Heavyweight boxing has devolved into a “relentlessly boring pantomime,” according to Steve Bunce’s piece.
Heavyweight boxing has always had some pantomime, but over the past six months, it has been persistently monotonous and seemed to go on forever.
It’s possible that this time will be remembered as the darkest in championship heavyweight boxing history. We’ve only seen an increase in false allegations, rash assertions, broken pledges, and abandoned confrontations.
I maintain a very careful, thorough log of all assertions made by combatants and promoters.
For instance, Tyson Fury confirmed a fight with Anthony Joshua online at 16:20 BST on June 10, 2020.
We heard a deal had been made for Fury and Joshua to fight in Saudi Arabia when they awoke on May 11, 2021. The Saudis declared it was unquestionably on five days later.
Only a few days later, Eddie Hearn made the announcement that Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will engage in their third bout and that Oleksandr Usyk would face Anthony Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Both occurred.
I still have another 50 or 60 dates and assertions. It has continued forever. But since Fury defeated his old friend Derek Chisora in December, things have progressed to the point where even a meticulous diarist like myself has lost interest.
Usyk and Fury have failed to reach agreement on the terms of their match. Fury is referred to as greedy by Usyk’s folks. Fury is making fun of Joshua, Wilder, or especially Usyk.
I’m nearly too lazy to keep track of it.
Dublin pint performed better than Fury claimed.
During the defense of his WBC heavyweight belt, Tyson Fury strikes Derek Chisora.
Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, hasn’t competed since defeating Derek Chisora in the tenth round at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in December.
Imagine if the Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan were to be postponed for three years. If major matches were postponed for that long, how many supporters would football still have?
Boys, get your stuff together and hurry. Fans are disinterested in it all.
I attended the outstanding Chantelle Cameron-Katie Taylor fight in Dublin. In this ancient, dilapidated bar where The Dubliners, possibly the most well-known Irish folk band ever, were founded, I purchased a pint.
I snapped a photo of my beer and tweeted it with the message, “pint in the house where the Dubliners formed.”
At that precise moment, legendary UFC fighter Jon Jones was being called out by Fury, who was in the middle of his ninth rant of the day and perhaps his tenth challenge of the year.
In comparison to Fury’s most recent claims, more people had viewed a picture of a pint sitting on a table in a Dublin bar after around four hours.
A year prior, that would not have occurred.
Will there be a Saudi super-card?
Punches by Anthony Joshua on Jermaine Franklin
After being defeated twice by Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua triumphed over Jermaine Franklin in London in April.
I received reliable information four weeks ago that there is a $400 million pot for both Usyk-Fury and Wilder-Joshua to take place at the end of this year from individuals brought out to Saudi Arabia by one of the consortiums.
Then you hear countless additional stories. It’s challenging to remain emotionally invested in it.
Even though I would love to say with certainty that those four individuals will engage in combat on the same night in Saudi Arabia, I just don’t see that happening. I’m hoping for one of those two bouts, but it would be a pipe dream to think we could have both.
Meanwhile, Usyk’s defense of his united title against Daniel Dubois of Great Britain appears destined to take place on August 26 in Poland.
Dubois has been expertly led to a chance at the world championship. And he’ll try his best. You cannot outbox Usyk, and I believe Dubois is a risk-taker.
A rematch between Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua has been proposed on August 12. Whyte is likely to haggle and demand more money. Prior to his prospective payoff matchup with Wilder later this year, Joshua must win this hazardous bout.
Ratings are similar to trading livestock.
The final question is who Fury might confront next. In subzero temperatures last December, he sold 60,000 tickets for the match versus Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Actually, he has a lot of options for opponents.
I wouldn’t place too much weight on a fighter’s ranking when determining whether or not he deserves an opportunity outside of the best heavyweights, who include Fury, Usyk, Wilder, and Joshua. It is not supported by science.
Who is to argue that Joe Joyce or Martin Bakole are in front of Zhilei Zhang or Frankie Sanchez? Ratings are solely determined by the trade of cattle.
Each year, the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO have congresses that are crowded with representatives from advertising agencies. Then, possibly while sipping on a pina colada in Hawaii, they advocate for the fighter to be given a high ranking.
I’m sorry to reveal how the company operates.
Boxing is still quite popular.
Errol Spence, Jr. and Terence Crawford
Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, both of America, are unbeaten welterweight world champions.
All weights and levels are affected by what is going on at the top of the heavyweight class. Due to a lack of funds, we see people back out of battles, even domestic ones.
But I must emphasize that boxing is doing well and the industry is thriving. And this year has seen some really big bouts.
It was a huge occasion when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, a Mexican, returned to Guadalajara and defeated John Ryder in front of 55,000 spectators. Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis sensationally stopped Ryan Garcia in Las Vegas.
The best welterweight in the world will eventually be revealed on July 29 when Terence Crawford takes on Errol Spence Jr.
Usyk vs. Fury and Wilder vs. Joshua must happen before we can look back on 2023 as the most remarkable year in the history of our sport.
Maybe the Saudis will disagree with me.
Steve Bunce was chatting with Kal Sajad of BBC Sport.