Are they gone now?
It was bad enough that the October 28 Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou debacle was the perfect storm of a shit-stain boxing event showcasing a jaded, out of shape heavyweight champion going the distance with a boxing novice, covered by the very worst of boxing media (at its very worst), for the purpose of sportswashing a murderous, human rights-abusing Saudi Arabia. But, maybe worst of all, it opened the door for the slack-jawed MMA community to give their short bus insight on boxing.
My fucking god, was this last week-and-a-half tough to trudge through as the ground-and-pound crew opined on probably the one full boxing match they’ve seen since Rocky Balboa-Ivan Drago.
Kicking the brain dead festivities off was media gadfly (or fruit fly) Ariel Helwani, who proclaimed Ngannou the winner and then, oddly, unleashed on boxing fans.
Helwani has worked a few recent boxing events, so, maybe he was just pretending to put up with all of our boxing smugness? I’m not at all familiar with his MMA podcast/broadcast work (some say it’s pretty good), but I know his boxing stuff is the shits. Whatever the case, given his disdain for boxing folk and his general naiveté when it comes to the sport, it’s probably a good idea for him to stay over on the other side of the combat sport fence.
By the way, it should be said in our outside voice that Ngannou’s only victory on October 28 was a moral one. That fight was a clear, zero controversy, 96-93 win for Fury. Fury’s loss and Ngannou’s win came in the fact that the former UFC heavyweight champ should’ve been stopped and/or utterly shut out on the scorecards in a one-sided laugher. The reality is that, aside from the flash knockdown he scored in the third round, Ngannou, who is a genuinely likable, inspirational figure, did very little aside from not embarrass himself.
Fury, meanwhile, has every reason to be embarrassed, humiliated, crawl-under-a-rock ashamed of his performance that night. It looked as though “The Gypsy King” planned to carry Ngannou a few rounds for shits and giggles, but, as I wrote at FightHype.com, “then got clipped and dropped in the third. From there, plans went sideways and the fight morphed from a clown show into a real fight– a real fight that Fury was ill-prepared to engage in.”
But, again, despite all the underdog backstory and the we-really-want-to-believe-this-is-happening casual fan self-storytelling, Ngannou didn’t win and, really, was never close to winning. He just fought better than anticipated against a Tyson Fury who fought significantly worse than expected. If you saw the fight and thought otherwise, you clearly didn’t know what the hell you were watching.
However, just try telling that to the “Boxing Sucks/UFC Rules” true believers.
And then there were the claims of “cheating.”
The first rule of Fight Club should be to learn the rules of the fight. If anything made that eight count into a twenty count, it was Ngannou doing that little dance and forcing the ref’s count to be paused. But even that was a moot point. Fury was never NOT going to beat that count.
We could go ’round and ’round with this Boxing vs. MMA stuff, but it will always boil down to the, no shit, duh, reality that an athlete is more likely to succeed in his own sport than in a different sport. Baseball’s Mr. Everything superstar Shohei Ohtani would not be a great starting NFL quarterback. Lebron James would make for a shitty NHL goalie. Again, duh.
If we really wanted to strain our brains and debate the topic of who fares better in crossover bouts, there’s probably more ammo to support a pro-Boxing take. It’s not like we haven’t seen novice boxer Jake Paul beat the stuffing out of former UFC champions/legends or a retired, half-serious Floyd Mayweather carry Conor McGregor for ten rounds before stopping him. Maybe, someday, when the UFC and other MMA companies compensate their fighters properly and can pay enough to bring other athletes into their world, we might find out how boxers fare in “the cage” (and, no, a shot, bloated, counter-punching James Toney in the possible throes of Dementia Pugilistica vs. Randy Couture doesn’t count).
The whole Boxing vs. MMA thing is played out anyway.
It served its purpose back in the day when the UFC was first starting and Dana White was trying to market his new company off the back of its senior combat sport cousin. Hyping the UFC as better, badder, and more extreme than boxing, White’s strategy paid off in attracting the testosterone-heavy fist-pumpers of the sporting world. He won over the mostly young, internet-savvy males with plenty of disposable income who squarely fit into the demographic of “bros” who just wanted to see “some dude get cracked in the mother fuckin’ face.”
For many, that marketing angle somehow got wrapped around their identity and sane, rational combat sports fans have been paying the price ever since.
But somebody clearly forgot to tell the marks that the combat sports war was over a long time ago.
Francis Ngannou not embarrassing himself against Tyson Fury brought these people charging to the imaginary frontline. And never were this crew’s insecurities and general inferiority complex more on display than during the post Fury-Ngannou fervor. It’s almost as if these guys were angry-masturbating for years, waiting for the chance the find something, anything to prove how “pussy” boxing was and how bad-ass their guys were. They seized on this — even though the “proof” was not proof at all.
I could post more and more examples of this small dick energy, but, man, my head hurts from the dumbness.
It’s been a real chore seeing/hearing these people talk about boxing (is that me being smug, Ariel?).
My advice for them is to just stay in their lane. You don’t see me talking about rear naked reverse cowgirl or whatever they call their shit. I won’t comment on what I don’t really know. It’s not that hard. And maybe they can buy some penis enlargement pills or move out of mom’s basement to help that self-esteem.