With CREED now playing across the UK, Luke G. Williams re-examines cinema’s greatest boxing hero - the one and only Rocky Balboa - for Boxing Monthly Online. Today, he assesses the third entry in the series …
If I asked you to correlate the connection between boxing and the surname Sheeran, you would probably start to scratch your head and think – ‘worlds apart?!’ Boxing Monthly caught up with Jethro Sheeran – musician, avid boxing fan and cousin to Ed - to discover the uncanny connection which unravels into decades of bona fide pugilistic heritage. The genesis of the Sheeran boxing gene seems to have evolved from Jethro and Ed’s great grandfather James, who was handy enough with his fists to have fought none other than the heavyweight legend Jack Johnson, in an exhibition bout in 1913. Rumour has it Johnson came out on top during their encounter…
Author of Richmond Unchained Luke G. Williams introduces his new series rating the lineal heavyweight champions in order of greatness via a special scoring system involving achievement, dominance, style, fortitude and impact. Boxing Monthly’s website will be posting Luke's scores, rankings and thoughts in reverse order throughout 2016.
It was an enjoyable but hectic time for boxing in Japan with expected knockouts, upsets and young fighters coming through their biggest tests to date. For those who managed to catch the action, well done and, for the publications and UK TV channels who once again ignored it, shame on you. Here’s a quick recap of events from the ‘land of the rising sun’ during the holiday season.
With CREED released in the UK on 15 January, Luke G. Williams re-examines cinema’s greatest boxing hero - the one and only Rocky Balboa - for Boxing Monthly Online. Today, he assesses the second entry in the series, ROCKY II … Despite the runaway box-office and Oscar-award-winning success of ROCKY, a follow-up was far from certain. Back in the 1970s the movie industry wasn’t yet burdened with the surfeit of sequels that currently exist and the success rate of those that did make it to cinemas was patchy. Movies, it seemed, were still movies, as opposed to ‘franchises’ or ‘properties’.
Luke G. Williams speaks to two-time heavyweight titlist Chris Byrd about the state of the sport’s blue riband division today. Former IBF and WBO Champion Chris Byrd was one of the top heavyweights of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, despite regularly ceding huge advantages to his opponents in terms of weight, height, power and reach. Having begun his amateur career as a light-welter and his pro career as a super-middle, Byrd had no right to be campaigning at heavyweight, let alone regularly beating viable contenders or winning world titles in the division.
Stephen Smith has told Boxing Monthly that his 26 March IBF super-featherweight title fight against Puerto Rican Champion Jose Pedraza is likely headed to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York. “That's what I've heard but we are waiting on full confirmation soon,” said the 30-year-old former Commonwealth and two-weight British champion when speaking to BM from his home in Liverpool. There had been some confusion late last week as to the exact date and location of the fight, with Puerto Rican based promoter Peter Rivera discussing the possibility of having Pedraza face his mandatory Smith on 20 February.
Fighters can be a coy bunch of individuals when discussing a pre-fight gameplan. “I don’t want to give too much away…”A traditional quote from a boxer who, rightly, will reveal his hand(s) on fight night and not to a writer who is looking for an easy headline. Then there are men like Mark De Mori. The Croatian-based Australian heavyweight, who recently signed with Warrior’s Boxing in America, who knows exactly what he has to do to beat David Haye this Saturday night (16 January) and didn’t even hesitate when it came to sharing. “I’ve got to take a risk approach which is to engage,” De Mori told Boxing Monthly. “I know he wants me to run in so he can counter punch, but I’m not tall enough to sit back and use my jab so there’s no secrets about my fight plan. I’m just going to go in there and let my bombs fly.”
The Hayemaker is back! And we’re offering two lucky winners a pair of tickets each to David Haye’s eagerly anticipated comeback fight against Mark De Mori which takes place on Saturday 16th January at the O2 Arena in London. Just answer the following question for a chance to win.
2015 was a fine year for British boxing. So good, in fact, that - when the annual gongs were handed out - Ryan Farrag’s thrilling stoppage of Stephane Jamoye to claim the European bantamweight title barely earned a mention. In any other year, the Liverpudlian’s against the odds knockout victory would have gained much more attention. “I don’t mind that it’s happened this way. This is my journey, isn’t it?” Farrag told Boxing Monthly. “I’m not gonna moan about it and I don’t mind being underrated and coming in under the radar."
With CREED released in the UK on 15 January, Luke G. Williams re-examines cinema’s greatest boxing hero - the one and only Rocky Balboa - for Boxing Monthly Online. Today, he casts a critical eye over the first entry in the series, the multi-award-winning ROCKY …