I received a positive response to last week’s column. Many people showed their support and shared their thoughts with me. I had already discussed my feelings with my family, and those close to me were already aware.
However, some friends I don’t typically share personal matters with had a mixed response. Some said, “We want to see you in the ring again.” Others said, “If you don’t think it’s the right thing to do, then it’s not.” This response was interesting, as it felt strange to expose myself to the public in this way.
One person I want to mention is Anthony Yigit, whom I boxed against in 2017. He is one of the nicest guys in the boxing world. Unfortunately, he lost to Denis Berinchyk in Poland on the Usyk-Dubois undercard. However, he put up a good fight, especially in the last round where he gave it his all. It was horrendous to see that he didn’t receive medical attention for his injuries after the fight. As fighters, we put our lives at risk, and while we choose to do so, we expect better treatment. Getting stitched up has never been a big deal for me, and I never thought I would have to go to a hospital instead of receiving on-site care.
Yigit’s situation made me wonder how many fighters on shows that don’t make headlines have faced similar circumstances. I received a message from retired pro Iain Weaver, who shared that he experienced the same situation in one of his fights in America. He had to go to a hospital and take care of himself.
It’s a common cliché to say that fighters are treated like pieces of meat, but sometimes it feels that way. To be on the undercard of a unified heavyweight title fight and receive such treatment is appalling. Neglecting cuts can have long-term consequences for a fighter’s career. Not receiving the necessary attention is madness.
BN note: Yigit posted an apology he received on his Twitter feed. You can read his full statement here.
I watched Usyk against Dubois, and in my opinion, the punch everyone is talking about was a low blow. It appeared low to me, but not excessively low. Usyk’s reaction and body language indicated that he had been hit with a low blow, rather than a body shot. It seemed like the punch moved his groin guard, causing pain in addition to the power of the shot. If the referee had given him a count, Usyk would have gotten up. After that, Usyk became aggressive, making the fight more entertaining. Usyk still completely dominated the fight, and while Daniel landed some decent shots, it was expected.
Dubois was clearly outclassed, and many would argue that he should have continued fighting. Personally, I believe he could have gotten up before the count. However, it is disrespectful to derogate a fighter for not getting up. He stepped into the ring against one of the best heavyweight boxers, with a huge crowd against him and little chance of winning. He gave it his best shot but wasn’t good enough. Even if he had gotten up, he would still have faced a tough fight. I won’t criticize him for it. He showed courage by getting in the ring with Usyk, and he can learn a lot from this experience. He’s only 25, and I don’t think we should write him off just yet.
This Saturday, I believe Liam Smith will defeat Chris Eubank once again, but I think it will be a better fight than last time. I don’t expect it to end as quickly, but rather later in the match.
Although Eubank is now working with Bomac McIntyre, I don’t think changing trainers again was a good idea. It seems like he has had so many trainers that none of them have had sufficient time to make an impact. Bomac has been working with welterweight champion Terence Crawford for years, so it’s unrealistic to expect him to turn Eubank into Crawford after a short time together.
Smith is a decent puncher, but if Groves couldn’t knock out Eubank, we wouldn’t expect Smith to achieve it in their rematch. Eubank’s chin may be questionable, but regardless, Smith will come out victorious.