Jamel Herring and Carl Frampton spotlight their class however the occasion didn’t do rather a lot for selling Dubai as a brand new world pressure in boxing, writes George Gigney in his media evaluate
AS Carl Frampton sought to make historical past and turn into the island of Eire’s first ever three-weight world champion in opposition to Jamel Herring, boxing displayed simply how merciless it may be. Not solely have been Frampton’s hopes dashed by a devastatingly sharp efficiency from Herring, however the stage it came about on was not befitting of both fighter.
It was comparatively thrilling to be taught earlier within the week that Channel 5 had picked up broadcast rights to the battle, although in hindsight the hurried acquisition was at all times prone to disappoint. Although it’s encouraging for boxing to be aired on terrestrial tv, that elevated publicity could make any manufacturing mishaps all of the extra evident.
The entire thing, broadcast from inside a marquee in Dubai the place the battle came about, appeared held collectively by tape. Even the standard of the footage was sub-par; we’re accustomed to fights being proven in HD – a service Channel 5 affords – however that was not the case on this night time.
Most of this isn’t the fault of Channel 5. It highlighted how troublesome it may be to be on the mercy of a world feed, versus being instantly concerned within the manufacturing from the outset, like Sky Sports activities and BT Sport often are. Nevertheless, what C5 did put collectively, just like the punditry from Steve Bunce and Josh Taylor and the commentary, specifically from Richie Woodhall, was for probably the most half excellent. The social media onslaught was each predictable and irritating – one wonders if followers from different sports activities take such curious pleasure from ganging up on broadcasters like boxing followers do – however the entire thing did make for uncomfortable viewing at instances.
The ringwalks lasted all of 5 seconds, actually just some steps from backstage into the ring, and the sound system made the screaming MC sound like an over-zealous DJ from an area boozer.
Solely a lot blame may be laid on the ft of Covid-19. Clearly, these are troublesome instances to stage a boxing present, however outfits like Matchroom, High Rank and Queensbury have all proven that high-end productions are greater than doable within the present local weather. This occasion, topped by two MTK World fighters, being switched from London to Dubai, and faraway from BT Sport’s scheduling with none actual clarification, did it few favours.
Frampton’s glittering profession coming to an in depth like this appeared misplaced however boxing is just not a sport constructed on sentiment. Additional nonetheless, an debatable career-best efficiency from the perennially underrated Herring absolutely deserved higher.
It was troublesome to see a tearful Frampton converse of his retirement after the battle however, even after struggling the primary stoppage lack of his profession, he nonetheless maintained the humility that has made him so wildly in style: “You must actually be talking to the champion,” he advised the interviewer. The loss will sting for some time, however Frampton may be pleased with the legacy he secured lengthy earlier than he stepped foot in Dubai.
Retirement in boxing is changing into a extra fluid idea by the day, although. Marco Antonio Barerra, Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez are the newest modern-day greats to be linked to comebacks of types. Barerra is about to face Jesus Soto Karass in an exhibition in June whereas Cotto and Marquez are rumoured to be going through one another in an exhibition of their very own.
This was touched on in final week’s column, how fighters like these are actually being supplied large sums of cash to do one thing cherished they as soon as thought they now not may. It’s powerful guilty the fighters themselves. In reality, these residing legends going through one another in exhibition bouts – supplied they’re carried out safely – isn’t essentially an objectively unhealthy factor. It doesn’t must impression the game too negatively, as long as nobody will get harm and they’re sufficiently marketed as exhibitions, fairly than aggressive bouts.
What differs from this are ‘bouts’ just like the lately introduced conflict between Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr and UFC legend Anderson Silva in June. ESPN revealed the information after talking to the occasion’s promoters, who additionally confirmed that Chavez’ father – the inimitable Julio Cesar Chavez Snr – can be combating Hector Camacho Jnr on the undercard. You couldn’t make this up.
None of those fights are billed as exhibitions. Silva – thought of one of many best combined martial artists of all time – has boxed professionally thrice earlier than (2-1) in opposition to unheralded opponents. Now 45 and having misplaced 4 of his final 5 UFC fights, prompting the organisation to launch him, the Brazilian star is outwardly searching for earnings from the wild west of boxing. He’s, unsurprisingly, being welcomed with open arms.
Bulletins of retired boxing stars making some type of return to the ring are coming thick and quick now, as predicted within the wake of Mike Tyson’s exhibition with Roy Jones Jnr. We’ll quickly be at a stage the place the game does must explicitly acknowledge them in order to separate them from authentic fights involving energetic boxers.
Gaffe of the week – by a ways – goes to Teofimo Lopez Snr, who in contrast his son’s current clashes with promoters over battle purses to Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objection to the Vietnam Battle. He stated to Combat Hype: “We’re exhibiting boxers they’re value greater than promoters assume. We took a stand. That is like when Muhammad Ali stood for his rights, he didn’t wish to battle within the struggle. It’s the identical s**t we’re doing with my son.”
Now, Lopez Jnr’s religion in his personal monetary value is admirable, however to equate it with Ali sacrificing years of his prime in defiance of a worldwide battle he morally and religiously opposed is nonsensical.
Lopez Jnr’s feedback may be polarising at one of the best of instances, and his father isn’t doing him any favours with statements like this one.