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Who Sanctions the Sanctioners?

By Donald “Braveheart” Stewart

An opinion piece from the only Donald worth listening to…

Full Stop – In British English grammar a full stop is a lengthy pause, in the US, you call it a period. In the UK that tends to suggest feminine products. Here it means a period of time where

I look at something in boxing in a little more depth. I am typing from my perspective of a fan who watches the sport closely. It’s an opinion. It is my opinion. Don’t like it? There are other opinions out there but if you don’t like it then good, debate and democracy are a good thing. If you do like it, feel free to spread the word.

Who sanctions the sanctioners?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Roman poet, Juvenal posed this question – who will guard the guards? In modern day boxing terms, the issue for me, is who will sanction the bodies who think it prim and proper to allow a 57 year old man to fight a decent enough fighter in a proper fight.

Jake Paul v Mike Tyson is not an exhibition.

Jake Paul v Mike Tyson is not a You Tuber style misfit fight.

Jake Paul v Mike Tyson is, apparently, a real professional fight.

My arse.

On the 20th of July 2024, Iron Mike Tyson shall have his next professional contest against a man who will have his 10th fight for money, and it shall qualify for a Boxrec entry.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation have conducted a review of both competitors – their professional records and medical histories – and now believe that it is right and proper to call it a professional contest.

My arse.

They have, however stated that they have to wear 14-ounce gloves and that they have to only fight 8 rounds, each of which is to only last for 2 rather than 3 minutes. And that qualifies as a professional fight.

My arse.

Tyson has been out of a competitive ring since 2005 and it is hard to make the argument that Jake Paul has spent much time in a professional ring during his time fighting. But such flippancy hides two things.

Firstly, the health of the 57-year-old Tyson. This is a man whose autobiography reads like a tour of the pharmaceutical industry and any medical professional who reads that, looks over the mental charts of a man convicted of rape, road rage and of biting part an ear off a previous opponent and thinks he is fit to fight, needs medical attention themselves.

Don’t get me wrong. Tyson has enough of his faculties to prove that he has a right to fight. I think his contest with Roy Jones, JR. in 2020 was unremarkable but interesting. I think that he should be allowed to pursue whatever sporting contest he feels he has the ability to pursue but the problem is that whilst there are boxers out there, struggling to make ends meet, they are watching a man who won and squandered millions have another day in the sun, whilst they are struggling to stay in the sport. Without a regulator or a body that can step in boxing will always struggle with this.

And that is the second issue it both masks and prominently floats to the surface.

Boxing, for all the Saudi influence is still keen to find its shotgun and point it at its own body. This is NOT a professional contest over 8 rounds. This is something else – a curiosity, a travesty, a sham. It is not a professional fight.

You can pack as many world title fights as you want on the undercard. You can call it as many headline names as you wish but 8 rounds, 2 minutes and 14 oz gloves – the numbers simply do not add up.

We have to deal with, just now, the fallout from the Devan Haney/ Ryan Garcia fight where Garcia has failed drugs tests and is claiming that he has been set up. There is clearly a foul in here somewhere. Just where shall be determined over time. In the meantime, people shall judge the sport on its merits and Paul/Tyson has none.

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