When I started this website in 2010, boxing was a sublime sport where the only problem we had was when Floyd Mayweather is going to fight Manny Pacquiao.
It was a far simpler time.
Gripes about too many belts and judges scoring were all just part of the bar or pub’s daily argument. Nothing stunk the place out as it does now.
Boxing is on a downward spiral fast. It may not be dead yet, as some people like to assume, but it’s certainly on its way to taking the final breath.
I love this sport with all my heart. I truly do. And that’s why I get so passionate about the way it gets treated by some.
Since lockdown hit, losing boxing in its most valid form where fans bait for two men to go to war, things have been harsh.
Nothing is a sadder sight than watching boxing pillaged by talentless ‘celebrities’ and opportunists who believe they can put on a pair of gloves, call themselves a boxer, and fight on Pay Per View.
This situation is by far the worst act of vandalism happening to our sport right now.
But it’s not only those at the bottom of the heap who are selling tickets and PPV’s off the back of a substandard product.
Even the great Mike Tyson is guilty of doing it now, as Floyd Mayweather has done in the past.
Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. was a tremendous reminiscing exercise, but the actual fight itself was poor – as was Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. A complete shambles of a contest.
Mayweather vs. Tenshin was even more of a farce.
Some of the biggest names to lace up the leather are doing it sets a bad example.
Mike should walk away content that he danced one last time and made a heap of money. Again and again, doing it is a disservice to those who are willing to pay for it.
As for Floyd, somehow, he’s being linked with a rematch against McGregor on a cruise ship. Reports are happening now despite the fact McGregor was tucked into bed by Dustin Poirier days ago.
I mean, just because McGregor is a name, does that give him the right to make tens of millions of dollars for another beatdown at the hands of Mayweather? – Apparently, so.
Mayweather annihilated McGregor – it wasn’t even a fight. But the unbelievably sold over four million PPVs.
That’s where it all began. Since then, everyone who has any platform wants a piece of the pie. It’s easy money if you have that fanbase.
Those examples like Mayweather vs. McGregor should be one-off engagements once a fighter retires. A sort of testimonial and final opportunity to earn some decent cash.
The way things are going now, these so-called exhibitions – those where Mayweather takes on a ‘celebrity,’ will take away from the lower boxing levels.
Nobody will want to go to a small hall show and see a younger up and coming fighter when they can pay $20 to see a vlogger get his face beaten to a pulp.
That’s where our future is heading.
The only way to stop is by the demand waning. At this point, that doesn’t seem likely in the generation of the internet and social media.
We’ve got a whole new breed of boxing fans. They no longer show interest in a pure boxer who works his way up and shows grit and determination to claim a world title ultimately.
They want a YouTuber who plays video games all day and has a podcast where he talks nothing but hot air empty of anything of note going on in the world.
They’ll watch him play his video games, watch him on his podcast and then buy a ticket to see him face a retired boxer half his size in the hope that he can land a shot and make more of a name for his social channel.
There’s no intention of building a record, winning any sort of championship. It’s purely to make money and gain more followers.
Boxing is fleeced by many for Pay Per Views. That’s what we are witnessing in this day and age.
The unfortunate thing is that it’s not about to change anytime soon. It’s only going to get worse. Let’s be clear, that’s not Floyd Mayweather’s fault.
Floyd Mayweather intended to bring two codes together, and he did just that. It’s those opportunists who come afterward who threaten the very fabric of boxing.
I fear it will take the death of a vlogger who a celebrity he faces before anyone will even take note of how dangerous this practice is to anyone throwing punches with intention.
A fight has always been worth a watch to anyone. If you see one in the street, you watch. Simple as that.
But diluting a great sport where the best warriors around duke it out to see who is the best will only take away pugilism’s true greatness.
Once boxing has been milked dry by those who show no respect for the art, we’ll be the ones who have to pick it back up.
The views expressed in this article are that of the Editor, Phil Jay. WBN celebrated its 10th Anniversary on August 1st, 2020, and is the top-visited independent boxing news website in the world.
Phil Jay is an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay