Can heavyweight world title bouts save us from “bargain bucket boxing?”
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua put their heavyweight titles on the line over the next month. It’s hoped both fights will go ahead unscathed in September and October, respectively.
If they don’t, or even one of them falls apart due to Covid or another problem, 2021 could prove to be a massive wash-out for the fans.
Fight nights, and great fight nights, for that matter, keep dropping like flies. Roman Gonzalez vs. Juan Estrada III is just the latest of those to fall apart.
But this year alone, the boxing fraternity has been so frustrated by the lack of real massive clashes. The last three months of the year need that boost.
Add to that the fact that bargain bucket boxing is in full swing, with overpriced Pay Per Views featuring over-the-hill former champions and YouTubers wrecking the calendar each time they come around.
They take many media inches away from the real fighters of today. Some already struggle to get recognized by those who don’t follow the sport religiously.
Fighters like Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, Gervonta, and Teofimo Lopez. They are the immediate future of the sport and are getting pushed out of the headlines.
Everyone in the sport should be talking about those kinds of superior boxers day in and day out. But we aren’t. We are discussing why this ex-boxer or that YouTuber is even doing in the ring.
It’s a sad situation and one that needs to get addressed soon. Fans have to shun overpriced PPV events that offer nothing to the sport longer-term.
We are at a crossroads here. The very fabric of boxing is on the verge of being ripped apart, and the future looks bleak – at least for the next five years.
Money has always ruled the sport. However, demand used to overrule supply. These days, we have anyone with over one million followers on social media thinking they can make a fast buck by fighting anybody, and their followers will pay for it.
This scenario is the problem. This scourge is what needs to get eradicated from the mainstream of boxing. Until that gets done, “Bargain Bucket Boxing” will continue to hamper the development of the sport in an ever-changing social media world that picks at its almost fleshless bones.
Furthermore, let’s hope heavyweight rulers Fury and Joshua show them how to do it in significant forthcoming events alongside Deontay Wilder and Oleksandr Usyk.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.