So he went ahead and done it.

Not just a result!

But an unbelievable statement as in who deserved to win the 4th instalment between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manual Marquez.

Personally I have had their series prior to Saturday’s fight 1-1-1, dead level. Win for both and a draw between them. A fourth fight to me was essential as their 3 other fights have raised more questions than almost a decades worth of other fights. “Who won this round?”, “Who won that round?”, “Was he robbed?, “Wasn’t he robbed?”.

3rd round knockdown

3rd round knockdown


Well Saturday night, the only person who was robbed was Manny Pacquiao……..of his consciousness


Lets break it down.

What is the worst possible thing Manny Pacquiao could have done against someone who is dependant on a right hand counter!?

For all his years at elite level, and having fought and went life and death against a superior technician in the form of Juan Manual Marquez!?

Coming in with a straight left hand…………unprotected!!!!!!

Lets get this out of the way first of all, Manny Pacquiao’s right hand is as useful as an inflatable dartboard when it comes to power. His main weapon is the straight left hand (ask Ricky Hatton).

When the fight started Manny looked to be back, he had the footwork, hand speed, head movement etc that we haven’t seen since the destruction of Miguel Cotto in 2009. But for all of this improvement, the old “Marquez Manny” started to reappear.

Marquez bringing Pacquiao forward and taking the right hand shots as Marquez knows from the previous 36 rounds, they have no effect. But as Manny throws that right hand he is always setting up his straight left, this is the punch in which Marquez is waiting for because it brings out the sweetest of right hand counters which he has repeatedly caught Manny with over their previous trilogy.

There are zillions of blogs, news and views on the rest of the fight so I won’t bore you with TheBoxingFreaks. The only issue I have with Pacquiao here is I truly believe he didn’t train to fight Marquez. He only trained to try and knock somebody out. Juan Manual Marquez isn’t just “somebody”.  He had a gameplan…..Pacquiao didn’t.

For me, that’s it over.


Plenty of names out their for Marquez after such a destruction, one being “retirement”.

But lets be fantasists for a few minutes……

Rios, Bradley, Matthysse, Khan, Garcia, Broner……..not Mayweather again (for me anyway).

One of my favourite fights involve Juan Manual being against Juan Diaz.

The absolute breaking down of a young relentless fighter by an old wiley fox. Start to finish all out action and a midway turn around to result in an unbelievable uppercut to end proceedings.

I mention that because when I think of a fight against Brandon Rios, this is how I see it going. But I think Marquez deserves a better finish to his career than fighting such a cocky one dimensional fighter, one that by all means punches like a mule and has a chin made of granite.

I haven’t heard anyone mention this fighter yet but a fight against  Paulie Malagnaggi for his WBA title could be the easiest way to pick up a title (one that he deserves after Saturday’s performance).

Paul Mal

If he makes it past the awkward Paulie then a September unification with Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley could be a major sell. Especially during Mexican independence day.

Two Pacquiao victors, squaring off, a world title each, WBA & WBO.

September Unification??

Sounds like a plan to me……..

Thanks for reading and remember to follow @theboxingfreak on Twitter.


A tribute to Brian Magee

Posted: 20/01/2012 in Tributes

He has been there, done it, bought the T-Shirt and sold it on E-Bay.

There are many different personalities in the boxing circuit. Some who are protected by promoters, some who aren’t and some who have a suitcase packed and ready to take on anybody and everybody.

Sports fans, this is a dedication to fighter, boxer, and true gent of the sport……..Brian Magee.

Now Magee isn’t the most well known boxer in the Super Middle weight division but he is one of the most consistent.

Having his first fight in 1999, Magee racked up 9 straight knockout wins before he finally had to go the distance. Not only is that a good start but those 9 fights came in the space of 11 months. Taking into account the likes of recent Super Middle contenders James DeGale and George Groves, it has taken them almost 2 years to gather this many wins it is safe to say that Magee was serious about making a statement.

In 2001 Brian first tasted his first spell with a world title, although it was the lightly regarded IBO (International Boxing Organization) Title which has been held by such P4P champions such as Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao.

Magee defended his IBO title 7 times before he took on Robin Reid at the legendary Belfast Kings Halls venue on 26th June 2004. It was a fight Magee was expected to win, but as anyone that who has followed Reid will know, he is not to be underestimated. Reid who held the WBC (World Boxing Council) once before, handed Magee his first loss in a closely fought contest which seen Magee visit the floor 4 times.

So dusting himself down and moving on, Brian had his comeback fight against Neil Linford and the fight was declared a TKO in the 7th Round due to cuts.

Magee was then handed a shot against Vitaliy Tsypko in Nuremburg, Germany for the vacant EBU (European Boxing Union) title. Magee battled bravely, but as the sky is blue and the trees are green, being brave sometimes isn’t enough when fighting in Germany as Magee learnt by losing by split decision.

The comeback once again began and 3 fights after Magee’s 2nd loss, the Irishman then took on who else but the recent Super 6 finalist and British number one and two time World Champion…Carl “The Cobra” Froch.

Magee showing the heart of a true champion took control of the fight and had Froch looking for answers to the grit and determination of a scorned ego and hurt pride. Froch was leading on all 3 judges scorecards going into the 11th Round and was fighting smart and looked like he was winning the round. Just to mention that had Magee won this round and the next, and made it too the end of the fight without a knockdown he would in fact have won the fight. But it just wasn’t to be with 1.21 seconds into round 11, Carl Froch landed a trademark uppercut to stop the brave Irishman and cruelly snatch away a potentially fantastic and history changing victory.

Like a true warrior, Magee comes back 6 months after with a string of 8 straight wins (picking up the BBBofC (British Boxing Board of Control) Title against unbeaten Steven McGuire, before he really hit the big break and recognition that is deserved of a fighter who is willing to face anyone and go anywhere to fight them.

The Date, 30th January 2010. The opponent, Mads Larsen (52-2-0). The venue, NRGi Arena, Aarhas, Denmark. On the line, once again the EBU title.

Magee once again in his long and hard fought career fighting in his opponents back yard took the fight by the scruff of the neck and totally outclassed the favourite Larsen in front of his own fans and sent him packing in the 7th round with a fantastic TKO.

If all fighters had the will, determination and guts that Brian Magee had, maybe the sport would not come into question with fighters labelled as “duckers”, “hometown fighters” etc.

So most fans of the sport would expect a fighter who has just landed a major title in a tough, tough division to try to maybe milk this dinner ticket a little. But no, that’s not Brian Magee.

After a superb routine defence in Dublin against Roman Aramyan which Magee won every round and forced his opponent to stay on his stool at round 8, the next stop….The Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada against the argued number one in the Super Middle Division Lucian Bute for the IBF (International Boxing Federation) Title.

Magee started excellently matching Bute at his own game and landing some telling shots, but Bute is undefeated for a reason and this began to show as the fight began to swing his way around round 6. It was a very game effort on Magee’s part but just like Reid, Tsypko and Froch. It just wasn’t to be with some heavy body shots and uppercuts, Brian succumbed in the 10th round to the champions strength.

But this fairytale has a slight twist as Magee is not the run of the mill fighter and came back 4 months later, once again in his opponents back yard which this time was San Jose, Costa Rica to take on Jaime Barboza for the Interim WBA (World Boxing Association) World Title.

Brian Magee put on a master class and outworked Barboza in every department to claim what was truly deserved for a fighter who has hit repeated barriers and has not in any shape or form embarrassed doing so.

Next stop for Magee is AGAIN the backyard of his opponent in Denmark against the once retired Rudy “Hardhitter” Markussen in a defence of his WBA strap.

The story goes on and without luck, because it has never been needed up to now as Magee is more than capable of challenging the best. Brian will prevail and be given a lot more respect and recognition than is currently displayed by sports fans around the world.




The Real Road Warriors

Posted: 16/12/2011 in Tributes


We all like to focus at times on bright lights and showbiz. A good even fight between two elite sportsmen who get paid more money than we can ever imagine.

The likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, the two Klitschko brothers or anyone in fact who is remotely near the mythical Pound for Pound list earn millions upon millions per fight and live a lifestyle one can only dream about when they hold a lottery ticket.

These men at this present point in time have their financial life wrapped up and grace our screens maybe two or three times a year.

But what about the guys who set these fighters on the trail path for glory. The men who fight every other week in order to survive and provide for their families. Ladies and gentlemen, I dedicate this moment to The Journeyman. The forgotten sportsman who is paid money to turn up to decorate an investments statistics within his win column. These men are the real backbone of the sport of boxing.

A journeyman boxer is defined as a fighter who has adequate boxing skill, but does not have the calibre of a contender or a gatekeeper. These guys very often are regular people like you or me, who hold regular jobs and lead regular lives.

But we often take them for granted and forget about them and the job in which they are willing to do. Not many of us would contemplate looking at a Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao the wrong way let alone claiming threw the ropes to trade punches with them.

But almost every week we see fighters on this level get knocked out or badly beaten on points and I commend their bravery.

We have seen numerous times in the past when the boxing fraternity gets hit with a lightning bolt and a guy who is paid to make up the numbers on a bill actually pulls a win out of the bag. Such notable occurrences include:

  • Ross Puritty Vs Wladimir Klitschko – (Puritty TKO11)
  • Kevin McBride Vs Mike Tyson – (McBride TKO6)
  • Darryl Pinckney Vs Junior Jones – (Pinckney KO3)

So when we are quick to call these men who admittedly do not possess great talent “bums” or “tin cans”, remember; your boxing idol would be nowhere near the star that shines so brightly without these guys who are always on call 24/7.

We hear top level fighters often claiming to be Road Warriors. But the true warriors are the people we forget as soon as (99.9% of the time) they are defeated and sent on to the next prospect or star to repeat the process.

Do they complain when they are robbed? Do they look for a way out? Do they complain about money? No.

They entertain and fulfil the most important purpose in a top level fighter’s career. These true warriors should be applauded for their bravery and given the credit that never comes and not insulted by people who if asked would never in a million years trade places with them.

So the scene was set, Liverpool, Bellew’s hometown where the two enemies Nathan Cleverly & Tony Bellew, who earlier in the year provide more excitement in a press conference than a lot of fighters have delivered in their whole careers.

There was no real introduction needed as the bad blood shown by these two has already done Frank Warren’s job as a promoter tenfold. Probably the perfect fight to have James DeGale on an undercard coincidentally as his lack of class cost him a lot of support when dueling George Groves last time out.

James DeGale 10(8)-1 came into the Echo Arena to a mixed reception which makes a change from the normal boos that have followed him throughout his so far short career. Piotr Wilczewski came into the ring 29(10)-1 as a relatively unknown quantity from Poland. His win column suggests a different story in relation to the fighters who made up the numbers. A win against Amin Asikainen, who Matthew Macklin knocked out in 2:34 of the first round being the only credible win within the 29 victories was the one that bagged Wilczewski the Vacant Super Middle Weight Title in March.

The fight began with both fighters tying eachother up and feeling one another out. DeGale using the jab to get a taste of what the pole had to offer. The 2nd round showed DeGale sustaining an attack to the body and then delivering a peach of an uppercut which wobbled his man, but the bell saved Wilczewski from anything further. As the fight rolled on, DeGale carried on to land the more noticeable shots, using the ring to counter each time Wilczewski tried to launch another attack.

The 4th and 5th rounds made DeGale sit up and take notice when caught with a few hard shots, 1 shot in fact that had him hanging on for the bell.

As the rounds tallied up, it was hard to hand out the points, but it seemed that DeGale had the better stamina and workrate so he just about edged the remainder of the middle rounds. The final 3 rounds saw Wilczewski gain a bit of momentum, again catching DeGale on the ropes but it was the 12th round that James dug deep to secure the European Championship by majority decision.

This set up the big one that everybody had been waiting for. The talking finally over, it was time for the record to be set straight.

Tony Bellew 16(10)-0 entering the arena to a frantic recption, Nathan Cleverly 22(11)-0 to a somewhat more hostile reception. The first round began with Cleverly practically running at Bellew but the Liverpudlian straight away using his jab to push Nathan back as well as trying his luck with use of the head which was spotted instantly by an angry Richie Davies who gave Bellew a piece of his mind.

Cleverly was happy to unload some heavy shots in the opening round which failed to take Bellew out of his stride, but in the 2nd round Bellew disclosed his own power by appearing to wobble the Welshman who then stuck out his tongue and raised his arms to show he was not hurt.

Cleverly could not settle in the 3rd with Bellew sticking to his boxing skills and resulted in a bloodied nose.

Round number 5 was more of the same with the exception of a low blow to Bellew and a temperory halt was called in order for him to regain his breath. The round carried on with the two undefeated men trading shots but Cleverly seemed to be landed the more telling punches.

The following rounds saw the tempo pick up and it was Cleverly who seemed to be moving up a gear and pressing Bellew back with his relentless attacks although Bellew’s response to the shots where very credible indeed.

The final few rounds had both men showing their tiredness and a crashing shot in the 10th by Bellew only spurred Cleverly on and the 11th showed this with Bellew having to take several clean uppercuts from the champion.

Both fighters went for it in the final round but again it was Cleverly who closed the show out with the final 10 points with his superior fitness.

A very close fight which had everything did not fail to disappoint and Cleverly’s arm was raised by majority decision.

So to conclude, a decent night of action in Liverpool and a lot of questions and answers provided for the fans to discuss. Bellew answered the critics that had him labeled as a 1 dimensional slugger by using his jab and footwork to confuse the 24 year old Cleverly. James DeGale on the other hand will need to have a long hard think about future adjustments he will need to make to his game as Wilczewski, who is not the most gifted fighter was able to land more often than he should have.