Johnny Greaves’ weekend roundup – Joshua, Eubank and more

My name is Johnny Greaves, a former fighter now licensed boxing manager and have been in the boxing business for over 30 years. This is my first column at Boxing News and Views, where every week I will be doing a weekend roundup of the big fights that happened on a given weekend. Lets take a quick look back at last weekend.


Dillian Whyte v Anthony Joshua (Joshua won KO 7/12)

This fight answered a few questions on Joshua, for me. He got caught a couple of times but took it pretty well, to be fair. That left hook from Whyte in the second round would have knocked most others down.

He’s got a hell of a lot of work to do but I thought he done very well and the finish was superb. He needs a few more long distance fights first before stepping up, I’d say he’s a good year or two away from world level yet.

At British level, he’s the top of the tree but in my opinion, Fury would school him at the moment and he’s still a little over reliant on his power. I like how he made a few adjustments within the fight to better his opponent so it shows he’s intelligent and listens to his corner.

I think he’s great for our sport and it’ll be good to get a few more casual fans tuning in to broaden the audience.

Kevin Mitchell v Ismael Barroso (Barroso won TKO 5/12) 

It’s hard for me because I know Kevin pretty well, but it shows he might not ever be world level. Heartbreaking for him really, but if you step up to world level it doesn’t take a lot for the fight to turn the other way.

He’s just not quite world level. He’s matured a lot since the Katsidas fight and grown as a fighter. I boxed on the same bill as him that night and it was man against boy. He came back well to reignite his career but he just keeps falling short, unfortunately.

I can’t see Kev carrying on, to be honest, I think he’ll walk away now. If it was me, I’d stay around the British scene and try and get a Lonsdale belt because you could still make good money and pay the mortgage off.

He won the Lonsdale belt at super-featherweight back in 2008 against Carl Johanneson so I think he should aim to be a two-weight British champion and take on Scotty Cardle for his belt.

Fair play to the winner, Barroso who gets his shot at Anthony Crolla next. I think it’s a good fight, Crolla at times can be dragged into wars so he needs to be disciplined, he can pull it off but he’ll have to be at his very best that night.

Tony Bellew v Mateusz Mastaernak (Bellew won UD 12/12)

He boxes well but, again, I don’t think he’ll ever be genuinely world class. He has not got massive power, he done well and it was a hard fight but he’s another one for me that’ll never quite reach it.

There was a rare insight into a bit of humility for me in the post-fight interview which is fair play to him admitting that he wasn’t that good.

It’s nice to hear that he won the title for his kids and fulfilled his promise to them to bring it home. I’m sure it was a nice, early Christmas present for them all.

Luke Campbell v Yvan Mendy (Mendy won SD 12/12) 

It shows that he was moved up too quickly. I’ve seen Mendy in the past and he’s a decent fighter. It’s not the end of the world for Luke. In the unlicensed scene, I went 15 or 16 unbeaten until I boxed an ex pro called Matt Leonard and I learnt more from that loss than in any of the previous wins.

Luke’s always going to struggle because he lacks power at that weight and you need that to keep guys off you especially at the higher levels. If he could drop down a weight class then I’d try that but he boxes really well and he can come back and be a better fighter.

It’s never nice to get beaten but if he can learn from that defeat then it might even do him a favour in the long run. 

Chris Eubank Jr. v Gary O’Sullivan (Eubank won RTD 12/12)

Eubank was very good in his performance. I’m a bit surprised about Spike’s decision not to continue especially from an Irishman, I was very surprised. He was never going to win, that’s true but then I was never going to win 95% of my fights but I never pulled out of any.

Chris has definitely matured as a fighter and the posing and poncing around has diminished a bit, I’m pleased to see.

He’s calling for the rematch with Saunders but then he’s also calling for Golovkin but my advice to him is that I wouldn’t go anywhere near him at the moment, but I suppose you’ve got to talk yourself into these positions.

In his fight with Billy Joe Saunders, I was working the opposite corner with Mark and Jimmy Tibbs. He really gave the first few rounds away and it cost him the decision.

He’s not world class but he’s not too far away either. I think that another couple of tough, meaningful fights and he’ll be there.

Roy Jones Jr. v Enzo Maccarinelli (Maccarinelli won KO 4/10)

It was no shock to me. Old, quality fighters like that just go on too long. Mac is a quality fighter and the last thing that you lose is your power, so I knew it would end in this way.

Someone needs to tell Jones to stop now. It was a shame to see him like that. I know Enzo pretty well so I’m really pleased for him but it’s still not nice to see a legend lie Roy Jines Jr. go out like that.

(Image credit: Chris Eubank Jr Twitter)

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