If you think that my MMA blogs from the past show my casual side of combat sports,,, buddy you haven’t read anything yet. I have maybe watched 3-4 live boxing PPV in my entire lifetime. I need to be highly interested to watch a boxing card, let alone buy it (yes, I have streamed them illegally in the past, shame on me). Floyd Mayweather and the Canelo v GGG are the only fighters/matchup I have a semi vesting interest in. With this most recent card of WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder going against the linear champion who vacated the belt in Tyson Fury. I have little to know knowledge of either fighter going into the matchup. Only reading the online experts and the recent interview Fury did on the Joe Rogan Experience. From the small research I did, I know Wilder has some heavy, fast power in his hands, while Fury was the more slick and mobile fighter for a giant of a competitor. On top, Fury has battled massive depression and suicidal thoughts for the past two-ish years (which is why he dropped the title) and fought his way back to the spotlight and try to get the title he never really lost.
For the most part, the actual fight itself was what we all expected, minus the end result from the judges. I think both fighters showed why they are considered two of the best in the world inside the ring, and gave the fans a proper big time Heavyweight boxing title fight. The biggest moment obviously is when Wilder starches Fury with a solid hook and pretty much knocked him to Mars. Somehow, from either divine intervention or some type of mystical power, Fury got up fairly quickly and finished the 12 and final round to bring it to the judges for their decision.
This is where I have a big issue. The judges deemed the end result a draw. Most people I saw on twitter and the internet agree with my sentiment and believe the fight should have been a win by Fury. Overall, he had more moments outside of getting clocked where he was getting the solid combination punches and impact hits on Wilder for at least 2 rounds. Wilder had definitely brought it but seemed to be overshooting his right hand and allowing Fury to use his stellar dodging to anticipate it and counter properly. The Draw in boxing has to be one of the most infuriating things I’ve ever seen. The UFC has a similar problem but for the most part, their competitors seem to finish each other quicker and more frequently. I know that MMA and Boxing are two completely different animals, but I feel as though the judges have a better track record of declaring a victor in MMA than Boxing.
The Draw in Boxing almost is a built in excuse for the judges and Showtime to say “we need a sequel to milk this sucker dry!” and that’s not always the best mindset to have. While it’s obviously predetermined and I’m sure its not an actual contract stipulation, at least the WWE says if a champ loses they get an immediate rematch clause in their contract to try and get that back. Then, if the dude loses twice in a row he has to fight his way back to be in the title picture. Again, not a great analogy to use but a similar mindset can be used in Boxing. If the title changes hands, you can set up a rematch and no one would bat an eye. Then, the loser of the rematch can go and fighter the #1/#2 ranked fighter to get another title shot, while giving the next to kin the ability to earn a shot as well. I’m sure there is some corruption from the behind the scenes of the promoting side and getting everyone paid (boxing is corrupt, I know shocker). Nothing can change that portion, but at least make a subconscious change to the promoting and booking fights.
The other big problem was the price-point for the card. $75 for a boxing match with really one major fight with a couple undercard matches that had little to no mainstream hype? Fuck outta here Showtime. I know Boxing has always been top heavy in building a mainstream card with one main event and many smaller, sometimes meaningless, fights. UFC may not have the PPV results and numbers as boxing does/did, but at least we get multiple well-booked fights with some surprising moments and absolute dogfights. Plus, UFC PPV cost $55. For some people that’s not a huge difference, but as a casual fan $20 bucks less makes a difference in whether I buy it or the amount I’m splitting when watching with some of my friends. The current PPV model will soon be phased out by streaming services like (hopefully) UFC Fight Pass, DAZN, RIZEN, and others. I’m sure there are kinks that need to be worked out to make sure they stay profitable to make sure everyone gets compensated properly. Streaming is the way to go, and I think the current model will end up hurting the sales of Wilder v. Fury at the end of the day.
If you are more versed in the world of promoting or boxing, please contact me via twitter/email and explain to me if I’m wrong in any of my thoughts. At the end of the day, this probably was a great night for Boxing as a whole in their quest of getting viewers back similar to the glory days of the 80’s and 90’s. And yet, there are many factors that are still in their way, some even self created, that are gonna potentially hurt the future of Boxing as a whole. I’m interested to see where these two men go from here (either rematch or Fury fights fellow Englishman and undefeated heavyweight Anthony Joshua for the right to face Wilder for the title) and how the landscape of Heavyweight Boxing changes and either rises or falters after this card. Even though I don’t like the concept of the draw, a rematch of these monsters would have my money more likely than not. At the end of the day, this means we get some great fights coming the fans way sooner than we think, but promoting as a whole needs to change to sustain this high to save itself from destroying what has been built.