On Saturday evening at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Puerto Rican national treasure Miguel Angel Cotto faces the ominous task of trying to snap the 42 fight unbeaten streak of the sports ‘pound for pound’ leader Floyd Mayweather (The fight shall be broadcast live and exclusive in the UK on BoxNation, Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546)
The Brit best equipped to assess Cotto’s chances is Chorley’s Michael Jennings, the former English, British and WBU welter king who shared five very painful rounds with the Puerto Rican when debating the vacant WBO welter strap at Madison Square Garden, New York in February 2009.
Now back in light training with Joe Gallagher at Amir Khan’s Gloves gym in Bolton following a 20 month hiatus due to an ongoing shoulder complaint, the 34 year old Lancastrian offers this assessment.
“The reason that Floyd Mayweather is ‘pound for pound’ is because he’s got everything. For a start, he doesn’t look 35. He’s super fit and does everything right; really lives the life.
People go on about his speed, and it is scary, but he can also dig. He’s so confident and elusive, so hard to catch, so relaxed. He does carry his hands very low which might lure his opponents, give them a bit of confidence but his reflexes have been so good.
I know he’s getting older but I still don’t think the inactivity is going to harm him. He’s had long breaks before and returned without any deterioration. His preparation is impeccable. You can guarantee he’ll have got in the best sparring on the planet.
Cotto was a million miles above anything I’d fought previously. At the weigh-in, I was bigger than Miguel but his frame changed remarkably between the scales and getting into the ring. He was absolutely massive.
But what really distinguishes him as a brilliant fighter is his accuracy. I’ve never been hit before like he hit me. Though he’s not southpaw, he’s a natural left hander. His first jab landed straight on my nose and really made my eyes water. That hadn’t happened since the first time I sparred when I was a little kid. He had easily the heaviest hands of anyone I’ve been inside a ring with.
Miguel never wastes anything and they all hurt! Every time, he’d land right under the front ribcage. Having been caught once, I was really mindful of defending against those shots, tucking up tight yet still he’d be able to find the exact spot, time after time.
Whenever I’d throw a shot, he’d slide away and make you miss by an inch....then make you pay. I thought I had fast hands but he was faster, far faster than he appears when on TV. His speed’s deceptive.
On the downside, it’s not impossible to tag him with the straight right hand. We’d identified that in our camp and I did catch him with a few. If Mayweather sees an opening, he’ll catch him.
While Cotto’s a very good boxer, Mayweather’s the master class in that department and I can’t see any way that Cotto could stand off and outbox him. To get any level of success, Cotto will need to attack clever, apply controlled pressure then, if he can get inside, stick to the ‘Pretty Boy’ like Velcro. There’s no point just letting ones or twos go, he’ll need to bang in those body shot combinations. But it’s a hard task.
I’ve been watching those 24/7s on BoxNation and I’d like Cotto to win. He seems a really sound guy, down to earth. Floyd can come across as arrogant but I guess he’s plenty to be arrogant about.
I expect Mayweather will just sit off, take no risks, force Cotto to rush him. Then he’ll look to pick him off. Though Cotto’s too good for it to be totally one sided, I think Mayweather will probably outpoint him pretty comfortably. A good boxer usually beats a good fighter.”
Mayweather v Cotto is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) this Saturday. Join at www.boxnation.com
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HARRY MATTHEWS: I’M GOING FOR THE WIN AGAINST EUBANK JR
London - Former English title challenger Harry Matthews believes that on May 12 he will be the first person to beat rising star Chris Eubank Jr.
Eubank Jr vs. Matthews which is set to take place at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield is proudly presented by Hennessy Sports in association with Alma Ingle and will be shown live on Channel 5.
Matthews explained “I asked my promoter Mark Bateson for this fight a while ago but we were turned down, so after Eubank Jr’s good win against Paul Allison last month my promoter asked the question again and this time we have been successful and they finally accepted the fight.”
Harry feels it’s a dream come true to be fighting on Channel 5 in front of millions of boxing fans.
Although comparisons with Eubank Jr’s famous father, former World middleweight champion Chris Snr, have been made, Matthews said “Eubank Jr is a very talented fighter and a great prospect but he is not his dad he is a different person, he is someone who I think I can beat.”
And when asked about how he sees the fight going Harry replied “Simple, I’m going to win by either a knock out or on points, I wouldn’t have taken this fight if I didn’t think I couldn’t beat him.
“I’m ready and up for the challenge on May 12.” Added Harry.
Tickets for the Pride of Yorkshire event at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre are priced at £35.00 and £75, and can be purchased from Ticketline on 0844 888 4402, Ticketmaster on 0844 888 9991, HMV on 0843 221 0100 or from the Hennessy Sports Box office on 01925 755 222.
Tickets can also be purchased at the HMV stores located in Meadowhall, Sheffield and the HMV store in Rotherham.
Go on line www.hennessysports.com for more information about the May. 12 show.
Irish Amateur Boxing Association
The remaining Girl 1 & 2 and Girl 4,5 & 6 National Championship finals will be decided at Dublin's National Stadium on Friday, May 4th.
Forty one Irish title were distributed at the Championships last weekend at the home of Irish boxing.
Molly Brennan and Caitlin Fryers will get Friday's deciders underway in the Girl (1) 36kg class.
Boxing begins at 6pm on Friday.
Visit www.iaba.ie for all your boxing news and live scoring.
National Girls 1/6 Championships National Stadium Dublin
May 4th Finals
36kg: Molly Brennan (St Brigids) v Caitlin Fryers (Immaculata)
39kg: Margaretta Nevin (St Brigids) v Dearbhla Rooney (Sean McDermott)
42kg: Orla Garvey (Dealgan) v Leanne McGrath (Thurles)
33kg: Reanne Martin (Ryston) W/O
36kg: Samantha Chandler (Ryston) W/O
42kg: Niamh Carty (Ryston) v Philomena Hickey
44kg: Aoife King (Castlebar) v Jackie Lynch (Golden Gloves)
46kg: Nikita Casey (Nenagh) v Sinead Maguire (St Pappins)
48kg: Amy Leahy (Fermoy) v Jamie Butler (Ballinrobe)
50kg: Lisa Bolger (St Aidans) v Grainne Gavin (Castlebar)
52kg: Tiffany Heary (St Pappins) W/O
54kg: Ciara Ginty (Geesala) v Shannon Murrihy (Kilfenora)
57kg: Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) W/O
60kg: Rachel Kearns (Ardagh Cross) v Saidhbh Greene (Ballinacarrow)
63kg: Ciara Sheedy (Swinford) v Niamh Ahern (Kilfenora)
66kg: Saoirse Digham (St Aidans) v Shannon Timlin (Geesala)
70kg: Danya O’Neill (St Saviours) W/O
75kg: Aneta Andryszek (Phibsboro) v Catherine Carey (Thurles)
80kg: Sophie Graham (Mitchelstown) W/O
91kg: Louise Regan (Kilfenora) W/O
44kg: Shannon Owens ( Gilford) W/O
46kg: Lois Walsh (Catlerea) v Kristina O’Hara (Emerald U)
48kg: Zannah Buckley (Bray) W/O
50kg: Lisa Marie Harkin (St Brigids) W/O
52kg: Nicole McCann (St John Bosco) v N Doyle (Clonmel)
54kg: Sarah Dawson ( Castlebar) W/O
57kg: Lauren Kinsella (At Anthonys) v Helen Carty (Paulstown)
60kg: Shannon Gallagher (Twin Towns) v Nicole Moorehouse (Sacre Coeur)
63kg: Sally Carrig (Ennis) v Austeja Aucuite (Finn Valley)
66kg: Christina Desmond (Macroom) v Zoe Murphy (Phibsboro)
70kg: Kayleigh O’Donnell (Clonmel) v Jane Carty (Ballyshannon)
75kg: Adrianna McMullan (Banbridge) Rayssa de Silva (Mitchelstown)
91+kg: Maeve McCarron (Carrigart) W/O
42kg: Anne Connors (Ryston) W/O
48kg: Kimberly Norton (Hillview) v Michelle Daly (Ballyhaunis)
50kg: Nicole Finnegan ( ------ ) v Hannah Carty (Paulstown)
52kg: Molly Patterson (St John Bosco) v Nicole Meli (Immaculata)
54kg: Lycia Heneghan (Ballinrobe) v Christine Gargan (St Georges)
57kg: Emma McGlynn (Lisnafin) v Elaine Daly (Ballyhaunis)
60kg: Niamh Ball (Trojan) v Louise O’Donoghue (Geesala)
63kg: Emer Feane (Rathkeale) W/O
66kg: Lisa Buckley (Bray) v Sandra Cassidy (Castlebar)
70kg: Aoife Hennigan (Swinford) W/O
75kg: Miread Whitely (Paulstown) W/O
80kg: Cathy Higgins (Ardnaree) v Robin Smith (South Meath)
April 28th Finals: 1. 2 & 3
31kg: Kasey Holohan (Portlaoise) beat Shannon Kenny (Monkstown) 10-6
33kg: Alanna Waldron (Caslterea) beat Shenneragh Buckley (Bray) 18-4
42kg: Ellen McDonagh (St Annes) beat Chloe McCarthy (Glen) 17-10
44kg: Joanne Padden (Golden Gloves) beat Maggie Cullen (Fermoy) 8-6
46kg: Shauna O’Callaghan (Clann Naofa) beat Amy Milward (Fermoy) 22-22 c/b 69-67
48kg: Molly Ahern (Kilfenora) W/O
50kg: Katelyn Phelan (St Brigids Kildare) beat C. Kiely (Rathkeale) 29-11
52kg: Katelyn Doran (St Brigids Kildare) beat K. Connolly (Clonmel) 26-10
60kg: Paige O’Keefe (Callan) beat Daria Bartuzol (Spartacus) RSC1
63kg: Nadine Dermody (Paulstown) W/O
29kg: Courtney Daly (Crumlin) W/O
33kg: Chloe Callander (Ryston) W/O
36kg: Shauna Blaney (Navan) beat Naoimi O’Neill (Springhill) 13-8
39kg: Nicole Agnew (Dealgan) beat Catherine Walsh (St Annes) 11-11 c/b 31-30
44kg: Rosie Conroy (Geesala) beat Jane Downey (Trojan) RSC3
46kg: Niamh Early (Ryston) beat Emma Burke (St Marys Dublin) 16-9
48kg: M McCarthy (St Margarets) beat Georgia Peake (Ballyhaunis) RSC1
50kg: Labhaoise Clarke (Carndonagh) beat Jodie O’Gorman (Kilmallock) 12-10
52kg: Erin Heneghan (Ballinrobe) beat C. O’Sullivan (Rathkeale) RSC3
54kg: Natasha O’Reilly (South Meath) beat Chelsea Thomas (Watergrasshill) RSC1
57kg: Abbey Comiskey (Ardnaree) beat Danielle Ginnelly (Geesala) 15-10
60kg: Clarissa Cosgrove (Geesala) beat Shannon Just (Grangecon) 11-6
63kg: Tara Barrett (Geesala)beat Rachel Daly (Brosna) 11-7
70kg: Leah Sutton (South Meath) W/O
75kg: Elizabeth Murphy (Oughterard) W/O
36kg: Megan Felton (Whitechurch) W/O
39kg: J.L. Kirby (Tullamore) beat Mairead Dobbins (Oakleaf) 25-14
42kg: Zoe Kavanagh (Tredagh) beat Kirsten McCormack (----) 14-8
46kg: Alanna Ward (Sean McDermott) W/O
48kg: Natasha Logan (Ryston) beat K Murphy (Slieve Luachra) RSC2
50kg: Aishling Joyce (Ballinrobe) beat Clodagh McComiskey (Gilford) 11-2
52kg: Martha Myers (Ryston) beat Nichole McGillan (Oakleaf) RET2
54kg: Dolores Hughes (Emyvale) beat Sorcha Kelly (Shadows) 17-8
57kg: Shauna Kearney (Bunclody) beat Marie Cronin (Kilmallock) RSC3
60kg: Shannon Edge (Ryston) beat Sharon Mulryan (Cobra Ulster) 11-5
63kg: Caomhe Moloney (St Marys) beat Jenny Cleary (Ballyhaunis) 4-3
66kg: Chloe Gray (Bracken) beat Rachel Flynn (St Brigids) 11-7
70kg: Aoife Burke (St Marys Dublin) beat Mikayla Kelly (Sacred Heart) 10-1
75kg: Nell Fox (Rathkeale) W/O
86kg: Emma Kelly (St Brigids) W/O
91kg: Oneisa Brennan (Ballinacarrow) W/O
April 28th Semi-Finals: 1,4, 5 & 6
36kg: Molly Brennan (St Brigids Kildare) beat Zoe Breslin (Tramore) 16-8
36kg: Caitlin Fryers (Immaculata) beat Jessica Clarke (Carndonagh) 14-9
39kg: Margeretta Nevin (St Brigids Kildare) beat Ali Crean (St Margarets)12-7
39kg: Dearbhla Rooney (Sean McDermott) beat Lia Farrelly (Crumlin) RSC1
44kg: Jackie Lynch (Golden Gloves) beat P Beresford (Thurles) 13-5
50kg: Grainne Gavin (Castlebar) beat Hannah Quirke (St Brigids Kildare)13-9
54kg: Ciara Ginty (Geesala) beat Daria Madura (Phibsboro) RET3
54kg: S. Murrihy (Kilfenora) beat Claire McDonagh (Castlebar) 13-8
60kg: Rachel Kearns (Ardagh Cross) beat Tara Haughey (Cobra Ulster) RSC1
60kg: Saidhbh Greene (Ballincarrow) beat Robyn Byrne (Mulhuddart) 14-5
63kg: Niamh Ahern (Kilfenora) beat Clodagh Greene (South Meath) RSC2
46kg: Kristina O’Hara (Emerald C) beat Tamilee Diver (Immaculata Strabane)RSC2
57kg: Lauren Kinsella (St Anthonys/Pats) beat Claire Peters (St PaulsNenagh) 15-10
57kg: Helen Carty (Paulstown) beat C McCormack (Kilfenora) 12-5
60kg: Nicole Moorehouse (Sacre Coeur) beat Rivers McCormack (St Saviours OBA) 16-1
63kg: Sally Carrig (Ennis) beat B Doyle (St Cronins) 28-6
63kg: Austeja Aquieta (Finn Valley) beat Cheyanne O’Neill (Athlone) 13-13 c/b 37-36
70kg: Jane Carty (Ballyshannon) beat Saoirse Delargy (Ballinrobe) 11-9
54kg: Lycia Heneghan (Ballinrobe) W/O
54kg: Christine Gargan (St Georges) beat E Walsh (Tramore) RSC1
57kg: Elaine Daly (Ballyhaunis) beat Sinead Gill (Ardnaree) 20-11
April 27th: Prelims and S/Finals
36kg: Katie Fryers (Immaculata) beat Ann Sweeney (Ballina)RSC2
36kg: Jessica Clarke (Cardonagh) beat Jordan Jones (Kilnamanagh) 14-6
39kg: Dervla Rooney (Sean McDermot) beat Ameka Lindsey(Springhill) RSC1
31kg; Shannon Kenny (Monkstown) beat Claire Potter (Cairn Lodge) 19-5
44kg; Maggie Cullen (Fermoy) W/O
44kg: Joanna Padden (Golden Gloves) beat Shannon Dawe (St Brigids) 15-3
44kg; L McGrath (Thurles) beat Naomi O”Leary (Letterkenny) 17-12
44kg: Andrea Treacy (Gleann) beat Rosie Connors (Geesala) RSC1
46kg: Jane Downey (Trojan) beat J Adoire (Callan) RSC1
46kg: Niev Early (Ryston) beat Joey Goran (Trojan) 18-12
46kg; Emma Burke (St Mary’s) beat Emma Sheeran (Castlebar) 15-15 c.b 44-46
54kg: Natasha O’Reilly ( St Meath) beat Lenora Myres (Inishfree) RSC1
57kg: Danielle Ginnelly (Geesala) beat Niev Flynn (St Brigids) RET2
60kg: Shannon Just (Grangecon) beat Charmaine Reilly (Lucan) 12-6
50kg: Cloda McComiskey (Gilford) beat Caitilin Sweeney (St Brigids) 9-6
54kg: Deloros Hughes (Emyvale) beat Sarah White (Tredagh) RSC3
60kg: Sharon Mulryan (Cobra) beat Amy O’Donovan (Oughterard) 6-6 c/b 22-20
60kg: Shannon Edge (Ryston) beat Tara Dowling (Ennis) 14-6
63Kg: Jenny Cleary (Ballyhaunis) beat Leah Roche (St Brigids) 14-6
63kg; Caoimhe Maloney (St Mary’s) beat Courtney Doheny (Callan) 5-4
66kg; Chloe Gray (Bracken) beat Clodagh Collins (Kilfinora) 10-8