Although it’s been a few months since Canada hosted a major show of its own (sorry Adonis Stevenson, but that abomination against Tommy Karpency doesn’t count), the calendar picks up as autumn approaches. The fight between Lucian Bute and England’s IBF 168lbs champion James DeGale has finally been confirmed. It was originally expected for 31 October, then 14 November, but finally fell on 28 November at the Videotron Centre in Quebec.
Our October 2015 issue features a 20 page pull-out preview of the heavyweight title fight pitting long-time champion Wladimir Klitschko against outspoken No.1 contender Tyson Fury. We talk to both men and analyse in-depth the current heavyweight picture. The new edition also looks at the vibrant Japanese boxing scene and highlights the seasoned world champs and hot prospects causing a stir in the 'Land Of The Rising Sun'. Cruiserweight contender Tony Bellew talks about his role in the new Creed movie while we meet boxing's forgotten TV stars from the 2000s and discover where they are now. We also look at the explosive middleweight unification between Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux while former champ Gavin Rees tells us about his retirement and new role as a pub landlord with a gym attached. Former 140lbs king Danny Garcia talks about his move up in weight to boxing's talent deep welterweight division and we catch up with the under-rated Lenny Daws as he bids for the European title plus the usual columns, reports, ratings and much more.
Review, analysis and highlights of Victor Postol's 10th round upset knockout win over Lucas Matthysse. The Ukrainian won the vacant WBC 140lbs title over the vaunted Argentina power-puncher. In the co-feature, undefeated junior welter hope Antonio Orozco scored a unanimous decision over the seasoned Humberto Soto. Another great night of boxing at the StubHub Center in greater Los Angeles.
At just 18, Sam Eggington found himself unemployed and with a young family to support. Having had 31 amateur bouts as a junior, he sought to earn some money in the ring. Boxing was not a career he had ever considered – amateur boxing was just a way to set himself apart from his friends. He wasn’t looking to be a champion, not even a contender. “I was a forklift driver and the only reason I turned professional was I got made redundant and I had a son,” Eggington told Boxing Monthly. “If I didn’t have a son, I probably wouldn’t have boxed because I would just have tried to find another job in the meantime. It’s a mad story. People don’t believe me when I tell them, but for me to get in to boxing was – literally – a fluke."
Middleweight prospect Tommy Langford is something of an original. A wild-eyed, volume-puncher fascinated with defence and world-rated despite being just inside the domestic top ten, Langford is a convivial soul in an often cold and unforgiving trade. A perfectionist, Langford has since stepped up his defensive drills. “I try to watch a lot of Andre Ward and [Floyd] Mayweather obviously, because they’re so good defensively. I’ve always had an offence. I’ve always been able to throw punches in numbers and been quite accurate. The thing I think I need to always concentrate on and try to work on is defence. They’re so elusive and hard to hit I try to pick things up off them. It’s mainly their feet really – the way they dictate the fight with their footwork and adjusting distance.”
In this episode of The Neutral Corner, Michael Montero reviews all of the ring action in September including Mayweather-Berto, PBC cards featuring Deontay Wilder, Errol Spence, Marcus Browne and others, fights in the UK featuring Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, then previews battling cards between HBO and Showtime headlined by the much anticipated Matthysse-Postol fight, and much more!
The crowning of Nick Blackwell as British middleweight champion is one of domestic boxing’s best stories of 2015. From battling with much larger men on the unlicensed circuit as a teenager to suffering early career losses at the hands of Martin Murray, Billy Joe Saunders and Max Bursak in the pro ranks, the fitness fanatic from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, is finally doing his talents justice under the guidance of Gary Lockett at his flourishing gymnasium in Cardiff.
A deep love of family propels Nonito Donaire. Yet, despite winning titles in five weight divisions and experiencing glories beyond the sphere of most of his peers, a raw, fighting hunger remains. The Filipino-American is a throwback to boxing’s old school, when the best fought the best and those with a world class pedigree, or even a pretence of one, never shirked a challenge. In an astonishing period from July 2010 to October 2014, Donaire took on 12 consecutive world champions and battled many of the dangermen swerved by other fighters. A willingness to engage with all-comers is a badge of honour Donaire wears proudly. “I want to fulfill that desire for fighting the best out there,” the affable Donaire told Boxing Monthly. “I could have just taken it easy in my career. Even when I fought all these champions in a row, some still thought I was fighting patsies. I was fighting world champion after world champion and they thought I was still picking my fights. I wasn’t - I was fighting them because they were champions. I was trying to get their belts."
There are those who are born to fight. Those who have no choice but to fight and then there are individuals who have the fight forced out of them for their own good. Unbeaten cruiserweight ‘Relentless’ Russell Henshaw (5-0, 2 KOs) falls into the final category. The boxing bug was a necessary remedy for a schoolboy who had fallen victim to one of education’s nastiest problems - bullying. “I got bullied at school and I didn’t dare say anything or do anything,” Henshaw told Boxing Monthly. “I was imploding, not exploding with anger and imploding with being terrified. I didn’t want to feel that anymore so I went to gyms and enjoyed it. I’m not very clever but I can scrap. I just carried it on. I’m pretty sporty to be fair. I love competition. Cricket, football and then I found fighting; kickboxing and boxing and that was it. I got addicted.”
Watching Terry Flanagan win the WBO lightweight title back in July, I was surprised when they said he was the first modern lightweight from England to win it, so I checked it out. We’ve had Ken Buchanan, Jim Watt and Ricky Burns from Scotland as well, but it amazes me that we’ve only had a handful of champions at 135lbs, which is one of the iconic divisions. We should have had two lightweight world champions from Manchester within a week of each other because I had Anthony Crolla beating Darleys Perez even without the two late point deductions. I love the fact that Manchester’s a booming boxing town, and has been for a while, so I support all our fighters. No one would have been happier than me if Crolla had lifted the title.
Few impartial judges dispute the talent of Chris Eubank Jr, but there has long been a sense that something was missing. An elite coach to coax the true potential from the 26-year-old middleweight and fulfill his father’s bold predictions. The final piece in the puzzle may just have fallen into place with the addition of Adam Booth, one of boxing’s most astute trainers, to the Eubank team. “I am a coach first and foremost and if I think there are some technical and strategic things that I can add to Junior as a fighter, with all the ingredients he’s already got, then it should work for a more complete fighter,” Booth told BM today at Trinity House, London, where Eubank Jr’s new promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing was announced.