BOXING is a great sport, extremely well regulated on the whole nowadays, especially in this country, and has given me many memorable moments most people could never dream of, but sometimes it does almost drive me to despair.

A couple of things that have happened in the past fortnight have really sickened me and made me feel embarrassed and, if I had my way, would never be allowed to happen.

One is the prospect of a fight in Mississippi, America - where else could such a thing happen - between female boxer Anne Wolfe and a male opponent.

What sort of ghouls would want to go and see such a horrible contest?

How could anybody go to watch a fight with the prospect of woman being knocked out by a man?

And how can the lawmakers allow such a fight to go ahead, if indeed it does?

But the very fact that there is a promoter out there prepared to contemplate staging such a contest means that he believes there is a sufficient number of 'sick' people prepared to hand over money to watch such a nauseating spectacle.

I don't like women fighting each other in the ring and, thankfully, it doesn't happen in this country very often, but at least it's female v female, a meeting of equals.

But male against female really is a step too far and I hope the Mississippi contest falls through.

The others matters that have astounded me this week are Thomas 'The Hitman' Hearns apparently contemplating a comeback at the age of 47 and the prospect of veteran heavyweights Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe becoming involved in a series of four round contests.

Hearns last fought in 2000, aged 42, and was stopped and it is twenty years and more now since his great contests with Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvellous Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran.

I just don't understand - apart from the money in debt-ridden Tyson's case - why these once great fighters want to go on fighting.

And I can't understand why people would pay good money to go to watch some old, worn-out has-beens trying to put one another on the canvas.

It just brings boxing into disrepute and adds fuel to those people who would ban the sport and makes people like me who love the fight game very, very sad.

To turn to better things, what a fantastic performance by Floyd Mayweather to overwhelm Arturo Gatti and stop him in six one-sided rounds to lift the WBC world light-welterweight title.

I don't like Mayweather as a person but at least he backs up his words with actions and really is a tremendous fighter and he broke Gatti's heart.

He is not a massive hitter, but throws punches from all angles at great speed and moves so well that he genuinely is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

He has now won world titles at three weights (super-feather and lightweight the others) and remains unbeaten and, as I said in this column a few weeks ago, Britain's IBF world champion Ricky Hatton would be wise to stay well clear of him for the time being.

A meeting between the pair would obviously make both men very wealthy and I don't think Hatton would go the same way as Gatti, who has always been the bravest of fighters but not the most intelligent.

I believe Hatton is a much better and stronger fighter than Gatti and would fight a different fight, moving inside and not letting Mayweather dictate in the same way.

Somewhere down the line Hatton v Mayweather may be the right fight, but not yet.

Hatton can make a lot of money from fighting other credible but less able opposition first while there is talk of Mayweather stepping up a weight to meet WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight champion Zab Judah.

That would be some contest because Judah is a big puncher and Mayweather would be giving weight away. It would be a very interesting fight.

As for me, I'm ticking over in the gym once or twice a week and doing some four or five mile runs while I wait for news of a possible voluntary defence of my WBO world super-middleweight title around August/September time.

All boxers do things differently and some are in the gym more often than others between fights.

Over the years I have got to know my body well and know how to keep fresh while maintaining fitness and, to be honest, I have to say I do enjoy my time off between contests.

But when my title's on the line I'm always ready.