getting mentioned. I’d never say ‘I wanna fight John’ but like we’ve both said, if it happens it happens.”
Saturday night’s purse will be extremely useful as Crolla prepares for an expensive first Christmas spoiling baby Jesse but it won’t be long before the boxing addict is itching to get back in the ring.
“We’ve just moved into a house too. I’ve had a brilliant year on the boxing front and personally with the birth of my son. I’ll be back in the gym ticking over and doing bits but I’m gonna enjoy the first Christmas with my family and reflect on the year.
“Hopefully I ‘m gonna have a big 2014. If it’s as good as this year I’ll be happy.”
Brit prospect Romeo Ramaeo hits the pads VIDEO
Young prospect Romeo Casanova Valntino Romaeo goes through a workout routine for the iFLTV cameras ahead of his debut tomorrow at the Millennium hotel London.
Tommy Coyle and Darren Hamilton join the Matchroom stable
Matchroom Sport are delighted to announce that Tommy Coyle and Darren Hamilton have both signed promotional deals with Eddie Hearn.
Promising Lightweight talent Coyle became a notable player in the thriving domestic scene with his impressive display in his Commonwealth title clash against Derry Mathews in Hull in July and followed that in November with a seventh round stoppage win over John Simpson to claim the IBF International Lightweight title, a title Coyle will defend on February 22 in his hometown at the Hull Arena live on Sky Sports.
Hamilton has enjoyed a brilliant 18 months in the ring after he shocked British Light Welterweight king Ashley Theophane in May 2012 in Liverpool to take the title from the highly-rated Londoner. The 35 year old made his first successful defence in February with a wide points victory over Steve Williams at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, and topped that with an excellent performance to defend with a unanimous decision over Adil Anwar in the same venue in July. His first fight under Hearn will be announced soon.
Olympic Gold medal hero Luke Campbell will box for the fifth time in the paid ranks on the card after he made it four wins from four on the undercard of Carl Froch’s epic World title battle with George Groves on Saturday, and Hearn expects big things in 2014 for his two new recruits.
“I’m delighted to welcome Tommy and Darren to the Matchroom stable,” said Hearn. “Tommy is one of the most exciting lightweights in Britain and hugely popular in Hull, which is a key city for our development in boxing. There are some huge domestic clashes out there and 2014 is set to be a big year for Tommy.
“Darren is one of the most underrated fighters in the country. He will fight anyone, anywhere, and I am looking for Darren to win the belt outright and move on to challenge for the European title.”
More fights will be added to the Hull Arena bill soon while tickets will go on sale next week.
Cleverly forced to withdraw with back injury
Former WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly has had to withdraw from his comeback fight at the Copper Box Arena this Saturday due to a back injury.
The Welsh star was making his long awaited return to the ring against Australian Daniel Ammann for his first fight in the cruiserweight division with the Vacant Commonwealth title on the line.
Finchley heavyweight Dereck Chisora still headlines the show when he defends his WBO International title against Ondrej Pala with the Vacant WBA International title also on the line, with London super-middleweight star Frank Buglioni challenging for his first title - the Vacant WBO European Championship, plus a cracking showdown between Bradley Skeete and Colin Lynes for the Vacant English Welterweight title.
The show will be live and exclusive on the Channel Of Champions BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Cleverly’s preparations were hit last week when he injured his back in training and after seeking expert medical advice he has been advised to withdraw from his fight against Ammann.
The 26-year-old is devastated that his comeback has been delayed, but has promised to make his big return early in 2014.
He said, “It’s a bitter blow as training had been going so well and I was looking forward to making my debut at cruiserweight. For it to only happen a week before the fight is even more devastating. I just want to get this year out of the way and enter 2014 with a clean slate and get my career back on track.”
Dereck Chisora headlines the Copper Box Arena show against Ondrej Pala; Nathan Cleverly challenges Daniel Ammann for the Vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight Championship; plus London sensation Frank Buglioni challenges for the Vacant WBO European title and Bradley Skeete v Colin Lynes for the Vacant English Welterweight title. An action-packed undercard features Mitchell Smith, Andreas and Chris Evangelou, Georgie Kean, Gary Corcoran and Tom Baker.
*DOORS AT THE COPPER BOX ARENA WILL OPEN THIS SATURDAY AT 5.30PM WITH THE FIRST FIGHT AT 6PM*
Remaining tickets for the Rock The Box 2 show are available from the Eventim Box Office on 0844 249 1000 or at eventim.co.uk
Watch live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com
Chisora hits the pad on press day VIDEO
iFLTV paid a visit to see Derek Chisora today, as the heavyweight prepares for his Copperbox fight on November 30th against Ondrej Pala.