This is not the kind of thing that usually happens in boxing in the 21st century. When two fighters perform at a high level for a period of time in the same weight class, we as fans expect them to fight. And then we inevitably hear the litany of excuses as to why the fight can’t happen now or won’t happen at all.
Boxing is bad, to be honest.
It’s problems between the promoters or problems with the networks or this manager doesn’t like that promoter or something.
But it is always something.
Not now, though. Not this time. On Thursday, the unexpected good news came that Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia were signed to fight each other in around April or May in Las Vegas. The indifference between the parties was ignored. The issue was resolved with the broadcasters.
They will fight sometime next year, although Davis will fight for the first time on January 7.
But then, in short order, Davis and Garcia will meet in a bout produced and distributed by Showtime Pay Per View.
Welterweights Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. supposed to be fighting on Saturday, except not.
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk should have signed an agreement by now to fight for the undisputed title. No, and who knows if they ever will. Instead, we got a ridiculous, pointless third fight between Fury and Derek Chisora.
That it’s just how things usually work in boxing.
Give credit to all parties for overcoming the obstacles and giving the fans what they want, but save most of that love for the fighters. Without them, this would not be happening. The moment referee Jerry Cantu raised Garcia’s hand in victory on July 16 after Garcia stopped Javier Fortuna, he said he wanted to fight Davis.
He launched a relentless Twitter campaign to make it happen.
And it was done.
There is an old saying in boxing that when a pair of fighters wants to fight – really wants to fight – the bout will be shortened. Well, Davis, 28, and Garcia, 24, publicly said they wanted it done and wouldn’t take no for an answer. This announcement means that two of the sport’s elite fighters with big-time power, excellent boxing skills and large, diverse fan bases will meet in the middle of the ring to determine who is the best and who is not. allowing fans to argue about it on social. media.
Garcia’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was often on the other side of these types of situations, and the deals were not done. He issued a statement that was a bit loud, but entirely appropriate in the light of the situation.
“It’s about time those outside the ring stop getting in the way of those who want nothing more than to get in the ring and fight,” he wrote.
Amen, Oscar. Amen.
It’s hard to understand why these fights are so hard to make. Pay-per-view sales in boxing are at alarming levels. Reaching 100,000 sales is now cause for celebration, albeit a minor one. There was also a struggle for tickets in the US Match Room and the tickets for the Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin fight in September were so bad that they had to lower them several times. And even a few days before the fight, as they say in the live events business, there were still plenty of good seats available.
It seems strange that this needs to be said, but here’s some advice for those who run boxing: When the fans — your customers — tell you they want something, believe them. Act on that. Because if you give them what they want, they will come through and support the event.
The sport is booming in so many ways in 2022. There are so many great young fighters, interest in the women’s game is rising rapidly and the level of talent is at a point not seen since perhaps the early 1990s or in the late 1980s.
It’s the business end when things get complicated. But the fighters are starting to realize their impact. Garcia insisted that the fight be done, and it was. Another good example of this is Devin Haney, who took the short end of the money twice, and traveled to the other side of the world to fight George Kambosos for the lightweight title. Haney didn’t say he was a bigger draw or a better ticket seller or too good for Kambosos or any of the lame excuses we hear so much. He wanted the fight and he made it happen. And after winning and defending the undisputed title, he went on the offensive again and campaigned for a fight with Vasiliy Lomachenko that is expected in early 2023.
There are plenty of other examples.
But a boxing world where the right fights are made on a regular basis and good fights fill main cards, it’s boxing that will bounce back from self-inflicted wounds of the last 50 or 60 years. There is no sport like it when the two best fighters in the world, or at least the two best in a division, meet for all the marbles at the peak of their careers.
The energy in the arena when that happens is something you have to experience once in your lifetime. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and a tingle runs through your body. It strikes differently when those types of fighters compete for the highest stakes.
Davis-Garcia, or Garcia-Davis, or whatever they’re going to call it, is one of those types of fights. This is one of the most exciting fights put together for fans who have been knocked down and kicked in the stomach time and time again over the years just because they want to see the best.
Thanks to Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and the whole group of people behind the scenes who didn’t let ego or pride get in the way, we’ll get the big fight we’ve been so desperate to see.
Today is one of those days to proudly admit that you are a boxing fan. We hope this one will do boffo numbers and bring about the positive changes this sport so desperately needs.