Barry talks fights and weddings

It must have been unsettling for Amir Khan in the build up to his clash with Paul McCloskey, knowing that he was going to lose a large amount of money changing to Primetime, due to his family’s fall out with Sky.

The fight was predictable in that it was an ugly clash of styles and didn’t make for good viewing. The doctor made a dreadful call, the cut wasn’t bad enough to even stop the action, let alone stop the fight. Paul McCloskey was badly let down by the doctor and the referee.

To be fair I didn’t give McCloskey any of the rounds and I know his trainer John Breen said he thought Khan was tiring but I couldn’t see that. Could McCloskey have turned it around in the later rounds with one big punch? There’s always the possibility, but it was looking increasingly unlikely.

The confusion seemed to centre around what was said in those vital few seconds between when the doctor spoke to McCloskey and then following Paul’s reply, what he said to the referee. The BBBofC have not yet released what the doctor said to McCloskey and equally important what Paul’s reply was. I hope in due course we will hear what was actually said in that important discussion.

Other big fight upsets at the weekend in the boxing world was the WBO world featherweight title fight between Juan Manuel Lopez, the Puerto Rican two weight champion and Orlando Salido, the tough Mexican challenger.

Lopez was dropped twice and stopped in eight rounds in a shocking upset that destroys Lopez’ mega-showdown with Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa, WBA champion and Olympic gold medallist. There’s no point in Gamboa fighting Salido because he has already beaten him, comprehensively. For what it’s worth, I always fancied Gamboa to win, had the fight happened. What a shame, another mega-showdown scuppered, but that’s boxing.

The WBC welterweight title changed hands as well on Saturday 16th April. Reigning champ, Andre Berto was dropped four times and soundly out-pointed by Oxnard based Victor Ortiz. Ortiz was involved in a breath-taking up and downer last year with Argentine thrashing-machine Marcos Midana, eventually being forced to quit after six rounds of torrid action that saw him go down twice and Midana three times.

Berto was a strong favourite going in but Ortiz tore up the Form book dropping Berto in the first round and never allowing him to get back into the fight. Berto did have his moments though; in round 6 when he dropped Ortiz, it was a heavy knockdown, but Victor got to his feet and lasted out the round, coming back strong to hurt Andrea again and again. Berto tried over and over to seize control from Victor but Ortiz was not going to be denied this time. Ortiz ran out a wide points winner and is now the new WBC welterweight champion. Congratulations to this young man, he has turned his career around and it couldn’t happen to a nicer lad.

Personally, the fight I was interested in over the weekend of the 16th and 17th April took place in Spain for the vacant European Super Bantemweight Title between heavy-handed Spaniard Kiko Martinez and Nottingham’s veteran Jason Booth. Another predictable result; Jason has looked tired in his last few contests and I envisaged the strong little Spaniard to be too much for him, sure enough, Booth’s skill and experience was overcome by the youthful determination and strength of Martinez, in the 10th round. Martinez is definitely an improved fighter but I am convinced my amazingly talented young protégée, Carl Frampton, will beat him and I hope we get the chance to prove that soon.

Rendall Munroe beat Andrea Isaeu in one of the most monotonous displays I have seen from him on the undercard of the Khan v McCloskey bill. Rendall, who is approaching 31 years of age, doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and again we would be very interested in fighting him anytime soon.

A huge upset on the Khan v McCloskey undercard was Lee Purdy’s knockout of Craig Watson for the British welterweight title. Purdy who was a ranked outsider stayed on top of the elusive Watson with a tight defence and produced one clean over hand right that ended proceedings in dramatic fashion in the 5th round. Purdy who is only 23 can look forward to some big fights in the future and for Watson, its back to the drawing board.

On Wednesday 27th April I went to see my long-standing friend Paul Carrick at the beautiful and atmospheric Britten Theatre, just behind the Royal Albert Hall in London. Paul sang some of his own songs as well as performing some swing, accompanied by the London Philharmonic. It was an amazing sound and a fantastic performance by him. I had a chat with Chris Tarrant in the bar, another Carrick addict, and everyone seemed to be having a great night.

Friday 29th April
Spent the day with family and friends watching the Royal Wedding. Both Prince William and Catherine looked fabulous and I’m sure that it was the start of a wonderful life together. Congratulations to them!

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