It’s impossible to cover a boxing round up of the week gone by, without featuring the crazy and bewildering spectacle that took place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 25th August.
While die hard boxing fans and the fighters who devote countless hours in training sacrificing their blood, sweat and tears, will no doubt find Saturday’s event difficult to digest – there can be no denying that the level of interest generated by 2 non-boxers was simply astonishing.
You Tube vloggers KSI and Logan Paul, drew a sell out crowd to the iconic Manchester venue, amassing pay per view sales on the internet channel of 784,000 buys, with a reported further 1.2 million people watching on pirate streams.
When we consider that 500,000 purchased AJ’s IBF Heavyweight Title winning effort against Charles Martin, a similar number witnessed GGG dismantling Kell Brook and a slightly improved 545,000 paid for Tyson Fury’s triumphant Dusseldorf heroics – 50% more buys for a bout featuring 2 novices, is without doubt completely insane.
In another bizarre match on Saturday night in Minneapolis, American heavyweight Curtis Harper took the referees instructions centre ring as he faced his Nigerian opponent Efe Ajagba. Following the customary directions, they touched gloves and returned to their respective corner’s to await the first bell.
The boxer’s trainers exited the ring and the first bell was heard. What happened next left the crowd and millions who have since witnessed on social media completely dumfounded.
Harper climbed back through the ropes and returned to his locker room without a single punch being thrown.
Ajagba, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist from 2014, improved his record to 6 and 0, as he was awarded a disqualification victory after only 1 second of the first round!
So what, if anything, can be learned from one of the most bizarre weeks in recent boxing history?
Lesson number 1 – always expect the unexpected as anything can happen in boxing.
And most importantly lesson number 2 – the power of social media is immense and can not be underestimated.
Every aspiring champion out there, if they want a successful career and mainstream acceptance, they can no longer rely on talent and dedication alone. To give themselves a fighting chance of becoming a PPV star and attracting the rewards and the dollars that come with it, they have no alternative but to wholeheartedly embrace the crazy world, that is social media.