Inside Lines: Suddenly heavy hitters are pulling no punches – but why?

 

When the roughhouse Russian Sergey Kovalev so brutally concluded Nathan Cleverly's two-year reign as WBO world light-heavyweight champion in Cardiff last weekend – and possibly the Welsh maths graduate's boxing career – it was indicative of a remarkable ring renaissance.

The ko kings are back in business, with a proliferation of the sport's seriously venomous hitters inflicting more bodily harm than at any time since Mike Tyson unleashed his stunning brand of sock savagery.

Kovalev, making his 20th stoppage inside four rounds – his apt nom-de-guerre is Krusher – is one of an increasing number of big bangers putting the punch back into boxing.

Currently the most awesome single puncher in heavyweight boxing is American sensation Deontay Wilder, as Audley Harrison and 28 others quickly poleaxed will testify. Wilder's last opponenht, Siarhei Liakhovich, a former WBO champion from Belarus, was left a twitching heap on the canvas after a typical wrecking-ball blow in the opening seconds.

Not for nothing are the Klitchsko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, respectively known as Dr Ironfist and Dr Steelhammer.

Other massive finishers rising fast include Argentina's WBC light-welter champ Lucas Mattyse (32 kos) – keep him away from Amir Khan – who fights Khan conqueror Danny Garcia on the 14 September Las Vegas bill headlined by the Floyd Mayweather v Saul Alvarez scrap, the richest in boxing history. The punching prowess of Mexican Alvarez, 23, (30 kos) is considered a powerful antidote to Mayweather's ethereal defensive skills. This could be the perfect match.

With Britain's own two most explosive hitters, David Haye and Tyson Fury, due to meet in Manchester next month, the hurt business is booming. However, some are questioning why such devastating punching has suddenly become so evident again, especially at a time when boxing finds itself under scrutiny in terms of doping rumours. Let's make it absolutely clear that none of the fighters mentioned here have ever failed a drugs test. But there are plenty who have been caught adding a bit more than Bovril to beef up their strength.

Nine alone in Britain – more than in any other sport. No household names, but certainly some powerhouse punchers. Interesting.

Tanni's time?

UK Sport is seeking a new chair for the English Institute of Sport (EIS) following the decision of former Olympic star and BBC athletics commentator, Steve Cram, to step down after more than 10 years as head of the body which is the science, medicine and technology engine room of Olympic and Paralympic sport.

Isn't this the opportunity to right the wrong done to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, disgracefully politically jocked off by Culture Secretary Maria Miller when set to become the chair of Sport England? Tanni is surely ideal for a progressive organisation that has that rarity, a black chief executive – the ex-Welsh hurdler and rugby international Nigel Walker.

However, fellow left-leaning sporting peer Baroness Sue Campbell, until recently UK Sport chair, may also fancy the £10,000 a year part-time role.

Hope for Powell

Although axed by the FA after 15 years as England women's national coach after a poor Euro 2013, Hope Powell could make a swift return to football in a revolutionary move. We hear a couple of non-League clubs – and possibly one from the Football League – are keen to make her the first female member of coaching staff.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own