Later on today the official weigh-in will take place for this weekend’s WBC heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
For the first time perhaps in modern boxing history however, no face off will be permitted between the fighters at the weigh-in.
The decision was made by the NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett based on what he saw take place at the press conference during the week with some pushing between the fighters.
While it’s easy to shake heads at the decision or for fight fans to be confused as to why the decision was made, given the fact both men will be throwing full blooded shots at one another come fight night and what’s the big deal about some pushing (I totally get that) — I would suggest there is another side to this.
From a big picture standpoint that is.
To be fair to Bob Bennett and the Commission I can see where they are coming from with this from an objective perspective regarding the major networks and broadcasters at play here on Saturday night.
Fox and ESPN separately are up there for two of the biggest powerhouses in world television and broadcasting.
The fact that they gave this fight free advertising at the Super Bowl recently, something which costs an incredible amount of money — shows the intent they have for not just this fight but also boxing moving forward into the future.
Both companies are treating boxing and this event like any other major sport that they broadcast.
Boxing has needed this type of ubiquitous mass consumption-led approach for a while as the sport became smaller and smaller over the years in terms of the audience.
Now boxing is trying to do new things as a sport to grow and reach out to the next generation of fight fans.
Despite what some naysayers might say – plenty of young people are watching boxing again and are starting to tune into the sport in their droves again.
Boxing needs to be portrayed in a more positive light as a sport.
This Saturday represents a chance for boxing to showcase itself for all it’s good merits at the highest level of the entire sport in a genuinely compelling heavyweight title fight.
The fact both Fox and ESPN have worked in harmony on this shows just how happy they’ve been with getting their feet dipped back into boxing again too.
The decision to withdraw the face off is purely a precautionary one not to screw anything up for boxing this weekend with so many eyes on the sport again.
Other major league sports don’t have this type of scenario on the cusp of their major events so why should boxing?
Fox and ESPN are broadcasting boxing again and are treating boxing as a major league sport so I can see where Bob Bennett’s thinking on this came from.
Enjoy what should be a spectacular event on Saturday night.
After all, it’s what happens when the bell goes inside the ring that counts.