After Joshua got his trousers pulled down and spanked by Ukrainian Superstar Oleksandr Usyk, boxing fans around the world were devastated.
Not because Joshua lost. He had lost before, in a more shocking and devastating fashion. More because the super fight between two of the biggest names in the sports looks dead in the water. And even if they do fight, without the belts, it is nowhere near as big. Particularly if Fury deals with Wilder again easily. If he gets chinned by Wilder this weekend, then maybe people will still want to see it. The two losers fighting each other in the battle of Britain, while Usyk and Wilder fight it out for all the marbles. Something very few of us saw coming.
But the Joshua-Fury narrative has changed now, with most believing Fury deals with Joshua easily, so the fight isn't as intriguing as it once was. Don't get me wrong any Joshua fight does mad numbers. Showman Fury sells tickets too. But it doesn't peak anywhere near as much interest, with both previously set to earn $100 million each. Do I blame Joshua for losing? No. I blame Fury’s team for not getting the Wilder fight over the line quicker. He could have easily done that fight earlier in my opinion, instead of pissing about and ignoring legal proceedings.
The promoters and managers try to squeeze as much money out of fighters as they can and maximize revenue. They just want to build the hype train up for years. Not thinking about the fans. But then inevitably, one of them gets beat. We have seen this story play out too many times. Just look at Mayweather-Pacquiao. The $1 billion dollar fight. That happened far too late.
Unfortunately, fans have been let down time and time again and are starting to lose interest in the sport. The likes of Youtube Boxing and the Paul brothers are generating more hype than established world champions, which is a big worry. If the super fights that generate so much attention for even casual viewers are not being made, PPV numbers will start to fall. So expect to see more celebrities who can barely fight calling each other out for an easy payday. Or 60-year-old former champions coming back for a hard-to-watch scrap.
There are still a lot of great fights to be made. But let’s make them quick. The circus is in town. And could be here to stay.