McAllister Quits As Shafikov Turns On The Style

AFTER walking into the Exhibition and Conference Centre in Aberdeen flying the flag for Scottish boxing, LEE MCALLISTER instead waved the white flag against DENIS SHAFIKOV for the European light-welterweight title.

The Aberdeen Assassin had talked up his chances of a serious upset in front of a raucous hometown crowd but he was outclassed by the fearsome Russian, before quitting on his stool in the eight round citing an injury to his left hand.

Shafikov clearly dominated throughout landing a series of highly accurate punches and constantly moving his head. Whereas McAllister remained virtually static for a large period of the fight, simply lacking the firepower to trouble the undefeated champion in any way.

McAllister, 29, who had received messages of support from Sir Alex Ferguson and Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond before the bout, did win the opening round – but that was his first and last triumph.

The champion was soon asserting himself, landing with regularity and spearing the Scot with power shots. McAllister held a clear height advantage, standing 5ft 9ins with Shafikov being only 5ft 5ins. However this advantage certainly did not worry the man nicknamed “Genghis” as McAllister was bullied around the ring and kept on the ropes.

After an increasing amount of punishment as the rounds went on, the local hero got off his stool when the bell sounded to start the eighth but then shook his head, admitting defeat and went straight to congratulate Shafikov on a comprehensive victory.

McAllister was honest about his defeat and stated that he simply could not continue.

He said: “I feel like I’ve let everyone down but I had no option but to call it quits.

“I hurt my left hand on the top of his head and after that, every time I hit him with the left I had a shooting pain up my arm.

“It’s a big disappointment to have the biggest fight of my career overshadowed by a bad hand.

“No excuses about losing because he came in and did the job. He’s a nice lad, the language barrier is a problem but we had good craic – even though he didn’t understand what I was saying!

“It wasn’t a step too far in quality – until I hurt my hand I was doing well. He has offered me a rematch so that’s good.”

Shafikov’s unbeaten record now stretches to 28 fights with McAllister only suffering his third defeat in 37 bouts. McAllister simply did not show up for this fight.

There was a lot of pressure on him to succeed in front of a partisan Aberdonian crowd and it appeared to get to him. His punches were not accurate or executed to their full ability. From this fight, Shafikov looks a fighter that could make the move up to world class with ease. His slick, accurate and downright clinical punching precision makes him a fighter to look out for in the near future.

McAllister has claimed that Shafikov has offered him a rematch in Russia but this has yet to be confirmed. This may suprise many as some might argue that the Aberdeen Assassin does not deserve one after his performance.

Nevertheless, McAllister is sure to bounce back from this fight, he’s a confident and undoubtebly skilled fighter with a happy-go-lucky attitude but his pride and his country’s pride have been dented and the Granite City faces another wait for a champion.

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Big Fight Preview: Nathan Cleverly Vs Tommy Karpency

WBO Light-Heavyweight champion, NATHAN CLEVERLY will defend his title for the third time when he takes on American challenger TOMMY KARPENCY at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff tonight.

This fight is a long-awaited homecoming for the Welshman, who has not boxed in his native country since 2007 when he won an eight-round decision over Ugandan fighter Joey Vegas on the Joe Calzaghe-Mikkel Kessler undercard at the Millenium Stadium.

In his last fight, Cleverly proved his world championship calibre with a gruelling twelve round majority win over highly respected Scouser, Tony Bellew. This time however, Cleverly will take on a little known American southpaw that is only ranked eleventh by the WBO.

25-year-old Cleverly (23-0, 11 KOs) showed everyone what a complete fighter he has become with his win over the previously unbeaten Bellew last October. Some experts had wondered if the Welshman’s credentials had slipped somewhat following his less than impressive performances against Nabjib Mohammedi in December 2010, and Aleksy Kuziemski in the first defence of the title.

Personally, I believed that Bellew would be too good a boxer and too sharp a puncher for Cleverly but instead the Welshman was a revelation.

Cleverly entered the Echo Arena in Liverpool in front of thousands of  locals baying for his blood. Despite going behind early in the fight and taking heavy right hands from Bellew, Cleverly eventually took control and finished with clinical flurries and combinations.

Bellew may have been the better technical boxer, but Cleverly’s punches came from everywhere and clearly hurt the Liverpudlian. Despite the opportunities to face top contenders like Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins, Cleverly has opted to face the largely unknown and unfancied Tommy Karpency.

There are no standout wins on Karpency’s record, typified by his sole fight of 2011, a first round KO of a fighter named Andre Hemphill. In his interviews leading up to the fight, Karpency, a qualified nurse, came across as a likeable and dilligent young man who genuinely believes that his low profile will work in his favour against Cleverly.

“The average boxing fan and boxing analysts may have written me off because I don’t have a big-time promoter, but I’m sure Nathan Cleverly hasn’t written me off,” said Karpency recently.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to fight for a world title. This is the pinnacle of the sport for me, I believe I can fight and compete and beat any light-heavyweight in the world. Any athlete who doesn’t believe that is wasting their time.”

Cleverly believes that a victory over the American will open the door for unification bouts against the likes of IBF Light-Heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud and Kazakhstanian WBA champion, Beibut Shumenov.

“Provided we come through this in a good fashion I think there would be a unification fight not too far down the line,” he said.

“Fighters like Shumenov or Cloud, I would definitely like to fight one of those guys. There is also the Chad Dawson against Bernard Hopkins fight coming up and I wouldn’t mind facing the winner of that.

“I think that fight will happen in the future but I think that would be towards the back end of 2012, but that could happen in the foreseeable future.”

Cleverly is also happy to shoulder the expectation of a nation when he defends his crown in his hometown.

” I am really looking forward to the occasion. It is a great weekend of sport with Wales playing England in the Six Nations and Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final.

“On a personal level this is a very special occasion for me and for Welsh boxing as it is my homecoming. It is a chance to bring the glory days back to Welsh boxing after a four-year lull. There has been a great response and it is a boost to know the fans are getting behind me.”

Karpency has proven before that he is a decent fighter but the reality is that he simply should not be facing Nathan Cleverly in a world title fight. The Welshman’s management could have chosen a dozen more worthy opponents for Cleverly, and the Karpency fight is a backward step. If Cleverly wanted to get a few rounds under his belt, this should have been a non-title bout, nothing more.

Cleverly is simply a much better boxer, puncher and athlete than Karpency, so this should be a mismatch right from the get-go. I personally think that Cleverly will want to put on a show for his fans, so I expect it to last at least six rounds. Karpency has come across as a likeable, decent guy but he will be outgunned tonight in Cardiff.

Denis The Menace: McAllister Dreams Of Glory For Scotland

ABERDEEN may lie in the shadows of Edinburgh and Glasgow as Scotland’s third city, but it boasts a rich boxing history.

The football team under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson previously conquered the giants of Europe but that was nearly 30 years ago, now it is time for a light-welterweight boxer to put Aberdeen back on the map.

Nearly a decade into his professional career, “The Aberdeen Assasin” LEE MCALLISTER’S shot at the big time has arrived in the shape of Russian warrior, DENIS SHAFIKOV, who he will face this Saturday at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre for the European Light-Welterweight crown.

However, McAllister has a monumental task ahead of him as Shafikov is unbeaten in 28 fights with one draw and 16 wins. Shafikov may only be 5ft 5ins tall (four inches shorter than McAllister) but he is a very dangerous southpaw with clinical punching precision.

Shafikov turned pro at 18 in 2003 and has only ever fought in his native land or in Finland, which may suggest that he is underestimating McAllister. It was in Helsinki in September that he won the the vacant EBU Light-Welterweight title, forcing Italian veteran Giussepe Lauri to retire after eight rounds.

McAllister has only lost twice in 36 fights, but has been carefully managed under the watchful eye of legendary Scots promoter, Tommy Gilmour, who is co-promoting the fight with Frank Maloney.

Incredibly, McAllister was  backed by Sir Alex Ferguson himself to beat Shafikov in a recent article in the Daily Record and McAllister says that he hopes to get the locals excited for Saturday.

“It’s been a long time since Aberdeen has had such a big sporting event, so hopefully it will be a brilliant night of boxing,” he said

“I was actually overwhelmed by the whole situation (being mentioned by Ferguson). Having a full page in the national press with him talking about me took me aback.

“He had the glory days here and he’s backing me to bring the glory days back, which I will do.”

McAllister has stated that he is not afraid of the 26-year-old Russian and has vowed to end Saturday night with the European belt in his grasp.

“Hopefully he is underestimating me,” McAllister said. “That way he’ll probably underestimate my punch power and my speed and my strength, and he’ll get a shock when my right hand’s in his jaw and he’ll drop.

“He’s undefeated, he’s got the title and I’m only interested in that belt. Every time I go to bed dreaming about it; it’s my title and it’s my time to shine.”

McAllister has high hopes of eventually fighting at the home of his beloved Aberdeen FC, Pittodrie, and already has a couple of opponents in his sight.

“If all goes to plan on February 25th, my dream one day is to be fighting at Pittodrie and get a big name like Erik Morales or Amir Khan – if he beats Lamont Peterson.

“Hopefully I can take them to Aberdeen and do a number on them.”

If Denis Shafikov lives up to his fearsome reputation , then realistically  he should outhustle the valiant Scot and retain the belt on a points decision. McAllister will need all of his raucous home support for this fight, not just in his home city, but from his entire country in what will certainly be the toughest test of his career.

Dawson Vows “To Take Out” Hopkins

It has been confirmed that BERNARD HOPKINS, the oldest man to ever win a world title, will defend his WBC Light-Heavyweight championship against CHAD DAWSON in a rematch from their highly farcical fight last October.

That bout was brought to a bizzare and premature halt when the 47-year-old Hopkins injured his left shoulder in an awkward fall in the second round and Dawson was initially declared the winner by technical knockout.

However the fight was later ruled a no contest by the California Athletic Commission prompting the World Boxing Council to order this immediate rematch on April 28th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Picking up on where he left off, Dawson, 29, denied the video evidence that was shown to him and called Hopkins an “actor” at the press conference in New York yesterday.

Dawson also vowed to “take the old man out” but Hopkins was having none of it, after listening to him and his promoter, Gary Shaw, make their case as Hopkins refused to assume the traditional face-off pose with Dawson for the photographers. Dawson then insulted Hopkins further before leaving the stage to meet with waiting reporters.

“On the previous night, I came to fight,” said Dawson. “I wanted to fight Bernard Hopkins and I was looking forward to dethroning him that night. The way he pulled the stunt he pulled, it messed up all of my plans.

“So I’m back here, I got to fight him again. After that night I should have been the champion.

“Legends don’t behave the way he did that night. I would have fought Bernard Hopkins with one finger that night, and probably still would’ve won.

Hopkins said in response to Dawson’s remarks: “Chad Dawson can say whatever he wants, but I am not going to trash talk this one.

“Everyone knows what I am capable of in the ring. They have seen it over 50 times before in the last 20-plus years.”

Shameful: Haye And Chisora Brawl At Post-Fight Press Conference

British heavyweights DAVID HAYE and DERECK CHISORA were involved in a disgraceful brawl at the press conference following Chisora’s defeat to Vitali Klitschko in Munich.

The incident brought shame on British boxing as the pair were filmed by dozens of cameras trading punches in a melee that left Haye’s trainer and manager Adam Booth with a nasty gash on his forehead.

Haye had been working as a pundit for the fight on BoxNation, where the Ukrainian won on a unanimous points decision. Haye, who was beaten by Vitali’s younger brother Wladimir in Hamburg last July and blamed a toe injury, became agitated during the press conference because of comments made by Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente.

The former WBA World Champion is hoping to face Vitali himself but Boente said: “You had an offer, you didn’t accept it, now you are out. You cannot talk yourself back into the fight, you have no belts. He (Chisora) showed heart, contrary to you. You showed your toe.”

Chisora and his promoter, Frank Warren, then attempted to goad Haye into agreeing to fight Chisora, who repeatedly asked Haye “How’s your toe?” and then calmly left the stage to confront his compatriot, which resulted in the pair exchanging punches.

At one point Haye swung a camera tripod at Chisora’s manager Don Charles, which instead caused injury to Haye’s trainer Adam Booth and moments later Chisora re-appeared brandishing a glass bottle and shouting threats at Haye, chillingly bellowing “I swear to God I am going to shoot David Haye”.

As both camps tried to seperate the embarrassing duo, Chisora could be heard shouting “He glassed me!” with pictures showing that as Haye went to punch Chisora, he was brandishing a bottle in a clenched fist.

After they were seperated, Booth reappeared to face Chisora to ask him “Dereck, man-to-man, I want to know who glassed me. Someone hit me with a bottle.”

The Klitschko brothers both remained at the podium where the press conference was being conducted with Wladimir condemning the Brit’s behaviour “I’m totally disappointed, it went a little too far, the sport of boxing shouldn’t be like that.”

German police are set to open an investigation into the incident, with both Haye and Chisora being held for interviews.

This shocking act has stained and tarnished the reputation of British boxing, time and again both of these men have being nothing more than an utter embarrassment to the sport. They are set to have the book thrown at them by the World Boxing Council and the British Boxing Board of Control. 

Haye had absolutely no business invading the press conference, attempting to steal the limelight and confront Vitali, accusing the Ukrainian of ducking him. Neither of these men deserve the big fights they are both hoping for.

Boxing is not a sport full of thugs, it is a sport where men channel their aggression and settle any disputes in the ring. Haye and Chisora have not only tarnished their own reputation but the reputation of any young fighters attempting to break through in the business.

Brave Chisora Comes Up Short Against Veteran Vitali

DERECK CHISORA suffered a comprehensive points defeat to WBC Heavyweight Champion VITALI KLITSCHKO but the Londoner earned some respect with a courageous display in Munich.

Chisora’s shameful slap to Klitschko at the weigh-in damaged his reputation but his fighting spirit certainly could not be questioned as he was constantly on the front foot, unsettling the 40-year-old kingpin as he stood and traded blows. However he lost the decision with two scores of 118-110 and 119-111.

“Del Boy” cautiously moved his head in the opening round but Vitali still managed to ram home frighteningly accurate lefts and rights before the Brit responded with a looping hook.

The Ukrainian appeared unconcerned by his opponent’s frantic and almost wild attacks with Klitschko managing to jolt Chisora’s head back with a huge uppercut in the third round.

Chisora continued his aggressive assault in the fourth round but he walked into a big right after missing wildly, and he appeared to abandon his early caution by remaining static for most of the round.

A pep talk from trainer Don Charles seemed to fire up Chisora in the sixth as he landed a crunching right hook, while Klitschko was briefly forced back by a barrage in the seventh before replying with crisp shots of his own.

Klitschko seemed flabbergasted in the eighth round when Chisora stormed through his punches and managed to land clubbing hooks to the body but the weary looking champion forced Chisora on the back foot with his trademark straight rights in the ninth.

The two men traded tirely in the closing rounds, although Klitschko displayed the cleaner work until a final round melee from Chisora saw him defiantly firing away until the final bell.

Chisora admitted that his lack of experience was exposed, when he said afterwards: “I’m not going to hide with no excuses, I got beaten by experience. I’ll keep my head up and we’ll get a rematch.

Chisora, who was booed throughout the showdown, said: “I never regret anything, they can boo me all those people who love me or hate me. I don’t care as long as they are watching and paying to see boxing, the sport I love.

“I’m disappointed with myself, I didn’t really work my jab, but you know what I gave a good fight and boxing fans all around the world know I gave him a good fight.”

Klitschko accepted that he was forced to work for his 44th career win and was frustrated by his failure to claim a knockout.

“It was a good performance by Chisora, he was very motivated and made pressure for all 12 rounds,” he said.

“It was not easy but I saw every punch from Chisora, he was a little bit slow. If he had been a little bit faster I would have had a problem.”

When asked about Chisora’s pre-fight controversy, Klitschko added: “I have respect for him as a fighter but not as a human. He showed a bad example for all fighters.”

Coming in to the fight, Chisora did not exactly do much on his own part to earn the respect and support from the fans, after his downright disgraceful antics at the weigh in and even at the beginning of the fight, where he spat water at Klitschko’s younger brother, Wladimir.

However the bravery he showed in the ring was more than enough to earn respect as a fighter, not as a person. Love him or loathe him, he did not back down from Klitschko, he gave everything he had, unlike the last British fighter to face a Klitschko, David Haye.

Chisora has almost certainly earned his way into another heavyweight showdown, be it a rematch with Vitali, a fight with Wladimir or with another top contender.

In the end, the gulf in experience was just too wide for Chisora to handle but in the aftermath of this fight, Chisora is sure to have learned a vital lesson for future fights and there is absolutely no shame in losing to the best.

 

Chisora Slaps Klitschko At Weigh-In

Dereck Chisora and Vitali Klitschko had to be pulled apart at the weigh-in for their WBC Heavyweight Title fight in Germany after Chisora slapped Klitschko in the face in a shocking act of disprespect.

The Londoner is the clear underdog for Saturday’s showdown and attempted to get under the long-reigning champion’s skin in Munich.

Chisora’s actions were immediately labelled “unacceptable” by his own trainer Don Charles, and by his manager Francis Warren, who said it had shocked the team as much as it had Klitschko and the spectators. Warren also claimed that they had been “completely unaware” that their fighter would pull such a stunt.

The ever unpredictable Chisora, 28, who was wearing a distinctive Union Jack balaclava, is no stranger to controversy, having previously kissed Carl Baker at a weigh-in and bitten an opponent in the ring. He now may face action from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) for bringing the sport into disrepute.

After weighing in at 17 stone 3lbs, Chisora literally butted heads with the 6ft 7in Ukrainian kingpin, before slapping him hard on the left side of his face.

The two men were pulled apart, with an unsuprisingly furious-looking Klitschko, who had weighed in three pounds heavier, left with a red mark on the left of his face.

The pair exchanged profanities before Chisora was quickly whisked out of the sports store where the weigh-in was held.

Klitschko, who weighed in at 17st 5lbs, was quick with a scathing response.

“What do you expect from a guy who hits his girlfriend?” he said. “I’m glad he has agreed to fight a man again.”

Chisora has now given Klitschko every reason he could ever want to knock Englishman out in his 10th successive defence of the title. In the days leading up to the fight it appeared that Chisora was slowly gathering momentum in terms of support, however even his fellow countryman may now be baying for his blood.

This is a bizzare move by Chisora, after all the jovial exchanges seen in previous press conferences he decided he would make some form of statement. He looked nervous during the weigh-in, he had clearly planned it out in his head but he has now invited Klitschko into a scrap on Saturday night, something which he may regret.

However, this could prove to be a defining statement in Chisora’s career, his confidence is clear for all to see and instead of having the the torch passed on to him, he is attempting to simply take it from the champion.

But as proven by David Haye, such acts of arrogance or disrespect do not always guarantee the support of the British boxing fans.

The video of the weigh-in can be viewed on YouTube and you can see Klitschko Vs Chisora on Saturday, Feburary 18th live on BoxNation.