Wednesday October 11

RUDDOCKULOUS

I know what you’re thinking: This November is badly lacking a heavyweight showdown with a combined age of 114 years. Well have I got some good news for you?

As announced by Triller on Wednesday, James Toney, 55, will hope his youth makes the difference against 59-year-old Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock in Kingston, Jamaica on November 11. These men were literally born in the 60s. It was the sort of news that immediately makes you double check it’s not April.

And if that wasn’t enough, the show – titled ‘Rumble in the Sun’ (genius) – will also include a performance from Dancehall star Beenie Man – who is also in his 50s. Sim Simma, indeed.

The event is a co-promotion between Triller and a company called Red Ground Productions, spear-headed by Ruddock’s two daughters Kleopatra and Karese, who are vowing to ‘replace and upgrade the aging infrastructure’ of Ruddock’s former primary school in St Catherine, Jamaica. So let’s just hope the pay-per-view event, hosted on Fite TV, raises some good money for the cause and that nobody gets hurt.


Thursday, Oct 12

WBA IN SENSIBLE SHOCKER

In probably the least surprising news of the week, the World Boxing Association announced late on Thursday that they had decided to dismiss the appeal made regarding the outcome of August’s Oleksandr Usyk v Daniel Dubois showdown in Poland.

Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions had lodged the appeal after claiming that Dubois’ fifth round punch – which floored Usyk badly – was legal and not, as referee Luis Pabon had decided, low. As such, Usyk was given plenty of time to recover and went on to knock Dubois out in the ninth.

The WBA’s statement revealed that they had decided to refer the entire issue to the International Official Committee, who in turn ruled that Pabon – who decided it was an ‘accidental low blow’ – had made the correct decision and stated that no television clip had proved otherwise. They also underlined the fact that the decision of a low blow is a ‘strict competence’ of the referee and that he should be the only one who can make those decisions.

And, after reading so many sensible things in one day, I had to have a sit down in a dark room.

Usyk unsettles Dubois with a combination (Getty Images)


Friday, October 13

FOR THE GRAM

I know what you’re thinking: This October is badly lacking a ‘one-of-a-kind experiential installation’ on the banks of the River Thames. Well have I got some news for you?

On Friday 13th (I know, spooky) a big statue of a boxing ring appeared on Potters Field, just in front of Tower Bridge, which contains 3-metre tall figures of Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou standing either side of a big crown.

This ‘Instagram moment waiting to happen’ – as titled by the official press release – is of course part of the build-up to the exhibition fight between the two men in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28. What this statue is doing in London I’m not exactly sure but it again highlights that, when it comes to promo, the Saudis are willing to spend big on just about anything.

“Prepare to marvel at the scale and immerse yourself in the excitement surrounding the ‘Battle of the Baddest’,” the release says while claiming that “those without a ringside ticket for Riyadh can still experience the excitement and drama of the boxing match at the Potters Field.” So the statue will be as exciting as the fight? Make of that what you will.


Saturday, October 14

BOMAC TALKS

As part of ESPN’s Saturday night broadcast for Janibek’s victory over Vincenzo Gualtieri, free-again Brian ‘BoMac’ McIntyre broke his silence following his much publicised stint in a UK prison and subsequent suspended sentence for firearm offences.

BoMac was trying to fly home from Manchester the day after cornering Chris Eubank Jr to victory over Liam Smith when he was arrested in the departure lounge because of a gun in his luggage. It looked like a custodial sentence was almost certain but last week, after more than a month inside, he was released and allowed to fly home.

“Obviously it was an honest mistake,” said BoMac. “I forgot that it was in there, it had been in there a couple of months, since May, since we got into camp with Terence [Crawford]. I wouldn’t try to do anything wrong. I did break the law over there, but it’s common for us Americans to carry guns. I carry two or three of them at a time, sometimes.”

At the time of writing, there are no plans for a BoMac statue on Southbank but this writer is ruling nothing out.

Brian McIntyre (Jess Hornby/Getty Images)


Sunday, October 15

BRONZE GONER

Here at The Week we absolutely love an anniversary but you can hold the champagne for this one. Sunday marked exactly one year since Deontay Wilder’s last appearance in the ring, a one-round demolition job on Robert Helenius in 2022.

That, in turn, was his first outing since losing to Tyson Fury in their epic trilogy bout a year earlier meaning we have now seen the most exciting heavyweight on the planet in action for just 177 seconds in the last 24 months. In fact, since February 2020, Wilder has been involved in a combined total of 12 rounds of boxing.

In Manchester, in the early hours of Sunday morning, Eddie Hearn conceded in an interview that Wilder v Anthony Joshua is unlikely to take place in January but rather March and with seemingly little interest from Saudi, that could now end up in Vegas. Although it won’t get that oil money shine, that’s a fight that could still generate a pot upwards of £50m in Sin City.

Will such inactivity affect him in a fight of such magnitude? Who knows. Regardless, many happy returns Wilder-Helenius, hope you had a great day.


Monday, October 16

MISS GB

On the subject of birthdays, October 16 was Oscar Wilde’s (stick with me here). That absolute quote machine once said: “I always pass on good advice, it is never of any use to oneself.”

Which brings us nicely onto Monday’s news that trailblazing Tasha Jonas has become the first black woman to obtain a manager’s licence from the British Boxing Board of Control. Jonas, now 39, has to be considered one of her generation’s biggest success stories in British boxing and, while still fighting, has decided to pass on all that knowledge to young boxers via management. The first of those, Mikie Tallon, makes his professional debut this month.

Of course, Jonas, who became a two-weight world champion in her last fight, still has some huge nights of her own ahead and on Monday it was confirmed that they will likely all be shown in America on NBC after Boxxer announced a link-up with the broadcasting Titan.

The deal means all Boxxer fight nights will be shown on their streaming platform Peacock, which is understood to have more subscribers than DAZN currently. Boxxer output joins the Premier League, Sunday Night Football and golf, among other sports, on the app.

Seems like an absolute home run for Boxxer but, as Wilde once said: “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

Natasha Jonas (Getty Images)


Tuesday, October 17

PROPER FIGHT

Say what you like about Fury fighting a boxing debutant in Saudi, but the chief support between Fabio Wardley and David Adeleye is a great British belter.

On Tuesday at a London hotel, the pair came face-to-face for the first time since Wardley was cut badly during a red carpet fracas last month. This time the presser started with a handshake but they were soon into their stride with some gentle cajoling.

Before they sat down at the top table, both men spoke to the written press at off-camera round tables. Adeleye was happy to discuss the brawl, which started when he shoved the British heavyweight champion in the chest but team Wardley were keen to steer all questions away from that fight and the fighter’s subsequent injury.

After the Misfits bullshit, which has plumbed some disturbingly miserable depths, a little roll around on a red carpet really doesn’t feel too significant these days. It had however looked like the cut sustained might force the postponement of this fight but now they’re both fully fit – and even shaking hands with each other – we can all look forward to some proper organised violence.