By: Sean Crose
The fight world was abuzz Wednesday night as Terence “Bud” Crawford and Errol “The Truth” Spence finally engaged in a highly anticipated fight. Sadly, their brawl was on Twitter rather than in a boxing ring, involved tweets of no more than 280 characters instead of punches and was for credibility rather than the undisputed welterweight championship of the world. Judging by some fan’s reactions to the spectacle, it’s clear a good percentage of the boxing public may now be reduced to taking whatever action it can get, while another good percentage is luxuriating in the fact boxing has largely become a contest of percentages and guarantees rather than one of physical prowess.
For this later group, Wednesday’s Twitter war was one for the ages – it’s very own Hagler-Hearns, Miracle on Ice and Rocky movie rolled into one. Old time purists, on the other hand, those archaic souls who still believe sports should be about sports, were less enthused. “Crawford and Spence fighting on social media about hedge funds, net revenues and who has a boss,” tweeted Chris Mannix, “is a pretty accurate depiction of the decaying state of men’s boxing in 2022.” Indeed, while some may feel high level boxing’s move from the ring to social media is the equivalent of a caterpillar morphing into a majestic butterfly, others share Mannix’ wry sense of disappointment.
Wednesday evening’s war of tweets needed no blow by blow reporting, nor did it require a round by round account. For the entire affair remains online for all the world to see. Keen observers will even note that Golden Boy honcho and all time great Oscar De La Hoya got involved. Suffice to say it had been hoped that Crawford would fight Spence this month. The negotiations fell through and now each fighter is pointing the finger at the other. Truth be told, it appears both Crawford and Spence WANT to fight, but that the chaos of the modern boxing industry just isn’t going to let that fight happen…at least not in the near future, perhaps not at all.
All this, of course, comes on the heels of Tyson Fury’s hoped for December supermatch with fellow English heavyweight Anthony Joshua falling through – adding to the sense of squandered opportunities that seems to now permeate the sport. Thankfully, the cliché of “boxing is dead” most likely doesn’t apply at the moment, (if it ever did). There’s reason for fans to be disappointed, however, provided those fans feel boxing should consist of people actually boxing instead of bickering on social media.
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