Anyone who doesn’t get enough of Steve Bunce from what appears to be his 24-hour-a-day gig with BoxNation, not to mention his torrential writings in such different places as ESPN.co.uk and The Independent, can now download and enjoy him in podcast form. Always operating on the excitable side of energetic, for the purposes of his podcast Bunce adopts the persona of “Hysterical DJ”, talking a mile a minute and repeatedly singing the praises of his own product. However, the podcast is put together with considerable professionalism – well-structured and mostly tightly edited, not always a given even from such a commercially minded organisation as ESPN – and while the material is fairly heavily weighted towards the UK fan, it includes an appealing mix of reviews of fights from all over the globe, both recent and forthcoming. Most importantly, “Buncey” has been around boxing for ever, knows its people, history and audience, and regularly pulls off excellent interviews not only with modern headliners but also with such obscure but fascinating figures as former British light-heavyweight champion Bunny Johnson, Hackney-born surprise WBO middleweight champion Jason Matthews, and John H. Stracey, who (amazingly) won the welterweight title from José Nápoles in Mexico City in 1975. The only real complaint is that Bunce and his usually overwhelmed sidekick Barry Jones (a former WBO titleholder, we are repeatedly reminded) have a bad habit of running competitions based on rather meaningless questions (such as “who is the best heavyweight with less than ten fights?”) then reading out the answers and names of what appear to be literally all the entrants. All around an enjoyable listen for half an hour once a week, but probably best enjoyed in small doses.
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