I’M SORRY, however I’m going to be that man once more. This previous weekend there have been a number of boxing playing cards that occurred throughout the globe and broadcast on numerous completely different platforms, specifically Sky Sports activities, BT Sport, DAZN and FITETV. For followers of the game, there was lots to sink your tooth into.
On Saturday evening there was additionally UFC 281, which occurred at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York. It was a momentous card with thrills, spills and what I can solely think about have been very excessive electrical energy payments.
That one UFC card blew each boxing present utterly out of the water. In actual fact, what boxing needed to provide compared was nearly embarrassing.
In equity that isn’t true of the whole lot that occurred inside boxing over the weekend; Sunny Edwards turned in a commanding efficiency, Natasha Jonas was good and Nick Ball produced a thunderous first-round end. Denzel Bentley additionally requested loads of questions of Janibek Alimkhanuly in a surprisingly powerful combat.
However these aren’t the fights that dominated the headlines. The eye went to Floyd Mayweather. It went to the exhibition combat between Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera. And it went to the farcical disqualification of Montana Love in opposition to Stevie Spark.
Mayweather was participating in an exhibition in opposition to a YouTuber named Deji. It occurred in Dubai and was on DAZN PPV – sure, individuals have been anticipated to pay additional for this. All the occasion was ridiculous. Mayweather, clearly not taking issues severely (and why ought to he?), was dancing across the ring and seemingly having the time of his life. There are clips doing the rounds on social media of Mayweather throwing punches at Deji that will have barely dented a pillow.
Tommy Fury was on the undercard, although his scheduled combat was changed with an exhibition as a result of he got here in obese. Jake Paul was ringside and labored a few of the commentary, although primarily simply shouted expletives at Fury. This enraged Tommy’s father, John, who ripped off his shirt and tried to combat Paul there after which.
Hatton and Barrera, unsurprisingly, performed themselves with way more respect they usually have been afforded that again from followers, pundits and commentators at ringside. Their bout was by no means marketed as something greater than an exhibition – and Hatton’s zimmer body walkout was a specific spotlight – however this was nonetheless two icons of the game punching one another within the head when they need to simply be having fun with retirement.
The exhibition was on Sky Sports activities and overshadowed the billed major occasion, which noticed Jonas as soon as once more show herself at world degree.
Then, as soon as once more on DAZN, there was the debacle with Love and Spark. Love had been dropped early within the combat and within the sixth spherical barreled into Spark, finally forcing him via the ropes and out of the ring. Love was then disqualified and Spark declared the winner.
That decision from the referee may need been a bit of harsh however, both means, it was a really disappointing finish to that individual present.
What this weekend as soon as once more proved is that boxing is turning into a laughing inventory. As a substitute of the perfect combating the perfect, broadcasters and promoters are providing up glorified superstar spars and retirement excursions.
Soccer has the World Cup beginning this weekend. The NFL continues as a worldwide behemoth and has the Tremendous Bowl yearly. The UFC is persistently staging big occasions – together with one in Perth subsequent yr – each few months and is establishing real combating superstars.
What will we, as boxing followers, should look ahead to in the meanwhile? There’s nothing within the schedule to blow your socks off. Sure, there are some good matchups however the blockbuster ones aren’t taking place. It’s no surprise occasions like Mayweather-Deji get a lot consideration – there’s nothing else to speak about.
The WBC just lately held their annual conference in Mexico and introduced a swathe of recent insurance policies, rankings and fights that they’ve “ordered.” What was additionally revealed was that the sanctioning physique has taken upon itself to alter the results of a combat that occurred over 30 years in the past.
It was introduced that the WBC have reversed the choice of the primary assembly between Jeff Fenech and Azumah Nelson in 1991 and have now declared Fenech the winner. The combat was for the WBC super-featherweight title, which Fenech has now been retroactively awarded.
Whereas Fenech ought to have had his hand raised on that controversial evening in 1991, the WBC are setting an alarming precedent with this newest determination. If sanctioning our bodies can now simply determine who they suppose ought to be – or ought to have been – ‘world’ champion (utilizing standards that hasn’t been defined), then what’s the purpose of utilizing educated judges? Or referees? Simply let two fighters slug it out, movie it, then present it to Mauricio Sulaiman in a couple of years and have him determine who the winner is.
To his credit score, Nelson responded to the WBC’s determination with class: “I’m not frightened concerning the determination, because it doesn’t change my legacy in boxing historical past, nor wouldn’t it change something going ahead. If it will assist Jeff Fenech to sleep nicely at evening, I’m comfortable for him,” he mentioned in an announcement.
It didn’t get an enormous quantity of protection, however former British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Callum Johnson just lately introduced his retirement from skilled boxing. What’s noteworthy about his announcement is how sincere it was – he overtly admitted that self-discipline points and struggles together with his psychological well being held him again within the sport.
It’s a particular factor for an athlete to recognise that their thoughts shouldn’t be working in the best way it must for them to reach their sport and to then take motion. Johnson deserves nothing however the perfect in retirement.
Boxing on the Field
Liam Davies-Ionut Baluta
BT Sport 1
Protection begins at 7pm
Jaime Munguia-Gonzalo Gaston Coria
Protection begins at 12am