4 thoughts on “ESPN’s Brian Campbell on a dire 2016 for boxing & “Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith mismatch, a fight no one asked for”

  1. Good criticism by Campbell.

    I also liked this comment from a reader:

    “I think a basic premise is wrong. Horrible PPV cards aren’t killing boxing for the hardcore fans. Us hardcore fans watch 2-0 guys boxing at midnight from No-Name Casino in Kansas on the most remote of sports networks. PPV cards like this are only turning off the non-hardcore fans. They may be killing PPV, but they aren’t killing boxing. We have to ask ourselves…is that such a bad thing? I, for one, would be happy to see PPV go away all together.”

    To underscore his point, I haven’t given a damn about Golden Boy’s cards for many moons. They even reportedly want to serve warmed up Bhop leftovers again, lol!

    Too bad about Fury, out and seemingly cracking up. Is Hearn serious about Joshua stepping in to fight Wlad, do you reckon? That would be much more enjoyable, though in light of Kell’s pounding, I wonder how many more human sacrifices Eddie wants to make.

    • Canelo-Smith was the worst PPV offering of recent years. The comment is good, and it’s true that the hardcores can suffer through almost anything, which is precisely the reason we are interminably fed tune-up dreck with faux promises of the real thing right around the corner. PPV has a ways to go before it dies out though. There will be no Al Haymon, over-the-top internet network a la WWE, so PPV will remain the model of consumption for the sport’s biggest nights.

      Offerings like Canelo-Smith and, for different reasons, even Mayweather-Pacquiao, simply alienate the casual fans who are roped in, ensuring they won’t dip into their wallets in the future. Thus, opportunity for the growth of boxing’s shrinking core fanbase is wilfully squandered, and the same holds true for the awful PBC fights regularly aired on network tv.

      Call me a masochist, but I’m semi-interested in a B-Hop farewell fight (his career has fascinated me), even though he should have retired long before his last bout against Kovalev.

      I doubt it, but I can’t really dismiss anything Hearn says these days after he actually made GGG-Brook! AJ vs. Wlad would be fascinating, whether now or next year sometime. Joseph Parker is more likely, and also interesting, which would leave Wlad to fight for a vacant belt or two.

      I have sympathy for Fury, who I believe has been dogged by genuine mental health problems, but I have doubts over the timing of this episode. It reeks of the same stuff as his ankle ‘injury’, conveniently timed on the same day that we later learned he had been provisionally suspended by UKAD.

      It was a fight nobody in the industry believed would take place, and really this is the only way he could pull out of the fight without receiving a titanic, David Haye-like public backlash. I’m further disappointed to read the recent reports of Fury refusing to submit to a drug test, telling the testers who had arrived at his door to “fuck off”.

      The real reasons behind the pullout could be any combination of terrible ticket sales, Fury being out of shape, genuine mental health problems, and the drug test hearing hanging over Team Fury’s heads.

      What is certain is that Fury can’t deal with the pressure of being boxing’s top guy, and I can’t argue with a sanctioning body stripping him after a year’s activity and no return to the ring in sight. The heavyweight division is a mess right now.

      • Enjoyed your analysis!

        Yes, I’m sympathetic to the big oaf, too. A year’s a year: he squandered his momentous win like few in boxing have ever done while lazing about, broadcasting his barely digestible worldview, and carrying on as if any backlash were simply anti-traveller racism seeking him out. Now, as you say, the drug testing business, too. Mental health issues — they will make mice of lions.

        I wonder if AJ has it in him to beat Wlad. I think not, at least for this year. The Fury lesson seems to be that size, power, mobility and unorthodox style will do the trick. My read is Joshua can tick off two of those boxes, significantly, but Wlad will see in him a version of many men he’s beaten before. And the upcoming champion will not “get into his head” as Fury, channeling the Joker, Charles Manson, Morrissey and Donald Trump all at once, was able to do.

        However, I would give AJ very good odds right now against Wilder or indeed anyone in the top ten aside from Luis Ortiz. If Ortiz’s recent promotional troubles can be resolved, I think there’s an 18-month window (given age) for him to terrorize the division. Given your discussion above about what stands in the way of boxing fulfilling its promise, I wonder if we’ll see him in even one good contest at the top of the sport…

      • Top comment, Richard.

        Fury’s year has been a nightmare of monumental proportions, compounded today by the announcement of a failed test for cocaine which will very likely result in the stripping of his titles, long before the UKAD hearning on November 4th.

        Lo and behold, another coincidence forms part of this latest revelation, as the date of the test which would turn up dirty (Sept. 22nd) came the day before the pull-out claiming depression. Something else for the conspiracy theorists among us to mull.

        It’s true that Wlad was beaten by a very specific and unique stlye of Fury’s, and that AJ is nothing like him as a boxer. But Klitschko’s age, his inactivity, the steady decline in his performances for a couple of years prior to the Fury loss & a fight venue in the UK all lead me to think Joshua would win it. A big ask for someone whose best win is still probably Dillian Whyte in a shootout, but that’s my pick. What a fascinating matchup it would be if consummated.

        Luis Ortiz seems intent on ruining his career with bad promotional and managerial choices as only the Cubans seem able to do.

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