The year in eight fights. Continue reading
Tonight on BoxNation, Belfast’s Carl Frampton (17-0) takes on the challenge of veteran Mexican and former two weight champion Hugo Cazares (40-7-2) in a final eliminator for the WBC super bantamweight title. The winner should move on to a major showdown with Goldenboy’s Leo Santa Cruz later this year. Frampton, as the younger man, the fighter on the rise, and the more natural at the weight is a sizable betting favorite, but an impressive performance will be needed to make the title fight a reality.
While it may have been one of the year’s quietest weeks so far in terms of televised Boxing, there has been a lot going on outside the ropes over the past seven days. The UK circuit has been a buzz with new fights, news notes and show updates covering everything from super fly to heavyweight. Here’s The Mandatory Eight for March 26th.
1. Fury/Chisora 2 and the heavyweight division
The promotional push for July 26th’s heavyweight bout between Derek Chisora and Tyson Fury has kicked into full gear with the first press conference taking place this past Thursday followed by the premiere of their head to head sit-down interview series on BoxNation earlier this week. The build got off to a lively start as was to be expected, first with Fury overturning a table and storming out on the presser, and then the two trading barbs back and forth as Jim Rosenthal asked the questions. You can check out the videos here and here. Both clips contain some pretty strong wording; so don’t say you weren’t warned!
The bout will serve as a final eliminator for the WBO title held by Wladimir Klitschko, and given the current heavyweight landscape, the winner will be the most interesting fresh challenger out-there for the big man. Both these guy’s know how to sell a fight to, so whoever comes away with the W, we should be seeing a major heavyweight title tilt before the year’s out.
2. Cyclone Promotions secure two new signings
Barry McGuigan and the team behind super bantamweight ace Carl Frampton have put pen to paper on long term promotional deals for two more of Belfast boxing’s rising stars in Marco McCullough and Jamie Conlan. McCullough (8-1) was awarded best young boxer of the year by the Boxing Union of Ireland back in February, following his breakout win over former European champion Willie Casey late last year. While Conlan (10-0) has been a staple of Frampton undercards dating back to The Jackal’s first headlining bill in 2010. Jamie is a guy with real upside. He’s a good ticket seller with a very viewer friendly style of boxing. The difficulty so far has just been in matching him simply because there isn’t a whole lot out-there in Ireland, the UK or even Europe when you drop as low as super flyweight. His standout performance to date was a stoppage of the tough Mike Robinson in February of last year.
Both Mccullough and Conlan have WBO European title fight’s lined up for the ‘This Is Belfast’ bill on April 4th main evented by Carl Frampton vs Hugo Fidel Cazares. Conlan will square off with Belgium’s Benjamin Smoes (9-2) with the super flyweight belt on the line, while Mccullough will be matched with Andrei Isaeu (25-4) of Belarus at featherweight.
On April 24th 2010, I traveled to Herning Denmark for the first Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler fight. It was phase two in the SuperSix World Boxing Classic, and if we’re being honest, the fight everybody most wanted to see from day one of the competition. Now, two of the pre-tournament favourites were both coming off rough opening round match ups: Kessler was defeated by the eventual overall winner Andre Ward in Oakland, while Froch struggled in a split decision win over Andre Dirrell at home. Both men needed a big performance in Herning to keep themselves amongst the top runners at 168 pounds.
The fight itself was everything we thought it might be and then some – amongst the most physically demanding contests I have ever seen. Kessler won the judges favour on the night taking a close decision. The conversation amongst press afterward centered on scoring, a possible rematch, and how either of these guys could recover in time for the next stage of the competition. Indeed, I myself feared that both men had just ruled themselves out, and I was half right. Kessler’s eye injury stopped him playing any further part in the boxing classic. Froch though, the SuperSix’s man of steel, was back in action before the year was over – this time trashing Arthur Abraham in Finland.
Froch vs Kessler 1 ended up being my 2010 fight of the year. That night from ringside I scored the bout 115-114 for Froch. With the London leg coming up this weekend, I’m taking a look back at that first encounter and re-scoring it; this time using the original UK PPV broadcast from Primetime. I have include my round by round breakdown and scorecard, as well as my original scores from the night and GG’s live scoring for Fight Game Blog of the Showtime airing. Three different angles on a SuperSix classic. This is the rewrite.
The fight has been confirmed for May 25th at London’s O2 arena.