This past week has been another subdued week for boxing, though that's understandable given the current situation with the world. However that doesn't mean there's not been some good things happening and some bad things happening and of course, there was an huge ugly occurrence.
1-Fans at Japanese boxing in July!
This week we saw news that fans will be allowed to attend some events in Japan in July. Whilst the number of fans at the events will be limited it appears that the July 26th show at the Aioi Hall in Kariya will be allowed to have around 50% attendance, and we could see several other shows, outside of Tokyo, having fans at them. This is great news for boxing and seems clear that Japan is heading in the right direction for the sport to restart fully.
2-Eddie Hearn's Garden Party Boxing is Happening
We know Eddie Hearn likes to talk, a lot, often about nothing. Making announcements of announcements regarding an announcement seems to be one of his favourite hobbies. This week we finally saw him announce the details of his 4 August shows at the garden at the Matchroom Head office. The shows aren't anything great, despite what he and his fans will say, but they aren't terrible and are a welcome return in an unusual location for the sport. They are something to be excited about, for sure, but not something to get overly excited, especially with the good old "card subject to change" note that we've seen happen a lot in recent Top Rank shows.
3-Top Rank shows improve...
Talking about Top Rank shows, this past week was the best of their summer series by far and the bouts featuring Andrew and Jason Moloney showed some actual intelligent match making and story telling. One thing the sport tends to lack is smart promotional work, but having the twins fighting just days apart left fans wanting the second part of their 2-bout story. The Heavyweights in action on Thursday may have been limited but they wanted to fight and the contest between Raymond Yanong and Clay Burns was surprisingly a great little fight.
1-Covid growing, show boxing be on in the US?
Whilst the Top Rank shows did improve this past week there is a sense that they really shouldn't be taking place at all. The rules on their Covid testing have changed but the reality is that there are growing number of cases in the US, more and more fighters and team members are testing positive and despite fewer bouts being called off their is a clear risk of something bad happening. It's great boxing is back in the US, but it's very clearly not something that is needed right now. Whilst we've, for the most part, enjoyed the US shows they do feel a bit tone deaf given the increasing number of cases in the US.
2-Mexican Cards, mismatches and No Contests
Of course ESPN's broadcasts haven't just come from the US but also Mexico, where things are even stranger. The last 2 Mexican cards have had a bunch of fights, but the official results for all of them have been No Contests, as we have essentially had a dick measuring contest between the National and local commissions. Whatever the reason for the disagreement between the two parties is is irrelvant, cases in Mexico continue to grow and events like these do spit in the face of the average person. Added to that is the complete mismatches in the main event, further questioning the need for the shows at this current time. Maybe rethink these guys, they aren't doing any good.
3-Wanheng Menayothin forced back to the ring?
A week ago we were talking about the retirement of unbeaten Thai Wanheng Menayothin, with a 54-0 record. Then in the days that followed he had "unretired" and been pushed out in front of a press covered medical, which confirmed issues with his right eye and nose. The feeling inside is that someone sees themselves able to cash out on the fighter and want to push him in to the ring for one more pay day. Maybe we're wrong, and cynical, but the whole situation is leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
1-PPV in August - Fuck off!
Boxing will boxing, and Matchroom will Matchroom. The final one of their back garden shows was announced as being a Pay Per View. That's right, the greedy bastards at Matchroom are expecting fans to fork out for a PPV following an epidemic that has seen unemployment rise through the UK, and has seen even those in jobs see a loss of hours and stability. This is simply tone deaf and missing the point of the fans. The card, headlined by Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin, is a decent fight, albeit one where they are again rolling out a well beyond his best Povetkin, but in this current climate the PPV deserves to fail. Big time. British boxing promoters have taken the fans for mugs in the past and this is another case of the sport shooting it's self in the foot, misjudging the situation and completely alienating fans who have gone through some horrific times recently.
2-Jarrell Miller fails a drugs test...again
Whilst Eddie Hearn's PPV idea's for August are bad he's not even the biggest boxing villain of the week. That honour is taken by Jarrell Miller, who has again failed a drug test. He was banned in 2014 by the CSAC for failing a drug test, avoided a ban in 2019, due to a technical situation, but didn't learn his lesson and failed again last week. Sadly Miller isn't the only one to not learn a lesson as he had been booked by Top Rank to fight in July. Hopefully, this is the ned of Miller.
One thing we've seen a lot of calls for is for Miller to be banned for life, the reality however is that the drug testing bodies and local commissiosn have failed to do this in the past. Instead we need the promoters to actually agree on something and get drugs cheats out of the sport. They are, despite our dislike of them, the power players in this sport. Instead of working with fighters who have failed drugs tests we'd love to see the promoters unite and refuse to work with them. Maybe that's a fantasy, but it's also likely the only way we see the risk-reward of being caught become too big for fighters to risk it.
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