How to avoid Olympic heroes becoming professional failures

By Gav Duthie: There have been some great successes as well as spectacular failures over the years during the transition from Olympic stardom to professional boxing. Within the context of the career so far of heavyweight hopeful Anthony Joshua we look at the wider strategic implications of turning successful Olympic amateurs into top professionals. 

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Hearn: Anthony Joshua to fight Yaroslav Zavorotnyi on August 30th in Dublin, Ireland

joshua67By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn says that unbeaten heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (7-0, 7 KO’s) will be fighting next month against former David Price victim 39-year-old journeyman Yaroslav Zavorotnyi (16-7, 14 KO’s) in another ‘step up’ fight for the 24-year-old Joshua on August 30th at the National Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

Former two-time middleweight title challenger Matthew Macklin will be on the card, and possibly Andy Lee.

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Bellew stops Dos Santos; Joshua and Cleverly also win

bellew7898By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBC Silver light heavyweight champion Tony Bellew (22-2-1, 14 KO’s) stopped 36-year-old Brazilian Julio Cesar Dos Santos (26-3, 23 KO’s) in the 5th round on Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK. Bellew connected with a left hook that dropped Dos Santos in the 5th. Dos Santos staggered to his feet, but the referee halted it anyway.

Dos Santos was nailing Bellew with monstrous shots in the 3rd and 4th rounds. Going into the 5th, Dos Santos looked like he was on his way to victory. He looked like he was going to get to Bellew. Fortunately for Bellew, Dos Santos threw a left hook at the same time that Bellew threw his own left hook. Bellew’s left hand got there first and sent Dos Santos down.

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Bellew and Joshua looking to impress tonight

bellew6788By Scott Gilfoid: Cruiserweight Tony Bellew (21-2-1, 13 KOs) and heavyweight Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KOs) will be looking to impress in their respective fights tonight at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

Joshua, 6’6”, wants to show more mobility and speed to his game than what he’s shown in his first six tonight, as he’s looked somewhat of a flat-footed plodder thus far. Joshua will be fighting 47-year-old Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) in a fight that promises to end quickly. It’s obviously not a good match-up, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t want to take any chances with the 24-year-old despite him winning a gold medal in controversial fashion in the 2012 London Olympics.

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Weights: Cleverly-Valori, Bellew-Dos Santos

cleverly79800--By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (27-1, 13 KOs) and Tony Bellew (21-2-1, 13 KO’s) both weighed on Friday for their respective fights for their card dubbed “Collision Course” on Saturday at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

Cleverly and Bellew will be facing each other later this year in a domestic level scrap, so their promoter Eddie Hearn set them up with what he hopes will be tune-up fights on Saturday. Whether that’ll be the case or not remains to be seen, because neither Cleverly nor Bellew looked good in their initial fights in the cruiserweight division earlier this year.

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Cleverly, Bellew and Joshua talk about Saturday’s fights at Echo Arena

bellew69By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (27-1, 13 KOs’) will be back in the ring this Saturday night for made to order opponent Alejandro Emilio Valori (15-4m, 11 KO’s) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

This will be the second fight for the 27-year-old Cleverly at cruiserweight, and he realizes that he can’t make a mistake in this fight or else it’ll be bad for his career. At stake is a big money rematch against Tony Bellew (21-2-1, 13 KOs) for later on this year.

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Skelton compares Anthony Joshua to Audley Harrison

joshua222By Scott Gilfoid: 47-year-old Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) will be the next opponent for 2012 London Olympics super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KO’s) this Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK. Their fight is scheduled for 6 rounds, but it’s not expected to go more than 3 rounds due to the clever match-making by Joshua’s promoter.

Skelton compares the 6’6” Joshua with 6’5” Audley Harrison, a British heavyweight who captured an Olympic gold medalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Indeed, Harrison did a better job and was far more dominating than Joshua in winning his gold medal. But unfortunately for Harrison (31-7, 23 KOs) his boxing career failed to pan out the way some thought it would be, as he never captured a world heavyweight title.

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Anthony Joshua faces Matt Skelton this Saturday night in step up fight

joshua2By Scott Gilfoid: 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KOs) will be taking a nice little step up fight in taking on 47-year-old Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) in a scheduled 6 round bout at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

The fact that this is being called a step for the 6’6” Joshua kind of gives you an idea of the type of woeful opposition he’s been facing since he turned pro in 2013. His promoter Eddie Hearn has been taking no chances with the 24-year-old Joshua in bringing him up at a snail’s pace despite him earning a gold medal at the London Olympics.

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Heavyweight action in July/August

fury664By Gav Duthie: Over the course of the next two months boxing fans will get a chance to see no less than 9 hopefuls in action as we prepare for a new era post heavyweight domination of the Klitschko’s. As individuals I have been a big fan of the Ukrainian brothers. They’ve got class, dignity, speak 4 languages and they never trash talk.

It’s not their fault they are better than everyone else. That being said with Vitaly now retired and Wladimir soon to follow (I predict he will go if he wins the WBC) the heavyweight division will take a new shape and create much more interest with dozens of fighters looking to grab a title. 

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Anthony Joshua: Skelton is the toughest test of my career

joshua2By Scott Gilfoid: 2012 Olympic super heavyweight Gold medalist for Britain from the London Olympics Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KO’s) will be fighting what he refers to as his toughest fight of his pro career against 47-year-old Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) in less than two weeks on July 12th at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

Joshua, 24, will be meeting Skelton in an 8 round bout on the same card as Nathan Cleverly vs. Alejandro Emilio Valori and Tony Bellew vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos. For an Olympic gold medalist, Joshua has been matched against disappointingly soft opposition by his promoter Eddie Hearn.

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