Come on champ, let’s have a spot of lunch

posted on: 20/03/2016

ALAN HUBBARD’S PUNCHLINES – 20.3.16

For obvious reasons Tyson Fury is not enamoured of the media but it is disappointing that he has snubbed an invitation from the Boxing Writers’ Club to be honoured at one of our traditional lunches for British world champions.

The message back from his people is that he is unhappy with the press because the Sports Writers’ Association rescinded an invitation to him to attend their annual awards lunch in December.

Tyson Fury

This followed a run-in with a Sunday newspaper columnist over an interview in which it was claimed he made the homophobic comments which got him into hot water with the Board of Control.

Apparently some of my more precious colleagues on the SJA objected to his presence. I did not agree with them and declined to attend the lunch myself.

The SJA and the BWC are totally different organisations, though some of us are members of both.

Boxing writers have been fulsome in their praise of his win against Klitschko hence the invitation to our lunch.

I have had a few heated exchanges with Tyson myself over his intemperate language but I am more than happy to break bread with him out of respect for his achievement.

Tyson’s uncle Peter has proved a wise counsellor so maybe he can have a word in his nephew’s shell-like. The invitation remains open.

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Vis-a-vis those visas

What is it with boxers and visas? Hard then heels of the cock-up over Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux comes the refusal by the British Home Officer to grant visas to four of the five members of the Moroccan Atlas Lions team due to face the British Lionhearts in a BoxNation-screened World Series of Boxing clash in London last week. So it had to be called off.

It transpires that Rigondeaux’s team were at fault for his failure to get the proper documentation in time to fight Jazza Dickens in Liverpool but who is to blame for the WSB foul-up?

No-one is saying anything, least of all the Home Office, which gives rise to the thought that there may well be something more sinister to it than mere forms not being properly filled in.

I think we should be told. But it seems we never will be. Wonder why?

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On the road to Rio

Good luck to Nicola Adams, Britain’s 2012 golden girl as she sets out to secure a place in the Rio Olympics at the European qualifying event in Turkey next month.

Nicola Adams

She is one of a GB squad of 10 men and three women selected for the tournament which starts in Samsun on April 8.

Adams is joined by three more 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallists – Joe Joyce, Antony Fowler and Savannah Marshall – and reigning European champion Joe Cordina.

The tournament in Turkey represents the first of three chances for the men’s team to qualify for Rio, while the women will have one more opportunity via the World Championships in Kazakhstan in May.

It is a complicated process made even more so now by the fatuous scheme of AIBA president Dr C K Wu to allowe fully-fledged pros into the Games.

Of course this does not affect the wpmen’s tournament – yet.

A far worthier innovation, in my view, would be for Olympic champions like Nicola to be allowed to defend their titles, should they wish to do so, without having to go through the qualification process.

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BoxNation a points winner

Ok, so this is Frank Warren’s website and I am open to being accused of bias. But here goes anyway…

Ko’d by a nasty virus I was unable to get to Liverpool for the Flanagan-Mathews bill last weekend. So I tuned in to BoxNation’ coverage from tea-time though to the last bell.

It was a terrific production all-round. The commentary team of Alex Steedman and Richie Woodhall gave intelligent, well-measured assessments of every fight without irritatingly talking over the punches. And there was none of what I have termed Skyperbole in favour of the house fighters.

Flanagan v Mathews

Buncey was, well, Buncey, and sidekick pundit Steve Lillis, as always, had done his research like the good journalist he is. It was a pleasure to watch, and to listen to.

Well done chaps.

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FIGHTING TALK

If you want to get this city out of a dump you better vote on Trump. OK.

Mike Tyson surprises New Yorkers with his choice of presidential candidate

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Now I’ve become a world champion I’ve grown in myself and grown in my beliefs. Nobody is invincible, you only have to look at Tyson Fury who went over and done Klitschko in his back garden

Billy Joe Saunders reckons he has the measure of Gennady Golvkin once he disposes of ‘Mad Max’ Bursak at the Copper Box next month.

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He says this is his last fight. You can take that with a grain of salt, though. I think he believes it’s going to be his last fight. But I’m not saying it’s his last fight. This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve had a lot of fighters tell me this is their last fight and six months later they’re back in the ring. I had a fighter who retired at a press conference and half an hour later he unretired.

Veteran impresario Bob Arum doubts whether Manny Pacquiao will be ringing the last bell against Timothy Bradley

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I have learned this is a sport you can’t mess around in

Mitchell Smith

Mitchell Smith recognises that losing to George Jupp was his wake-up call

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People shouldn’t worry over who’s doing what with my son. The main thing everyone should appreciate is more fights & max viewing for fans!!

Peter Fury tweets his approval of unbeaten heavyweight son Hugh;s promotional deal with Frank Warren

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He still thinks he beat Billy Joe Saunders. He’s deluded. Billy boxed his head off for the first six or seven rounds, won every one of them, and then his fitness let him down. If he’d been fitter, he’d have won every round.You’d think a defeat like that would make him a bit more humble and realise he’s nothing special, but it doesn’t seem to have worked.

Nick Blackwell is dismissive of Chris Eubank jnr ahead of their British title fight at Wembley next week.

Tomorrow: The Big Interview with Ovill McKenzie

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