Too much ado about ITV’s pay-per-view

posted on: 07/02/2017

ALAN HUBBARD’S PUNCHLINES – 7.2.16

Eubank Jr v Quinlan

Much against my better judgement I forked out five pence short of a tenner to watch ITV’s boxing pay-per-view debut on Saturday.

Unlike many other customers I did manage to get the show on the box without too many technical hitches, though it did require filling in the sort of irritating on-screen info that makes a tax return seem simple.

“Teething troubles” claimed ITV, but apparently for some it was a bit like pulling those teeth.

Was it worth the money? Personally I don’t think so. It was a decent enough bill, but one which fell far short of Box Office material. Privately ITV chiefs said it was “experimental”.

What you saw was what you got. Erase the hype and the hoopla at London’s Olympia – which aptly enough once housed the Bertram Mills circus – what we had was a thoroughly predictable performance from a young man who claims to be the most exciting fighter in the land, no, hold on, the world.

Whatever else he may be, Chris Eubank jnr is not short of the egotistical manure his old man used to dish out by the bucketload.

ITV wheeled out the big guns in Andre Ward and Lennox Lewis for uncontroversial on-camera punditry but overall the patchy presentation fell below that of BoxNation and Sky. And what the commentary team studiously failed to remind us was that the IBO super-middleweight title (or any other IBO ‘world’ title) holds about much credence as a backdated voucher for British Home Stores.

And of course, for Eubank snr, the son shines out of his proverbial backside, believing that his pugilistic prodigal can beat everyone from Godzilla to Golovkin.

He also reckoned he would ‘wipe out’ Andre Ward (a light-heavyweight) who did not appear to be quaking in his boots at ringside.

There’s no doubt that dad’s lad has great talent, including some of Chris snr’s clout and shout, but what he clearly doesn’t have is real punching power, the sort that could wipe the smile off Golovkin’s face.

Junior reckons he sees holes in Triple G’s defence that he would ’walk through’. Hmm, dream on, baby.

He should have disposed of inadequate Aussie Renold Quinlan much sooner that the ten rounds it took referee before Howard Foster stepped in.

Eubank has an impressive armoury of punches but he toiled at times, charmlessly posturing like pater, and he got clipped more often than was comfortable by such an inferior foe.

That said, Eubank jnr, like ITV, is a welcome presence on the British boxing scene. He excites the crowds in with similar charisma and chutzpah to his father.

But it would be interesting to see what he can do in his own right should he ever manage to shake off the ever-present shadow of his old man hovering shamelessly and vicariously behind his every move.

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A Price drop too far

I have known and liked big David Price since his days as GB’s Olympic captain and Beijing Olympics bronze medallist, so it was sad to see his pro career finally collapse on Saturday.

David Price

There surely can be no ring rehab after the giant Scouser’s stoppage defeat by Tyson Fury victim Christian Hammer – the fourth time he has been thumped out in 21 bouts, albeit on the three other occasions by opponents who later failed drugs tests.

It was a brutal Brexit for him in this WBO European heavyweight title bout and it is no use going back to the drawing board as there is no room left on it.

The 33-year-old Price was far too heavy at almost 20st and the stamina he had totally evaporated after he had put the German-based Romania on the deck. His conditioning appeared awful.

Such a shame. And such a bad weekend for Liverpool. Hull for the Reds and hell for Price.

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Povetkin still on the pill

The B-sample of Alexender Povetkin being returned positive will have come as a shock to absolutely nobody in boxing circles and beyond.

Alexander Povetkin

Not when the spectre of state-sponsored doping hangs over Russian sport like a dirty cloud.

The 31-1 heavyweight and former world champion, who was somehow permitted to proceed with a non-title bout against late sub Johann Dahaupas after falling foul of the testers, will surely not be re-entered into any rankings any time soon.

As promoter Frank Warren points out, the biggest pity is that a whole generation of Russian athletes are now, perhaps unjustly, being tarred with the same brush.

Damned if they do and damned even if they don’t.

“I don’t know what is happening over there and it is such a shame,” lamented the Hall of Famer. “They have some great athletes and fighters, but obviously there is this massive cloud hanging over not just boxing, but all sport in the country.”

There is, however, one group of sportsmen in Russia that appear to do their level best to avoid accusations of seeking an unfair advantage.

Cast your mind back to Euro 2016 and it would be a bit far-fetched to suggest the Russian national team were popping performance enhancing drugs. If they did, it is to be hoped they asked for a receipt and got a refund.

On this basis, the England football team are also completely in the clear.

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Twitter-tattle

ITV PPV??? Price nothing new” Eubanks guy feet like treacle & defence of a dart player. 11 fight, novice. Commentary blow job at times.

Like his nephew, trainer Peter Fury pulls no punches when expressing his opinion

C’mon @EddieHearn, PPV isn’t the holy grail or the mountain top. Limits viewers, fails to build new fans and separates people from their $

US promoter Lou DiBella obviously has his own his own perspective on PPV

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They said what?…

He could not make it as a boxing promoter – think about that. But now he is president of the United States… he most definitely promoted himself into the presidency in exactly the same way he promoted fights and has promoted himself his whole life. He could say things and it would sound outrageous but by the time he got through it was the truth

Kathy Duva, America’s first lady of promoting who claims, she, her late husband Lou and Bob Arum were ‘swindled’ out of £2.5 million by Donald Trump in a promotional deal over the Evander Holyfield-George Foreman fight.

I’ve had over 200 amateur fights. I just have to adapt a little more for the times of the rounds and we’ve been working hard on slowing down my feet, getting more power in my punches. I know everyone wants to beat me, but they’ve got to get in the ring and put their money where their mouth is. I’m ready

Nicola Adams OBE

Fighting talk from Nicola Adams as she embarks on her pro career

I‘m sick of hearing his (Lee Selby’s) name. If the contract gets put to me tomorrow I’ll sign it no problem. If he comes to Leeds he’s getting beat, simple as that.

How Josh Warrington views a possible domestic match-up with the IBF world featherweight champion

I’d have to slightly favour Klitschko because he has the experience but the question is whether Klitschko really has the desire to put his body through it all again, especially with the inactivity after being beaten by Tyson (Fury). It all depends on what sort of Klitschko turns up on the night, but if we get a 100 per cent Klitschko then I think Joshua will have problems

Astute assessment from Lennox Lewis on Wembley’s upcoming super-fight

Saunders is starving at the moment…. No fans. Fighting in Leisure centres in front of 300 people. He needs to fight and we all want that fight. Me more than anybody

Arrogant as always, Chris Eubank jnr seems determined to get his nemesis Billy Joe’s dander up. Perhaps he should beware the hungry fighter…

This is the first promotional deal I have signed since turning professional, I have never been affiliated with a set promoter for any part of my career. Whereas now it is about Frank Warren looking after me. It is a turning point in my career

British champion Tyrone Nurse, another Queensberry newby, explains why he has opted for the groundbreaking BoxNation-BT union

Tomorrow: Frank Warren’s pungent views on the boxing scene

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