FRANK WARREN’S SCRAPBOOK – 4.5.16
It is quite a week of contrasts for BoxNation, the fight fans’ favourite TV sports channel.
Next Saturday night our cameras and incomparable commentary team will be at the sparkling new mega-stadium in Las Vegas, the T-Mobile Arena, for the most fascinating fight in a decade or more, when Bolton’s braveheart Amir Khan piles on the pounds, and pockets a good few million dollars, to attempt to wrestle the WBC world middleweight title from the iron grip of the mighty Mexican Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Last weekend it was a different sort of fistic treat, with a terrific show, something of a boxing marathon, from the Copper Box in London’s Olympic Park that provided the very best in grass roots boxing.
There, among several great scraps, we witnessed what might well end as the fight of the year between Jamie Conlan and Anthony Nelson for the South Shields man’s Commonwealth super-flyweight title. Both these little guys fought well beyond the call of duty in a classic contest of ups and downs. If you blinked you missed a knockdown.
In the end, Belfast’s Conlan claimed the title in the eighth with a crippling left hook to the body – and interestingly, body punches were a feature of the night’s boxing, which was good to see. They have become something of a forgotten art.
Great wins too for the Walsh twins, Ryan and Liam. They sold a lot of tickets and I would love to put them on in Cromer, their hometown in Norfolk, or thereabouts, but unfortunately there really is no suitable venue in that part of the world. Why not? Local authorities should do something.
It is a great shame because they are both terrific attractions and their trainer Graham Everett has done a fine job. He is much understated as a coach, but he certainly knows how to get results.
It was a difficult fight for bill-topper Hughie Fury. He claimed a technical decision after getting cut by an accidental head clash in the sixth. Opponent Fred Kassi was an awkward customer. It would have been easy to sort Hughie out with a two-round knock over, but he knows he has to meet these sort of guys, and deal with them if he is to make the progress of which we all feel he is capable.
He was in control of the fight at all times, winning every round. Kassi was the man who most thought beat IBF champion Anthony Joshua’s next opponent Dominic Breazeale, but was robbed of the decision.
As Peter Fury said, it was a good test for Hughie at this level. Guys like that are going to make him think but, at the end of the day, he has to let that big shot go. It’s a shame he got a cut but he’s got himself a belt (the WBO Inter-Continental title) and a world ranking.
In heavyweight terms, he is still a baby at just 21 years of age.
It will take time for the cut to heal and it is a good time for batteries to be recharged because I am certain that he has a tremendous future ahead of him.
Meantime, we look forward to Khan v Canelo and the build-up to it during what really is a special week for BoxNation.
Later, in addition to this weekend’s blockbuster, we will have Deontay Wilder’s WBC title defence against Alexander Povetkin in Moscow and of course the real deal in the heavyweight championship, Tyson Fury’s return with Wladimir Klitschko.
In coming weeks too BoxNation will exclusively be showing Liam Smith’s WBO super-welterweight title defence in Liverpool and the Roman Martinez – Vasyl Lomachenko world super-featherweight clash at Madison Square Garden.
Great names, great venues. As part of our Top Rank exclusive output deal we will also screen Terrance Crawford’s fight, expected to be against fellow light-welterweight champion Viktor Postol.
Yes, all the world’s top fighters can be seen on BoxNation. The Channel of Champions is really living up to its name.
Khan he do it? More from Frank’s Scrapbook tomorrow