By Frank Warren
Tyson Fury’s verbal barrage at a recent press conference when he came head-to-head with Dereck Chisora to promote their fight prior to the postponement was not a great image for the sport, but it has to be compared with the recent behavior of other high-profile boxers.
The Manchester giant has used swearing and extreme statements to create headlines for his fights, noteably against David Haye and Chisora, very few people take to it, but it is not what we expect from a leading fighter.
As we all know, Fury withdrew from his fight against Alexander Ustinov - who replaced an injured Dereck Chisora - on the day of the fight because one of his uncles, Hughie, was critically ill in hospital. It also came to light this week from Fury’s uncle and trainer Peter that Tyson was also dealing with his wife’s miscarriage in the lead up to his fight with Chisora.
Rightly or wrongly, this doesn’t excuse Fury’s behavior at the media event, but with a character as complex and deep as Fury’s, you cannot doubt that such a tragedy would not have had an affect on him mentally before such a big fight.
Fury has been called to appear before the British Boxing Board of Control next week to explain his actions and I hope that this is taken into account.
Some of the sports leading boxers’ also have to hold their hands up and admit that their conduct hasn’t always been impeccable.
The world’s pound-for-pound best boxer and statesman of the sport, and no stranger to controversy, Floyd Mayweather Jnr., was involved in a big brawl at a burger restaurant in May with rapper T.I that saw chairs thrown and profanties used. Public were seen to be running from the scene as the entourages from both men launched into furious fighting.
Shannon Briggs recently stormed into a restaurant where the unified World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko was eating and then started eating from his bowl himself with Klitschko then pouring a glass of water over Briggs’ head. The American then flipps out and is bundled out of the restaurant by one of Klitschko’s bodyguards.
Briggs has been baiting Klitschko for a while trying to secure a fight with the Ukrainian and also turned up at his gym while he was training and jumped into the ring, trash talking , and earlier this year gate crashed a Klitschko’s press conference before his fight against Alex Leapai.
Britain’s Graham Earl was involved in a press conference bust-up with old rival Michael Katsidis days before their rematch last month in Australia. The pair traded words and shoves before being physically separated.
And remember, although Carl Froch v George Groves 2 was declared this week as British boxing’s biggest ever grossing event, the pair weren’t whiter than white in the build up with Groves stepping over the mark when he told Froch “He is like a man on death row”.
Despite his very close and highly debatable split decision loss to European Welterweight Champion Leonard Bundu last Friday night in Wolverhampton, I believe Frankie Gavin will come back better and stronger from it.
In a dramatic fight, in front of a sold-out Civic Hall on a very hot and steamy night, classy champion Bundu, just pipped through with two judges scoring it in his favour of 114-113, while the third had it for Gavin 115-112.
I thought that Gavin had won most of the early rounds, but the body shot that dropped Gavin in the sixth was the critical point as far as the judging was concerned as it was a two point round. He showed plenty of fighting heart to recover and get back into the fight and after overcoming some rough mid rounds, he made a strong final finish.
The midlander spent the majority of the fight with his back on the ropes, but he was moving off and turning Bundu and making him pay with his own punches and that was eye catching for the judges. A lot of the punches from Bundu weren’t getting through, but it can be eye-catching and work against you.
I’ll sit down with Frankie and his trainer Tom Chaney and plot the next move. A rematch would be great for the fans after an exciting first fight, hopefully it would be a different fight next time.
Although it’s hard for Gavin to lose his unbeaten record and Commonwealth belt to the Sierra Leone born Italian, he’s got to pick himself up, brush himself off, learn from the defeat and come back stronger.
Congratulations to all the boxers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who competed in a memorable Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
England topped the overall medal table with 58 golds, 59 silvers and 58 bronzes, with five of the golds coming in the boxing.
In the mens, welterweight Scott Fitzgerald, middleweight Anthony Fowler and super-heavyweight Joe Joyce all captured gold, and in the womens, flyweight Nicola Adams became the first ever Commonwealth Games boxing champion along with middleweight Savannah Marshall.
Frank Buglioni switched trainers this week from Mark Tibbs to former two-weight world champion Steve Collins before the start of the new boxing season.
The hugely popular Londoner, who won the Southern Area Super-Middleweight title in his comeback fight last month, will work with Collins in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and also his brother Paschal in Dublin.
Irish legend Collins twice defeated his great rivals Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn in epic battles in the mid-1990s and his input will be invaluable.
Tibbs, son of top trainer Jimmy, has done a great job with Buglioni, taking him from the amateurs to winning the WBO European title before he lost the title to Sergey Khomitsky earlier this year.
While it’s sad to see them part, Buglioni feels that this is the right move for him and he parts with Tibbs on amicable terms.
There’s plenty of big live international fight action on the Channel of Champions, BoxNation, this month to keep boxing fans’ entertained during the summer.
On Saturday 9th August from the Barclays Center in New York, a fantastic triple-header sees the exciting Danny Garcia battle against Rod Salka in a ten-rounder, while IBF World Light-Welterweight Champion Lamont Peterson takes on Edgar Santana, and Daniel Jacobs and Jarrod Fletcher clash for the Vacant WBA World Middleweight title.
Then the following Saturday (16th August), from Germany, the IBF World Cruiserweight Champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez makes the fourth defence of his title against Firat Arslan.
The action switches to Belfast on Saturday 6th September with local hero Carl Frampton looking to be crowned world champion in front of his home fans’ when he takes on IBF World Super-Bantamweight Champion Kiko Martinez.
Boxing’s Pound-for-Pound best fighter Floyd Mayweather Jnr. returns to BoxNation when he takes on rough and tough challenger Marcos Maidana in a rematch on Saturday 13th September from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Two further world title fights see Miguel Vazquez defend his IBF World Lightweight Title against Mickey Bey, plus Leo Santa Cruz defending his WBC World Super-Bantamweight title.
The Magnificent Seven Fight Again in Liverpool on Saturday 25th October at the Echo Arena featuring Merseyside stars Paul Butler, Liam Smith, Derry Matthews and Kevin Satchell, plus Manchester ace Terry Flanagan, all in title action. A bumper undercard includes the exciting unbeaten middleweight talent Chris Eubank Jnr., top prospects Tom Stalker and Jack Catterall, Michael Gomez Jnr., and many more.
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