Cardle plans to exorcise Dodd demons

Shaun Brown
30/03/2016 6:45am

Scotty Cardle plans to exorcise some demons this Saturday night in Liverpool. The British lightweight champion (19-0, 6 KOs), from Lytham St. Annes, returns after a five-month break to defend his Lonsdale belt for a second time against the man who pushed him all the way last November. Sean Dodd (10-2, 2 KOs) will climb back into the ring inside the Echo Arena, where the two men squared off first time round, looking to prove that his original performance was no fluke. For Cardle, his own performance was one to forget. “Last fight I feel as if I under performed. It was quite a poor night for me if I say so myself,” the 26-year-old told Boxing Monthly. “I’m very critical of my performances anyway and, for me, that’s possibly my worst and I still came out with a win. My plan is to get rid of the demons from my last performance and finish this fight off in style really so I can put it to the back of me.”

Ryan Walsh: Familia supra omnia

John A. MacDonald
29/03/2016 5:39am

Familia supra omnia. The Latin phrase meaning family, above all others, is a mantra Ryan Walsh and his fighting siblings – twin brother Liam and older brother Michael – live their lives by. It has been emblazoned across their t-shirts on fight night and it’s not uncommon to see Ryan finish tweets with it on the social media platform. It’s a belief that their father John instilled in them from an early age and now that sense of family loyalty is engrained in them. This meant that Ryan found Christmas Day particularly hard as he was deep in camp in Tenerife isolated from his brothers. This sacrifice was worthwhile as Walsh made the first defence of his British featherweight title in front of a sell-out crowd at York Hall on 22 January. A four punch combination sent his challenger – Darren Traynor – sprawling across the bottom rope obliging referee Michael Alexander to halt the contest in the fifth round. This gave Walsh his first stoppage victory in over two-and-a-half years and resulted in an out-of-body experience. “It was euphoric,” Walsh told Boxing Monthly over the phone from outside the Kickstop Gym in Norwich. “When the crowd were mental, it was as if I was with them, outside of myself, enjoying it."

Smith still chasing world title dream

Shaun Brown
28/03/2016 7:42am

This weekend Paul Smith enters his 42nd pro fight staring into something of a fresh start whilst looking over his shoulder as the words ‘last chance’ creep up on his 13-year career. Liverpool’s Smith, 33, has been out of the ring since June 2015 where he stopped by Andre Ward in the ninth round in Oakland. A fight that Smith told Boxing Monthly he will never be happy with while holding his hands up to “a genuine, honest mistake” after failing to make the agreed 172lbs catchweight limit. It was Smith’s third fight mixing at elite level, beginning with an outstanding performance against WBO 168lbs champion Arthur Abraham in September 2014, only to be cruelly denied by the scorecards. The rematch five months later returned similar numbers without the controversy. “September 2014 to September 2015 was the best year of my life on a personal level,” Smith (35-6, 20 KOs) told Boxing Monthly. “I improved as a fighter a lot and I was getting shots I wanted. I was fighting on the world scene against two of the biggest names in the division. Topped the bill in the States, earned well and was active.”

Hall inspired by McDonnell success

Shaun Brown
27/03/2016 3:49pm

One day Stuart Hall would like a rematch with Jamie McDonnell after losing to him four-and-a-half years ago. For now, however, Hall (19-4-2,7 KOs) is using the WBA world bantamweight champion, and his recent magnificent overseas efforts, as an inspiration to get his own world title aspirations back on track. “I really respect him and proper respect what he’s done,” Hall told Boxing Monthly. “I look at Jamie McDonnell now and he’s like a role model really. He’s one of them guys I want to fight but I’ve watched him and what he’s done, it’s an incentive to anyone out there."

Ryder still at the races

Shaun Brown
25/03/2016 6:38am

Should John Ryder (22-2, 12 KOs) go on to become a world middleweight champion then he may look back on his fight against Sergey Khomitsky as the most important win of his career. At the end of January, Ryder was tasked with not only saving a career that once looked nailed on for titles, but with defeating an opponent who had become accustomed to trashing the reputations of British rising stars. Thankfully, for Ryder, and everyone around him, he delivered. Not with the kind of trench warfare that many of us expected but by using the brains that make him one of Britain’s most talented fighters at 160lbs. With that win the 27-year-old Londoner now feels a sizeable weight off his shoulders. “I proved to myself, my family and everyone around me that I could do it,” Ryder told Boxing Monthly.

Sykes relishing underdog status

Andrew Harrison
23/03/2016 4:32am

In an unforgiving professional career that has spanned more than a decade, Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes (28-4, 6 KOs) has only once faced odds as long as those he will look to defy on Saturday. In 2012, Sykes – a two-time British champion at junior lightweight - was hand-picked to face American Adrien Broner in Vegas for a fight that ultimately never came off. On Saturday, Sykes will look to gatecrash the domestic lightweight scene against come-backing 20-to-1 on favourite, Luke Campbell (12-1, 10 KOs) of Hull. “I love that, because it’s completely taken the pressure off me,” Sykes said of his long-shot tag from his home base in Yorkshire. “I like being the underdog. They just see me as a gimme. They probably think I’m over the hill. They see me as a gatekeeper but I’m going in there...I’m going to do a job.”

David Allen: Charge of the ‘White Rhino'

James Oddy
22/03/2016 7:20am

It is to British boxing’s credit that the Lonsdale Belt is still viewed as a prized position by many fighters. To some, it is the pinnacle of their careers; to others, an important trophy on the way up to world level. The British heavyweight title holds its own specific lore, held by crossover stars such as Brian London, Henry Cooper, Lennox Lewis, and Tyson Fury. Its current holder Anthony Joshua looks certain to do the same, with an IBF world title fight to come on 9 April. Behind Joshua is an ever-increasing pack of would-be challengers for that prized belt. The number one contender is to be decided in a South Yorkshire derby on the Kell Brook-Kevin Bizier card at Sheffield Arena on Saturday when Doncaster’s ‘White Rhino’ David Allen (8-0-1, 5 KOs) meets Sheffield’s Richard ‘The Inferno’ Towers (15-1, 12 KOs). “It’s a big week. I’ve had a few fights now and been on some big bills. But this is the first big fight I’ve had,” the affable Allen told Boxing Monthly. “It’s a big name opponent, he’s local, we’re friends, we have a lot of mutual friends. The nerves haven’t kicked in yet. But I am not really a nervous kind of person."

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.