BOXING NEWS celebrates its 110th birthday this week. Though the sport has evolved since the days when James J. Jeffries was being hauled out of retirement to take on Jack Johnson in an ugly world heavyweight title fight, one thing remains the same: It’s all about the money. Back in 1909, when BN was born, we expressed our concerns about the white Jeffries being matched with the black Johnson because it shamelessly exploited the race division that was prevalent back then. There was also the worry that after being inactive for six years, Jeffries was in no shape to fight the world heavyweight champion. Boxing, you see, has always been quick to recognise an opportunity to make some money, irrespective of any morality and its effect on the sport at the heart of it.
As BN prepared to blow out its candles this week, perennial heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora yet again blew his head gasket at a press conference. The man who has bitten, slapped, spat and brawled his way into the headlines, who has flipped and thrown tables in anger, this week went on a one-man protest about poor pay. He took aim at promoters Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland, fellow boxers Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis, and showered them with effs, ucks, offs and yous.
For some, Chisora’s demand to get paid more was entertaining and his grievances worthwhile. “Del Boy” is the loveable loose cannon who has been delivering wild and exciting warfare for many years so his complaint that he, and not Taylor-Prograis, should be topping the October 26 bill in his home city of London was understandable to an extent.