How boxing helped Slugger Sadiq’s title victory in London

posted on: 08/05/2016

At least one Brit named Khan has scored a knockout victory in a catchweight contest over a bigger opponent this weekend.

Sadiq Khan

Labour MP Sadiq Khan – no relation to Amir – won his fight to become London’s – and western Europe’s – first Muslim mayor. Which, politics apart, is great news for boxing for, as we revealed here recently, he is a genuine and passionate fight fan.

Sadiq, built like a super-bantamweight, clobbered the six-foot plus heavyweight Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith in the polls and he reckons boxing training helped him keep fit and fresh for the electoral fray.

He works out regularly on the punchbag and trained as youngster with Earlsfield ABC , Frank Bruno’s alma mater, in south London. And while he never actually fought in the ring, three of his six brothers did and one of them, popularly known as Sid, is now the club’s head coach.

“I’m an avid boxing enthusiast,“ Sadiq assured me before the election.

“My youngest brother Khalid was an ABA champion and so was my nephew Arun. I trained at Earlsfield for many years to keep fit and grew to love the sport, although to be honest I was more of cricketer and footballer. My brothers used to tease me that I was scared to get my nose hit.”

Bus driver’s son Khan, 45, MP for Tooting, shares Amir’s Pakistani heritage and sent a message wishing him well in his Las Vegas mega-fight last night.

Sadiq follows the sport closely. He says he loves the atmosphere at York Hall and tells me his favourite fighter is Queensberry’s Bradley Skeete, who also happens to be a graduate of the Earlsfield academy.

The new mayor says one of his first sporting missions will be to attend a         boxing show in London.

No doubt Frank Warren will be happy to oblige with a ringside seat when ‘Super’ Skeete, the stylish British and Commonwealth welterweight champion, is next in action.

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Another predictable Evening With The Hayemaker

They are calling it Haye Day at the O2 on Saturday May 21 but if the crowd is anything like the one which witnessed the return of the Hayemaker at the same venue in January then maye it should be re-titled:”An Evening With David Haye…” After those OTT celeb-fest ITV love-ins.

David Haye

The O2 is fast becoming a luvvie-land for boxing with the appearances of Anthony Joshua and Haye, whose audiences primarily do not seem to be fight fans but jack-the-lads and their lasses on a ‘clubbing’ night out.

Nothing wrong with that. The sport can do with all the youthful spectators it can get and they certainly seem to be a moneyed crowd at up to a grand a throw.

For their added pleasure on May 21 they will how get a ‘guest’ appearance by the shouty Shannon Briggs who finally has bawled his way on to an undercard bout against a former European heavyweight champion Alexander Dimitrenko.

One hopes the Board of Control won’t regret giving 44-year-old greybeard Briggs a license to fight here in view of his dodgy medical history, particularly as his 6ft 7in German-based Ukrainian opponent looks an infinitely better fighter than unbeaten but unknown Kosovan Arnold ‘The Cobra’ Gjerjaj handpicked by Haye to take an early bath in his second comeback fight.

There seems little doubt that Briggs is being lined up to provide the opposition for the next Evening With David Haye.

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DeGale must win friends as well as fights

Good to see James DeGale continuing to flourish the British flag in Washington last weekend with a win over Mexican Rogelio Medina in defence of his IBF super-middleweight title, but not so good to see how he failed to win friends in doing so.

James Degale

The boos and jeers from the sparse crowd were not because of a controversial result – it wasn’t – but DeGale’s bad attitude.

OK so may he can plead he was reacting to an unpleasant spitting incident when Medina claimed he was headbutted in the eleventh, but overall his display throughout was laced with an arrogance the US audience clearly did not appreciate.

Pulling faces, showboating, sticking your tongue out, showing a lack of respect was not the way to go about winning friends and influencing the fans in the US where you are now largely earning your considerable crust.

C’mon Chunky, you’re better than that.

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FIGHTING TALK

Don’t rush him too quick. I know he’s got through his 16th fight. He’s a champion already. What worries me is his people want to push him to make big money right away. It’s quicker to get there but it’s a long way down. I know how the English people train fighters and expect the most out of them so I hope they don’t push him too far or give him too much hype. It’s a long way down if something was to go wrong.

Marvin Hagler

A word from the wise – Marvelous Marvin Hagler on how to handle Anthony Joshua.

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I was beating George Foreman when this guy was still learning to read! Once I’ve knocked him out, I’ll focus on taking David Haye down in his home town.

So now we know. The ever-mouthy Shannon Briggs is obviously set up to fight the Hayemaker once he (hopefully) disposes of Alexander Dimintrenko on May 21.

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DeGale kept talking about how he was coming to knock me out, but all he did was run all night. He should be a track athlete.

Rogelio Medina obviously believed he was in need of a pacemaker in Washington.

Bullshit! Things happen. It’s a dirty business’

Badou Jack reacts bitterly after being awarded a dubious majority draw against Lucien Bute. We’ve got to get new judges. Decisions like this are bad for the sport of boxing.

Many now agree with Floyd Mayweather jnr that some judges simply don’t know the score –or how to.

I don’t hate Joshua. I don’t dislike him. I like the guy. He’s doing well, he’s got a good body. I bet he’s got a big c***. Probably, I wish I had it.

Who else but Tyson Fury would publicly acknowledge that size matters?

Tomorrow: The Big Interview with Jamie Conlan: ‘My nine lives are running out!’’

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