Special Processed Heavyweights

By Ben Thomsett on November 15, 2018
Special Processed Heavyweights
In a nutshell, Hearn is tying up the division for, possibly, the next 18 months at least.

For whatever reason, the heavyweight division always seems to have the weirdest behavior on-camera, and the most cutthroat off of it…

“Without Spam we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”—Nikita Khrushchev

For whatever reason, the heavyweight division always seems to have the weirdest behavior on-camera, and the most cutthroat off of it. Nothing surprises any more, although the repetitive nature of some of the aping around to sell a ticket grinds into my brain like a bot fly. How many times do we have to see someone launch themselves at their opponent during a carefully staged press conference? Deontay Wilder was the culprit this week. Watching the clip a couple of times it’s almost like you can see the moment where the internal teleprompter comes up with the scripted (Get angry now and allow yourself to be held back….Lots of noise. Make a scene.) stage direction. Only Dereck Chisora does scripted ‘Bad Guy’ moments as unbelievably as Deontay. Or Tyson Fury, for that matter, although I have made Tyson’s acquaintance on several occasions and, to be honest, he’s pretty much capable of doing whatever he wants, when he wants. Directing him at a press conference would be like getting a Moose to pass a cycling proficiency test.

Tyson offered his own weirdness: he has apparently employed Freddie Roach as his “Cut man” on fight night. Imagine being Ben Davidson (Tyson’s Trainer) right now. Anyone would think Tyson trusted Davidson to get him in shape but needed a higher authority to keep his skills on track. Tyson’s split with Peter Fury looks more bizarre and sad now.

The outcome of the Wilder/Fury bout is unclear for the winner. Like everyone else, I had thought that the winner would be served up to Anthony Joshua some time in Autumn 2019. Eddie Hearn apparently has other ideas. In an interview with Sky Sports, Hearn said: “It depends on the Wilder fight really. I think if the Wilder fight doesn’t happen, then we could go Whyte, if he beats Chisora, and then Usyk after that.”

Good news for Whyte—also in the Matchroom stable, like Usyk… Additionally, Hearn has expressed an interest in the “Winner or loser” of Whyte vs. Chisora fighting Miller. Seeing the picture clearly yet? In a nutshell, Hearn is tying up the division for, possibly, the next eighteen months at least. A glorious and insular round robin of repeated faces and punches, all beautifully controlled and orchestrated for our viewing pleasure.

The appetite for a Wilder (or Fury)/Joshua unification bout is high, but if Matchroom and DAZN can get away with serving us up Joshua vs. Whyte 2 (the matey, money-spinning, rematch) then they may well do just that. With another “Stacked Card” just to justify the subscription. Matchroom holds most of the heavyweight power, but their shows haven’t been stacked any better than a Walmart shelf for a long time now. Follow Whyte up with a Usyk vs. Joshua bout—something just about everyone truly wants to see—and before you know it, the WBC champ is going to look as relevant as orange bell-bottoms. And it’s 2020.

Of course, there is no rule, no law, which dictates all belts should be unified as some kind of divine viewing right. This is the real world, such as we’re stuck with, but this is also sport. Boxing. Remember? That noble and true art of two people fighting each other for the purpose of seeing who’s better; the winner; triumph and righteousness. This is about knowing who is the greatest. Ho ho ho. Enough of that dim-witted naivety. We aren’t fools.

The truth is, money makes the decisions (mostly) in our sport the same as in 99% of all sports. It’s a fact that drip drip drips into my brain at odd times, nagging and wrong, feeling itchy and uncomfortable. It shouldn’t, but it does.

I guess with the big men that fact looms larger than in other divisions and is more ‘visible’ somehow.  Why? Is it down to the press love affair with the heavyweights? Inactivity maybe? Joshua is being put out twice a year, for example. If you make the queue long enough, then the right person may never get to the counter to pay for their canned ham.

Quid pro quo.

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  1. fan 08:29am, 11/18/2018

    other than competitive boxing into the ring, we should have sponsors fights and promo competition and bidding challenge.

  2. Lucas McCain 02:55pm, 11/16/2018

    I’m sure the fighters involved are putting lots of sweat, pain, and practice into this, but I admit what popped into my mind while reading this is Donovan’s satiric song, Young Girl Blues: “Your friends there are making /A pop star or two every evening.”  Well, maybe there will be a few good tunes in there.

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