I was intending to do this last week, however the announcements made by Amir Khan and Frank Bruno took priority, so I’ll do it this week instead. Every month I’ll be taking a look back on the previous month’s action and news, so I can compile a view on the winners and losers from each month.
So here goes…
John Wayne Hibbert and Tommy Martin: What a fight these two put together at the Copper Box Arena. Hibbert started superbly, using his strength and experience to take the early rounds and make it look like we were going to have an early night.
Until the younger man in Martin came roaring back in the middle rounds and make us all change our minds. If there was an award for sheer heart, spirit and guts, then Martin would win it hands down. Hibbert did enough, dropping Martin, who was counted out as he appeared to miscount, but at the end of the day it was an excellent fight.
Domestic fights definitely get the juices flowing, but the respect shown by the two friends was excellent. Hibbert, is now looking for some big fights, whilst for Martin despite the loss, the young man will come again, much the better after this experience. Huge credit to both.
David Haye: After nearly four years absence from the ring, “The Hayemaker” returned to the ring and smashed the overmatched Australian Mark De Mori to pieces inside a round at the O2 Arena. With it came new interest in Haye and substantial claims that he will reach the top of the heavyweight mountain once again.
Haye did everything perfectly. He packed an arena out, despite barely any real promotional work (there must have been plenty of competition winners!), put his fight on free-view TV, picked a straight forward opponent to gain a world ranking and looked a monster as he made easy work of De Mori.
With it, he has once again thrown his name back in the frame for some big fights at heavyweight, namely the Anthony Joshua fight is gaining a lot of momentum, and has every one back on his side once more. The withdrawals, injuries and cancelled cards have seemingly been forgotten. Stay tuned for Round 2 on May 21st.
Artur Szpilka – Despite defeat, and the nasty knockout he suffered, Artur Szpilka put on a cracking performance against Deontay Wilder in Brooklyn for the American’s WBC heavyweight title.
It was a great shot by Wilder, but he was once again shown to have limitations by the Polish challenger, who was ahead on all the cards when he was stopped. Credit to Wilder for the stoppage, but the big boys are targeting him and I can’t see him surviving with any of them.
Szpilka was excellent and caused the “Bronze Bomber” a great deal of problems. The Pole, trained in Houston by Ronnie Shields, announced himself as a good fighter in the division and will earn some good pay days from now on.
Vyacheslav Glazkov: On the same night that Szpilka shone in defeat, Vyacheslav Glazkov suffered the agony of an injury on the biggest night of his career, when his knee gave up and he lost his opportunity to become IBF world champion to new heavyweight titlist Charles Martin.
After Glazkov and his promoter Kathy Duva, who is doing her best to stop any unification at the moment, forced the IBF’s hands and made Tyson Fury vacate his hard earned title, so that two relative unknowns could fight for it, devaluing it in the process, you’d have bet that the pressure was on Glazkov.
He wasn’t enjoying himself in there and Martin looked to be getting on top. We’ll never get a conclusive answer though because of the injury and after all the demands by Duva, it appears unlikely Glazkov will get another shot. Gutting.
Vincent Feigenbutz: Billed as a knockout artist, almost in the same vein as Callum Smith, by his German promoters, Vincent Feigenbutz had been given a massive push and built up as a man to take over German boxing, once the elder statesmen called it a day.
He held the Interim WBA super-middleweight belt and beaten some mediocre opposition in devastating fashion. Then he met Giovanni De Carolis in October last year. Feigenbutz edged the contest and was handed a fortunate decision, but the aura had vanished.
Fast forward to January 9th. De Carolis, the Italian pretender, was once again in the opposite corner and this time he knew he had the answer to beat Feigenbutz. Although the young German showed plenty of heart, his reputation was smashed and the re-build begins. Don’t believe the hype.
Shayne Singleton: If any fighter in the UK had a rough month, it was Singleton, who was treated poorly by Haye and his team after the collapse of his fight with John O’Donnell, which was billed as the chief supporting contest for Haye’s return.
It was only on there after Billy Dib withdrew from a fight with Jamie Speight, until O’Donnell pulled out days before the fight, denying boxing fans of a decent, domestic dust-up.
Singleton had plenty coming down to show their support, with hotels and trains booked, yet Haye didn’t allow him to stay on the card. I’m pretty sure any journeyman in the UK would have taken that pay day. I understand it’s not that easy, but I’m sure it was manageable. Poor by Haye.
That’s it for this month. Expect a bigger version for February, where there will be plenty more boxing for us all to enjoy!
Matt Bevan is freelance journalist and contributes to several other leading publications on a weekly basis. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MBevs68.