So, where to start with this week? Social media has been rife with negatives, several hundred accusing fingers have been pointed and the general mood is one of an opportunity missed.
This Saturday sees the WBO heavyweight world title contested between two of boxing’s rising stars, champion Joseph Parker and cousin of lineal champion Tyson Fury, Hughie Fury.
The inability to source a television deal for this contest has been one of the major swipes the collective have taken against the promotion; not to say viewers won’t be able to watch live, You Tube will be streaming the card online for those eager enough to remain interested, at a price of £14.99.
A perceived lack of promotion on the usual channels: social media, newspapers, television and billboards around the city of Manchester has got the back-up of the established boxing Tweeters – all angry that the promotion hasn’t been jammed down their collective throats.
Hearn is continually lambasted for his over-the-top, all action, in-your-face promotion, saturated and repeated perpetually by an ever-supportive collection of Sky channels during premium broadcasts.
Warren is caught somewhere in the middle; BT Sports have helped along the burgeoning social media campaign, and as a result, the BoxNation brand has grown a little stronger.
Let’s beat the promotion with the pay-per-view stick, if we must. The stance must hold consistent against fights deemed unworthy of the price tag, enough grief is given to Hearn and Warren for the same crime. This is an excellent fight, just not a pay-per-view one.
To draw the negative, is easy – it’s the way. To hate boxing, to hate what it has become, to hate the price, to hate the people, to hate the promoters – it’s the way it’s done. Hasn’t it always been like this?
“It’s our sport, and we’ll hate it in each-and-every way we want – it’s our choice” – is the overarching message from the masses online.
What’s harder to do, is draw the positives. That takes a moment of thought – that’s effort. “I don’t want to use effort, I want to criticize, I want to stick it to the Man.”
So what, if Parker – Fury wasn’t advertised as much as many would like? The promoter and the fighters are the only parties who lose out, if the arena isn’t packed to the rafters, if the sponsorship for the event isn’t tip-top.
Doesn’t this all mean that boxing fans have a better chance of getting a ticket to a good fight that they want to see? Parker – Fury is a good fight. An interesting fight between two young fighters emerging out of boxing’s glamour division. A fight I’m looking forward to seeing.
How often are two fighters matched together in a fight we genuinely want to see?
Fury, has been there or there about within the heavyweight division for a few years now; medical problems have scuppered his ascension to the pinnacle of the division as quickly as many would have liked, but this is the time to strike for Team Fury. Absence from the ring for seventeen months certainly won’t work in his favour, but his challenge, is the measure of the man.
Parker meanwhile, has showed promise, picking up the WBO title in just his twenty-second contest in an action fight against fellow contender Andy Ruiz Jr. Let’s laud the conviction in his own ability he has shown, travelling to the other side of the world to defend his title against a dangerous opponent in their own back yard – money aside, that’s impressive. We seem to criticize many fighters for forgetting the “world” in world title – great heavyweights defend their title around the world, Ali, Klitschko, Foreman, to name a few, pay testament to that.
Both fighters are seemingly within reach of their prime, whilst so often we wait for this type of fight too long and one or both fighters toe the wrong side of the age divide. Both men want the fight, both men want to test themselves against the division’s elite – both men want Joshua, both want Wilder.
This fight is another step in the right direction for both fighter’s careers. A step in the right direction, for the heavyweight division.
Lets be positive. If we can.