Eddie Hearn falling in love with women’s boxing
If one were listening to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, now is a great time to dive headfirst into women’s boxing. This is because, in his opinion, the female fighters are in a prime position to steal a substantial amount of the limelight from their male counterparts.
The basis of this rationale, as he told to iFL TV, was due to the women’s consistent willingness to take on the biggest available challenge at the time. Sure, there are definitely a healthy number of male boxers chasing the dangerous fights. Yet, far too often, economic squabbling and political grandstanding prevent the meaningful showdowns and super fights that the fans clamor for from taking place.
“Men’s boxing is actually in danger by women’s boxing.”
On the one the hand, there is more than a little bit of substance to Hearn’s argument. There is no question that one of the major gripes that boxing fans nurture is too many of the big fights go unrealized. Former WBO world featherweight champion “Fearless” Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KO’s) has futilely hunted a prizefight with IBF world featherweight champion Josh “The Leeds Warrior” Warrington (30-0, 7 KO’s) for some time.
The showdown between WBO world welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (36-0, 27 KO’s) and WBC and IBF world welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KO’s) remains unresolved. Also, WBA super world middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO’s) struggles to find a worthy dance partner for his September fight date while essentially pretending that WBO world middleweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (29-0, 18 KO’s) does not exist. This list is just to name a few.
Watching so many fights like the ones above go unmade, or presented well past their ‘sell by’ date, has certainly put a strain on many boxing fans.
NEW AGE ON THE RISE
Unlike the men however, as Hearn is quick to point out, the female fighters have exhibited almost the polar opposite behavior.
“I’m telling you now, if these women fighters continue to be fearless in terms of taking on the biggest challenges, in terms of fighting other champions, unifying immediately, searching for the undisputed, you are going to get parity so much quicker than you ever expected.”
“Because I can’t tell you how refreshing it is when I picked up the phone to [undisputed world welterweight champion] Cecilia Braekhus and said, ‘would you fight [WBC and WBA world junior welterweight champion] Jessica McCaskill?’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Jessica, would you go up to welterweight and fight for the undisputed title,’ ‘yes,’ done! [Undisputed world lightweight champion] Katie Taylor is supposed to be fighting Amanda Serrano, seven weeks out, ‘look she don’t want to now. Would you switch it up to Delphine Persoon?’ ‘Yes!’”
“This is what makes the sport great, it’s just making me fall in love with women’s boxing…these are great match-ups and they are high level match-ups and they are entertaining and they are fighters that don’t give a fuck!”
Realistically speaking, female fighters still have a tremendous amount of ground to make up in terms of getting equal billing, promotion and pay as their male colleagues. It’s going to take a great deal of effort, strain and dedication to close that ferocious gap. Yet, on the optimistic side, as Hearn illustrated, female fighters and the interest in them is certainly on the rise.
Therefore, so long as they continue to pen the significant bouts, and bring the excitement in the ring, it is quite perceivable that there is a golden age of women’s boxing just around the corner. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
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By: Bakari Simpson