In a new series, published during weekdays on Boxing Social, the incomparable Terry Dooley delivers his unique look at the boxing news.
It is fight weekend in Newcastle as Sky Sports continue their soft boxing relaunch, AKA “The Road Back to PPVs”, and it has started with another pull out after headliner Lewis Ritson withdrew from a meeting with Hank Lundy due to illness.
Photos of a note produced by Boxxer’s John Wischhusen promising the American full pay are of scant consolation to either the boxers themselves or the local fans who had paid to watch Ritson. It is the second time that Sky has lost a fight on the eve of a show, last time out Chris Eubank Jr. was unable to feature against Anatoli Muratov due to concerns over the German’s medical records.
Losing one fight is a bad look, for it to happen twice in a row is even worse, especially as Ritson was the headline act. At this point, and to paraphrase Mike Tyson, Sky should be standing on its grandmother’s shoulders and kissing DAZN’s arse as Eddie Hearn has confirmed to Boxing Social that the app is going to introduce a PPV arm.
This came as no surprise to those who were around when Hearn first burst onto the scene with promises of either boosting or abolishing the PPV format, only to walk the same path as those who came before him by diluting it even further. Naturally, fans are up in arms about Hearn’s comments, although it was always on the cards, but it has taken the heat off yet another Sky card that has been hit by a late, late withdrawal.
However, the fans up in Newcastle seem happy that Eubank Jr. will be featuring in what has become an unlikely grudge match against Wanik Awdijan. A bunch of them approached him for autographs and photos; however, one fan had nothing to hand to sign so had to resort to asking Eubank to sign a microwave that he happened to be carrying with him. Another fan just split the difference and got his hand signed by the fighter.
“Only in Newcastle will you find such dedication & resourcefulness,’ tweeted Eubank. ‘The balls this kid must have to walk around the town centre on a Thursday night ALONE with only a microwave to watch his back, deserves a medal for bravery.”
Awdijan has been baiting Eubank other social media, prompting his opponent to fire back at the press conference. “I’m disappointed in this man here because he had so much to say online, so much heat and energy came from his social media over the last few weeks,” he said. “Now I see a man who doesn’t have the same fire, I was hoping to hear some nasty things today.”
John Fury has told Sky Sports that Tyson Fury’s win over Deontay Wilder came against a chaotic backdrop due to the complications surrounding the birth of Fury’s daughter, Athena, who spent time in intensive care after being born, and he has revealed that his son faced a race against time to prepare himself for the Wilder challenge after struggling to complete some of his runs with only three weeks left to go.
“I was worried because I thought, ‘You know what, he shouldn’t be doing this’”, he said. “There’s a power to be in boxing, Tyson wanting to stand up for his country knowing Anthony Joshua just lost his belts at home, two miles from where he lives.”
“He thought: ‘You know what, I can’t be like this man, I’ve got to do my own thing, stand for my country’,” he added. “Tyson said: ‘Win, lose or draw, it’s on!’”
Teddy Atlas has accused Anthony Joshua of being too much of a gentleman in defeat and wants to see some more fire from the former WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titlist. Atlas believes Joshua should take a leaf out of Wilder’s book after the Bronze Bomber initially refused to show Fury any respect following what looks to be the final fight of their trilogy.
“I’m not here to make excuses, but I will say that there’s something to be said about being a sore loser,” Atlas said when speaking to Submission Radio. “And I’m walking a fine line here, but I know what I’m walking. How many of you — I know if you were involved with him — would you rather see Joshua just a little less of a good loser?
“Just a little less of a good loser… A little less accepting. I’m not saying don’t be a gentleman, I’m not saying that. But there is something to be said about being too gracious, giving it up too easily, too casually, as though it’s not that important. And there’s something to be said about that.”
Despite Atlas’s approval, Wilder has come out and acknowledged Fury’s win via a statement that he released on social media channels. Footage has emerged of him refusing to give Fury any respect in the immediate aftermath, but Wilder has since acknowledged that both men played their part in creating another memorable night of boxing.
“Wow, what a hell of a night!’ he wrote. ‘I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that’s driven with passion and determination. I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process.
“We didn’t get the win, but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to lose to win. Although, I wanted the win I enjoyed seeing the fans win even more. Hopefully, I proved that I am a true Warrior and a true King in this sport.
“Hopefully, we proved that no matter how hard you get hit with trials and tribulations you can always pick yourself up to live and fight again for what you believe in. Last but not least I would like to congratulate Tyson Fury for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever.”
Main image: Chris Eubank Jr. Photo: BOXXER/Lawrence Lustig.