On The Beak admin
As female boxing gets ready to debut at the Olympics, nearly 45,000 people have joined a campaign on Change.org demanding that female boxers be given the right to choose whether to wear shorts or skirts in the ring.
Tommy Barber – London
Team GB coach Sean Murphy has hailed English amateur super heavyweight star Anthony Joshua as the next Lennox Lewis. Having returned to Britain following a stunning silver medal capture at the recent World Amateur Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, Joshua is now guaranteed to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Following completion of the Games, he will likely turn professional where Murphy predicts the highest of honours…
“As long as he lives right and doesn’t get carried away with what everyone’s saying, he’ll go to the top – he’ll be the next Lennox Lewis,” said Murphy as reported by the BBC.
Himself a gold medal Olympian at the Seoul Games in 1988, Lewis went on to become the EBU heavyweight champion, the British titlist and the Commonwealth ruler before going on to claim the WBC world title (twice), the lineal championship and the unified WBA/IBF titles. His resume includes notable wins over Frank Bruno, Tommy Morrison, Shannon Briggs, Oliver McCall, Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman, Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko.
Furthermore, despite two defeats and a draw, Lewis – who finished his career with a 41-2-1, 32ko record – can lay claim to beating every opponent he faced as he avenged the blemishes on his CV. Murphy, though, believes Joshua can emulate the accomplishments and talent of Lewis.
Selected by On The Beak as one of the picks of the tournament here, Joshua secured an unlikely passage to the World Amateur Championship final as – with a pre-competition world rank of 46 – he was not a fancied contender. He also had to navigate his way past Roberto Cammarelle; an Olympic gold medalist and two-time amateur king. However, by the tournament’s conclusion, Joshua was the new world number two, booked his place in the London Olympics and received an abundance of fame and recognition.
Commenting on his Baku experience, Joshua said: “I won the silver but lost the gold. It was painful at first to know I was so close, just a point away. To bring back gold to the nation would have [made] my heart full of joy, but half an hour later I was back with the team and everybody was rejoicing.”
He continued: “I’m happy I achieved something for the country and myself that we didn’t really expect. It’s amazing to be ranked number two in the world now. It’s an amazing accomplishment.”
Regarding his guaranteed inclusion at the 2012 Games, he said: “Words can’t describe, it means everything. I wouldn’t mind being there and being a waterboy, but to be involved with the 2012 Olympics? I’m over the moon.”
Tommy Barber – London
Undefeated London-based pugilist Darren Barker has sparred with members of the Team GB boxing squad as well as WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch in order to help prepare himself for Argentine southpaw Sergio Martinez, whom he challenges for lineal middleweight championship on Saturday, October 1 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Barker will resume training in London, before embarking on a final crash course in Canada.
“I’ve just come back from Sheffield after spending another few days training with the Great Britain Olympic Boxing Squad,” confirmed Barker on his blog at darrenbarker.co.uk.”I’ve really been impressed with the guys I’ve met and even got into the ring to spar with one of them – Welshman Fred Evans,” he added.
A gung-ho welterweight, Evans – at just 20-years-old – has achieved multiple honours at junior amateur level, however, Barker will have most benefited from his time spent sizing up Froch (28-1-0, 20ko). Despite the difference in posturing (Froch stands on the starboard whilst Martinez is a leftie), both fighters shoot from the hip, they keep their fists by their waist, and so evading or parrying the shots that Froch threw from a low angle, as opposed to shoulder-height, will have proved a useful exercise in readying himself for Sergio.
“I also had a few rounds sparring with Carl Froch who is now under the guidance of Eddie Hearn and Matchroom [Sports]. Signing for them has been one of the best decisions I have made in my career. Everyone they have got working for them is different class and I have total 100 percent confidence in the way they are handling things for me.”
Barker (23-0-0, 14ko) continued: “Carl is a top fighter and, even though I’ve sparred with him before, I’m still grateful to him for the help he’s given me to prepare for my fight against Martinez. On October 29, [Carl will] be fighting Andre Ward who is the holder of the WBA version of the crown in a bout that will see the unification of the title. Carl is fighting in Atlantic City and… he’s got what it takes to bring both belts back to England.”
Regarding his own task that lay ahead, attempting to de-thrown middleweight supremo Martinez, Barker stated that he will be training east of London until Friday, September 9, before departing for Canada where training camp will resume. He said: “I’m looking forward to my training camp in Canada for the final build-up to my fight against Martinez.
“I’ve got another week at my gym in Essex with Tony Sims, my mentor and trainer and then it’s a flight across the Atlantic next Friday. I’m feeling fitter and stronger than I have for a long time with Tony helping me get into peak condition and keeping me focused on the job ahead.
“I’ll probably have a day off though when I get to Canada to adjust to the time difference and then it will be non-stop total concentration on my fitness, my boxing and my strategy for beating Martinez,” concluded the 29-year-old.
Alan Dawson – London
In order to ready himself for Andre Ward on October 29, arguably the toughest test of two-time WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch‘s already impressive career, the Englishman dubbed “The Cobra” will be sparring Anthony Ogogo and Warren Baister; two members of Team GB’s Olympic squad for the 2012 Games in London, as well as well-ranked contenders Peter Quillin and Edwin Rodriguez.
“During the first half of camp I’ll be sparring a mix of some of the Olympians,” Froch explained to Live Fight following a vacation with his family to Jamaica where he was shown around the island by England compatriot and former heavyweight king Lennox Lewis.
Froch (28-1-0, 20ko) confirmed that he will be sparring with Anthony Ogogo, a 22-year-old with an illustrious amateur career having won the Junior Olympics where he won outstanding boxer of the tournament in 2004, became the Under-17 world champion the following year and, last year, was a silver medalist at the Commonwealth Games in the middleweight division.
Super Six World Boxing Classic hopeful Froch will also exchange blows with amateur heavyweight Warren Baister (who would weigh-in as a cruiserweight in the professional circuit) and is known for his strength, speed and elusiveness – something that would be an asset when attempting to mimic the movements of Ward (24-0-0, 13ko); himself a 2004 Olympic gold medalist at the Athens Games and an undefeated professional.
“The amateurs such as middleweight Anthony Ogogo and heavyweight Warren Baister are perfect for the earlier work we [Froch and head trainer Robert McCracken] shall be doing. They box and move well and have a good blend of attributes to get me into fight mode.”
Froch also alluded to his switch in camps as he may take the second half of his training period to the United States like he did for his last bout, a decision victory over the experienced Glen Johnson. It is in the US where Froch will spar with two undefeated top ten super middleweight boxers, according to On The Beak’s division ranking, as Peter Quillin (trained by Freddie Roach) and Edwin Rodriguez, who recently defeated Aaron Pryor Jr and James McGirt, will be drafted in.
“Then later, probably Stateside actually, I’ll be looking at people like Kid Chocolate [Quillin] and Edwin Rodriguez who’s coming back up to speed. There’s a few other people in mind who’s names I wont mention. But they can box and fight. Don’t worry, the prep for Ward will be meticulous and we’ve got all game plans covered.”
He continued: “I’m currently weighing around 173lb and already have found my groove in training and am really up for this one. We know what approach we need for the Ward fight and am completely confident of our tactics to enable us to bring home the belts.”
Froch then commented on the magnitude of his fight that will be staged at the Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City. It is a conclusion of a two-year tournament, a unification of two exquisite prizefighters’ titles and The Ring magazine championship will also be made available to the winner. He said: “I imagine there will be a lot of the big names turning out at ringside for this fight. Pretty much everyone in the sport will be checking it out.
“We have got the WBA and WBC titles, The Ring magazine title and the number one spot in the division all up for grabs. They’ve said the winner is a lock for the pound for pound lists and rightly so. This is the hottest division in boxing and if I come through Ward then me and Great Britain will be right up there on that pound for pound list.
“And trust me, you’ll not see a better version of The Cobra on the October 29. Ward thinks he knows what is coming, but he’s not gonna see this one. He can switch hit or whatever he feels like but we’ve got a different approach.”