Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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Are Boxing Fans Suffering From Big Fight Deprivation Syndrome?

First of all, I would like to correct that the Floyd Mayweather Jr-Conor McGregor non-title superfight actually happened on August 26, 2017 and not September 2018 as I erroneously reported yesterday (My bad!). But indeed, it forced Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin to move their middleweight title first match, not rematch to a later date actually October 16, 2017 for fear of being upstaged or overshadowed.

Likewise the real last non title fight featuring two real boxers between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao in December 2008 which overshadowed all title matches during that year was avidly followed by boxing fans because although Oscar was on the way down, many believed he still posed a threat to Manny for his size advantages and that he forced Manny to fight at welterweight. Among the title fights that were trumped by that fight was Gerry Penalosa winning his second world division title by come from behind late round body shot stoppage of Jhonny Gonzalez.

Those set straight, let us now tackle the issue: are Boxing Fans so deprived of real big title fights that they are eerily behaving the way they do for a time now?

Apart from the Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford never ending story which until 2020 even involved the then still active Manny Pacquiao, there is also the go, no go affair between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk at heavyweight. Then there's Canelo Alvarez who is torn between a rematch against Dmitry Bivol or a super fight versus Arthur Beterbiev or David Benavidez at super middleweight.

Now add in the postponement of the eagerly awaited fight between Naoya Inoue and Stephen Fulton at super bantamweight which has to be moved from May to probably June or July in view of Inoue's alleged training injury.

Little wonder, fans are gravitating towards the much ballyhooed non title fight between Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia, both noted all action fighters set this April even at the expense of the undisputed world lightweight championship fight between Devin Haney and Vassiliy Lomachenko.

In fact, organizers of that fight have been emboldened to sell it at a high $85.00 per pop on pay per view while the Haney vs Lomachenko title bout is pegged at only $60.00 on pay per view.

Golden Boy Promotions' Oscar dela Hoya recently expressed confidence that the fight of his former ward Garcia against Davis could even match the 2.4 million PPV buys he had in 2007 with Floyd Mayweather Jr incidentally also one of the Davis-Garcia fight promoters with the TGB Promotions of Tom Brown.

That may not be far-fetched as Eddie Hearns is thinking of carrying that same fight via DAZN to UK and European audiences at possibly much lower PPV cost as DAZN is a regular subscription flatworm.

Making the Davis-Garcia fight attractive are the supporting bouts that could feature welterweight sensation Jaron Ennis and undefeated lightweight William Zepeda as well as promising heavyweight fighter. On the other hand, the Haney-Lomachenko mainer only has Junto Nakatani fighting Moloney for the vacant WBO super flyweight crown and the return to action of Oscar Valdez.

The fight organizers may indeed be taking advantage of this big fight deprivation syndrome afflicting most fans especially those willing and able to pay for the fights they wanted to see.

It was this syndrome that led to the resuscitation or keeping alive of the careers of Gabe Rosado and Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte, all action fighters with one punch knockout capabilities.

Very possibly, in the uncertainty of the Fury vs Usyk unification fight, fans would settle for a fight between Wilder and Whyte despite those two losing by stoppages to Fury not long ago.

Talking of the postponement of the Inoue-Fulton fight, a certified show or Thunder Stealer as Johnriel Casimero could have taken the slack if only Luis Nery or Reese Aleem accepted his challenge to a fight. Offers were reportedly forwarded to the camps of Nery and Aleem but there reportedly have been no response of interest. It could be the offer is low or Casimero is too high a risk for them.

Alas, Casimero now has to settle for a Namibian Fillipus Nhtinumbwa in a WBO Global title this May at the Okada.


The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at and by phone 09215309477.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.

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