In the absence of any current boxing updates we would like to share with you a short story written by Lawrence Yearsley (Boxing Scribe) Historian and Author.
Lawrence Yearsley is the author of Boxing Bonanza and Boxing Curiosa both very cleverly written pieces of boxing literature, full of interesting facts and stories collected by the author who is himself a former boxer and member of The Manchester Ex-Boxers Association.
Here is some of his work we hope you enjoy this tale as much as we did.
A no-contest ruling in a boxing contest nowadays usually indicates that a fight has ended for reasons outside of the boxer’s control; but in the not too distant past it had a completely different meaning!
In early twentieth century New York, boxing was considered to be a quagmire of corruption; so much so that the powers that be tried to ban it completely which of course spread alarm and despondency throughout the boxing fraternity.
There had been many attempts in the past to ban it but these had all fizzled out because of lack of enforcement, but this time it was more serious. This time it wasn’t just about the sport alone, it was more about the gambling, alcohol consumption, and tax evasion involved within its boundaries. These were seen as federal violations and had caught the attention of the mighty FBI. If boxing was to survive this deadly assault on its existence, action, prompt and effective was needed. And thankfully action did come, it came in the shape of the, Frawley Act, or Frawley’s law as it was to become more commonly known.
Devised, proposed, and instituted in 1911 by lifelong boxing fan, Senator James J Frawley himself; it was, as it turned out, the saving grace of the fight game. His earlier, more liberal attempts at boxing reform were simply dismissed outright as ineffective, and he had to battle long and hard to get his new bill passed. This new bill basically removed the supervision, safety and control of boxing from the hands of the public and placed into the hands of a newly formed State Athletics Commission; of which he was of course a member.
He (the commission,) ruled that corruption only thrived as a direct result of gambling on the outcome of a fight, so in theory if you remove the outcomes (results) you remove the corruption. No more winning or losing on points, no more declared winners (knock outs were seen as unfortunate anomalies) and self-evidently of who had won and who had lost. Effectively, every fight that went the distance was now considered an exhibition match, and thus, the infamous No-Contest era was born, 1911-1920.
But as we all know life isn’t as simple as that, and neither is boxing!
Yes! It was true that the responsibility of deciding who had won or lost a fight was removed from the hands of judges and referees, but only for it to fall into the hands of the newspapers. If you wanted to know who had won a fight, all you had to do was read a newspaper. The no-decision era simply became the era of the newspaper decision. For example, if you check the boxing record of legendary lightweight Benny Leonard, it will show he participated in over one hundred no-decision contests, but look deeper, and you’ll find he won about ninety three of them by newspaper decision.
So, as far as the anti-gambling lobby was concerned, Frawley’s Law did not work in the way they had hoped it would, but because it also restricted the sale of alcohol at fights, and more importantly it also ensured there was always proper medical supervision at every contest, it was deemed as acceptable. Personally I don’t think a blanket boxing ban would not have worked anyway, it would only have served to push it underground for a few years.
So, speaking for boxing fans everywhere, I think we all owe a deep debt of gratitude to the intrepid James J Frawley, who, because of his dedication and love of the sport, managed to save boxing and give us a never to be forgotten decade of thrilling fights in which many a brave Briton participated.
Frawley’s law; supposedly for tax evasion reasons, was eventually scrapped and replaced in 1920 by the Walker law – but that’s an altogether different story.
Vinny & Kate
Roger Mayweather 24th April 1961 - 17th March 2020 R.I.P
Whenever I booked a trip to Las Vegas, the excitement of “the big fight” was nearly as thrilling as meeting up with Roger.
I first met Roger at the Top Rank gym around the time he took over the training duties for his nephew Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Roger would spend hours lecturing me why British fighters were never any good however, (although he did let slip he liked Nigel Benn), passionately he would dissect down to the finest details why no fighter would ever be good enough to defeat his nephew one reason being (he was his trainer!!).
I recall working a late shift on a production line when my phone rang, it was Roger telling me that it was impossible for Ricky Hatton to beat Floyd due to the ‘Hitmans’ jab not being quite perfect.
‘The Black Mamba’ was a 2 weight World champion and legendary trainer who built on Floyds defensive foundations and moulded him into an offensive fighter and exciting pay per view attraction. He can further claim, having worked with Laila Ali to have trained both the greatest male and female boxers of all time.
Being in a car with this wonderful character was a scary and hellish experience when he would rant on about his day in the gym and often questioned why on earth would anybody want a fleet of cars and numerous houses when you can only drive and live in one!!!!
It would be easy to write 2 or 3 books on this guy and his life stories but to reminisce, another amusing moment came after another Floyd win at the MGM Grand when he nonchalantly left Team Mayweather celebrating in the ring and whilst still wearing his corner jacket and with towel in hand casually made his way out of the arena with the fans, up through the seating areas and on to the concourse whilst being bombarded with questions to which you could hear his reply of “You Know Shit About Boxing”
Thanks for the memories you will never be forgotten.
Anyone having the privilege of visiting the Mayweather gym in Las Vegas will surely have left with a lifelong impression of the unmistakeable legend, Roger Mayweather.
If Roger was not training with his superstar nephew, he would be putting some aspiring young boxer through his paces.
Outside of the ring Roger would sit quietly purveying everyone and everything that was happening in the gym. He was happy to remain silent and absorb the goings on until someone engaged him in a boxing conversation, then his face would light up and he would test your knowledge on the ancient sport and then take delight in telling everyone that the finest and most successful boxers came from the Midwest USA (of course he meant Michigan).
Roger never boasted about his own 2 weight World champion achievements or his career but delighted in endorsing his nephew’s successes.
Despite his somewhat granite exterior Roger was a kind, funny and generous man who trained the best, both male and female.
A former British featherweight champion between 1954 and 1955 and also fought for the British lightweight title and the European and British Empire featherweight titles sadly passed away yesterday, 10th February 2020.
Sammy McCarthy, Featherweight Champion
JUNE 21, 2019 - by the gentle author
Let me tell you the story of “Smilin’ Sammy McCarthy,” one of legends of East End Boxing. Voted “Best British Boxer of 1951” by Boxing Times, Sammy was a golden boy who won eighty-three out of his ninety amateur contests and represented England four times in the nineteen fifties, before becoming British Featherweight Champion twice and then Lightweight Champion after that.
Yet to this day Sammy is resolute in his refusal to be called a hero. With his impeccable manners and old-fashioned proper way of talking, he is the paragon of self-effacement, an enigma who modestly ascribes his spectacular boxing career to no more than a fear of disappointing others. His contemporaries informed me that only once I knew about his background, could I fully appreciate the true impulse behind Smilin’ Sammy’s suave temperament, but what I discovered was something far more surprising than I ever expected.
Born in 1931 as one of ten children, Sammy grew up in a terrace off Commercial Rd next to Watney Market as the son of costermonger. “My father used to go round the streets selling fruit and veg and we all helped him, and I helped him more than anyone but I always hated it,” Sammy revealed to me, explaining how he visited Spitalfields Market each day with his father in the early morning and stood outside the church while his father bought the produce. Then Sammy had to wheel the loaded barrow back to Stepney but, although it gave him the physical strength which made him a boxer, it was also was a source of humiliation when Sammy’s schoolmates jeered. “Subconsciously, I suppose I was a bit of snob I wanted to be posh even though I didn’t know the meaning of the word.” he confided with a blush, expressing emotions that remain current even after all these years.
Sammy’s elder brother Freddie was a boxer before him and Sammy has a vivid memory of hiding under the table as a child, while his father and brother listened to the celebrated Tommy Farr and Joe Louis fight on the radio. “All the talk was of boxing and I so much wanted to participate but I was naturally timid,” he admitted to me shyly, “I was frightened of being frightened, I suppose but after my fights I was always so elated, it became like a drug.”
Sammy joined the St George’s Gym in Stepney where his brother trained. “I absolutely loved it but each time I went, I was extremely nervous.” he continued, breaking into his famous radiant smile, “At fifteen I had my first fight and lost on points, so I didn’t tell my father but he found out and cuffed me for not telling him, because he didn’t mind.”
“I had a great following thanks to my two uncles who sold tickets and everybody in the markets bought them because my brother was already well-known. So, there used to be coach loads coming to watch me box and I was always top of the bill, not because I was good but because I always sold plenty of tickets.” It was a characteristic piece of self-deprecation from a champion unrivalled in his era.
At nineteen, Sammy turned professional under the stewardship of renowned managers Jarvis Astaire and Ben Schmidt. “Every time I go to West End, I still go to Windmill St and stand outside where the training gym used to be. All the big film stars, like Jean Simmons and John Mills, they used to go there to the weigh-in before a big fight.” he told me proudly.
In spite of his meteoric rise, Sammy was insistent to emphasise his vulnerability “Everyone’s nervous, but I was petrified, not of fighting but of letting the side down,” he assured me. “I’d rather fight a boxer who thought he could fight but actually couldn’t,” Sammy announced, turning aphoristic and waving a finger, “than a boxer who thought he couldn’t fight but really could.” And I understood that Sammy was speaking of himself in the latter category. “It makes you sharp,” he explained, “your reflexes are very fast.”
‘”I retired at twenty-six, but I didn’t know I was going to retire,” admitted Sammy with a weary smile, “I had to meet these people who were putting a book together about me and it turned out to be the ‘This Is Your Life’ TV programme. It was 1957 and they expected me to announce I was going to retire. I must have been a little disappointed but maybe I hadn’t seen I was slowing down a little.”
Married with two children and amply rewarded by the success of his boxing career, Sammy bought a pub, The Prince of Wales, known as “Kate Odders,” in Duckett St, Stepney. You might think that Sammy had achieved fulfilment at last, but it was not so. “I hated every moment because I like home life and as a publican you are always being called upon.” he confessed, “I had a little money and I spent it all unfortunately.”
“My boxing career, it gave me confidence in myself. Boxing made me happy.” Sammy concluded as our conversation reached its natural resolution,” I didn’t enjoy the fights, but I love the social life. You meet the old guys and you realise it’s not about winning, it’s about giving of your best.” Living alone, Sammy leads a modest bachelor existence in a neatly kept one bedroom flat in Wanstead and he meets regularly with other ex-boxers, among whom he is popular character, a luminary.
And that is where this story would have ended, and it would have been quite a different kind of story if Sammy had not confronted me with an unexpected admission. “I want you to know why I am divorced from my wife and separated from my children,” he announced, colouring with a rush of emotion and looking me in the eye, “I’m telling you, not because I’m boasting about it but because I don’t want you to make me out to be a hero.”
There was a silence as Sammy summoned courage to speak more and I sat transfixed with expectation. “I robbed banks and I stole a lot of money, and I was caught, and I was put in prison for years.” he said.
“I think I was too frightened not to do it,” he speculated, qualifying this by saying, “I’m not making excuses.”
“I’m reformed now.” he stated, just to be clear.
“I was alright in prison because I’m comfortable with my own company and I read books to pass the time,” he added, to reassure me.
“But why did you do it?” I asked.
“Because we never had anything,” he replied, almost automatically and with an abject sadness. His lips quivered and he spread his hands helplessly. He had been referring back I realised to his childhood in the family of ten. A phrase he said earlier came back into my mind, “I can’t say that I experienced hardship,” he told me, “not by comparison with what my parents went through.”
Subsequently, a little research revealed that Sammy had been convicted three times for armed robbery, and served sentences of three, six and fourteen years. When I think of Smilin’ Sammy now, I think of his sweet smile that matches the Mona Lisa in its equivocation. It is a smile that contains a whole life of fear and pain. It is a smile that knew joy yet concealed secrets. It is a brave smile that manifests the uneasy reconciliation which Sammy has made with the World in the course of his existence.
The Great Roman Gonzalez.
Besides, while pondering this matter, one’s mind goes back to consider anew which boxers deserved similar laurels and it should be no surprise to learn that in the main there has been little consensus. For example, at the close of the 1990’s many regarded Roy Jones Jr, as clearly the pugilist of the decade, but in fact strong cases still stand that Evander Holyfield or the late, great Pernell Whitaker were more deserving. Similarly, as the year 1980 dawned, many saw “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, as the boxer of the decade just ended, while others preferred Carlos Monzon or Roberto Duran.
But this is as it should be. The nature of professional boxing is such that no single fighter can actually claim to be the premier, all-encompassing king of the sport for ten full years. There is always room for discussion and debate, is there not? And yet, when assessing the relevant weights and measures, it is the conviction in this corner that the present choice for boxing’s Fighter of the Decade is an easy one to make.
Yes, Andre Ward won multiple titles and retired undefeated. Yes, Floyd Mayweather scored wins over two greats of the current era, Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez. Yes, Gennady Golovokin dominated a division like few fighters of recent years, and the seemingly ageless “Pacman” continued to collect big wins and title belts as he entered his fifth decade. But simply put, in terms of quantity and quality, not to mention craftsmanship and technical brilliance, none of these boxers had a decade to match that of Roman Gonzalez. The “twenty-tens” belong to “Chocolatito” and no one else.
To make the case let’s first consider his activity over the ten years in question. Unlike many of his rivals, Gonzalez’s accomplishments do not overlap the previous decade. One can argue he came into his own as an elite-level boxer in 2010, with nine world title victories leading up to his showdown against Juan Francisco Estrada in 2012, one of the decade’s outstanding battles. For several years nothing but victories and superlative performances followed as fans came to understand that Roman Gonzalez was more than just another belt-holder from south of the bantamweight division, more than simply a protégé of the great Alexis Arguello.
“Chocolatito” demolishes Edgar Sosa in his HBO debut.
In all, Gonzalez scored 23 pro victories in the decade just ending, thirteen of them championship wins, numbers that dwarf the paltry activity levels of Ward and Floyd. But by the time Roman gained widespread recognition as, pound-for-pound, the best boxer on the planet, it was 2015, he was 28-years-old, near the end of his prime, and now facing boxers naturally bigger and heavier. Which brings us to another essential criterion: competitiveness. Unlike so many present-day elite champions, Gonzalez welcomed the challenge of facing one champion after another while moving up in weight, in the process becoming the first in boxing history to win world titles at minimum weight, light flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight.
And if the case can be made that certain signature wins on the records of Canelo, Floyd and Ward could, or should, have an asterisk beside them, no such argument can be made for Roman Gonzalez, who found himself pressured to keep moving up while being featured by HBO on the undercards of Gennady Golovkin’s fights. “Chocolatito” was in no position to demand catch-weights, even though the day-before weigh-in didn’t help him one bit, quite the contrary. And yet win after win showcased not only Gonzalez’s superlative skills, but also his courage, heart and willingness to give fans the action and excitement they crave while overcoming disadvantages in size and weight.
Chocolatito overwhelms Brian Viloria in 2015.
The list of elite-level battlers whom Roman defeated is impressive by any measure: Estrada, Akira Yaegashi, Edgar Sosa, Brian Viloria, McWilliams Arroyo and Carlos Cuadras were all top-level talents and all were bested by “Chocolatito.” And all, it should be noted, were either in, or very close to, their respective primes when they faced the pride of Nicaragua. Despite this, most of these duels were barely competitive. Only Estrada and Cuadras can be said to have given Gonzalez serious tests; the others, as capable as they may have been, were outclassed. Simply put, Gonzalez’s run from 2010 to 2017 was something to behold and sets him apart from every other world champion in the game.
In the process, Roman Gonzalez brought a much-needed spotlight to the lightest weight classes, divisions which in years past simply haven’t produced major box-office attractions. For the first time in recent memory, boxers who weighed little more than a kid in fifth grade could negotiate for serious paydays and mainstream attention, which is only fair given the activity and entertainment they bring to the ring. Let’s face it: your average flyweight tilt is far more engrossing than most heavyweight title fights. But the point here is that, unlike some champions, Gonzalez attracted only positive attention to boxing. A true sportsman and an admirable competitor, “Chocolatito” brought new fans to the small men of the sport while disdaining trash talk and tacky theatrics.
Carlos Cuadras gave “Chocolatito” a tough battle in 2016.
But the feel good story and the run of great victories couldn’t go on forever. From Thailand came a powerful young warrior named Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and on paper it looked to be another opportunity for Gonzalez to showcase his extraordinary skills on HBO and little more. Overlooked at the time was that while Rungvisai was an unknown with four losses on his record, he was in fact an extremely rugged and durable fighter with absolutely nothing to lose. Also, to judge from his stocky frame and bulging muscles, he was in all likelihood a featherweight disguised as a super flyweight. Few commentators like to talk much about the implications of the day-before weigh-in, but in retrospect it’s clear Rungvisai numbers among the boxers who have learned to exploit it for maximum advantage.
But this circumstance only bolsters the standing of Gonzalez, as Roman’s heroic performance in one of the best fights of the decade is also one of the primary reasons to choose him as the boxer of the decade. In the opening round he tasted the canvas for the first time in his career, confirming that he was both past his prime and physically out-gunned by the burly Thai, the latter doing all he could to turn the match into a brutal, grueling, war of attrition, with plenty of rough stuff and headbutts mixed into his attack. Before long Gonzalez was badly cut and taking serious punishment and all knew he was facing a challenge unlike any before in his prolific career.
Gonzalez vs Rungvisai I: Fight of the Decade?
And how did Roman Gonzalez respond? With nothing but the will and sheer guts required to bring his skills to bear in a vicious war. Finding himself on the precipice of defeat, he summoned up every ounce of energy and heart to out-work and out-land his stronger, heavier opponent. He never retaliated to Rungvisai’s questionable tactics with rough stuff of his own or complained to the referee, but instead simply out-fought him, his ferocious barrage of clean shots enough to put the challenger on the run, literally, in the final round. Looking back at this thrilling struggle, one can admire the courage and spirit of both fighters while lamenting the final decision from the judges. Yes, it was highly competitive, but there’s no question which of the two landed the cleaner, crisper blows and who truly deserved to have their hand raised at the final bell.
In his first battle with Rungvisai, Gonzalez clearly deserved better.
But what could be more fitting in 21st century boxing than to have a Fighter of the Decade who is the victim of an obvious injustice? Bad decisions are almost routine and rarely cause us to do more than shrug our shoulders now. After all, that’s not the only injustice Gonzalez has had to endure. While he struggled against a bigger, stronger opponent through twelve punishing rounds, in the process shedding his blood all over the Madison Square Garden canvas, he could only look forward to a six-figure check, while clowns like Adrien Broner earn millions. The fact he suffered a brutal knockout loss to Rungvisai in their rematch only adds to the poignancy of Roman’s no-win situation and highlights how extraordinary his showing in their first meeting truly was, a showing this site hailed as 2017's Performance of the Year.
The bottom line is Roman Gonzalez had a better run at the elite level of boxing over the past ten years than any other professional prizefighter on the planet, winning more meaningful matches, overcoming tougher opposition, and in the process establishing himself as one of the most effective pressure fighters in boxing history. No one else achieved more, or showed more heart and competitive zeal. Roman Gonzalez is our Fighter of the Decade, and we grant him this honour without hesitation or equivocation. Because before making such an assessment and coming to a final decision, we give just as much attention and scrutiny to the smaller canvases on the wall as we do to the big ones.
Where it Began!
Where it began, I can't begin to know … Yes, you’ve guessed it the unmistakable lyrics from Neil Diamond’s classic modern pre-fight anthem “bitter Sweet Caroline”. And yes, as written in the song “I can’t begin to know” how a karaoke favourite now overshadows the commitment and devotion of today’s boxing heroes and becomes the highlight of our beloved sporting boxing events.
But try as we might, we cannot stop the wheels of change and of course it is healthy to still be able to fill massive arenas with throngs of these newfound cult following fans, which with their ticket sales enables that this precious sport is being kept alive. However, for the boxing purists it is important that the history of our sport and what it stands for, which is two evenly matched boxers fighting their battles to determine who is the best is not forgotten and the World Super Series format continues to evolve.
Thank goodness that 2019 gave us the pleasure of watching the World Super Series, which has restored our faith in the noble art. Where the best are matched against the best to determine superiority and one unified champion such as Josh Taylor v Regis Prograis, Oleksandr Gvozdyk v Artur Beterbiev, Naoya Inoue v Nonito Donaire whilst not forgetting British dustups with Kash Farooq v Lee McGregor & Felix Cash v Jack Cullen but unfortunately do not command the recognition they deserve of the current anthem singing, fair-weather casual fans.
We look forward in anticipation to seeing the champions of the World Series perform in all their glory in 2020 and long may they continue to lead the way.
At this time of the year it is with heavy heart that we remember those boxing fellows we have lost this year Pernell Whitaker, Hugo Santillan, Boris Stanchov, Patrick Day & Maxim Dadashev may they rest in peace.
We would also like to share with you a Christmas tale written by Manchester’s esteemed boxing scribe Lawrence Yearsley which we hope you will enjoy.
Thank you for visiting the site and for your valued custom and support.
Vinny and Kate
The Fight Before Christmas
Born in St Kitts in the British West Indies in the year 1798 John Kendrick was a young man full of natural aggression who loved nothing better in life than a good old fashioned punch-up.
He worked in the island’s ports loading and unloading ships where his curt manner and quick temper saw him almost on a daily basis get into fights with foreign sailors, they in turn praised him on his pugilistic skills and told him of a new sporting phenomenon called prize fighting which was sweeping across England like wildfire. We will never know if these wretched seamen were telling him these things just to get rid of him or if it was a genuine bit of friendly advice, but whichever it was it worked because he soon found work on board one of the trade ships and worked his passage to England.
Once in London it didn’t take him long to discover who was who and what was what in the boxing fraternity but try as he might he just couldn’t get any lucrative fights. The trouble was he had no panache, he looked, spoke and acted like a back street ruffian, no self-respecting prize fighter anywhere would have anything to do with him. Merely having the qualifications of a good fighter alone was not enough if you wanted to make it big in 18th century boxing, you couldn’t just waltz into town and demand a paid fight with the first boxer you came across, you first had to get yourself a patron; or backer, and if you didn’t have one of these you were never going to mix it with the big boys. And with his outlandish almost loutish behaviour he was never likely to get one either, it was almost as if he was seen as a trespasser to boxing.
In early 1819 he discovered the whereabouts of the notable pugilist Bill Richmond and approached him in the street; and in an attempt to rile him into a fight began calling him names, Bill slapped him in the face and a scuffle broke out, they were separated by a group of Bill’s friends. He then challenged Richmond to fight him for £50, but when asked to show his money or name his backer he could do neither and was sent away with a flea in his ear.
In May of the same year a group of top notch prize fighters and their patrons were having a meeting in the parlour of Tom Oliver’s pub, The Duke’s Head. The main purpose of the meeting was to arrange a fight between Tom Oliver and Dan Donnelley, who was also present at this get-together. But halfway through this alcohol laden gathering they were interrupted by a loud banging on the front door of the pub, it was John Kendrick!
When asked what he wanted he answered, I’m the best fighter in England and I’m here to prove it. Tom Oliver, who had opened the door to him found this amusing and brought him to meet the others where once again he reiterated his challenge. One of the rich backers at the meeting; with the sole purpose of humiliating Kendrick, announced that he would be happy to pay the costs of an immediate set to, offering 21 guineas to the winner and 4 guineas to the loser. Staffordshire fighter George Cooper was the soberest of the lot and took up the challenge. The furniture was cleared from the room and the two men went at it. Cooper did win, but it was lot harder than he had anticipated; Kendrick got his 4 guineas and won a lot of respect from every prize fighter in the room. But in one way he had inadvertently shot himself in the foot because they now knew how good he was and who in their right mind would want to fight such a high-risk opponent for so little financial reward?
Later in the year as Christmas approached the dejected Kendrick once more found himself penniless and hungry; turning to his luckless friends who were just as broke as he was made a solemn promise to them, this year my friends, he said, I’m going to buy us all a proper Christmas dinner, all I need is one good money fight and I know exactly where to find it!
He walked all the way to Blindlow Heath in Sussex where some big fights were scheduled to take place; he arrived cold wet and hungry only to discover that not one of the sea of unfriendly faces would accept his challenge. This made him angry and he started calling everyone cowards and lowlifes until one man stripped off and stepped forward, it was the exceptionally talented Harry Sutton, he said I’ll fight you, you bigmouth, if only to shut you up. The fiery tempered Kendrick snapped, and with his arms held dangerously low and totally intolerant of any other form of defence he stormed into his antagonist like a wild man, but the wily Sutton was much too clever and experienced to fall for those kind of tactics and the poor Islander received the biggest beating he’d ever had in his life, but to everybody’s amazement including Sutton’s he displayed bottom so great it was said that nothing like it had ever been witnessed in a prize ring before. [In old boxing parlance ‘BOTTOM’ was a colloquial word used to describe the intensity of a fighter’s guts, spirit, staying power etc.] He was so severely injured he couldn’t even walk, but because of the indomitable fighting spirit and bravery he had shown under such duress the rest of the fighters had a whip round for him and raised an unbelievable £50; a small fortune at the time, and the first money he spent was on the cost of a warm and comfortable carriage ride home. Kendrick was many things; most of them bad, but at least he was true to his word and on the 25th of December that year his sensational fight before Christmas paid for a slap-up dinner for all!
British Ex Boxers Hall of Fame Induction Awards
Nestled away in the beautiful Essex countryside, The British Ex-Boxers Hall of Fame 5th Annual Induction Awards took place at Orsett Hall, 22nd September 2019. Opening the ceremony with his own rendition of the National Anthem was none other than former World champion John H. Stracey who was also celebrating his 69th birthday.
Some of the 2019 inductees were in attendance to receive their prestigious awards and the families of legends posthumously awarded stepped up to receive the coveted recognition.
Jack Kid Berg
It was equally a pleasure to meet up with other gentlemen and characters such as Jimmy Batten, John Conteh, Clinton McKenzie, Sammy McCarthy, 1948 Olympian Ronnie Cooper, James Cook MBE, Billy Aird, Ricky Burns and many more.
We look forward to attending the British Ex-Boxers Hall of Fame 6th Annual Induction Awards ceremony which will be hosted in Cardiff 2020.
Wild Bill Marsh
There is a cheerless old moss ingrained gravestone nestled in a corner of the overgrown churchyard belonging to St Cuthbert’s church in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. Beneath it lie the remains of one, William Marshall; the first noted pugilist ever to come from Scotland. And according to the gravestone’s faded inscription he didn’t shuffle off his mortal coil until he reached the ripe old age of 120 years (1672- 1792.) And as if that wasn’t enough of an achievement, he is reputed to have been married 17 times and fathered dozens of children, four of them supposedly after his 100th birthday!
Before I even start on his boxing career, I should tell you a few more fascinating facts about this colourful character. He was known by two titles, one was, The King of the Gypsies, and the other one was, the king of the Randies (I’m not 100% sure about this but logically thinking I think that means he was a serial womanizer.) In reality he was a roguish gang leader; villain rapscallion, call him what you like, but more importantly than any of this, and very much like that other legendary Scottish folklore character, Rob Roy, he was a much loved and respected Robin Hood figure.
When greedy English landowners built invasive dykes and land barriers cutting honest, decent country folk off from their smallholdings in which they eked a living, he and his gang went around destroying these intrusive obstructions enabling the rustics back into their rightful homes – and also going to the trouble of leaving a coin on the hearth for each and every family.
More of an adventurous mercenary than your typical sixpence a day wage earning soldier, he enlisted and deserted from the Army on no less than seven separate occasions, and just for good measure he did the same with the Navy three times. One humorous anecdote tells of him that while serving under the Duke of Marlborough in Germany around 1705 he had the audacity to go to his commanding officer and ask him if he had any messages for home. Later on when this flatulent CO demanded to know who had ordered a messenger to be sent home, he was nervously informed by one of his junior officers that Billy Marshall had, and that Billy had already decamped and left for Britain under his own steam; taking masses of valuable military equipment with him.
Aggressive, ambitious, and with a punch that could keep Satan at bay; Wild Bill was everything a true fighting man is supposed to be, and as one silver tongued boxing pundit said of him, “He bestrolled the globe like a granite fisted colossus leaving havoc in his wake.”
A typical fly by night he was always on the run from the police or government forces of one sort or the other, and with a wanderlust running through his veins he was not satisfied just simply travelling around his native lands, no, he preferred to travel the World instead, fighting, and so it’s said, defeating every man than ever stood before him. Even though this was the so called ‘Golden Age of Sail,’ travelling wasn’t easy in those days, especially for men like him who never seemed to have a penny to his name. Yet it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did make these fantastic voyages, and not only that, whilst he was making them this opportunistic character who was always willing to prove his boxing prowess, somehow managed to persuade hundreds of foreign fighters (mainly from the Far East) to travel to Britain to engage in the recent lucrative phenomenon of prize fighting which had gripped the country. It is also written that he fought each and everyone one of them the moment they arrived in the country; which possibly makes him the most cosmopolitan boxer of all time, but it is not written if he beat them or not. However I think it’s safe to assume that he did, because if you think about it, if you were a visitor to a foreign land in those days and were forced to fight a dubious looking gang leader surrounded by a band of cut-throats, would you really try to beat him?
Nowadays we are used to seeing people of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures everywhere, so it’s strange to think that over 250 years ago this man was singlehandedly responsible for bringing so many different nationalities to our shores. He would have made a great travel agent because he brought them in from; Japan, China, Siam (Thailand,) the West Indies, and all over Western Europe and every one of them a champion boxer in their own rights (or at least this is what they all claimed.) I do have access to a lot of their names, but it would be meaningless to print them all here. How he managed to overcome the language barrier and converse with these people I have absolutely no idea (I used to think the same thing about, Spartacus,) but overcome it he did. It seems; just like the language of love, the language of boxing knows no barriers either. We can only presume he must have been some sort of Doctor Dolittle of the boxing World.
If they were to make a film about this man’s long and exciting life; and I personally think they should, I suspect it would be an exceptionally lengthy one and highly likely to be serialised into even more parts than the ‘Rocky’ film franchise.
There is a curious, but frequently practiced age-old custom that says visitors to his grave should always leave a coin behind on it for the next Gypsy that passes. When I visited it last year, I had no cash on me so I did the next best thing and wrote a cheque and left that instead; I’m sure Billy didn’t mind - it was a traveller’s cheque!
By Lawrence Yearsley (Boxing Scribe) Historian and Author
Lawrence Yearsley is the author of Boxing Bonanza and Boxing Curiosa both very cleverly written pieces of boxing literature, full of interesting facts and stories collected by the author who is himself a former boxer.
An anthology of short boxing articles from those the author; Lawrence Yearsley submitted to the Manchester Ex-Boxers Association for inclusion in their monthly newsletter. They are all both interesting and informative, and appeal to boxing and non boxing fans alike. The articles range from the old bare knuckle era right up to the present day. As all boxing fans know, the World of boxing is hugely manifold, and so are these articles. They do not adhere to just one theme and cover a variety of subjects from the origin of the term, ‘Boxing Fan,’ to the low-down on historic boxing venues.
Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker - R.I.P.
A legendary four division champion and Olympic gold medallist, Pernell Whitaker died Sunday night July 14, after being hit by a vehicle in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to the Virginia Beach Police Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Whitaker was 55.
Whitaker, who boxed for 17 years and held titles at lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight, made a name for himself by defeating Luis Ortiz to win the gold medal for the United States at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. "Sweet Pea" famously started boxing at age 9 and had an extensive amateur career prior to compiling a stellar professional record of 40-4-1 with 17 knockouts.
Known as one of the best defensive fighters of all-time, the southpaw was widely considered the pound-for-pound best boxer in the World during the mid-1990’s as he racked up a 40-1-1 the draw he was awarded after fighting Julio Cesar Chavez will forever go down as one of the biggest robberies in boxing history after losing his welterweight titles to rising star Oscar De La Hoya on April 12, 1997. Whitaker would never officially win another fight and retired four years later.
Whitaker, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame who was named Fighter of the Year by Ring Magazine in 1989 and still holds the longest unified lightweight championship reign with six defences, began training fighters in his retirement, most famously heavyweight title contender Calvin Brock and former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah.
Celebrities from around sports, including boxing, spent Monday paying tribute to Whitaker on social media.
R I P champ, one of the best fighters to ever do it
Wow I can’t believe this!!! Somebody that I’ve always loved to watch and wanted to meet so bad and now it will never happen. SMH RIP SWEET PEA you will for ever be one of the greatest to ever lace em up.
Oh no, no, no... Sweet Pea was one of the greatest fighters to ever lace up gloves. Waking up to this news just has me GUTTED. Boxing has lost one of its best and I’ve lost a friend. Loved him. No matter what he was going through, he had a great heart.
Rest in eternal peace Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker - IMO the greatest defensive fighter of all time.
RIP Champ - 2nd January 1964 - 14th July 2019
Vinny & Kate
Jem and Alice lived in a flat in Huguenot Building, Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town. This was new expensive property facing a park. A picture is opposite and following is a description from the Government Gazette.
This predominantly Edwardian building was erected by the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church to commemorate the arrival of the French Huguenots (1688). The foundation stone was laid on 24 Aug 1899 and the building was officially opened on 15 Oct 1903. The mortal remains of President S.J.P.Kruger lay in state here from 1 Dec to 6 Dec 1904.
Jem opened a boxing school in Cape Town. In 1903 he fought an exhibition bout with Jack Valentine. He fought an exhibition bout with Billy Clark. On 18 Jan 1904 he fought an exhibition bout with Jack Valentine.
On 4 May 1904 Alice wrote to her brother Samuel Frederick Belwood Douglas Stokes, and sent him a postcard for his 21st birthday (on 26 May 1904).
The boxing school was not successful and with Alice again becoming pregnant, they decided to close it and return to England.
On 17 Sep 1904 they arrived back in Southampton on board the Union Castle line “Kenilworth Castle”. The ship was very new having only been put into service that year. The passenger list showing Jem & Alice is below.
Some confusion has been caused among historians about this period partly because original sources of information from South Africa are very scarce and partly because, in order to make a buck, a journalist and friend of Jem’s called Datas (real name, William Bottle) wrote a totally fictitious account of Jem taking a round the world trip at this time. Unfortunately, he was widely believed. The practice of writing fiction about well known figures is common. (It is easier than finding out the real facts).
When they returned Jem and Alice moved into a rented flat at 9, Colebrooke Row, Islington, London. Unfortunately, Hitler knocked down No 9, so a picture of No 15, Colebrooke Row follows. This is the house that Alexander Mcleish and Polly lived in, and in which Jem and Alice’s children spent most of their childhoods.
Jem Mace Life History courtesy of Brian Pursall. www.jemmacelifehistory.co.uk
90,000 people witnessed first-hand Anthony Joshua, the latest British hope, defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. A national record attendance, a record initially set by Len Harvey & Jock McAvoy’s 1939 world title fight. Accounts of the time report tens of thousands more sneaking into that contest, making it potentially the biggest attended fight of all time.
Ringside is the untold story
of the path trodden by these two great boxing heroes who achieved so much in a World
of limitations that can now only be imagined: Their broken bodies pushed on and pushed on in
order to feed families; gruelling training sessions in gruesome conditions
& shady management that put money before the man.
Join us on a journey exploring a race to a World title between two bitterly desperate rivals in the ring, who forged a strong bond & deep mutual respect out of it.
I found out Len Harvey was my great-great uncle as a teenager & have been fascinated ever since. His story was the motivation for me to work in the Film & TV industry, which I have since 2003. I have recently tracked down the Harvey family that we never knew & spent an afternoon with 35 Harvey relations!
A little bit more about the project:
I have been developing it for 20 years & it has been in active production for the last 16 months. This is a completely self-funded project focusing on the rivalry between Len Harvey & Jock McAvoy. Filming started last month & we will be shooting until the summer when we intend to reconstruct the 1939 world title fight between them.
Additional to this, we are running a crowd-funding campaign to raise funding for the licensing of archive footage so we can enter it into the leading UK film festivals upon completion.
The achievements of both men were the initial catalyst for Danny working in the Film & TV industry. After graduating with a degree in Video Production, Danny has worked for a variety of broadcasters & blue-chip clients, including the BBC, Channel 5, Viasat, Edelman, Ferrari & the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, alongside developing & producing independent short & feature-length documentaries. A keen sports fan, he has been developing this film in various formats for nearly two decades.
How will the funds be used?
We have raised funding to cover the cost of production, consisting of interviews & a fight reconstruction, but need your help to cover the cost of post-production (editing, colour grading, graphic design & sound mixing). Archive media is our biggest expense. Relevant material has already been identified but will need sufficient treatment.
Everyone working on this film has agreed to do so on a voluntary basis. Following completion of the film, we intend to hold a premiere for all involved with the film to thank them for their efforts.
Our intended distribution is through leading UK film festivals, where we can showcase the film’s strength & garner an audience.
We will be withdrawing your donations monthly & using it to purchase archive material as & when there are sufficient funds to afford this.
Production has already begun with expected completion by July 2019. Post-production will begin after this with the aim of completion by the end of the year.
What’s in it for you?
Any amount donated is extremely appreciated & you will forever have our gratitude.
To reward various levels of donations, we have comprised the following rewards:
Social media thank you - £10
Digital download of the final film - £25
Boxing lesson with ex-British middleweight champion, James Cook - £50
Be an extra - £100
Ticket to the premiere - £150
‘Len Harvey’s London’ tour with the Director - £250
Special thanks credit - £250
Associate Producer credit - inc. 1 ticket to the premiere - £500
‘Favour for a favour’ - any video production, inc. 1 days filming & 1 days edit - £1000
Thank you for your time!
Swansong for Jem of a boxer
The Northern Echo - 24th August 2004
Jem Mace was variously described as the last genius of prize fighting and as the father of modern boxing.
Born in Norfolk in 1831, sometimes billed as The Swaffham Gypsy, the former World heavyweight champion died on November 30, 1910 at 6 Princess Street, Jarrow, having ascended to boxing's heights and landed, abject and alone, flat upon the canvas.
"Poor old Jem is going to struggle along as best as he can until the last round," he'd mumble to the friends who, a few weeks at a time, would take the old man in.
His obituaries supposed him to have made a quarter of a million, including £10,000 for one fight. His bank account had held £70,000.
By the end he was dependent upon hand-outs, upon shambling personal appearances at two bob travelling shows and upon selling handshakes for tupence - a penny for bairns - in pubs like the White Swan.
Though the "Gypsy" qualification was disputed, he'd certainly been a wanderer. There was talk of three wives, ten children and a mistress.
Mace if not quite a midget Jem !!, then extraordinarily slight for a heavyweight - following a letter from Nelson Dunn in Evenwood, near Bishop Auckland.
Mr Dunn's father told how Mace would visit a former sparring partner in Sand Hole - a long-vanished hamlet west of the village - usually leaving him a few sovereigns before returning to the Swan, where he stayed.
Man and boy, Dunn senior had threepennorth of handshakes.
Mace had had 500 fights - Slasher Slack, Posh Price - losing, it's reckoned, just three.
He took the sport to America and Australia, was 59 when he fought the World heavyweight champion, 64 when he still entranced the National Sporting Club, 73 when he had his last contest. His longest fight lasted 57 rounds.
"Keep a straight left and you'll always be right," he'd tell anyone who'd listen.
He'd also been an apprentice cabinet maker, innkeeper, violin player and racehorse owner. Just months before his death he'd received a "great reception" at St James Hall in Newcastle, doubtless for a few shillings appearance money, but knew the final count was near.
The Northern Echo obituary saluted the "hero of many a hard-fought battle" but acknowledged that he'd lost everything.
His death, we added, was due to senile decay. Though a Norfolk brewery makes Jem Mace bitter, though Encyclopaedia Brittanica features him between Mace spice and Macedonia, he is buried in an unmarked grave in Liverpool.
1910 – 1920 AFTERMATH
Jem’s death was registered by Norah LeNeve on 2 Dec 1910 and William LeNeve informed the press.
Jem’s fame was such that obituaries appeared in every major newspaper in the whole English speaking World. It is difficult to imagine anyone, whose major achievements were 40 years previously being such a celebrity that they would receive that kind of coverage.
On 6 Dec 1910 Jem’s funeral was held in Liverpool. His Plymouth Brethren preacher son, Alfred, officiated. It is very unlikely that Jem would have wanted a Christian burial, but he was dead, so he could not argue.
The Liverpool Daily Courier reported that the following principal mourners were at the funeral.
Mrs Mace - (this has to be Nellie, other possibilities were dead)
Rev Alfred Mace - (Jem’s oldest surviving son by Mary Ann)
Mr J Mace - (presumably James Mace 2, Jem’s second oldest surviving son by Mary Ann)
Mrs Shepherd - (née Elsie Theodora Mace, Alfred’s oldest daughter)
Mr J F Mace - (John Farnham Mace, Alfred’s youngest son)
Mr W Turvill - (William Turvill, husband of Adelaide Mace, Jem’s oldest daughter by Mary Ann)
Mr & Mrs A McMillin -(née Amelia Martha Mace, Jem’s oldest daughter by Hannah, & her husband)
Mr T McMillin & Mr W McMillin - (grandsons)
Mr Mace - (it is not certain but this is probably Nellie’s son, born John George F Lee)
Mrs A Mace - (Hannah Ada Mace, Jem’s 2nd daughter by Hannah)
Mr E McCall - (Nellie’s brother in law)
Mr Taylor & Mr Foster - (it is not clear who they are, but presumably friends or relations of Nellie)
Mr & Mrs LeNeve - (Jem’s circus owning gypsy relations)
Mr Sam Nixon - (one of Jem’s Australian managers)
Mr Charles Nixon - (presumably a relation of Sam)
There was also present a large number of the boxing community, including ex Detective Inspector Hale and Commander McNab RNR. The funeral directors were R. McDougall & Co. Ltd. of Renshaw Street.
Alice’s family were conspicuous by their absence. Since Alice was now dead and Jem & Alice’s relationship was probably viewed as extra-marital by Nellie, it is likely they were not invited.
The original plan had been to bury him in the McMillin family plot in Anfield Cemetery. He was actually buried in an adjacent pauper’s plot No CH594 with no headstone.
The reason given was that no member of any of Jem’s four families were willing to foot the bill. However, judging by subsequent events, it is much more likely that Nellie did not wish to have a constant reminder of her errant husband, and did not wish for the grave to become a pilgrimage site for “undesirables”.
At the time of Jem’s death, the situation in America was changing. America was becoming more powerful. American media, and in particular, the Hollywood film industry, became all pervasive Worldwide. Hollywood needed all American Heroes to help their home box office receipts, so they neatly forgot Jem Mace and extolled the undoubted virtues of the long line of All American Heavyweight boxers that followed him.
For Jem’s image, this was a double whammy. He was, for many years, relegated by American media to virtual invisibility, only to re-emerge in recent years as historians and boxing fans have looked again at the history.
Even at the time of his death Jem remained famous, as this cigarette card, from a series of famous sportsmen, published by Mecca cigarettes about 1910 demonstrates.
On 20 Jul 1912 Loftus Lambert backed by Jem’s boxing supporters, frustrated by Nellie’s refusal to allow a memorial in Liverpool, had a memorial erected in Norwich Cemetery. Where it remained until 1968 when it was removed to allow the construction of a Cremation Chapel. It was stored until 1976.
On 10 Apr 1976 it was re-erected in St Mary’s Church graveyard, Beeston, next to his father William’s grave.
In 1986 the Beeston Parish Council decided that, as Beeston’s only claim to fame, Jem deserved a better memorial. So they erected a replacement. Following is a picture of the unveiling ceremony performed by Mr S. H. G. Clarke, chairman of Beeston Parish Council. The rector Rev A. G. N. Daynes is far left.
On 25 Apr 1987, a modernistic, life-size, bronze statue by New Orleans Sculptor Paul Perret was unveiled at LaSalle’s Landing, Kenner, Louisiana, to commemorate the 1870 World Championship fight held there against Tom Allen.
Bearing in mind the fact that, at the time, both of the contestants were English and were fighting there contrary to American law and against a background of official opposition, the ostentatious display of American nationalism seems odd.
In 1954 Jem was elected to the “Ring Boxing Hall Of Fame”
In 1990 Jem was elected to the “International Boxing Hall of Fame”
In 2002 Jem’s remains were removed from the “pauper’s plot” and re-interred in the McMillin plot in Anfield Cemetery.
ChampsUK Sports, Leisurewear & Merchandise
Here at ChampsUK we are very excited to announce that in 2019 we will be launching our own branded ChampsUK merchandise, training and leisure wear. We are proud to have created our own range of quality garments embellished with our own logo which we hope can be an integral part of everyday clothing with both boxing fans and keep fit enthusiasts.
Our merchandise will range from the highest quality training gear using sports science perspiration technology fabrics to keyrings, sports bottles, drinking cups and hats.
Our vision is also to to help young and aspiring professionals as well as established and newly formed amateur boxing clubs the opportunity to engage and participate in ChampsUK sponsorship.
Of course, we will continue with the memorabilia as our main focus and driving force, offering unique and quality items with our promise as always of a professional and efficient service.
We would also like to thank Mark Robinson and his team at Stitch-It () for their expertise and guidance which has been monumental in taking this project forward.
Vinny & Kate
Seasons Greetings 2018
As we approach the end of another scintillating year of World class boxing, we remind ourselves of some of our favourite fights throughout the year, some of which we are proud to say are our current "Best of British" fighters. Here’s a quick recall of some of our favourites from 2018.
12 Christmas Crackers
January - Clarissa Shields vs Tori Nelson
February - George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jnr
March - Oscar Valdez vs Scott Quigg
April - Carl Frampton vs Nonito Donaire
May - Vasyl Lomachenko vs Jorges Linares
June - Josh Taylor vs Viktor Postol
July - Katie Taylor vs Kimberley Connor
August - Carl Frampton vs Luke Jackson
September - Gennady Golvokin vs Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez
October - Terrence Crawford vs Jose Benavidez
November - Oleksandr Usyk vs Tony Bellew
December - Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder
Furthermore, it is fitting to take this opportunity to remember those in the boxing World who have sadly passed away this year, Brendan Ingle, Dean Francis, Chris Edwards, Enzo Calzaghe and Scott Westgarth and others who we may not have listed, our thoughts are with their families at this time.
Many thanks to all of you for visiting the site and for your valued custom. Finally we would like to wish you all the very best for a Happy Christmas and fabulous healthy New Year.
Vinny & Kate
Here at ChampsUK we will be heading to Glasgow to follow “The Tartan Tornado” Josh Taylor who faces Ryan Martin in the light welterweight quarter final of the World Boxing Super Series. This is a spectacular tournament with a brilliant concept where the best meet the best with a continuous flow of wonderful fights, we believe Josh Taylor will be the eventual winner of the Muhammad Ali trophy catapulting him into another stratosphere.
After witnessing Ukranian sensation Vasyl Lomachenko, take on Guillermo Rigondeaux at Madison Square Garden, New York, it will be a privilege to watch his fellow countryman and best friend
Rest assured we will be collecting and obtaining merchandise from both the Manchester and Glasgow events.
Also, during this hectic boxing schedule, Liverpool’s own local hero Rocky Fielding will be going to Madison Square Garden to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez which is a daunting challenge, but we cannot rule out a 2018 upset of the year result.
Local talented boxers Ryan “Ruthless” Doyle and Mark Heffron engage in challenges that will enhance both their reputation and profiles and are fighters to look out for in future British title contests.
All in all, a selection box of goodies to tempt us into the new year we hope you enjoy the fights and look forward to updating you all after the events.
As always thanks for visiting the site.
Kings Hall Belle Vue Mancester England
Boxing at Belle Vue
Over the years Belle Vue hosted a number of high profile boxing fights dating back to 1929.
The first two panels below show a fight in 1929 between Ardwick middleweight boxer Len Johnson (black trunks) and George West (white trunks) from Fulham. The fight ended in a win for Johnson after twenty 3 minute rounds. The final panel shows the reigning featherweight champion Johnny Curley (black trunks) fighting Billy Hindley from Horwich. Curley retained his title on points after another twenty 3 minute round contest.
Below: Dave MacGill (left), the English Champion, and Tom Berry, the Irish Champion, weighing in for their British Empire Cruiserweight Championship bout in February 1927. For 20 shillings people were able to purchase a reserved ringside seat. Whether it was the fight or the cost of the seats the crowd was described as disappointing.
The fight apparently ended in a rather uneventful points win for Berry but was interesting for the fact that the referee, J. W. H. T. Douglas chose to referee from outside of the ring. A reporter said of the referee, "He sat there last night with the blue smoke curling up from a cigar in his hand and he was almost as arresting figure as the fighters. Suddenly his voice would ring out; "Step back - both!" And there is something in that voice that makes a mad do as it says.
Below: George Rose of Bristol being knocked-out in round 6 by Al Foreman to retain his British light-weight Championship in October 1930. The press of the day felt that Rose outboxed the Champion - until he knocked him out.
Prior to the fight the press took this photograph of the Lonsdale Belt arriving in Manchester to be presented to the minner of the Foreman - Rose fight. As you can see the belt arrived in a biscuit tin but was willingly removed to show the porters at London Road Station.
November 1925 and Kid Lewis, ex World Champion, is knocked to the floor by Len Johnson in round 6. Lewis retired unexpectedly at the end of round 9. Johnson earned £1000 for the fight.
Below you can see Lewis' towel in the ring near Johnson's feet as he walks across to shake hands at the end of the fight.
September 1925 and Len Johnson from Ardwick beats Roland Todd on points to take the British Middleweight Championship. The bout was over 15 rounds and 6000 people packed the Kings Hall to watch it.
The following article appeared in the Guardian on Friday August 3, 1934
Boxer who bit a man's ear
Four months' hard labour for Jackie Brown: 'great provocation'
Sentence of four months' imprisonment with hard labour was passed at Manchester Quarter Sessions yesterday on Jackie Brown (24), the world's fly-weight boxing champion, who, after a trial lasting over three hours, was convicted of assault by occasioning bodily harm upon Louis Tarchman, of Choir Street, Lower Broughton, Manchester. Brown's address was given as Valley Road, Bramhall. The jury, in returning their verdict, added that in their opinion Brown committed the assault under great provocation,.
Sir Walter Greaves-Lord, K.C., M.P., the Recorder, passing sentence, said that he thought the jury had taken exactly the right view, and that there was a considerable amount of taunting, although Brown, of all people, ought to have refrained from the particular form of violence which had been proved. He had always understood that England was extraordinarily free of anything which savoured of unfairness or unsportsmanlike conduct. If it had not been for the jury's opinion that there had been provocation the sentence would have been more severe. He hoped that this would be a lesson to Brown and that he would keep within the bounds of sportsmanship in the future. Mr. B. S. Wingate-Saul prosecuted. Brown was defended by Mr. J. C. Jackson, K.C., M.P., and Mr. Edgar Lustgarten.
Mr. Ludgate-Saul described how on July 1 Tarchman, accompanied by a man named Nathan Goldberg and two women, went to Blackpool. In an hotel there Brown spoke to one of the young women, Mrs. Vera Sheldon, who was known to the party as "Blondie." As the party was leaving he took her aside and detained her in conversation. Tarchman went over to them, and, after Brown had used an offensive term, Tarchman said, "You may be a champion, but you take no liberties with me."
The men were separated in the hotel, and later the Tarchman party drove off in their car to Manchester. Brown followed in his car with his chauffeur. Tarchman twice had occasion to stop on the way, and on both occasions Brown's car stopped.
When they got to the corner of Bury New Road and Waterloo Road Tarchman stopped with the intention of telephoning to the police from a police-box. Brown's car drew up immediately behind. To walk to the box Tarchman had to pass Brown's car. According to one account, Brown called to Tarchman, "Come here, you little -." According to another, Tarchman went up to the car and said: "Don't be so cocky. It is only four years ago since you were holding a bucket for me."
According to onlookers, Brown left his car, dashed at Tarchman, seized him by the hair, and during a struggle bit his ear deliberately, biting an inch off it.
For the defence it was urged that Brown was a friend of Mrs. Sheldon and of her husband, and when he saw her in the hotel he tried to persuade her to return to Manchester with him "as he did not like the company she was in." Tarchman, according to Brown, used insulting language in the hotel and shouted insulting remarks from his car on the way home. It was also claimed that when Brown's car attempted to pass Tarchman's near Chorley, Tarchman attempted to ditch the other car.
Brown's case was that Tarchman struck him and when he attempted to defend himself he held Tarchman's head back. Tarchman gave him a foul blow and, with the sudden agonising pain, he involuntarily clenched his teeth. He was not aware that he had bitten Tarchman's ear.
Harry Fleming, Brown's trainer, testified that when he examined Brown shortly after the incident there was evidence that Brown had suffered a low blow. Brown had followed the car with a view to making sure that Mrs. Sheldon got home safely.
In his summing-up the Recorder warned the jury that they must keep their minds free from the influence of anything they might have read in the newspapers of the earlier stages of the case and of any stories they might have heard."
Steven Williamson brought Frank Johnson to my attention as another fighter who should be added to this section of the website. He pointed out that, "Frank first won the British Lightweight title at Belle Vue on 25th July 1952 in a non-stop thriller. He fought quite a few times at the famous Kings Hall arena during his career and one of his greatest performances, apart from first winning the title against Tommy McGovern in 1952, was his final eliminator to regain the Lightweight title on 10th Dec 1954, when he outpointed Johnny Butterworth in a classical display of boxing skill. Frank was the first Manchester fighter to win the Lightweight title and was the only Manchester holder of the Lonsdale belt for nearly 35 years." Steve sent these images of Frank.
Steven also sent along this story: “JOHNSON’S TRIUMPH IN GREAT FIGHT. What a great and classical contest this was. It had the crowd tingling with excitement from start to finish. I have never seen such a great contrast in styles. There was Butterworth, short, stocky, a bulldog if ever there was one – and Johnson, the cool, stylish, classical boxer, the master of footwork, of stance, of evasive action and of counter punching. Butterworth, rugged, lion-hearted, knows only one way, to go forward, crouching, ignoring punishment, drawing punches from all angles trying to wear down and knock out his man. Johnson was his master throughout the fight. He was never worried by the Rochdale boy’s tearaway style. Johnson either side-stepped, ducked, or caught on his gloves, or smothered with his elbows again and again, then Johnson hit him with every punch in the book. Butterworth was as irrepressible as a bobbing cork in a rough sea. No matter how much Johnson tied him up, side-stepped him, battered him in counter attacks, he never gave up going in and giving everything he had. They both flared up for a grandstand finish in the 12th. The verdict brought a terrific cheer but there it was, a master boxer well won a great contest” (Tom Phillips/ The Herald)
“JOHNSON GIVES LESSON TO BRITAIN’S HEAVYWEIGHTS. There was more skill and action in one round of this fight than in the ponderous, combined operations of the two ex-heavyweight champions on the same bill. Johnson would have given them advanced lessons in the finer arts of boxing. He was a professor in fight gloves, aloof, nonchalant. Butterworth could have shown them all there is to be known about superb fitness and blazing, unquenchable spirit. Johnson seeking to regain the title which he once held and tossed away on the scales, has only to box like this and he will not only be British Champion but heading straight for a World Title” (Desmond Hackett/ Daily Express)
Then in 1955 Frank was granted a return chance against Joe Lucy for the British Lightweight Title. This fight was at Harringay Arena, London and was to be the first fight to be broadcast live by the BBC – millions watched a masterful display by Johnson to regain the Lightweight Title in a hard fought, close fight over fifteen rounds."
Daz Long and Dean Beach, former amateur boxers from Kings Norton, got together in January 2018 and opened a boxing club for local youths who are looking to learn the art of boxing.
Daz aged 52 holds a record of 46 fights and lost only 7. In 2011/13 Daz spent time in Mexico where he sparred and trained with the Cuban National Team. Boxing runs in the blood in Daz’s family his brother also fought as an amateur and faced former WBC bantamweight World Champion Wayne McCullogh.
One of the outstanding prodigies showing promise at the club is 12 year old Maddy Adkins, also from Redditch and fighting at 62kg. Maddy a former participant in Taekwondo is already looking at matches in her weight class and has her sights set on being a future Olympian. Maddy is certainly one to look out for in the future. Having witnessed this dedicated athlete show tremendous boxing abilities and natural flair for one so young we would not be surprised in the coming years to see Maddy representing Team GB in Olympic finals or smashing her way through the pro ranks.
We would like to wish D & D Boxing club lots of success for their future. If you are in the area the gym is well worth a visit, its very well equipped and has a good friendly atmosphere. We are sure Daz and Dean will make you feel very welcome.
Contact Daz - 07728302572 / 07790008703
D & D Boxing Redditch & Bromsgrove
British boxing has lost two of its own today as former Prince Naseem Hamed's coach Bendan Ingle passed away and former British, European and Commonwealth champion (in two weights) Dean Francis lost his battle with cancer.
One of his greatest proteges, Herol Graham, is widely regarded as the finest British fighter never to claim World honours.
Manchester Ex Boxers Association (MEBA)
In our endeavour to keep the history of British boxing alive. We have been accepted as members of the Manchester Ex-Boxers Association.
The Manchester Ex-Boxers Association is thought to be the oldest ex-boxers members club in the British Isles.
The Oldham, Ashton and Manchester Ex-Boxers Association was established on the 24th of June 1951. It was agreed the association would operate as a regular meeting place where ex-boxers, sometimes ex-opponents could gather and talk about their favoured sport.
Present at that initial gathering were ex-boxers such as Jock McAvoy, Len Johnson, Tommy Shields, Len Steele, Billy Raybould, Clifford Higginbottom, Harold Smithson, Albert Winters, Harold Ratchford, Jimmy Eastham, Albert Tolley and Jack Bennett. The association had great aspirations and all members considered they were the only ex-boxers club in the UK, so with that in mind after only one year they went national and re-named the members club “The Ex-Boxers Association of Great Britain”. ***The photo shows the original Aims and Rules transcript***
By 1968 “young blood” had arrived at the club as members and a meeting was held at the Smithfield Vaults, Swan Street, Manchester. At that meeting attended by Jack Edwards Senior, Jack Edwards Junior, Vince Ford, Tommy Proffitt, Jackie Braddock, Arnold Brown and Andy Byrne and the name was changed to MANDEX (Manchester and District EBA).
By 1973 the association decided the club needed to develop as it moved into modern times and the clubs aims and aspirations were unclear. It was proposed and accepted that the association would not only exist as a meeting place for ex-boxers it could also help ex-boxers who might be struggling with life after boxing due to ill health or unfortunate circumstances and the association might assist the boxer get his life back on track. The association would not only enable boxers past and present to keep in touch it would also aim to meet up with other ex-boxer’s associations.
More than sixty years on and the association not only provides a monthly meeting place for ex-boxers to talk about yester-year it also plays a part in the current boxing scene contributing to worthwhile boxing projects and funding various ongoing schemes. Newsletters and biographies are issued, visits are made to other associations and the 2018 annual Llandudno weekend gala (June) is pending. The club is thriving and gaining new members month on month.
It is not necessary for visitors to have been a boxer, so long as you have a healthy interest in boxing and the boxing scene, everybody is welcome to become a member and attend the monthly meetings and additional functions we are participating in.
The Manchester Ex-Boxers Association website is user friendly and offers a unique insight into the local history of the sport and its protagonists.
The monthly meetings especially for the younger generation offers the opportunity to meet and greet the many characters and gentleman who love nothing more than telling tales to a young listening ear and believe me some of the stories and recollections to be told are priceless and educational.
On the first Sunday of every month at the Derby Arms Pub, Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, the local boxing establishment will always offer a genuine warm welcome and greeting to new members and with a wonderful buffet on offer and gags from the ever engaging duo of Jimmy Lewis and Eddie Copeland along with tales and general boxing chatter it is indeed a wonderful experience to savour and look forward to the next meeting.
It is a golden opportunity to spend time with a generation of gentleman and women who are steadfast in tradition and offer a great insight into the wonderful history of the sport of boxing. We find it an absolute honour and privilege to be given the opportunity to spend precious time with such wonderful characters who come from a period in British boxing history, forged out of hard and difficult social economic backgrounds which most likely would have included war service the like of which can sadly never ever be replaced. It is imperative for new members to keep alive the history of our sport and lest we never forget the achievements and successes of all such fighting men across the British Isles who have traded punches for pride, honour and for our entertainment.
After a year of tremendous matchups with Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko, Gennady Golovkin vs Saul Alavarez, The Superfly Tournament and the World Boxing Super Series featuring the super middle and cruiserweights along with the emergence of rising stars, Ryan Garcia, Josh Taylor and the British Olympians Lawrence Okolie, Joshua Buatsi, Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams 2017 has certainly been kind to boxing fans and 2018 promises to be just as exciting with breakout fights for standout prospects Zelfa Barrett and Lyon Woodstock.
On a sombre note we have mourned the sad passing of fighting greats Jake LaMotta, Terry Downes, legendary cutman Rafael Garcia and fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco.
We are blessed to be attending the end of year scientific dual between Loma vs Rigo, to bring our wonderful and entertaining boxing year to a close and one which will last in the memories of all boxing fans as the year that “some of the fights fans craved for” were made and gave us great entertainment.
We would also like to take this early opportunity of wishing all our customers both new and old a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for your continued support and visiting the site.
Vinny and Kate
Terry Downes Sadly Passes RIP The Paddington Express
The Paddington Express has come to the end of his journey.
Terry Downes Britain's oldest World champion, has passed peacefully away at 81.
Much admired for his brave, aggressive style, Downes shares with Randolph Turpin the distinction of having achieved a British victory over Sugar Ray Robinson.
Equally loved for his quick wit, Downes had this to say of his defeat of the legend considered by many the greatest boxer of all time, when Robinson was 41 years old: "I didn't beat Sugar Ray, I beat his ghost."
The Londoner, who spent two years in the US Marines, made his professional debut in 1957 and overcame a couple of early defeats to claim the British and Commonwealth middleweight belts.
Downes was much under-rated and the high point of his career came in his trilogy with American Paul Pender in the early 1960's.
Downes lost the first fight after seven rounds on cuts in Pender’s native Boston in January 1961 to set up a rematch at Wembley’s Empire Pool that July.
He overcame a cut nose on his last day of sparring to force Pender to quit on his stool after nine rounds.
Downes’ reign as World champion was short lived and he lost his third encounter with Pender back in Boston in April 1962 on points.
That September, he beat Robinson on points, although he knew the great man was no longer the force he once was.
Downes challenged for a World title again in 1964 when he was stopped by light-heavyweight king Willie Pastrano in 11 rounds.
He retired after that loss with a record of 35 wins, 28 inside the distance, and nine defeats at the age of 28.
Downes remained popular in boxing circles and was awarded the BEM in 2012.
He leaves his wife Barbara, five children and eight grand-children, as well as the boxing World in mourning.
A statement from his family read: "Terry Downes BEM, the former World middleweight champion, has died aged 81.
Terry passed away peacefully on the morning of 6th October. At the time of his death he was Britain's oldest living World champion.
Terry was a beloved husband, father and grandfather to his wife Barbara, his five children and eight grandchildren, and will be enormously missed".
Jake LaMotta Sadly Passes RIP The Bronx Bull
Jake LaMotta, the uncompromising fighter from The Bronx, New York has sadly passed away aged 95. He was the inspiration behind the epic film “Raging Bull” featuring Robert DeNiro which is considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. De Niro claimed an Oscar for portraying LaMotta in the movie (1980).
The former World middleweight boxing champion died of pneumonia in a nursing home.
We were fortunate enough to meet and spend time with him. He was a great, sweet, sensitive and strong man with an awesome sense of humour.
He was one of boxing’s greatest icons who has taken his place on the ultimate boxing card in heaven.
Whoever said, “change is good” was not witnessing the devastation which played out at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles on 9th September 2017, when the 4 weight legend and future hall of famer Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez was thrown into the gladiator pit seemingly unprepared and unsupported by a new team based out of Japan.
Throughout the training camp Roman was secluded away in Japan and denied any contact with family, friends and former camp mates in a bid to limit distractions and instil focus. We believe that this could only have affected his demeanour and frame of mind. From the onset of the ring walk Roman appeared uncomfortable and emotional and there was a distinct lack of any motivation from his new set up.
Despite this upset it was an absolute privilege and honour to witness this Superfly event, with epic contests between Carlos Cuadras vs Juan Francisco Estrada, and a devastating power punching performance from Naoya Inoue vs Antonio Nieves. Future permutations among these miniature warriors will offer further thrilling and entertaining contests.The future of boxing in Las Vegas surely now after the drawn contest between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and the horrendous scorecard of Adelaide Byrd must be scrutinised. It is governed by a commission that seems to constantly overlook incompetence and some may say corruption for the sake of the sacred green dollar.
States such as New York and Texas need to be competitive in taking fights away from the $$$ State. It’s strange that many analysts and boxing enthusiasts spoke about this fight potentially being controversial in the hope of rematch / trilogy resulting in generating even more money.
It is in my opinion that watching small hall shows, boxing seems so much purer and prodigies such as Ryan Garcia, who performed on the eve of the Canelo vs GGG big contest at the MGM Marquee Ballroom showed within 30 seconds why a bright future and destined World champion will one day become the focus of the boxing World and follow in the footsteps of his mentor Oscar De La Hoya.
As always thanks for visiting the site and for your much-valued custom.
Vinny & Kate
Super Flyweight Triple Header LA and GGG vs Canelo LV
Weeks of magic mist have finally dissipated as the farcical summer of promoting $$ The Money Fight $$ has finally ended. The verbal spectacular between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor has been elevated by so called boxing promoters and experts to be bigger than a final episode of The Hunger Games. The more vociferous the trash talking becomes the more the dollar signs are valued. At last the thick stench of this “money-making farce” / “money grab” is clearing thus making way for the true warriors of the sport to enter the arena competing in highly skilled contests, where picking a winner is virtually at “the toss of a coin”.
On 9th September 2017, at the StubHub Center, Carson, California. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will again step into the ring facing Thailand’s champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, in a rematch which will hopefully see Gonzalez regain the WBC super flyweight title which was controversially stolen from him in New York early this year. After 12 gruelling toe-to-toe rounds the result was left in the hands of the dubious judges’ scorecards 114-112, 114-112 and 113-113. Many believed Gonzalez won the fight and was robbed of a decision in what now is to be a leading candidate for this year’s “Fight of the Year.”
We will be there to support "CHOCOLATITO" in what will once again be an epic battle between two true warriors in the sport of boxing on a tremendous promotion of exhilarating 50/50 match-ups which can’t fail to satisfy the appetite of all boxing fans.
Co-featuring on the bill will be former WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras, (36-1-1, 27 KO’s) of Mexico City battling fellow rival countryman and former flyweight World champion Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada, (35-2-0, 25 KO’s) of Sonora, Mexico in a 12-round WBC Super Flyweight Title Eliminator.
Another tasty treat on the card is the highly anticipated US debut of Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, (13-0-0, 11 KO’s) of Yokohama, Japan defending his WBO Super Flyweight Title against top contender Antonio “Carita” Nieves, (17-1-2, 9 KO’s) of Cleveland, Ohio.
Aged 24 Inoue is already a 2 weight World champion and has made five defences of his WBO Super Flyweight Title and among the most popular fighters in Asia.
We will be travelling out to Los Angeles on 4th September and on to Vegas 10th September to attend both fights. We will be returning to the UK on 18th September.
As always, we will endeavour to answer any queries you may have whilst we are away and all purchases will be mailed out upon our return.
Thanks for visiting the site and your continued support.
Vinny & Kate
Ken Buchanan - The Tartan Legend
On 19th April 2017, a beautiful spring day in Edinburgh we had the pleasure of meeting up with former lightweight World champion Ken Buchanan MBE. Although now 70 years of age he greeted us with a twinkle in his eye, and charm in abundance and with a handshake as firm as granite.
“When Ali fought Oscar Bonavena and I fought Donato Paduano. I was top of the bill, I was World champion and Ali wasn't World champion at that stage. He hadn't won back the title yet.
"I had a dressing room and he didnae so Angelo Dundee comes up and says, 'Can Ali share your room?' and I said, 'Aye'.
"There was an ashtray with a piece of chalk in it so I took a piece of chalk and I bent down and I made a mark on the wooden floor across the way and when I got to the end Ali is standing there, saying, 'Hey man, what are you doing?'
"And I says, 'Muhammad, this is my dressing room, right? And I'm letting you share it'. He says, 'Yeah. What's the line for?'
"I said, 'That's your side and this is my side and if you dare cross that line...'
"I showed him my fist and he did that tight-faced thing and burst out laughing. I thought, 'Thank God, he saw the funny side, he's not going to batter me'.
"He beat Bonavena but it was a terrible fight and people were saying, 'If Buchanan hadn't been on the bill we'd' no' be going back there again'. That was my first time fighting in The Garden.
Fight Reports From Madison Square Garden NY.
In sub zero temperatures and knee deep snow drifts on 18th March 2017 in New York, the heat was certainly sizzling at the “Mecca of Boxing” Madison Square Garden when the best Pound-4-Pound fighter and 4 weight World champion Roman Gonzalez faced Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Chocolatito vs Sor Rungvisai Plus GGG vs Jacobs and Conlan Pro Debut MSG New York
In the boxing World March 2017 certainly does "roar in" like the “proverbial lion” this year! On March 18th at the mecca of boxing Madison Square Garden, New York, Roman “Chocolatitio” Gonzalez, the diminutive Nicaraguan four weight phenomenon will face Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in what will be “Chocolatitos” 47th contest in defence of his WBC World flyweight title.
A win for Gonzalez will take the Nicaraguan superstar one step closer to beating the elusive 49-0 undefeated record currently being held in abeyance by greats Rocky Marciano and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Gonzalez may be small in stature but when in the ring stands as tall as any other boxing World champion with a big heart to match.
This will be a bitter sweet occasion for the Nicaraguan hero as it will be Gonzalez's first training camp and fight in many years without long time trainer Arnulfo Obando, who died unexpectedly in November 2016 following a brain aneurysm and subsequent stroke. He was 54. There won't be a shake up in his training staff as he will work with the same team that has been in camp with him and Obando for years, head trainer will be father, Luis Gonzalez and also in the corner will be Wilmer Hernandez.
bouts are on the horizon nearer to home when on the 25th March Anthony Crolla
takes on Jorge Linares in a rematch for the WBA lightweight title at the MEN
arena, and on 8th April Terry Flanagan faces Petr Petrov in a WBO lightweight title defence. These are two exciting
will be flying out to
Thanks for visiting the site and for your continued support.
Vinny & Kate
Passing of The Worlds Greatest Muhammad Ali 1942 to 2016
2016 will go down
as one of the most significant years in political history.
In the words of the song “He is the sun up in the sky and the mountain range so high he is the Greatest, the Worlds Greatest”. RIP Muhammad Ali
The boxing World also said goodbye to Aaron Pryor, Mike Towell, Arnulfo Obando, Jack Bodell, Bobby Chacon and Dai Dower our thoughts are with the families of these legends at this time.
On a lighter note we look forward to the New Year with the promise of exciting bouts between Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia, Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko and re-matches with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Carlos Cuadros and Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev.
On the domestic
scene we have the prospect of mouth-watering dustups with Terry Flannagan vs
Anthony Crolla, Amir Khan vs Kell Brook and David Haye vs Tony Bellew
Thanks to all of our customers for your continued support and to those who like to visit the site. We would like to wish all of you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Vinny & Kate
The historical Forum was
transported back to a time when Humberto "Chiquito" Gonzalez and Michael Carbajal
fought for unprecedented million dollar purses in front of hysterical Hispanic
fight fans. The chants of
In a modern era of celebrity fighters in mismatches attracting casual sport fans and boxers jumping into unrealistic weight classes to take on challenges beyond the realms of probabilities due to weight disparities and also upon Floyd Mayweather Jr’s retirement after spending years following and attending his magical performing events, it is now an honour and a privilege to follow and watch these small diminutive warriors give their all in evenly contested duals, in weight classes where the best fight the best.
We would like to extend special thanks to Roman and his team for their hospitality and kindness shown to us during our trip we have created some memorable moments and built long and lasting friendships.
We were fortunate enough to spend time with Carlos Cuadras, Yoshihiro Kamegai, Jesus Soto Karass and many others who helped and worked in the promotion of this unforgettable fight vacation experience, we were so humbled that the talked about rematch cannot come around quick enough.
After spending hours of watching Olympic boxing a special
mention goes out to stalwart Shakur Stevenson of the
More Than a Man
12 bells of boxing will ring out today
As the World says farewell to the once Cassius Clay
A man, a legend now stands at heavens gate
Now joined by Gods angels as one who is great
The once dancing feet and fists that could sting
Are now free from pain and nestled in wings
A man who on earth was magnificent and victorious
Sits at Gods right hand amongst angels most glorious
He changed the World with his actions of kindness
An ambassador against violence silenced with mildness
Although his voice was stolen his words rang out loud
He was the face of humanity to his adoring crowd
Muhammad Ali has left us today
But his memory will live on and pave the way
For goodness, kindness and peace to mankind
For those grieving souls he’s left behind
As Muhammad looks down he’ll say don’t weep for me
The once floating butterfly & "stingin" bee is finally free.
“We have one life, it will soon be passed; what we do for God is all that will last.” (Muhammad Ali)
Muhammad Ali 17th January 1942
the road from where great boxing legends of the past are entombed, such as the greatest
ever boxer of all time Sugar Ray
Robinson and World heavyweight champion
1899-1905 James J. Jefferies, a future pair of boxing legends sealed their fame
at The Forum arena in
The Nicaraguan fighting phenomenon that is Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez demonstrated boxing excellence against McWilliams Arroyo resulting in a 12 round victory by unanimous decision to retain his WBC World flyweight title.
Arroyo gave a good account of himself and both fighters fought well. But with Chocolatito's, variety of punches, combinations and body work he had more to offer than Arroyo who was after the fight credited by Gonzalez as being a tough opponent and difficult to land clean shots against.
Topping the bill was the ever smiling assassin Gennady Golovkin who never even broke into a sweat against Dominic Wade. Golovkin dropped Wade twice before he put Wade out of his misery ending the bout with only 23 seconds remaining in the second round.
As the last chapter of a book is read and the book is closed then
another epic story emerges. The
best-selling story and final chapter which was Floyd Mayweather Jr has been
written and closed. Floyd’s story will be read and re-read throughout the
history of boxing and his name will be forever remembered as one of the
greatest fighters of all time. But as with all exciting stories there is always
a sequel and in this case Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez is setting the World on fire with his
44-0 record which will be challenged on
We are happy to be part of this new legacy and will be going over to support this epic little marvel that is a welcome consolation for the void superstar Floyd has left behind.
We will be
flying out to
Thanks for visiting the site and for your much valued custom.
Vinny & Kate
Floyd Mayweather Jr Family Reunion
following Floyd began in the late 1990’s when he moved to
Within a remote part of Downtown Las Vegas stood the Golden Gloves boxing gym (no longer open) after watching Mike Tyson train for his first fight with Frank Bruno, and upon asking Iron Mike for an autograph I was approached by an enthusiastic handsome young fighter who told me I should consider having his signature because one day he vowed he would be a World Champion! The young stalwart in question happened to be Floyd Mayweather Jr and so our journey began.
From there our friendship grew and the bond became stronger and I have had the privilege along with my wife Kate to have shared some wonderful experiences with the man now known as “Money”.
Hundreds of hours have been spent watching this maverick train, morning, and night; we have also been chauffeured back to our hotel in one of the nine Rolls Royce’s offered at our disposal, after an evening dining with Floyd at his palatial residence. We have also been blessed to watch this master of the ring at work from ringside seats.
And still today with the same energy, exuberance
and excitement he has displayed thoughout his career Money Mayweather has hit
the UK with his Victory Tour extending the same hospitality
has he has always shown to us. Floyd and
his team invited us to share his experience at the
As 2015 comes to an end
* Tyson Fury - WBA & WBO Heavyweight World Champion
* James DeGale - IBF Super Middleweight
* Andy Lee - WBO Middleweight
* Liam Smith - WBO Light Middleweight
* Kell Brook - IBF Welterweight
* Terry Flanagan - WBO Lightweight
* Anthony Crolla - WBO Lightweight
* Lee Selby - IBF Featherweight
* Carl Frampton - IBF Super Bantamweight
* Scott Quigg - WBA Super Bantamweight
* Jamie McDonnell - WBA Bantamweight
* Lee Haskins - IBF Bantamweight
On the international front Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao eventually faced one another in an event billed “Fight Of The Century” which unfortunately after years of hype and anticipation lacked any drama or highlight reels and ended with Floyd Mayweather winning via unanimous decision.
Mayweather signed off the year and his career with a hit and not be hit exhibition over his questionable choice of opponent Andre Berto.
“Canelo” Alvarez also proved he can fight in his “slugfest” with James Kirkland,
dropping his opponent twice before knocking
Deontay Wilder and Danny Garcia continued facing soft touch / gimmes while Oscar Valdez and Michael Reed with the help of Top Rank whose conveyor belt has produced the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales and countless others continued their boxing education in their fledgling careers with outstanding winning performances.
Gennady Golovkin aka GGG the most avoided man in boxing continued blitzing through his opponents Martin Murray, Willie Monroe Jr and David Lemieux in the middleweight division.
The phenomenon that is Nicaraguan sensation Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez continued his destructive path through the flyweight division with 3 breath taking stoppage victories. After 43 victories, 2015 was finally his breakout year with HBO showcasing his unbelievable attributes in contests against Edgar Sosa and Brian Viloria.
In the absence of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in our opinion holds the mythical pound-for-pound title. It’s been a privilege to watch this great little fighter in action as he is an all action destructive, compelling fighter and warrior. If you haven’t already seen this 3 weight World champion perform check him out and be astounded by the brilliance of this unbelievable talent (click here).
2016 offers great match-ups starting the year off with a bang on our shores with Carl Frampton vs Scott Quigg.
We would like to thank you all for your continued support and for visiting the site. We would like to wish all of you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous peaceful New Year.
Vinny & Kate
Dear valued customers
Our sincere apologies to any of our customers who have tried to make PayPal transactions since the 17th November 2015. We have only found out today (29/11/ 2015) that restrictions were applied to our account. The reason being for this which we were not aware of was the restriction and Worldwide embargo on a particular country whose name has now been removed. (Teofilo Stevenson, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Erislandy Lara come from this part of the World).
We apologise if this problem has compromised any sales, this problem has now been resolved.
Vinny & Kate
an explosive evening at
Also topping the bill was the smiling assassin who is none other than Gennady Golvkin aka GGG from Kazakhstan. Gennady imposed his strength, stature and ring intelligence from round one against Canadian David Lemieux. Gennady punished him with constant stinging left jabs and cutting the ring down to a small corner to enable him to maintain his delivery of accurate punishing combinations to his lacklustre opponent along with keeping a nice tight defence in every round. The referee stepped in at round eight to end Lemieux’s agony and punishing humiliation.
We were also fortunate to meet with the great Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones and many more.
We will be posting items of memorabilia on the site over the next few weeks for you to enjoy. Thanks once again for visiting the site and your continued support.
Vinny & Kate
On 17th October the undefeated 33-0 champion,
Gennady Golovkin faces David Lemieux, 34-2 for the WBA & IBF World middleweight titles at
Golovkin and Lemieux are currently the two biggest hitters in the middleweight division, culminating in 61 knockouts among their 67 professional victories. has knocked out 20 of his last opponents, whilst Lemieux has powered through seven of his last nine.
Excitement for this fight has already reached a fevered pitch, probably because of the fearsome reputation of the punching power each man brings to the ring.
Another exciting bout on the undercard for the WBC World flyweight title is Roman “Chocolatitio” Gonzalez vs Brian Viloria. Gonzalez who does not get the recognition he rightly deserves is defending his 43 - 0 record against Viloia’s 36-4.
Boxing fans are slowly awarding Roman his true value for his talent, his potential, and for the fighter he has become today, finally acknowledging how great a fighter he is.
"Chocolatito" Gonzalez won in dramatic fashion earlier this year with a second round victory over Edgar Sosa, his fourteenth knockout in his last fifteen fights. Gonzalez has established himself not only as one of the sport's most exciting fighters, but also as one of its pound-4-pound best. He has already earned titles at 105,108, and 112 pounds.
Viloria is also known for some legendary beatings of his own, including facial deconstruction on Giovani Segura and a 3 knockdown drumming of "Tyson" Marquez. He's lost just one since 2010, a split decision to young gun Juan Francisco Estrada.
This should be a terrific fight with Roman adjusting to Viloria’s style first and then with Viloria trying to figure out Roman’s style.
be flying out to
Any purchases will be sent out immediately
upon our arrival back to the
Thanks for visiting the site and for your much valued custom.
Vinny & Kate
Farewell Champ and Friend
This was a bitter sweet trip to the boxing capital for us, as this was widely reported to be Floyd Mayweather’s last fight. Floyd announced his retirement after equalling the great Rocky Marciano’s unbeaten record of 49-0.
Andre Berto made an impressive attempt in trying to get his punches off but they were continuously negated by Floyd’s master of distance which succumbed Berto to punishing accurate counters time and time again. Floyd gave another "hit and not be hit" display of the sweet science. Floyd ended the night by saying that his record is open to be beaten and is working hard with his promotional company which we hope will deliver this new future World champion.
During this trip we were fortunate to meet other boxing greats such as Thomas Hearn’s, Roberto Duran, Terry Norris, Sugar Shane Mosley, Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios, George Groves, DeMarcus Corley and up and coming prospect Oscar Valdez who is surely going to be one to look out for in the future. We would like to express thanks to all of them for the courtesy shown to us.
We will be posting items on the site over the next few weeks for you all to view and enjoy.
As always we thank you for visiting the site and your valued custom.
Vinny & Kate
After months of speculation Floyd
Mayweather has revealed that Andre Berto will be his 49th opponent for what is
reputedly to be his last fight when he returns to the ring on
Andre Berto has been the bookies favourite to face Mayweather even though there was much speculation that it would be Olympian Amir Khan who had been making plenty of noise (again) about being Mayweather’s next and final opponent.
Mayweather is now on course to equal Rocky Marciano's undefeated record in September and is the overwhelming favourite to beat 31-year-old Berto. Plenty of critics have said that Floyd has taken the easy option but surely after a glittering career of “Hard Work & Dedication” he is allowed this one privilege for his swan song.
As always Mayweather will be impeccable with his preparations and has been training ready for this fight for several weeks now to ensure that his true fans will have the opportunity to see him secure his legacy with a 49th victory.
At the end of the day who can criticise when Floyd is fulfilling what every sports person dreams of achieving to "being the best", "equalling the best" and "going down as the best" in history.
We will be flying out to Vegas on 30th August and returning back 14th September.
We will be hoping to bring a collection of memorabilia back for
you all to view and enjoy on the site, as always we will endeavour to answer
any emails or queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out
immediately upon our return back to the
Truly an epic event the fight billed “The Fight Of The Century” lived up to all expectations in every sense of the word, that is except in the ring.
Ticket sales exceeded record prices, crowds surpassed any in recent times filling hotels to bursting point. The only downside was that Manny Pacquiao failed to live up to his promises of taking Floyd Mayweather Jr’ s illustrious pound-for-pound title and unbeaten record away from him.
Floyd reigned supreme yet again in what for him was an easy payday and just another day at the office.
Manny who was before the bout the pundits favourite to win failed to utilise the tools he is famous for, his quick in and out speed and stinging combinations capturing his opponents like an annoying wasp. Manny was lack lustre and apart from a couple of shots which he landed in the earlier rounds he failed to impregnate Floyds masterful defence.
Floyd picked off the Filipino with a solid jab and right hand leads which left Manny looking more like an amateur and lost soul rather than the 8 division champion he is.
Floyd conquered yet again winning by a wide unanimous decision on all 3 judges scorecards.
Talks of a rematch ensued after the bout, but what would be the point? Manny doesn’t posses the magical powers to break Floyds spell. It is certainly safe to say that Floyds equalling record of Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 is sure to be matched in September. Floyd is without doubt TBE.
We were also privileged to meet other fighting icons such as Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Andre Ward and many more who signed items for us. We will be posting these on the site over the coming weeks and we hope you will enjoy looking at them.
Thanks for visiting the site and for your valued custom.
Vinny & Kate.
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao
Every once in a while a phenomenon occurs which captures the World’s attention as did the recent solar eclipse.
On the 2nd
May another phenomenon will take place, this time not in outer space but in a
smaller corner of the universe in
Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and 8 division World champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and the World will yet again sit up and take notice as these two celestial bodies come together.
Since the first inception of the idea of these two champions coming together almost 5 years ago, much has been said over who will be crowned the greatest of their generation.
Floyd with his 47-0 record is the pundits favourite to win with his unlimitless skills of being able to adapt to whoever he faces in the ring and finally getting the measure of them and grinding them down to a defeat.
On the other hand Manny has had a successful career with 57 wins but has also suffered 5 defeats and 2 draws, many pundits say that this puts Manny in a better position because he is not afraid to take risks against being defeated again.
Who will win is definitely a hard one to call but as always we will be in favour of our hero who has what it takes to grind Manny down with his unlimited skill set, accuracy and timing.
The only downside to this epic bout is that the genuine boxing fans who have followed these two great warriors throughout their careers will not be able to afford a ticket to watch these two champions collide at the pinnacle of their careers.
We will be flying
out to Vegas on 19th April and as ever we will be accessing emails
and get back to you as soon as possible. Any purchases will be sent out
immediately upon our arrival back to the
As always thanks for visiting the site and for you’re much valued custom and hopefully we will be posting some new items from this epic encounter which will only soar and increase in value in light years to come for you to view and enjoy upon our return.
Vinny & Kate
As we approach the final days of 2014 it’s a time to reflect back on what is purportedly the penultimate year in Floyd Mayweather Jr’s exceptionally successful glittering career. In May he stepped into the ring with Marcos Maidana. He was baited by Maidana after his shock win against ‘hotshot’ Adrien Broner. Mayweather was made to work harder than he had in a while against Maidana’s aggressive style however he went on to win on points.
After much hype mainly from Marcos Maidana fans, Floyd agreed a re-match with Maidana and again returned back to the ring in September. This was an easier fight for the champ as Maidana failed to impress leaving Floyd to dominate once more.
Talks have now started to emerge regarding the long awaited match up between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, although some might say that this bout has lost steam along the way, but if it does happen it is still a blockbuster and we believe it will be yet another jewel in the crown for Floyd who will at long last put the Filipino icon in his place, along with the doubters!
On the home front we would like to
congratulate Anthony Joshua our favourite Olympian on his 7th victory this
year he recently went on to win his 10th fight since
turning pro against Michael Sprott in
We would also like to acknowledge Amir Khan’s tremendous win against Luis Collazo in May and we wish him all the best for his up and coming bout against Devon Alexander later this month. A win for Khan will make him a strong contender for Floyd in his last two fights. We will also be keeping a close eye on Keith Thurman on his return to the ring, also on the Khan bill against Leonard Bundu.
Gennady Golovkin has taken the boxing World by storm with his 3 exciting bouts this year he really is proving to be the knock-out king, he is scheduled to face Martin Murray in February 2015, another exciting year ahead for this great fighter.
Further congratulations to Carl Froch
who sold out Wembley Stadium in May in his return bout against George
Groves. Froch closed the page on that chapter once and for all. We
wish Carl success in his desire to have his next and maybe last fight in
On a sad note we would like to remember those who are no longer with us and pay respects to the great Matthew Saad Muhammad and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter who sadly passed away this year.
Finally we would like to thank all of you for your valued custom once again throughout the year and all of you who have visited the site. We are passionate about what we do and it makes us very proud to know that you are all out there sharing it with us.
We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a very prosperous and health New Year.
We would also like to thank the countless other greats who signed many items whilst in Vegas, Terry Norris, Bermane Stiverne, Keith Thurman, Roy Jones, Mikey Garcia, Riddick Bowe and many more.
We will be posting many of these items on the site over the next few months for you all to enjoy.
Thanks for visiting the site and for your valued custom and continued support.
Vinny and Kate
Floyd Mayweather Jr undefeated 5 weight World champion will go
toe-to-toe once more with Marcos Maidana billed "Mayhem" on 13th September 2014. Despite huge efforts from the Barclays
Floyd will be hoping to dispel any myths which may have arisen around the last bout being a close contest as was noted in one of the judges scorecards being marked as a draw. Although Floyd admitted it was a tough fight and one of the most competitive of his career he will not be giving Maidana any second chances this time around. On the other hand Maidana feels as though he has earned the right for a re-match and is convincing himself and his followers that he will end Mayweather’s pound-for-pound reign.
True boxing fans will be hoping that this fight will surpass the expectations of the 1st fight on the basis that styles make fights with Floyd Mayweather being the best counter puncher in the business and Marcos Maidana being a relentless street brawler who is there to be hit in the hope of landing his own shots.
We will be flying out to Vegas
on 31st August and will be returning on 15th September.
We will be hoping to bring a collection of memorabilia back for you all to view
and enjoy on the site, as always we will endeavour to answer any emails or
queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out immediately
upon our return back to the
Good luck to both fighters
to Floyd Mayweather who triumphed yet again in his epic fight against Marcos Maidana
to claim a hard fought victory in
It wasn’t as easy as it was supposed to be. In fact, it was, at times, downright exciting. The master craftsman was being cornered. Floyd Mayweather, king of the virtuoso performance who’s so superior to every fighter in the World that his fights are boring, was being tagged—and tagged often.
We would also like to congratulate Amir Khan on his unanimous point’s victory against Luis Collazo possibly moving him closer to a fight with Floyd sometime in the future.
We were also lucky enough on our trip to meet other greats such as Iron Mike Tyson, David Haye, Adrien Broner, Tony “TNT” Tucker, Boza Edwards plus many more all of whom signed items for us, which again we will be posting on the site shortly for you to view and enjoy.
debating and mega disappointment for Amir Khan, Floyd “Money” Mayweather 45-0
(26 KO’s) made the decision to fight Marcos “El Chino” Maidana 35-3 (31 KO’s)
Maidana’s newly acquired WBA welterweight belt and Mayweather’s coveted WBC welterweight title will be the trophy for the winner. Maidana will be full of confidence after his biggest win to date, scoring the huge upset over one of boxings popular and highly predicted future stars Adrien Broner.
Maidana dominated Broner who was favoured to win over 12 rounds; battering Broner and scoring vicious knock downs in rounds two and eight leaving Broner dazed and lacklustre. This was Maidana’s fourth victory under the guidance of new trainer Robert Garcia and as such Maidana has become a more patient, but still menacing fighter with a really good left jab.
As usual the best we can hope for is that this could make for an interesting fight for the first couple of rounds and then Floyd will surely figure him out but as the story always goes Floyd will win quite comfortably. Despite being another year older Floyd can still move and out box his opponents as he has proved against every opponent. Time seems to elude the master of the ring and he is still as sharp with lightning speed and reflexes as he has ever been.
He is unbeaten in forty-five bouts, and still the freshest of all the competitive top boxers there are today because he has hardly been hit in his entire career he seems to mature with age. He is getting stronger, and more aggressive. However, Floyd’s aggression is ‘controlled aggression’ rather than the usual uneducated, pure punching.
Floyd’s style stands out because he is simply hard to hit, and if he is not hit, he can’t get hurt. His posture/defensive shoulder role allows him to do stuff no other boxer does today. His power emanates deep from his hips and is transmitted through his torso to the fists. He is simply amazing. He gives an impression that he is firing a jab, but what comes out is a thunder-bolt of a power packed straight right, the main ingredient for total destruction.
We will be flying out to Vegas on 23rd April and will be returning on 5th May. We will be hoping to bring a collection of memorabila back for you all to view and enjoy on the site, as always we will endeavour to answer any emails or queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out immediately upon our return back to the UK.
Good luck to both fighters
In May Carl Froch had an amazing win over Mikkel Kessler in which is probably his best fight to date. This was a rematch from their fight in 2010 and
Exciting bouts between Danny Garcia vs Lucas Matthysse, Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov and Abner Mares vs Jhonny Gonzalez kept us entertained throughout 2013.
Lets hope that next year keeps us gripped with the same excitement.
On a sad note let us not forget those great names who have left us this year Ken Norton one of the greatest heavyweights, passed away as did ex heavyweight Tommy Morrison they will be sadly missed.
We can only hope that the coming year will be filled with as much excitement as we have grown to expect.
We would like to wish all our customers and visitors to the site a very happy Christmas and prosperous and healthy new year. We hope that you continue to visit the site and enjoy looking at the items as much as we enjoy collecting them.
Vinny & Kate
Boxing is all about levels and Saul Alvarez was and is many levels below the champ, Alvarez was flat footed and was unable to catch or match the lightning fast speed and accuracy of his much older opponent.
It was obvious after 5 rounds that Floyd had the measure of his opponent and much to the disappointment of the fans passively cruised his way through to a points win.
We were honoured and privileged to meet Ken on more than one occasion he was a genuine and kind man and he will be sadly missed and his name will live on forever in the boxing echelons of time. R.I.P
On 14th September the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Saul Alvarez billed, "The One" will take place at the MGM Grand,
Unlike so many of Mayweather's opponents in the past, Alvarez truly believes in himself and his ability to win. He firmly believes that only Floyd Mayweather stands between him and all his dreams. This naive self-belief will make for a compelling performance and maybe keep Mayweather from taking any of the first few rounds and then going into his familiar cruise control.
For Floyd it’s just another day in the office where he gets to do his thing against an undefeated, physically huge, and supremely confident "Good Guy” who, most importantly, may be several developmental steps below where he needs to be to actually win.
Mayweather will be pushed by his young challenger, but has all the tools necessary to come away with the victory. His slick, fast lightning accurate punishing shots will be too much for the flat footed Alvarez and Canelo’s self belief in his ability to win will not be enough to claim the crown which will remain firmly attached to Mayweather’s head.
Floyd has years of experience and is far too skilful and clever to be beat by this newcomer who is far too one dimensional to avoid the wasp like stinging speed and accuracy of the Pound-for-Pound king.
We will be flying out to Vegas on 4th September and will be returning on 19thSeptember. As always we will endeavour to answer any emails or queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out immediately upon our return back to the UK.
Good luck to both fighters
Whilst we were in Vegas we were also fortunate to meet Abner Mares, Leon Spinks, Adrien Broner, Freddie Roach, Leo Santa Cruz, Oliver McCall along with many more who signed multiple items. We will be posting them on the site over the coming weeks for you all to view and enjoy.
Vinny & Kate
This year’s most anticipated welterweight match between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, is fast approaching. Mayweather is surprisingly taking the humble approach.
“My new deal with Showtime and its parent CBS is very thrilling for me and a motivation to fight more often starting with my 4th May fight against Robert Guerrero,” said Mayweather. “I know Guerrero has been campaigning to fight me for quite a while now and I am happy to give him his opportunity. His name is mentioned among the other great champions in boxing today and that means he has proven himself in the ring. He will now have to prove himself against me, which is a whole other story. I’m excited for the challenge and fully expect a good, tough fight from him. However, I do expect the same outcome for him as all of the others who have challenged me before…42 have tried, 42 have failed. He will be number 43.”
Guerrero, who has his own championship reputation, is also welcoming the opportunity to be in the ring with Mayweather.
“First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the opportunities he has blessed me and my family with, said Guerrero. “All of the trials and tribulations that have occurred in my life have made me a better person as well as a better fighter and the results are undeniable. Nothing has ever come easy to me and that mental fortitude has prepared me to defeat the one fighter everyone perceives to be the pound for pound king in Floyd Mayweather. When we lock eyes across the ring on fight night he’s going to feel the presence of a man preordained for greatness. The time is now to show the World why I’m destined to de-throne Floyd and when I come out victorious on 4th May, the whole World will know I’m a man who willed his way to victory by putting God first in his life.”
We will be flying out to Vegas on 24th April and returning on the 9th May, As always we will endeavour to answer any emails or queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out immediately upon our return back to the UK.
Good luck to both fighters!
ChampsUK Become Proud Owners Of Sir Henry Coopers Lonsdale Belt
Dear boxing fans
We would like to share with you some exciting news, we have recently become the proud owners of one of the 3 Lonsdale belts won and owned by Sir Henry Cooper who was considered the greatest heavyweight boxer in modern British history. Sir Henry Cooper was an honoured, respected, and popular man in the
Cooper had a prestigious fight record winning 40 fights out of 55 of which 27 were by knockouts. The Lonsdale Belt shown above was won when he defeated Johnny Prescott in1965. He would later defend the title twice in 1967 by beating Jack Bodell and Billy Walker which gave Cooper the rightful ownership of the illustrious belt.
We would like to share our splendid acquisition with other fans and invite you to get up close and personal with this beautiful and rare belt which was manufactured by Mappin and Webb (Silversmith to Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Charles). We are hoping to take invitations to display the belt at forthcoming functions such as amateur boxing club fund raisers, after dinner and white collar events and other promotional activities. If you are interested and would like to use this belt as a sensational promotional appetizer then please contact us via the website (email@example.com ) or telephone number 07969171066.
Look Back On 2012
As 2012 draws to a close we reflect back on the bitter sweet memories of the past year some of which will be etched in the echelons of boxing history. We have said goodbye to some of the greatest boxing legends who have ever been associated with the sport of kings and who are sadly no longer with us: Carmen Basilio, Johnny Tapia, Hector Camacho, Michael Dokes, Wally Swift, Emanuel Steward, Angelo Dundee and Bert Sugar, these boxing icons will be greatly missed.
But despite the sadness of losing these dear friends London was proud to host the Olympic games where new jewels in the boxing crown have started to make their mark such as Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell, Fred Evans, Anthony Ogogo, John Joe Nevin, Nicola Adams & Katie Taylor, these are names we are sure will be much mentioned in the coming years.
Early in the year we were dazzled once again with another stunning performance by the greatest pound for pound fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr when he out-pointed a game and spirited effort from Miguel Cotto who pushed Floyd all the way but not far enough in perhaps Mayweather’s toughest fight to date.
Sergio Martinez out-shone Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in September,
That was until the final round when, realizing he needed a knockout to win, Chavez Jr. unloaded with everything he had. The blitz produced a knockdown, blowing the roof off theThomas & Mack Center in "Sin City." Ultimately, Martinez would gut his way through to the final bell and win on the judges scorecards but it was the most thrilling round of action of the year.
Massive congratulations to Juan Manuel Marquez who finally managed a victory over his great rival and nemisis Manny Pacquiao in an absolute thriller of a contest with a stunning KO in round 6.
On the British front Carl Froch has proved he could well belong in anyone’s top 10 mythical pound for pound list. This was also the year David Haye came out of retirement to knock out Dereck Chisora then rumbled in the jungle!!. Amir Khan sees his new trainer Virgil Hunter as the answer to getting back into World title contention – we wish him good luck!
Ricky Hatton made an emotional final appearance in a sprited attempt to re-capture former glories, sadly for Ricky this wasn’t to be and we wish Ricky all the best in his promotional career.
We would also like to wish Kell Brook who faces Devon Alexander and Martin Murray vs Sergio Martinez all the very best for their forthcoming World title fights scheduled early next year.
As always we at Champs would like to thank you all for visiting the site and for your continued custom and support and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Vinny & Kate
Vinny & Kate
We would like to thank Matt Baiamonte, co owner of Angelo Dundee’s
The gym has recently been re-born on the original site of the famous historical building where the GREATEST OF ALL TIME honed his skills under the tutelage of the late Angelo Dundee.
The re-born gym is a shrine to Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali which exhibits the original stained glass window frame and original entrance sign and tells a story in black and white photographs, which helps to make it an experience, so much so that the greatness can still be felt and the ghost of Drew Bundini Brown still echoes in the silence.
To all Muhammad Ali fans out there this is a wonderful experience if the opportunity arises and if anyone would like to experience a boxing workout it could well be that you find yourself in the company of Bernard Hopkins, David Haye, George Groves, Glencoffe Johnson and the Dirrell brothers who frequently visit the gym.
During our visit we were fortunate enough to encounter a Muhammad Ali historian who happened to work at the Miami Convention Hall (Center) where Cassius Clay won the World heavyweight title in 1964 by beating Sonny Liston.
The fan took us inside the hall rightfully named the “Muhammad Ali Hall Of Champions” whereby all the images I have ever seen of the fight came flooding back, incidents such as Clay having to fight blinded throughout the 5th round by a substance which came from Liston’s glove and the retirement of Liston before the 7th round which sent Cassius Clay and Dundee into raptures with Clay proclaiming “I am the greatest" and "I shook up the World”. It was also a unique experience to stand in the centre of the hall where the ring once stood which at one time was adourned with a brass commemorative plaque marking the event which has since been stolen by an enthusiastic fight fan.
Thanks for visiting the site and sharing our experiences. Please see link below to the
Cassius Clay and Miami Pilgrimage
On the 5th November we will be going over to Miami on a Muhammad Ali pilgrimage we will be seeking out the original and present day site of the Miami 5th Street Gym where the young brash and boastful Cassius Clay honed his skills under the watchful eye of trainer Angelo Dundee. Miami has a lot of boxing history and it was where infamously on 25th February 1964, Cassius Clay shocked the World when he retired Sonny Liston in round six, to win the heavyweight title.
Miami is the home of many other great fights of the past such as Floyd Patterson’s win over Ingemar Johansson in six rounds, to retain the heavyweight title and also when Emile Griffith KO'd Benny (Kid) Paret in round 13, to win the welterweight title.
We will be returning back from Miami on 16th November but will be picking up our emails regularly any purchase made during this time will be posted immediately upon our return.
We would like to express our sympathies on the sad loss of one of the most influential boxing trainers of all time Emanuel Steward (7th July 1944 – 25th October 2012).
We met Manny several times he always had a smile on his face and was never to busy to sign an autograph. Manny had a long line of boxing champions including Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Wladimir Klitschko.
Manny, owner of the Kronk Gym in Detroit and an International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer, died aged 68.
A former amateur boxer himself Manny won the national Golden Gloves tournament as a bantamweight. A dynasty was born. He was a champion in his own right and the boxing fraternity will miss another great boxing icon. R.I.P Manny.
Many congratulations to Floyd Mayweather Jr who triumphed on Saturday night by winning an astounding victory over Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand. The crowd roared as Cotto jabbed away but failed to outwit or out-smart Money Mayweather, who then ended the night stating it was the hardest challenge he had faced to date.
As always it was a sell out crowd and Money Mayweather laid on a superb performance to a raucous crowd. After his enthralling exhibition the crowd roared even more when he went on to call Pacquiao out which hopefully will come to fruition towards the end of this year.
It was a thrilling fight from start to finish and Mayweather landed shots which would have floored a lesser fighter, but Cotto remained strong, and even drew blood from Mayweather's nose early in the fight.
Mayweather again proved that he is not only a defensive master but he can bang and go toe-to-toe with the best.
We would like to extend our thanks to Floyd and the rest of the Money Team who once again honoured us with a warm welcome and genuine hospitality which again left us feeling true friendship towards all of them.
Whilst we were in Vegas we were also fortunate to meet Oscar De La Hoya, Andre Ward, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Abner Mares, Shane Mosley, Leon Spinks, Adrien Broner along with many more who signed many items. We will be posting them on the site over the next few weeks for you all to view them.
Preparations are well under way for 5th May when the event of the year so far will take place between Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
This is a more challenging fight for Floyd because he has agreed to fight Cotto at his own weight (154 lbs) credit should be given to Floyd Mayweather for again ensuring his legacy as the pound-4-pound great by not haggling for a catch-weight bout which Cotto would most surely have agreed too considering the amount of money on offer.
The odds are against Cotto but he certainly has the power to stun Mayweather however, lacks the speed and head movement required. It is our opinion that Cotto will try to turn it into a brawl since Mayweather will run circles around him boxing clever to an almost certain 43rd victory. However, Floyd has stated he will stand toe-to-toe.
Floyd has prepared well in anticipation of the hard punches come to be expected from Cotto and is showing great respect for a fighter who has encountered and almost went the distance with Manny Pacquiao and who Floyd has yet to meet, some might say that the power shots which Cotto is capable of is likely to shake Mayweather a little if given the chance to connect.
To boxing pundits it comes as know surprise that Mayweather has chosen Cotto, since Mayweather has said frequently that he has the highest respect for Cotto stating Miguel Cotto is a World-class fighter who can never be taken for granted and continues to prove he is one of the best in boxing. However, Mayweather is confident that he will win the fight and have another World championship belt to add to his resume.
We would also like to say that our trip to Vegas will be tinged with sadness this time due to the loss of boxing historian the great Bert Sugar who sadly passed away in March this year. We will miss talking to him and hearing his almost 100% accurate predictions prior to the big events. Bert’s valuable contribution to boxing will be sorely missed.
We will be flying out to Vegas on 25th April and returning on the 10th May, we will be hoping to bring a collection of memorabilia back for you all to view on the site. As always we will endeavour to answer any emails or queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out immediately upon our return back to the UK.
Good luck to both fighters!
The Passing of Angelo Dundee - RIP
Angelo was an incredible motivator and master of fight strategies.
We had the privilege of meeting him on several occasions where it became apparent that he loved to talk of his experiences and of his boxing life and also his fighters. He never tired of repeating the stories to the multitude of fans no matter how many times he was asked to relay them.
Dundee will be long remembered as the master in the corner and has always been held in the highest esteem as an ambassador for boxing and a figure of integrity.
Angelo was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994 after a career spanning six decades, training 15 world champions, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Carmen Basilio and Jose Napoles.
Despite this it was his relationship with Ali, who he helped become the first man to win the heavyweight title three times, for which he is best remembered. The pair developed a unique and winning relationship and travelled to far flung destinations in order to establish Ali's title crown as The Greatest.
Angelo was a magnificent and unique person who we will sadly miss and he will be remembered in the boxing almanacs until the end of time.
Angelo Dundee 1921 - 2012 R.I.P
As 2011 draws to a close it’s time to reflect on the past 12 months and the highs and lows of our beloved sport. In May Manny Pacquiao defeated Shane Mosley by unanimous decision in a contest where each contestant touched gloves more often as a mark of respect rather than throw punches. Manny returned back to the ring in November and claimed another controversial 3rd fight points decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez. Critics around the World claimed that Marquez was again robbed of the decision.
Floyd "Money" Mayweather teased and made us wait until September before putting on a dazzling performance against Victor Ortiz scoring a 4th round knockout over the not so “Vicious” Ortiz.
On home shores in April Khan reigned "King" once more when he defeated Ireland's hero Paul McCloskey via 6th round technical decision. Khan once more showed off his skills when he beat "Super" Zab Judah in July with a 5th round knockout, Khan will step back in to the ring in December to face Lamont Peterson. We would like to wish Khan the very best of luck, along with Carl Froch who will be facing Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six Super-Middleweight Tournament later this month.
In the pouring rain in July David Haye tempted thousands of fans to Germany threatening to take the Heavyweight crown away from Wladimir Klitschko but his performance turned out to be as damp as the weather. David Haye announced his retirement soon after this poor performance.
Sadness loomed over the boxing World in May when we said a sad goodbye to our beloved Henry Cooper he was much loved and will be remembered with great honour and pride. Again in November another star lit up the heavens when one of the greatest fighters of all time Joe Frazier lost his biggest fight against cancer, he will be remembered in the boxing almanacs forever.
In the new year we hope to share images of a private collectors museum project we have contributed too which showcases a formidable and comprehensive heavyweight collection which we are sure you will appreciate in all its glory.
We would like to wish all our customers and visitors new & old to the site a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Thank you for your purchases and continued support and we hope you continue to visit our site in the future.
Vinny & Kate
Joe Frazier 12/01/1944 - 07/11/2011 R.I.P Keep on Smokin'
Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight champion who handed Muhammad Ali his first defeat yet had to live forever in his rival's shadow, died Monday 7/11/11 after a brief final fight with liver cancer, he was 67.
Frazier, who took on Ali in three momentous fights in the 1970s including the epic 'Thrilla in Manila' had been under home hospice care after being diagnosed with the cancer just weeks ago, a family friend said, until then, Frazier had been doing regular autograph appearances, including one in Las Vegas in September.
Smokin' Joe was small by heavyweight standards, yet a ferocious fighter who smothered his opponents with punches, including a devastating left hook he used to end many of his fights early. It was the left hook that dropped Ali in the 15th round at Madison Square Garden in 1971 to seal a win in the so-called 'Fight of the Century.'
Though he beat Ali in that fight, Frazier lost the final two and for many years was bitter about the role Ali forced him to play as his foil.
"I am who I am, and yes, I whipped Ali all three times," Frazier told the New York Times in 2006.
"Ali always said I would be nothing without him," Frazier said. "But who would he have been without me?"
More recently, he said he had forgiven Ali for repeatedly taunting him.
While the 'Fight of the Century' is celebrated in boxing lore, Ali and Frazier put on an even better show in their third fight, held in a sweltering arena in Manila as part of Ali's world tour of fights in 1975. Nearly blinded by Ali's punches, Frazier still wanted to go out for the 15th round of the fight but was held back by trainer Eddie Futch in a bout Ali would later say was the closest thing to death he could imagine.
Frazier won the heavyweight title in 1970 by stopping Jimmy Ellis in the fifth round of their fight at Madison Square Garden. Frazier defended it successfully four times before George Foreman knocked him down six times in the first two rounds to take the title from him in 1973. Frazier would never be heavyweight champion again.
Many years ago on a pilgrimage to Las Vegas, we visited the Golden Gloves gym which has since closed down. We went in anticipation of gaining a signed glove from Mike Tyson who was training there at this time. A young confident boxer approached us and said “mister would you like me to sign a glove I’m going to be a World champion”.
Little did we know that the cocky youngster was Floyd Mayweather Jr. who even at that tender young age showed skills which would one day make him a five weight World champion.
From that day onwards we have followed Floyd’s career intensely and watched in admiration as he has been crowned a pound-4-pound great. Also, a warm friendship has developed between us and on our last visit to support Floyd against Ortiz, Floyd kindly invited us to have tea at the Mayweather mansion. Floyd extended warmth and kindness during our visit which ended after 5 hours with a chauffer driven Rolls Royce ride back to our hotel.
There are many special qualities about Floyd Mayweather Jr which unfortunately slip under the radar and many are blinkered and only wish to believe the exaggerated negative hype.
It is undisputed fact that Floyd’s defence is his main asset. It would be an understatement though, if anybody says Floyd is just a defensive fighter. Floyd’s incredible ‘shell-like’ defence system is key to his illustrious career. He is unbeaten in forty-two bouts, and still the freshest of all the competitive top boxers there are today because he is hardly hit his entire career.
Floyd is in his mid-thirties and has seemed to mature with age. He is getting stronger, and more aggressive. However, Floyd’s aggression is ‘controlled aggression’ rather than the usual uneducated, pure hustling or physical bullying reminiscent of Manny Pacquiao, the likes of Ricky Hatton and Victor Ortiz. In the Mosley fight, we saw Floyd stand right in front of Mosley and backed him up just as he promised he would. Against Ortiz, Floyd did exactly the same, took Victor out of his game by being the aggressor and cut the ring in an amazing manner.
Floyd’s style stands out because he is simply hard to hit, and if he is not hit, he cannot get hurt. His posture allows him to do stuff no other boxer does today. His power emanates deep from his hips and is transmitted through his torso to the hands in the same manner a vehicles will transmit power right from the pistons, through the gear system into the driving shaft. He is simply amazing. He gives an impression that he is firing a jab, but what comes out is a thunder-bolt of a power packed straight right, the main ingredient for destruction of any left handed fighter. He is agile, very calculating in everything he does. He does not get distracted while he is in the ring, his concentration is unmatched to say the least.
Floyd will roll with the punches and his ‘patented’ shoulder roll allows him to do several things. He removes the ‘sting’ in the punches using his shoulder while it allows him to have the leverage to set a surprise attack right from the defensive posture. While the shoulder protects his head, his left elbow and right arm are in position to thwart any body attack. Incredible…isn’t it? You can only be a hater not to notice and appreciate these skills. Floyd no longer uses his legs that much, at least as seen from the Mosley and Ortiz and even Marquez fights. He uses intellect and his upper body so well that he conserves energy and paces himself well for the latter and more energy demanding rounds.
Floyd’s ability to adjust to his opponent’s style is just another important aspect. He reads the situation and without waiting for the corner to do something, he adjusts. He is also sitting-on his shots more and more, delivering more and more power. If the situation gets tough, Floyd is capable of fighting on the ‘back-foot’. He is a superb counter puncher and takes advantage of his opponent’s mistakes and punishes them mercilessly. You will also notice that Floyd creates that extra reach through unmatched posturing and can make it difficult for anybody to fight from the inside. He has of late developed into a superb in-fighter as well. Floyd can take a punch when hit flash, though rare, we now all know that he has a solid jaw.
There is no single welterweight with all these qualities and Floyd will destroy anybody who stands in his way.
MGM Grand, Las Vegas
On 17th September 2011 Floyd Mayweather Jr will make his first appearance in the ring in over a year to claim back the WBC welterweight title against Victor Ortiz.
Mayweather has said that by facing Ortiz he will be silencing critics in his opinion by fighting the best opponent available at this time.
Ortiz, current champion is a talented fighter who showed amazing skills, and heart, in his last performance against Andre Berto and Mayweather has claimed that he is the sort of opponent who is hungry for a win against the Worlds best pound-for-pound and will not be willing to give up his belt easily.
Mayweather sat ringside when Ortiz won the title on points and watched intently as both fighters were sent to the canvas twice and has said that he is now looking forward to challenging the rising star.
Ortiz has his work cut out facing Mayweather, Ortiz will have to try and find a way to land his shots without being picked apart and block left hooks and straight right hands. Ortiz has a good chin, but he’s going to need to have a great chin on September 17th to come out with the win. He’s also going to need speed of foot and accuracy in order to cut off the ring on Mayweather, in order to win Ortiz will have to get in close and Floyd is not going to make that easy to do.
We will be flying out to Vegas on 7th September and returning on the 22nd September, we will be hoping to bring a collection of memorabilia back for you all to view on the site. As always we will endeavour to answer any emails or queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out immediately on our return back to the UK.
David Haye - TOEtally Awful
As followers of latest news you will know that we like to put our own stamp on the events of the fight, but due to being grossly disappointed like many other fight fans, we thought Dan (US fight correspondent) after fight report epitomises our thoughts entirely (see Dan’s full fight report below). However, as always we do have a collection of memorabilia which we will post on the site over the next few days.
Thanks for your continued support.
"Haye's talk was cheap, his hands idle
Like the other nine guys who Wladimir Klitschko has defended the heavyweight title against, David Haye promised he would end the champion's reign.
In fact, the mouthy Haye talked and jabbered and howled and smack-talked for much of the past three years, promising to do all sorts of naughty things to Klitschko.
David Haye did more falling to the canvas than fighting against Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday.
Promised to leave him twitching on the ring mat, the victim of a crushing knockout. Promised the most brutal execution ever.
Promised a lot of things.
All that Haye -- one of the biggest heavyweight frauds of all time -- did was bark. Like a dog. Because he sure didn't fight much, as Klitschko -- as dominant as ever at age 35 -- picked him apart for the lopsided decision on Saturday in rainy Hamburg, Germany.
It was not a scintillating fight. Far from it. But Klitschko did what he usually does: outbox, outjab, outmuscle and outthink his opponent en route to total domination.
The only thing Klitschko didn't do was score the knockout -- only the second time in this, his second reign, that the opponent has heard the final bell.
Haye made it to the bell because he took none of the chances he promised he would. Instead, he fought scared.
As Klitschko said afterward, "I wish I could have knocked him out impressively. He was scared to fight me. I was expecting more of a challenge in the ring, more aggression. He was super-defensive, like all of them."
After all of the garbage and trash Haye talked, he never came close to backing it up. He said repeatedly that he would retire after the fight. It looked more to me like he retired during the first round, because he didn't really fight.
After the fight, I was thinking about what excuse Haye would come up with. I figured he'd say he had a hand injury. I was close: He claimed to have a broken toe on his right foot that didn't allow him to push off and land his so-called "Hayemaker" right hand.
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
Every fighter has injuries. Few come to the ring without bumps and bruises from a tough training camp. I'm sure Klitschko was also dinged up.
But given the way Haye has always handled himself, I am not surprised at all that he had an alibi at the ready, so much so that he came to his interview in the ring after the fight with HBO's legendary Larry Merchant with his sock already off so that the camera could get a good look at his allegedly injured digit.
It looked OK to me, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was injured. If so, take the loss like a man and shut up about it.
There is no Toe-gate here. Haye was simply outclassed by a supreme champion who still has not been challenged to any serious degree since 2005.
Against Haye, Klitschko won 118-108, 117-109 and 116-110. and Haye, who continually flopped to the ground, frankly to buy a point deduction from referee Geno Rodriguez, complaining that Klitschko shoved him to the mat, finally got one in the seventh round. It was a bogus deduction, but Rodriguez fell for it.
But even Rodriguez realized he was being conned, so when Haye flopped again in the 11th round, the ref ruled it a knockdown. It's not like Klitschko needed the extra point. He was cruising.
He landed 134 of 509 punches (26 percent), according to CompuBox. Haye's output was downright pathetic: just 72 of an anemic 290 blows (26 percent).
You can't win if you don't throw. And Haye didn't throw.
I find that funny because, all along, Haye has called Klitschko a boring fighter. And yet on this night, the biggest of his career, Haye was the one who disgraced himself by making it boring, by running away, by not engaging, by not doing much of anything.
Well, except for making excuses about a hurt toe.
So it was Klitschko with another dominant win, a 10th title defence (one more than the prime Mike Tyson during his first run) and now a fourth sanctioning body title in the family. Klitschko and brother Vitali now own all four major belts.
Three for Wladimir and one for Vitali, with no serious challengers on the horizon, with all due respect to Tomasz Adamek, who I don't give much of a chance against Vitali on Sept. 17. But I know he will at least leave it all in the ring unlike Haye.
Folks can say whatever they want about the Klitschko brothers, but they win and win and win. They dominate.
Some people want them out of boxing because they aren't the most exciting fighters. Fine. Go find somebody to beat them.
Lord knows, Haye sure talked like he would. Talked and talked and talked.
But his talk turned out not only to be cheap. It was worthless."
On the 2nd July the heavyweight unification bout which has been 3 years in the making between David “Haymaker” Haye and Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko will finally come to fruition in
This is a fight that many feel is too close to call, between 6'6" power "Steelhammer" Klitschko and the smaller ultimately quicker Haye, but as Haye has proved in the past he is capable of rocking the bigger opponent if he can slip through Klitschko's thudding jab to land his trademark overhand right on Wladmir's chin.
Haye vs Klitschko will be a feast to attract many hungry fight fans across
We will be flying out to
Sir Henry Cooper - Legendary British Icon R.I.P. 1934 - 2011
Sir Henry Cooper OBE died on 1st May 2011 aged 76. The former British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion fought 55 times and is revered for his knock down of Cassius Clay in 1963.
Cooper had been ill for some time and died at his son's house in
London-born Cooper was at his peak during the 1960s and is best remembered for a defeat by Cassius Clay, later Muhammad Ali, in a non-title fight at Wembley in 1963.
He famously sent Clay to the canvas near the end of the fourth round with his trademark left hook, known as "'Enry's 'Ammer", only for the American to earn more recovery time when trainer Angelo Dundee said Clay's glove was split. The incident is still a favourite topic of discussion for boxing fans to this day.
Cooper lost when the referee stopped the fight because of his cuts in the fifth round and he lost to Clay again in a world title fight at Arsenal's Highbury Stadium in
After an amateur career that included an appearance in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Henry and his twin brother George, who died last year, both turned professional in 1954.
He lost to
His two fights against Ali raised his profile, along with another defeat by former world champion Floyd Patterson in 1966, but Cooper's position in the heart of British sports fans was out of all proportion to his success in the ring.
His 55-fight professional career featured 14 defeats, he was never a world champion and retired in 1971 after another defeat, a somewhat controversial points verdict, by fellow Briton Joe Bugner.
However, Cooper's bravery and down-to-earth, avuncular personality ensured massive popularity during his boxing career and then as a TV pundit and commentator, game show panellist, after-dinner speaker and tireless charity fundraiser.
Twice voted Sports personality of the year, he was awarded an OBE in 1969 and knighted in 2000.
Congratulations to Floyd Mayweather Jr who put on a magnificent flawless performance on Saturday 1st May, at the MGM Grand,
It soon became evident that Mosley was not only fighting speed, sublime skills and a defensive master but also GREATNESS. Apart from a slight glitch in the second round, which demonstrated both resilience and a sturdy chin not seen before in a Mayweather fight, Floyd picked off his opponent with impressive accuracy and speed. Mayweather’s boasts of being the GREATEST fighter ever to lace on the gloves despite conscious dominance of Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali, maybe just maybe could become a reality when Floyd’s career is scrutinised and analysed and placed into the history of boxing’s cherished and enriched past.
All that remains now is for Floyd to complete a perfect unblemished resume by indulging in the bout the World wants to see against Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.
Once again we were privileged to meet many boxing greats, Muhammad Ali, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Joe Calzaghe and many more, who signed several items for us. We will be posting these items on the site over the next couple of weeks for you all to view. We hope you enjoy seeing them as much as we enjoyed collecting them…….
The biggest fight of the year thus far takes place on 1st May, in Las Vegas, as Floyd Mayweather fights Shane Mosley. It is a rare match between two fighters who have been at or near the top of the pound-for-pound best list for the past decade. They are both still very viable and in great form. Boxing fans eagerly await this fight.
Floyd Mayweather is the favourite, a perk that comes with being undefeated over a career that spans nearly 14 years. The 33-year-old has bad hands, but is generally well preserved, having not been subjected to beatings and hard fights. Some might say this is due to careful matchmaking or perhaps it is just due to Mayweather’s brilliance. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Putting the questions surrounding the quality of recent Mayweather opponents aside, he is facing a top guy in this fight and deserves credit. Mosley is coming off a destructive knockout of fearsome Antonio Margarito. Shane looked renewed after some had begun to write him off. He battered Margarito at will, looking as good as ever in the process. Sure he is 39, but he has lived a Spartan lifestyle that allows him to still be a top fighter.
Floyd doesn’t have the losses Mosley has, but he might if he fought the same level of competition. Mosley’s resume reads like a who’s-who of boxing over the last 2 decades, highlighted by two wins over a prime Oscar De La Hoya. He lost twice each to Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright and dropped a close decision to a then-undefeated Miguel Cotto. His win over Margarito, however, confirmed his stature at the top of the sport is still solid.
Mayweather could grow old overnight. Fighters don’t continue unabated forever. He will have had only one fight in 28 months by the time he climbs into the ring on 1st May. Mosley hasn’t been too active himself, as this is his first fight since beating Margarito in January of last year. Old pros like these shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Sometimes layoffs are good for aging fighters.
Mosley will be Mayweather’s toughest fight in quite a while. Mosley has great speed and can still hit extremely hard. He is probably the puncher in this fight. Mayweather is just so clever in the ring, knowing how to shade the conditions in his favor. He is a master of distance and a defensive whiz. After over a decade at world-class level, he has yet to be in deep peril. His chin and fighting pride are also strong suits.
Icelandic volcano eruptions permitting we will be flying out to Vegas on 28th April and returning on the 7th May, we will be hoping to bring a collection of memorabilia back for you all to view on the site. As always we will endeavour to answer any emails or queries whilst we are away and any purchases will be posted out immediately on our return back to the UK.
Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao Pound 4 Pound king who dominated the 12-round duel against Joshua Clottey on 13th March at the stunning Dallas Cowboy’s Stadium, Pacquiao triumphed with an impressive display which further endorsed his status as the worlds top fighter whilst retaining his welterweight crown.
The Pacman kept his cool and didn’t exert more than was necessary he was strong until the end and threw over 1100 punches throughout the contest whilst the bigger, stronger Joshua Clottey hid behind his gloves from start to finish. Like a true champion Manny was unbeatable once again. In the after fight interview Manny expressed his desire once again to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. who firmly advocates that he is the only Pound 4 Pound King of the ring this is certainly a mouth watering encounter none of us can wait for to happen.
These two fighters have notoriously become the good and bad guys throughout the boxing World which of course sells the fight but our trip dispelled such myths about Mayweather’s character, who once again showed only friendship, kindness and good humour whilst in our company.
In our opinion Floyd Mayweather Jr. certainly is a real gentleman and it is a shame when the Pound 4 Pound icon only gets into the news when he is either flashing his cash or having possessions repossessed, while his contributions to youth boxing programmes and other good deeds go largely unreported.
The Pacquiao v Clottey bout in
As always you can contact us with any questions or queries via our contact us page.
Please keep checking our new items category for our latest acquisitions.
Vinny & Kate
Hello Boxing Fans
On 13th March, Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium, Texas. As we all know the boxing World was hoping to see Pacquiao face Floyd Mayweather and fortunately for boxing fans this is an acceptable replacement. Clottey is a top welterweight and a tough fighter. It will be nice to see the sport take centre stage in a U.S. city other than Las Vegas and it will still be a huge event.
Manny is a sizable favourite in this fight and for good reason. His elevation into the welterweight ranks has seen him finish off his opponents with style and ease. De La Hoya, Hatton and Cotto never looked like being winners in their fights against Pacquiao. Most people are not surprised that Manny has been able to succeed at welterweight, but it’s safe to say the manner in which he has blitzed through his competition has left fans stunned in admiration
This year is probably the penultimate year in both men’s professional careers. Pacquiao is 31 and Clottey 32. They are both top of their class and hold the skills and knowledge but still have plenty of youth-like energy to carry it through.
Pacquiao a super-fast, concussive puncher, who moves swiftly and beautifully, rarely leaving himself in a vulnerable spot for too long and he has improved his right hand to the point where it is a formidable weapon in its own right, earning him the title of the best fighter in the sport.
We are fortunate enough to be in Dallas to watch this bout and we will as always hope to share our experiences with you on our return back to the UK which we will post on the site as soon as we can. In the meantime can we take this opportunity again to thank all our valued customers and visitors to the site, we will as always endeavour to answer your emails whilst we are away and any purchases will be mailed out immediately upon our return on 15th March 2010.
Vinny & Kate
Hello Boxing Fans
2009 ended on a high with the nation getting behind David Haye in his epic battle against Russian giant Nikolai Valuev to win the WBA World heavyweight title and at long last giving UK and US boxing fans a heavyweight champion, with knockout power, plus charisma and charm, which has been long awaited. Amir Khan also proved more than a match for his opponents Marco Antonio Barrera, Andreas Kotelnik and Dmitriy Salita making the World sit up and take notice of the lad from Bolton.
In 2009 Manny Pacquiao elevated himself in to the higher echelons of boxing folklore with breathtaking performances over Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto after previously dismantling Oscar De La Hoya (this from a man who started his career at 106lbs). This will now lead us to the fight of the century next year when Manny meets undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. 13th March. Who will win? is a hard one to call…..
Ricky Hatton stepped away from the ropes and has made a successful start in his promoting career with a promising band of fighters, Matthew Macklin, Scott Quigg, Joe Murray, Mark Thompson and Martin Murray who under Ricky’s guidance could achieve great things . We would like to take this opportunity to wish Ricky success in his new role. Also 2010 should bring European success for Manchester lightweight John Murray.
We all hope that 2010 will bring the same excitement and success as the year that has passed and here at CHAMPS we hope that we can continue to share some of our own boxing experiences with you.
As always we would like to thank all our customers and visitors to our site and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a very prosperous and happy new year.
Vinny & Kate
Congratulations to champion Manny Pacquiao who, with a dazzling array of punches and pinpoint accuracy of piercing shots through Miguel Cotto's tightest defence left Cotto reeling helplessly and bewildered not knowing where and when the next bee stinging missiles would come from.
Pacquaio menaced Cotto for most of the fight leaving Cotto reluctant to carry on and a frustrated Pacquiao banging his gloves together in eagerness to get the job done.
The referee put an end to Cotto's suffering with a 12th round stoppage making Pacquiao a 7 weight world champ and undisputed pound-for-pound king yet again.
We were privileged to witness this dazzling display and collect many interesting items of boxing memorabilia at the same time, including numerous Pacman signed pieces, along with WBA belt signed by Duran and Chavez also items signed by fellow Brits Haye and Khan plus many more...
We will be posting these items on the site over the next few weeks for you all to share and enjoy.
Lets hope now that all our Christmas wishes come true and we have the ultimate New Year gift of a Pacquiao and Mayweather blockbuster sometime soon in 2010.
CONGRATULATIONS to Floyd Mayweather Jr on another epic victory over the weekend. Floyd once again reaffirmed his position as undisputed pound-for-pound king.
Floyd reigned victorious after a stunning display of effervescent jabs and combinations out-witting the game Mexican warrior Marquez, who after a second round knockdown was only ever playing a catch-up game. Boxing greats such as Thomas Hearns and Mike Tyson applauded as Floyd proved his technical brilliance once again.
On November 11th this year Filipino legend Manny Pacquaio will stand face-to-face with Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto in what is expected to be another epic bout. Everyone in the boxing fraternity is pre-empting a Pacquiao victory with the fight of the century taking place next year between Pacquiao vs Mayweather, bring it on……….
We would like to extend personal thanks for the warmth and hospitality shown to us by Roger and Floyd during our visit in Vegas as always Floyd imposed his generosity towards us and signed lots of items. We also enjoyed meeting other greats such as Thomas Hearns, FernandoVargas, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Lopez who took the time and grace to sign numerous items which we will post on the site over the next few weeks for you all to enjoy viewing.
Hi Boxing Fans
THE RETURN OF MONEY MAYWEATHER!