THERE were two very different broadcasts over the last week. Firstly – on a Thursday night because of the Super Bowl – there was a card live from Miami, Florida, topped by Demetrius Andrade’s routine win over Luke Keeler on Sky Sports and DAZN. It was all very glam, with plenty of B and C list celebrities in attendance, partly down to the fact that one of the fights on the card was between YouTubers Jake Paul and AnEson Gib.
Andrade failed to impress against a foe he was fully expected to beat – there was no buzz around his next move after he stopped Keeler. The WBO middleweight champion desperately needs a big fight.
There were two slight upsets on the Miami bill when Murodjon Akhmadaliev dethroned super-bantamweight titlist Daniel Roman and Joseph Diaz outpointed Tevin Farmer for a super-featherweight strap.
Farmer raised concerns among fans in the crowd and those watching at home with his demeanour during the fight, when he regularly seemed to twitch and jerk his head up. Reports stated the DAZN commentary team picked up on it. Farmer was actually kept under medical supervision after the fight because of those concerns but was reportedly given a clean bill of health after a CT scan and allowed to go home.
Over the weekend, IFL broadcasted a card live from Ulster Hall in Belfast. The production, unsurprisingly, was not a patch on what the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport are capable of but that’s surely to be expected. There’s a stellar team on board, however, with Barry Jones and Alex Steedman on comms and punditry.
During the show we also saw the retirement of former IBF bantamweight king Lee Haskins, who called time on his career after a recurring knee injury saw him lose to David Oliver Joyce.
Haskins wasn’t the only loyal servant of British boxing to hang up his gloves on air this week; Tommy Coyle announced his retirement on the TKO podcast.
Coyle – who has a deep love for the sport – breaks down a couple of times during the interview, which is an emotional listen, but it seems clear he’s made the right decision and has plenty to keep him busy moving forward. I wish he and Haskins all the best.
Barry Jones now appears to be a regular feature on Sky Sports’ Toe 2 Toe podcast, and this week made some interesting points about the recent spate of fights between YouTubers. While some – namely Eddie Hearn – claim it’s bringing more fans to the sport, Jones argues that these more casual viewers are only following the YouTubers themselves, and won’t stick with boxing as a whole. I think he’s bang on; there’s no evidence to suggest these fights attract a long-term viewership, and there’s no need to try and dress them up as such – they’re nothing more than a money grab.
Naturally, there was a plethora of interviews and content surrounding the Paul-Gib fight. Most of it is interviews with other YouTubers giving their nonsensical opinions on the fight, though there were other more toxic chats with some of those involved in the fight talking about how much they want to physically attack members of the opposing camp. It’s a shame these morons are allowed to waltz into our sport and attempt to wear it as a badge of masculinity; worse still that they’re given a platform to do it.
FOX Sports provided some exciting content for a fight that actually matters; Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2. The first two parts of their Inside Wilder-Fury 2 docuseries dropped, very much in the same vein as HBO’s 24/7 show. While it doesn’t quite live up to those heights it’s still an interesting look into the two camps and mindsets of the protagonists. It was particularly interesting to see that Fury isn’t allowing any filming of his training – clearly, his alleged plan to be more aggressive and seek a knockout is a bluff, or else he wouldn’t feel the need to keep his training under wraps.
Fury also had an in-depth interview with BT Sport, in which he went into detail about just how important training regularly is to him. He explained that Sundays are usually his rest day, and admitted that he usually gets very depressed on a Sunday because of a lack of training. It’s yet another media appearance where Fury is much more reserved and serious – we don’t have to wait long to find out whether this is good for him or not.
Several media outlets confirmed the news that Ivan Redkach has been handed out a rather severe punishment for biting Danny Garcia during their recent clash, which saw Redkach lose a wide decision. The New York State Athletic Commission fined Redkach $10,000 and suspended him for a full year, as well as demanding he forfeit his purse for the fight – $300,000. ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported that Redkach had already cashed that cheque, though noted that Ivan is likely to appeal the ruling.
It’s a strange one – I’m not sure anyone actually noticed the bite when it happened, it was only when Garcia laughed about it after the fight that people became aware, and while it’s a pretty grotesque breaking of the rules, this seems like a particularly harsh punishment. It makes one wonder, would New York would have thrown the book so hard at a more high profile fighter?