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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Mark J. Terrill/AP/Press Association Images Floyd Mayweather
# Corner man
Revealed: Floyd Mayweather's kind gesture for former opponent
Though the two were never friends, Floyd took it upon himself to cover the costs of former opponent Genaro Hernandez’s funeral.

Ray Moylette’s win over an Israeli opponent on Friday marked a solid start for the Irish at the European Championships in Ankara, Turkey. Moylette cruised through the bout, stopping his opponent in the second round while leading 19-4 on the scorecards. He will now take on a Serbian opponent in the last-16 on Monday.

Today sees four more opponents looking to join Moylette at this stage – John Joe Nevin, Willie McLaughlin, Con Sheehan and Cathal McMonagle are all capable of advancing. Tomorrow, team captain Darren O’Neill leads a trio of Irishmen into action while young talent Joe Ward must wait until Monday before he fights, though he has received a bye into the last 16.

Belfast’s Paddy Barnes has not travelled due to a hand injury, but nonetheless there is a real sense of optimism. Ireland secured five medals in the same Championships in Russia last year, and the target was to match that performance until Barnes’ withdrawal. Mark my words – they could still do it.

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Boxing is to make a return to primetime UK terrestrial TV. For the first time, Channel 5 is to screen a domestic title bout, namely the scintillating battle between Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora on July 23rd. The fight promises to be a bruising affair, with both men having little time for the other; indeed, Fury, who has links in Tuam, was even escorted from the recent James DeGale – George Groves fight in London after an altercation with ‘Del Boy’. That naturally led to tabloid headlines; the more of those the merrier in order to get boxing back in the mainstream.

It says something about the state of boxing that there is little attention paid in British media to Ryan Rhodes ahead of his World Title challenge later tonight. Sheffield’s Rhodes has travelled to Mexico to take on Saul Alvarez (the most Irish looking Mexican you are ever likely to see) in a fight that will get better exposure in the US than over here. Not only will the fight not be shown live in the UK, but it’s reported that Rhodes will be paid only £5000 by Sky to screen the bout ‘as live’ on Sunday morning. Rhodes deserves better – this should be a great fight.

Another Brit to fight for a World Title later this year will be Darren Barker. The Essex native, who was due to fight Matthew Macklin in Birmingham last year before pulling out through injury, is set to take on Sergio Martinez on October 1st, provided US Network HBO approve him as an opponent.

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Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather is a man who often flaunts his wealth in a manner that grates and annoys, but this week the unbeaten star showed his rarely-seen humble side. This week saw the funeral of Genaro Hernandez, who died recently after losing his battle with a rare form of cancer. The 45 year old was a two-time World Champion, who retired in 1998 after his last fight, and just his second career loss to Mayweather. Though the two were never friends, Floyd took it upon himself to cover the costs of Hernandez’s funeral.

He didn’t attend (“Floyd doesn’t do funerals” said one aide) but it is pleasing to see Mayweather’s good side. His bad has also been evident this week however – on Friday, he failed to attend a court-ordered deposition hearing, regarding a lawsuit taken against him by Manny Pacquaio, following claims of drug use against the Philippines native. He could be arrested as a result.

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This Week In Boxing History

On the week in which one of the sport’s all-time greats turned 60, I had to pick something from the career of Roberto Duran to round out this week’s column. Not only did Hands of Stone have the best boxing nickname ever, he was arguably the best lightweight of all-time and the only boxer to win fights in five decades. For this piece, I could choose his 1980 win over Sugar Ray Leonard in the first fight in Montreal or even his victory against Davey Moore to clinch a World Light Middleweight Title three years later. However, (unfairly perhaps) I’ve chosen his second round knockout loss to Tommy Hearns on June 15th, 1984. In a word, devastating.