Comparing Joshua-Breazeale

Kurt Ward
30/04/2016 2:35pm

British fight fans are not happy. Well, some clearly aren't, that's for sure. And there's nothing like a Matchroom card proudly presented to you by Eddie Hearn for only £16.95 on Pay-Per-View to really get fingers smashing on keyboards around the country in a furious frenzy of anger. That annoyance intensified this week when it was announced that IBF heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua will be making the first defence of his strap against unbeaten American Dominic Breazeale. The PPV argument will rumble on and on, and it can be discussed each and every day on various forums and social media, but this article is a response to the negative reaction to the actual defence against Breazeale and only that. The challenger isn't expected to beat Joshua and, for most, won't even offer much of a test, but is this a rarity for champions in the sport, or more specifically since we're discussing Anthony Joshua's first defence, the heavyweight division? Let's take a look at some heavyweight titlists over the last few years and how their maiden defences stack up to what will take place at the O2 Arena on 25 June.

Ortiz and Berto seek to rekindle former glories

Shaun Brown
30/04/2016 7:00am

It was the thrilling welterweight spectacle that boxing fans hoped would happen in Michigan three months earlier. In January 2011, Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander met in a unification contest that on paper had the potential to be something special but instead had the life sucked out of it before it even got going. Step forward Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz to provide us with a wild slugfest that contained four official knockdowns, one unofficial and one of the broadcasting moments of the year when the late Manny Steward yelled “OH MY GAWD!” in the sixth round of HBO’s fight coverage. A great round for Berto that saw Ortiz go down from a heavy right hand only to get back up and detonate a left of his own to buckle the legs of his opponent and drop him. That night Ortiz would become WBC welterweight champion and fulfill some of the potential that had been thrust upon him at an early age. Five years later they meet once again (tonight 30 April), both at a crossroads stage of their career but expecting the Californian crowd in Carson to get their money’s worth once again. “I like exciting fights. I like to give fans what they pay for,” Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs) told Boxing Monthly when we asked him why he was taking this fight on. “It’s a fight that I didn’t really prepare like I needed to. He came in there and was definitely prepared. I just wasn’t at my best that night and he came out to win,” said Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) to BM when he recalled the night Ortiz took his undefeated record.




Deas and Wilder take the road less travelled

John Evans
29/04/2016 6:38am

For all but the fortunate, the road to the heavyweight title is filled with bumps, dead ends and detours. Jay Deas has taken the scenic route to the summit of the sport. Deas has trained and managed Deontay Wilder from rank amateur to the WBC heavyweight title. From the outside, their journey to the top of the world seems to have been as straightforward as it is possible to get but, while Wilder has been able to concentrate solely on the business of knocking people out as quickly as possible, Deas has meandered through his career taking in the sights and sounds and breathing in the unique landscape of professional boxing. Deas was happily sequestered in Florida when his brother called to ask for his help in setting up a gym. The pair made their way back to their hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and opened the Skyye Boxing gym in 1997. Deas swept floors, wrapped hands and became the gym’s in-house sparring partner before adding matchmaking duties to his CV and eventually becoming Alabama’s first ever, licensed promoter. It is the type of education that money can’t buy. “When you live in Alabama you have to do it all. We don’t have too many boxing people here so you end up wearing a lot of hats,” Deas told Boxing Monthly. “We started the gym in ’97 with some amateurs and a few professional fighters. We went around the world with the professionals. We went to Montreal, Germany, England, Dubai. Russia. That really served us well because we got to know who was who and how the game worked."

Moore on the horizon

James Oddy
27/04/2016 12:07pm

York Hall in Bethnal Green has witnessed its fair share of small hall classics. The latest was the 10-round war between Floyd Moore and Ben Day for the southern area lightweight title, which saw Moore (13-6-1, 9 KOs) retain his title. “Straight after [the fight], I wasn’t overly happy,” Moore told Boxing Monthly recently via telephone. “I trained hard. I was ready to go 10 full rounds. But in my head, I thought I was probably going to stop him.” The venue has proved a great base for the 25-year-old Fareham puncher as his career progresses. “York Hall has a great atmosphere. I’ve boxed there five or six times now and won them all by knockout bar one. I lost to Gary Buckland there in Prizefighter which is the only time I’ve lost in London.” There will be a change of scenery, however, for Moore as he is set to box on the undercard of David Haye’s next fight against unbeaten Arnold Gjergjaj at the O2 Arena on 21 May.

Ibeabuchi vs Tua revisited

Luke G. Williams
26/04/2016 9:08am

Before his recent arrest for alleged probation violation, Nigerian heavyweight Ike Ibeabuchi, who was planning a comeback at the age of 43, was interviewed in-depth by Boxing Monthly. As a follow-on from this interview, Luke G. Williams revisits and recreates the classic Tua-Ibeabuchi contest from 1997 which launched Ibeabuchi into the upper echelons of heavyweight boxing …

Gennady Golovkin-Dominic Wade ringside recap

Michael Montero & Tiffany Lam
25/04/2016 9:53am

Highlights, analysis and the atmosphere from Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin's second round TKO over the previously undefeated Dominic Wade in front of a sell-out crowd at The Forum in Los Angeles. Wade was the mandatory challenger for Golovkin's IBF middleweight title.

Ibeabuchi recalls Tua showdown

Luke G. Williams
24/04/2016 10:28am

Before his recent arrest for alleged probation violation, Nigerian heavyweight Ike Ibeabuchi, who was planning a comeback at the age of 43, was interviewed in-depth by Boxing Monthly’s Luke G. Williams about the legendary fight which made his name, namely his thrilling points victory against David Tua in 1997...

Inside the KiatKreerin Gym

Mark Butcher
23/04/2016 10:59am

Melodic birdsong echoes across the rafters of the KiatKreerin Gym. It’s unbearably hot on this particular Sunday morning in the Bangkok district of Samphanthawong. The shade of the gym roof offers a brief respite from the unrelenting Thai sun and inadequate protection from the passing mosquito that takes two hearty chunks out of my left arm en route to its next mealtime. These premises are home to undefeated IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng, the wily nemesis of so many in the 112lbs division, and residence to a number of aspiring fighters, many like Amnat former prisoners who have turned their lives around under the direction of promoter Jimmy Chaichotchuang and his KiatKreerin Promotions banner. The gym is also the workplace of unsung British trainer Rian Munton who is introducing a stable of fighters steeped in the wars of Muay Thai to the finer elements of boxing. “It’s hot. The weight just drops off you. The Thais cope with it because they are acclimatised to it," Munton, 41, told Boxing Monthly in reference to the stifling heat in the gym. “I do a lot of pad work but sometimes I go back to my room and I’ve just had it, I’m shattered. They have a big fan but in way it’s good - it helps the fighters get the weight off.”

Provodnikov ready to rumble again

James Oddy
22/04/2016 10:36am

Ruslan Provodnikov is called the ‘Siberian Rocky’ for a reason. The former WBO super-lightweight champion has an all-action style which has captivated fans around the boxing world, aligned with a cast iron chin. And Provodnikov is back on the title trail with a 11 June showdown with another fan favourite John Molina Jr at the Turning Stone resort and Casino in Verona, New York. Despite his rumbling reputation, Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOS) displayed a slightly more considered style against last opponent Jesus Rodriguez. “Training with Joel [Diaz] has had an effect with me.” Provodnikov told Boxing Monthly via manager and translator Vadim Kornilov. “Any time a fighter changes a trainer there is always a difference, I think that is usual. I made the transition because I needed a change, you never really know for sure if it will be a change for the better or for worse, but we will see in my upcoming fights."