“ALL the world’s a stage,” Eddie Hearn likes to say. It’s not an original line, he nicked it from Shakespeare, but his point is this: boxing, for all the honesty, purity and integrity of its participants, is littered with individuals donning masks, playing parts and hamming it up, all for the greater good of the show.
The show is the business. Hearn’s business. The boxing business. This business, a dark, controversial one, is somewhat removed from the sport and relies heavily on the ability of its cast to create characters, sell the performance, and deliver a finished product rooted in both reality and fantasy.
Tuesday’s press conference announcing the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight title unification between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker was dull. That’s the reality. It was dull even by normal press conference standards. It was dull because Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker are two Big Friendly Giants boxing each other in the name of competition and a quest to be the best, rather than any reason pertaining to so-called beef, manufactured or not.