By: Sean Crose
Some of boxing’s biggest names remain inactive as we move on to the second quarter of 2021. While it’s true there’s been some fine fights in the first portion of the year, it’s worth noting some of the fight game’s feature attractions are sitting months – and even years – out of the action. Sure enough, several of the sport’s top dogs can now only be found in the realm of empty buzz – or in the promise that big news is just around the corner. That’s generally just how the boxing business runs – at a glacial pace. Still, we’re now heading into spring and, well, pickings seem a little slim overall.
Let’s start with the highly anticipated Tyson Fury – Anthony Joshua matchup which we’re forever being told is just around the corner. Neither man has fought in over a year. Sure, Covid has a lot to do with it – as it does with most delays – but the days keep dragging on and on and the fight never seems to come to fruition. Exactly how long, one may wonder, are these two towering English heavyweights going to keep from fighting? The truth is, there’s no ready answer. Matters continue to remain up in the air indefinitely. Fury and Joshua aren’t alone in being out of the ring, however.
Manny Pacquiao, perhaps the most beloved fighter in the sport, hasn’t slipped in between the ropes since he bested Keith Thurman way back in the summer of 2019. That was a long time ago, especially when you consider the fact that the Filipino Senator is now in his forties. It looks like the fighter called PacMan may now indeed be ready to lace up the gloves and face Mikey Garcia, but an authentic announcement for the next Pacquiao fight has indeed been a long time in coming. The, of course, there’s the matter of Pacquiao’s fellow welterweights.
People have been waiting so long for Errol Spence and Terence Crawford to sign to fight that it honestly seems like boxing’s fan base is starting to move on from the possibility of the two ever meeting. That, friends, is a beyond sad commentary on the general state of things for the sport. It’s easy to write off boxing as dead, or as having fallen victim to MMA, but Mike Tyson’s return to the ring last fall proved that’s not the case. In fact, it proved fans are willing to tune in – so long as they’re given something to watch.
Fortunately, names like Gonzalez and Estrada are willing to step up to the plate and give the audience what it’s craving – matches that matter.