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19 JULY 2018

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The Chin Check - Volume V

By Steven Bateson


Back once again for the....well not the renegade master but just the best damn boxing column on the web.


First thing to address is the so called "warriors" behind their keyboards who slammed Kell Brook for taking a knee against Errol Spence last weekend, unable to continue after his eye socket was broken. Must be a common injury in the UK because there was an awful lot of people who were dismayed that he would "throw in the towel". I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of pain one must be in with a broken eye socket, nor the fighting on with the possibility that you’d be blinded for the rest of your life but I guess there’s a lot of tough people out there and they did pay £40 for a ticket after all, damn you Kell for not keeling over for these hard working folk. There’s been far too many high profile injuries happened in boxing...Nick Blackwell, Eduard Gutknecht are just in the last year but lets not forget Gerald McClellan and Michael Watson. Must be easy to cast aspersions with no clue of what you are talking about.


So called "fans" are bad enough but when you hear the same tripe from those involved in the game itself then you’re fighting a losing battle. Chris Eubank Jnr piped up on Twitter , the same man who went missing when the Gennady Golovkin contract was there to be signed. Who stepped up? Yeah that man Kell Brook. And he has the audacity to talk about "giving up a world title". When you finally win one Chris we’ll value your opinion, maybe even when you have a legitimate boxing career, but until then I’d stick to the snapchat videos. If only he was as good at fighting high level opposition as he is on having an opinion on those who do.


One would hope that Brook can take a break and heal up, he performed valiantly, and then reassess with his team. I hope the injuries won’t hamper a return but his health and being with his family is the main thing. If he does come back then an assault on 154 has to be the next step.


Andrew Selby is now the mandatory challenger for the WBC Flyweight Championship. Selby is an impeccable boxer but he had to climb off the deck on Friday to win, dropped once and rocked a couple of more times by Cristofer Rosales, so there are definite vulnerabilities there. The WBC Champion is currently Daigo Higo who has 13 KO’s from his 13-0 record. Selby will have one hell of a night if he and his team take that match.


Sticking with the Selby brothers and there was a brief interaction at ringside between IBF Featherweight Champ, Lee and Carl Frampton. There was a potential fight mooted but it never came to fruition. Both men said on camera they are game for it but clearly something is amiss behind the scenes. Hopefully they cut out the middle man and just get that one signed, it’s a huge UK fight and we’d all love to see them get it on.


I’d like to congratulate George Groves on winning the WBA Super Middle belt on Saturday night. It was a pretty much perfect performance from the "Saint" and only heats up the 168lbs division even more. Turns out George had a broken jaw from round three onward which is a testament to how badly he wanted that strap, fourth time lucky. Hopefully Callum Smith does the business on September 9th and we can look forward to some epic unification encounters, including IBF Champ James DeGale, on these shores just like we had in the Benn/Eubank/Watson days.


A couple of tasty encounters have been announced for the Billy Joe Saunders - Avtandil Khurtsidze card on July 8th. Darryll Williams and Jahmaine Smyle will re-match their fight of the year contender from April, it was a toe to toe slugfest first time around and I doubt this one will be much different.

And Gary Corcoran will meet Larry Ekundayo for the WBO European Welterweight crown. Corcoran is a come forward fighter whilst Ekundayo is a tricky technician, it should be a good blend of styles.


British Welterweight Champion, Bradley Skeete is live and exclusive on Boxnation tomorrow night, defending against Shayne Singleton. Skeete is a tall and rangy boxer and I think he’ll have too much for Singleton, perhaps even halting him inside the distance. I think Skeete is more than ready for European and fringe world level. I don’t know how far he can go but I’d like to find out. If he wins this one then bang him in with an Andre Berto type, I think that’s a winnable fight for Skeete and propels him up the rankings. He’s 29 now, it’s sink or swim after awhile.


Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies had their opening presser this week, hyping their July 8th showdown. Davies, usually so outspoken, adopted a much more reserved approach than usual leading to many "experts" reading into the situation a little more than necessary. So far I’ve heard that Josh Taylor was rattled, Ohara Davies was rattled and apparently James Argent, yeah I don’t know either but someone told me he’s famous for being a loudmouth prat, was running his mouth on Twitter. Taylor and Davies are both brilliant, they could potentially both be world champions, and I cannot wait to see them fight but let’s please leave the plastic celebrities at home next time, maybe even gag them. Ideally Argent could box the opening round in Davies’ place and we’ll see how quickly he chimes in on Twitter after that.


Anyone seen Mike Perez recently? He’s not missing or anything, although if you knew him when he had a bit of chub then you might be filing a Missing Person’s Order. The former Heavyweight is now campaigning at Cruiserweight and damn he’s in shape. I don’t know why I’m asking if you have seen him he’s in the main picture of this article. The Irish-Cuban (yes that is a real heritage) returns to action on the Haskins-Burnett bill on June 10th against Tommy McCarthy.


Adding a new little feature to the column this week and going to start looking back at great fights involving British fighters during this week in years gone by. I had May 26th-June 1st to choose from and of course I couldn’t ignore Carl Froch-George Groves II. I know this is a week of celebration for George so I kinda feel bad bringing this one up but it is an historic event.


In case you didn’t know, the event took place at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 people (I’m sure it’s been mentioned once or twice) and was a re-match of the controversial first fight from 2013. Froch and Groves didn’t like one another, they’ve certainly earned one another’s respect since, and it made for a huge selling point. Froch was a tough, tough man but I don’t even think he banked on the punch that won him this fight, the best right hand of his career by a country mile that left Groves sprawled out and unable to continue.


The full fight is on Youtube:


I was worried that wouldn’t link into this page automatically but praise the Lord because he has delivered, a little bonus footage for you before bed tonight. Next week I’ll be writing this column whilst the UK is burning to the ground, in case you didn’t know there’s some mega event next Thursday that has everyone in disarray. Me personally will be looking forward to Ryan Burnett-Lee Haskins in Belfast but each to their own.


Stay classy boxateers, someone has to nowadays.

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