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Why Boxing is Becoming a Farce – The Return Contest

A while ago, a blog was written explaining why boxing is becoming a farce. Now it’s time for a return to the subject and sadly the situation is becoming even worse than before. Boxing isn’t just in danger of becoming a farce, it’s getting to the stage where it’s becoming unecessarily dangerous.

What do you do when you’re 58-years-old and had an illustrious boxing career? You either sit back and enjoy all the money you earned, become a commentator/pundit, train the future stars of tomorrow or just hold talks telling everyone how great you are.

That’s not the case for Evander Holyfield though. He finds himself unwilling to stay out of the ring and it’s so dangerous. Exhibition fights have been around for decades but now they feature elderly boxers, MMA fighters and celebrities who want a piece of the action.

Boxing isn’t a sport for the elderly

Holyfield recently appeared on Triller’s latest Legends episode of ‘Fight Club.’  He took on Vitor Belfort and it was a fight that could have ended in disaster. It wasn’t the kind of exhibition where the fighters weren’t trying to badly hurt each other. Belfort went on the front foot immediately and Holyfield probably wished he was at home enjoying his retirement.

We had to endure the sight of the former heavyweight champion nearly falling through the ropes. He was stopped inside two minutes.  Who on earth wants to see this?  The Florida boxing authorities must be out of their head if they believe this is what boxing needs. What if Holyfield had been badly injured? Eddie Hearn was totally right when describing the contest as “disgusting.”  Yet, Holyfield wants to continue and dreams of a third fight with Mike Tyson!

He had a week to prepare for that fight after Oscar de la Hoya pulled out. Another legend who thinks he has what it takes to make a comeback. Also boxing on the Holyfield card was David Haye who was making an in-ring comeback.

Haye took on Joe Furnier (whose five previous opponents had won one fight between them)  in another meaningless match. Then, Haye said he wouldn’t make a proper comeback unless it was against Tyson Fury. Ridiculous statement of the year time. Just which one of the two defeats by Tony Bellew suggests he deserves a title bout? The nearest he’ll get to Fury is as a ringside commentator.

Boxing has to do something about this before they have a serious injury on their hands. Get rid of the YouTubers and ageing ex-champions who can fool people into buying PPVs.

Our previous article about boxing, we looked at the ridiculous state concerning world rankings and totally unecessary titles. Sadly, the situation has become even more of a farce, especially in the heavyweight division.

The next few weeks will see both Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury defend their titles. Trevor Bryan and Mahmoud Charr will probably be at home watching. Now why should those two boxers be mentioned as neither are likely opponents for either Joshua or Fury?

Trevor Who?

Well, Trevor Bryan is the WBA World Heavyweight champion, while Charr is the Champion in Recess. Joshua is the WBA Super champion at this weight, whether that means he has a cape as well as a belt isn’t known.

Since the last article, Bryan has actually had a fight. A bit of a shock because he last had one in 2018 when beating BJ Flores (go google) for the totally meaningless WBA Interim World Heavyweight title.  Bryan had ‘earned’ that ‘title’ match by beating three boxers who between them had lost 77 fights and have lost a lot more since.

The WBA in their wisdom decided that Bryan should fight Bermane Stiverne for the vacant WBA Heavyweight title. Stiverne hadn’t had a contest since 2019 when losing to Britain’s Joe Joyce. That was his first payday since 2017 when losing a WBC title shot to Deontay Wilder in the first round. He’d been out of the ring for two years but got a return after taking Wilder the distance in 2015 with the judges giving points scores that barely indicated Stiverne was in the ring.

How did he get a title shot in 2021?  Why wasn’t Joe Joyce given the match? That bout against Joyce was for the WBA Gold World Heavyweight title. How did Stiverne get the chance to win that belt when his last fight was a first round knock-out two years ago?

Bryan won that fight with a rather unimpressive TKO in the 11th round. That takes his pro record to 21 wins and no defeats. Yes it looks good but closer inspection shows he hasn’t been facing anything like the kind of opposition Joshua and Fury have.

A Champion in Recess?

It’s a crazy situation but we’ve just scratched the surface. Mahmoud Charr is the Champion in Recess. He won the vacant title back in 2017 beating Aleksandr Ustinov on points. Charr stayed out of the ring but still had a title. He was due to fight Bryan this year but didn’t have a visa to get him into the USA, hence the Bryan v Stiverne classic.

Charr finally had a fight in May of this year when he beat undefeated Christopher Lovejoy in two rounds. Lovejoy was just another boxer with a padded record, there’s lots of them about. So what does Charr do now? No one wants to see Joshua v Charr, so he’ll probably take on Bryan if they can tempt him to Germany.

An undeserved position for Dubois

Now we need to mention Daniel Dubois. He lost his unbeaten record to Joe Joyce last year, so needs to build his record up again. Dubois suffered a bad eye injury against Joyce, so it took him seven months to get back in the ring. He took on Bogdan Dinu who had been beaten by Jarrell Miller and Kubrat Pulev. A decent fight for Dubois but wait a minute, the WBA have something to tell us.

Dubois v Dinu would be for the WBA Interim Heavyweight title. Now if you have a Super, Regular and Champion in Recess, why do you need an interim champion? Dubois won in the second round and then went all the way to America to beat Joe Casumano in one round.

Now Dubois is the top challenger for the title, ahead of boxers such as Andy Ruiz Jr, Michael Hunter and Luis Ortiz Jr. Ranked fifth is another British fighter, Hughie Fury. Now just who decides that Fury should be higher than Ortiz Jr and former champion Andy Ruiz Jr?

Fury has lost to both Povetkin and Kublev and recently beat Maruisz Wach on points, a boxer who has lost to Dillian Whyte (who holds the WBC Interim title) and is in his 40s.  Next up he fights Christian Hammer who lost to Tyson Fury six years ago.

Crazy Rankings

It’s not just the WBA who make boxing look ridiculous. Zhalei Zhang had won 22 fights against relative nobodies and then only drew with Jerry Forrest, but he’s still the number eight contender for the WBC. The rankings make little sense do they?

Why is Vasyl Lomachenko the number one challenger to the WBO World Lightweight title that Teofirmo Lopez beat him for, yet only ranked sixth by the IBF. Someone explain why Lee Selby is two places higher than Lomachenko in those IBF rankings but six places below him in the WBO list?

The multiple champions situation has been going on for decades. One week on Eddie Hearn’s ‘Fight Camp’ (an event not an order), we had a WBA World Featherweight title match won by Leigh Wood, despite the fact they have Leo Santa Cruz as their Super champion. Not that super when last time out he lost to Gervonta Davis in a shot at the lightweight Super World title.

The following week, it was another World Featherweight title fight. This time it was Kid Galahad up against James Dickens, this time for the vacant IBF title.  Galahad won the belt but aren’t all these titles just devaluing the belts?

Of course adding a belt to a contest makes it somehow appear more exciting. An ordinary fight become something diffrent if all of a sudden it’s for an Intercontinental or Silver title. There should be just one champion for each weight but that’s an absolute pipe-dream. Having one champion for each organisation isn’t. Have a champion and some secondary belt and be more consistent with your rankings. Is that too much to ask?

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September 21st, 2021 by Steve A

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