Rees rocks on

Danny Winterbottom
01/11/2015 7:57am

When Gavin Rees called time on his 16-year professional career in May 2014 he did so having won British, European and world honours. He also garnered the respect of both his peers and fans during a thoroughly enjoyable 43-fight ride. Following the blueprint set out by his long-time stablemate Joe Calzaghe, Rees left the sport on his own terms when his body would no longer respond to the rigours of eight-week long training camps. And now 18 months into his retirement, Rees is enjoying life after boxing running his amateur gym, Pantside ABC, and a pub he owns, aptly named ‘The Rock’s Bar’ in the Gwent village of Pant. “I train in the gym five days a week and work in the bar at night,” explained Rees when speaking to Boxing Monthly from his home in the Welsh Valleys. “The pub is on a little estate in Pantside and it’s doing okay. I loved boxing but now I love to train the kids."

Fury on Fury

Terry Dooley
31/10/2015 7:31am

“We are very close, we want the best from each other - Tyson wants the best for me and I want the best for him,” admitted Hughie Fury when discussing his older cousin and their close bond during a conversation with Boxing Monthly. “When I spar, Tyson’s there by the side of the ring watching for mistakes and I do the same for him.”

Farrag ready to storm Europe

Shaun Brown
30/10/2015 11:44am

Ryan Farrag has had to sit and bide his time, but on Friday night - after months of waiting - the biggest fight of his career will take place in Liege. The 27-year-old Liverpudlian leaves behind his English bantamweight title as well as the various six and eight-round learners that have helped shape his career to contest the vacant European 118lbs championship against Stephane Jamoye. The Belgian, who will be fighting in front of home support at the Hall Omnisport de La Prealle, aims to recapture the title he held three years ago. Farrag has no qualms about Liege’s version of a lion’s den. “I’m not going to go in there swinging, but I am going over there to knock him out to be honest,” Farrag predicted.

Pretty Boy Bellew acts the part

Shaun Brown
29/10/2015 1:08pm

Tony Bellew wasn’t having the best of days when Hollywood came calling. The 32-year-old cruiserweight contender had just spent an August evening watching his beloved Everton Football Club suffer a 6-3 home defeat at the hands of Chelsea. Licking his wounds, and with an important training camp on the horizon, Bellew wanted his palette to saviour one last sumptuous takeaway before the challenges of healthy eating started to take its toll. Before journeying home to enjoy a night with his wife, the last thing Bellew needed was someone playing a prank on him about starring in a boxing movie called ‘Creed’ alongside Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan. “I remember it so vividly,” Bellew told Boxing Monthly from his home on Merseyside. “I’d just signed to the [Nathan] Cleverly fight [a rematch from their 2011 duel]. I was on my way home. I’d got into the Indian takeaway and a fella on the phone pops up.” ‘I’m calling on behalf of Sylvester Stallone from MGM studios regarding a movie,’ said the mysterious caller. Bellew’s retort was a little less polite.

The view from Mount Fury

Terry Dooley
27/10/2015 12:07pm

Wladimir Klitschko’s opponents are cowed well before the first bell. The universally recognised heavyweight champion is as ruthless as Floyd Mayweather Jr during the negotiating period, using the build-up to a fight to psychologically diminish his opponent, a tactic that has seen him go without a defeat since losing to Lamon Brewster in 2004 (LTKO5). Tyson Fury (24-0, 18 KOs), however, believes that he is the one waging and winning the psychological warfare ahead of his rearranged 28 November fight against the Ukrainian WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO title-holder. Despite Deontay Wilder’s recent ascent to the WBC title, there is only one real route to the pinnacle of the heavyweight division, Klitschko. “Britain’s got loads of world champions now, but it doesn’t mean they’re great,” Fury told Boxing Monthly. “Being a world champion and being great is two different things. I want to be involved in great fights, win lose or draw, and, so far, I’ve won all my fights to put myself in this position.”

Montero Drama Show: Golovkin, Ward, double standards & disrespect

Michael Montero & Tiffany Lam
26/10/2015 7:19pm

LA boxing doyen Michael Montero sounds off on the internet chatter surrounding Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Andre Ward including the lacklustre Golovkin-Lemieux PPV numbers, the GGG AppleWatch TV ad, Ward's opponent refusal by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and more!

Jazza Dickens: The avoided champion

John Evans
26/10/2015 12:38pm

As a clever, fit and skilful southpaw, it would be easy to understand Liverpool’s Jazza Dickens being placed firmly in the ‘Who Needs Him’ club. As the reigning British super-bantamweight champion, however, the 24 year-old Dickens imagined that he would have a queue of eager challengers desperate to take the famous Lonsdale belt off him. That hasn’t quite been the case. In fact, eight months after outpointing Josh Wale for the vacant belt, he has yet to defend the title. Dickens finally gets the chance to put a first notch on the belt when he faces former Commonwealth bantamweight champion and IBF world title challenger Martin Ward at Tyne-and-Wear’s Rainton Meadows Arena on 20 November. “I think I could look good against Martin Ward and I love fighting southpaws but I just appreciate the fact that Martin and his team actually wanted to fight,” Dickens told Boxing Monthly. “Since we’ve had the title, we’ve been waiting for months for somebody to put themselves forward to box for it. That isn’t usually the case with the British belt as I know myself. Ever since I lost my fight for it, I wanted my shot at it again right away. Nobody has put themselves forward for it until now though.”

Unfinished business for Bute

Mark Butcher
23/10/2015 3:36pm

In August, Lucian Bute realised the dream wasn’t over. A spate of injuries, patchy form and the loss of his treasured world title had left the Canadian’s confidence dented and his career lurching towards retirement. The spark had gone. That all changed two months ago when the former IBF super-middleweight champion brushed aside Italian Andrea Di Luisa in four rounds at the Bell Centre and the belief returned. Remarkably, it was Bute’s first victory since November 2012 and afterwards the darling of the Quebec boxing scene fought back the tears as devoted fans chanted his name. “It was a great moment for me because in the last few years it’s been difficult,” Bute (32-2, 25 KOs) told Boxing Monthly earlier this month. “Before my last fight, I had a long break – 18 months without a fight – so when the referee stopped the fight the emotion just came out. It was a great night. I needed this feeling.”

Jamie Robinson: The rise of the 'Ginger Rocket'

John A. MacDonald
22/10/2015 4:26pm

Just 18 months ago, it appeared that Jamie Robinson’s boxing career was over before it had truly begun. Having amassed two losses and a draw in his first six fights, Robinson walked away from the sport; disillusioned and disenchanted. His promises broken, his dreams shattered. That decision ultimately proved to be a sabbatical rather than a retirement as, after a year, he returned to the ring with a new trainer and a fresh outlook. These alterations have paid dividends as Robinson is now on a three-fight winning streak and will have the biggest fight of his career to date when he faces Atif Shafiq on the Chris Eubank Jr-Tony Jeter undercard at Sheffield Arena on Saturday.

The Pound-for-Pound debate

TKO Radio
19/10/2015 5:22pm

There has been significant Pound-for-Pound (P4P) debate over the past month. Several strong cases have been made; although some fans and pundits are fed up and want the fictional title forgotten. Do these lists add an element of clarity to the sport? Not really. Most people just have fun discussing the topic, so don’t expect P4P recognition to go away anytime soon. Minutes after dominating David Lemieux, middleweight king Gennady Golovkin was asked by HBO analyst Max Kellerman if he thought he was the new P4P king. Golovkin didn’t claim to be and replied that the designation is currently up for grabs.