Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Billy on the Box: Farewell to Freddie and bye-bye to Brian

The final bell sounded this week in a number of boxing rings, some boxers bowing out more successfully than others.

The concluding episode of Sky’s From Lord’s To The Ring about Andrew Flintoff’s bold switch from retired cricketer to professional boxer saw him begin with a warm-up fight in Monkstown. He should have waited for a while, he would have had a field day this week.

After a spot of sparring in Ricky Hatton’s gym where he was greeted by the man himself following his brief return to boxing, and looked as if he’d been 12 rounds with a revolving door, it was time for fight night.

He was up against Richard Dawson, although it turned out that Les would have been as good an opponent.

Freddie (right) dismissed the idea of having an entourage and being a prima donna — ‘I’m not Mariah Carey, am I?’. She could probably throw a better punch but, in true Rocky style, he picked himself off the canvas to come back to win and retire undefeated.

No such luck for Brian Magee who was in Denmark to defend his world title against Mikkel Kessler and such misery hasn’t been inflicted by a Dane on a Saturday night since Whigfield was drying her hair. That was stomach-turning and poor Brian may have had the guts to take on Kessler in his backyard but a couple of hefty blows to the belly and he was left bent double and gasping for breath.

But afterwards it was refreshing to see him and Kessler exchange genuine pleasantries and not have the usual charade of threatening to eat each other’s spleens and while he waved goodbye to his belt at least it gave him more room in his luggage for Whigfield CDs, bacon, some lager and Scooby Doo paraphernalia.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk