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Sports poll...what do MFers like and heartily dislike


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In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2012 17:46:15 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Reckon the Amateur scene in this country is possibly in the best shape it's ever been in.
Up until the last, say, 10 or so years, we'd be happy if one of our fighters came away with a bronze (remember Woodhall, Reid etc?) but nowadays we're expecting gold medals, this year especially, with the Olympics being on home soil.
We even have something like a boxing school of excellence (forgot the correct name). Think that might be in Sheffield if I'm not mistaken.
Don't know if this's just for the build-up to the Olympics or a permanent sorta thing.

Posted on 17 Apr 2012 02:05:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Apr 2012 02:15:40 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Liq - when you mentioned Chisora not being the same fighter (against Fury) that gave Klitchko a run for his money, it got me thinking about past British fighters who had talent in abundance (not saying Chisora has that much talent, put he can fight when he feels like it) but had a terrible habit of just 'not showing up' sometimes.
Thinking of the likes of Johnny Nelson, Pat Barrett, and, of course, the great enigma that was Kirkland Laing.
I mean, when Laing's heart wasn't in it, he'd struggle winning the European Title, but when the other laing turned up, well, ask Roberto Duran!!
Can remember Barratt fighting for the WBO title, and I'd have bet good money (if I had any) on him winning and winning well; of course he didn't, and I'm not sure we saw owt of him after that.
Nelson was another - can you remember his first cracks at the world Cruiser title? Can't remember his opponent (was it DeLeon or summat similar?) but they stank the place out! Twice!! Or was the second one against someone else? It was equally as bad, that I can remember!
Really frustrates me seeing gifted fighters screw up like that.

Posted on 17 Apr 2012 12:22:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Apr 2012 12:38:31 BDT
Hi Blastro. Yes Nelson's first world title tilt was against De Leon in January 1990. He was comprehensively outpointed in a really poor showing, despite being on home turf. He then challenged James Warring over in the States in May '92 and much the same thing happened again. I remember Brendan Ingle getting increasing frustrated with him between rounds, telling Johnny that he would knock Warring out without any bother if they were sparring back at the Wincobank gym. Nelson also challenged New Zealander Jimmy Thunder for a lesser version of the heavyweight title (I think it was the WBF, who were never recognised as one of the major sanctioning bodies) and lost in timid fashion again. However, to be fair to him, Johnny did get his head right eventually and did an impressive number on Carl Thompson in 1999 to finally lift a world title (albeit the ref stopped the fight too soon imo).
I first saw 'Black Flash' Barrett when he knocked out 1980 Olympic bronze medalist Tony Willis in a British title fight back in 1989. I remember telling a number of friends that this fella was going to be a world champion within a couple of years. Little did I know at the time that the Willis fight showed us only one of the many faces of Pat Barrett. He did earn himself a crack at a world title, against Manning Galloway, but didn't do himself any kind of justice and was beaten easily.
I'm told that Laing was in two memorable dust-ups with Colin Jones back in the early 80's, both of which he lost by stoppage having dominated Jones in the early going. Those who saw those fights say that, on both occasions, Laing committed the grave error of losing focus in the ring. After seeing him get knocked out by unheralded American Buck Smith many years later, I could well believe that he was regularly prone to such lapses. I never saw the Duran fight but it was during something of a wilderness period in 'hands of stone's' career. I think it took him a helluva long time to overcome the psychological scars from the second Leonard fight. However, he still had to be beaten and to do it in America, for me, ranks as one of the greatest ever victories by any British fighter. I did see Laing completely take apart Sylvester Mittee (a world top 10 ranked fighter at one time) to win the British Welterweight title in March '87. If that Kirkland Laing had stepped through the ropes far more regularly he would certainly have won a world title.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 17:58:12 BDT
Blastronaut says:
lol, can remember that Mittee fight; I'd have only been 15 but can clearly remember Laing bouncing around the ring afterwards, giving it some - "Kirkland Laing is back, man!"
Can remember thinking - "Wow, this's a right character!"
Apparently, he liked to nip out for a post-fight joint, as soon he got the chance.

Can vaguely remember Jimmy Thunder copping a thrashing from (if I'm not mistaken) another one our 'multi-personalitied' fighters - Derrick Williams.
Can't remember him fighting Nelson tho, but my memory's terribly knackered.

I got another one for ya then Liq; best ever Irish fighter?

Posted on 17 Apr 2012 19:04:58 BDT
Ah that's easy: Tyson Fury. :-)
Nah, seriously though, we've not been blessed with a huge wealth of boxing legends over the years. I was always a huge Wayne McCulloch fan. He was all action, had a great chin and gave Erik Morales one of his stiffest tests, back when 'El Terrible' was at his peak.
Some may expect me to say McGuigan, but I'm not going to. Yes, he was a great crowd pleaser in his day, but in terms of longevity... well, let's face it, he had none. Won the world title from a Pedrosa who was way past his best, made only two successful defences against only average opponents by world championship standards, the second of which (Danilo Cabrera) he made extremely hard work of, and was then found out by the afternoon heat of Vegas, against a substitute opponent who took the fight at less than a week's notice. Then skulked off for a couple of years, came back to beat 3 more average opponents (looking alarmingly easy to hit in the last of his winning fights against Sergio Miranda) before finally being outclassed by Jim McDonnell and retiring for good.
So I suppose I would have to go with Collins. Took McCallum the distance. Went on to win world titles at two weights, neither of which he lost in the ring, and scored two victories apiece over both Eubank and Benn (albeit not a peak 'Dark 'Destroyer' as we discussed before).

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2012 01:33:02 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Hmm, would probably go for McCulloch, for the simple fact that when he was at the peak of his powers, he was imo, a tad special. Problem is, he was only at his peak for a very short time; seemed to burn out ever so quickly. Wouldn't go so far as to say he was a shot fighter overnight (y'know, like Honeyghan etc) but did seem to age rather quickly.
Can see why you'd go for Collins, considering he seemed to stay fresh for a lot longer, not to mention retiring when still on top; something most fighters, sadly, can't seem to manage.

Reckon Dave 'Boy' McAuley should get a mention too. Remember the outright wars he had with Fidel Bassa; like something outta a Rocky film!
Both fights were special but (again, if I'm remembering correctly) that first one was something else. Back in the days when they still fought over 15 rounds (reckon the IBF was the last governing body to keep that distance), McAuley finally, through sheer exhaustion, succumbed in the 13th, but not before bouncing Bassa off the canvas 4 or 5 times! Amazing stuff, what warriors!!
Not to mention the string of title defences he put together after he finally won that world title, by ouboxing the powder punching, but extremely skillful and awkward Duke McKenzie.
Yep, I reckon 'Boy' McAuley's up there with Irelands finest.

Posted on 18 Apr 2012 12:59:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Apr 2012 13:00:27 BDT
Indeed, that first Bassa/McAuley fight in April '87 remains among the top 5 fights that I ever saw. The 3 knockdown rule was in effect (I think only the WBA ever used that rule) and Bassa was down twice in the 9th and on the brink of going again. The only fighter I ever saw demonstrate more amazing recuperative powers was Larry Holmes, when he got off the canvas after feeling the full force of possibly the hardest hitting heavyweight ever, Ernie Shavers, to win the fight by TKO.
I was at Wembley to see McAuley defeat Duke McKenzie and lift a world title at his 3rd attempt (June '89). The Irish contingent generated a great atmosphere that night. He successfully defended the title five times and only lost it on an extremely dodgy decision to Rodolfo Blanco in Spain. Having said that, I did think Blanco should have got the decision when the two first fought , in Belfast in Sept '90.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Apr 2012 17:10:42 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Got any tips for boxing gold from Ireland this time around then Liq?
Always preferred (and followed) the pro scene rather than the amateur one, but one thing I do know is that for a nation of it's size, Ireland do pretty well in major amateur boxing tournaments, and bring back as many medals as the combined 'home nations' seem to manage.

Posted on 19 Apr 2012 22:04:57 BDT
I reckon Paddy Barnes (light-flyweight), bronze medalist last time in Beijing, is probably our best medal hope again Blastro. He's a Belfast lad but the fighters from the six counties compete for Ireland in the boxing, rather than the GB & Northern Ireland team, as we operate under an All Ireland governing federation. I also liked the look of lightweight David Oliver Joyce, but he sadly lost to a Lithuanian fella in the final qualifying tournament, so won't be in London.
I think the British boys will have more success than the Irish this time around, and not just because of the home advantage factor. The ABA academy system is excellent and is now really starting to bear fruit, in terms of the strength in depth of talent. This year's actual ABA championships were effectively a testing ground for up and comers who aren't quite ready for top level competition just yet, whereas there was a time when the Olympic year ABA's effectively doubled as Olympic trials.

Posted on 21 May 2012 10:10:44 BDT
I put my preferences, mostly rugby league, in a listmania: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Football-fables-about-the-dirty-and-desperate/lm/R20KBX6UBASSJY/ref=cm_srch_res_rpli_alt_1

Posted on 28 May 2012 03:16:07 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Liq - if yer around, maybe later today, I'd love a report of Saturday's fight (reckon ya said you were going?).
Listened to it on the radio but without actually having seen it I couldn't say, but it sounded like Froch was better than ever!
I know they say styles make fights but it's not like Bute was tailor made for him is it? Froch struggles with boxer-types. Also, this fella was at the top of his game.
Must've been an awesome performance from 'The Cobra'!

Posted on 28 May 2012 03:52:03 BDT
Mondo Ray says:
I watched the celebrity footie tonight and couldn't help but notice how John Bishop looks a lot like Rufus Wainwright. Separated at birth? One plays celeb footie for England, the other "plays for the other side"!

Sorry, bad joke, but I'm sending the pics (and the comment) to Private Eye's Lookalike editor.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 11:33:25 BDT
TheFoe says:
That guy out of Kasabian scored a cracker! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 11:39:48 BDT
RAB says:
He was playing for the wrong team though! His name might be Italian but he's Leicester through and through!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 11:50:21 BDT
TheFoe says:
And probably expecting a call from them anytime soon.

Posted on 28 May 2012 11:51:38 BDT
RAB says:
With tekkers like that why not?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 14:37:40 BDT
TheFoe says:
Absolutely!

Posted on 28 May 2012 21:02:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 May 2012 23:50:59 BDT
Hi Blastro. Yeah best performance of Froch's career for sure. He won the first round purely on work rate. Bute clearly took the second, demonstrating excellent defensive skills coupled with crisp counter punching. I actually thought this may set the tone for the remainder of the fight and that Froch was going to be in for anotther frustrating night such as he experienced against Ward. That soon changed in round three when he moved into overdrive and started to pile on the sort of pressure that I'm pretty sure Bute had never been under before. From where I was sitting (only about 30 metres from the ring) I could see the perspiration flying off of Bute's face from the force of some of Froch's shots, like water flying off of a dog shaking itself after a dip in the sea. More heavy artilery from Froch in the fourth and I have to give big props to Bute for durability, resilience and sheer determination to hold on to the title and not disappoint his excellent travelling support. However, come the end of round four it was clear that the defending champ's confidence had sunk without trace, whilst Froch's was somewhere in orbit. There was only going to be one winner from there and the attack that floored Bute and finished it in the fifth was devastating. Of all the super-middleweight world champions there have ever been, I think only Leonard, Eubank and possibly Collins would've had the chin to withstand it.
Of the other fights on the card, Frampton v Hirales was something of a disappointment as a spectacle, although Frampton is clearly a talent that could well graduate to world level in time. Bute's Canadian stablemate Pier Olivier Cote came over to a bit of a fanfare from a lot of the trade journals, but Telford journeyman Mark Lloyd made him look pretty ordinary for four rounds before getting tagged and stopped in the fifth. Scotty Cardle walked to the ring to the strains of the Celtic 'Grand Old Team' anthem which, needless to say, endured him to me immediately. Thankfully, his in-ring skills didn't disappoint. This fella will be making big waves in the lightweight division in the very near future I reckon. I was also impressed with Islington middleweight John Ryder.
Good venue, terrific atmosphere, thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Very sad to read about the death of Johnny Tapia. This fella fought his way back from more adversities than most and his story deserved a happier ending.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2012 01:15:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 May 2012 16:45:55 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Glad ya had a good night Liq; thanks for the round-up. Tho I tipped Froch to win (sorry, had to get that one in!) I didn't expect anything like that! I'm wondering if a move up to light-heavy's on the cards?

Didn't know about Tapia, another warrior who, like you said fought back from adversity more times than a little. Always could sympathise with his plight, as I've had similar problems to some of his.
Maybe not the first role model one would think of, but a damn good example for people wanting to turn their life around.
Really really sad. God bless you Johnny.

Posted on 29 May 2012 16:51:33 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Just read that Froch's now claiming to have surpassed the achievements of our best super-middles, and that includes Calazaghe!!!
Let's not get carried away now Carl...

Posted on 29 May 2012 17:20:27 BDT
I'm inclined to think that Calzaghe is the primary target for that remark. Fact is the only common name on their respective records is that of Kessler, who Calzaghe beat comprehensively but to whom Froch subsequently lost. I know that in itself doesn't conclusively prove anything. Frazier beat Ali in their first fight but was later destroyed in two rounds by Foreman. Then Ali knocked Foreman out in Zaire. Some fighters are just tailormade for others so to speak. Some would argue, with a certain degree of justification, that Calzaghe's victories over Eubank and Roy Jones occurred when both were way past their best. However, in addition to his superb display against a peak Kessler, Calzaghe also beat Hopkins comfortably and completely outclassed Lacy who, prior to that fight, was being touted by many experts the sport's surefire 'next big thing'.
IMHO, if Froch is to surpass Calzaghe's record, he needs to avenge the two defeats on his record and possibly win another world title up at light-heavy.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2012 17:57:01 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Yep, I'd go along with that; he needs to beat at least one of Ward or Kessler, then off up to light-heavy.
Reckon a natural (and winnable) introduction to light-heavy for Froch would be a fight with Cleverly. After that... maybe Dawson? I haven't seen any footage of him; what d'ya reckon Liq? Would he be too much for Froch??

Posted on 29 May 2012 21:29:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 May 2012 21:31:02 BDT
Woh, Dawson v Froch. That is a tough one to call Blastro. Would certainly be a tear up and guaranteed to draw big money stateside. Froch's power would not be diminished by an extra half stone or so but would he carry the same level of durability in the higher weight class. Dawson is not a concussive single puncher but his combinations can be devastating. Let's not forget Froch, for all of his tremendous fighting heart, was floored by Jermain Taylor and in all sorts of trouble in the early rounds before that pulsating late rally. If he were to make that sort of mistake against Dawson, his powers of recovery would be set a far sterner test.
Cleverly v Froch on a summer evening at the Millennium Stadium. Now that would also be something special. Cleverly may be smart enough to avoid the heavy artillery, but I don't see him having the skills to match Froch's and I think a title change by an overwhelming points decision would be strong favourite. So I agree with you Blastro. That would be the best fight for Froch to get a strong foothold in the light-heavy division and give his team the bargaining power to make the big money fights happen in America.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2012 22:32:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 May 2012 22:34:31 BDT
Blastronaut says:
Gotta say it Liq, it's great to be able to talk to someone who shares a similar passion for the noble art.
Way back when, a few of my mates enjoyed getting the gloves on for a spar or to cut loose on the heavy bag (not all enjoyed the fitness training that comes with it tho) but none of em were actually interested in the rest of the sport.
Our eldest's the same; he goes to Chesterfield ABC, but when I sit him down with an old tape of Tommy Hearns or Marvellous Marvin going about their business, he's yawning and saying "Can't I just go on the Xbox?". Don't get me wrong, he trains hard and enjoys it; he just aint interested in the background of it all.
It's good to be able to talk 'fight talk' without monologuing or without the other person saying - "Er yeah, but... er... what about Bruno? In't he still fighting?" - well maybe not quite THAT bad, but ya get the gist!?
We'll have to have a beer sometime and put the world of boxing to rights, methinks!

Posted on 29 May 2012 22:44:43 BDT
That's a grand idea. I'm in much the same boat as regards having a lack of enthusiasts to... well enthuse with about my fave sport. Some of them point to the fact that there are far too many titles on offer and it's almost impossible to keep track of who the champs are. They do have a point to be fair. However, it'll be a very sad day when I feel any degree of apathy toward boxing. No matter how much the politics may suck, for me it always has been and always will be about the boxers, and there are still plenty of top notch fighters out there.
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Discussion in:  music discussion forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  125
Initial post:  28 Mar 2012
Latest post:  29 May 2012

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