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Floyd Mayweather: Loathing Without Fear in Las Vegas

I woke to watch this morning’s Mayweather v Maidana title bout with the intention of producing a bog standard write-up of the action.  I left social media alone during the fight before scrolling through reams of tweets immediately after.  The vast majority of people I follow are boxing writers, analysts or commentators of varying merit and reputation who, once all of their great minds are combined, generally provide a relatively balanced view of a fight.  Not so with Floyd “Money” Mayweather.

Almost to a tweet, it is possible to determine who is for and who is against from the first 140 characters or less.  The love or hate can manifest itself in a between-the-lines intonation or an in-your-face bias, but personal feelings of the man appear almost impossible to hide.  And for those in any doubt, the lovers are few and far between.

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Jamie Conlan: The Calm Before and After the Storm

Before

The folly of conflating the combatant and non-combatant shades of a boxer’s character is regularly lost on those not involved in the sport. That fighters can be so brutal inside the ring and so gentle out is still viewed as a delightful paradox by many who, I can only presume, believe that boxers live a life of barely restrained violence, always on the brink of converting latent pent-up rage into manifest hurt and pain.

In reality, of course, boxers this side of the Atlantic have a tendency to be amongst the more humble, amicable and accommodating of professional athletes.  Like the naturally shy and retiring lead singer of a band, or the inherently loud and wild small-town librarian, fighters don’t take their work home with them in this respect.  Any hint of menace or braggadocious savagery tends to be shed the instant they step out of the ring or gym and back into civilian life.

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The Night of the Jackal

For such a relatively small patch of land in the north east of Ireland, Belfast has a habit of producing very special sportsmen.  That rarest of rare breeds who through the grace of God are blessed with a particular, often intangible, gift that elevates them beyond the mere good and great and into the pantheon of sporting deity.  Think Best.  Think Higgins.  In a few years, think McIlroy.  As of last night, start thinking Carl Frampton.

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Perfect time to give the Flyweights a chance

Over the last few years I have done my best to push the smaller weight divisions on forums and through various articles. I have tried to help fans watch some of the most amazing and eye catching fights we've had in recent years. Bouts like Adrian Hernandez Vs Kompayak Porpramook I, Akira Yaegashi Vs Pornsawan Porpramook, Koki Eto Vs Kompayak Porpramook, Koki Eto Vs Ardin Diale, Giovani Segura Vs Ivan Calderon, Roman Gonzalez Vs Juan Francisco Estrada and Hernan Marquez Vs Luis Concepcion I, have all been FOTY candidates.

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Promoters dominating the news - a sign of the times or something that needs to be nipped in the bud?

Boxing in the headlines sure has changed over the recent years. One may say that  the innovative nature of the internet permits more news to reach an audience faster and more wider than ever. True. But what good is it truly for boxing fans when the men in suits want in on a piece of the action and seem like they want to take centre stage by disclosing the going on's of the business side of boxing? It may fire up online debates but recently it has felt like that the sport is more about the promoters and less about the people who give every fibre of their being in the ring, both in the gym and outside.

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The Carl Frampton Interview

I catch Carl Frampton just after 9pm on a Wednesday evening as he crosses the River Thames heading towards his temporary home in that most affluent of London boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea.  He is acclimatised now to the rarefied air breathed in by the Dukes, Earls and Knights listed as notable residents of the area, but still laughs at the contrast of a five foot five north Belfast boy rubbing shoulders with a well-to-do population that, in his eyes anyway, “are all at least six foot two.”  Not that Frampton would have much to fear were it to kick off after too many Dom Perignons in the local wine bar however.

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