Tag Archives: bouts

Herbie Hide allegedly offers to throw fight and deliver cocaine

Former world champion Hide 'offered to throw a title fight' and 'arranged cocaine to be delivered'

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

07:08 GMT, 24 February 2013

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UPDATED:

07:08 GMT, 24 February 2013

Allegations: Hide is a two-time world champion

Allegations: Hide is a two-time world champion

Former heavyweight world champion Herbie Hide has allegedly offered to help throw a world title fight for 1million.

The Sun on Sunday have published video footage of the Brit apparently boasting about being able to fix boxing bouts while they also allege that Hide offered to peddle cocaine.

Hide reportedly said: 'Whoever, which round you want, whatever you want as long as you put the money.

'I can guarantee one thing, you can get whoever is the favourite, you can get them to step down for a million pounds.

'You need a big name on good record — yeah, like myself!'

Investigation: Police are looking into the allegations of drug peddling

Investigation: Police are looking into the allegations of drug peddling

Hide, 41, was twice a WBO world champion in the 1990s.

Police have confirm that they are investigating the drug allegations made by The Sun on Sunday.

Kell Brook v Devon Alexander confirmed for February 23in Detroit

Brook vows to bring world title back to Britain as Alexander bout is confirmed

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UPDATED:

11:43 GMT, 18 December 2012

Kell Brook will challenge for Devon Alexander's IBF world welterweight title on February 23 in Detroit.

The Sheffield star had been pencilled in to fight the American next month in either Los Angeles or Las Vegas but an ankle injury forced the bout to be delayed.

The 26-year-old earned the right to face Alexander by stopping Hector Saldivia inside three rounds in the final eliminator in Sheffield in October.

The Special One: Kell Brook will head to Detroit in February for a crack at the IBF welterweight title

The Special One: Kell Brook will head to Detroit in February for a crack at the IBF welterweight title

Brook tweeted this morning: 'Feb 23 I'm gonna show the world just how Special I am. I'm gonna bring this world title home for Britain.'

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Alexander's promoters Golden Boy, confirmed the fight could be one of three world title bouts.

'We'll have two world title fights, and it could turn out to be three, so if we bring three world title fights, including one with hometown champion [Cornelius] 'K9' Bundrage, I think we will do darn well there,' he told ESPN.

Home advantage: Devon Alexander will be defending his crown on home soil

Home advantage: Devon Alexander will be defending his crown on home soil

'Detroit is a great fight town.

Alexander won the IBF strap with a unanimous decision over Randall Bailey just hours after Brook's decisive victory.

The 25-year-old is a two-weight world champion having previously held the IBF and WBC light-welterweight titles before losing to Timothy Bradley in January.

Ricky Hatton comeback receives British baton after Carl Froch glory – Jeff Powell boxing column

Over to you, Ricky: Froch hands over British baton to returning hero Hatton

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 20 November 2012

Carl Froch continues his climb towards the top five of the world pound-for-pound rankings.
Ricky Hatton will try to join him on the ladder on Saturday when he starts a comeback in which he is aiming to regain world titles.

Amir Khan will attempt to reignite his championship career with a fight in America on December 15th.
One month later Kell Brook gets his first world title shot, against Devon Alexander in the US.

British boxing is back on the offensive, launched by the performance of Froch in destroying Yusaf Mack at the weekend which ridiculed the argument that the Nottingham Cobra is not a star in the firmament of the ring.

Mack attack: Carl Froch retained his world title with an explosive third round victory in Nottingham on Saturday

Mack attack: Carl Froch retained his world title with an explosive third round victory in Nottingham on Saturday

Sitting pretty: IBF super-middleweight king Froch celebrates his defence with his partner Rachel Cordingley

Sitting pretty: IBF super-middleweight king Froch celebrates his defence with his partner Rachel Cordingley

More from Jeff Powell…

Jeff Powell: Cannon fodder will help Brits catch the big fish in the end
12/11/12

Jeff Powell: Fury on the campaign trail for a world title if Klitschko's political move disappoints Haye
05/11/12

Jeff Powell: Steward is gone but Hearns will fight for The Kronk to live on
29/10/12

Jeff Powell boxing column: So long, Ricky Fatton! Returning Hitman vows to quit boozing between bouts
22/10/12

Jeff Powell: Retired and broke, Holyfield still has hope… but it's help he really needs
15/10/12

Jeff Powell: Tyson takes time to show Hatton and Haye the way back to the top
08/10/12

Jeff Powell: Sold out arena, tough opponent… all Hatton needs now is a TV station
01/10/12

Jeff Powell boxing column: Boxers are brave but none more so than Big Corrie
24/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Our world super-middleweight champion is actually improving at 35 and former world light-heavyweight title holder Glenn McCrory, now a Sky Sports commentator, went so far as to compare him with the legendary likes of Stanley Ketchell.

Hatton, a year younger, returns to the ring more than three years after being flattened by Manny Pacquiao proclaiming that the fire still burns in his belly. His ferocity in training lends weight to that conviction and he has deliberately chosen a tough opponent to provide the litmus test.

Vyacheslav Senchenko, an immediate past world welterweight champion, has lost only once in 33 fights and Hatton says: ‘If I feel good against this guy I will know everything is back in working order.'

A valid Hatton comeback followed by a win for Khan and a successful world title venture to the US by Brook against Devon Alexander on January 19 would revive Britain’s share of the trans-Atlantic bragging rights.

Brook has the tougher task but victory over the technically clever but less physical Alexander is not impossible.

Whatever happens in the coming months, Froch is carrying the flag with a flourish as well as great pride.

Welcome back, Ricky: Hatton relaunches his career in the ring in Manchester this weekend

Welcome back, Ricky: Hatton relaunches his career in the ring in Manchester this weekend

VIDEO: Watch Hatton prepare for his ring return

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Pacquiao success over Marquez prompts Nevada change

The long-running controversy over the decisions given to Manny Pacquiao in his three fights with Juan Manuel Marquez thus far is reported to have co-erced the Nevada State Athletic Commission into a change of long-standing policy.

The Commission has always maintained the right to appoint all fight officials from within their own state jurisdiction.

It seems they are ready to make an exception for Pacquiao-Marquez IV. The referee is expected to be a Nevadan, and one of the judges. But the second and third scorers at ringside are likely to be an Englishman and a judge from New Jersey.

It's war... again: Pacquaio and Marquez will face off for a fourth time next month

It's war… again: Pacquaio and Marquez will face off for a fourth time next month

The assumption is that the pressure for this change has come from the Marquez camp but it may work against him.

A full house of Nevada officials in the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8 would have known that the eyes of the world were upon them and may have felt the heat to give the Mexican the benefit of any doubt, following two close wins and a draw for the PacMan.

The outsiders will view proceedings with fresh eyes and no past baggage.

Jeff Powell: Emanuel Steward is gone but Tommy Hearns will fight for The Kronk to live on

Steward is gone but Hearns will fight for The Kronk to live on

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 30 October 2012

They were taking down the garish red and gold sign over what would soon look like any other window-barred shop front on the mean streets of downtown Detroit.

Iniside, Tommy Hearns was sitting on the apron of the ring, which was due to be dismantled and taken he knows not where, along with the rest of the artefacts.

The Hitman alternated between wiping his eyes and smiling at the memories being shared among the old gang.

Remembered: Legendary trainer Emanuel Steward died aged 68

Remembered: Legendary trainer Emanuel Steward died aged 68

More from Jeff Powell…

Jeff Powell boxing column: So long, Ricky Fatton! Returning Hitman vows to quit boozing between bouts
22/10/12

Jeff Powell: Retired and broke, Holyfield still has hope… but it's help he really needs
15/10/12

Jeff Powell: Tyson takes time to show Hatton and Haye the way back to the top
08/10/12

Jeff Powell: Sold out arena, tough opponent… all Hatton needs now is a TV station
01/10/12

Jeff Powell boxing column: Boxers are brave but none more so than Big Corrie
24/09/12

Jeff Powell: Interim bouts hamper prospects of blockbuster Mayweather v Pacquiao showdown
17/09/12

Jeff Powell: Nothing can prepare Flintoff for the shock of taking thunderous blows in the ring
11/09/12

Jeff Powell: Fight fans warm to Hatton comeback… but De La Hoya rules out ring return
03/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

It was the day after Emanuel Steward finally lost his last fight, against chronic stomach sickness, and fears that his fabled gym might die with him were being realised.

The man being mourned as the greatest trainer of them all WAS the Kronk.

Manny was the genius, the life-blood, the spirit of this gritty academy of champions.

Now that he’s gone – too young at 68 – the family are protecting his legacy, apparently by closing the place down.

Not if the Hitman can help hit.

Hearns, the most iconic of all the Kronk’s world champions, is now dealing with his grief over the loss of his Svengali by trying to save one of the most famous emporiums of fisticuffs in the world.

‘I’m wholly committed to trying to keep the Kronk going,’ he says. ‘It’s what Manny wanted.’

According to the great trainer’s sister and family spokesperson, Diane Steward-Jones, her brother had asked her to protect his legacy, in the form of the gym’s valuable memorabilia.

That includes the door sign, the ring, the posters of historic fights and such motivational messages as: No Pain, No Gain.

Since looters stripped out Emanuel’s restaurant – cooking was one of his other loves – the day after it shut down, her concern is understandable.

But even as she issued instructions for the doors to be locked and the alarm switched on, she admitted to being uncertain about the future of the gym’s paraphernalia.

The location on Warren Street has only been a temporary relocation in the six years since the original gym, in the basement of a community centre in a nearby project, closed down. And it, too, has been shut intermittently because of financial difficulties.

Only Steward’s personal generosity has kept the Kronk alive and he was considering a shock cultural move to a more affluent suburb of Motor City in the hope of attracting not only hungry fighters but fee-paying fitness work-out customers.

Emotional: Tommy Hearns has been remembering Steward

Emotional: Tommy Hearns has been remembering Steward

Tribute: A wreath for Steward sits outside the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit

Tribute: A wreath for Steward sits outside the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit

Without its guiding light that is unlikely to happen now but Hearns has attracted powerful support for his campaign.

The Mayor of Detroit is proposing that the old, run-down community centre be refurbished and reopened so the Kronk can return to its spiritual home in the basement, partly as a tourist attraction.

Hopefully, this will be more successful than the attempts to save the old Thomas a Beckett pub on the Old Kent Road where the upstairs gym was home to countless London boxers, Henry Cooper notable among them.

Hearns knows there will be no replacing Steward but as he stood on the sidewalk he promised the gnarled old gym hands and the eager fighters around him that he would do his utmost to rescue their most inspiring of work-places.

A thousand stories: The Kronk walls are lined with pictures of Steward and his champions

A thousand stories: The Kronk walls are lined with pictures of Steward and his champions

One kid who would be a champ, with his kit-bag over his shoulder, said: ‘If this place is gone I guess we’ll have to move on…..but to where’

If the Hitman fails then the memorial service for Manny – which will be held on November 13 at Greater Grace Temple on Seven Mile Road in Detroit – may be the last time the Kronk Gym gang get together.

TOP FIVE TRAINERS

The passing of Emanuel Steward has produced a consensus that the master of the Kronk ranks as the greatest trainer of all time. Here is this column’s all-time top five:

1) Emanuel Steward: Hard to argue against the charismatic trainer of almost 50 world champions, some developed from boyhood at the Kronk such Thomas ‘Hitman’ Hearns, others elevated from champion to legendary status like Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Wladimir Klitschko, in whose corner he remained until his most recent fight.

No 1: Steward puts former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis through his paces

No 1: Steward puts former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis through his paces

2) Eddie Futch: Like Steward a Detroit amateur, Futch took charge of Joe Frazier’s professional career after Smokin’ Joe won Olympic gold and guided him through the epic trilogy with Muhammad Ali.

Futch famously retired Frazier at the end of the 14th round against Ali in The Thrilla in Manila, to save his man’s sight in the right eye. He also trained three of the other four men who defeated The Greatest – Ken Norton, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.

Dream team: Eddie Futch (left) steered Joe Frazier on his path to glory

Dream team: Eddie Futch (left) steered Joe Frazier on his path to glory

3) Freddie Roach: The comparatively new kid on this block as current mentor of Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr among many.

Like Steward and Futch, Roach is the trainer of multiple world champions – more than 20 – despite suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Respected: Freddie Roach trains Manny Pacquiao in his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles

Respected: Freddie Roach trains Manny Pacquiao in his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles

4) Angelo Dundee: If not quite the greatest, then the trainer of The Greatest. Took over Cassius Clay as a teenager and was still in Muhammad Ali’s corner more than two decades later.

Also worked with Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman but Ali was his masterpiece.

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali had Angelo Dundee in his corner

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali had Angelo Dundee in his corner

5) Cus D’Amato: Began life as a trainer by developing one world heavyweight champion, Floyd Patterson, and finished life by manufacturing another, Mike Tyson.

The peek-a-boo style of Patterson was a tactical innovation at the time, while the creation of Tyson as the youngest heavyweight champion was his piece-de-resistance.

TOP FIVE GYMS

Steward’s death has also brought the famous boxing gyms of the world into focus. Our top five:

1) The Kronk: Synonymous with the great Emanuel’s work and therefore tops the list. Not only the breeding ground of champions like Tommy Hearns but also a place of pilgrimage for fighters, trainers, promoters and boxing lovers from all over the world.

The archetypal grim gym and as such a place of hope and inspiration.

Biggest names: Prince Naseem Hamed during a session with Steward in The Kronk back in the day

Biggest names: Prince Naseem Hamed during a session with Steward in The Kronk back in the day

2) Gleason’s: Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) trained in the original New York sweat shop in the Bronx (opened 1937) for his first fight with Sonny Liston.

Jake La Motta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Benny Kid Paret, to name but a fraction, all worked at the old place and Gerry Cooney was among the first to make Gleason’s his home base when it moved to Manhattan.

Always buzzing with champion boxers and celebrities, Gleason’s became the film set for several movies. It’s latest home is under the Brooklyn Bridge and mirrors the changing times, with a dressing room for women boxers.

Hollywood treatment: Gleason's has been used in several films

Hollywood treatment: Gleason's has been used in several films

3) 5th Street Gym: The then-rundown art-deco building in Miami’s south beach is where Angelo Dundee trained Muhammad Ali. Enough said.

For years there was a sign outside the front door which read: Cassius Clay – Trains Here Daily.

At the time, the world – the Beatles included – climbed the stairs to the ramshackle room on the second floor.

The rotting premises closed down but the gym reopened last year and Dundee spent much of the last months before his death back there working with some new young talent.

Star attraction: Even the beatles popped in to the 5th Street Gym where Ali trained

Star attraction: Even the beatles popped in to the 5th Street Gym where Ali trained

4) Joe Frazier’s Gym: As with the Kronk, a campaign is under way to save Smokin’ Joe’s place in Philadelphia following his death.

Frazier lived above the rickety gym for many of the later years of his life. He lost the building to foreclosure four years ago and it now serves as the In and Out furniture outlet.

But the faded gym sign is still in place and the three-storey structure has been listed as an endangered national heritage site.

City officials are working to reclaim the property, re-open the gym and un-shutter the window on which Ali famously knocked to call out Frazier for their first fight.

5) The Wild Card: On one of the most famous street intersections in the world – Sunset and Vine in Los Angeles – the Wild Card occupies the first floor of the building at the rear of a scruffy mini-shopping mall.

It is here that Hall of Famer Freddie Roach trains Pacquiao, Chavez Junior, a bustling throng of other talent… and until recently Amir Khan.

Pacquiao’s favourite Thai restaurant, just across the courtyard, is where he plays host to not only his team but selected, lucky, boxing fans from the Philippines and elsewhere.

Ricky Hatton won"t booze and binge between fights – Jeff Powell boxing column

So long, Ricky Fat-ton! Returning Hitman vows to quit boozing between bouts

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 22 October 2012

There will be no more boozing and bingeing between the boxing during Ricky Hatton’s comeback.

The Hitman makes that promise as he trains himself to the limit in readiness for his return to the ring three madcap years after being knocked cold by Manny Pacquiao.

Not only that but even if he loses to Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester on November 24 and retires again, he vows not to sink back into the debauchery which posed a greater threat to his life than any blows from even the mightiest of opponents.

Slim chance: Ricky Hatton insists he will not booze or binge between fights again

Slim chance: Ricky Hatton insists he will not booze or binge between fights again

More from Jeff Powell…

Jeff Powell: Retired and broke, Holyfield still has hope… but it's help he really needs
15/10/12

Jeff Powell: Tyson takes time to show Hatton and Haye the way back to the top
08/10/12

Jeff Powell: Sold out arena, tough opponent… all Hatton needs now is a TV station
01/10/12

Jeff Powell boxing column: Boxers are brave but none more so than Big Corrie
24/09/12

Jeff Powell: Interim bouts hamper prospects of blockbuster Mayweather v Pacquiao showdown
17/09/12

Jeff Powell: Nothing can prepare Flintoff for the shock of taking thunderous blows in the ring
11/09/12

Jeff Powell: Fight fans warm to Hatton comeback… but De La Hoya rules out ring return
03/09/12

Jeff Powell: Hitman Hatton fighting fit once more… but is ring return a healthy decision
28/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

'This comeback is about the way I want to be remembered,' says Hatton, 'but not only that. This is a permanent lifestyle change.

'I know that if I’m going to get all the way back to winning world titles I can’t blow up to 15 stones between fights and then train like crazy and crash diet to get the weight off. My body won’t take that any more.

'But I also know that the drink and everything else was killing me. The depression which followed not only that defeat by Pacquiao but all the bingeing took me to the brink of suicide. That won’t happen again. At 34 I’ve got my life under control.'

Hatton is doing that his way. Not by joining Alcoholics Anonymous, sacrificing every little pleasure and thereby driving his frustrated self to fall heavily off the wagon.

Contrary to reports that he never drinks now, he is monitoring his own behaviour.

He says: 'I've had about eight nights out in the last four months. Most of them have been for dinner with my girlfriend Jennifer.

'There’s been a couple of evenings with the lads but I've been able to enjoy those while having no more than a couple of beers. I've learned to exercise sensible restraint and that’s how it’s going to be from now on, whether I’m boxing or not.’

Hatton did take counselling when fighting the worst of his demons and says that he has psychologist 'on speed dial' in case he needs reinforcing in his new-found resolve.

The halo of health surrounding him speaks even more loudly than his words. On the May morning he woke up resolving to kick the excesses of drink, drugs and junk-food which were destroying him, Hatton weighed 14st 10lb.

Now, at 11st 3lb, he is down to within ten pounds of the welterweight limit at which he will fight Senchenko – with almost five weeks still to go before he steps back into the spotlight in front of 20,000 loyal fans at the sold-out MEN Arena.

Fat jibe: Hatton used to wear a fat suit to mimic his nickname from his rivals, 'Ricky Fatton'

Hatton used to pile on pounds in between bouts

Fat jibe: Hatton used to wear a fat suit to the ring (L) to mimic his nickname from his rivals, 'Ricky Fatton'

Taking off a couple of pounds a week is child’s play for someone who used to shed five stones during a seven-week training camp before his world title battles.

But just to make sure he does it right – and by way of another nod to a serious change in habits – the man who sometimes used to exist on gallons of lager and buckets of chips has employed a nutritionist.

He says: 'These days boxers have to get their diet and vitamins right and there'd be no point having this bloke and not doing what he tells me.'

As an archetypal one of the lads, can he be truly happy submitting to such a stern regime

'To tell you the truth, I’ve never felt better or happier in my life, physically or mentally,' he says.
'I’m fitter in body and mind than when I was winning my world titles.’

/10/22/article-2221383-1576F99A000005DC-340_634x443.jpg” width=”634″ height=”443″ alt=”Raring to go: Hatton is in training for his comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko ” class=”blkBorder” />

Raring to go: Hatton is in training for his comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko

'I feel sure that when I give this comeback a real honest go then even the Ricky Hatton haters will say fair enough.

'I don’t want to go out on my back as the chump who got knocked out by Pacquiao because he was making a wreck of his life.

'On November 24 I’m going to find out the truth of whether I've still got the fight in me. If it’s not there – and I’ll know it – I will walk away again. This time for good. But I’ll be doing so on my own terms and with pride. That’s why I’ve picked a tougher opponent than everyone in my team recommended.'

That rival is not well-known in Britain but Senchenko's surprising loss of his world welterweight title to Paulie Malignaggi in his last fight is the only defeat on his record.

Hatton beat Malignaggi immediately prior to his two defeats, against Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao. A world title re-match with the native New Yorker has been pencilled in by Hatton for nest March, if all goes well next month.

An all-British block-buster against Amir Khan is also a possibility later next year and that fight would fill a football ground in Manchester, be it the home of his beloved City or the bigger house at Old Trafford.

Nor is Hatton ruling out return bouts with Mayweather and Pacquiao, complete with repeats of the trans-Atlantic migrations by tens of thousands of his army of fans from Manchester to Las Vegas.

But all those plans are on hold until the second coming tells him – and us – whether the Hitman still has the right stuff. Not that he is unduly worried by either the outcome of the fight with Senchenko or the critics questioning the wisdom of his comeback.

'Win, lose or draw in the ring, I’ve already won in my life,' he says.

For a man who not that long ago was close to slitting his own wrists, that is the most important victory of all.

Caffeine would not have passed the test in the ring

If Stevie G and the lads had been going out in Poland to box rather than play football for England, the levels of caffeine which the FA admit was pumped into their systems would almost certainly have resulted in failed drugs tests.

The disturbing revelation that caffeine is being dispensed to England’s players before matches came after their World Cup qualifier was postponed to the next day by rain and they had to be given sleeping pills to enable them to get a night's rest.

That admission throws into light an alarming difference between football's approach to doping compared with some other sports.

Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, says: 'Caffeine is a stimulant and we treat it as such if it shows up in quantities bigger than would come naturally from drinking a couple of cups of coffee.

'We are now testing boxers more and more rigorously before and after fights and at random out of competition. If a high level of caffeine is detected we regard it as a positive drugs test and deal with it accordingly. We do this for the safety of that fighter, as well any opponent, because caffeine increases heart rates significantly.'

Danny Garcia defeated veteran Mexican Erik Morales during their WBC and WBA super lightweight title bout in Brooklyn

Danny Garcia defeated veteran Mexican Erik Morales during their WBC and WBA super lightweight title bout

Danny Garcia celebrates his fourth round knockout of Erik Morales

The use of Creatine and other supplements by footballers has also raised health concerns for young men at many leading clubs whose physiques have grown markedly more muscular and powerful in recent seasons.

Meanwhile, under Smith’s direction, British boxing is setting a worthy example. Several fighters have been suspended for using steroids and other substances. While some boxing commissions in the US are following suit, others are dragging their heels.

The IBF are shamefully allowing Lamont Peterson to carry on fighting even though he admitted having a pellet stuffed with synthetic steroids implanted in his hip before his highly controversial victory over Amir Khan.

Last Saturday, the New York authorities gave the go ahead for legendary Mexican veteran Erik Morales to fight on the card which brought boxing back to Brooklyn – despite failing steroids tests.

They did so on the dubious grounds that the amounts were small enough that they may have been ingested from contaminated meat.

Not that it did Morales much good. Danny Garcia knocked him out… further evidence that our footballers should be very wary of anything that is administered unto them.

Say it ain't so, Ho…

Alarmingly, Evander Holyfield has recanted on his promise to retire from the ring on his 50th birthday.
He reached that landmark last Friday only to decide to carry on boxing after all, no doubt to try to alleviate the financial distress which has followed his squandering of a $350million fortune.

He says: 'I woke up on Friday morning and decided not to quit after all, It now remains my ambition to keep boxing until I become, again, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.'

U-turn: Evander Holyfield has refused to retired despite turning 50 last Friday

U-turn: Evander Holyfield has refused to retired despite turning 50 last Friday

Since all those titles are held by the Brothers Klitschko, who have stated they will not fight their hero Holyfield at his advanced age, that is a most improbable goal.

Still, he says: 'I know how to beat Wladimir and Vitali and all I am asking is for the chance to prove it.'
Of his U-turn he says: 'A person has the right to change his mind, don’t he'

Yes a person does. Just as those who are worried about his health have the right to send this all-time great this message: Say it ain't so, Ho.

Brook will have to step up in class now

Not least for his own good, it is unwise to get as carried away just yet about Kell Brook as the 7,000 home-town Sheffield fans who turned out for Saturday night’s stoppage of Hector Saldivia… even though this victory is supposed to set up a challenge to Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title.

Very few final eliminators for world championships feature two boxers who have fought hardly any opponent of real note on their way up the rankings.

The records of both Brook and Saldivia are riddled with fairly easy pickings

Alexander, whose own Saturday night victory over Randall Bailey won him the IBF title, is not the most formidable of champions but he does represent a step up in class and technique.

Since, as champion, he is certain to insist on home advantage in America, a glance at Saldivia’s record is in order. The Argentine had fought outside South America only once before. On that occasion in Las Vegas he was knocked out in the first round by Said Quali, a thirty-something Moroccan journeyman who had arrived in the US via Belgium.

Exciting times: After beating Hector Saldivia, Kell Brook and his promoter Eddie Hearn will be planning for bigger fights

Exciting times: After beating Hector Saldivia, Kell Brook and his promoter Eddie Hearn will be planning for bigger fights

Brook took three rounds to achieve the same result and the manner of it – by a straight-forward left jab – raised more questions about Saldivia’s commitment than it provided answers about the English contender’s power.

Brook's physique did look remarkably more muscular, growth attributed not just to his new nutritionist but his raised level of dedication to training.

If he is to challenge Alexander in the spring, he will need to maintain his healthier lifestyle through the intervening months.

Brook may well be a world champion in the making. But just in case there is any wavering in his devotions to the hard old game – or the match with Alexander cannot be made – his promoter Eddie Hearn is wisely continuing to call out Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton for possible big pay-days in 2013.

Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao: Interim bouts hamper prospect of fight – Jeff Powell

Interim bouts hamper prospects of blockbuster Mayweather v Pacquiao showdown

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 17 September 2012

The biggest-money fight in boxing history is at even greater risk of never happening after Manny Pacquiao agreed to fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time.

The match the world wants to see – the PacMan versus Floyd Money Mayweather – will lose a huge percentage of its potentially $200million (123m) value if Pacquiao is beaten by Marquez in Las Vegas on December 8.

That explains Pacquiao's apparent reluctance to accept the re-re-re-match with Marquez which promoter Bob Arum announced at a media conference in Los Angeles. But only in part.

Family man: Pacquiao v Mayweather seems as far away as ever

Family man: Pacquiao v Mayweather seems as far away as ever

More from Jeff Powell…

Jeff Powell: Nothing can prepare Flintoff for the shock of taking thunderous blows in the ring
11/09/12

Jeff Powell: Fight fans warm to Hatton comeback… but De La Hoya rules out ring return
03/09/12

Jeff Powell: Hitman Hatton fighting fit once more… but is ring return a healthy decision
28/08/12

Jeff Powell: Big Josh must think like a pro and leave the amateur ranks behind
20/08/12

Jeff Powell: What a terrible example to future generations: Disgraced Peterson is allowed to keep IBF belt
13/08/12

Jeff Powell: Freed Mayweather's hopes of $200m Pacquiao fight running out of time
06/08/12

Jeff Powell: Khan's hopes of Garcia re-match dashed as American lines-up Morales
30/07/12

Jeff Powell: 2004 silver medalist Khan backs Team GB boxers to strike gold
23/07/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Pacquiao is also concerned that the controversies surrounding the judging of their three previous fights might work against him this time. His appetite for boxing also seems to be diminishing in inverse proportion to his increasing commitment to his political career in the Philippines.

Then there are the doubts about whether Mayweather and he will ever come to terms.

Marquez claims that he was robbed by the two close wins and a draw awarded to Pacquiao in their previous meetings and insisted for some time that he would only accept a fourth fight if it took place in his native Mexico.

He has dropped that demand, perhaps in realisation that the pressure will be on the judges – again all from Nevada – in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in December.

The PacMan is still generally considered Mayweather's main rival as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world despite being robbed himself in his most recent fight, a laughable decision in favour of the clearly beaten Tim Bradley,

But Pacquiao has problems with the counter-punching style of Marquez and is believed to have been prevaricating about risking his status in yet another meeting.

Freddie Roach, his master trainer, has warned Pacquiao that he will need to commit himself to almost three months training without any political, singing or film-acting distractions.

Robbed: Somehow the judges failed to award Pacquiao victory over Bradley

Robbed: Somehow the judges failed to award Pacquiao victory over Bradley

Robbed: Somehow the judges failed to award Pacquiao victory over Bradley

That means no preliminary camp in the Philippines and Roach would prefer him to stay in Los Angeles now and get straight down to work at his fabled Wild Card gym.

Roach says: 'We need as much time as possible to perfect a strategy for Marquez.'

Mayweather, meanwhile, is reported to have parted already from his latest friend and business partner, rapper 50 Cent, and is giving no indication of when he might return to the ring.

There are even bizarre suggestions that the half-dollar singer might be trying to attach himself to Pacquiao.

With Pacquiao seemingly losing at least some of his enthusiasm for fighting and no-one sure how Mayweather is adjusting after his spell in jail, what price now the mega-mega-mega bout ever taking place

If the pair of them would still like to share the massive spoils of the richest extravaganza in ring history it might have been advisable for neither of them to take an interim bout.

Money matters: Mayweather won his last bout against Cotto in May

Money matters: Mayweather won his last bout against Cotto in May

Khan's crossroads

Freddie Roach's on-going commitment to Manny Pacquiao – even if the PacMan's career might be nearing its end – crystalised Amir Khan's decision to part from the man generally considered to be the finest trainer in the world.

After two successive defeats – one a robbery on two counts by Lamont Peterson, the other a shock KO by Danny Garcia – Bolton's two-time former world light-welterweight champion has good grounds for realising that he is at a crucial point of his career.

But his choice of replacement for Roach is just as vital. A mistake now could plunge into disarray his bid to return to world title eminence.

Khan is looking to improve his defensive strategy and Emmanuel Steward, for one, is a hugely respected trainer who, while he looks for knock-outs as keenly as Roach, has turned Wladimir Klitschko into a less vulnerable champion.

A less proven trainer would be a risk for our Amir at this stage.

Next step: Khan has split with his trainer Freddie Roach

Next step: Khan has split with his trainer Freddie Roach

Hatton v Hatton

News that Ricky Hatton's father has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his famous son comes as less of a surprise to those close to the Hitman who were aware that this family relationship had broken down.

It is the implication that Dad was the aggressor in the incident which will shock even more.

In common with Khan, defence has never been Hatton's strength. But maybe, on the eve of announcing his come-back, the Manchester Hitman boxed more cleverly – and with more restraint – in that car park.

Otherwise you have to suspect, also, that Dad would have been on his way to the hospital, not the local police station.

There has been no indication as to who was ahead on points when the police stepped in. Since an opponent for Hatton's first comeback fight has yet to be announced, perhaps a re-match with his father should top the bill in Manchester on November 24.

Family affair: Ricky and his father were involved in a car park brawl

Family affair: Ricky and his father were involved in a car park brawl

Mitchell facing Burns night in Glasgow

Two tough pals will set their friendship aside on Saturday night as they go into a fight which has the potential to be a British classic.

Scotland's Ricky Burns will be defending his world lightweight title against his Cockney mate Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow.

This is a watershed moment in the career of both men so no quarter will be asked or given, even though they get on so well outside the ring.

Burns, never anything less than a dedicated and focused boxer, needs to validate his championship in what will be his toughest defence.

Mitchell, assuring us that he has put his troubles and distractions completely behind him, has to prove that if his career is not to be remembered as one of squandered opportunity.

Burns says: 'Our friendship goes out of the window when we go into the ring.'

Battle of Britain: Burns and Mitchell go toe-to-toe on Saturday night

Battle of Britain: Burns and Mitchell go toe-to-toe on Saturday night

Mitchell says: 'Nothing can come be allowed to come between me and my life-long ambition to become a world champion.'

Although both men are natural born warriors they bring to their confrontation a clash of styles which should produce memorable excitement.

Burns is the boxer-fighter who can meet fire with skill as well as courage. Mitchell is the all-action man who piles on the pressure, then the finisher who can take out opponents either by sudden KO or an accumulation of heavy punches.

Glasgow is excited by the prospect of Burns joining the legend of great Scottish fighters like Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt.

East London is rooting for Mitchell to fulfil his potential.

This one is well worth the 10 a month subscription to the dedicated BoxNation television channel inspired by promoter Frank Warren.

Burns-Mitchell will be live Saturday night on BoxNation via Sky Ch. 437 and Virgin Ch.546.

London 2012 Olympics: David Svoboda wins men"s modern pentathlon

Svoboda banishes Beijing heartache by winning men's modern pentathlon

PUBLISHED:

18:59 GMT, 11 August 2012

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UPDATED:

19:23 GMT, 11 August 2012

Czech David Svoboda won gold in the
men's modern pentathlon as British duo Nick Woodbridge and Sam Weale
could only finish 10th and 13th.

The home pair went into the final
event, the combined run and shoot, in the top 10 but they could not make
up ground on the leaders in front of a huge crowd at Greenwich Park.

Olympic champion: David Svoboda savours triumph

Olympic champion: David Svoboda savours triumph

Svoboda, who saw his Beijing hopes dashed when his horse fell on him during the show jumping, went into the combined event in first place and overhauled China's Cao Zhongrong on the final one-kilometre run while Adam Marosi of Hungary won bronze.

Woodbridge's 10th place matched the finish of Weale in Beijing, which was the best by a British man for 16 years.

In the first event of the day, the fencing, Woodbridge and Weale both finished with 17 wins from 35 fencing bouts at the Copper Box, which was a little below par, for Woodbridge in particular.

The world number nine was on top form to start with, winning his first five bouts and at one stage topping the leaderboard, but he tailed off rather and had to settle for joint 13th.

The format in pentathlon involves each of the 36 men fighting each other in one-minute bouts, with one hit enough for victory.

Below par: Nick Woodbridge (left)

Below par: Nick Woodbridge (left)

Weale's morning progressed in the opposite way to his team-mate's, with the 30-year-old losing seven of his first nine bouts but recovering to finish in the top half of the field.

Next up was the 200 metres freestyle swim at the Aquatics Centre, which is one of Woodbridge's best events, and his time of one minute 57.32 seconds was the second fastest of the day and enough to move him up to eighth place.

Weale swum his fastest time of the year, 2min 03.40sec, while the event was won by Egypt's Amro El Geziry, who broke his own Olympic record with a time of 1min 55.70sec.

Svoboda was the leading athlete in the fencing, the Czech equalling the Olympic record with 26 victories for 1024 points.

The show jumping is often a game changer, with the athletes drawing their horses at random and having only 20 minutes to acquaint themselves with their animal.

Woodbridge and Weale both performed well to keep themselves in contention, knocking down one fence apiece, although Woodbridge did rack up quite a few time faults.

His score of 1156 was enough to lift him into seventh place, while Weale was ninth after accumulating 1176 points, the seventh best ride of the day.

Hungarian duo Robert Kasza and Marosi both managed clear rounds, as did Italy's European champion Riccardo De Luca.

London 2012 Olympic Boxing: Freddie Evans beats Taras Shelestyuk to make boxing final

Good Evans! Freddie makes final and has shot at gold after beating world No 1

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UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 10 August 2012

Freddie Evans continued his magnificent run in the welterweight division all the way to the Olympic final with a superbly composed performance to see off Ukraine's world No 1 and reigning world champion Taras Shelestyuk 11-10.

Once again roared on by a capacity crowd who have taken the Welshman's no-holds-barred style to their hearts, Evans started in composed fashion, keeping the Ukrainian at range and darting in behind a flicking right jab.

Shelestyuk was equally active, but it was Evans who was producing the cleaner work, with a nice right hook towards the end of the first giving him a three-point advantage on the judges' cards.

Punch perfect: Great Britain's Fred Evans beat Ukraine Taras Shelestyuk in the Men's Boxing Welter Weight semi-final

Punch perfect: Great Britain's Fred Evans beat Ukraine Taras Shelestyuk in the Men's Boxing Welter Weight semi-final

Evans, who has veered from kamikaze attacking to reluctance to engage in his three bouts in the Games so far, was looking far more composed as he worked over the Ukrainian, digging loose shots to the body and another right as Shelestyuk seemed shorn of ideas.

When the Ukrainian did land, with a looping right hand, Evans fired back a split second later with a cracking straight left, and although he finished the round with another right, the judges scored the round a draw, so Evans took his three-point lead into the last.

Covering up well to deflect the majority of the Ukrainian's big shots, Evans found his target with a right through the middle, but the Ukrainian scored with enough shots of his own to make it an anxious wait for the verdict.

Amir Khan announces Vegas fight with Danny Garcia

I will beat Amir! Unbeaten Garcia ready to battle Khan as Vegas bout is announced

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UPDATED:

10:43 GMT, 23 May 2012

Amir Khan is set to fight WBC light-welterweight champion Danny Garcia on July 14.

Khan revealed on his Twitter page on Wednesday that he will face the unbeaten American in Las Vegas, and Garcia is confident he can record a 24th victory.

Fighting on: Amir Khan (left) will fight Danny Garcia in July after his bout with Lamont Peterson (right) was cancelled

Fighting on: Amir Khan (left) will fight Danny Garcia in July after his bout with Lamont Peterson (right) was cancelled

The bout has been arranged after Khan's rematch against Lamont Peterson for the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles, which was due to be staged earlier this month, was cancelled after Peterson failed a drug test.

Khan, 25, was hoping to regain his titles after he was controversially beaten by Peterson in Washington DC on points in December 2011.

Stand-in: Danny Garcia (right) will fight Khan in Las Vegas in July

Stand-in: Danny Garcia (right) will fight Khan in Las Vegas in July

And his new opponent, although young, has a formidable record in his early career, with 23 wins in 23 bouts – 14 by knockout.

Garcia, 24, welcomed the fight and believes he will retain his unbeaten record, claiming Khan was over-rated.

'I feel like this is how it's supposed to be: the best versus the best, both of us in our prime and giving the fans a great fight,' Garcia said.

Focus: Khan wants to halt Garcia's impressive unbeaten record

Focus: Khan wants to halt Garcia's impressive unbeaten record

'I'm just happy – I feel like I have what it takes to beat this guy.

'I've watched Khan a lot. He's a good fighter, but I don't think he's what people say he is, getting all this credit.

'I feel like he will leave himself open for some big shots and we'll see if he can take them. I can box and I can punch.

'I'm going to hit him with stuff he won't see. I can't wait.'

Khan, who has lost two professional fights of his 28, tweeted: 'May the best man win on 14 July. Khan vs Garcia'

Floyd Mayweather beats Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas

Mayweather battles to victory over Cotto and claims yet another world title

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UPDATED:

09:08 GMT, 6 May 2012

Floyd Mayweather Jr added the WBA Super World light-middleweight title to his supreme career roster with a battling unanimous points victory over Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.

Mayweather, fighting at the 154lbs limit for the first time since defeating Oscar De La Hoya to win the WBC belt exactly five years ago, won favour by margins of 118-110 and 117-111 (twice) on the judges' scorecards to preserve his unblemished 43-fight record.

Still the champion: Floyd Mayweather celebrates after beating Miguel Cotto

Still the champion: Floyd Mayweather celebrates after beating Miguel Cotto

Still the champion: Mayweather celebrates his victory

Defending champion Cotto, unbeaten in
his previous three bouts at light-middleweight, enjoyed moments of
success with brutal spells of inside pressure, but slips to 37 wins and
three defeats as a a professional.

Attentions
will once again turn towards the prospect pairing Mayweather with
pound-for-pound rival Manny Pacquiao, but the 35-year-old American must
first serve a three-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a
domestic violence charge.

Respect: Cotto hugs Mayweather after their fight at the MGM Grand

Respect: Cotto hugs Mayweather after their fight at the MGM Grand

Mayweather's
crisp left jab was the defining feature of the opening round, while the
challenger showed he was willing to trade at close quarters as Cotto
increased the pace and physicality of the contest in two.

/05/06/article-2140225-12F29597000005DC-298_634x446.jpg” width=”634″ height=”446″ alt=”Landing a blow: Miguel Cotto impressed many observers in Las Vegas” class=”blkBorder” />

Landing a blow: Miguel Cotto impressed many observers in Las Vegas

Cotto
landed a meaty left hook in five as he relentlessly burrowed forward
and the 31-year-old Puerto Rican enjoyed his best three minutes to date
in round six, drawing blood from the nose of his opponent who appeared
to be feeling the relentless pace.

An
absorbing ebb and flow continued across the subsequent two sessions, as
Mayweather's slick backfoot work gave way to another dose of Cotto's
frenetic pressure.

Bruising: Mayweather lands a punch in Las Vegas on Saturday night

Bruising: Mayweather lands a punch in Las Vegas on Saturday night

The champion managed to impose his
style down the stretch, regularly pulling Mayweather out of his comfort
zone and into the trenches.

But
Mayweather's dazzling defensive and counter-punching skills came to the
fore in the final two rounds, as he sealed an eighth world title across
five weight divisions.

Receiving instructions: Floyd Mayweather in his corner during the fight

Receiving instructions: Floyd Mayweather in his corner during the fight

Speaking to US broadcaster HBO after
the fight, Mayweather stated his desire to face Pacquiao next and
suggested the bout might have already taken place but for the presence
of the Filipino's promoter, Bob Arum.

'This fight right here, I was looking to fight Manny Pacquiao,' he said. 'The fight didn't happen, I don't think the fight could happen because of Bob Arum. Bob Arum was in the way – he stopped the Pacquiao fight.

'Let's give the fans what they want to see. They want to see Mayweather-Pacquiao.'

Justin time: Bieber holds up a belt for Mayweather before the fight

Justin time: Bieber holds up a belt for Mayweather before the fight

Celebrity friends: Justin Bieber, Rapper Lil Wayne, Mayweather and rapper Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson pose after the fight

Celebrity friends: Justin Bieber, Rapper Lil Wayne, Mayweather and rapper Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson pose after the fight