News of the World.... Big... On... Boxing...
I missed the weekend fights, I was organising parties and shit, so I'm not going to comment on the actual fights as I didn't see them.
So today, I sat in work and played around on the internet for a bit hoping to catch up on the many fights over the weekend: Gatti, Paul Williams, RJJ etc so I thought I'd start with the British scene. I don't know why I do it but if I miss fights, I'll have a look at the newspapers first: tabloids and broadsheets before coming on here and finding out what really went on.
It makes for a staggering read. The average punter that attends a boxing show will read the tabloids: News of the World (Big on boxing), the Sun, Mirror etc.. Although we had a Brit challenging for a world title, I struggled to find anything for a while in the News of the World: 3 sentances at the end of a massive Amir Khan piece. Also, no mention of a boxer (Small, undefeated in 17 fights - 4 more than Khan) in a good domestic dust up for a Commonwealth title with Pryce. All of the papers continued in a similar fashion.
I appreciate celebrity sells more papers than achievement but there is no hope for boxing (the same can be said for many sports) in this country if the media do not report responsibly and fights get moved to a channel most people haven't even heard of. There has been no official report in any major paper that I've seen about Calzaghe-Kessler being official. This must be one of the biggest and most significant fights a British boxer has been involved in the last few years yet it is simply overlooked.
Mainstream boxing is ****ed up in the UK. The following is written by Ron Lewis of the Times:
How boy from Boltoncan be a world champion
Before Saturday’s bout, bookmakers made Amir Khan a seemingly generous 6-1 to fulfil his intention of becoming a world champion by the end of 2008. Despite his win, those odds are likely to be longer as Khan’s career goes back to the drawing-board. Here is a possible blueprint for Khan’s journey to world honours:
October 6, Nottingham Suggested opponent: David Stewart Khan’s next bout was always likely to be a defence of his newly won Commonwealth title. But he needs an opponent who is likely to box, rather than a “banger”.
December: Graham Earl The former British champion is clever and determined, but his loss to Michael Katsidis for the WBO title in February showed that he was easy to hit. A win would gain Khan a high world ranking.
March 2008: Patrick Malinga This South African boxed Alex Arthur in 2003 but has a decent record, could box for the Commonwealth title and would teach Khan to box against a different style of opponent.
June 2008: Yuri Romanov The European champion from Belarus looked like a dazzling young talent but was outworked by Earl last year. A European title would confirm Khan’s world ranking.
September 2008: Stefano Zoff Although he would be 42, the ageing former world champion from Italy would still be capable of testing Khan.
December 2008: Stevie Johnston This would be a brave match against a brilliant former world champion, who has seen better days but would be a huge name on Khan’s record.
March 2009: A world title eliminator By now Khan should have options about which title to aim for. The advantage of having multiple world champions is that an unsuitable opponent would not be forced on him.
July 2009 World title bout
Just underneath this article: "Nicky Cook, from Dagenham, was knocked down five times before being counted out in the eleventh round against Steven Luevano for the vacant WBO featherweight title. Luevano, from California, was too quick for Cook, who was finished off by some vicious body punches. Matt Skelton won his rematch with Michael Sprott by a majority points decision, but the bout was an ugly maul of a contest and many spectators walked out."
It's a sad state of affairs. It's no wonder some genuine boxing fans look for the Khan's and Harrison's of this world to fail. They don't deserve this much coverage until they've done something that warrants it. The general public have no idea who Hatton or Calzaghe are but they know Amir Khan.