The past week in boxing has been a strange one. It's had some of the best highs in recent months, but was also one of the saddest in months and also a confusing one. With that said, lets take a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
1-Boxing back at Korakuen Hall
Whilst last Thursday's show at Korakuen Hall was only a 2-bout card it's great to see boxing return to the "Holy Land" of Japanese boxing and it showed that the sport can run behind closed doors, at least in the short term. It's a shame things are the way they are, but the card was a good one, and given how both bouts finished we ended up getting the entire card on Fuji TV on tape delay with no issues. It's the first step in getting boxing up and running properly in the Japanese capital and was a huge step in the right direction.
2-Fans back at boxing in Japan
Whilst having boxing back at Korakuen Hall was brilliant the "behind closed doors" nature of the event was strange. What was even better was having a card in Okinawa on Sunday allowing fans into the venue. Whilst it was a 90% empty venue it was again a step in the right direction, and it seems like we're going to slowly see cards having more and more fans as things slowly resume to some sense of normality. We are some way from things getting back to what they were, if they ever are, but the Okinawan card, with fans, gave a real sense of hope and genuinely filled us with joy.
3-Eumir Marcial Turns Pro!
Filipino boxing needs a new star. Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and Donnie Nietes, if he's still even active, are all beyond their best years. Jerwin Ancajas had the look of a star, but his match making since winning the IBF Super Flyweight title has left much to be desired, and the need for a bright and promising fighter in the pros is needed. Step forward Eumir Marcial, the amateur standout who signed his professional contract with MP Promotions this week. This kid has the tools to be a huge star in the pro ranks and we are very glad to see him turn over. It's worth noting that he is joins a number of Asian fighters who are planning to dual-code in boxing, making sure to have his contract allow him to fight in amateur bouts, leaving the door wide open for an appearance at the delayed Tokyo Olympics. Marcial is special and hopefully MP Promotions treats him like a special fighter.
1-Mark John Yap and the pre-fight issues
Whilst we all understand fighters aren't training in the way they usually do it's hard to have any defense for what Mark John Yap did last week. In accepting the fight with Miguel Marriaga he took an opportunity away from someone who did want the fight. That along makes his poor attempt to make weight seem pretty bad, but to then read the comments he made to Ryan Songalia makes things worse, with Yap essentially admitting that he didn't really want to fight. We can defend missing weight by a a pound or two, given the world is how it is, but to make it clear you didn't want to fight and would quit if the heat got hot, before totally missing weight. Yeah that bad. Real bad.
2-What the fuck is going on with Jamel Herring's tests?
WBO Super Featherweight champion Jamel Herring really has had a screwed up few weeks with several positive tests and negative tests for "the ongoing health issue". Whilst being sick is bad, having false positives, false negatives, or repeated issues is even worse. We really wish Jamel is fine, and completely fine, though the whole situation regarding his health and the inconclusive results of his tests do lead us to worrying, not so much about him, he seems fine but the whole of boxing's return in the US. Is there other false tests that are being seen in boxing?
Once again we hope Jamel is fine, and he has shown a good sense of humour through the last week, but we do need to wonder just how accurate the testing is, and how workable it is in the medium to long run.
1-Coronavirus closes Osakan Gym
There hasn't been too much ugly for us to talk about, but the story out of Osaka in the week was a worrying one. For those who missed it 5 members of an Osaka boxing gym, including the owner, 2 pros, an amateur fighter and a trainer, all tested positive with Coronavirus. Whilst those that positive, and the gym, weren't named, it is still a scary thought that boxing could still have gyms and fighters passing it around. The scariest thing here is the owner of the gym is said to have been at another gym, with a fighter, potentially leading it to spread through multiple gyms. Fingers crossed this was just a one off and won't be something that gets repeated as boxing opens up.
2-Four fighters pass away following traffic accidents
The ugliest bit of news this week was the sad passing of 4 different fighters in traffic accidents. In the space of a week American 24 year old Travell Mazion, and Kazakh trio Elaman Rakhmetolla, Nurken Nurymov and Sunkar Telmanov all passed away. We think we speak for the whole boxing fraternity when we send out thoughts out to the family and friends of all 4 men.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces