Joe Joyce has spoken out about the growing issue in boxing of the biggest fights not happening, calling for fighters and promoters to stop worrying so much about protecting undefeated records.
Speaking to The Independent, Joyce expressed concern over the continuous failure to put together the marquee fights in the sport and suggeested that Floyd Mayweather’s unbeaten record may have something to do with it.
“It’s about taking them challenges on and overcoming them. I think some of that can be lost in the sport. It’d be good to bring back those good times of everybody fighting everybody.”
“People don’t want to lose their ‘0’. I don’t know where that mentality came from. Maybe from Floyd Mayweather? That’s why a lot of the big fights don’t happen.”
Joyce’s words will no doubt resonate with British fight fans, who recently had hopes of a generational clash between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua dashed after seemingly positive initial talks.
Those stateside also had a bitter pill to swallow this month, after it became apparent that, despite a drawn-out negotiation process, an undisputed fight between welterweight stars Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr would not be happening.
Many observers believe it is this seemingly endemic inability to put big fights together that is driving people away from the sport and has led to the increased popularity of both MMA and “influencer boxing.”
With DAZN already investing heavily in influencer boxing through their Misfits Series and other broadcasters tipped to enter the market in the near future, concerns are rife amongst hardcore fans that traditional boxing will become second fiddle.