Frontline Diary: Rumble on the Wear

Andrew Harrison
08/03/2016 11:44am

West Rainton’s Tommy Ward impressed in Tyne & Wear this past weekend. Ward (17-0, 1 KO) comprehensively outboxed the ever-game Robbie Turley (16-6, 3 KOs) of Wales, Saturday, at Rainton Meadows Arena to clinch this 10-round final eliminator for the British super-bantamweight title via scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 96-94. The last of those cards (turned in by Graeme Williams) made absolutely no sense whatsoever – especially considering that Turley’s strong-arm tactics had seen him lose a point in round 7 for holding and hitting (Boxing Monthly scored it 99-90 in Ward’s favour).

Frontline Diary: Reflections on Bad Intentions

Mark Butcher
14/12/2015 12:59pm

At times, the hype for Saturday’s ‘Bad Intentions’ pay-per-view promotion reached dizzying levels yet, when the dust had settled on a night of breathless action, the O2 Arena show somehow managed to exceed pre-fight expectation and we were left to reflect on British boxing’s card of the year. ‘Bad Intentions’ had just about everything and intriguingly illustrated that heavyweight juggernaut Anthony Joshua is human after all.

Frontline Diary: Benbecula to Belfast

John A. MacDonald
26/11/2015 4:36pm

If I were to say Cyclone Promotions to you, there is a very real chance your mind would instantly jump to Carl Frampton. It’s understandable as the promotional outfit have played pivotal roles in securing ‘The Jackal’ his world title shot against IBF super bantamweight champion - Kiko Martinez, having his first defence against Chris Avalos broadcast on terrestrial television, teaming up with influential advisor Al Haymon to allow Frampton to make his U.S debut and - along with Matchroom Sport - they finalised a unification with domestic rival Scott Quigg. Fighter and promoter have become synonymous with each other.

Frontline Diary: ‘Heavy Duty’ and illegal cough sweets

Mark Butcher
13/09/2015 7:25pm

Gone in 97 seconds. That was all it took for the Anthony Joshua juggernaut to roll over Scottish behemoth Gary Cornish. The 6ft 7ins Scot possessed many natural physical advantages, but after he tasted Joshua’s power the fight was a formality. The one-round blowout was greeted with wild euphoria in the O2 Arena. An Anthony Joshua fight is often more of an event than sporting contest and, while that may irk some purists, it's transcending boxing in the UK. It’s no different from the fan bases created by national heroes Frank Bruno and Ricky Hatton in times gone by. Rather than criticize the journey, roll back your seat and enjoy the ride.

Frontline Diary: Superman Stevenson shrugs off Kryptonite

Shawn Smith
13/09/2015 1:43am

The mood amongst supporters of Tommy Karpency was jovial as the main event started in Toronto. They cheered loudly as his name was announced, blowing kisses and waving. It didn’t take long for the cheers to turn to tears. Premier Boxing Champions hosted their first event in Toronto on Friday night, and the first world championship fight in the city since 1984. Lineal light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson did what many expected he would be able to do, dismantling Karpency in the third round thanks to his explosive power.

Frontline Diary: Oh what an atmosphere

Andrew Harrison
10/09/2015 11:59am

During a brief sojourn in a bar situated inside the complex, Twitter tipped me off that Tyson Fury was in the building. Dressed in a grey two-piece tweed jacket and waistcoat with matching flat cap, Fury looked happy - like a man temporarily released from the rigours of training. Tall, slim and unmarked he appeared to be on weight; fit but perhaps a tad tired. Fury has an easy manner and is popular inside the boxing community. He shakes plenty of hands. He’d called in to cheer on an undercard fighter on the Warrington-Brunker bill, and was scheduled to resume training the following day to commence a crucial phase in camp. “I’m here to support my little team mate Isaac Lowe, a little featherweight who’s fighting for the English title tonight,” he told me cheerily. “Training’s going good. Six weeks in now, another six weeks and I’ll be ready. I’m sparring Monday. I’ll let you know how many times I get chinned in sparring - give ‘em a bit of confidence.”





Frontline Diary: (Well over) 22 Twos

Terry Dooley
24/07/2015 2:38pm

It was a tale of two comebacks: Anthony Crolla’s return to action after being attacked by would-be burglars in December and Boxing Monthly columnist Billy Graham’s first ringside appearance in the U.K. since he worked Ojay Abraham’s corner in August 2008, the night both men retired from boxing. Graham was Sky’s guest of honour. It was a chance for him to mingle with boxing fans at a fight for the first time in almost a decade in a venue he once called home yet has only visited twice since Ricky Hatton’s win over Kostya Tszyu in June 2005. “It is fantastic,” said Graham. “I’ve had an unbelievable reception. I am overwhelmed by the way the fans have treated me. It’s taken me a couple of rounds to adjust to the velocity of the punches and get a feel for it all again. Don’t forget, it’s the first time I’ve been ringside for a long time."

Frontline Diary: Flanagan-Zepeda, From the park to the couch

Terry Dooley
17/07/2015 6:10am

After only attending one TV show in the past 15 months, I realised that it was time to get back out there. The bullshit-free environs of non-TV shows are great, but you do have to head out to the 'big' ones if you want to pick up news, gossip and other titbits - recluses don’t get exclusives. Unfortunately, I discovered that I’d double-booked myself and ended up sitting yet another one out due to dog-sitting duties.It meant sending a late text through to Richard Maynard, Frank Warren’s PR guru. Richard and Anthony Leaver (Matchroom) have two of the busiest jobs in the sport. Press and all other inquiries tend to land at their doors, not to mention angry emails from irate writers and other media people if they are not happy with their seats.

Frontline Diary: Azerbaijan and Baku 2015

Terry Dooley
16/06/2015 8:15pm

Arriving at Azerbaijan airport at 3am in the morning isn’t the best way to begin a Boxing Monthly fact-finding mission ahead of the inaugural 2015 European Games. For starters, you have to purchase a Visa. The task is made especially hard if, say, your passport is almost a decade old and you have had a drastic haircut plus added an Epping Forest-sized amount of hair to your face in the meantime. “This man, he looks nothing like the man before me,” claimed a bemused official when I brandished my old passport plus the photo I had taken the night before to attach to my Visa application. “Are you really him?” he asked, which prompted a brief existential crisis. “Is anyone really anyone at all?” I countered, running the risk of opening up a conversation that could have lasted all night. Whether through tiredness, boredom or both, he eventually stopped staring at me and rubber-stamped my entry into the country.