Boxing


Boxing 2007 month by month – Part One

26.12.07 - By Andrew Wake: Well people, 2007 is nearly over and I think you’ll all agree that it has been an excellent year for the fistic arts. At the beginning of the year all the talk in the media was about how MMA was apparently killing boxing, well, after a series of top class match ups, that talk as now dissipated and boxing will head into 2008 with its head held high.

If, like me, you have a terrible memory here is brief month by month recap of one the best fighting twelve months in recent times..

January

The year kicked off with the “Nigerian Nightmare” Sam Peter winning his rematch with James Toney by unanimous decision and moving into the WBC’s mandatory slot.

Ricky Hatton was by no means impressive when he outpointed Juan Urango to reclaim the IBF light-welterweight strap he’d given up the previous year.

Following its initial US release in December 2006, the sixth Rocky film hit cinemas around the world. Despite ol’ Sly being 60 years old, the flick was surprisingly decent.

Former world heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko announced that he was coming back. The WBC, who had awarded the Ukrainian the ridiculous “Champion Emeritus” title when he retired in 2005, swiftly pushed mandatory challenger Sam Peter to one side and approved a match up between “Dr Ironfist” and their current champion Oleg Maskaev.

Tickets for the May super fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather went on sale.

Antonio Margarito, the man who was supposed to be the most avoided fighter in the world now appeared to be the one who was doing the avoiding as Paul “The Punisher” Williams continued to call him out.

Troubled former featherweight champion Scott Harrison failed to show at an arranged meeting with BBBof C and was subsequently striped of his licence to box.

A proposed July 21st meeting of modern greats Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones ran into trouble after Jones said that the money on offer was no where near his requirements.

February

“Sugar” Shane Mosley rolled back the years and outclassed Luis Collazo in a manner that Ricky Hatton could only dream of.

Rumours began to circulate of a rift between trainer Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao after the respected trainer’s commitment to the Filipino star was called into question due to his arrangement to train Oscar De La Hoya for his May 5th clash with Floyd Mayweather.

Cruiserweight champion O’Neil Bell was arrested in California for allegedly attacking sparring partner Larry Slayton with a hatchet.

The WBC passed the buck and asked for the on going Vitali Klitshcko – Sam Peter saga to be settled by a neutral mediator.

“Bad” Chad Dawson took the WBC light-heavyweight crown with a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Tomasz Adamek.

Ricky Hatton relinquished the IBF trinket he’d picked up only a few weeks earlier because the sanctioning body were putting pressure on him to face Lovemore Ndou rather than his preferred choice of Jose Luis Castillo.

Two lawsuits were launched against world middleweight champion Jermain Taylor after it was alleged that “Bad Intentions” had assaulted two women in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. The unbeaten fighter denied the claims.

Stars of boxing past and present turned out in force at a London benefit night for former world middleweight champ Gerald McClellan.

Lightweight contenders, Michael Katsidis and Graham Earl engaged in a toe to toe war for the WBO’s interim crown. Katsidis eventually came out on top when the bout was stopped in the fifth round.

Californian Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero won the vacant IBF featherweight title by stopping Spend Abazi in the ninth stanza.

Tommy Morrison, who tested positive for HIV in 1996, returned to ring with a second round stoppage of John Castle. Morrison claimed that he didn’t have HIV and that tests carried out over a decade earlier were incorrect.

March

Evander Holyfield’s name was linked with a pharmacy that had been raided for distributing steroids. The “Real Deal” denied any association with the Alabama based company.

World famous boxing writer Ron Borges was suspended from his position at the Boston Globe for plagiarism.

Super bantamweights, Rafael Marquez and Israel Vasquez were involved in an early front runner for fight of the year. Vasquez quit before the start of the eighth session due to problems breathing through his badly busted nose.

WBO heavyweight belt-holder Shannon Briggs was forced to cancel his March 10th defence to Sultan Ibragimov after contracting pneumonia.

The recently retired Johnny Tapia was fighting for his life in hospital after he overdosed on cocaine.

IBF and IBO heavyweight supremo Wladimir Klitschko quickly saw off the challenge of American Ray Austin by knocking him out in the second round.

Contender series one winner Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora pulled out of a contest with Jermain Taylor slated for May 19th.

Juan Manuel Marquez announced his presence in the super featherweight division by picking up a deserved points decision over fellow Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera.

44 year old Evander Holyfield continued his journey back to the top of the heavyweight pile by dispatching New York’s Vinny Maddalone in the third.

In his first contest in France for nearly five years, Jean-Marc Mormeck avenged his early 2007 loss to O’Neil Bell with a twelve round decision.

April

Vitali Klitschko said that he needed more time to prepare for a shot at Oleg Maskaev and it seemed that Russian champion, Maskaev, would be taking on Sam Peter after all.

The British indoor attendance record was smashed when 35,000 people turned out to see Joe Calzaghe erase the title ambitions of the highly over matched Peter Manfredo.

Diego Corrales had what would be his final fight when he was dropped twice on the way to a losing a ten round decision to Ghana’s Joshua Clottey.

Manny Pacquiao scored an eighth round knockout of previously undefeated Mexican Jorge Solis. Freddie Roach was in the Pac Man’s corner but had not trained him for the bout.

Ruslan Chagaev proved that you can slay the giant when defeated WBA heavyweight champ Nikolai Valuev.

Frank Warren won a libel claim against Random House, publishers of Ricky Hatton’s autobiography The Hitman. Hardback copies of the book were withdrawn from the shelves and are due to be replaced with a re- edited version.

Danish promoter Mogens Palle posted an open letter to Joe Calzaghe and Frank Warren on his website. The letter offered the unbeaten southpaw $5 million to face Palle’s WBA and WBC king Mikkel Kessler.

We saw the last of Acelino “Popo” Freitas (well, for now anyway) as he refused to come out of his corner for the ninth round of his lightweight unification tussle with Juan Diaz and later announced he was hanging up his gloves.

May

Bringing in more than $19 million, the eagerly anticipated clash between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather set the record for the biggest live gate in boxing. The contest, dubbed “The World Awaits” was won by Floyd Mayweather with a much disputed split decision.

Boxing mourned the death of exciting former lightweight champion Diego Corrales. Corrales, 29, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas.

World middleweight champ Jermain Taylor put on a disappointing display when he outpointed Cory Spinks at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. On the undercard Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik showed his top level potential by blasting Edison Miranda in the 7th round.

In a bizarre twist Anthony Burgin, the man seriously injured when he was involved in a car accident caused by Naseem Hamed in 2005, was arrested for trying to run down Hamed’s wife Eleasha and the couple’s three children.

Steve “USS” Cunningham recaptured the IBF cruiserweight belt with a majority decision over pole Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.

Scott Harrison was arrested (again) over allegations of a fight in a Spanish brothel.

Both James Toney and Danny Batchelder tested positive for steroids after their clash on May 24th.

Rumours began to circulate that HBO planned to rid themselves of Larry Merchant, feeling that the younger Max Kellerman was the idle full time replacement.

June

America’s only heavyweight world titlist Shannon Briggs put in a lethargic performance as he lost his WBO strap to Russia’s Sultan Ibragimov.

Paul Spadafora was sent back to prison for violating the conditions of his parole.

Puerto Rican puncher Miguel Cotto announced his presence amongst the pound for pound elite when he outgunned a surprisingly brave Zab Judah at the world famous Madison Square Garden.

Former light heavyweight kingpin Antonio Tarver was far from impressive when he beat the unheralded Elvir Muriqi by majority decision. Chad Dawson dazzled on the undercard by extinguishing the threat of Jesus Ruiz in the sixth frame.

It was announced that Vitali Klitschko’s comeback fight would be against Jameel McCline in September.

Paulie Malignaggi won his first world title by outboxing tough South African Lovemore Ndou at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Hatton mania hit Vegas as thousands of Brits took over Sin City. The “Hitman” stopped aged Mexican great Jose Luis Castillo in the fourth with a trademark body shot.

Don King told press that Felix “Tito” Trinidad would be returning to the ring after more than two years away.

Evander Holyfield dropped fellow veteran Lou Saverese twice on way to ten round unanimous decision.

Article posted on 27.12.2007



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