By: Sean Crose
First things first – boxing press conferences, especially for big matches – need to be more exciting. They can be tiresome affairs, more like homework than electrifying events. People no one’s heard of speak on behalf of businesses and corporations no one cares about. It can all be tiresome. In truth, the UFC does a far better job than boxing when it comes to bringing the heat to media events. Ultimately, however, the UFC goes too far. Conor McGregor, entertaining though he is, is essentially a high school bully in the body of a thirty year old professional athlete. His press conferences rile up his legions of fans, but they’re like the kind of crap you witnessed in the school cafeteria as a kid. And frankly, that’s not really fun after a point – unless you’ve never matured beyond your teenage self.
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had a nice press conference going in England on Monday…until Fury decided to stomp on down the McGregor path and ruin it. Each man was quipping off the other, landing shots, while letting shots roll of his chest. It’s was a fun leadup to a big match between two tough professionals. Unfortunately, Fury had to spoil things by challenging Wilder to punch him. Once again, we were all transported back to high school. Wilder took the bait and the two men had to be broken up before real chaos ensued. It was idiotic and unprofessional.
Frankly, I blame Fury for this – not because I’m a biased American defending my countryman, but because Fury – like McGregor – is a bully who likes to win the fight mentally before it even begins. Wilder, however, appeared to be bully proof on Monday, so the giant Englishman felt he had to up the ante. Fair enough. But fans shouldn’t be happy getting a half baked fight in October when the real one’s going down December 1st.
Some of us have really been looking forward to Wilder-Fury. Both men are vastly underrated and have personalities as big as their frames. It’s pretty clear Anthony Joshua wants no part of either man (or at least Wilder), so it’s exciting to see two of the three best heavyweights in the world getting it on. Boxing is a serious sport, however. People die. People get brain damaged. Theatrics are fine. Idiocy is for high school. Let’s leave it there.