Daily News Social: Joshua and Fury blasted, Farooq’s Fight Camp motivation, Smith vs Fowler snub

In a new series, published every weekday on Boxing Social, the incomparable Terry Dooley delivers his unique look at the boxing news. 

The failure to make a proper heavyweight unification fight between WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO holder Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) and WBC titlist Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) has cast a long, embarrassing shadow over the sport of boxing. Sure, we boxing fans are used to this type of thing, but every so often an outsider comes in, takes a look around, performs an audit trail and points out that boxing are fans are the biggest mugs in world sport. 

Fury is due to fight Deontay Wilder on October 9 in a rescheduled fight following Fury’s positive Covid test. There has been very little publicity about the fight, very little noise from both camps, almost zero PR work and, although Frank Warren recently announced that the UK leg of the night’s feast of boxing would feature Lyndon Arthur’s pretty much pointless rematch against Anthony Yarde (who he defeated with the use of only one hand last year), there has been very little movement on this front, either. 

The cynical amongst us are starting to suspect that Fury-Wilder III will be pushed back once again, and that Joshua might end up struggling enough against Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 early) to warrant a rematch, so the whole Fury-Joshua soap opera remains just that, a formulaic and episodic exercise in waiting for something, anything to happen. 

Roy Keane has had enough. He is the boxing fan’s favourite celebrity boxing fan and has a lot of love for the sport, but the former Manchester United captain has given his verdict on the Joshua-Fury saga, and it is damning. 

Appearing on Gary Neville’s The Overlap on YouTube, Keane was asked if he would prefer to train Joshua or Fury and he furnished the answer that most boxing fans are inching towards as the sport finally reaches a certain, bored equilibrium. Whether you are pro-Fury or pro-Joshua, one thing is becoming clear, we are sick of the pair of them and their constant posturing. Just wake us up minutes before they ring walk. 

“I don’t like any of them,” said Keane when weighing up both men. “The heavyweight stuff is irritating me, too much talk. None of them. They both irritate me; I’m not picking any of them.” 

Glasgow’s Kash Farooq (15-1, 6 KOs) won the WBC’s International Silver title belt by beating Alexander Espinoza in April, and he hopes that a follow-up win over Luis Gerardo Castillo for the vacant WBC International belt (yes, the WBC have got two International belts, but, most importantly, one of them is Silver) on Saturday night will help him continue his climb up the ratings.  

Farooq and Castillo (28-2, 18 KOs) clash on the third instalment of Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp series and Farooq has told Graeme Macpherson of The Herald (Glasgow edition) that he will claim the title and post a win over the Mexican.

“It’s another title to take home hopefully if everything goes well,” he said. “Since my last fight I’ve been training and sparring non-stop — I feel like I’m still in lockdown in some ways as I’ve not changed anything in my life. Everything has been focused on working towards getting back in the ring. 

“I’m going to treat this like it’s my hardest fight. I know Castillo has never boxed outside of Mexico but Mexican fighters are always dangerous. They fight with a lot of pride and heart. This is an opportunity for Castillo to change his life so I know he’ll be doing everything he can to beat me. But it’s another massive night for me, too.

“I need to keep winning if I want to get right to the top which has always been my ambition and getting this international title would take me another step closer,” he added. “Competing at Fight Camp will be another box ticked on my boxing bucket list. I’ve fought at Wembley and at the Copperbox so this will be something different again. My motivation is so high. I’ve worked so hard for this opportunity and I’m not going to waste it. 

“There’s going to be fans there and I’m taking a few people down and that always helps. The event is being shown all around the world on DAZN so it’s a big platform for me to show what I can do.” 

Farooq is taking part in the final fight of a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn. However, the 25-year-old hopes that putting on a winning performance will open more doors. “If I can get the job done in this fight then hopefully we can discuss a way forward together,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed working with Matchroom and they’re the biggest platform in boxing so I really hope we can get something sorted to keep working together.” 

In other news, Catherine Priestley of The Northern Echo has reported that Sam Eggington (30-7, 18 KOs) has taken time out of training to host coaching sessions in a Country Durham gym. Eggington is the WBC’s Silver middleweight titlist, which sounds nice, but means very little in real terms unless he can notch up a few decent wins, and he showed up at the West Auckland Boxing Gym to offer a few words of advice.

“I was genuinely impressed with the gym’s facilities and how dedicated the kids are,” he said after his visit. “I had nothing to do when I was young, so I support initiatives like this that get youngsters off the streets and gives them a direction in life.” 

Eggington seems to have been around for an eternity, but he is still only 27-years-old and has recently signed a deal with Mick Hennessy, who has managed fighters to world titles in the past and has vowed to do the same with Eggington despite the fact that ‘The Savage’ has suffered setbacks in the past.  

Liverpool’s Liam Smith (29-3-1, 16 KOs) and Anthony Fowler (15-1, 12 KOs) took to the stage in Liverpool yesterday to announce their light-middleweight clash and, despite being part of a breath-taking domestic bill, it seems that the local derby has yet to set local and national papers alight.  

As of this evening, not a single word has been published in both the locals or the nationals about the fight, with only DAZN’s own in-house team, and a few other sites and vloggers covering the press conference. 

Sure, print press space is at a premium these days, but in the recent past a domestic showdown like this would have pulled in a lot more water. Hopefully, by the time the press in attendance have gathered their collective breath, we might see a bit more newspaper and online coverage about this intriguing crossroads fight.