This coming weekend of boxing sees the two undefeated heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte collide over the vacant British heavyweight title. It should be exciting, both are heavy hitters with a myriad of knock outs between them. And to add a bit of spice to the event a sub plot resonates that pre dates both of their professional careers. This is that they fought as amatuers with Whyte proving victorious. Therefore the stage is set for a duel between two of Britain’s hottest heavyweight prospects who share history.
So Sky and Matchroom Boxing (the company controlled by Eddie Hearn) in their infinite wisdom have made the event pay per view. A decision that is nothing short of disgraceful when you consider a couple of factors. Firstly fans already shell out around £100 pounds per month for a complete sky package and are then asked to pay almost £20 more for an event that is unlikely to last long. To compound our misery further it is not even for a world title.
The justification for this robbery will be that there is a packed under-card full of talent. And to be fair there is with the likes of Chris Eubank Jnr, Tony Bellew, Luke Campbell and Kevin Mitchell all on show. Although again there are no world titles up for grabs with the most prestigious prize an “interim” belt, which even the most knowledgeable Boxing fan would struggle to explain what one of those truly is.
Never the less Sky have ploughed on full throttle with the event, even treating fans to a couple of episodes of the “gloves are off.” Usually something the American broadcasters reserve only for true super fights.
So we got to witness Joshua vs Whyte and Eubank Jnr vs O’Sullivan trade verbal’s and death stares whilst sitting intimately across a little table with the awkwardness of many first dates.
The blame should not be placed on the fighters however they are rightly trying to gain as much money as possible in a sport notable for short and brutal careers. And the fan in me genuinely wants the fights to be competitive and exciting. However I fear all the pre fight animosity and (supposedly) expected fireworks are just the work of the promoters and the TV company desperately trying to cash in on their pay-per-view decision. Lets be honest the tag line of “watch Anthony Joshua KO another opponent before the 4th round” does not quite have the same ring to it! I only hope i am wrong.