The Pugilist

  • Hall in action against Malinga (Getty) and sporting the gold and his battle wounds (PA)

    I will open this piece with the date – Saturday 21/12/2013.

    That night will go down in history for boxing in the North East of England as Stuart Hall became the first man from Darlington to win a world title, picking up the IBF world bantamweight strap against the incredibly game South African Vusi Malinga at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

    As well as being Darlo’s first world titlist, Hall is only the second world champion from the whole region; and the North East's  only previous world champion, Glenn McCrory, was standing in Hall’s corner for support.

    Hall had a lot more backing from his

    Read More »from From nightclub waster to world champion: The amazing story of Stuey Hall
  • Malinga summons the spirit of Mandela against Hall

    World title challenger Vusi Malinga wants to use the memory of Nelson Mandela to inspire victory against Stuart Hall this weekend.

    Malinga, who takes on Hall this weekend at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, will use the memory of South Africa’s greatest icon, who passed away earlier this month, to help spur him to victory.

    “Mandela is a huge figure for the South African people,” said Malinga. “His struggle and battle represents something very special to everyone in the country and the rest of the world.

    “His passing was a very sad occasion for South Africa but his legacy will run forever.

    Read More »from Malinga summons the spirit of Mandela against Hall
  • Richard Burns-Wallace was seriously thinking of ending his life one New Year's Eve but says a random meeting with British boxer Ricky Hatton saved him.

    The young homeless man, who was 22 at the time of the meeting, says snow was falling with temperatures of around -15 degrees when he was hiding in a doorway on Kings Street in Manchester.

    He planned to jump from one of the bridges in the city to end his life having already spent four-and-a-half years out on the streets. He had attempted suicide several times previously.

    But that was when Hatton, who was out enjoying the festive period with two

    Read More »from ‘How Ricky Hatton saved my life’ – homeless man’s touching story
  • Vitali will be remembered as an all-time great

    We probably have seen the last of Vitali Klitschko inside of a boxing ring, and that's a very sad piece of news.

    Despite the lack of appreciation for how exceptional he has been, Klitschko walks away from boxing and into a race for the presidency of the Ukraine as unquestionably one of the best heavyweights who ever lived.

    Klitschko did not announce his retirement on Monday, when his management company confirmed that he would not fight until at least after the Ukraine elections in 2015. Klitschko hasn't fought in over a year, since stopping Manuel Charr in the third round on September 8, 2012.

    Read More »from Vitali will be remembered as an all-time great
  • Vitali Klitschko: A memorable career in pictures

    Though, technically, former heavyweight champion of the world Vitali Klitschko is merely stepping away from boxing for the time being to concentrate on his political career, there is a very strong chance that, at 42, the Ukrainian really is calling it a career.

    He and brother Wladimir, who currently holds every heavyweight world title other than the WBC edition his elder sibling has just vacated, are often ridiculed by critics for dominating an era of the sport at their weight class which has been a shell of what heavyweight fighting used to be.

    And yet, looking back at the decade-plus of

    Read More »from Vitali Klitschko: A memorable career in pictures
  • Broner shows he is no Mayweather, but can still become a star

    The only people who are surprised that Adrien Broner lost a fight that he could have, and probably should have, won are those who haven't been watching that closely.

    Broner was beaten soundly by Marcos Maidana on Saturday in their welterweight title fight in San Antonio, getting badly outworked in the process.

    The heavy-handed Maidana threw more than twice as many punches as Broner, scored two knockdowns, and pulled out a unanimous decision to claim Broner's WBA belt.

    Broner, 24, was anointed a star far before his time and he wasn't developed at the proper pace. On top of it, he developed

    Read More »from Broner shows he is no Mayweather, but can still become a star
  • Jermain Taylor shouldn’t be fighting anymore – but he is

    Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime will close out what has been one of the best years for boxing in a very long time with an outstanding card, one filled with entertaining, competitive matches.

    Buried amid that deep card, however, is a familiar name.

    Jermain Taylor, the former undisputed middleweight champion, will fight Juan Carlos Candelo in a 10-round bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

    His appearance on the card revives an age-old question in boxing, one that has dogged the greats, like Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones Jr., as well as the not-so-great: Why?

    Taylor is 35 years old,

    Read More »from Jermain Taylor shouldn’t be fighting anymore – but he is
  • Maidana has just as much to prove as Broner

    Marcos Maidana is one of the few remaining obstacles on Adrien Broner's road toward boxing stardom.

    There are plenty of questions about Broner's ability to be a top-level boxer, as he has yet to beat an elite opponent in his prime. At this stage, he's vastly more sizzle than steak.

    Though it is not discussed much, there are plenty of questions surrounding Maidana's ability to be a regular winner at boxing's highest level.

    Just like Broner, Maidana has much to prove on Saturday when they fight for the WBA welterweight title in a Showtime-televised bout at Alamodome in San Antonio.

    Maidana's

    Read More »from Maidana has just as much to prove as Broner
  • In the muddled up and diluted world of boxing title belts, Liverpool’s Tony Bellew (20-1) has a rare target in striking distance - the recognised, lineal (or insert synonym for ‘real’ here) world light heavyweight championship.

    The rationale in identifying the 'real' titlist in each weight class is perhaps the only element of boxing which is more subjective than a judge’s scoring. Essentially, it comes down to tracing lineage of ‘the man who beat the man.’

    Adonis Stevenson (22-1-1) impressively dispensed with the man who most boxing observers had previously recognised as the true 175lb

    Read More »from Bellew will be ‘real’ world champion if he shocks Stevenson
  • Filipinos at temporary shelters in typhoon-ravaged central Philippines erupted in jubilation after boxing hero Manny Pacquiao thumped American Brandon Rios to clinch the WBO welterweight crown in Macau on Sunday.

    Displaced families, aid workers and soldiers jumped from their seats and broke into thunderous applause as Pacquiao, the only boxer to win world titles in eight weight divisions, comprehensively beat his younger and taller opponent.

    "I am so very, very happy. Manny gave us something to cheer about in these times of despair," Sonia Reyes, 35, whose house was severely damaged by the

    Read More »from Pacquiao’s win brings joy and relief in typhoon-hit Philippines