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Frank Warren on Brook's Win, Roc Nation, Harrison

by Frank Warren

Congratulations to Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook who delivered a world title to these shores last weekend and the fourth for the Ingle boxing factory.

'The Special One' won ugly in a very close tussle, bagging a tight majority decision. It was a messy but gripping 12 round encounter. Though Jim Watt at Sky Sports had 'Showtime Shawn' Porter retaining, two of the three official judges- the only opinions that counted- sided with the Yorkshire man.

Kenny Porter, father-trainer of the deposed champ has lodged a formal complaint to the IBF accusing Brook of excusive holding. Brook wasn't at his fluid best but deserves praise for getting himself across the line against a Yank in America.

With the majority of the British press, including me, picking against him, the 28 year old from the Steel City overcame a nasty gash and an early points deficit to get the win.

Confronted by Porter's unconventional threshing style. Brook showed a good engine, heart and tactical discipline to eek out the tightest of wins.

There is talk of a stadium fight against Amir Khan next summer, but first he'll have a lucrative homecoming defence in Sheffield in December.

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Boxing has long attracted interest from leading lights within the entertainment industry, eager to garner a bit of street cred. Latterly, US rap moguls Damon Dash, James Prince and 50 Cent have all had a dabble.

Last week, Jay-Z made a huge statement of his intentions to storm the world of boxing promotion by tendering the winning purse bid for the mandated WBO middleweight clash between champion Peter Quillin and unbeaten Russian Matt Koborov.

Though Jay-Z promotes neither fighter, the husband of Beyonce bid a whooping $1.9m, smashing rival offers of $1.2m from Golden Boy Promotions and $515,000 from Top Rank, clean out of the water.

After amassing a fortune in the music industry, Jay-Z has since branched into sports agency work. His company, Roc Nation Sports, presently represent several leading US athletes such as Kevin Durant (basketball) and CC Sabathia (baseball). This year Forbes magazine estimated his net worth to be $520million!

A lifelong fight fan who incorporates boxing drills into his austere personal fitness regime, Jay-Z has already secured promoters licences in New York (his home city) and Washington DC. He boasts of 'making an instant and dramatic impact', 'changing the game', and 'creating celebrity status' for the fighters he intends to represent.

Clearly an astute businessman, Jay-Z is an interesting addition who's entitled to be involved. Hopefully, he'll heighten the profile of the sport.
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Former two-time WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison had his boxing licence re-instated last week, paving the way for a potential tartan tear-up with rapidly declining compatriot Ricky Burns.

After a seven year hiatus, brought about by a battle with alcoholism and two prison terms, Harrison returned to the ring in June 2012 but his comeback ambitions were disrupted when he was clearly outpointed by Cromer's Liam Walsh in a good fight in April 2013.

Harrison has been dormant since. His licence was revoked last September because he failed to supply details of outstanding court issues and he is presently awaiting trial on a charge of assaulting a woman. That case is set to be heard next February.

Beforehand, 'The Real McCoy' expects to return to the ring in October but, at 36, it's doubtful he'll recapture the form that made him a truly formidable fighting force a decade earlier.
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Last week the British Boxing Board of Control ordered Frankie Gavin to defend his British title against unbeaten prospect Bradley 'Super' Skeete before the end of December.

It certainly looks an interesting confrontation. Ex world amateur champion Frankie is accorded an opportunity to re-assert himself, following the loss of his unbeaten tag earlier this month when he unluckily dropped the tightest of split decisions to world class Italian Leonard Bundu in a European title challenge.

But it also provides rising south Londoner Skeete with an overdue chance to crack the 'Big Time'. A string bean 6ft 1in tall, the former national junior champion and regular England rep took a while to acclimatize to the professional code.

However, now 26, he remains unbeaten in 17 and is finally acquiring his 'man strength'. He has logged impressive stoppage wins in each of his last two outings and is talented and awkward in equal measure.

Gavin will enter a healthy favourite but I certainly don't envisage an easy night's work for him.
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How long will this go on! Out of boxing for a year and now back in the news and giving yet another story about a previous and new life. On Monday forsaking all privacy, bold and brass and iffily dressed, on Big Brother yet again telling how life was and how it had changed.

But even worse stated that a return to boxing was in the pipeline!

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the brazen publicity seeking behaviour- how much more can we take? Anyway enough about Audley Harrison.
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I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Glyn Leach, the esteemed editor of Boxing Monthly magazine.
Glyn was found dead, alone in his home in Wanstead, east London last Saturday. He was just 54.

He left school with modest qualifications and, between shifts as a base guitarist for punk rock bands, he drifted into a number of dead end jobs. In his late 20s, without any journalistic training, he started to work on a voluntary basis for the now defunct Boxing Weekly.

It is a measure of both his drive and ability that he soared to his position as editor of BM within three years. He subsequently became the journal's co-owner.

Glyn was a real grafter, who understood the sport inside out. We spoke almost on a weekly basis and, though we didn't always agree, I never had cause to question his honesty or integrity. He was unscrupulously independent and principled; something of a recluse who seldom sat among the established 'hacks' on press row.

Nevertheless, he became revered for his forthright, hard hitting and impartial editorials and visionary production. By the time of his passing, he was pilot of easily the best boxing magazine in the world. He was an industry leader and leaves a huge void.

Hopefully, the big fella is up above, catching carp and frothing at the fortunes of his beloved QPR.

Sincere condolences to partner Marion, his family and his many friends.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by chocolate on 08-23-2014

[QUOTE=knockoutkid;14881454]warren says 'burns is rapidly declining' , gave brook no chance, he hates anyone who he doesnt promote. And he mostly doesnt have a clue, gavins not world level, although skeetes even worse so expect gavin to bounce back there,…

Comment by knockoutkid on 08-23-2014

warren says 'burns is rapidly declining' , gave brook no chance, he hates anyone who he doesnt promote. And he mostly doesnt have a clue, gavins not world level, although skeetes even worse so expect gavin to bounce back there,…

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