Farmer poised for title harvest

John Evans
21/03/2016 7:20am

Bernard Hopkins lost the first professional fight he ever had. So did the noted Marquez brothers, Juan Manuel and Rafael. Henry Armstrong tasted defeat in three of his first four fights. So, despite a rocky start to his career, Philadelphia-born super-featherweight Tevin Farmer 20-4-1 (5 KOs) is in good company. Although he hasn’t yet reached the rarified level of those greats, the 25-year-old has been steadily rebuilding after going 7-4-1 during the formative stages of his career. Farmer may be a new name to many British fight fans but he has developed a unique blend of footwork, upper body movement, skill and counter-punching which is proving to be a tough puzzle to solve. “I never took boxing seriously. It was just something I did,” Farmer told BM. “I knew I had potential so I decided I had to acquit myself. I decided that I should get it together. I only had a few amateur fights and I’d only been boxing for seven years but I had to start taking it seriously all around the board."

Fash and Midgley steal the show

James Oddy
20/03/2016 6:27pm

Elland Road banqueting suite in Leeds provided the venue for the solid Mark Bateson and Camp Detox co-promotion on Friday night. The show featured nine, fairly even contests, ranging from domestic contenders through to debutants. Fight of the night was a four-round slugfest between Leeds lightweight Russ Midgley and Hull’s Luke Fash. Midgley started quickly out of the blocks, winging in big shots. He knocked Fash down with a beautiful right counter uppercut in the first, before a cruder yet no less effective hook in the second scored a further knockdown. But Fash, the shorter man, showed superb powers of recovery, sticking to Midgley’s chest and unleashing punishing combinations.


Jung-Koo Chang: The best fighter you've never heard about

Kyle McLachlan
20/03/2016 5:11am

Jung-Koo Chang was not one of the many amateur standouts from the Korean school, but rather a street tough from the mean streets of Busan who took up boxing as a 12-year-old after watching a world title fight on TV and fought for his first world title before his 20th birthday. Toting the feint-heavy left hand of many Korean stylists of the time, Chang could do it all.  Known as ‘The Korean Hawk’ for his stylistic similarity to Aaron Pryor, Chang would be more accurately compared to a honey badger. He could close the distance and take the initiative and get back out of range before his opponent had time to return the favour. He could box in a languid, jazzy style. He could let off a salvo of punches in close. He could push the pace or reduce the tempo to a crawl, with swarming output reminiscent of Roberto Duran and a crafty inside game that would be recognised by admirers of Bernard Hopkins and Andre Ward.

Donny Lalonde: From champion to health campaigner

James Oddy
19/03/2016 7:53am

Donny Lalonde engaged in one of the great 1980s fights. His nine round war with ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard is rightly remembered as a classic, with both men touching the canvas and trading shots before Leonard prevailed. But Lalonde is still revered to this day for the performance, and also bringing the spotlight back to Canadian boxing in winning a world title. Like many, his start in the sport was for more personal and practical reasons, long before ideas of fame and fortune entered his mind. “I would say I first started boxing as a way to develop some self-esteem after coming from a neglectful father and an abusive step-father,” Lalonde told Boxing Monthly whilst spending some time in Malta.

Hot shot Yafai targets Kono

Danny Winterbottom
18/03/2016 6:30am

British super-flyweight champion Kal Yafai picked up the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title with a devastating one punch body shot KO of former world title challenger Dixon Flores in Birmingham earlier this month, with promoter Eddie Hearn now keen to match the rising star with Japan's World Boxing Association champion Kohei Kono. “All I know is that Eddie [Hearn] is talking to Kono's team about the fight,” said Yafai when speaking to Boxing Monthly over the phone. “I just concentrate on fighting whoever is in front of me. The Flores fight was an eliminator, not a final eliminator, so if Kono gets a voluntary defence of his title then we'll see if Eddie can land the fight but in fairness I can't see Kono picking me for a voluntary defence. At the moment, I'm just concentrating on climbing the ladder and bettering myself in every fight.”

Farrag on the rise

John A. MacDonald
17/03/2016 4:36am

Last year was a vintage one for British boxers fighting on foreign soil. Jamie McDonnell twice put his WBA ‘regular’ bantamweight title on the line against Tomoki Kameda in Texas, Tyson Fury dethroned Wladimir Klitschko in Germany - picking up a clutch of belts in the process - and James DeGale both won and defended his IBF super-middleweight strap in America and Canada, respectively. Although nowhere near as heralded as those aforementioned, but almost as impressive, was Ryan Farrag’s victory over Stephane Jamoye to claim the vacant European 118lbs title in his opponent’s home town of Liege, Belgium, in October. “It was the best feeling ever. I planned to go over and stop him and I delivered. It was a brilliant night,” Farrag told Boxing Monthly over the phone from his home in Liverpool. 

Asian boxing scene: New stars emerge from Japan

Marcus Bellinger
15/03/2016 8:38am

Marcus Bellinger brings you the latest news and views from the vibrant Asian boxing scene including the rise of Japanese stars Riku Kano and Kazuki Tanaka as well as a round-up of recent world title action.

A conversation with Mr Calzaghe

Paul Zanon
14/03/2016 7:40am

Undefeated 2014 Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe spoke to Boxing Monthly from him home in Wales with an air of calm in his voice and sense of pride of his latest achievement, the screening of his life story - ‘Mr Calzaghe’. Released in November 2015, Calzaghe shared some of the finer moments of the film and gave us a few ‘behind the scene’ anecdotes, to add colour to his nostalgic journey. “I’d been approached in the past to have a feature film made of my life, but always rejected the idea. However, when Vaughn Sivell approached me with the idea for ‘Mr Calzaghe’, I liked what he had to say and how he wanted to put it together. I was really happy with the final result. When you retire and have the opportunity to look back at your career on the big screen, it’s incredible. It’s something that me and my family can look back on in years to come and be very proud of. It (the film) took about two years to make and to have everyone from my kids, my dad and my granddad involved was incredible. My granddad passed away this year, so I dedicated the film in his memory."

Fury fighting blood

Terry Dooley
12/03/2016 7:34pm

When Peter Fury walked free from prison following a long stretch for possession and conspiracy to supply amphetamines few would have imagined that he would walk out alongside Tyson Fury for a shot at long-time heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko a handful of years later. Peter started training his nephew in 2012. A former pro, he came back to the sport when his son, Hughie, told him that he was unhappy with his amateur set-up. He is boxing’s version of the Godfather’s Tom Hagen, a man with a small, mostly family-based clientele. Now his name will be saved for posterity courtesy of the role he played in guiding Fury to the heavyweight crown via a clear decision win at Dusseldorf’s ESPIRIT Arena in November. “I’d never sat back and thought about it all until you just mentioned it, it is a wonderful achievement in every aspect,” said Fury when speaking to Boxing Monthly about his place in boxing’s history books."

The mark of Zurdo

Mark Butcher
07/03/2016 9:23am

Mexico is renowned for its seemingly endless production line of high class pressure fighters, but this proud boxing nation has never raised a world champion at 168lbs. 6ft 2.5ins southpaws with skills to burn are almost as rare. Yet Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez is poised to leave his mark on Mexican boxing history and break new ground among the super-middleweights. Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs) is tantalisingly close. The 24-year-old is mandatory contender for wily WBO champion Arthur Abraham who he faces on the Pacquiao-Bradley III undercard on 9 April in Las Vegas. Yet dreams of glory seemed a world away when the young Ramirez was an ill-behaved youth in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and tempted, like so many before him, by the call of the streets. “I decided to go to the boxing gym [at 12 years old] because I used to have lots of street fights in my hood, and I always liked to watch the sport of boxing,” Ramirez told Boxing Monthly via trainer/translator Hector Zapari over the phone from his gym in Mazatlan. “I went to the Dr. Solorzano boxing gym close to downtown Mazatlan with only 10 pesos for the bus and a couple of hand wraps."