I HAD a pretty good response from last week’s column. A lot of supportive messages. People read it and had some things to say to me. My family already know because I’ve spoken to them about how I feel and others I know well knew some of it already
I had a mixed response from some other friends that I don’t speak to about personal matters. Some of them were saying, “We do want to see you in a ring again.” Other people said, “If you don’t think it’s the right thing to do, it’s not the right thing to do.” It was an interesting response. It felt quite strange to be putting myself out there to the public.
Anthony Yigit is someone who I boxed in 2017. He’s one of the nicest guys in boxing, a great lad.
He lost last Saturday against Denis Berinchyk in Poland on the Usyk-Dubois undercard but he put up a good fight. I think he knew he was down on the scorecards in the last round and that’s why he went for it in what was a great round. But to then not get his injuries tended to after the fight was horrendous. As a fighter you are literally putting your life on the line. You choose to do it but you think you’d get treated a bit better than that. Every time I’ve needed to be stitched up it hasn’t been a big deal. It wouldn’t even have crossed my mind that I might need to take myself to a hospital to get someone to do it rather than on-site.
That was a big show to be on. How many times has what happened to Yigit happened to fighters on shows that we don’t hear about? I got a message about it from a retired pro Iain Weaver. He wrote back to me saying that it happened to him in one of his fights in America. He had to get himself to a hospital and sort himself out.
It’s a cliché to say that us fighters are treated like pieces of meat, but you can be and that’s how we feel sometimes. To be on the undercard of a unified heavyweight title fight on such a big event and then to be treated that way is disgusting. Cuts can hinder the rest of your career if they’re not treated quickly and properly. To be not tended to is madness.
BN note: Yigit posted on his Twitter feed that he has since received an apology about what happened. His full statement can be read here.
I watched Usyk against Dubois and for me the punch that everyone is talking about was a low blow. The shot looked low to me but not stupidly low. The way Usyk went down his reaction and body language told me it was someone who had been hit by a low blow. It didn’t look like pain from a body shot. He hit him low and it probably moved the groin guard and that caused the pain as well as the power of the shot, that’s the way I saw it. If the ref had given him a count instead he would have got up. It seemed like Usyk was annoyed after that and he became aggressive and that made the fight more entertaining than the first couple of rounds. Usyk still completely dominated the fight. Daniel landed some half decent shots but Usyk was dominant as expected.
Dubois was being outclassed and there would be a lot of people saying he should have fought on and personally I think he could have got up before the count. And while I don’t believe people who never boxed shouldn’t have an opinion on it at the same time to be derogatory towards a fighter because he didn’t get up is really disrespectful. He’s walked out to fight the first or second best heavyweight in the world in front of a huge crowd who were all against him in a fight that nobody gave him a chance in and he’s gone in there, gave it a good shot and wasn’t good enough. So what. Could he have got up? Probably. But what would have happened then? He still would have got a good hiding. I’m not going to slag him off for it. He’s got mettle to get in there with Usyk and in front of all those people. He’ll have took a lot of experience from that. He didn’t deserve that fight in the first place but he’s only 25. I don’t think anyone should write him off just yet.
This Saturday I think Liam Smith will beat Chris Eubank again but I think it’ll be a better fight than last time. I don’t think it will end quite as early, I think it’ll be later.
Eubank is now working with Bomac McIntyre but I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to have changed trainer again. I feel like he’s had so many trainers that none of them have had a chance to make their mark. Bomac has been working with the undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford for years, he’s not going to turn Eubank into Crawford after such a short time together.
Smith is a decent puncher but if [George] Groves couldn’t knock Eubank out you wouldn’t have expected Smith to do what he did when they fought the first time. It was a bit of a shock. Is Eubank’s chin gone for good? Regardless, Smith will still beat him.