Scottish Light-Heavyweight ‘Johnboy’ John McCallum (11-1) heads into the Ultimate Boxxer 2 with an air of confidence that has an aura of conviction.
The former successful amateur that came out of the same gym as Ricky Burns in the Barn Boxing Club in Coatbridge, Scotland has the belief that he will be victorious in this gruelling tournament which is taking place at the O2 Indigo in London on November 2nd.
Talkin Boxing with Billy C asked the Edinburgh 175-pounder what separates him from the other seven fighters in this competition:
“I just believe that I’m technically better and more superior then everyone else in the tournament.” Said McCallum
“I believe that even with the lack in professional training I have had I am still better, far better then everyone and I’m much more determined and hungry for it.
“When I’m motivated and fit I don’t believe there is anyone in the country that can come close to me. Regardless of their style, I can adapt to all these guys. I’ve had enough amateur fights and I’ve boxed loads of different styles so there’s no one in this tournament that’s any better than me.
“People talk about Dec Spelman and Joel McIntyre being the favourites but I would happily fight them first. I would fight the two of them and then whoever else was left in the final. I believe their styles are made for me.”
Preparations for the 3, three’s – as McCallum likes to phrase it – are completely different compared to a training camp based on longer distances. The 29-year-old gave us a little insight into his training regime:
“Specifically, I’m training for three rounds explosive. Instead of trying to pace myself for 8, 10 or 12 rounds I’m coming out three rounds explosive. I’ll rest for 5 or 10 minutes and then I’ll go another three rounds explosively. When your fighting three rounds there’s lactic acid build-up in-between fights so that ‘something that I’m aware of and will prepare for.
“I always come out right from the start, so I think it’s suited to my style. I’m sparing different styles, amateurs, pro’s, southpaw’s and short stocky fighters.”
John McCallum’s only loss came controversially against ex-footballer come boxer Leon McKenzie in an Eliminator for the Super-Middleweight British title. Looking back on that loss to McKenzie we asked what experience McCallum had gained and if he had matured as a fighter:
“Definitely, I have matured as a fighter and as a person since that fight. There was a clash of heads that I think the ref thought was a punch and my eye eventually closed. The guys I had in my corner where not professional boxing trainers, so it was inexperience on my part by not having a professional set-up. We felt that I was ahead on the scorecards so even if the fight was stopped I would have won.”
There was no love lost between the two in the build-up to the fight, so it was surprising to here that ‘Johnboy’ had added McKenzie to his coaching team. We asked how that come about;
“Leon messaged me on Social Media and we started talking, what he was saying made a lot of sense. He ended up phoning me while I was on holiday in Spain, we had a good long chat and that was that.
“He brings a professional mindset, obviously he was very successful football and in boxing. He also has good experience from his Dad who was also really good boxer.”
It’s been a turbulent couple of years for McCallum who has had his career derailed due to a torn rotator cuff but after surgery the Scottish fan favourite says his “shoulder is starting to feel stronger everyday”.
With the current British Champion Callum Johnson traveling to America to fight IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev this weekend we asked McCallum what inspiration he can take from his former Scottish stablemate from the amateurs, after his long injury lay-off:
“He’s a good boxer that won gold at the Commonwealth Games. Callum’s a nice guy, when he came back he won the British and now he’s fighting for a world title in America. There’s my motivation and there is someone that I want to try and emulate.”
With Ultimate Boxxer 2 the focus for Team McCallum they don’t want to look beyond but we wanted to know what’s the ambition and what is a successful career for the Scottish Light-Heavyweight:
“My ambition is to win the Ultimate Boxxer live on channel 5 and after that I want the Lord Londsdale belt. Hopefully Callum Johnson will win that World title and he’s going to vacate the Lord Londsdale belt anyway, so I could fight a Frank Buglioni or whoever else is in line.
“I want to win the British and test myself at that level, then like any other boxer move on to the European. You never know I might get a shot at someone like Callum for a world title?
“I get motivated by big fights, like Ultimate Boxxer which is starting to get a bit of life back in me. After the Ultimate Boxxer, I want British title fights against big names. That’s the motivation that makes me get up in the morning and, go running and go to the gym after work. The bigger the fight the more motivated I will be.”
We have just over 4-weeks until the first bell sounds at the O2 Indigo and preparations are at an advanced stage so what would winning the golden robe and prize money mean to John Mccallum?
“It would be a great achievement and good to put on my CV. I can pay off a bit of my mortgage with the prize money. I believe it’s my time to win it. I’ve only had one slip up in my career and that was due to not having a professional set-up.
“I now understand the game a bit better, I’m a bit older and wiser and understand how to cut weight better, I believe that I’m going to be too much for anyone on the night.”
If you want tickets for the Ultimate Boxxer 2 then contact John McCallum via Instagram at @Johnmccallumjnr
You can also follow @JohnMcCallumBox on Twitter.
A special mention to sponsors F Cunningham Surfacing, A Cunningham Tarmacadam & Surface Dressing Specialits & K&S Walker Electrical that are currently supporting the Scotsman.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank John McCallum for taking the time to speak with me on behalf of Talkin Boxing with Billy C TV & Radio Program. Good luck and we hope to have you back on BillyCBoxing soon.
Chelmsford’s light-heavyweight ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (7-2-1, 1KO) will compete in the second installment of Ultimate Boxxer at the O2 Indigo, London on November 2nd.
The 29-year-old is ready to embark on the toughest challenge of his career so far and was kind enough to take some time out of his busy training schedule to speak with us at Talkin Boxing with Billy C.
We asked Darrel about his stoppage defeat to Jordan Joseph (7-2-1, 1KO) who ironically will also be participating in Ultimate Boxxer II.
“I was doing really well until the doctor obviously stopped it.” said a clearly gutted Church.
“Sometimes I wish I had got chinned rather than have the fight stopped the way it was. Its quite hard to take but when he put me down he hit me on the back of the head anyway.
“I got up and was a little bit dazed but it weren’t until I watched the footage back that I actually noticed he got me at the back of the head. At the time I got up carried on.”
With the fight still in the balance it was stopped in the eighth round due to Church sustaining damage to his left eye;
“It was only when I returned to my corner I couldn’t see out of my left eye. My trainer was looking at it and didn’t want me to carry on. But after another round and it being looked at for a second time my trainer asked the Doctor to take a look. I would rather have a trainer like that rather than making me carry on but obviously as a fighter you do want to carry on.”
There is clearly unfinished business for the Essex puncher who is scheduled in for a rematch against Joseph in December but would also welcome a fight in between during the Ultimate Boxxer, Church said:
“It was scheduled in because the main thing I wanted was a rematch. I have been trying to get that ever since that fight. Then when I was away on holiday Steve Goodwin called me up and told me that the Ultimate Boxxer want to do a Light-Heavyweight tournament and how do I feel about taking part. I obviously snapped it straight up.
“He [Steve Goodwin] told me that Jordan Joseph was going to be taking part as well. If we do fight each other at the tournament it will be strange but all my fans obviously want me to go against him because of what happened before. That’s definitely something that I want to do but I think we will be sick of each other by the end of the year.”
A first round knockout of Rikke Askew under co-promotion Hayemaker shows that the 175-pounder is really starting to establish is power. We asked the former unlicensed boxer what changes he’s made in camp:
“Rikke Askew was 2 and 2 so that first round KO was good for me. I’d been working on my power and just got him out of there. I’m defiantly hitting a lot harder now.
“I am doing strength and conditioning now where I never did it before. I’ve got a strength and conditioning coach now who I go to at least two, if not three times a week. So that had made a massive difference for me. Before I didn’t need that side of it but now I do as I am up against boys with access to all that technology. That has definitely helped.”
When Ultimate Boxxer was offered to Church by his promoter Steve Goodwin the opportunity was just too good to turn down for the PrizeFighter fan, which was a similar model to the Ultimate Boxxer hosted by Matchroom Boxing:
“Ever since I turned pro I always said I wanted to do PrizeFighter”. said Church.
“I used to watch PrizeFighter all the time so having this opportunity was what I wanted. It couldn’t have worked out any better for me. I think I’ve worked so hard since 2014 to get into a position like this. This is where I want to be. I am going to make sure there is no stone left unturned.”
Darrel was very forthcoming during the whole interview but decided to keep his training methods very close to his chest, stating:
“I’ve said to Ultimate Boxer that I don’t want to give away of my training methods. I don’t want go into what I am planning. We do have a different strategy and all I can say is that I am working very hard doing bursts.”
With the demanding task of Ultimate Boxxer with the lucrative £50k prize money and the sought-after golden robe we asked ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church what it would mean to him if he won this grueling competition:
“It would mean everything to me. Like we discussed earlier I’ve had my ups and my downs. It’s now got to a point where I’ve got the experience of winning, experience of losing, experience of being in tough fights and I’ve got the experience of being in a few easier fights. I think I’ve got the whole package, the heart and the hunger to win it.
“Sparring has just been spot on. I’ve never had a camp where sparring has gone so well. Literally the whole camp has been bang on. I’m bang in my prime and it’s the best I’ve ever felt.”
Darrel Church will be wearing the green shots for Ultimate Boxxer II live on channel 5 on Friday 2nd November.
We would like to thank Darrel for taking the time to speak with me. We hope to have him back on BillyCBoxing soon and don’t forget to watch the Talkin Boxing with Billy C TV & Radio Program.
It’s been just over 2-weeks since Tommy Langford (20-3, 6KOs) lost a second close decision against Jason Welborn (26-4, 7KOs) for the British Middleweight title in Birmingham.
After the first fight in Walsall Town Hall was nominated as one of the Contest’s of the Year in the BBBofC 2018 awards, the second instalment of the ‘Battle of the Baggies’ will surely be back on the shortlist for 2019.
With all the plaudits both fights have been given it’s been a hard one take for the the 29-year-old that was named the ‘Baggies Bomber’ by his own West Brom fans.
“I wouldn’t say I was robbed or anything like that, but I do feel that I’ve been hard done by with the scoring twice”, said Langford.
“I felt like I’ve won them both especially the second one, my boxing was a lot better in the second fight and I felt like the rounds that I wasn’t dropped in I dominated throughout.”
On the Billy C Show we have discussed the 2-point swing when a fighter is dropped even though they are winning a round comfortably. In the case of the second encounter between Langford and Welborn, the Birmingham-based fighter was in control of the first round until he was caught cold with a right hand with thirty seconds to go. We asked Langford if the round should have been scored a 10-9, rather than the normal 10-8, which could have made the difference between winning and losing.
“They’re what they are, they’re two-point rounds but apart from those rounds I’d give Welborn the twelfth round, maybe?
“I understand what you’re saying but I don’t think that’s the thing. If the judges are scoring the rounds independently from the last round it shouldn’t matter if someone gets knocked down. But if you’re watching the next round with preconceived ideas then it does sway your scoring. I think that’s the problem we have sometimes.”
After what looked like a heavy knockdown in the third Langford showed great character and courage to last the distance and dominate the fight. How did you feel coming out for the fourth?
“Literally fine, my head was clear. I knew after the knock down he was going to come on strong, so it was a case of you’ve got to hold on to survive the round. I didn’t really feel rocked and my head was clear. In the corner I knew what I had to do and that was go out and win the fourth round which I think I did and won it well.
“It’s nice to get compliments but I didn’t feel wobbled or that my head was in a different place. I felt like I knew where I was and in complete control of what I had to do. I was able to deliver it and that was the important thing.
“I went right back to the corner and Tom [Chaney] gave me the advice that was needed, I went out there and delivered it in the next round. If you’re not clear minded that’s going to show, you’re going to be ropy in the next round.”
Tommy’s ability to recover so quickly shows he’s high level of fitness but as the fight wore on was Welborn’s power diminishing or was Langford’s punch resistance stronger?
“That’s a strange thing as well, whether his power faded because he was blowing, or I got more used to it. My fitness has never been bought into question, everyone knows me as an extremely fit kid and I’ve been able to churn out round after round and put in big punch outputs, that’s never been an issue to me which is a great thing to have.
“Those two punches that knocked me down never bothered me, I didn’t feel gone from them so there’s something there that we got to look at. I don’t ever get rocked in sparring. I know we wear big gloves and head-guards, but I’ve been sparring big guys who are hitting hard, like Callum Smith. I’ve been one of his sparring partners for years and I’ve not been rocked or hurt during those spars. My legs have never gone or anything like that, so you think, why’s that as I’m sparring heavier?
“Personally, I think the weight is something we need to look at. I’m a big, big middleweight and I have been for a long time so maybe stripping muscle away from certain areas, like my legs is playing it’s part now, so I may need to build up again and look at super-middleweight.”
Since the narrow defeat to Welborn you’ve had the chance to reflect and watch the fight back how would you rate your performance?
“Apart from the twelfth I can’t find another round to give him. Personally, I felt like I boxed very well and it’s hard to find yourself in a position where you’ve boxed well but you’ve ended up losing by such a narrow decision. I don’t feel like a beaten fighter. I’ve came out with very mixed emotions because I’ve been in a great fight, I’ve fought a great fight and I’ve performed so in my head, I feel like you’ve won.
“I suppose it’s the nature of the sport where in and it’s just part and parcel of boxing and you’ve got to deal with it. Losing is one thing but when you lose it and you don’t feel like you’ve lost it, it’s hard.”
You’ve been in a contender for fight of the year in 2018 and no doubt the second fight will be nominated for 2019 so would you be interested in doing a trilogy?
“Would I have the third fight, yes but its got to be financially viable and at the same time he can look at it and say, I’ve got two wins why do I want to go and fight him again? No matter what he hears off people like – you never won that and you was lucky, which you do get as a boxer – he can tell them he got the decision. So unless he has a point to prove to himself there’s no need for him to do the third. Would I take it yes but will it happen, probably not.”
Many boxers across the country could only dream of the support Langford’s football club West Bromwich Albion give him. We asked the die-hard Baggie fan how proud he is to have that support?
“The fans are wicked you know. The people that come and support me from West Brom are brilliant and it’s great to have that support from the club itself as well. It’s a big thing and it’s helped my career.”
What’s your next route and where do you see yourself in 2020?
“The initial thought is to move up and look at avenues at super-middle. The loss is still very fresh in my mind but we haven’t really looked at what there is or know too much about what route to go down, but I think that’s the initial thought.
“By 2020, holding a title of some sort and still banging away. But I really want to be in some exciting fights and that’s what I want my career is remembered for.”
The TalkinBoxing with Billy C TV & Radio Show would like to thank Tommy for taking the time out for an interview. We wish you the best of luck and hope your back in the ring as planned by December.
Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21KOs) got back to his destructive knockout best when he became the first man to stop Russian Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24KOs) in the seventh round at Wembley Stadium, London, England.
After a slow and troublesome start the IBO, IBF, WBO and WBA World Heavyweight champion was able to re-adjust and finish off the 39-year-old veteran in seven rounds.
On a cold and wet evening in London 70,000 fans arrived with the expectation that Joshua would make light work of Povetkin, but to everyone’s dismay it was the Russian that started the brighter.
The opening exchanges were cagey as both fighters tried to feel their way into the fight. Joshua was working behind his jab targeting the body but it was Povetkin that landed an eye-catching uppercut that wobbled the champ right on the bell.
Joshua looked worried as he came out for the second round with a bloodied nose as a result of the Povetkin uppercut. The Russian was buoyed by the sight of blood and was a constant threat on the inside. A three punch combo which ended with a right hand won the round and silenced the thousands in attendance.
The champ found his range in the third managing the keep his menacing challenger behind a better, busier and more accurate jab.
In the fourth Povetkin continued to look dangerous but got caught with a well timed uppercut that opened a small gash on his left eye. Joshua continued to target the body but switched to the cut and got caught with a left hook.
‘AJ’ was definitely feeling more comfortable in the fifth sticking behind the jab but wasn’t looking for any big shots. He was either being extra cautious or maybe setting traps for later in the fight. Povetkin was now struggling to get in on the inside but did catch Joshua with a left at the bell.
British boxing’s golden boy was really starting to show his class by the sixth and you can’t help but be impressed with the way he adapted after a turbulent start. A right hand rocked the ‘Russian Vityaz’ who started to look a bit desperate.
Into the seventh round and Joshua followed up his left to the body with big right hand that rocked Povetkin back before landing a left. With the challenger in trouble he nailed him with another right, left combo that puts him down.
Povetkin shows amazing courage to get back on his feet but the referee should have probably stopped him from receiving further punishment. Joshua showed he’s learned from previous encounters as he patiently and brutally ends the fight with another right, left combo.
After his 22nd professional victory the unified Heavyweight Champion said:
“Povetkin is a very tough challenger, he proved that with good left hooks and counter punches,” said Joshua.
“I came in here to have fun, and give it my best. I knew he was strong to the head but weak to the body. I was just mixing it up.
“It could have been seven, maybe nine, maybe 12 rounds to get him out of there, but the ultimate aim was to be victorious. And I got my knockout streak back”.
When asked who he wanted next on April 13 back at Wembley Stadium, he said:
“If Dillian wants to fight here, he’s more than welcome. My number 1 choice is Wilder and my second…forget my second or third, we’ll leave it at that.”
I almost refrained myself from writing an article on the Golovkin-Canelo rematch but now I have had time to reflect and listen to other opinions I just had to write something about this excellent fight that will go down in boxing history for years to come.
Once the official scorecard was announced I have admit that my initial reaction was one of shock and dismay that none of three judges had scored in favour of the Ukrainian warrior. I completely neglected the spectacle that I had just witnessed and could only view the fight in a negative manor. I applauded Golovkin’s decision to snub the American broadcaster for an immediate interview as I marched up to bed in the early hours of the morning.
A few days on and time to reflect I have had to ask myself what made me so upset with the decision? I scored the fight in favour of Golovkin 7 rounds to 5 as did many but you couldn’t really argue either way. I still don’t believe that Canelo did enough on the night to win the titles from Golovkin but why was I so aggrieved? Was it the fact that justice was not served after the first meeting or was there another underlining issue?
Then it clicked, the last time I felt this bitter towards an athlete winning a well-matched contest was the day Usain Bolt missed out on a gold medal in the 100m final against Justin Gatlin in the Rio Olympics.
In 2001, Gatlin was banned from international competition for two years after testing positive for amphetamines. A banned substance that helps improve reaction time, fatigue resistance, and increased muscle strength. After a successful appeal he was reinstated by the IAAF.
Then in 2006 Gatlin tested positive a second time for testosterone which is used to increase athletic ability.
Gatlin accepted an eight-year ban from track and field, avoiding a lifetime ban but after an appeal his ban was reduced to 4 years. Some would say that was a worthwhile punishment, but I cannot condone any sort of cheating and believe he should have been banned for life which would have sent out a strong message. This is the reason why I was so angered when Gatlin defeated Bolt as I felt that justice was not served, and he should never have been in the race in the first place.
This takes me back to Canelo and his failed drugs test for Clenbuterol in February of this year which is a performance-enhancing drug (PED). The red-headed Mexican put his failed tests down to contaminated meats which is common in Mexico, look no further that the 2011 Under-17 football World Cup in Mexico where 109 players from multiple countries tested positive for this drug. FIFA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) did not prosecute any of those players as the weight of evidence pointed to contaminated meat.
Pro-Canelo fans will see this as a perfectly reasonable excuse but others including myself are sceptical. Whether you blame his team or Canelo himself is neither here nor there because he did fail the drug test not once but twice. Considering the millions of dollars that Canelo has at his disposal and the fact that contaminated Mexican meat is common and been in awareness for 7-years, is it just a coincidence that Canelo failed a drug test for the banned substance while preparing for the Golovkin rematch?
What is even more demoralising is the punishment that was dished out by the authorities to fellow Mexican boxer Erik Morales who was suspended for two years after testing positive for Clenbuterol in 2013. In December 2016 American heavyweight Eric Molina tested positive for the prohibited substance dexamethasone and was suspended for two years.
The double standards of the anti-doping authorities are clear to see as dexamethasone is not even a PED but a type of steroid medication that is usually used to aid an athlete’s rehabilitation.
Following Molina’s suspension, the UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead said:
“Every athlete is solely responsible for what is in their system and must adhere to the strict liability principle. All athletes at any level should familiarise themselves with Wada Prohibited List and ensure they do not put themselves in a position where they may breach anti-doing regulations.”
If the safety of our boxers is the main priority, then why has Molina been banned for 2 years while Canelo only gets 6-months and was still allowed to continue training during the suspension? This was a missed opportunity by the boxing authorities that could and should have made an example of Canelo. This is the real reason why I felt so p***ed off with the Golovkin defeat, a man that has been a credit to the sport and carries himself with the upmost respect has lost to a cheat in my opinion. The 6 Vegas judges over the 24 exhilarating rounds of boxing played only a small part in the disappointment.
With all that being said BBC’s Boxing voice Mike Costello put the whole controversy into perspective for me: “Blame Canelo for the crime but you can’t blame Canelo for the punishment.”
The fight itself was one for the ages but boxing needs a thorough investigation because let’s face it money is the driving force and not a fighter’s safety.
Matchroom boxing have announced a new show on October 27 at the Copper Box Arena, Hackney Wick, London which will be headlined by John Ryder (26-4, 14KOs) who takes on Russian Andrey Sirotkin (15-0, 4KOs) in a final eliminator for WBA World Super-Middleweight Title.
The Islington-based southpaw has a great chance of setting-up a world title fight against one of the WBA champions currently held by Super Champion George Groves and regular champion Rocky Fielding.
Ryder produced one of his career best performances when he knocked out Jamie Cox with a right hand within two-rounds on the Bellew-Haye 2 undercard.
His Russian opponent maybe undefeated in 15-fights but the 30-year-old will hope his greater experience and the home crowd backing will see him through.
Also on the show is a mouthwatering Super-Welterweight fight between Londoner Ted Cheeseman and Berkshire’s Asinia Byfield for the vacant British Title.
The press conference for the event went ahead today but Byfield did not make an appearance. Maybe the 29-year-old from Reading is attempting to start the mind-games early although Cheeseman made his feelings known, saying: “I just think he’s a bit rattled and he knows he’s in for a fight.”
Isaac Chamberlain takes on Luke Watkins in a Cruiserweight contest after both suffered their first defeats at the hands of Lawrence Okolie. Neither fighter will want to experience back-to-back loses which makes this an intriguing match-up.
In the Light-Heavyweight division Craig Richards of Crystal Palace will face Jake Ball for the WBA Inter-Continential Light-Heavyweight Championship. Both only have the one defeat on their professional records making this another close contest.
Ryan Doyle will be still buzzing from his excellent victory over Reece Bellotti earlier in the year has been pitched up against undefeated Jordan Gill for the Commonwealth Featherweight Championship strap.
Other fighters on the card include the aforementioned Reece Bellotti, Felix Cash, Martin J Ward, Louie Lynn, Charlie Duffield and George Fox.
Daniel Dubois (8-0, 8KOs) arrived in Moscow, Russia after Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24KOs) drafted in the Londoner for sparring to get ready for his first title fight since losing to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.
Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20KOs) makes his sixth title defence on September 22 at Wembley stadium against the Russian and the Watford fighter has drafted in a prospect of his own in Martin Bakole (11-0, 8KOs) – who is a Scotland-based Congolese heavyweight.
With the biggest fight of the year almost upon us the IBO, WBC & WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34KOs) expresses his disappointment towards the judges after first fight with Saul Alvarez (49-1-2, 34KOs).
The Kazakhstan voiced his opinion on the controversial first encounter that left most boxing fans bemused with two of the judges scorecards, especially judge Adalaide Byrd’s scorecard of (118-110) in Canelo’s favour. The 36-year-old said;
“The draw [in the first fight] was terrible. It was terrible for me. It was terrible for the people. Of course it was terrible for the sport … for the sport of boxing, because statistics showed I landed more punches. The fans saw I wanted to fight and Canelo did not want to fight.
“The fans who watched it live saw the judges bringing crazy scorecards. When the decision was announced, everyone was saying, ‘Oh, come on! This is not real! This is not true!’ Everybody was very mad because these people, the judges killed the sport that night.
“This time, the world will be watching the fight and the judges. Judges hurt the sport of boxing that day. Maybe the judges had a bad day. This is business.
“It is a new situation for me. This is my first rematch. I’m very excited because this fight is a completely different situation for us and for the fans. They get to see a fight with a real champion, two pound-for-pound champions. It is new. This is the biggest fight for boxing. I’m very happy because I am fighting at the highest level, the first class for boxing.
“Training camp with Abel Sanchez is always hard and exciting because Abel works me hard and he is always teaching me new things. What I have to prove I only have to prove to myself and no one else. My incentive is my desire to be my best when I fight and to be better than I have ever been before.
“Canelo is my most important fight because he is my next fight. That is the only thing that makes Canelo special. There was nothing special about him in the first fight. He did not fight Mexican Style like he promised. Over the last twelve months, Canelo has showed everyone his true self.”
It’s hard to disagree with Golovkin’s recent statement but that result must be put to one side with the rematch only weeks away. It is clear to see that ‘Triple G’ is still rightfully frustrated with the outcome but he now has the chance to correct the wrong when he finally locks horns with the Mexican on September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
If Golovkin can channel that anger and transfer it into the ring then it could end up being a very short and painful night for Canelo. Let’s just hope that the right man wins on the night and judges Glenn Feldman, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld can do a better job in Golovkin-Canelo 2.
British lightweight sensation Lewis Ritson (16-0, 10KOs) will take on Francesco Patera (19-3, 7KOs) of Belgium for the vacant European title at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England on October 13.
The 24-year-old will first take an 8-round warm-up fight against an unnamed opponent on the Khan-Vargas undercard next weekend. Some may suggest that fighting 5 weeks before a major bout is risky but Ritson is like a throwback fighter from yesteryear who will sensibly take it in his stride.
Ritson – also known as ‘Sandman’ because he puts people to sleep – is a down to earth Geordie who was applying for work in a factory only one year ago but is now a Newcastle hero on the verge of national stardom.
“I’ve dealt with all the top operators at domestic level and now it’s time to announce myself on the European stage,” said Ritson, who secured the British belt outright with a first-round knockout of Paul Hyland Jnr in June.
“I’m feeling unstoppable right now and I’m ready to take on anyone that gets put in front of me.
“The Metro Radio Arena is my fortress and nobody is beating me in my backyard. The noise my fans make inside the arena is incredible, it’s like there’s two of me in the ring.
“Patera has held the European belt so we know that he poses a real threat and I’ll have to be at my best to get past him. I’ve been told there’s not much between Patera and Tatli in terms of ability and style. Patera looks big at the weight and is a busy fighter, I’m expecting an exciting fight.
“He’s a good opponent, but it’s nothing we don’t think we can handle on the night. I feel like I am improving with every fight and with the form that I’m in, I’m confident of beating anyone.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I was completely blown away with what I saw both in and out of the ring last time we were in Newcastle.
“Lewis Ritson has fast become one of the most popular and exciting fighters in British boxing and now he gets an opportunity to challenge for a European title. He has cleared up domestically and this is the next step.”
It won’t be long before Ritson is selling out St James’ Park 52,000 seater stadium if he can continue knocking out opponents at European level. Keep a close eye on the career of Ritson as he rises through the ranks of a staked lightweight division that includes two of the best pound for pound fighters in the world today – Vasiliy Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia.