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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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# Corner man
Chisora-Fury a worthy appetiser on a thrilling fight night
Don’t ignore this evening’s British Heavyweight Title fight – it has all the ingredients of a classic, writes Gavin Grace.

FOR FANS OF a certain vintage, a bit older than myself, the first introduction to boxing was likely on a Saturday night, on either BBC or ITV.

For decades, Saturday night boxing formed a key staple of the terrestrial television diet in the UK.  This largely waned since the emergence of Sky, but there have been some exceptions to that on both networks.

Tonight, another one will attempt to strike success with the same proven formula.

Channel Five has never really showed boxing before, not seriously anyways, but tonight it enters the market by airing the Nick Hennessy promoted British Heavyweight Title fight between Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury.

The fight has all the ingredients of a classic.  It’s set to be a war between two men who can punch, who don’t like each other, and though both men are looking to save their unbeaten records, someone’s 0 will have to go.

What more could you want?

Channel Five is not readily available over here, but if you have Sky (or are clever regarding the internet), the fight can be found.

If you’re doing nothing else, you should tune in. There is no reason it won’t be a fantastic contest, and if boxing on a Saturday night was good enough for our fathers, there’s no reason we shouldn’t do the same to. It would be great to see the tradition return.

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Of course, boxing on Saturdays is still a big thing in the US for those who can afford it, and tonight is no different with a huge contest in Las Vegas.

Amir Khan is already a star in his native Britain, thanks to his Olympic silver medal, but tonight he seeks to become an even bigger star stateside in his contest with Zab Judah.

Khan’s win over Marcos Maidana last December was an instant classic, one of the fights of the year, and that all action style won him a lot of fans in America.

They weren’t too best pleased with the manner of his win against Paul McCloskey in April, however, so there is a pressure on Khan not just to win tonight, but to do so in style.

He goes into the contest with Zab Judah as a heavy favourite, and rightly so.  The 34-year-old’s best days are behind him now, even though he has won his last five.  He can bang a little (28 knockouts from 41 wins) so Khan will need to be somewhat wary, but the fight is the Briton’s to lose.

Meanwhile, speaking of Paul McCloskey, he is to return to the ring in Belfast on 10 September with a fight against Colombian Bredis Prescott, the only man to beat Amir Khan. The contest is a world title eliminator for Amir’s WBA belt, though to be frank a rematch against the pair is at best unlikely.

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Andy Lee is to get his chance of exacting revenge.  Lee’s only career loss to date has come against Brian Vera, and the pair are to square off again on October 1st in a high-profile fight for the Limerick man.  The contest will be the chief support to the Middleweight Championship bout between Sergio Martinez and Darren Barker.

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This Week In Boxing History

He’s one half of the most famous photo in sports history, but as the prone body laying underneath an outraged Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston’s mark on the 1960’s – 1970’s era of great heavyweights is not often regarded as a positive one.  Nonetheless, ‘The Big Bear’ ranks right up there with some of the hardest punchers the sport has ever seen.

He lifted the World Heavyweight Championship in 1962 knocking out Floyd Paterson in 2:05.  “It was”, wrote Arthur Daley of the New York Times, “a bull elephant matched against a frail deer and then felling him with a disdainful swipe of his ponderous trunk.”

On July 22nd 1963, he repeated the feat, though this time it did take an extra four seconds.

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