Boxing Monthly’s World and British Rankings for March 2016 are explained by Colin Harris, our in-house ratings statistician. Trainer, fighter, manager and promoter queries are welcome (ratings up to and including 9 February results).
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."
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."
Terry Flanagan (29-0, 12KOs) has a boxing bucket list and part of that will be ticked off when he meets Derry Mathews (38-9-2, 20 KOs) on 12 March in Liverpool. The WBO lightweight champion, who makes the second defence of his title, will walk in to a North Western lion’s den when Manc meets Scouse at the Echo Arena, live on BoxNation. Winning a big fight in an opponent’s backyard, competing in America, unifying the lightweight division and winning a world title at a different weight are some of the other items on ‘Turbo’s’ bucket list. Those, as he told Boxing Monthly, are for the future. “For now I’m happy to clean up at domestic level,” said the 26-year-old.
With huge support from the British public for Muhammad Ali to receive an Honorary Knighthood, the timing for the ‘I Am The Greatest – Muhammad Ali’ exhibition at The 02 is perfect. If you are a non-sporting fan, you will appreciate the vast collection and depth of detail included. If you are a sporting fan, you will be taken aback by the level of detail the organisers have gone to, to trace such a vast number of artefacts and footage. If you are a boxing fan – you will be bowled over.
Gamal Yafai (8-0, 3KOs) has told Boxing Monthly that fans will finally see the very best of him this Saturday night at the Genting Arena, Birmingham. Yafai aims to put everything together into one winning package when he challenges Bobby Jenkinson (9-1-1, 2KOs) for his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title this weekend, live on Sky Sports. “Everyone will see a different fighter,” predicted Yafai. “The better they are, the better I will be. That’s the way it’s always been, even as an amateur. Most of my losses as an amateur were to kids I should have been beating."
As a schoolboy, British light-welterweight champion Tyrone Nurse was already preparing himself both mentally and physically for life in the unforgiving world of professional prizefighting, whilst perfecting the 'hit and don't get hit' style that has taken the Huddersfield 25-year-old to a record of 32-2-1 (6 KOs) as a seven year pro. When most teenage boys are chasing girls and trying to outdo their mates on the latest video games, Nurse was bunking off school to spar with grown men in the intimidating surroundings of a boxing gym. Men such as Stephen Foster Jr, Carl Johanneson and recently crowned WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla. “I were skiving off school and they were paying me a tenner a round!” Nurse told Boxing Monthly over the phone.
Jay Deas, trainer of WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, talks to Boxing Monthly online about the Bronze Bomber’s approaching mandatory defence against Alexander Povetkin. It was announced on Friday that Andrey Ryabinsky, promoter of Russian heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin, had won the rights to stage his charge’s challenge against reigning WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, thanks to a purse bid of $7.15 million, which outstripped the bid of just over $5.1 million made by Wilder’s promoter, Lou DiBella. Despite the daunting prospect of a possible trip to Russia, Wilder’s trainer, Alabama-born Jay Deas, was a picture of confidence when Boxing Monthly caught up with him this weekend. “Povetkin's people made a competitive bid and won,” Deas told BM. “Therefore they will control where and when the fight takes place. This is no problem for Deontay. He has fought all over the world."
Highlights and post-fight analysis from the Showtime Championship Boxing double-header in Anaheim, California, on 27 February. Leo Santa Cruz defeated Kiko Martinez via fifth round TKO to defend his featherweight title, and Hugo Ruiz evened the score with Julio Ceja to take his WBC super-bantamweight crown. Michael Montero breaks it all down from ringside.
On a night when Cyclone Promotions’ star fighter Carl Frampton stormed to victory over long-time rival Scott Quigg, his manager Barry McGuigan was already plotting the course for his next force to be reckoned with. It’s perhaps fitting that the ‘Tartan Tornado’ Josh Taylor is promoted by Cyclone Promotions given their weather related monikers. A couple of hours before IBF 122lbs champion Frampton outfoxed Quigg to add the WBA crown to his collection, Taylor hinted at his significant promise with a two-round blowout of Frenchman Lyes Chaibi.
On the eve of the Carl Frampton vs Scott Quigg megamatch in Manchester, Boxing Monthly took a break from the pre-fight brouhaha in favour of some grassroots action at an amateur dinner show in Consett - the one-time epicentre of Britain’s steel industry situated on the outskirts of County Durham. Local heroes – world cup winner and national institution Jack Charlton OBE and former bantamweight world titlist Stuart Hall - were on hand to present trophies, draw raffles and generally help the night go with a swing. Big Jack proved as popular as ever – as did the replica world cup he was presented with that ended up becoming something of a celebrity in its own right. At 80 now and no longer the towering physical presence of his youth, he seemed happy under the watchful eye of his eldest son John. Sipping beer, he was keen to talk about fishing and flashed some of his old dry wit when catching Hall off-guard with: “Where are you from son, Darlington? Well, you’d have to fight to get out of there…”