Crawford and Spence do battle on social media instead of inside a boxing ring, writes George Gigney
WE’VE known for over a week now that the superfight between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence won’t be happening next. Crawford is facing David Avanesyan next month while Spence is rumoured to be finalising a meeting with Keith Thurman.
Insider’s Alan Dawson did some digging into why the Crawford-Spence talks broke down and to absolutely nobody’s surprise it’s because of money. The Insider article does shed some more light on the situation, though it is a little skewed in Spence’s favour. It cites several unnamed sources, none of which appear to be from Crawford’s side of the negotiations. That isn’t from a lack of trying, as the piece makes it clear Crawford’s team was approached to comment but did not respond.
According to the article, Crawford had made “unusual” requests that were apparently met. Spence’s team were then “blindsided” by the announcement of Crawford’s fight with Avanesyan.
What we do now seem to know is that Crawford was approached by a mysterious hedge fund who were willing to post a $25million purse each for both fighters. However, according to Insider, Spence wanted clarity over what cut – of any – of the PPV sales the fighters would be getting.
He reportedly did not get this information, nor was it revealed who this hedge fund was and whether or not they could actually provide the funds. Things rapidly fell apart from there. The pair have subsequently gone back and forth on social channels, blaming the other side for the fight not occurring. It’s another huge miss for boxing that illustrates that the best fights are never simple to make, which is a crying shame for a sport that needs such events to be taking place as a matter of course.
In a more warming story, The Herald caught up with Kash Farooq, the Scottish bantamweight who had to cut his professional career short for medical reasons. That might not sound particularly encouraging, but the interview with Farooq highlights his positivity and strength.
The 26-year-old has approached his premature retirement from boxing with refreshing clarity. He insists that even if he was offered his professional licence back, he wouldn’t take it. While he is physically fine – and still in great condition – he remains aware that his undisclosed health issue prevents him from boxing ever again and he has made peace with that.
He’s still involved in the sport, running classes and training fighters at local gyms and he even plans to try and introduce boxing into schools in his area. Farooq may not have been able to make his mark on the sport as a fighter in the way he would have wanted, but in retirement he is cutting a fine example of keeping your head held high.
Caleb Plant and David Benavidez have agreed to an enticing super-middleweight clash. It appears to be a case of all the pieces just fitting together as they should – both men wanted the fight, it makes a lot of sense for each of them and the division as a whole, and so it’s been made. That’s how this sport should work.
Last week we looked at the bizarre interview between Tyson Fury and YouTuber True Geordie highlighting how, in their own way, both men were in the wrong when the interview descended into insults.
True Geordie, real name Brian Davis, posted a follow-up video this week essentially gloating about how much he riled Fury up. He claimed that what he was doing was “journalism” and then proceeded to dig out boxing and sports journalists for apparently shying away from asking “hard” questions.
While there certainly are members of the media who sometimes skirt around pressing their interviewees on difficult topics, Davis’ claims that he is now a bastion of journalistic excellence is bizarre. It strikes me as similar to the invasion of YouTuber personalities taking part in boxing itself – they wade in, with little to no experience, cause a fuss and then claim they are changing the game.
Davis’ interview with Fury provided very little of value, besides the views it racked up for his YouTube channel.
Fury was also the topic of conversation when SecondsOut grabbed a quick word with Egis Klimas, manager of Oleksandr Usyk. Klimas stated that everything on their side of negotiations for a fight between the two has been agreed and so the ball now lies in Fury’s court.
Tyson obviously needs to come through his fight with Derek Chisora first, which he’s expected to do, but it’s clearly a positive sign that Usyk’s team is happy with whatever deal has been put forward at this point.
DAZN’s show from Abu Dhabi this past weekend was a very good one and culminated in a performance that will likely land Dmitry Bivol Fighter of the Year honours. We also saw a welcome change to DAZN’s commentary setup. Todd Grisham was still heading up the comms with Chris Mannix on hand, but it was the addition of Barry Jones that stood out.
Jones, who currently operates as a gun-for-hire in the boxing broadcast world, is one of the best around. His technical analysis is excellent and he injects personality into his commentary without drowning out those around him. Nor is he afraid to speak up when his co-commentators are making little sense.
His team-up with Grisham and Mannix further highlighted how Jones stands head and shoulders above many of his peers when it comes to quality and DAZN would do very well to keep him on board for future broadcasts.
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