Naseem Hamed - Manuel Medina


                         Point Depot, Dublin - August 31st.
When a fighter hypes himself - and displays such flamboyance and 
brash arrogance - as Prince Naseem  Hamed does, he is almost always   
facing a no-win situation when he steps inside the ropes.
	Naz signed his professional boxing papers in 1992 at the House of 
Commons in London.  He claims that he " refuses to lose " and " will 
never be beaten".  When asked about his first journey to the canvas 
in his last bout, Naz described it as "beautiful" and said he 
"needed to test the canvas for (his opponent) Alicea".
	So in beating worthy challenger Manuel Medina - who formerly held 
the IBF and WBC versions of the 9st title - Hamed won the fight but 
lost in doing so.   This was his second appearance on US TV, and 
the WBO featherweight champion needed to look spectacular in victory, 
if he was to be presented as the superstar his handlers believe him 
to be.  Despite striking form in the eleventh (and final) round, 
Hameds' performance was anything but spectacular.
	In the opening round, Medina was focused after looking fazed by 
Hamed's usual flashy ring entrance.  Hamed looked rusty and was 
tagged by Medina to a large cheer from the audience, most of whom 
didn't appreciate the arrogance of the Sheffield man.  In the second 
Hamed again looked horribly awkward until he produced a long left to floor Medina.
	This is not unusual for Hamed.  He has been known to look 
unimpressive and suddenly connect with frightening power to finish 
his opponent.  On this occasion Medina rose and found his rhythym 
admirably in the third.  It was in this round that Wayne Mc Cullough walked 
'the long way round' to ringside, waving to his home crowd and 
distracting their attention from the ring.
	For the remainder of the fight, Mc Cullough deliberately lapped up 
the crowd's cheers and chants of "Wayne Mc Cullough" - depriving 
Naz of the attention and support which he thrives on.  This was a 
deliberate PR exercise by Mc Cullough (who also squared up with Hamed 
at the weigh-in on the previous evening) to a) whet the public's 
appetite for  a clash between himself and Hamed which is pencilled in 
for November, and b) to answer the "Never mind the Mc Culloughs, 
here's the Prince" posters (as in "Never mind the bollocks, here's 
the Sex Pistols" ) which decorated the streets of Dublin prior to this fight.
	Hamed realised what was happening, and faced with a scenario he had 
previously been a stranger to, his concentration lapsed visibly.  His 
timing and balance were way off , and Medina began to catch 
the normally elusive Hamed with great regularity.  In fact, Medina 
predicted Hamed's movements with a success rate which none of 
Hamed's previous opponents even came close to.
	What must be taken into consideration however is the experience and 
ability to retain conditioning which Medina posesses.  This , coupled 
with the fact that Naz lacked  concentration and had only boxed three 
rounds in the eleven months before this meeting, saw Medina take 
rounds four, five and six in my book.
	Round seven saw both men trading bombs in mid-ring and both showed 
good punch resistance.  By the eigth, Medina's face was reddened 
while Naz looked unscathed.  Hamed refused to sit down between rounds 
eight and nine while Medina's corner worked furiously on their 
man.  In the ninth Naz, who had never been this far before, found his 
rhythym and floored Medina with a perfect right hook, just as 
I was beginning to wonder whether his power had left him.  He caught 
Medina again to send him down with a right high on the forehead while 
the Mexican cornermen looked as if they were about to throw 
in the towel.
    	By the tenth, Naz  had obviously regained his confidence and 
even nodded at Mc Cullough at one stage in the round.  In the 
eleventh he connected with a beautiful long right which slung Medina ba
ck onto the ropes.  Hamed then coldly began to take the Mexican 
apart, at last showing the Dublin crowd what he was capable of.  
Medina's cornermen retired him at the end of the eleventh, and were 
quite right in doing so.  Medina - stopped for the first time in seven 
years - was bruised, on wobbly legs and quite a few points behind on the judges' scorecards.

*  It has since emerged that Hamed caught a cold three or four days 
before the fight.  This fact - backed by medical officials - goes 
some way to explain his lacklustre performance on the night.

                     Tom Johnson - Ramon Guzman

                      Point Depot - August 31st.

	Tom "Boom Boom" Johnson is expected to face Naseem Hamed next in an 
attempt to add the Englishman's WBO belt to Johnsons IBF 9st title.  
He fulfilled his half of the contract by soundly outpointing 
resilient Venezuelan Ramon Guzman on the same bill as Hamed on 
                  Johnson is at the stage in his career where he can fade away at any 
time.  At 32 and in his eleventh World title defence, however , he 
showed what superb shape he is in.
	Both fighters got to know each other in the first round.  In the 
second Johnson found his rhythym but Guzman showed he wasn't about to 
relinquish this opportunity easily, boxing well.  In the third 
Johnson scored an overhead right to floor the Venezuelan.  He railed  
well to send the challenger to the canvas again with a solid right 
hook-come-uppercut.  Time however ran out before Johnson  could
 clinch victory.
	Johnson began to pulverise Guzman's body, showing impressive speed 
and head movements.  The challenger looked disheartened, only raising 
his game when Johnson took a break in the fifth.  The crowds' 
reaction to this lively contest was disappointing - I wondered if 
perhaps it was a theatre audience (given the prescence of Hamed on 
the bill) who would all leave as soon as Naz finished his extravagant 
entrance into the ring.  A group of men near me cheered excitedly 
for Johnson for the first two rounds.  By the fifth , they were 
shouting "Na-seem, Na-seem !"Real boxing fans, no doubt!
	In the seventh, Guzman visited the canvas again  via a left - right 
cross combination.  When he rose, Johnson caught him with a perfect 
right to the chin.  The challenger somehow beat the count, and 
survived until the bell.  "Boom Boom" staggered Guzman again in the 
following round, but the Venezuelan finished the round coming 
forward.  He had already won the crowd over for sheer heart, and 
Johnson deserves credit for not becoming disheartened at his opponents 
	The champion dished out a sustained beating to Guzman for a solid 
two minutes in the ninth.  The referee could have stepped in without 
any protests.  He chose not to however, and the remainder of the 
contest saw both men understandably looking drained.  When the 
final bell rang Johnson had retained his belt via a landslide 
unanimous decision and became the first US featherweight in history 
to record 11 successful defences.  Two judges scored it 119-107, while 
the third saw it 116-109.

                   Nate Miller - James Heath

                   Point Depot- August 31st.

	Nate "Magic Man" Miller fully unjustified his nickname in this 
defence of the WBA Cruiserweight title against James Heath.  Floyd 
Patterson must have been turning in his three-piece suit as he looked 
on from Ringside at this "World title fight".
	In the first round Heath walked straight onto a left-right 
combination and went over.  Miller however didn't display anything 
like the "eye of the tiger" (the music Nate entered the ring to) and see
med ambivilant to the fact that Heath survived.
	Heath showed very limited ability, and he merely threw an occasional 
counterpunch from behind his high -held gloves.  He tied Miller up in 
close quarters as Miller coasted and just met the minimum 
requirement to win each round.  It was the kind of fight best watched 
on radio, and I began to feel at one stage (perhaps a little cruelly, 
in retrospect) that the double yellow streak on Millers' black trunks 
just about summed up the fight.
	Until the seventh round both men plodded along at the speed of 
molten lava.  One spectator shouted "Get 'em off" between rounds, and 
I was suprised to find that he was referring to the ring-card girls 
clothes rather than the fighters.
	In the seventh, Miller staggered Heath with a double right hook, and 
this time found the will to follow up, flooring the challenger with a 
left-right combination.  Heath made the count but nobody protested 
(particularly the crowd) when referee Carlos Berrocal waved it over at 2:54.
                       Michael Carruth - Mark Brannon

                       Point Depot , Dublin. August 31st.

Following a very unimpressive win over Chris Saunders last time out, 
Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Carruth is edging closer and closer to 
a shot at either the European or World Welterweight Title in 1997.

He moved a step further by destroying Mark Brannon in three racey 
rounds this weekend. The American employed an awkward style at the 
beginning to stop Carruth from settling into the fight. Carruth got 
through with some good combinations at the end of the round however 
to set the tone for events to follow. In the second, Brannon became 
more negative while Carruth landed with a right hook to send his 
opponent to the canvas for what was - wrongly in my view - adjudged 
to be a slip.

In round three, Carruth again sent Brannon down with a left hook to 
the body - but Brannon looked as if he went over more because he 
wanted to than from the force of the punch. He fought back but the 
Dubliner's pressure proved too much, and when the American eventually 
crumbled in a neutral corner the referee stepped in.

                    Paul Griffin - Irwin Blake

                    Point Depot, August 31

Super - Bantamweight Paul Griffin soundly outpointed Birmingham's 
Irwin Blake (40 - 37) in what was another 'learning' fight for the 
Dubliner who trains with Naz in the Brendan Ingle stable.

In this, his ninth outing as a pro, Griffin just did enough to safely 
secure the decision without applying himself overly. He got taggged 
quite a bit by a fighter who is merely a journeyman, and showed a 
blatant unwillingness to fight 'inside' - holding on every time they 
got close. it was only in the last minute of this four rounder that 
Griffin turned on his startling hand speed and footwork to give us a 
glimpse of what he is capeable of. With nine straight wins and these 
natural assets, Paul can progress to greater challenges in the near 

                  BEST OF THE REST

                  Point Depot, August 31

Former English Olympian ROBIN REID cleared his final hurdle to        
secure a shot at Vincenzo Nardiello's WBC Super Middleweight          
Crown on October 12 by beating JERRY BROWN via a fourth               
round retirement. He looked uninspired in doing so, but it is likely  
that this was due more to Brown's sheer negativity than lack of 
effort from Reid.

PASCHAL COLLINS, now managed by brother Steve, looked dull in 
outpointing GORDON BEHAN over four rounds at middleweight (40 - 37). 
Coming off his first pro loss, Collins doesn't look as if he can go 
on to scale his brother's lofty heights.

MARTY RENAGHAN caught the attention of the crowd by stopping ANDY 
MARTIN at 1:55 of the second round in his pro debut. Armagh's 
Renaghan showed dazzling speed and power, and looked anything but a 
fighter coming straight from the amateur ranks.

World - rated HARRY SIMON (Namibia) beat ANTHONY IVORY on points over 
six rounds, but made a tough night's work of it. Game Ivory came to 
fight, but Simon just didn't look as classy as last time out when he 
stopped Del Bryan on the Collins - Benn bill in Manchester. 
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