Author Archives: Matt McGrain

Tommy West-Tommy Ryan III: The Most Vicious Bout in Boxing History

Tommy West-Tommy Ryan III: The Most Vicious Bout in Boxing History

It was reported in the early days of 1905 that former welterweight and middleweight contender Tommy West was shot five times by a man named Paul Mullan in a dispute about boxing no less. He survived and lived for another quarter of a century. Undoubtedly former welterweight and middleweight champ...

Undefeated Prospects Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies Clash in Scotland

Undefeated Prospects Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies Clash in Scotland

 American readers are likely mouthing the words “who?” upon seeing the names of light-welterweights Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies in the headline for this article, and I have some sympathy; but this clash of British prospects which will be played out in the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Scotland this...

Inoue Treads Water, Yaegashi Betrayed by Old Legs in Japan

Inoue Treads Water, Yaegashi Betrayed by Old Legs in Japan

Another big weekend of boxing has passed in Japan but it seems the boxing juggernaut that is The Land of the Rising Sun is losing steam. Pound-for-pounder and super-flyweight number one Naoya Inoue fought the main event in the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Sunday night but his opponent reeked of al...

James Toney, Heavyweight Champion of the World

James Toney, Heavyweight Champion of the World

You wake into a world this Sunday the fourteenth of May, 2017, which James Toney rules as heavyweight champion of the world. Toney picked up the vacant World Boxing Foundation strap, the worthlessness of which is underlined by the heavyweights to have held it. Audley Harrison is probably the most...

The Wladimir-Joshua Showdown: Sizing Up The Referee and Judges

The Wladimir-Joshua Showdown: Sizing Up The Referee and Judges

“The referee,” George Foreman once observed, “is going to be the most important person in the ring tonight – besides the fighters.” And, for all that this is one of those Georgeisms that has drawn mockery, you know exactly what he means. The referee is crucial, especially as regards ...

The Joshua-Klitschko Blockbuster: Birth of a New Era?

The Joshua-Klitschko Blockbuster: Birth of a New Era?

The narrative surrounding Anthony Joshua is the most familiar in all of boxing. Here is a young man caught up in the endless cycle of drugs and gangs that afflicts every major city in the world. A young man who hit the weights so he would continue to command the respect of his peers and who wound up...

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Five: 10-1

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Five: 10-1

GREATEST FEATHERWEIGHTS, PART V: It is possible that the Top Five listed below is the single finest collection of fighters I have assembled in running down the Top Fifties in six of the eight classic weight divisions. As a ten, it may not measure up to Middleweight and Lightweight, but as a five, th...

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Four: 20-11

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Four: 20-11

GREATEST FEATHERWEIGHTS, PART IV -- Monsters abound in this, the penultimate installment of The Fifty Greatest Featherweights of all time. That said, the demarcation line between these fighters who make up the second clutch, and the legends of fistic dominance who pack the top ten is reasonably c...

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Three: 30-21

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Three: 30-21

From the sublime to the obscure, Part 3 of my rundown of the Fifty Greatest Featherweights of all time has as wide a variety of pugilists as any installment of any list I have published for this website.  A North American puncher, an African legend, a Ukrainian tough, an Irish hero; if you want var...

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Two: 40-31

The 50 Greatest Featherweights of all Time Part Two: 40-31

THE GREATEST FEATHERWEIGHTS, PART TWO OF A FIVE-PART SERIES: Legacy used to be a big word but as Lou Dibella puts it in “Rocky Balboa”, “every jock has a legacy these days.” If the clothes make the man then the results make the legacy.  Sometimes the narrowest of decisions can spell the ...