WATCHING the Jack Catterallohara Davies bout on TV recently, I was irritated to notice both boxers touching gloves at the start of each round. I always believed that boxing rules allowed for the touching of gloves (shaking hands) for the first and last round only. Apart from anything else, it could easily lead to problems. For instance, if one boxer at the round’s commencement holds out a glove inviting a reciprocal move from his opponent, but the opponent responds with a hard right cross instead, you end up with a controversial incident. It also seems to contradict the referee’s final instruction of ‘defend yourself at all times.’ I was surprised that a referee of Howard Foster’s experience did not put a stop to this misguided practice. Larry Braysher
COMMENTING ON COMMENTATORS
SKY SPORTS coverage of the sport should be commended, but what actually makes a good boxing commentator? Reg Gutteridge, Harry Carpenter and Eammon Andrews were all not just good but great boxing commentators. In my opinion, Adam Smith is not. His commentary during the Francesco Patera-lewis Ritson fight was poor, in my view. Although he did change during his commentary from his early plaudits for Ritson to saying he thought Patera had edged it, he nonetheless showed far too much bias towards the home fighter, and this, in turn, I feel swayed co-commentator Paul Smith.
Surely the job of a good commentator is to be unbiased and only comment when really necessary? Adam’s comments favouring Ritson in rounds one to five were not correct, as he failed to note the clever boxing of Patera. Overall, I had Patera a clear winner and I agreed with the two judges who scored it 116-112 – in fact, I had it a bit wider. Judge Soren Saugmann, who scored it for Ritson by 116-112, must have had his eyes closed during the fight.
So who are the current best boxing commentators? In my humble opinion, Carl Froch and Tony Bellew are both good and have the potential to be great. Richie Woodhall is also good. I’d like to see Carl be handed the lead commentator role on the big fights, as he really knows what he’s talking about and reads a fight both fairly and well. Adam has proved he is very good in his role of Head of Boxing at Sky Sports, maybe that is what he should stick to. Stuart Greenberg
LORD ‘BOB’ BOOTHBY
I AM currently researching a book about the former Conservative peer, Lord “Bob” Boothby. He was known to be a keen fan of the London boxing scene in the 1950s and 1960s, regularly turning up to watch bouts. Are you a retired fighter who encountered him around this time? Or perhaps you knew of him by reputation? If you have any memories of him that you are prepared to share with me, I would love to hear from you. I’m happy to conduct interviews both on and off the record. I can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07855 816 693. Dan Smith
WHY THE WAIT? ANTHONY JOSHUA is next scheduled to fight in April 2019, but surely he could fight again in December 2018? Why the seven-month wait between fights for Joshua? Do massive modern boxers need seven months between fights to allow their bodies to replenish? Is Joshua’s popularity so big that an event takes seven months to organise? I’m greedy – I just want a heavyweight at his peak to box on a semi-frequent basis. Mike Hills
MORE LIKE IT: But the constant touching of gloves frustrated some viewers