The new year is almost two weeks old, and the boxing world has just now decided to hit the alarm clock and begin entering the real world like the rest of us.
No, seriously. Nothing across this planet has been going on at all whatsoever. Ask a casual boxing fan if they saw last week's Shobox card on Showtime. Then make sure you take a picture of the blank face you'll capture before they say in most likely response, “what?”
It happens every year, and for the life of me can't wrap my head around a global sport that takes such a walk on the first of every year.
Walk with me on this. A few fights stateside taking place, but the yearly Turning Stone Casino card this year is buried behind every other sporting event and NFL weekend and is headlined by Joe Smith Jr. taking on a late replacement. I'd tell you more about it, but Top Rank isn't doing any press for the fight, and with the pandemic out of wack again, it wouldn't make a damn difference.
The other one of note is a return of Gary Russell Jr. as he is dealing with a father/trainer who is coping with diabetes and hasn't been able to be around him for most of this camp. The mental state of Russell is the intrigue here, not Mark Magsayo, who is the little-known Filipino mandatory opponent. It's a little better than watching some of the fights of Streetbeefs on Youtube for a fix, but they have better angles over there than the two fights I mentioned. I sure wish I had more or even a commercial ad to show you for the fights; none were available.
Two fight cards with the interest and sizzle of waiting on your tax returns from 2021. Yay.
That is another problem with all of this. It isn't just the promotions that took off this month; it's the fighters also. The slowest time of the year and the biggest fight deals with litigation between a former employee in Terence Crawford and a 90-year-old man who is the CEO of Top Rank in Bob Arum. Like the Streetbeefs I mentioned earlier, definitely the story but no in-ring action in any of that event either.
The pandemic has and will continue to squash and reshuffle fight cards faster than they can make them. It's supposed to be the other way around. A solution to all of this is money, but that's the answer to every question. The zipped purses and pocketed wallets here from the top are budgetary during this time of year. I just wish it was a lot less restrictive.