The Wilder-Fury Battle is On

by Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 27, 2018, in the Western Mirror

The long-awaited clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has been tentatively set for later this year. Expect blood, sweat and fireworks when it’s finalized. 

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will do battle for the WBC world heavyweight title in November or December.
(Source: Yahoo Sports)

By all accounts, a clash between Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion, and Tyson Fury, the last lineal heavyweight champion, is set for the end of this year in Las Vegas. Fans and pundits were hoping to see a unification clash between Wilder and Anthony Joshua, the reigning WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion. However, those plans collapsed and in its place fell the long-awaited yet surprising clash between Wilder and Fury.

Two years ago, long before Fury was stripped of his IBF heavyweight title; admitted to having drug and mental health problems and vacated his WBA, WBO and IBO titles, he and Wilder were rumoured to fight in the spring of 2017. The fight was supposed to revive the appeal of the heavyweight division in the US and worldwide with the unification of the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts. However, Fury’s troubles shelved the then glorious possibility of a unification bout to determine the undisputed champion in the heavyweight division. Continue reading

Jamaica’s Top-25 Sporting Moments of the past 25 years

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published March 14, 2018 in the Jamaica Observer’s 25th Anniversary Supplement

A chronological look at the top-25 sporting achievements during the 25 years of the Jamaica Observer.

Asafa Powell wins Olympic gold for Jamaica in men’s 4x100m relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
(Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Jamaican athletes have been outstanding performers across multiple sporting disciplines, including cricket, track and field, boxing, netball, football and swimming. Choosing Jamaica’s top-25 Sporting Moments of the past 25 years is no easy feat and ranking the top-25 moments is an even more impossible task. Henceforth, picking the easier of the two assignments, let’s have a look at Jamaica’s top-25 sporting moments — in chronological order — over the 25-year existence of the Jamaica Observer. Continue reading

Wilder’s Punching Power is Ungodly, Beware Joshua

by Zaheer E. Clarke

Published March 12, 2018, in the Western Mirror

Many pundits believe that Anthony Joshua is the class boxer in the heavyweight division. However, in a fight against Deontay Wilder, Joshua must be wary of Wilder’s ungodly punching power. 

Deontay Wilder ungodly punching power and every opponent he has faced has been knocked out.
(Credit: Media Inc)

Boxing has always been a sport that can excite you and scare you simultaneously. For those who are excited by the sport, the duel between two men trying to unearth the other from his feet with lusty blows can be enthralling. On the other hand, according to the World Medical Association (WMA), “boxing is a dangerous sport.”

The WMA’s statement on boxing, which was first published in 1983 and revised last October, states that boxers often suffer from a range of injuries that have short-term and long-term effects. The more common injuries include vision loss, hearing loss, fractures, traumatic brain injuries and chronic neurological damage. In other words, boxing is a very terrible idea. However, this month, with several important clashes in the heavyweight division, boxing for the purists and the average fans is just a beautiful idea. Continue reading

Have we seen the last of Nicholas ‘Axe-Man’ Walters?

By Zaheer Clarke

Published on March 5, 2018, in the Western Mirror

It has been over 15 months since Nicholas Walters last fought in a boxing ring after quitting against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Will we ever see Walters fight again?

Nicholas Walters lands a jaw-popping uppercut on Nonito Donaire.
(Credit: Will Hart/Inside HBO Boxing)

When Nicholas ‘Axe-Man’ Walters defeated Nonito Donaire in late 2014 for the WBA featherweight title, he became a rock star among boxing fans in Jamaica. A few months later, he was crowned the 2014 Jamaican Sportsman of the Year, the first such award for a boxer in 24 years. The last ring slugger to capture that award was International Boxing Hall of Famer, the ‘Bodysnatcher’ Mike McCallum. To date, McCallum has won the award the most, seven times, jointly with track and field superhero, Usain Bolt.

In that bout against Donaire, which was one of the overwhelming nominees for the ‘Fight of the Year’, Walters ran into trouble against Donaire at the end of the first round. Some would argue that it was due to his overconfidence against the then-six-time world champion, whom Walters had promised to a knockout by the fifth or sixth round. However, by the third round, Walters took control of the fight and dropped Donaire for the first time in Donaire’s career. In a bruising sixth round, Walters dropped Donaire again and the referee, wisely, ended the bout, which meant that Walters had kept his promise. Continue reading

Guess who’s coming back to the ring? Furious Tyson

 

By Zaheer Clarke

Published December 18, 2017

One of the heavyweight division’s biggest and most furious stars is set to return to the boxing ring come 2018. With his return, the heavyweight division will get really interesting. 

 

Anthony Joshua (left) and Deontay Wilder are the current kings of the heavyweight division. A formidable threat to their thrones is returning to the ring.
(Photo source: The Boxing Tribune)

Yes! “Guess who’s back? #ReturnOfTheMac” was the Twitter message that shook the landscape of the heavyweight division last week. For the past year, the heavyweight division in boxing has been tyrannized by its two biggest stars, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. All boxers placed before them have hit the canvas emphatically and resoundingly to thunderous right hands and booming left hooks. Joshua is the reigning WBA (Super), IBF and IBO heavyweight champion while Wilder is the WBC heavyweight champion. In light of this, a face-off in the ring between both men is the fight everyone has been clamouring for in the New Year.

However, last week, a neoteric and meritable opponent for either man in the upcoming year has emerged before a potential blockbuster Joshua-Wilder clash can be signed off on. This returning and reputable opponent now makes the heavyweight division come 2018 even more interesting and all I can say is “let the fireworks begin.” Continue reading