Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Valuev-Chagaev is a rematch we could have lived without



Roll-up, roll-up to see a seven foot Russian bruiser, the heaviest boxing champion of all time, fight an Uzbekistan man a foot shorter and nearly 100lbs lighter in the boxing Mecca of Helsinki. Who says boxing’s blue-ribband event is losing credibility?

On Saturday night in Finland Nikolai Valuev, “the beast from the East”, the WBA heavyweight champion of the world, takes on the only man ever to have beaten him, Ruslan Chagaev. Chagaev is the WBA’s champion in recess (don’t ask, I’m just as confused, but this may shed some light) and this fight will decide who the true title holder is.

Their first fight was a points victory for the Uzbeki in Germany, and it was well deserved. Chagaev outworked and outmanoeuvred his sluggish opponent.

A rematch was drawn up immediately but Chagaev suffered a number of injuries so Valuev took on a series of opponents, headlined by a 46-year-old American who had lost four of his previous eight contests. OK, that was Evander Holyfield, but even so…

Time for Chad Dawson to take a heavyweight decision


BOXINGSome time over the next couple of days you can expect to see more quotes doing the rounds from retired light-heavyweight supremo Joe Calzaghe declaring that his retirement is not about to be reversed. That being the case, is there any reason for the light-heavyweight division not just to close?

American light-heavyweights Chad Dawson and Antonio Tarver clashed for a second time on Saturday in Las Vegas, not because their first encounter was that enthralling, controversial or close but simply because there were no opponents at 175lbs for Dawson to fight.

Pacquiao’s power proves far too much for Hatton



After his devastating second-round knockout victory over Ricky Hatton it appears there are no limits to Filipino Manny Pacquiao’s ability… It’s just a shame he can’t continue his jolly stroll through the weight classes and breathe some life into the heavyweight division.

The power and strength he brought from flyweight through to light-welterweight was nothing short of phenomenal. Preposterous idea though it is, who says he couldn’t beat the slothful Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko?

Rumours fly around Hatton-Pacman


mayweatherThere is nothing like big fight week in Las Vegas to knock promoters heads together and sort out the next mouth-watering match-ups.

As we close in on Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton’s eagerly awaited showdown on Saturday night the press hounds have been joined in the media circus by many current fighters as the jockeying for opponents’ takes place.

Golden boy De La Hoya call it a day


I am not a big aficionado of boxing but I know this guy is the best around.

Oscar De La Hoya, who has held world titles in six different weight classes, announced his retirement from the ring on Tuesday.

“When I can’t compete at the highest level, it’s not fair. It’s not fair to me, it’s not
fair to the fans, it’s not fair to nobody. I’ve come to the conclusion that’s over, it’s over inside the ring for me,” the 36-year-old Los Angeles native said.

I wasn’t blown away by DeGale, were you?


Olympic gold medallist James DeGale made his professional debut on Saturday but despite getting the verdict the chorus or boos that rang around the Birmingham Indoor Arena and the reluctance of a poorly matched opponent to fight left me seeing similarities with the last Briton to win a Boxing gold.

Audley Harrison, labelled ‘Ordinary Harrison’ by some in the media, claimed gold in the 2000 Sydney Games but never transferred that success to the professional ranks.

Japanese mum’s world record bid floored


A Japanese mother of two’s bid to emulate George Foreman by winning a world boxing title at 45 has been floored after the World Boxing Council (WBC) ruled she was too old, writes Alastair Himmer.

Kazumi Izaki, who became Japan’s oldest professional boxer last year, was poised to fight Mexico’s Ana Maria Torres for the world superflyweight crown on Feb. 28.