Dennis Hobson column: Was Stevie Wonder judging that boxing match?

Navid Mansouri (l) Sam Sheedy - close but no re-match
Navid Mansouri (l) Sam Sheedy - close but no re-match
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What is the plan for Sam Sheedy’s after his controversial loss to Nav Mansouri?

Ppeople want to see the rematch, and I’m sure it would be a great spectacle, but I’m looking beyond the English light middleweight title for Sam now. Seeing him in his last couple of fights, I believe he can make that step up. He ‘arrived’ at that last show and I believe I can take him levels above - no disrespect to the English title or Nav who is a great fighter and a credit to himself.

Nav fought like a champion, but I thought Sam won by four or five rounds; he’s a star in the making. He stunned Nav a couple of times, and if he turns his hands over a bit more then he’ll stop more opponents. He was brilliant to watch and got charisma.

I think we must have got the names of the judges’ wrong on the night, one must have been Ray Charles and the other Stevie Wonder! Boxing is a subjective sport but two of them got it wrong that night. I’ve heard no one saying they thought Nav won. Everyone is still talking about the fight partly because of the bad decision. Boxing is an entertainment business and any publicity is good publicity. The decision has created controversy and people are still mentioning it. Boxing doesn’t need too many of those kind of decisions but controversy can help in any sport. We’ll turn it into a positive for Sam though over the next couple of fights.

Lewis Taylor said he underperformed yet still won the English middleweight title against Grant Cunningham after a cut-stoppage. How do you get him to be better (given his day job?)

Lewis neglects his jab sometimes, which is a great weapon for him, and Clinton Woods used to do the same. Lewis likes to scrap and sometimes fighters do that because they’ve trained so hard and want to let it all go. Lewis is a smart fighter and he knows himself he could have made the job easier for himself. Grant was competitive and Lewis started a bit slow but then took over. Overall Lewis was a very credible winner and had an extra bit of class.

As you step up to British and above that’s when you need to start thinking ‘do I need to go full time’, or if his employers are supportive then maybe he’ll need to have an eight-week camp where he can train full-time. There’s a lot more to come from Lewis, he’s good-looking, is articulate and the kid can fight. It’s all there for him to move on. We’re looking at the British, which is being contested (Saturday) between Nick Blackwell and Damon Jones, and getting the winner would be a great fight.

Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko - how do you see that going?

Tyson fury has such a will to win. The Klitschkos are ultimate professionals and get the best from themselves, they know how to conduct themselves and they know how to win fights. They haven’t faced too many opponents as big or as tall as Tyson though. Tyson will give him all the trouble he can get, and if he can get the right sparring and is in the right frame of mind then he can do it. It will be great TV.

I’ve been close to Tyson over the last couple of years and he’s got something about him. He’s been on his backside but he does whatever it takes to win.

He bounces back and finishes strong, so I think he’s got a great chance of winning. So many people face the Klitschkos with a plan but I think, sometimes, Tyson doesn’t know what he’s going to do next, and that’s an ace he’s got.

He’s got a great chance and I’ll be booking my ticket to go and support him.

How do you see your relationship with spike TV developing in the future?

We’re trying to do something different. We’re still tweaking things, but the feedback we’re getting is that it’s like a breath of fresh air for boxing.

Spike TV love what we’re doing, it’s not the finished article in terms of presentation and we’re still evolving, but the two shows have been very good. We’re not finished yet, and we’re looking to keep improving with every show.

We bring competitive fights, which means great entertainment, and Spike are very happy. We’re bringing a new market to them.

There are more shows planned and it’s an opportunity for fighters to box on free-to-air TV and make a name for themselves.

We’ve had great drama and captivating viewing so far, and all the fights aired have had something different and been humdingers. In the future we’ll hopefully be able to put on even bigger fights with bigger titles