FRANK WARREN’S SCRAPBOOK – 5.2.16
The prize acquisition of the fabulous Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, one of the world’s finest boxers, as well as the power-punching South African superstar Zolani Tete to the line-up of the ‘Tale of Two Cities’ bill now on March 12 at the Liverpool Echo Arena, underlines our determination to bring the world’s best to Britain and why BoxNation truly is the Channel of Champions.
The undefeated, silky-skilled Rigondeaux is the supreme super-bantamweight, a double Olympic gold medalist who coined his nom-de-guerre of The Jackal while Carl Frampton was still a cub. In his UK debut he flexes his considerable muscles in a ten rounder against Liverpool’s own ambitious Jazza Dickens, who has grabbed the opportunity to create a real-life Rocky scenario for himself.
The equally classy southpaw super-flyweight Tete, whose power-punching was last seen here brutally blemishing Paul Butler’s unbeaten record, also brings another liberal sprinkling of spice and quality to the undercard of Terry Flanagan’s WBO world lightweight title defence against Derry Mathews .
Hopefully the appearance of such top drawer fighters will help compensate for the postponement from February 13.
Incidentally, real trouper that he is, Mathews took it on the chin when he learned that his challenge to new champ Flanagan had to be put back a month. But he vows that is one thing he will not be doing on the new date at his home-town arena.
“It is just delaying the inevitable,” he declares.”There is no way Flanagan is going to knock me out as he boasts he will.; I’m taking that belt with both hands.”
‘Dirty’ Derry, as he likes to label himself, may be frustrated, but he certainly isn’t fazed. Now preparing for his 50th contest the 32-year-old Merseysider has one of the strongest mindsets in the business.
He’s been there, done it and has a drawfull of T-shirts to prove it..
Flanagan’s second defence has had to be postponed because he suffered severe tendonitis in his left foot which has left him unable to train.
Mathews initially queried whether the injury was genuine, and whether ‘Turbo’ Terry ’was playing mind games.
However I can assure him that the injury is 100 per cent genuine. Flanagan, a true warrior, is gutted – it was the first time he has had to pull out of a fight – and so am I.
It has been a wretched 12 months for postponements of world title fights: For us it was first Chudinov v Buglioni, then Lee v Saunders and now this one. They say bad luck come threes so hopefully this is the end of it.
It is a real pain for everyone but I want boxers to be 100 per cent fighting fit, and so I am sure do the fans.
Understandably Flanagan feels he needs to be in perfect condition as he is putting it all on the line in his opponent’s back yard in what is sure to be a cracking contest, and by no means a foregone conclusion.
It is one that will be worth the wait. Though Flanagan will start favourite there is no way Mathews can be written off.
D not only stands for Dirty Derry. It also stands for Danger
Tomorrow: Hubbard’s Cupboard on boxing’s Buffer zone.