In his latest column, the former Olympian and heavyweight contender gives his take on Josh Warrington’s stoppage defeat to Leigh Wood and casts an eye over Tommy Fury vs KSI in Manchester this weekend.
It’s not boxing, but we can still be entertained
KSI vs Tommy Fury takes centre stage this weekend. I have had a lot to say about this side of the boxing game in the past. This side of it, it is the entertainment business and when we take it for what it is, you can enjoy it.
I have been around KSI in the gym and I know Tommy has boxed for a long time. From everyone I have seen in this influencer or YouTuber scene, they all train very hard but KSI trains extremely hard. He is extremely professional when it comes to putting the work in with a really good team around him. So I can credit him for that, I have seen him in those gruelling sessions.
It is not boxing, it is entertainment and as long as it is portrayed in the right light, I am okay with it. And if it continues to bring more eyes to the sport, fantastic. I will give these two credit because they are clearly taking it seriously in their training.
I think KSI will struggle on Saturday night. But his best chance in this fight is the fact that he is still a novice, still very unorthodox in his style. If I was him or a member of his team, I would be telling him not to try and outbox this guy, keep doing the things you aren’t usually meant to do in a boxing ring, be unorthodox, hit him wherever and whenever you can.
Tommy is a far superior boxer but I am not sure if he is as fit as KSI because those boys train ridiculously hard. His engine won’t be a problem, but maybe the skill level and experience will come into it. Tommy will need to put him in his place.
Danis vs Paul build-up: It’s got ugly
The build-up to Dillon Danis vs Logan Paul in the co-main event has got a bit ugly. I have seen some of it from Danis, plenty has been below the belt and right over the top. Things like that go past boxing and it could see things turn daft. These guys come with 30 or 40 people in tow, that could get messy. If they need me, they can give me a call and I’ll get the old security badge back out and sort everyone out!
But I can see that one getting very daft. It is what separates it from boxing and gives it that WWE feel. Logan is literally a WWE superstar so he’ll be used to it and you never know, this whole thing could have been scripted to get the viewing numbers in.
But if I’m in that situation and someone is talking that way about my missus, whether there is a fight happening or not, I’m taking that up with them straight away when I see them at the press conference or weigh-in. There could be fireworks before the opening bell.
Warrington should have been allowed to fight on
Leigh Wood vs Josh Warrington certainly delivered last weekend, it was a world class fight and what a finish. At the time, I didn’t see it coming but it was something we knew could happen, that is what Leigh can do. He has world class power and timing. He clearly wasn’t performing how he wanted to. I was very impressed with Warrington and it showed there are still huge nights ahead for him.
In the build-up there was a talk over whether he might retire if he lost this one but that performance shows he can still go out there and beat a lot of top fighters at world level. He still has plenty in the tank at that level and his popularity ain’t going away. He’s an exciting fighter and is still a promoter’s dream. I would love to see him back at this level again.
Josh felt he should have been allowed to continue when the fight was waved off at the end of the seventh round. I’m a big fan of the great boxing days of the 80s and 90s. I think you have to give every fighter every opportunity. I know how people look at it now, if the decision is one second too late you can be in trouble. But it was the end of the round, there was a minute to recover. These are prize fighters.
At that level, let fighters try and achieve greatness. But the referee is closer to it than any of us were and he saw something we didn’t. You have to trust their judgment. I would have liked for Josh to be given the minute to try and recover. But it is tough for referees, they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t in that situation.
Wood’s dream run will continue
For Leigh Wood, he is now in a really good position. He has done things the hard way, learned his trade and is now reaping the rewards. He is a true example to a lot of fighters; keep going, keep doing what you do and you will get to where you want to me.
Personally, I think the weight was an issue for him. It didn’t seem like he had the energy and sharpness for it and he seemed to be half a second slower than Warrington.
It would be a great decision to go up to super-featherweight and take on Joe Cordina. Joe is my man, I’ll back him to the death but that would be a great fight, in Cardiff or Nottingham.
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