It’s sock around the clock for 2017

posted on: 04/01/2017

ALAN HUBBARD’S PUNCHLINES – 4.1.17

Ding, ding! The bell has sounded for 2017 and though a punch has yet to be thrown in earnest we can anticipate a very happy and ever-more prosperous New Year for boxing.

It is certainly going to be an extremely busy and exciting one with some terrific fights already secured and the coming union of BoxNation and BT ensuring that there will be great ring action for the game’s night owls and early birds.

With so many events now being lined up across the globe – and time zones – it will surely be a case of sock around the clock for hard core fight fans. I anticipate there will be some live screenings morning, noon and night – and of course the middle of the night.

Boxing’s renaissance continues – not that you would notice from the Honours List or annual sports awards.

I agree with Frank Warren that boxing has had it has been given short shrift in the Honours List, just as it was in the compilation of the BBCs ‘long’ shortlist’ of 16 for the SPOTY awards.

Boxing has never been higher in the estimation of the public or politicians.  Odd that.

And you could argue that currently it is Britain’s most successful individual sport.

Amir Khan

What is particularly irksome is that Amir Khan remains snubbed, not even a measly MBE despite being Britain’s youngest-ever Olympic boxing medallist at 17 in Athens 15 years ago, subsequently a former world champion and someone who has worked hard to bridge the racial divide and contributed so much in time and money to charitable work here and overseas.

Could it be that recent revelations about that acrimonious family feuding ruled him out yet again? If so, that’s a shame.

The last year was one of ups and downs for boxing – aptly enough for the fight game but I anticipate that Britain’s world domination will, not only continue, but probably escalate.

Looking into Old Hubbard’s Almanac for 2017 I’ll predict some apple carts being upset. Such as: Wladimir Klitschko being a tad too ringwise for Anthony Joshua; David Haye flattening Tony Bellew inside five rounds and Hughie Fury, providing he gets the opportunity on home territory, outboxing the New Zealander Joseph Parker for cousin Tyson’s relinquished title.

And as for Tyson himself, if he can get himself together, and convince the mind medics and the Board that he’s fit to fight, he could be a world heavyweight champion again by the end of the year. I reckon he might get it on with Deontay Wilder.

Terry Flanagan

 

Fights I’d pay to watch in 2017: Terry Flanagan against Luke Campbell or Anthony Crolla – or better still Vasyl Lomachenko if FW can entice the brilliant Ukrainian over here; Amir Khan against Kell Brook, still a big money natural despite both having suffered spectacular defeats to Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez respectively; and Golovkin against Alvarez –providing of course, Canelo fails to complete a straight hat-trick of victories over battling Brits as mandatory challenger for Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO middleweight title.

However there is one fight I won’t pay to see – certainly not at the ppv fee of £20 as tweeted from Planet Eubank for his prodigal son’s meaningless IBO world fight on ITV against Aussie nonentity Renold Quinlan.

This surely confirms Chris snr is off his rocker. I’d want change out of a pound for that one…

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Conlan points way for change

Remember how Michael Conlan launched a furious, expletive-laden tirade live on Irish TV immediately after he dropped a highly disputed points verdict to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin?

Michael Conlan

Ireland’s reigning world amateur bantamweight champion called AIBA officials “f****** cheats” and “cheating b******s” during his post-fight interview, and even tweeted Russian president Vladimir Putin to ask: “Hey Vlad. How much did they charge you bro?”.

He also made a one-fingered gesture to the judges and claimed that amateur boxing “stinks from the core to the very top”.

That outburst so angered the world governing body that they fined him the maximum 10,000 Swiss francs (£7,863).

However that one-fingered gesture quickly became two as AIBA will never collect the fine because 25-year-old Colan has turned pro with Top Rank.

However it seems that they got Conlan’s message. AIBA chief Dr C K Wu was so shaken he has ordered several changes in personnel and scoring. All 36 referees and judges used at the Rio Olympics were suspended pending an investigation into the judging in several bouts, including Conlan’s and the dubious defeat of Britain’s Joe Joyce in the super-heavyweight final.

An independent Swiss Timing electronic draw system will now be used to select the judges for each bout with the Draw Commission replaced by a single official overseeing this technology.

All five of their scorecards will be used to determine the winner, instead of just three.

Judges will also be placed on all four sides of the ring, while another change will see scores for each round only declared at the conclusion of a bout rather than at the ends of the rounds.

These changes will come into operation at all tournaments this year.

Not that they will make a scrap of difference.

FIGHTING TALK

In the end I thought I’ll end up drinking myself to death because I was so miserable. I was coming off the rails with my drinking and that led to drugs. It was like a runaway train. I don’t think I’ve ever replaced the game – there’s nothing that will ever replace getting in the ring with 60,000 people at the City of Manchester stadium chanting your name.” You can take on the world in the ring but this problem called depression, you can’t take it on.

Hatton v Tsyzu

Britain’s Hatton lands a punch on Australian Tszyu during their IBF World Championship title fight in Manchester. Britain’s Ricky Hatton lands a punch on Australian Kostya Tszyu (L) during their IBF light welterweight World Championship title fight at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester, June 5, 2005. REUTERS/Darren Staples
Reuters / Picture supplied by Action Images *** Local Caption *** RBBORH2005060500115.jpg

Ricky Hatton on the difficulty of coming to terms with life after boxing.

Brook is a fight that I would love to have. I have changed my mind because of the Triple G fight. Kell was smart taking that fight. He knew he was going to get beat but he still took it because he knew he was going to get paid well and make a name for himself.

Why Amir Khan is now keen on a long overdue domestic dust-up with Kell Brook

She is crazy woman who is playing with Amir’s mind. My son has told her to keep quiet but she’s showed him no respect and keeps spouting off.

Amir’s estranged dad Shah Khan highlights another type of ‘domestic dust-up’ which is overshadowing the now 30-year-old former world champ’s career.

I don’t know whether people are giving him false information or he’s just a tit…I wouldn’t give him air space because he’s got this poxy event on which is actually a disgrace.

Eddie Hearn declines to debate with Chris Eubank about whether his son’s forthcoming ITV fight is worth twenty quid on ppv.

Merry Christmas guys. I’ve had a nightmare 2016, done a lot of stuff l’m not proud of but my promise to you is I’ll return in 2017 and take over.

New Year’s resolution from Tyson Fury. Let’s hope he keeps it.

Josh Warrington

It is exciting, with Frank (Warren) teaming up with BT and moving forward with those guys, it looks like he really wants to push on in making that work.It seems like he is going to give it a real good go, signing a few new fighters – me being one of them – and I am excited to be part of the team. I want to be getting the big fights and I think this is the best way for me.

Northern star Josh Warrington believes he can help the BoxNation-BT combo light up the New Year

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