A big fight this weekend and an interesting one for all sorts of reasons.
Firstly, two white men contesting the heavy weight championship of the world. When was the last time this happened – Rocky III aside?
One of the boxers is British – a man called Tyson Fury – from an Irish traveller background and I assume that his dad had a profession in mind for his son the day that he Christened him.
And interesting as a sporting event because no one will watch this fight – not really.
This weekend, more people I expect will watch ‘Pointless’ – apt perhaps because this is what this fight largely is.
All thanks to the administrators of boxing who have done a magnificent job at ruining a once great sport.
Growing up, I worshiped Barry McGuigan and I remember when the whole country watched him beat Eusebio Pedrosa at Loftus Road.
Charlies Magri, Jim Watt, Maurice Hope were all household names and national heroes. Alan Minter beating Vito Antuofermo was a national event – almost on a par with Murray winning Wimbledon.
But now some thirty years on – our boxers of today are scarcely even known by comparison. For all his wins and accomplishments, I have never seen a Joe Calzage fight – or Ricky Hatton or Amir Kahn get it on as a professional.
Just recently and seduced by the hype that has ruined the sport – I did make the effort to watch the Mayweather Pacquiao fight – which was less exciting than any brawl outside any Weatherspoons on any night of the week.
I recall with great fondness the career of Frank Bruno – a man much loved and even more so now that his damaged life has been laid bare. I have met Frank on numerous occasions and always felt humbled.
All his ill-fated attempts at winning the world title – his misses near and far – and then finally his triumph which we all cheered on and deservedly so.
But now to 2015 – when boxing has so little credibility left and especially so the heavyweight division – that we now have a heavyweight boxer – good enough to fight for the world championship – and like most people, I had never heard of him and wouldn’t recognize him in the street.
I still hope he wins though.
A white bloke fighting a Ukrainian – which is practically Russia these days – which is handy because this means that we have Rocky III all over again – the best of all the Rocky films – and sadly compelling evidence that boxing is now something for the movies more than actually a sport.