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KSI-Tommy Fury And The Celebrity Boxing “Abyss”

KSI-Tommy Fury And The Celebrity Boxing "Abyss"

Boxing News

KSI-Tommy Fury And The Celebrity Boxing “Abyss”

Wasserman Boxing photo

KSI-Tommy Fury And The Celebrity Boxing “Abyss”

(This commentary on the KSI-Tommy Fury PPV last Saturday is from David Payne and originally appeared on his site

I suppose Marvin Gaye didn’t really care about Cassius Clay recording an album at Columbia Records in 1963 or Smokin’ Joe Frazier singing “First Round Knockout” for Motown in 1975. Hard to imagine Marlon Brando was unduly concerned that Jake LaMotta played the bartender in “The Hustler” or that Tupac worried about Nigel Benn’s collaboration with Pack on the 1990 song “Stand and Fight.” It only made 61 in the UK Charts after all.

And so, perhaps, boxing, the sprawling, dimly lit dystopia that it is, shouldn’t worry too much about MisFits Boxing and the entertainment it imparts to those dimly lit enough to pay for it. Aside from the copious amounts of money MisFits Boxing generates it also appears uniquely able to both entice the casual and enrage the aficionados with the ease of a Bill Nighy suit fitting.

The weekend’s bill in Manchester showcased two of the niche’s preeminent forces; Tommy Fury, famous for sharing a father with Tyson Fury and his appearance on a reality show and KSI, who is good at video games and has ‘form’ in this peculiar space.

A bizarre schism in which boxing, WWE and the world of YouTube influencers co-exist in an orgy of nonsense.

None of the participants can actually box or even throw a punch correctly, and young Fury has done little to avoid inclusion in that summary. Thousands attend, millions view every mockrage video grab and the great and greedy of the boxing circus dip their bread with a type of feckless promiscuity that would make a pillaging Viking blush.

READ: The Latest Opponent for Celebrity Boxer Jake Paul

And why not? In a sport awash with cheats and chancers, with few eager to pay more than lip service to finding a solution to the pre-eminence of performance enhancing drugs, who can blame Tommy Fury for ignoring those who proclaim the virtues of boxing and chasing the easy money instead.

Hear Dan Rafael and T.J. Rives (briefly) debating the mess that was the KSI-Fury PPV on the latest “Fight Freaks Unite Recap Podcast” by clicking below,

Fury made millions this weekend fighting a novice, walked out in a full arena with zero risk. If he were to find his true level as a boxer, he would struggle to be a full time professional.

There is an irony in that too.

The merging of boundaries between the worlds of boxing and faux combat entertainment carries more risk for the sport than the opportunity it purports to. Amateur gyms will not be filled with kids enticed by this version of the noble art and if they are, a shock awaits, nor will they buy a ticket for a British Title fight but they may mistake MisFits for the real thing. As imperfect as the real thing often is. Sending the best of boxing still further from the mainstream gaze.

Nevertheless, this mythical ‘greater good’ narrative will continue to be ladled over the media and fighters who gurn for the camera, justifying their presence as opposed to stating the glaringly obvious. That being that the whole enterprise is just a puerile money grab, widely accepted, but is also absolutely dreadful to watch. The Pay Per View figures will doubtless prove the format is here to stay and confirm Tommy Fury will never return to the conventional sport.

He can’t make that level of pay or achieve an equivalent degree of renown in boxing because, perhaps cruelly, he’s very nearly as hopeless as those he beats.

Roll on the sanity and cleansing of next weekend when Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez remind us why we love this sport. Two evenly matched, well schooled fighters.

So long Tommy.

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David has been writing about boxing, sport’s oldest showgirl, for almost twenty years. Appearing as a columnist and reporter across print and digital as well as guest appearances with LoveSportRadio and LBC in the UK and, of course, The Big Fight Weekend podcast. Find his unique take on the boxing business here and at his site;

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