The Pugilist

  • Remembering Emile Griffith, 1938-2013

    Griffith in his heyday, posing for action and then delivering the fatal stoppage to Paret (photos: Getty)

    Emile Griffith was one of the toughest guys in one of the toughest sports on Earth, a kind man who wasn't so kind in the ring.

    He was one of the best fighters in an era loaded with elite fighters and, despite his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, was never given the credit he was due.

    Rather, Griffith, who died Tuesday in New York at 75, will sadly best be remembered for killing rival Benny Paret in the ring during a nationally televised welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York.

    Griffith and Paret had split their first two bouts, when they met

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  • The world of boxing was stunned on Tuesday when news emerged that Billy 'Gypsy Boy' Smith had killed himself.

    He was 35.

    Smith, born in Kidderminster but based in Llanelli for many years, has played a huge role in British boxing. The journeyman light middleweight travelled the country for years, and fighting Billy was seen as an almost inevitable step for boxers making their way through the ranks with everyone from Gavin Rees to Ricky Burns taking him on.

    Being a key rung on the ladder for aspiring fighters to climb meant that he took part in a huge number of fights, and he was set to box in his

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  • Where can Dereck Chisora go from here?

    Whether you like him or absolutely loathe him, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy Dereck Chisora in action.

    Over the last five years, I’ve heard umpteen different reasons why fans take pleasure in seeing ‘Del Boy’ fail.

    Some of those reasons are understandable: his lack of passion for the sport, his run-ins with the law, his behaviour in Germany last year. Others – such as him being born in Zimbabwe, not Britain – are frankly ridiculous.

    Even when you take all of the above off the table, however, people pay attention to what he does. His uncompromising, one-dimensional, military tank-like

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  • Mayweather lays out Pacquiao requirements

    Floyd Mayweather was in an engaging mood following a strenuous workout at the Mayweather Boxing Club on Thursday, only the fourth day of training camp in preparation for his September 14 mega-bout with Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand Garden.

    In a wide-ranging interview at his gym with Yahoo! Sports, Mayweather talked about what it would take to arrange a fight with Manny Pacquiao, his opinion of Alvarez following their lengthy media tour, whether he really is interested in fighting beyond the five bouts remaining on his current contract, the making of the Danny Garcia-Lucas Matthysse fight

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  • Mayweather’s secret is hard work

    Floyd Mayweather was on his back on the mat in his gym, ready to move on to another exercise several hours after he began, and four days short of two months from his bout against Canelo Alvarez on September 14 at the MGM Grand Garden.

    Rafael Garcia, the wise sage of The Money Team, is 84 years old and perfectly willing to tell the boss when enough is enough. Garcia has spent more than 60 years of his life in boxing and understands the toll a hard training camp can take on a fighter's body.

    Mayweather frequently pushes himself beyond normal limits, as if he were an 18-year-old hoping to catch

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  • Meet the only man to stop David Haye in a pro bout

    On September 28th at the Manchester Arena, Tyson Fury will attempt to do what Carl Thompson did nine years ago and stop David Haye.

    Close to a decade later, the Hayemaker has unified cruiserweight titles and bagged world honours in boxing’s flagship division. The Cat retired after one more fight in 2005 and remembers well the last big win of his career away at Wembley.

    As a still-amazingly-fit Thompson relaxes after back-to back training sessions at his Round 1 Boxing gym in Horwich, the memories of his final stunning upset come flooding back.

    “What people always forgot was that I loved

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  • Rigondeaux needs to start swinging if he wants to be a hit

    Three months from the most significant win of his professional career, Guillermo Rigondeaux sits idle, no bouts scheduled, his future uncertain.

    He's learning that, indeed, a near-perfect night could turn out disastrous.

    Rigondeaux defeated Nonito Donaire on April 13 in an HBO-televised match at Radio City Music Hallin New York, a bout that was largely designed to be a jumping off point to bigger and better things for Donaire.

    But Donaire showed – and not for the first time – a complete lack of understanding of how to fight a southpaw, and Rigondeaux boxed him into oblivion.

    A two-time

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  • Photo: WBC

    You would think that a world title unification bout between unbeaten boxers Floyd Mayweather – the world’s pound-for-pound number one – and hot prospect Saul Alvarez would be lucrative enough.

    The WBC, however, feel the fight needed a little something extra on top of a huge winner’s purse, unified champion status and the right to claim to be the best boxer in the world today.

    As a result, whoever wins the September 14 megafight between ‘Money’ Mayweather and ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will be presented with a ‘one of a kind’, 24-carat gold ‘trophy’ belt.

    The superficial prize will be the first boxing

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  • Curtis Stevens determined to realise his potential

    Curtis Stevens (Imago)

    There is an impatience among boxing people that is hard to figure. After investing time and money in a prospect, all too often he's written off after a disappointing loss or two.

    Curtis Stevens is no longer a hotshot prospect promoters are drooling over. He's a veteran who has yet to win a world title or come close to fulfilling the promise he showed as a 19-year-old rookie professional.

    Back in those days, Stevens and Jaidon Codrington were hot prospects from New York who were nicknamed "The Chin Checkers." Much was expected of both of them.

    Early on, Stevens backed up the optimism: TKO1 in

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  • Haye and Fury let their mouths do the punching

    Fury and Haye clown around for the press as their fight is confirmed (photo: Shaun Botterill, Getty)

    In May of this year, Carl Froch did what few British boxers can do in the current combination of a fragile economy and dearth of world-calibre fighters: he main evented a stand-alone pay-per-view event to critical and commercial success.

    Froch achieved this through three factors: 1) by carving a warrior’s reputation by taking on the very best super-middleweights for several years; 2) by setting up a rematch with Mikkel Kessler, one of two men to beat ‘The Cobra’, for a very-marketable revenge mission; and 3) with the support of promoter Eddie Hearn and his now-exclusive boxing deal with Sky.

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