YEARNING FOR YESTERYEAR
AS a boxing fan for nearly 30 years, I often reflect nostalgically on the late ‘80s and ‘90s and wonder why the sport in this era isn’t as good. Maybe the business side of boxing has taken over the competitive side, rendering a lot of very exciting matchups impossible, due to promoters and managers being risk-averse to a careerdamaging loss.
I long for the type of atmosphere that the likes of Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank brought to the masses, not to mention the incredibly talented Naseem Hamed, who probably was a beacon for many aspiring amateur boxers beginning their careers. It seems these days are long gone – the likes of Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard all facing off against each other is now a distant memory. I fear today that these type of elite matches just won’t happen.
I have noticed a subtle difference in press conferences as well. The boxers often sit in the background while the promoters and trainers put on a circus, presumably to sell tickets. For me, it has become too much like a pantomime without a conclusive ending. I love the sport and always will, but I can’t help thinking that it used to be better in yesteryear when fighters fought each other for the challenge, and a loss, if it happened, was just an occupational hazard.
Rather surprisingly, the Cinderella Man of modern times is Dillian Whyte, who appears to be afraid of no one and is open to any challenge. His outlook is refreshing, to say the least. You would be foolish to rule him out of becoming a world champion.
Perhaps in the golden era of the ‘80s and ‘90s we were just spoiled by boxing contests that literally had fans glued to the TV. I can count on my fingers over the last five years how many fights have given me that exhilaration.
We need a new Leonard or a modern equivalent of Hamed to burst onto the scene and create the razzmatazz that boxing needs to reach the heights once more. Ricky Wright-colquhoun
DANGER SIGNS FOR WILDER
ON the day of the Anthony Joshuaalexander Povetkin fight, I watched a re-run of the Deontay Wilder-luis Ortiz bout from March. I later watched Joshua vs Povetkin with my lads and we all said that Joshua didn’t look himself. We were worried because he looked poorly, but more so because Povetkin was a serious contender and dangerous puncher. How Joshua stood up to flu, what looked like a broken nose and Povetkin’s hooks was some statement.
To take out Povetkin in a manner that no other fighter has been capable of doing before shows a certain truth about Joshua – he may have his flaws, but once he sees a way to finish an opponent, his instincts are of a top-class champion. Do we really think if Joshua stunned Wilder like Ortiz did he would get away with it? I don’t think so. I don’t think Wilder would’ve taken Povetkin’s early punches like Joshua did, either. Be careful what you wish for, Mr Wilder. You have enough on your plate with Tyson Fury! Ray Fox
A STORY TO TELL
AFTER fighting Carl Froch while living out of my car, spending eight years of my career boxing in the UK, and giving audiences many great nights, I’d like to let the fans know about my new book – Broken Dreams: The Untold Truth. Ruben Groenewald
GLORY DAYS: Hamed at his peak remains a treasured memory for so many