Heavyweight champion should be retired by the time Brit will challenge
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Thursday 14 January 2010
The Last Word column from 18 December 2010 featured a fiendishly difficult annual Christmas quiz. Here are the answers...
Sunday 22 November 2009
Head coach Kelvyn Travis has left the British Amateur Boxing Association in another major upheaval following the appointment as performance director of top pro trainer Robert McCracken, the former middleweight title contender who mentors world champion Carl Froch. McCracken's arrival followed the short-lived appointment of Kevin Hickey, who had himself replaced Terry Edwards, jocked off despite GB's glowing record of achievements. His departure was confirmed to The Independent on Sunday yesterday by the BABA chairman, Derek Mapp. "The situation is that Rob is merging his position and that of head coach. Kelvyn has done a good job up to now but you can't have two people standing on the same pedestal." The hiring of Travis, 60, like that of the 67-year-old former Olympic coach Hickey – who had been out of the game for 20 years – as performance director over him was contentious. Once Audley Harrison's cornerman, Travis was involved in a fracas in which a rival coach had his jaw broken. Mapp insists that Jim Davison, respected No 2 to Edwards and Travis, is staying on despite rumours he was quitting. So it seems the turbulence that has followed the departure of Edwards and most of his Olympians rumbles on. Despite the attractions of the new pro-am World Series, the amateurs have now lost another young star to the paid ranks in 19-year-old welterweight Ronnie Heffron, a surefire tip for 2012. Heffron, the former ABA champ, makes his pro debut for Frank Warren on Amir Khan's world-title bill in Newcastle on 5 December. Meantime, the BABA are demanding he repays £16,000 they claim to have invested in his future. "Seconds out", if there are any left!
Sunday 11 October 2009
Monday 05 October 2009
Friday 02 October 2009
Audley Harrison won a gold medal, Danny Williams ruined Mike Tyson, Scott Belshaw was knocked out by Tyson Fury in his last fight and tonight they will fight for the £32,000 prize and the Prizefighter Cup at the ExCel Arena in London's Docklands.
Sunday 27 September 2009
Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe's annoyance with the Football Association over their feet-dragging in implementing the Burns Report reforms, and his threat to chop £25 million in funding, is bound to create tension between him and Lord Triesman at the next meeting of England's 2018 World Cup bid board, on which both sit. However, this is not the only flak likely to be flying in the direction of the FA chairman. His stubborn disinclination to drop fellow Labour peer Baroness Amos from the bid team now that she is to become Britain's High Commissioner in Australia is irritating other board members: not least two men who actually know something about winning bids, Lord Coe and Sir Keith Mills, principal architects of 2012. The presence of the Guyana-born Valerie Amos, 55, has always been contentious – she has no known football interest other than occasionally watching Spurs, but Triesman seems determined to keep her in his team, even in absentia, when such as Garth Crooks and Heather Rabbatts (the former Millwall chair) surely could provide a more effective black presence. So should she quit? Well, baronesses don't seem the resigning sort. Whether Amos will continue to pocket her £35,000 honorarium is unclear – apparently she, Triesman and Lord Mawhinney are the only ones among the nine board members who do so. All three are, or have been, politicians.
Thursday 27 August 2009
The current British heavyweight champion, three former champions, one Olympic gold medallist and two boxers with perfect records will take part in Barry Hearn's unique Prizefighter tournament at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on 2 October.
Sunday 05 July 2009
The former boxing promoter Mickey Duff, now 80, tells how many years ago, as a young small-hall hustler, he gave regular work to a journeyman fighter named Yolande Pompey, who suddenly got lucky and knocked out the over-the-hill former world middleweight champion Randolph Turpin. When Duff then offered him top billing on his next show, Pompey's manager, Jack Burns, told him: "Sorry Mickey, we're out of your league now."
Friday 15 May 2009
In Beijing it was an unexpected gold medal, three months ago it was unexpected jeers for his professional debut and tonight James DeGale performs in front of British boxing's most informed crowd when he climbs through the ropes at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, for his second fight.
Friday 08 May 2009
Sunday 22 March 2009
A major row has hit amateur boxing following the appointment of one of Audley Harrison's former cornermen, Kelvyn Travis, as the new head coach of the British Olympic squad. Travis was sacked by the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) six years ago following a fracas in which another coach had his jaw broken, but he has been brought back by the newly formed umbrella body, the British ABA, to replace the axed Terry Edwards. The move has not met with the approval of several influential factions within the sport, but Kevin Hickey, the BABA's performance director, says: "I have great confidence in his ability to do the job." However this is just one of the issues troubling an increasingly strife-ridden sport. David McElhinney, who has quit as the ABA of England's finance director, has sent a letter to all board members, which some describe as "dynamite". The Independent on Sunday has obtained a copy of the letter, which alleges maladmin-istration and activities "detrimental to grass-roots boxing". Several regional organisations, together with the now disaffiliated English Schools ABA, who recently met the Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, are calling for an independent investigation into the running of a sport that was one of Britain's most successful in Beijing but has lost three-quarters of the squad as well as the coach. Next Saturday, the bronze medallist super-heavyweight David Price becomes the latest to make his pro debut, while Edwards has been recruited by Ghana to mastermind their coaching. According to insiders, if Edwards and boxers James DeGale and Tony Jeffries are successful in their ongoing lawsuits, the ABA face possible bankruptcy.
Sunday 15 March 2009
Wednesday 04 March 2009
Chris Finnegan had his first professional fight behind closed doors at an exclusive Mayfair club seven weeks after winning the Olympic middleweight gold medal at the Mexico City games. Finnegan was Britain's first Olympic boxing gold medallist for 12 years and after his victory in late October 1968 against the brilliant Soviet Aleksey Kisselev there was a gap of 32 years before Audley Harrison won a gold in Sydney.
Monday 02 March 2009
James Degale went all four rounds, Frankie Gavin stopped his man in four and BJ Saunders won in the second round when the Olympic trio became the young professionals at the launch of the serious part of their careers at the NIA in Birmingham on Saturday.
Sunday 01 March 2009
Britain's new Russian diving performance director, Alexei Evangulov, has a pressing matter in his in-tray when he takes up his post tomorrow. He must decide whether to end the partnership of Tom Daley and Blake Aldridge after a declaration by Tom's father, Rob, that the pair are finally out of synch.
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