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NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: THE BEGINNING AFTER THE END

By Paul Magno | March 23, 2020
NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: THE BEGINNING AFTER THE END

For boxing websites in this forced stretch of non-boxing, these are desperate times. 

There are some major sites out there with nothing but nostalgia pieces or “best of/greatest hits” articles on its front page. A couple of major sites got so desperate that they started interviewing other writers in the pursuit for fresh content (and, believe me, there’s nothing more sadly pathetic than watching one writer toss the salad of another, who happens to be peddling some cringe-inducing necro-tome to the deceased boxing heroes of yesteryear).

As the kids say—the struggle is real.

What the hell DO you write about as a boxing writer when there’s no boxing and when, most likely, things will stay shut down through March, April, May, and possibly into the summer? 

I have some ideas for fresh content and FightHype has some ideas. Hang with us throughout the days/weeks and we’ll have some quality, debate-worthy content for you on these cyber pages. And, I guarantee you, we won’t have to grab a shovel and a lantern to dig through the corpses of old pugs to do that. 

Anyway…

So, what can we expect from the boxing world when we get a handle on this coronavirus nonsense and life goes back to semi-normal?

Actually, the layoff may work to the fans’ benefit as promoters/networks/fighters scramble to fit almost a full year’s worth of quality content into a half-year timespan. With so much time loss, there should be no tune-ups or “one gimme before the good one” time-wasters. 

That means getting right to Fury-Wilder 3 in July. There’s also Saul “Canelo” Alvarez- Billy Joe Saunders; Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez; and all of the fights scrubbed from the March-June schedule like Regis Prograis-Maurice Hooker, Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol, Anthony Joshua-Kubrat Pulev, etc. 

There’s also the fact that top talents like Terence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Naoya Inoue, Oleksandr Usyk, Gennady Golovkin, Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz, and the Charlo brothers (among, many, many others) will be looking to make big-money matchups happen in the second half of 2020 to secure at least one quality payday from a crisis-hobbled year. 

If boxing doesn’t resume in May or June to accommodate Canelo-Saunders, then expect Canelo to go straight to a third Golovkin bout in September (and if boxing’s still not happening in September, well, things went to real shit and we’ll have much more important things to worry about than prizefighting). 

You’re going to be seeing a buyer’s market when it comes to matchmaking and there will be a lot of fighters looking to jump right into a money fight as soon as the proverbial window opens. Expect some deep cards and quality pairings as promoters and networks work to put big, bankable fights on the airwaves to make up for a half-year of lost time. 

Of course, this is an optimistic take on what may come. Boxing, as we all know, sometimes has a way of shooting itself in the foot at the worst of times, flat-out making shitty decisions when wisdom and prudence is called for. 

Instead of rushing to make the best of the best and the biggest of the biggest over the rest of the year, they could just as easily put out some absolute junk, assuming that fans will be so happy to have boxing back they will watch anything. 

In that case, there’ll be a wave of stars beating up sparring partners to close out the absolute worst year in boxing’s modern history.

We’ll see. 

Every disaster, however, presents an opportunity for rebirth. If boxing takes this pause and collective deep breath to reassess some things and come back with renewed positive energy, good things could be in store. 

In the meantime, we wait and pass the time debating/discussing a sport put on hold. 

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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