29
Oct
2020

Boxing Commentary Rule #1: Don’t put all your eggs in the TV guy’s basket

Phil Jay 05/04/2020
Robert Helenius Boxing heavyweight Adam Kownacki

📷 Stephanie Trapp

Upon a re-watch of the recent Robert Helenius vs Adam Kownacki clash, which saw a huge upset in favor of the underdog, a boxing commentary curse was a notable occurrence.

Brian Kenny, not only had put all his eggs in the Kownacki basked before and during the fight, but he actually stated Helenius had ‘shocked the world’ as the Finn grabbed a famous victory.

This had lead to questions over the TV guys being championed far too early as analysts attempt to draw fans into their story.

Not only was Kownacki outgunned by Helenius, but pre-fight the Pole’s opponent – known as ‘The Nordic Nightmare’, was hardly given a mention.

Surely the major networks have to learn from this as what was clearly taking sides is supposed to be off-limits.

Talking about Kownacki as if he was a world-beater was also a major no-no. In the cold light of day, Kownacki and Helenius were quite evenly matched.

Personally, I fancied the upset myself. So it proved in just the fourth round.

Kenny, obviously having to back up his own words, then had to call the triumph as ‘shocking the world’ which was an unbelievable statement in itself.

This has happened many times before in the past, with accusations rife on social media regarding other networks doing similar.

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Kid Galahad
📸 Dave Thompson

Sky Sports are targeted as the main culprits on UK shores, accused by disgruntled fans of consistently backing their own with no let-up.

Kid Galahad, who works with Eddie Hearn on a fight-by-fight basis, was basically called a drug cheat when appearing on the channel last time out.

The Yorkshireman had worked hard to repair his reputation and the incident in question happened years ago.

Some instances can also be deemed as harmless. Commentators, along with supporters, can get caught up in the moment.


BRUNO

A prime example of this was when Frank Bruno claimed the world heavyweight title at the fourth time of asking in 1995.

Ian Darke, one of the best voices in the sport for decades, was clearly emotionally involved in his position as Sky commentator for the fight.

Bruno was flagging towards the end of his battle with Oliver McCall and it was almost as if Darke was shouting to him from his ringside seat.

At least 99% of those present at Wembley and watching on TV wanted Bruno to get over the line, in what could be one of the only cases of when this kind of thing can be forgiven.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay