This past weekend we were lucky to witness the best that professional boxing has to offer. Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, both laid it all on the line for the right to be called the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But it was more than just a big fight in the desert, it was beyond the exchanging of embroidered leather straps and it was deeper than anything that the promoters billed.

It’s no secret that boxing has not been in a great place as of late, at least in the UK and Europe. The ever-fractious nature of the sport and the endless politicking and nitpicking between broadcasters, promoters and money men is what brought us here. Sickening gimmicks and money hungry conmen have been allowed to barge in and call the sport home, these may be strong words but us fans know it’s true. YouTubers like Jake Paul and KSI are stars who headline pay per view events, Francis Ngannou was given a magic carpet ride all the way to the top and old greats like “Iron” Mike Tyson are now wheeled out to collect ever more damage to their aging bodies.   

For those of us who truly love the art and sport of boxing and those true pugilists both male and female who have devoted themselves to it, it has been nothing short of sad to see what has been and is continuing to happen, though boxing has always been a sport where darkness festers, be it mafia control and influence, the ever-present spectre of corruption or the nonsense of the governing bodies the perceived recent selling out of the sport has cut very deep. 

Even this resurgence of big-time boxing brought to us by and in Saudi Arabia has a distinctly strange and ominous feeling around it. There’s no denying that the injection of Saudi Arabian money has led to some great fights and strong cards, and it has certainly proved that no matter what differences, lines drawn in sand or indeed supposed principles promoters claim to have that money will bridge any gap and there is a bleakness to that truth. Perhaps Saudi Arabia is the future of big-time boxing, will they keep putting the money up and will we get even more great match ups? who knows the future especially the future of a sport that’s always been so intent on blackening its own eyes. 

So, things haven’t been great at least on our side of the Atlantic, there still not, but we should not deny a good thing when we see it. 

Usyk and Fury gave us everything we fans ask for on Saturday night. When those two men stepped into the ring and the first blows were thrown, we could forget all the noise and nonsense, John Fury’s impression of a woodpecker, impending cash grab Netflix fights and an always precarious future of the sport. 

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Not often does a bout of that magnitude deliver all that was promised and more. Both combatants had their time and both showed the viewers what real boxing is. Fury was dominant early and through the middle rounds utilising not just his size but his skills and timing, his jab was a thunderous whip and his well-timed uppercut kept Usyk honest. He very nearly had it, no one has bullied and bludgeoned the Ukrainian maestro like the “Gypsy king”. But Usyk is something special and held on all while making the right adjustments that that led Fury into traps and turned the tide.

Fury famously said he’s cut from a different cloth to us mere mortals, it’s true he is but so is Oleksandr Usyk and as we saw Usyk’s toughness, patience, skill, sheer will and ability to adjust paid off. He pressed his advantage, rocked his man, chased him down and almost had him gone. In the end Usyk got the nod, deservedly so but there is no denying how close it was, if those two were to box ten times you could see them winning five apiece. And there is absolutely no denying how wonderful it was to see those two elite men square off, box off and give each other a good beating. The complete dazzling beauty of boxing was displayed to the world and it was a reminder of just how wonderful the sweet science can be, for £24.99 but we can’t have it all our own way. 

We are told that they will rematch back in Saudi Arabia in October. Let’s hope British boxing can build from this in the meantime and start to deliver back on our own shores. 

Thanks for reading and watching, hope you come back soon. Please Follow us on Social Media for updates…


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