An great lineup of action this weekend in boxing featuring a cameo appearance by Cricket legend Freddie Flintoff!
By Niall Doran
These last couple of weeks for fight fans has been a real treat and this weekend is no different. In Belfast Northern Ireland we have a great Heavyweight slug fest and WBC eliminator between Tyson Fury and Kevin Johnson. Fury has been on a roll lately and will be looking to continue his unbeaten streak and securing a shot at the WBC crown next year by looking impressive against Johnson. Johnson some fight fans in Ireland and Britain may recall boxed in Prizefighter not to long ago only to come up short. Besides this his only blemish came against Vitali Klitschko in a world title fight when Vitali was at his best. He is also trained by Jeff Mayweather (uncle of Floyd) who no doubt will have come up with a good game plan for his charge. Could be trickier than the bookies think for Tyson but I’d expect a decision or late stoppage for Fury.
Elsewhere in Liverpool Fury’s bitter rival David Price is back in action this weekend against Matt Skelton. I’m a big fan of David Price and don’t get me wrong Skelton is a hard, tough man, who is fought all over the world in multiple fighting disciplines other than boxing. But at this stage of his career he is 45 years old and really I don’t see what Price will learn from this fight. Cant see this lasting more than 4 rounds to be honest. Hopefully after this we’ll see the big fella move up in level of challenge next year which I have no doubt he will rise to.
Stateside in New York Miguel Cotto makes his return to his second home at Madison Square Garden where he bids to take Austin Trout’s WBA crown. This has the makings of a real 50/50 fight. Trout is very underestimated by many people but make no mistake he is a very big light middleweight, with good reach, good skills and a very big heart. After watching a lot of interviews and build up in the run up to this fight I have a feeling that the boxing world is going to have to say goodbye to another one if it’s legends a week on after Ricky Hatton called it a day. I heard Miguel Cotto feels the time for retirement is very near and if he wins this world title again I’ve he feeling that’s what he’ll do. I’ve a feeling Miguel will pull this one off on points and possibly draw the curtain on what has been a glorious career.
An honorable mention must go to the courage of former cricket player Andrew Flintoff aka Freddie Flintoff, for making his professional boxing debut this weekend in Manchester. This has been a huge story in the UK with many for and against it. I for one think it is a good thing as it draws attention to boxing which can only be positive for our great sport. Will be interesting to see how he reacts to getting hit hard for the first time. I don’t think Barry McGuigan would risk his reputation with Freddie Flintoff on this unless he thought he could fight. Cant call this one.
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