Boxing Is A Cruel Sport
By Cameron Temple
Whether it ranges from Ricky Hatton succumbing to a heavy left hook to the body and being counted out in what was supposed to be his triumphant return to the ring, after three years out, in front of his home crowd in Manchester.
Or, what was planned as Anthony Joshua’s spectacular unveiling to the American public on June 1st last year, but instead he was knocked out by huge underdog Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden.
One thing is clear… Boxing is a cruel sport.
The last in Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp series
was a stark reminder of that fact, as we saw Dillian Whyte, who had dominated the first four rounds and scored two knockdowns of his own, stunningly knocked out by the forty-year-old Alexander Povetkin.
In the process of this defeat, Whyte lost his mandatory position for the WBC, having been named the number one contender over one thousand days ago without securing a shot at the title.
After going on an impressive eleven fight win streak, Whyte stumbled at the final hurdle as his world title shot was set to be called the day after the culmination of the Fury vs Wilder trilogy.
The atmosphere around the ring and throughout most of the homes of those watching the fight on T.V. was shrouded in disbelief and shock.
Although, at this point, have we any right to continue to be shocked by these ‘surprise’ results in such a volatile and unpredictable heavyweight division?
Delay has been the downfall of many a fighter over the last few years, with a notable example coming in the form of the fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, which was the topic on everyone’s lips in 2018 and early 2019.
Since then, both men have been beaten and subsequently they have lost the air of invincibility that made a fight between them such an attractive prospect, and even if it would still generate huge interest, it’s not quite the same.
So, while the delay for Whyte to get a shot at the WBC title was out of his hands, it is a reminder nonetheless of the damage that delay can do to a fighter’s career.
Floyd Mayweather proved that the longer you wait to make a fight, the bigger it gets, with the evidence coming in the form of a $300 million pay check from his fight with Manny Pacquiao.
However, Mayweather’s trump card was that he didn’t lose, which is an achievement to which very few fighters can aspire, let alone replicate.
Countless boxers nowadays attempt to replicate the Floyd Mayweather model and we are left with subpar match ups, followed by shocking losses that cause the attraction of long-awaited super fights to collapse anyway.
The recent global pandemic we have all had to endure should pile on additional pressure for promoters and fighters to rid the sport of delays, as it has once again acted as a reminder that not only can the events inside the ring not be controlled, but nor can the events outside of it.
So, considering the abundance of potential stumbling blocks that boxers face, it’s time for the fighters and trainers to cash in on their well-deserved pay checks, it’s time for the broadcasters and promoters to revel in soaring viewing figures and ratings and it’s time for fans to enjoy the fights that they’ll remember forever.
Boxing can be a cruel and unpredictable sport, so stop the delays and make the meaningful fights today.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing