Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

One More Round

The August episode of the Boxing Clever podcast sees the team discuss upcoming world title fights for British duo ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker and Nathan Cleverly, plus reviewing rucks involving Chisora, Saunders, Wilder and Brook (that’s Kel, not Kelly unfortunately.)

We round off the show by cutting things short and heading down the pub, all the while joined by a mysterious lawyer called Jimmy. We think Al Haymon sent him…

You can also listen to the show on iTunes and you can email us at onemoreroundpod@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter @boxingcleverpod @theboxingbrain @marcwilliams22 @george_ogier

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By George Ogier

There are a number of people around the world who simply adore a conspiracy theory. Diana, Princess of Wales was murdered by the Royal Family. 9/11 was instigated by the CIA and the Ku Klux Klan were the money behind Marlboro tobacco (look! A hooded man on the packet!).

Boxing is a sport rife with the idea of plotting and scheming. Whilst many tales of underhand behaviour are undoubtedly true there as just as many which leave the sensible majority slightly baffled.

Saturday night’s contest between WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Ireland’s Andy Lee has got the theorists frothing at the mouth once more. Within minutes of a Chavez Jr victory the knives were out for the Mexican.

Claims that the champion was “obviously juicing” and on the “magic beans” were quick to appear. At first it was easy to dismiss this as simple bitterness. Many of the accusations were coming from fans of Andy Lee. Nobody likes to see their hero defeated so the reaction was understandable, if a little predictable.

However, this is not the first time that an allegation of performance enhancing drug (PED) use has been levelled at Chavez Jr. The subject continues to rear its ugly head every time the Mexican fights. With the Lamont Peterson case fresh in everyone’s mind is there a point when we have to take the mud-slinging seriously?

Ever since Julio Cesar Chavez Jr failed a drug test in 2009 people have been understandably suspicious of him. In November of that year Chavez Jr beat Troy Rowland by unanimous decision. The result of the fight was changed to one of No Contest when it was discovered that Chavez Jr had traces of the diuretic Furosemide in his system.

Chavez Jr has reportedly faced weight cutting issues for a while now and diuretics can be used to illegally aid that process. However, as many people have pointed out, they can also be used as a masking agent for PEDs. Taking a drug to help with weight loss is more likely to damage the fighter using it than his opponent but if the diuretic is hiding more serious drug use then it becomes a more serious issue.

PEDs were on the agenda once again when Chavez Jr faced Marco Antonio Rubio in February this year. Rubio claimed that Chavez Jr had avoided a post fight urine test and had left the venue before the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) had been able to speak to him.

The truth of that matter is slightly different. The WBC, who sanctioned that fight demand pre and post fight drug tests on all title fights. However, in some instances they are prepared to follow the processes set out by the local governing bodies. In all there were eighteen fighters on the Chavez Jr/Rubio card. Only two were drug tested and that didn’t include Chavez Jr or the complaining Rubio.

The issue of drug testing and Chavez Jr has come to light once more in the wake of the victory against Andy Lee. HBO’s Jim Lampley stated that Chavez Jr had failed to take a urine test before the contest on Saturday. This coupled with the victor saying he was suffering from leg cramps (a supposed side-effect of PED use) during the fight got the rumour mill turning again.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael contacted TDLR for confirmation of this and was told, “both fighters, Chavez and Lee, submitted urine samples before the bout. Their samples have been sent to the lab and the results will be looked at when we get them”.

I wondered if the accusations spread beyond the teams and fans of Chavez Jr’s beaten opponents. I asked boxing writers Ray Markarian and Michael Woods if they set much store by the allegations. Markarian said, “I’ve heard the rumours but I don’t know. You can’t destroy someone’s credibility without proof”. Woods was a little more succinct, “I need some steak with the smoke. Gimme some evidence”.

Therein lies the crux of the matter, proof. Beyond the failed drug test in 2009 there is nothing to go on. Spurious claims of missed urine tests and sore legs aside, what else is there? Beaten fighters have their pride to deal with. Many fans and pundits have hugely underestimated Chavez Jr. The fact that he is now seen by many as a genuine talent makes plenty of people look daft. It is easy to devalue the champion’s success by claiming foul play.

Chavez Jr’s promoter Bob Arum has stated that his fighter will face the recognised best middleweight in the world, Sergio Martinez in September. It is a fight long in the making and one that will be a huge box office draw. Win or lose, perhaps that fight will finally see Chavez getting the respect that some think he deserves.

By George Ogier

Last night I tweeted about some plans to be put in place by boxing channel, BoxNation. There has been some confusion over this so I thought I’d explain in more detail.

I have been subscribing to the new Frank Warren backed BoxNation channel since it first aired last year. So far, for an avid fan like me it has represented good value for money. There are shows that I’d never normally have the chance to watch from all over the world and overall I have been happy to pay £10 per month.

This month money has been a bit tight in our household so I began to look at ways to cut back. Checking the June schedule on BoxNation there didn’t seem to be many fights I was genuinely interested in. Happily for me there is no longer a minimum length of subscription on the channel so I cancelled my payment. I did this with a view to resubscribing at the end of June in time for David Haye v. Dereck Chisora.

All fairly clear so far, or so I thought. Within 24 hours of cancelling my payment I received a call from BoxNation asking why I had stopped subscribing. I explained my situation and said I would be signing up again at the end of June. Upon hearing this the gentleman I was talking to said something rather surprising. He remarked that if I were to do that I would be liable to pay a £20 connection fee on top of the £10 monthly fee to watch the channel.

I was told that If I resubscribed within 24 hours I could have a month at half price and avoid the connection charge altogether. Unsurprisingly I took him up on the offer but I remain slightly confused.

Having checked the BoxNation website I can find no mention of the impending £20 connection charge. I spoke to BoxNation call centre staff members Nadeem and Katie and both confirmed that I would have to pay the extra fee if I didn’t take the deal.

I am not trying to instigate a Watchdog-style investigation of the channel. My main reason for writing this is so that any one who wants to pay for David Haye v. Dereck Chisora can get in touch with BoxNation and make sure they are aware of all costs ahead of the show.

You can call Boxnation on 0844 842 5005 or send them an email query here. Please share this post with anyone who you think might benefit from it.

History shows us that boxing’s most memorable fights have generally taken place in the United States. Making his Write Cross début, Tom Olney suggests that things might be on the move. 

Boxing has always been a worldwide sport but with its spiritual home very much situated in the US. Thinking about the greats of the sport: Muhammad Ali; Sugar Ray Robinson; and the lesser known Henry Armstrong; they are all American. The biggest fights have nearly always been held in the USA (apart from the notable exceptions of the Thriller in Manila and the Rumble in the Jungle).

But that is no longer the case as, other than Floyd Mayweather Jnr, the current greats are from other corners of the world: Manny Pacquiao (Philippines); the Klitschkos (Ukraine, fighting out of Germany); and Sergio Martinez (Argentina). The big fights are still happening mainly in the US, but the Klitschkos’ decision to fight out of Germany has focused the heavyweight division away from the US. So is the home of boxing still in the US and what does this mean to boxing in general?

The case for the champ

The big fights are still being held in the US, in its iconic cities and arenas. Most fans would expect to see the biggest fights and best fighters in Las Vegas, New York or Atlantic City. That is exactly where the big fights have been held recently, other than in the aforementioned heavyweight division. Pacman vs Marquez in Las Vegas, which for once did not fail to disappoint (other than the contentious decision). Martinez beat Macklin in Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s day in another high-class and high-profile bout. Atlantic City provided the venue for Froch vs Ward and showed us who the next American superstar should be.

The current US star, widely regarded as the pound for pound king, is of course Floyd Mayweather Jnr. However he doesn’t do himself or the US many favours by averaging just one fight a year over the last six years. When he fights he still draws big crowds but he does little to strengthen the cause of the US boxing scene. The Pacquiao fight is still no closer to being made than it was two years ago. Elsewhere Bernard Hopkins continues to defy the laws of ageing and fight on, but he can hardly re-energise the sport at the age of 47. There is some hope with the emergence of Andre Ward from the super-middleweight super six competition. He has all the tools to be a top pound for pound fighter and should generate great interest. However, the natural fight for him should have been against the only contender to his super-middleweight crown: Lucien Bute. But while Ward has enjoyed his victory, Bute has been signed up to fight the man he defeated, Carl Froch. Hopefully Ward won’t be following in Mayweather’s footsteps and can provide the US with the headliner it needs.

The case for the contenders

So if the US’s hold on boxing is diminishing, is boxing losing its appeal or is the gap being filled elsewhere? One place that it seems to be booming is Germany, especially in the heavyweight division, thanks to Messrs Wlad and Vitali

Klitschko. Their popularity in Germany is based around their complete domination of their smaller and weaker opponents combined with their impeccable conduct outside of the ring. They keep selling out big German arenas, much to the amazement of American and British boxing fans. But sell out they do, and they hold all the belts and thus all the cards so all major heavyweight fights happen in Germany. The heavyweight division, often seen as the flag bearer of boxing, is most certainly centred in Germany. Germany has its own champions as well, not just adopted, in Felix Sturm, Marco Huck and Robert Stieglitz. So it is now making a strong claim to be viewed alongside the US as a boxing superpower.

Recently Britain has also thrown its hat into the ring. Last year we had six genuine world title holders and a few years ago in Joe Calzaghe one of the pound for pound elite and Ricky Hatton who generated massive crowds both in the UK and the US. However Britain, despite a flourishing domestic scene, has not put on a big fight in a few years, despite Haye against Wlad being mooted for London it happened in Germany. We are still a country that enjoys its boxing but has become overshadowed by Germany in recent years. Another country famous for producing great boxers is Mexico, but while its boxers fight their big fights in America and generally move there when they become established it will remain a producer of talented boxers rather than a home of boxing.

The future of boxing

If the USA is the spiritual home of boxing, then surely the decline in its power is a bad thing for boxing. A sport that already has a problem with the best not fighting the best will only struggle through more fragmentation. However it might also be a good thing. Competition brings out the best in people and maybe boxing needed more competition within itself. If US promoters and boxers notice the decline in their power to put on fights and get paid the money they want, they will have to react. Hopefully it will result in better fights being made and the sport regaining its previous unrivalled popularity. Boxing has failed to do much to counter the threat of MMA, partly because it is so fragmented and has no overall leadership. So it is only if its individual parts compete that they can drive the sport forward. Although the spiritual home of boxing may no longer lie as firmly in America its very essence probably still resides in Canastota, in the state of New York, home to the boxing hall of fame, where the great and the good of boxing are remembered.

You can follow Tom on Twitter here.

The life of Miguel Angel Cotto during the last four years have been tumultuous to say the least. The crushing lows of losing his father and being beaten by both Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito were hard to bear.

Cotto’s loss to Margarito went from being a stellar win in favour of the Mexican to something more sinister. The hardened hand wraps found on Margarito in his next fight cast a doubt over the Cotto bout.

There was no shame in Cotto’s second career loss, this time to Pacquiao. However, it was the loss of his father to a heart attack between these two contests that hit Miguel harder than any opponent.

Cotto is very much a family man and his father played a huge role in the Puerto Rican’s boxing career. Friend, mentor and advisor, it was clear that Cotto Sr was an enormous part of his son’s life, in and out of the ring.

At the time Cotto said, “My father was the strength. He was the strength that I had, but I will handle it. I have to”.

The Pacquiao loss aside, Miguel Cotto appears to have done just that. A move up to light middleweight saw Cotto wrest the WBA title from Yuri Foreman in clubbing fashion. A defence against Nicaraguan wild man Ricardo Mayorga followed and then came redemption.

In early December last year, Miguel faced his waking nightmare, Antonio Margarito in a long-awaited rematch. In 9 one-sided rounds Cotto closed the chapter on Margarito, “ I just stood in front of him, enjoying the moment and my victory”.

For all his visible and extravagant wealth, life hasn’t always been kind to Floyd Mayweather either. A tough Michigan childhood with a father who reportedly sold drugs to supplement a wage made in the boxing ring. There is a story that Floyd Sr once used an infant Floyd Jr as a human shield during an altercation with a rifle-brandishing relative.

Shortly after turning pro, Mayweather moved west to Las Vegas where, under the tutelage of his uncle he took on the world, and won. Love him or loathe him, there can be little doubt that Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr is one of the outstanding boxing talents of his generation.

Victories over the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez and Arturo Gatti are hard to ignore. Accusations that he avoided a prime Manny Pacquiao should not detract from what has been a supreme career.

The unmistakable shoulder roll off the ropes has been a defining image of this century’s boxing action. In that stance lies a huge part of Floyd’s mystique. The man is so hard to hit properly. A few have managed it, most notably Shane Mosley, Zab Judah and Jose Luis Castillo. Even that impressive line-up didn’t manage to put Mayweather away though.

With that in mind, how does Miguel Cotto find the strategy to beat Floyd? The short answer is, he doesn’t. I genuinely can’t see a way for Cotto to beat Mayweather. There will be quite a size difference come fight night. Floyd is expected to weigh in three pounds under the 154lb limit.

Cotto is expected to be right on the light middleweight ceiling. The difference is that Cotto will put on much more weight than Mayweather between the weigh-in and the fight. Will size give the Puerto Rican an advantage?

An interesting parallel to draw on this topic is that both men have fought Shane Mosley. Mosley is a bigger puncher than Cotto and he hit Floyd Mayweather on the button. It absolutely rang Floyd’s bell but it didn’t put him down.

If Mosley couldn’t knock Mayweather out, what chance does Cotto have? By the same token I don’t expect Mayweather to win by stoppage and that means the judges will decide. In that regard it comes down to who is the better boxer. With all due respect to Miguel Cotto, the better boxer is Floyd by a country mile.

Michael Woods of ESPN recently asked his followers on Twitter where a Cotto victory would rank among the upsets of modern boxing. The overwhelming response was that it would come second only to James “Buster” Douglas beating Mike Tyson. That is the magnitude of the challenge awaiting Miguel Cotto.

Many boxing fans would, to paraphrase Sir Alex Ferguson, love to see Floyd Mayweather knocked off his perch. Miguel Cotto is a hugely popular fighter around the world and a victory for him would be an achievement beyond any other. From a sporting standpoint there are few things I enjoy more than watching Mayweather fight. I am expecting another master class come fight night.

By Ralph Welch

On Friday morning it all seemed so unlikely, didn’t it?

The build-up to the Vitali Klitschko – Dereck Chisora clash had been somewhat low-key. The two had traded amusing barbs on niche subscription channel BoxNation, but as is often the case in a Klitschko title fight, the challenger received little credibility from the world’s media. Indeed, when sponsors are offering you large sums to put their logo on the soles of your feet, it’s hardly a confidence booster for a professional fighter.

All seemed in order for another run-of-the-mill title defence. Doubtless some scribes had their cut and paste icons ready in anticipation of another write-up bemoaning the lack of interest in boxing’s flagship division. And then came Dereck Chisora.

He arrived in Germany with a reputation as an enigmatic and volatile character. But even by his standards, the events that followed his descent from the scales at Friday’s weigh-in were truly extraordinary.

There were slaps, spit balls, brawls and verbal gunshots, either side of the most impressive performance of the Londoner’s career.

Incidentally, let’s not forget the fight. There was one – and a damn good one at that. From the first bell Chisora took the fight to the elder Klitschko. Round after round, he pursued the taller, more skilful foe and made him fight for every second of every stanza. It was a performance to be proud of.

If we’d have stopped there, it’s likely that “Del Boy” would have returned home to a muted response with a few column inches affording him mild praise for a gutsy display.

Today Chisora, along with fellow protagonist David Haye, continues to command back and front page news for his part in one of the most outrageous press conferences the sport of recent times.

Hype and handbags – the boxing business

Now there’s a standard formula to a boxing press conference confrontation: ever-increasing personal insults followed by one fighter swinging the proverbial handbag at his adversary, before being escorted away by burly security guards amidst threats of vengeance.

It’s a tried and tested recipe for hyping a fight and selling tickets. And like it or not, selling tickets is the business we’re in.

Except on this occasion the burly security guards were – incredibly – nowhere to be seen. And rather than aiming a handbag, David Haye commandeered a camera tripod and swung for the fences with the sort of aggression that was so lacking on his last visit to German shores.

Cameras and phones flashed excitedly. The footage spread around the world at a furious pace.

Every TV station, every pundit, every call-in screamed that these scenes were “not what we wanted to see in boxing”. Curious given that within hours the footage had hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube.

Consequences

As well as facing the German police, both brawlers will be summoned before the British Boxing Board of Control to explain their actions. Despite the doomsday scenarios appearing in some of today’s papers, lifetime bans are unlikely. Chisora will most likely be fined and receive some kind of temporary suspension. Haye, having officially retired from the sport in October, is currently not under the jurisdiction of the governing body. However he’ll almost certainly be subjected to an unofficial dressing down and any future application to regain his license will be subject to more rigour.

When the dust settles and knees have jerked back into place, we should consider the wider repercussions for the sport of boxing.

Why the doom and gloom?

It may be because boxing has been relegated to the sidelines that we’ve become such sensitive souls.

There’s no denying that the sport is drifting further from the mainstream consciousness. Gone are the times when legends such as Benn, Eubank and Collins lit up the terrestrial TV screens of 20 million viewers. How we miss them. How us boxing diehards wish that others would share our passion for a sport that deserves so much more than the meagre media rations it is afforded.

Instead we seem to be constantly apologising for the occasional bad headline that boxing receives. It seems we’re only one incident away from a tidal wave of ill-informed callers to Radio 5 asking for boxing to be banned.

Why do we care? These folk will never, ever show a flicker of interest in professional pugilism. Let them be.

We live in sensational times and what happened in the unlikely location of a German press room was indeed a sensation. For some people, heavyweight boxing just got exciting. For the first time in a long time they actually cared.

Every great champion needs an adversary

Before Saturday night’s unbelievable scenes, the heavyweight scene was a barren landscape ruled by possibly the most under-appreciated champions of all time. The Klitschko brothers, deprived of credible opposition, have been reduced to plucking the best from the cruiserweight division, pawing them around the ring like a big cat toying with its prey.

Make no mistake, the Klitschko brothers are great champions, wearing their crowns with dignity and humility. But great champions need great adversaries.

A quick glance through the YouTube comments yesterday saw an avalanche of support from non-boxing fans for the Klitschko brothers to clean up the division and rid boxing of Messrs Haye and Chisora.

With some intelligent promotion this could be the most interesting few months the heavyweight division has seen for a long time. Think about it. We now have two legitimate bad guys – pilloried by every pundit, aficionado and average Joe who clicked onto YouTube – for their behaviour. According to them, boxing would be better off without the likes of Chisora and Haye – and they would pay good money to see Sheriff Klitschko run these outlaws out of Dodge.

That means tickets, TV, tear-ups and a chance for some undercard fighters to get some exposure in front of a decent audience. In my opinion at least, that’s good for boxing.

What next?

Would I like to see a repeat of Saturday night’s shenanigans? I’d argue that we were a burly security guard short of one of the best press conference we’ve seen in years.

Saturday’s scuffle wasn’t the reason people have switched off from boxing in their droves. In the early hours of Sunday morning underdog Gabriel Campillo was robbed by some appalling Texas judging for the title of Light-Heavyweight champion of the world.

It’s a moniker that Tavoris Cloud shares with at least four other combatants, depending on which of the plethora of so-called “world” titles you choose to recognise.

Trust me, boxing’s got bigger problems than two heavyweights having a 20-second dust-up at a press conference.

Besides, there’s still a way that this whole episode could end up selling a lot of tickets.

It’s the business we’re in.

 

You can follow Ralph on Twitter at @RalphWelch

The Madness Of Mick Hennessy

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

By George Ogier

Seventy Three seconds. The period of time that elapsed before the space shuttle Challenger exploded after launch. Season 12, Episode 1 of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is titled 73 Seconds. The same time frame can also be used to measure exactly how long it takes to terrify boxing promoter, Mick Hennessy.

Hennessy is the man behind British heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury’s bumpy rise to domestic fame. He will have been an interested observer of events in Liverpool on Saturday. David Price took a mere one minute and thirteen seconds to destroy John McDermott in an eliminator to see who will challenge for Fury’s crown. The result of that fight immediately had the boxing world buzzing with talk of a Tyson Fury v. David Price showdown. Unfortunately for Fury and Hennessy though, the general consensus seems to be that a fight between the two men heavily favours Price. If the fight does happen and David Price were to triumph over Tyson Fury, where would that leave Mick Hennessy?

Little over a year ago Hennessy Sports had a portfolio containing some of British boxing’s brightest talents. Hennessy had guided super middleweight star, Carl Froch into the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic. Indeed, Hennessy had an important role in getting the competition off the ground. Darren Barker had boxing fans and commentators alike purring over his undoubted ability as he claimed the European middleweight title. Barker wasn’t the only European Champion on Hennessy’s books either. The tough Mancunian, John Murray also won the European crown under Mick’s promotional banner. Even recently dethroned British welterweight champion Lee Purdy was once a Hennessy Sports fighter. Each of these boxers decided to move on and leave Hennessy Sports. There would to be a constant and common thread among Froch, Barker and Murray though. It seems as though they jumped ship in order to get bigger fights.

One of the biggest criticisms levelled at Mick Hennessy was his handling of Carl Froch’s career. For a time Froch had one of the longest unbeaten stretches in British boxing. He was a world champion and had been in some fantastic fights. The biggest problem was that few people outside boxing knew about Froch, he had no discernible public profile. This became a huge issue when Hennessy  failed to strike a TV deal for Carl’s fight with Jermain Taylor. Froch can’t be blamed for wanting to finish his career with big money fights on a reputable TV channel. This must have formed a large part of his reasoning when jumping ship to join Eddie Hearn at Matchroom Sports.

It was a similar story for Darren Barker and John Murray. Both men were successful at European level but were plagued by long stretches of inactivity for various reasons. Since moving on to their new promoters, Barker to Matchroom and Murray to Frank Warren Promotions, both men have fought for world titles. There would appear to be a pattern forming in that fighters under Mick Hennessy’s guidance don’t have a particularly strong profile beyond domestic boxing.

Despite losing three of the biggest names in British boxing to rival promoters is it all bad news for Hennessy Sports? The simple answer would probably be no, but scratch under the surface a little and what does Mick really have to offer these days. Sheffield featherweight prospect Kid Galahad is  a Hennessy fighter and coming along nicely. Mick also pulled off a huge coup in signing Chris Eubank Jr to a long promotional deal. Much had been made of Eubank Jr’s switch to the professional ranks. For him to sign with Hennessy Sports could be fantastic for both parties. This is down to a combination of the boxer’s family name, Eubank Jr’s reported boxing ability and Hennessy’s deal to show live boxing on Channel 5.

Mick Hennessy’s agreement with Channel 5 is possibly the jewel in the Hennessy Sports crown. It means that Mick is the only major promoter in the UK with fights on terrestrial television. At a time when boxing fans are starting to grow restless about the amount of money they pay to watch boxing on TV it showed great commercial sense.

The arrangement with Channel 5 is centred on the career of Hennessy’s most well-known fighter, Tyson Fury. This could be the crux of any future problems for Hennessy Sport. Kid Galahad and Chris Eubank Jr are unproven prospects but Tyson Fury is the British champion. Unfortunately Mick sometimes gives the impression that he’s clinging to Fury like a drowning man with a lifebelt.

Tyson Fury could be described as enigma. With his traveller background and fighting family name he was always going to stand out from the crowd. Fury has become a figure of fun for some despite remaining unbeaten and becoming the British title holder. A lot of the jokes made at Fury’s expense are as a result perceived weaknesses in his boxing skills. However, many of the jokes come from the fact that Mick Hennessy has made some ridiculously outlandish remarks in reference to his number one boxer.

Hyperbole is not a new thing amongst boxing promoters. It is the job of such people to make their fighter sound like an amalgamation of Muhammad Ali, The Incredible Hulk and Billy Whizz. When these statements stray into the frankly implausible though it can cause more damage than good. In the past Mick Hennessy has described Tyson Fury as both “the most exciting boxer in the world” and “the most talked about boxer in the world”. The first claim borders on daft but the second one is outright rubbish. Tyson Fury may be reasonably well-known but to claim that he is the most talked about boxer in the world just insults the intelligence of the fans.

Hennessy is no less delusional when it comes to the subject of Fury’s future. A year ago Mick claimed, with a straight face, given time Fury, “won’t just make up the numbers with the Klitschkos, he’ll beat the pair of them”. All of this talk just serves to make Hennessy look like he’s losing his marbles. The icing on this almost sad cake was Hennessy’s adrenaline-fuelled outburst after Fury had made heavy work of beating unheralded Canadian journeyman Neven Pajkic. We were told that we had just witnessed a Hagler versus Hearns battle for the heavyweight division! What we had in fact seen was two out of shape men swinging punches like it was closing time outside the local pub.

I am sure Mick Hennessy is probably a thoroughly decent man who is trying to earn a living form one of the hardest games around. Regrettably though he is currently exuding the air of a man whose empire is collapsing around his ears. Were Tyson Fury to take on David Price and lose his British title you would have to wonder if Hennessy has the stomach to go through it all one more time.