Back in 1892 heavyweight champion John L Sullivan fought challenger James J Corbett in New Orleans. At stake was not only the heavyweight title, but twenty-five thousand dollars. It was indeed a winner take all contest (one that the slick Corbett won handily). Of course, we don’t see winner take all scenarios like that today. Except, apparently, we do. For Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, who are set to meet in a legitimate superfight this weekend, have agreed to bet their entire purses on the match. Considering both men are going to earn millions it’s a legitimate case of putting one’s money where ones’ mouth is.
If, of course, the bet – which was made when both fighters appeared on a Kai Cenat livestream – proves to be legitimate.
The truth is that fighters are apt to say and do wild things in the lead up to big fights – and with good reason. Colorful antics bring in attention and attention ultimately brings in eyeballs via pay per view buys. A high end promotion should not be a quiet thing, and both fighters are going to want to make waves here. Should the bet prove to be legitimate, it might start a new trend – though that’s probably unlikely since were talking purses worth literally millions upon millions of dollars.
The fact is that Davis has, objectively speaking, made the wiser bet, as he’s expected to win Saturday’s contest in Las Vegas. Still, it’s hard to count the hard hitting and lightning fast Garcia out here. The man can turn out the lights in a flash. Then again, so can Davis, whose undefeated record indicates he’s stopped all but two of his opponents within the distance. Yet Garcia is nothing if not an exceedingly confident individual, and he appears to be maintaining that confidence level in the leadup to the biggest fight of his career.
Even if the winner take all bet proves to be more sizzle than steak, it’s nice to see two top level boxers doing what they need to in order to sell a match. One of the problems with modern boxing is the often ho-hum approach some promotions take. In a world of UFC and WWE hype, boxing has to keep up. The young, popular and (social) media savvy Davis and Garcia know how things are supposed to be done right now. Here’s hoping others will follow suit.
*featured image courtesy DAZN
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