Boxing fights lost due to politics

Another fight has fallen. This isn’t due to either fighter picking up and injury, due to covid or anything like that, another fight has been lost due to lengthy warn-out negotiations.

The latest fight to suffer has been Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk. One will blame the other, with no one owning up to why the negotiations broke down and stalled.

If reports are to believed some points of contention are that between these two heavyweight world champions, Usyk wanted a rematch and Fury not being keen on the idea.

This would be quite surprising if true as if I was to look in from an outsider, the 70/30 purse split is very lopsided in Tyson Fury’s favour. Yes, he’s a showman, and yes he’s a maverick but can also be box office, just like Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.

Will negotiations start again, as both men aim to unify the belts? Well, I don’t think they will anytime soon, but never say never. Fury has the chance to unify the heavyweight belts since Lennnox Lewis did all those years ago.

As frustrating as this is for boxing fans (fight agreement to break down) , this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Other high-profile fights have been a victim of boxing politics shall we say. Kell Brook vs Amir Khan took years to arrange, but when it did, the spectacle was not as good, as both men were pretty much at the end of their careers.

Having said that, take nothing away from Sheffield fighter Brook, who had a lot more than Khan on the day. To bring the topic back to the heavyweight division, two other fights have been postponed due to prolonged negotiations.

One fight was the all-British fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. This fight, I don’t think this will happen in my lifetime. I don’t know why talks keep breaking down, it blows my mind.

The other fight, that should have happened by now but just hasn’t is a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. It’s hard to say who would have performed on the day, but to me, I think Wilder would eat AJ for breakfast. We will never for sure until the fight happens.

As I develop my knowledge of boxing, I am sure I could revisit this piece and point out more examples of fights being cancelled or not being able to happen due to contract talks breaking down.

But let’s end this on a hearty note shall we say? When big fights want to be arranged they can be. Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury appeared to be arranged with no way near as much fuss.

There’s a lesson in all of this then. If they wanted to, they could.

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