I’m fed up…
In a world of fascinating characters, overwhelmingly inspirational stories and powerful athletes, it seems unfathomable to be sitting awake past-midnight attempting to breakdown the dynamics of a financial split between two fighters.
It’s crazy to be undertaking such fictional activities because, primarily, I’m neither a boxing promoter or a fighter’s manager. What would I know? Also, I don’t have a horse in the race. What does it matter to me, whether the champion gets 60% or 65%, right?
Here’s what I want; exciting, meaningful fights.
I can’t stomach anymore post-fight interviews being hijacked with talks of heavyweights destined to avoid one another until seemingly forced to collide. I don’t want to hear minutes and minutes of conversation – about a lack of conversation – between two promoters, transatlantic. It only serves to wear thin, testing my love for the sport which professes itself to be pure and honest.
I’ve watched enough propaganda. I’ve listened to Eddie Hearn telling me that no-one deserves an equal share of the Anthony Joshua fight. I’ve stunned myself into silence, when attempting to dissect the actualities of a certain $50million offer, buried deep like Pirate’s treasure. Or not, depending on your “source”.
If you tell me that Jarrell Miller wants to fight for the world title, then feed me Jarrell Miller (although that’s seemingly far too much protein for one sitting). If a rematch with the ‘Bodysnatcher’, Dillian Whyte, suits you, then excellent! Let’s build that with grainy footage of a meaningless amateur bout and cursing across a tired, laboured table in an unusually dark room. But, do not continually insist that ‘negotiations are ongoing’ with two of the sport’s biggest names, when in-fact emails are not being read or given the courtesy of a response. That’s just stretching the truth.
Don’t allow fans, who are constantly ploughing their hard-earned cash into the sport, to be drawn into cyber-arguments about percentages and the subtle differences between a rematch clause and a mandatory defence. We should not care. You have made us attempt to understand the inner-workings of a sport which is indulgently dirty and complex. Why? Why are we pitching alternative financial models against one another, when really we’re all crossing our fingers for the most enticing bouts?
It’s easy to point the finger at fans, accusing them of throwing wild numbers or statistics at one another. The truth of the matter is, each video in which these fights are mentioned attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers, who in-turn become overnight accountants. Not because they want to check tax returns or understand how boxers are planning for the future with fixed rate bonds – but because you have rammed it down our throats. Splits, millions, rematches, percentages, options, emails, offers. Buzzwords.
I’ve watched interviews with Dillian Whyte in the past week, in which he states that the offer to fight Anthony Joshua was derisory. He also claims, confidently, that the fight with Jarrell Miller was made long before Christmas. Since then, we’ve been given exciting updates surrounding offers that Tyson Fury ‘can pick up the phone and accept’ and improved unification deals that ‘Deontay Wilder and his team should really respond to’.
Smoke and mirrors? It would seem so.
The April 13th date at Wembley Stadium, self-styled as ‘Anthony Joshua’s home’ has fallen through. A leaked phone call from a delivery driver (yeah, really), seemed to confirm AJ’s next contest, with a trip to America almost inevitable.
As mentioned above, if I was told in December that the next fight would be Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden, I’d be looking forward to it – swallowing any disappointment and becoming entranced at Matchroom’s excellent media content. Sadly, though, the circus involving the division’s three biggest names seemed to have dragged on-and-on. How much is an Anthony Joshua fight worth? Is it $100m? How many pay-per-views will it sell? I shouldn’t have to care!
Hearn spoke of the division’s other heavyweights clamouring together in an attempt to freeze Joshua out, which he rightly states, cannot happen. Matchroom and Joshua are fully aware that they hold a considerable slew of power when negotiating, due to their achievements and commercial endorsements, thus far. With rumours of the heavyweight champion considering his own promotional push, independent of the Matchroom mogul, could Hearn be looking to please his prized asset, attempting to guarantee the largest slice of the pie? Possibly.
The bottom line, for now, remains;
- If it’s Jarrell Miller – announce it.
- If Deontay Wilder isn’t next – embrace it.
- If, as you claim, it’s about making the best fights and cementing Joshua’s legacy – leave everything else in the office.
The fans deserve transparency, which I understand is the perception of these diluted interviews. However, it can become the opposite, acting as a vehicle for selective narrative, based on the subject. We live in an age where details of net worth and ticket sales are merely a click away, from the comfort a device designed to pass on messages. Truths are lost in translation.
It’s hard enough, following this sport; the premium cost of questionable pay-per-view events, staying up all hours of the morning following your favourite fighters as they travel the world, and trying to wrap your head around its inexplicable politics. Stick to the facts, drown out the noise and understand that this money being discussed needlessly in every video, is the same money you’ve worked hard to pump into the sport.
They need you: remember that.
Article by: Craig Scott
Follow Craig on Twitter at: @craigscott209