Before I get started, I realise that this article will start off as depressing. Or even be depressing in general fashion. But I like to think of myself as a realist and face up to truths even if they are painful.
So, let’s get right to it.
2019 has been a bit of a bizarre year for boxing. Even negative to a degree. The business structure of the sport is drastically changing in certain respects. Change is often seen as scary. At least at first for many mortals. But being objective here, the changes that are occurring in boxing really are quite concerning. And it’s easy to see why.
Below are five events, boxing related, that have or are going to take place by the end of the year that put the nobility of the sport into question.
Saul Alvarez being made the “Franchise Champion” by the WBC
I know a lot of people are still confused about what a Franchise Champion is. The good news is that it has nothing to do with a new belt or anything of that nature. But that does not make it any more desirable.
A Franchise Champion is basically a position that Alvarez can supposedly enjoy and contains a number of benefits including being made WBC Emeritus Champion should he retire. But one of the other so called privileges also allows for the possibility that the WBC could make more Diamond belts.
Yep, they have to make more money somehow.
Although “Franchise Champion” isn’t about a belt in and of itself, that has not stopped the likes of Boxing Monthly magazine now surrendering allocating champion statuses to all and any fighters in their rankings.
Tyson Fury Making His Entrance Into WWE
It has been reported over the last couple of days that former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will be stepping into the wrestling ring against Braun Strowman. The war of words between the boxer and wrestler has begun and the fight will be staged on Halloween in Saudi Arabia.
To be honest, this affair is probably the least farcical one on this list. It is my thinking that Fury’s two fights with Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin have not met expectations in terms of boosting Tyson’s stock in the USA and this is kind of an alternative option.
But public response has been less than stellar, with people going as far as stating that it’s a “joke.”
Sometimes, people can just see through the wool no matter what you do.
Nigel Benn Making A Comeback At 55 Years Of Age
The last time Nigel Benn fought as a professional boxer was on November 9th, 1996 in a rematch with Steve Collins. The Irishman essentially forced him to retire on his stool at the end of the 6th round and Benn walked away from boxing.
Now, at the age of 55, he’s back. And apparently he is more determined and in shape than ever. You know, the usual cliche talk that confident fighters usually come out with to reassure the paying public that they will get value for their money and to even encourage themselves that they can turn back the clock.
The Ilford born British super-middleweight legend refuted claims that he was turned down for a boxing license by the British Boxing Board of Control. But general secretary Robert Smith also stated that he specifically told Nigel that they would not consider a license for him to box.
The British & Irish Boxing Association (BIBA) have granted a permit. Despite attempting to put the public’s fears to rest in regards to something dreadful potentially occurring, it should be known and is fact that this is the same organisation that has allowed Danny Williams to keep boxing as a professional. They sanctioned a bout of his in 2018. That is the same Williams who has not been competitive for almost a decade.
Benn’s opponent will be Sakio Bika and is reportedly a 10 rounder to be broadcast on PPV on November 23rd.
Will you be buying?
I know I personally want nothing to do with it.
The Controversy And Mystery Surrounding Dillian Whyte v Oscar Rivas
The facts on this particular case are still unclear and many questions remain. What we do know is that it was reported that Dillian Whyte failed a test for taking an illegal substance (or substances). But apparently he had failed it before the fight with Oscar Rivas took place! The WBC and the Colombian stated that they were not alerted about the finding and the bout went ahead as scheduled.
On the 26th July, Whyte announced that he was ordered that he remain silent over the issue and that he had solicitors dealing with the situation. It is coming up to the middle of October and there has been very little word on the matter since.
Get those tin foil hats ready.
KSI v Logan Paul II
Perhaps it is just me not being able to come to terms with the star power of Youtube and the “celebrities” it manages to spawn. To me broadcasting yourself from your camera on your laptop in your living room is hardly something to get excited over, no matter what subject you discuss.
Nevertheless, it seems to be something we have come to admire and even look up to for whatever reason.
Apparently two guys who use Youtube, who go by the names of KSI and Logan Paul, had already fought in a boxing match before. It was declared a draw and was an amateur contest. Not only are they fighting in a rematch, but big time promoter Eddie Hearn is promoting it as a professional bout to take place on November 9th.
So, we have two people who have probably disagreed with one another on whatever issue, like thousands of internet users do every day on social media platforms, and they are taking that to the next level by proceeding to lace up the gloves and slap one another over a spat online.
Is it really just me that doesn’t see the appeal here?