Ian Hart: Sheffield had the agony and ecstasy of boxing

S aturday night encapsulated the true agony and ecstasy of the noble art of boxing.
George GrovesGeorge Groves
George Groves

In Sheffield, George Groves finally realised his dreams of a world super middleweight title by stopping a very durable opponent in Fedor Chudinov.

Having had the pleasure of George’s company on a number of occasions over the years, I’m especially pleased. While he wears his heart on his sleeve and at times his tweets and media sound bites can be questionable, he’s one of the good guys.

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He will be a great champion both inside and outside the ring and, at 29, his career path could now help him become a great sporting icon.

His resilience and ‘never give up’ attitude in the face of his previous high profile and arguably controversial defeats, are an example to youngsters the length and breadth of the country. The possible rematch with James DeGale will be a fight that will be a huge sporting event in this country.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for Kell Brook, who lost his world title in front of his home fans at his beloved Sheffield United against Errol Spence Jr.

Like Groves, Brook’s a fighter who I have a lot of time for, so to hear talk – some by his fellow fighters – that he gave up when he should have carried on is quite disappointing.

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For the good of his health, Brook and his corner decided he’d had enough. With 27,000 Yorkshiremen cheering him on, it probably wasn’t one he took lightly.

For the likes of Tony Bellew to say he shouldn’t have quit is wrong. It was possibly a knee-jerk comment but all the same wrong. Two words justify Brook’s actions ‘Michael Watson’ and I hope Bellew realises this and has privately apologised to Brook for his TV outburst.

There’s nothing like kicking a man when he’s down and events in America this week are testament to that.

I always thought that America shared one of the great pillars that this country has in the fact that a man is innocent until proved guilty. However in the case of golfing superstar Tiger Woods, fresh from the police stopping him in his car, the release of his arrest pictures has seen him all but tried and convicted in the media, long before US justice actually gets involved.

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Although none of us are that naive not to realise what makes news andsells papers, etc.

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