After Dereck Chisora hurled a table at Dillian Whyte at the final presser for their recent fight I told Britishboxers that they needed to produce a proper fight to help people forget those ugly scenes. Well, they went ahead and did just that at the Manchester Arena on December 10 to ensure that British heavyweight boxing went out with a bang at the tail-end of 2016.
It was a proper fight, thankfully, because when stuff like that happens before fights the tabloids are all over boxing once again. At times, you cannot get them to write a single word or get some column inches about some very good fights, but one whiff of controversy and they are all over the sport. Someone throws a table and bang, every single one of them wants to write about boxing. It’s a real pet hate of mine, something that I just cannot stand.
‘Chisora produced a performance that I thought was no longer in him. I reckon he had one of those ‘Angel and Devil’ moments that you get in boxing, with the Devil telling you to push on and the Angel saying: “Don’t you dare!” People thought he was too old, Whyte was too fresh and it was too much too late in his career.’
We needed those two to produce as they brought the sport into the headlines for the wrong reasons so it was on their toes to bring it into the headlines for the right reasons by putting up a great fight. They did it, both went above and beyond the call of duty—it was one of the best heavyweight fights I’ve been privileged enough to watch at ringside.
Sure, it wasn’t a fight that showed off the art of boxing, but it was the type of fight that the general sports fan likes to watch. It was all about heart and determination, and I love those types of fights.
Chisora produced a performance that I thought was no longer in him. I reckon he had one of those ‘Angel and Devil’ moments that you get in boxing, with the Devil telling you to push on and the Angel saying: “Don’t you dare!” People thought he was too old, Whyte was too fresh and it was too much too late in his career.
Then we saw the needle in the build-up and I thought he might be geeing himself up for it again, creating a situation that made him fight the way he did—if we got fights like those at heavyweight every couple of months then the sport would be in a fantastic place.
Don’t get me wrong, boxing is in a great place right now with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom doing a great job of putting the sport into arenas over the past few years. Now you’ve also got different broadcasters coming into to play and competing to sign fighters. For Matchroom, it won’t be great as it could cause problems, but from the point of view of the fighters it means that over the next five years, and depending on how things pan out, they might earn more money, which is good because it is the hardest sport in the world.
Speaking of heavies, I tentatively went for Anthony Joshua over Wlad Klitschko previously, but I am still struggling to make my mind up. Is Wlad past his best? What if it goes late? Has Joshua got what it takes to get a big win? The reason it is so hard to predict is that Klitschko was in good form before he met Tyson Fury. Did he get old overnight or was it a case of Fury’s style being too much for and Tyson getting into his mind pre-fight?
‘I don’t think that people realise the power of the shots when Joshua is landing. [Eric] Molina didn’t offer much resistance, which isn’t Joshua’s fault, but I think he is starting to get that Mike Tyson type of aura. He hit Molina on the shoulder when he had him in the corner and the impact was sickening—it is hard to appreciate the force of the shots that are landing until you are up close.’
Joshua is not going to be anywhere near as awkward or as hard to get to as Tyson, but he will pose different questions due to the fact he is more powerful than Fury. I really can’t make my mind up 100% then will probably make my decision afterwards to try to be a smart arse and say: “I told you so!”.
I have been ringside for nearly all Joshua’s fights. I was ringside three or four years ago with Mikey, my son, and he said that Joshua reminds him of the Incredible Hulk. He’s been in awe of him ever since and is lucky enough to be ringside with me at the boxing, so he’s met him a few times and Anthony is such a nice, genuine person who made my son feel special every time they spoke. He makes you feel welcome and you feel part of his journey when you are at ringside.
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I don’t think that people realise the power of the shots when Joshua is landing. [Eric] Molina didn’t offer much resistance, which isn’t Joshua’s fault, but I think he is starting to get that Mike Tyson type of aura. He hit Molina on the shoulder when he had him in the corner and the impact was sickening—it is hard to appreciate the force of the shots that are landing until you are up close.
This is a different task for both fighters, whoever lands the first proper clean shot will have the other one in a world of trouble. It will be a chess match early then whoever lands clean will probably take the fight.
I released an autobiography this year, which took me by surprise as I never even dreamed I’d achieve what I achieved in my boxing career. My life keeps constantly surprising me. If you don’t have any expectations you can’t be letdown, in a sense, but, at the same time, you should always try to push on forward and strive to achieve your goals. If you’re not moving forward you are standing still, and I hate standing still—it bores me.
The renowned boxing writer Paul Zanon asked me about writing it so I thought: ‘Why not’. I figured that even if I only sold one copy I’d have that book to pass on to my kids and grandkids. I’d have documented what I’d achieved. Salford is my local, my area and I proud of what I achieved for it and myself by becoming its first Lonsdale belt holder in over 100 years. Now it is all down in writing, saved for posterity—I like that.
‘If I do get pissed off about what happened (when I got shot), I think to myself that I’m still here and the kids still have their dad. Yeah, my foot doesn’t move and I’m in pain, but there are people who are much worse off. I have a little bit of a word with myself and I’m fine.’
Then it was released and the reaction has been great, especially as people said it was uplifting and motivating for them to read about my attitude and how I came back from the shooting the way I did. To be honest with you, my leg is in a bad way due to nerve damage—it hardly moves.
From my calf down, I can hardly move my leg. The muscles in my calf and thigh are OK, but I can barely move it at all from the ankle down. I’m in constant pain, nerve pain from where the nerve is trying to fix itself and releasing the toxins that cause the pain.
People see me walking about and think it is cool, but I’ve got a special foot brace to ensure that I can walk around properly, so it is not how it appears on the face of it. Only my family and close friends see the pain I’m in and what I have to go through just to live my everyday life. It’s not easy yet I’m not too bothered as I’ve always been a ‘glass half full’ person. If I do get pissed off about what happened, I think to myself that I’m still here and the kids still have their dad. Yeah, my foot doesn’t move and I’m in pain, but there are people who are much worse off. I have a little bit of a word with myself and I’m fine.
People think that episode of my life is done and dusted, and it is to a certain extent, yet every single day I wake up in the morning, get out of bed, take one foot brace off that I sleep in and put another one on to get around the house. I can never, ever forget about what happened in Marbella, and will never be able to, but it could be a blessing in disguise as I wake up everyday glad to be still here, still alive and still breathing. Now I look at life in a totally different way.
‘People also ask me about the mental effects (of being shot), but at the end of the day I’m “Moorsey”, the most mentally strong person you could meet so that side doesn’t bother me…The worst thing that could possibly happen to me happened two-years ago and now I have written a book and do motivation speaking. I can’t and won’t complain, there are people worse off than me and I hope they think positive, turn it around and can move on.’
I put up with the pain to appreciate the flip-side of it—I’m lucky to be alive. It is a bittersweet thing, I enjoy my life so much more yet have to put up with pain everyday to appreciate that enjoyment. It’s a pain in the arse, to be honest with yous once again, but what can you do?
People also ask me about the mental effects, at the end of the day I’m “Moorsey”, the most mentally strong person you could meet, so that side doesn’t bother me. As you might already know, I practice something called “The Secret”. A mate put me on to it after I retired, he told me it was something I’d always done but that I’d lost my way a bit post-boxing.
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He was right, I was always into positive thinking yet you need reminding about that every now and again so I’m grateful for that. Plenty of good things have happened to me as well as some bad things. Paul pointed out that the general pattern of my life and career is that something good happens, then something bad happens and then I come back better for it. The worst thing that could possibly happen to me happened two-years ago and now I have written a book and do motivation speaking. I can’t and won’t complain, there are people worse off than me and I hope they think positive, turn it around and can move on.
With all that said, it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017—I hope you all get what you wished for over Christmas and stick to your resolutions!
All the best to you and yours,
Click here to go to the Amazon page for my autobiography. If you’ve been given book tokens then go to my Twitter account, @JamieMoore777, to find out where you can pick up a copy. Thanks again for all your support and say “Hello” to me if you happen to bump into me at a show.
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