Tag Archives: lennox

Lennox Lewis to train with David Price for Tony Thompson rematch

Price calls on heavyweight legend Lewis to join him on road to redemption

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

09:01 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

09:17 GMT, 26 April 2013

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David Price has teamed up with former undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis as he bids to get his career back on track following defeat to Tony Thompson.

Price, 29, was stunned by the veteran American in Liverpool in February, suffering his first professional defeat by way of a second-round knockout.

And he has sought the advice of Lewis who rebuilt his own career following defeats to first Oliver McCall and then Hasim Rahman.

Blow: David Price lost to Tony Thompson in February but has the chance for revenge in July

Blow: David Price lost to Tony Thompson in February but has the chance for revenge in July

Price starts out on the road to redemption in Canada next week when he will train under the watchful eye of Lewis ahead of his rematch with Thompson at the Liverpool Echo Arena on July 6.

'This is a fantastic opportunity to be able to work with one of the
greatest heavyweights of all time and I'm sure his knowledge will prove
to be invaluable,' Price said.

Comeback: Lennox Lewis was knocked out by Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman but avenged both losses

Comeback: Lennox Lewis was knocked out by Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman but avenged both losses

Lennox Lewis (R) is counted out after being knocked out by little-known challenger Hasim Rahman

Lewis has been retired for almost 10 years, bowing out on a high with victory over Vitali Klitschko.

He avenged both defeats on his record and was also successful against the likes of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

'David is a dedicated fighter,; he said. 'He takes his training seriously and is single minded in wanting to avenge that defeat and as a fighter I understand that and want to help him towards his goal.'

Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis

Main man: Lewis was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, winning 41 of his 44 contests

David Haye: Vitali Klitschko needs to fight me

Vitali Klitschko has never had a defining fight… he needs me, taunts rival David Haye in his latest bid to secure world title clash

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

14:45 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 9 January 2013

David Haye has again underlined his desire to face Vitali Klitschko in 2013 by taunting the WBC heavyweight champion with the claim that he is yet to have a 'flagship' fight.

As has been customary throughout his career, Haye appears to believe in trying to talk his way into a fight with the Ukrainian – the younger brother of Wladimir, who beat the Londoner on points in July 2011 – by insisting that the elder Klitschko needs to fight to boost his own credibility.

'There’s nobody else in heavyweight division that can give RTL (the TV company that has a four-year deal with Klitschkos) the viewing figures,' Haye told The Telegraph.

Good to talk: David Haye chats to Carol Vorderman (L) and Sally Lindsay on daytime TV show Loose Women

Good to talk: David Haye chats to Carol Vorderman (L) and Sally Lindsay on daytime TV show Loose Women

'I wished Vitali a happy new year and congratulated him on all his political bits and bobs and whatever he’s doing over there in the Ukrainian parliament.

'But the bottom line is that he’s a fighter and hopefully he wants the fight the fans want.

'He’s never had that flagship fight, that one mega-fight that people will always remember him for. The only one people remember is the fight with Lennox Lewis, in which he came off second best,' Haye added of the 2003 fight in which Klitschko was stopped in the sixth round because of a significant cut over his left eye.

Brutal: The biggest fight of Klitschko's career, against Lennox Lewis, ended in defeat due to a cut over his eye

Brutal: The biggest fight of Klitschko's career, against Lennox Lewis, ended in defeat due to a cut over his eye

'He’s a proud man, and I’m sure he wants that big victory that he’s never had. He’s fought a lot of people, but for 10 years he’s been a huge favourite.

'I guarantee the smart money would be on someone like myself with power and speed and youth beating him, and he is going to have to pull off the upset. Whether he wants to put himself in that position remains to be seen.'

Since losing to Wladimir, Haye's only fight came against Dereck Chisora at Upton Park when he stopped his opponent in five rounds. Chisora had gone the distance with Vitali only months earlier.

Hungry: Haye is only interested in fighting Vitali Klitschko

Hungry: Haye is only interested in fighting Vitali Klitschko

London Olympics 2012: Watch BBC highlights of the closing ceremony

Watch BBC video highlights from the closing ceremony of the Olympics

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UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 13 August 2012

London bid farewell to the 2012 Summer Games during a raucous closing ceremony Sunday, with help from the reunited Spice Girls, a Monty Python anthem and a swarm of other performers who had 80,000 fans at Olympic Stadium cheering and singing.

The ceremony had something for everyone, from tween girls to 1960s hippies. The face of John Lennon appeared on the stadium floor, assembled by 101 fragments of sculpture, and just as quickly gave way to George Michael, Fatboy Slim and Annie Lennox.

Ray Davies of The Kinks sang 'Waterloo Sunset' early on, and The Who performed 'My Generation' in the final minutes. And there were performances from contemporary acts such as Beady Eye and Emeli Sande.

'We lit the flame, and we lit up the world,' said London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe, just before the games were declared over. 'When our time came, Britain, we did it right.'

Here are the highlights from a spectacular closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.

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Olympics 2012: Martin Samuel: Real Team GB is all of us

The real Team GB is all of us – let the Olympics be a game-changer

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 12 August 2012

The judges had it level. And for a brief moment there was a ripple of fear, discernible even in the darkness of ExCeL South Arena 2.

Anthony Joshua stood on the blue canvas, proud, yet momentarily frozen. He was the best man, everybody could see that; but the numbers in boxing don’t always add up. So we waited.

But when it came, the excitement in the voice gave the decision away long before the words were out of the announcer’s mouth.

Fitting end: Anthony Joshua provided the perfect end for Great Britain and this great Olympic Games

Fitting end: Anthony Joshua provided the perfect end for Great Britain and this great Olympic Games

Fitting end: Anthony Joshua provided the perfect end for Great Britain and this great Olympic Games

Fitting end: Anthony Joshua provided the perfect end for Great Britain and this great Olympic Games

Those calling the action in this corner of east London are locals. Danny O’Sullivan from Dagenham, Mik Basi, born in the borough of Newham. They knew what this Games meant; they knew what it would mean to finish with a British super-heavyweight champion, too.

‘The winner on countback, in the blue corner, Anthony Joshua,’ the revelation echoed and the place erupted.

There was joy at the immediacy of the moment, but deeper feeling, too. All knew this was the perfect end.

People were still running and jumping in the modern pentathlon, volleyball and basketball finals were taking place, water polo and handball contests were drawing to a close. But this was the one; the one we wanted, the one with cachet.

This was Lennox Lewis, Joe Frazier and Teofilo Stevenson. Olympic heavyweight champion. Look at the names, check the history. This was the finish London deserved. A great finish. A big finish. A big man, doing a big thing.

It is over. The Dream Team fly back today and the dream goes with them. It was nice while it lasted, London the centre of the world, rising to the occasion, delivering, inspiring, as we were promised.

Inspired: Fittingly, Joshua was joined by former Olympic champions Lennox Lewis and Audley Harrison

Inspired: Fittingly, Joshua was joined by former Olympic champions Lennox Lewis and Audley Harrison

Yet before the stadium gave the Games its showbusiness send-off on Sunday night, the sight of Joshua, the 22-year-old son of Nigerian parents from Finchley, north London, encapsulated what this wonderful celebration has been about.

He first set foot in a gym four years ago and his coaches put his rise down to good character and hard work. Always listens. First in, last out. Joshua mouthed the words to the anthem in the slightly self-conscious way that seems to be a British trait, then fell silent as those in the arena took over.

He bit his golden souvenir for the photographers as the PA played Heroes, a song about a doomed couple attempting to defect from East Berlin, incongruously reinvented as a sporting anthem.

Still, it doesn’t matter, because David Bowie is British, too. And if you haven’t worked out by now that we’ve got the best bands and have had for 50 years, you really haven’t been listening to the soundtrack, either.

On Sunday, it was as if the public were trying to catch every last ray of sunshine from a very special time, as they lined the marathon course, 10 deep or more in places. Every two strides hung a Union Flag, even though this was no homecoming parade. Marathon medal winners for Great Britain can be counted on one hand. No golds, and the last podium finish was Charles Spedding’s bronze in 1984. It did not matter.

Feel good factor: The British public have been riding the crest of a wave throughout there triumphant Games

Feel good factor: The British public have been riding the crest of a wave throughout there triumphant Games

Feel good factor: The British public have been riding the crest of a wave throughout there triumphant Games

Feel good factor: The British public have been riding the crest of a wave throughout there triumphant Games

The flags were to celebrate us, as much as them. To show pride in what we had achieved, as a nation, as people. This was our marathon, too, our epic journey.

And like distance running, anybody who claims it was easy is lying. Funding an Olympics in adversity, winning hearts and minds at a time of global crisis and uncertainty, made this one of the most testing undertakings of the modern era.

It could have been an epic failure; a different kind of watershed, a moment when the people turned their backs on the concept of overblown sporting contests. This could have been the Olympics of rejection.

Instead, as the people pressed into crash barriers for extra closeness to the athletes, craned from the back for a marginally improved view, jostled to take their last sip from this fountain of youth, there was no doubt London had pulled it off.

The people had embraced every aspect of what was laid before them, triumph and disaster, tears of joy and pain. If it could have been Mo Farah at the head of the marathon strand, they would have loved it even more. But not much more.

They were no longer seeing flags or nationalities, just people; people doing extraordinary things; taking their bodies to the limit. And those watching were at their limit, too. They had wrung every drop out of this until there was nothing left. Like the runners as they crossed the line in The Mall, they had given their all.

Everyone's invited: The vibrant colours created by the national flags of every country has made London glow

Everyone's invited: The vibrant colours created by the national flags of every country has made London glow

Everyone's invited: The vibrant colours created by the national flags of every country has made London glow

Everyone's invited: The vibrant colours created by the national flags of every country has made London glow

Yet now the real work starts. For this is just the beginning. It cannot be that Britain is only great when the circus is in town. We cannot need 9billion of Government money and Usain Bolt to keep us amused.

No couple get to be on permanent honeymoon. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, that has to be the legacy. Not an addiction to gold medals, Sir Chris Hoy or adrenaline.

Britain must learn to love itself without some poor soul having to slog 25 laps of the Olympic track every Saturday night.

A gold medal alone is not evidence of a worthwhile society. East Germany won plenty and the Stasi files reveal how. China are second in the medal table but you wouldn’t want to swap cultures. If all we take from this is bragging rights over Germany and Australia, it is an opportunity missed.

What changes from here is us, is this place. These islands. The way we feel about them, about each other.

So if this descends into an argument about whether the London Games were a British or multicultural success we will have betrayed the mission.

It is a triumph for both, for who we were, for what we are. For politeness, for helpfulness, for inclusivity. For so many simple things that make the world a nice place; for saying please and thank you, for letting people off the train first, for giving up your seat, for offering assistance to a visitor who looks a little lost. And does that change because Michael Phelps is no longer in town It wouldn’t say much for us if it did.

A brighter future: Britain must bottle the feelings they've had and carry it with them into the future

A brighter future: Britain must bottle the feelings they've had and carry it with them into the future

A brighter future: Britain must bottle the feelings they've had and carry it with them into the future

A brighter future: Britain must bottle the feelings they've had and carry it with them into the future

On Saturday, the football season starts. So what will be different Start this revolution in your seat. With you: the man in row G. Are mums still fair game Sisters, wives, colours, races And if you give it out, what do you expect

Is there not a correlation between athletes who treat people with respect and the respect afforded to athletes by people Unless cycling has gained 100,000 dedicated regulars who have never shown their faces before, we must presume many attending the Velodrome also go to football at weekends.

So if a British hero, Victoria Pendleton, can lose a gold medal in controversial circumstances and the achievement of the Australian victor not be derided, how can a player not even take a throw-in in the Premier League without abuse

Oh, it’s ambitious, this plan. Yet what is the point of this Olympic experience if it is not a game-changing event What is the point if a person who feels inspired to be kind on a Javelin train home from the stadium on Sunday night is the same surly ball of resentment commuting to work on Monday morning

We seek so much from these Games. Playing fields, school sport, a healthier nation, long-term athletic reward, but the greatest gift would be the most basic.

Remember how you felt when Mo kicked for home, whether in the stadium or around a television set, garner that positivity and bottle it. We are better together. We are better united. You want legacy The real Team GB is us.

London Olympics 2012: Anthony Joshua won"t disappoint us as Audley Harrison did, says Barry McGuigan

Joshua is ready for a golden future and won't disappoint us as Audley did, says McGuigan

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 11 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Anthony Joshua has the chance to join a list of sporting greats when he steps into the ring for the opportunity to win boxing gold in the super-heavyweight division.

And while Britain’s last Olympic champion in the category, Audley Harrison in 2000 at Sydney, failed to live up to expectations in his professional career, the boxing fraternity believe that 22-year-old Londoner Joshua can go on to become the real deal.

If Joshua beats the seasoned Italian fighter Roberto Cammarelle in front of a partisan crowd at the ExCeL Centre, his name can be added to a list of former Olympic heavyweight and super heavyweight champions that includes Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko.

List of legends: Anthony Joshua (left) is aiming to join a pantheon of greas by claiming super-heavyweight gold

List of legends: Anthony Joshua (left) is aiming to join a pantheon of greas by claiming super-heavyweight gold

Former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan said: ‘Anthony is a phenomenal talent. He’s 6ft 6in, weighs 18st and can run the 100 metres in 11 seconds.

‘The difference between him and Audley is that this kid can fight in the trenches. He has a big heart and he loves a tear-up. I have no doubt he will win Olympic gold and within five years we’re looking at world domination in the professional ranks.’

Former Olympic and world champion Lennox Lewis watched Joshua beat Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko 13-11 on Friday night to reach the final and was similarly impressed.

‘There’s no reason why Anthony can’t be the next great British heavyweight,’ said Lewis. ‘He has all the attributes. I’m a big fan.’

High praise indeed, but Joshua appears to have won as many friends inside the Athletes’ Village since he first entered two weeks ago. ‘It’s incredible what he’s achieved in such little time,’ said Team GB boxing coach Paul Walmsley.

On the up: Joshua reaches the super-heavyweight final following victory over Ivan Dychko

On the up: Joshua reaches the super-heavyweight final following victory over Ivan Dychko

‘He’s such a lovely fella out of the ring, but inside he’s a dog. We’ve nicknamed him Crocodile Dundee because there are 20,000 athletes in that village and we reckon only two don’t know who he is.’

Eighteen months ago, however, Joshua could have thrown it all away after being arrested for possessing cannabis with intent to supply the drug. He was suspended from Britain’s boxing squad and, after pleading guilty, was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

It was the wake-up call he needed and from that moment on, he has thrown himself into his sport. ‘Anthony lives and breathes boxing,’ added Walmsley.

The promoters are keeping a close eye on him and it is rumoured that he has already turned down a 50,000 offer to turn professional after the Olympics, wanting instead to secure the world amateur crown next year.

Life-changing: Joshua is braced for the challenge

Life-changing: Joshua is braced for the challenge

As for Joshua, he is ready for a potentially life-changing challenge.

‘Roberto will be very tough but I’ll go into the fight knowing that I’ve already beaten him,’ he said. ‘I’m very focused. I’m keeping my feet on the ground but I’ve got better and better as these Games have gone on.

‘It’s been incredible being in the village and seeing Team GB athletes returning with medals, many of them gold. It’s been inspiring and now I want to put the icing on the cake for Team GB and the boxing team and win what could be the last gold of the Games for my country.’

London Olympics 2012: Lennox Lewis says heavyweight Anthony Joshua is the real deal

Size matters: Lewis says GB's giant Joshua is the real deal… and he should know

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 31 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

No matter what they tell you,’ says Lennox Lewis with a mischievous chuckle, ‘size matters.’ The size of the heavyweight boxer, that is. Then the size of the talent, the intellect, the ego, the occasion and ultimately the size of the pay-cheque.

Anthony Joshua will stand a sizeable 6ft 7in tall when he enters the Olympic ring to commence his gold medal campaign.

If he can pile the rest of the requirements on high then Lewis expects the young man from Watford who idolises him to command riches greater than the $300 million blown by Mike Tyson, wealth beyond even Floyd 'Money' Mayweather’s wildest imaginings.

Heavy expectations: Anthony Joshua has been tipped to win gold - and then become a world champion

Heavy expectations: Anthony Joshua has been tipped to win gold – and then become a world champion

Since Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have expectations of banking $100 million each if their mega-fight ever takes place, that is one lofty prediction.

Lewis explains: ‘Floyd and Manny are small guys. The world is waiting for the next dynamic heavyweight. If Joshua is that big man then translate those hundred million dollars into pounds, for starters. He would certainly earn more than Mike Tyson or myself.’

When and where

Anthony Joshua’s super heavyweight clash with Cuba’s Erislandy Savon is on at 11.15pm on BBC Olympics channel 5.

Luke Campbell’s bantamweight fight against Italy’s Vittorio Parrinello is at 8.30pm.

Which brings us to the size of the occasion, an event magnified by the huge fortune awaiting 22-year-old Joshua if he can win this and just three more three-round fights.

‘Anthony will become the most sought after sportsman in the world if he takes gold,’ says Lewis, who experienced exactly that attention after he won the Olympic super-heavyweight title in Seoul in 1988.

‘I believe he is going to win it. He has the raw talent. Now he must show us the attitude. I told him the other day that London is house – so go clean house.’

But first, an heir to one of the most legendary names in amateur boxing has to be overcome.

Joshua’s initial opponent is Erislandy Savon, nephew of Felix Savon who won three Olympic golds and six world titles for Cuba.

And that's for starters: Joshua faces Cuba's Erislandy Savon (left) first

And that's for starters: Joshua faces Cuba's Erislandy Savon (left) first

Much of the burden of reviving his island nation’s tradition of dominating the amateur ring rests on the broad shoulders of this big-hitting former world youth champion and he threatens to be Joshua’s toughest opponent en route to the final.

Joshua holds the edge in experience but must make that advantage tell. Says Lewis: ‘He can do it but he has to believe that deep inside himself. This is his chance to build his confidence for when he turns professional. I turned pro firmly believing I would become Britain’s first world heavyweight champion for a hundred years. The Americans felt they owned that crown and thought I was arrogant. Not true. I merely had genuine conviction.’

Lewis reminds us that he claimed not only gold in Korea but a bronze at the Los Angeles games four years earlier. Both those medals were won for Canada, the country to which his mother emigrated with him as a child.

Life-changer: Lennox Lewis won gold in Seoul

Life-changer: Lennox Lewis won gold in Seoul

Legend has it that he came to London
when he turned professional simply for the money. Not so: ‘The problem
was that there were no great trainers nor even any tough gyms in Canada.
So I went shopping. Shopping for trainers and a promoter. I saw a lot
of people in the US, Bob Arum among them. Jarvis Astaire and Mickey Duff
came knocking on my door from England with good offers. But while I was
always going to be careful about my first contract I was also looking
for someone in tune with my vision.

‘Frank Maloney understood I wanted to come home with a view to bringing the world heavyweight title after me. He found me good early trainers in John Davenport and Pepe Correa. And when they had taught me all they could, we moved on to one of the greatest. Emanuel Steward (master of the Kronk gym in Detroit fabled for producing Tommy Hearns and now Wladimir Klitschko’s Svengali) guided me to the world championship.

‘I’ve told Anthony that he must take his time. He seems to have a good head on his shoulder (there’s the intellect quotient) but he must make the right choices.’

Joshua reports that he has already received a 50,000 offer from one promoter but Lewis says: ‘I’ve also told him that the most important first step is to get people around him who are conducive to his personality and his ambitions. If you get that right, the money will follow.

‘It was the education that mattered. I had to learn the elite game.’

That dedication to learning is driving Lewis’s latest project, the establishment of academies of sporting and educational excellence in London, Jamaica, Canada and the US – he has homes in all four – which will be committed to turning kids from the ghettoes into future champions and university graduates. ‘If anyone cares to help,’ he says, ‘go to my website and join a good cause.’

Prior to this, he donated 160,000 to
the Muhammad Ali Centre and says: ‘I’m as proud of being the only
athlete to have done that as of anything. I’m worried about how unwell
he looked on this trip to London and I wanted to help make sure he will
leave that legacy.’

Pedigree: Joshua (right) en route to silver at the 2011 worlds

Pedigree: Joshua (right) en route to silver at the 2011 worlds

Having marked Joshua’s card, Lewis is not so approving when big Anthony talks, already, about becoming a promoter himself.

Hopefully, the lad who now lives in London is listening when Lewis recalls what happened to Audley Harrison after he won gold in Sydney: ‘I did it my way and I spoke with Audley at the time and advised him to do the same. I told him what I’ve told Anthony. He was already talking about being his own promoter and I warned him that wouldn’t work. Too much distraction. Too much division of his energy.

‘He didn’t listen to me. He should have found someone he trusted to take care of business and focused on what really matters, what brings in the money… winning fights.

‘It definitely affected his boxing. We knew he was talented but we never knew which Audley was going to turn up – the Olympic champion or the guy thinking about the contracts and at one time even having his pregnant wife in his training camp.

‘No. No.’

Lewis waited until his own career was
coming to an end before settling into a happy marriage and starting a
family. He says: ‘All my concentration was on the tough job in hand. I
think Audley’s got the message now. The last time we spoke he told me I
was right.’

Eye spy: Lewis's was awarded a TKO against Vitali Klitschko due to a cut on the Ukranian

Eye spy: Lewis's was awarded a TKO against Vitali Klitschko due to a cut on the Ukranian

Whether that realisation has come in time for him to upset rising Liverpool star David Price in this his latest, and final, comeback remains to be seen. Harrison has promised to make more of a fight of it than he did against David Haye. The incentive to do so is huge.

No-one despairs at the absence of authentic challengers to the brothers Klitschko than Lewis: ‘Wladimir and Vitali are the only A-class heavyweights. The best of the rest are B-class. We don’t know which of those can make that leap. David Haye was so disappointing against Wladimir. Sad.'

Now he says he wants Vitali, hoping that he is fading with age. But he will come up against the same problem, that overwhelmed feeling of finding himself in the ring with a much bigger man.

Joshua v Pavon: Tale of the tape

‘I beat Vitali in a great fight when we were in our prime. To be honest, David might have lasted a couple of rounds against me if he was lucky. Heavyweight championship boxing is now a game for giants.

‘Price is big enough and has the talent, movement, dominant jab and big punch to suggest he might go all the way. The field is wide open. I grew up as man during my Olympics and I hope Joshua does the same.’

Joshua has rebuilt his life after a teenage drugs conviction, reaching a world amateur final and climbing to second in the rankings. He has also developed into a imposing physical specimen.

Says Lewis: ‘When I first met him I couldn’t believe he was bigger than me – an inch taller at 6ft 6in. I thought oh my God. Then I thought oh good. As I already told you, size matters.’

David Haye v Dereck Chisora: What went wrong with Britain"s golden boy?

A pay day, but no pride for Britain as Haye's downfall is complete

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UPDATED:

21:35 GMT, 13 July 2012

Before fighting John Ruiz in April 2010, David Haye was heralded as the ‘Lord of the Ring’ by Sky Sports. It seemed he was the answer to all the ills of British boxing.

Handsome and talented, he fought with flair and confidence. Perhaps a touch too light to perform with the giants of the heavyweight scene, he had the charm and the style to make his mark. Not since Lennox Lewis did the British fight scene have a talisman.

So how has it come to this

Head to head: David Haye (left) and Dereck Chisora meet at Upton Park

Head to head: David Haye (left) and Dereck Chisora meet at Upton Park

DAVID HAYE'S DOWNFALL

Click here for Sportsmail's picture special on the career of the Hayemaker

On Saturday at Upton Park, Haye will climb from the floor to take on Dereck Chisora in a fight the British Boxing Board of Control has refused to sanction. Both are unlicensed by the BBBC. Both need each other.

It will attract a good attendance to east London — and a decent pay day — but this is not the way it should be. Not for Haye. He should be better than this.

The old fight game has to be about control and discipline but the origin of this fight stems from a lack of both from each fighter.

I remember all-British fights when they meant something more. Tony Sibson v Alan Minter, the fights involving Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Michael Watson and Steve Collins. Lennox Lewis against Frank Bruno, John Conteh and Chris Finnegan, Naseem Hamed and Steve Robinson, who had earlier fought my brother Duke.

Glory days: British stars Chris Eubank (right) and Nigel Benn

Glory days: British stars Chris Eubank (right) and Nigel Benn

When I fought Terry Marsh in 1984, I was impatient for a world-title shot, but took on my best British rival instead, even though I was warned it was dangerous. I lost, but recognised what it meant to the British public to have these occasions.

More recently, James DeGale and George Groves was a domestic fight to cherish. But not this one, not tonight.

I will watch out of curiosity, but I will have no pride. It’s not a good night for boxing.

Clinton McKenzie is a former British and European light-welterweight champion. Visit www.clintonmckenzie.com for more information.

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS: Boxing hope Anthony Joshua has turned his life around since drug dealing days

Getting busted for drugs taught me how much I want that Olympic gold, says British title hope Joshua

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UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 28 April 2012

Anthony Joshua admits that his dream of putting his name alongside those of some of the most famous heavyweight boxers of all time by winning an Olympic gold medal this summer could have been destroyed by his conviction last year for supplying cannabis.

The 22-year-old Londoner’s goal is to be standing on the medals podium on August 12, the final day of the London Games, with a gold medal around his neck as the new Olympic super-heavyweight champion.

In doing so, he would join an illustrious list of Olympic gold medal boxers that includes Muhammad Ali, who won the light-heavyweight title in 1960 as Cassius Clay, heavyweights Joe Frazier and George Foreman, and super-heavyweights Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko, all of whom went on to find fame and fortune in the professional game.

Chilled: Anthony Joshua takes a break from training with the Olympic squad last week

Chilled: Anthony Joshua takes a break from training with the Olympic squad last week

But Joshua could have thrown it all away when, in March last year, he was arrested for possessing cannabis with intent to supply the drug. He was suspended from Britain’s boxing squad and, after pleading guilty at crown court, was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 100 hours’ unpaid work.

He says now that the reaction to his shame of family, friends and those within his sport convinced him to change his ways.

‘I could have seen it as a badge of honour,’ he said last week. ‘I could have taken the rap, seen it as a slap on the wrist and done it again. But I didn’t. It wasn’t so much the actual charge that had the effect. It was all the grief afterwards, from my friends, from my family — especially my mum — and from boxing.

‘I was just like a lot of young lads. It was all about how I looked, my clothes, clubbing, girls. I wasn’t with the best group of people.

Putting the practice in: Joshua is aiming for gold in London

Putting the practice in: Joshua is aiming for gold in London

‘The arrest changed a lot. It forced me to grow up and to respect my responsibilities.

I’m not happy that I did what I did and there’s no way that kind of thing will ever happen again, but in a way I’m glad it did because it woke me up.

‘I go running on Saturday nights now, not clubbing. I understand that if I’m to fulfil my potential then it’s all about hard work. It took me a while to realise this, but since last March I’ve never looked back. And you know what I’m so much happier as a person, too.’

Now restored to Britain’s highly regarded Olympic boxing team, Joshua, 6ft 6in and nearly 17st, trains with the squad three days a week at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield before completing his week’s work back home in Finchley.

He has received plenty of help and advice from the likes of Lennox Lewis and super-middleweight Carl Froch, who hopes to become a three-time world title holder when he challenges IBF champion Lucien Bute in Nottingham on May 26.

No 1: Joshua at the ABA Elite Championship Finals at York Hall

No 1: Joshua at the ABA Elite Championship Finals at York Hall

‘Lennox has told me to make the most of this opportunity,’ said Joshua. ‘He explained how when he lost in the quarter-finals in the 1984 Olympics it meant he stayed an amateur for another four years so he could win gold in Seoul.

‘I’m lucky to have this one-off chance in London and I’m doing everything in my power to seize it.’

His potential for the Olympics and beyond has not gone unnoticed by the fight game. Barry McGuigan, the former world featherweight champion who is now a respected TV pundit, said: ‘I’m convinced he will win Olympic gold and within five years enjoy world domination in the professional heavyweight scene.’

Joshua admits that his own expectations are high. ‘I’m aiming to do something amazing at the Games,’ he said. ‘But it’s good to hear someone like Barry say these things about me.

‘I’m a student of heavyweight boxing. I’ve watched so many videos of fights with all the greats and so many boxing documentaries.

Part of the team: Andrew Selby, Fred Evans, Anthony Joshua, Tom Stalker and Luke Campbell of Team GB during the Announcement of the first Boxers named for London 2012

Part of the team: Andrew Selby, Fred Evans, Anthony Joshua, Tom Stalker and Luke Campbell of Team GB during the Announcement of the first Boxers named for London 2012

‘For nearly all of the greats, winning an Olympic gold was a stepping stone to incredible careers as professionals. People keep asking me about turning professional. Well, let’s take one step at a time. For now, all my focus is given to winning gold in my home town.’

His progress has been swift. Last October, he went to the world amateur championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, seeded a lowly 46th. But he beat the 2008 Olympic champion, Italy’s Roberto Cammarelle, on his way to a final which he then lost by a single point to local fighter Megomedrasul Medzhidov. The boxing world took note.

Ironically, Joshua admits that when he first took up boxing four years ago, he was barely aware that the Olympics were coming to town. He had left school at 18 and was drifting until a cousin persuaded him to join him at a boxing gym.

‘From the first punch, I was hooked,’ he said. ‘If I’m honest, I barely knew that the Olympics were even coming to London. But from that first day there’s never been a day when I haven’t been in a gym.

‘I didn’t think I’d be even fighting at the Olympics when I started in 2008, let alone winning gold, but now it’s a distinct possibility. Since winning silver at the worlds last October, I’ve improved technically, physically and mentally.’

Next week he will hone his skills in a tournament in Lithuania, replacing training with competitive fights, before making final preparations for his quest to follow in the footsteps of Ali and Frazier, Lewis and Klitschko.

‘August 12, the final day of the Olympics,’ he said. ‘Make sure you’re there. Last day and top of the bill.’

It may not be the last time that Anthony Joshua is top of the bill, either.

History of winners

Nathan Cleverly to fight Robin Krasniqi at Royal Albert Hall

London calling for Cleverly with title defence against Krasniqi at Royal Albert Hall

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UPDATED:

13:53 GMT, 20 March 2012

Nathan Cleverly will defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi at London's Royal Albert Hall on April 28.

The 25-year-old Welshman retained his belt with a unanimous points decision over American Tommy Karpency in Cardiff last month.

Should Cleverly come through his latest assignment, he will set his sights on the winner of Bernard Hopkins' rematch with Chad Dawson, scheduled for the same night.

London calling: Nathan Cleverly will defend his title at the Royal Albert Hall

London calling: Nathan Cleverly will defend his title at the Royal Albert Hall

'The fight will be the first at the iconic London venue since 1999 when Marco Antonio Barrera faced Paul Lloyd and Cleverly is looking forward to his return to the capital.

‘I’ve got great memories of fighting in London,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘I’ve loved it every time and always had great fights. I’ve never gone the distance here so that’s a good omen. Hopefully I can keep that trend going, and I think I can.

‘The Royal Albert Hall has a lot of history and it will give me that coliseum effect and I’ll feel like a gladiator going into battle. It has a great history with the fighters there, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Prince Naseem Hamed and Joe Calzaghe. Even Pavarotti has sung there! It’s a good list to add my name to.’

Lennox Lewis on Dereck Chisora and David Haye

Tyson bit me but I didn't say I'd shoot or burn him! They've hurt boxing, says Lennox

The boxing world is still picking up the pieces caused by the Brawl in the Halle and here four of Britain’s world champions, past and present, tell Riath Al-Samarrai their thoughts about the night when David Haye and Dereck Chisora disgraced their sport.

Shame: David Haye threw a right hook at Dereck Chisora on Sunday morning as the pair brawled

Shame: David Haye threw a right hook at Dereck Chisora on Sunday morning as the pair brawled

Lennox Lewis

Former undisputed world heavyweight champion

I got bitten on the leg by Mike Tyson before our fight in 2002 and I wasn’t shouting about burning him or shooting him. What happened at the weekend wasn’t good for boxing.

Boxers are gladiators, but what sets us apart is that we are in control of our actions. They weren’t and they deserve to be punished for it. I wouldn’t like to say what the punishment should be, but they hurt the sport.

I’m still getting my head around the whole thing. Dereck Chisora showed so much disrespect to the heavyweight championship of the world — the greatest title of all. If Dereck had slapped me like he slapped Vitali then there would not have been a fight. His shot, his chance, would be gone.

It’s a shame because he actually did well in the fight, better than I thought he would. But his behaviour before the fight and then with David Haye was terrible. They let down their country and themselves.

Hungry Lennox Lewis was bitten in the leg by Mike Tyson

Hungry Lennox Lewis was bitten in the leg by Mike Tyson

Lloyd Honeyghan

Former world welterweight champion

The problem with Dereck Chisora is he is a thug from the street and has no control. He was in the limelight, being watched by people who look up to him, and he got up from that table and confronted Haye. He should have stayed in his seat, but he doesn’t have that control.

When he went over, what was Haye supposed to do Chisora was swaggering, giving it large and shouting — and he got a smack in the mouth. Haye was defending himself.

What happened at the weekend was a disgraceful example to the kids. These guys are professionals and people look up to them. You have this gang culture at the moment and you have Chisora shouting about guns and shooting David Haye. That’s terrible.

No excuse: Lloyd Honeyghan (right) considers Chisora to be a thug

No excuse: Lloyd Honeyghan (right) considers Chisora to be a thug

The Wednesday before I fought Don Curry in 1986 I saw him at the
weigh-in. No one gave me a chance. I had spent months thinking about
this guy and I was in the mood, but you don’t swing at him. You mouth
off a bit and that gets you fired up. I just looked him in the eye and
said: ‘See you Saturday night, pal.’ I was in the mood but I stayed in
control.

Nathan Cleverly

WBO light-heavyweight world champion

I’m defending my title against Tommy Karpency this weekend and I’m sure you won’t find us rolling around on the floor. There is an extra responsibility to behave after everything that has happened — to show yourself as a sportsman and a worthy champion. I’m next up and that falls on me.

I’m not saying I’m going to be nice, but I’m saying that all my action will be in the ring — the way it should be. We’ll do the weigh-in on Friday and that’s usually where you get the tension and the aggressive moments.

For me, that stuff depends on the opponent and how much they rile you. This guy I’m fighting has been respectful towards me — I can’t see there being anything that crosses the line. It’ll get violent in the ring, but that’s where it should be.

Head to head: Nathan Cleverly (left) had a heated exchange with Tony Bellew

Head to head: Nathan Cleverly (left) had a heated exchange with Tony Bellew

When I fought Tony Bellew last year it was different. We’d been rivals for a while — there was some bad blood and we both have big egos. We both said stuff to wind up the other. You try to psyche out the other guy, give him some doubts. With Bellew it got heated and there was some shoving.

I don’t think you want to take that element away from boxing. It wasn’t acting, we weren’t going out there to promote the fight by getting heated. It just happened. But it did get people talking and wanting to see the fight, and that’s essential to the sport.

What I would say is important is that it doesn’t go too far. What happened at the weekend was wrong and bad for boxing. They should have been separated. But a heated, charged atmosphere before a fight is fine. It’s exciting. And this is boxing, after all.

Ricky Hatton

Former two-weight world champion

I’ve had my moments of shame and I didn’t look too clever when I made that throat-cutting gesture before the Floyd Mayweather fight, but this went a bit further than that.

Face off: Ricky Hatton (left) and Floyd Mayweather got up close and personal

Face off: Ricky Hatton (left) and Floyd Mayweather got up close and personal

The thing about boxing, and what we all learn from the start, is that you need willpower and control. To be honest, it’s hard to be a boxer at the top level — and David has been a world champion — and not have control. So it was a bit surprising to see them fighting like that.

Boxing will get a lot of criticism for this, but let’s not be too harsh on the sport. Look at how many lads have transformed their lives through boxing. Before people go off on one, look at the problems football has.