Boxing on the Internet

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BOXING, WITH its migration to satellite and cable and the subsequent withdrawal of its big-name draws into the even more exclusive realms of pay-per-view, is in retreat from the gaze of casual followers of the sport on TV.

BOXING, WITH its migration to satellite and cable and the subsequent withdrawal of its big-name draws into the even more exclusive realms of pay-per-view, is in retreat from the gaze of casual followers of the sport on TV.

And on the Internet? Well, you're not going to pick up any Webcasts of Prince Naseem Hamed in Detroit on Friday when he tries to add to his World Boxing Organisation featherweight championship by taking the Mexican Cesar Soto's World Boxing Council title.

Going to Sky Sports Boxing page will give you a brief history and a partial record of his fights. There is also, apparently, a story about his unification fight being shown on Sky Box office. Unfortunately the link leads to a different story. A shame, the Sky boxing page features are worthwhile. For example, the transcript of Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis meeting in the Fox TV studios to exchange small talk about last March's controversial draw at Madison Square Garden is a good read.

Prince Naseem Hamed's Official Site is a useful information source. It's easy to use as well. Links from the front page to half a dozen sections let you do everything from buying a Naz framed stamp collection, to browsing pix of him schmoozing with Puff Daddy and Michael Jackson.

There is hard information too. In the news pages, for instance, you can find that sparring in his training camp in Pennsylvania's Poconos Mountains started on 24 September when he floored one of his opponents. Six days later he knocked out the first of his first sparring partners. By October 13, when he knocked out another sparring partner, he had floored every one of them.

A definitive list of his fights is online from his second-round KO of Ricky Beard in Mansfield on 14 April 1992 up to the 11th-round KO of Paul Ingle in Manchester in April. There are some robustly offensive entries, anonymously made at a safe distance, in the site guestbook.

Hamed appears on the mainstream boxing sites, which tend to be focused on the American scene, but in relatively low profile. One of the most entertaining and informative, The Cyber Boxing Zone, will doubtless have a post-fight report on its pages.

With his populist appeal, Hamed gets higher-profile treatment on fan sites. Naz Against The World 2000 is a good-looking site with Flash and Javascript rollovers, but the pages are a little light on information and can take forever to load - which is often the case on Geocity servers. The Shrine To Naseem Hamed is a site (well two sites, really) that is not up to date, but is still useful for older fight reports. It also has a neat front page graphic of Naz which, when a mouse pointer moves over it, sprouts fangs, sports a nipple ring, goes red-eyed and throws up a pugilistic thought bubble. Unfortunately, without pay-per-view, that's as close to the action as the Net will take you.

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