With over 30 years in the game, there’s not much Dennis Hobson doesn’t know about boxing. A manager, trainer and promoter – Dennis has worked with numerous world champions, including Ricky Hatton, David Haye and Clinton Woods and has staged shows from Las Vegas to Liverpool … and everywhere in between!
In this feature, we catch up with the Sheffield-based fight figure to chat about some of the sport’s most recent talking points – read on …
If Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr do ever face each other – who wins?
I saw them face off the other day and because Chris Eubank Jr is that much bigger and experienced, that might be too much [for Conor Benn]. It’ll be exciting though because Conor will throw bombs, but I just think Eubank’s size and experience will matter, even though Benn is fresher.
They’ve both got famous fathers, and I was an admirer of both in their day. I was a huge fan of Nigel because of his explosiveness and because he brought it to the ring every time. I also loved Eubank’s eccentricity. It takes two to tango, and they were good for each other’s careers. Eubank played the villain very well, whilst Nigel was the people’s champion. They were made for each other and they made each other lots of money. In boxing you need a bit of theatre, and they both gave us that. I’ve got respect for both of them, they were in some very tough fights and it was a great time for boxing.
Was is a correct decision by the referee to stop Josh Warrington in his recent fight with Leigh Wood?
I know [referee] Michael Alexander, and Josh. I said beforehand that Josh might be a bit worn and Leigh might be fresher, but Josh was actually outboxing him. But I do think his ‘worn-ness’ came into play when he took those shots and he was all over the place. I think if he’d have really had his senses then he’d have looked at the referee, said he was OK and that the round was at the end, but he turned away and was wobbly-legged.
I understand them blaming the ref and wanting a rematch but if I were Sean [O’Hagan – Josh’s dad and trainer] then I’d be thinking about retiring him. Josh has had a fantastic career, I like him a lot and have so much respect for him. Maybe he could have carried on but, for me, he was badly hurt and would still have been concussed even if he’d have had a minute’s rest.
I wonder if his shot resistance isn’t quite what it was. For his own health, I’d rather he packed in. He’s been a fantastic servant to the sport, am sure he’s earnt a nice few quid, and I would seriously think about not taking any more fights. He doesn’t want to be taking those kind of shots again and he could be damaging his health.
I’m on the fence about the stoppage but would like to see him hang them up.
Does Joe Joyce have a future in the sport after his recent KO by Zhilei Zhang?
Only as a gatekeeper. He’s 38, and they put him straight back in with Zhang; like Frank Maloney did with David Price against Tony Thompson. I would have avoided Zhang – a very experienced southpaw – at all costs. Joyce has traded on being a juggernaut; no finesse and wearing opponents out by taking hard shots until they wear themselves out, and then he steamrollers them. But it didn’t work against Zhang.
Frank Warren’s normally good at this [manoeuvring fighters] so maybe they have plenty of money in Zhang, because when, for example, Amir Khan got chinned by Breidis Prescott – Frank avoided the rematch at all costs! If they thought that much of Joyce, they’d have done the same.
For me, they’ve used Joyce as a commodity, he’s coming to the end of his career no matter what, and they’ve maybe wanted him off the books.
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