SO, this Saturday (July 20), we have two pay-per-views in the UK – Keith Thurman-Manny Pacquiao on ITV Box Office and Dillian Whyte-Oscar Rivas on Sky Sports Box Office. This is absolutely unfair to the fans. It wasn’t long ago that we forked out for Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz on BT Sport Box Office. In my opinion, pay-per-view is killing the sport and turning fans away. Boxing always seems to adopt this system, even when certain fights don’t even warrant it. There is no way I am forking out for both. I don’t know if this pay-per-view trend will ever be stopped, but it at least needs to be reduced. There certainly shouldn’t be two on the same evening!
I AM sure that I was not alone in watching the Amir Khan-Billy Dibb fight and wondering how such a bout can actually be sanctioned; it was a disgrace. It wasn’t just one-sided, it was a total mismatch. Dibb was reduced to the role of moving punch bag for an occasionally impressive Khan to fire off his trademark speedy combinations. It was almost like a training exhibition workout. But how does anyone think that such a ‘fight’ (it is difficult to call it a fight) is good for the sport of boxing? Taking place in Saudi Arabia might make it difficult to impose any experienced local regulatory oversight of fights, but that does not excuse such a bout from taking place and being supported by UK broadcasters. Surely some sort of governing body needs to interdict in such fights and not recognise them in a boxer’s professional history and ranking.
HONOUR AND DIGNITY
IT must be said that Nathan Gorman and Daniel Dubois gave us a great British heavyweight title bout. The way both (in their different ways and in accordance with their different personalities) conducted themselves pre, during and post-fight was very impressive. It gave a perfect example as to why in Britain we must continue to uphold the honour, dignity and value of the Lonsdale Belt, unlike the world governing bodies who dilute and devalue their belts.
DOWNES LIVES ON
MANY years ago, Terry Downes told me, “Some people don’t die, as you still talk about them for years to come.” He could have been speaking about himself. This month heralded the Home Counties EBA annual Barbecue to celebrate Terry winning the world middleweight title on July 11, 1961. Terry was ably represented at the event by his widow, Barbara, Honorary President of HCEBA, plus four generations of his descendants, including five-month-old great grandaughter, Alba. During his pomp, Terry raised over £1m for charity. This event added over £2,000 to that total. Thanks must go to the organisers, Bob Williams, Terry Clarke, Kevin O’Sullivan, BBQ Sam and Chas Taylor. Mick Mancini and “The Pink Panther” provided great music. Thanks also for the support from other EBAs, such as Brighton, Essex, Leicester and London. You are all welcome again on December 15 for the HCEBA Christmas bash.