I believe it needs a governing body, like FIFA for soccer. But more importantly, in all honesty, if the game is suffering it’s suffering from a lack of ostensible controversy and intensity. Like Tyson, Nigel and myself and Naseem used to do – remember how you just HAD to watch our fights, even your friends and acquaintances who weren’t boxing followers.
The late Mr Emanuel Steward said that, particularly guys who could be heavyweights prefer American Football rather than boxing. The Home Box Office in the United States tend not to show enough young talent and push the guys who have been on the scene for a long time. There’s also a desperate lack of fight activity among the world champions. So some things need be addressed.
We’re definitely in a different era, a different time. It’s evolved since I was doing it, you know. For better or for worse? You tell me. One thing I didn’t like to see a few years ago was Amir Khan being pushed onto the pay-per-view, he had created a mainstream following and was representing the game well, and then he’s suddenly taken into an obscurity, but more than that, is the fact he only held the Commonwealth title at the time. He wasn’t a world champion. Does the world championship mean anything any more? These are questions that I do pose.
Don King. He’s no longer a major player in boxing. But what damage did he do regarding young fighters with athletic talent who could potentially break into the sport and reach heights, but then there’s Don King, and you wonder who didn’t end up broke with him, who didn’t end up trying sue him? Why would young boys have wanted to break in, say 10, 15 years ago, when the spearhead of the business is a man with Don King’s reputation for taking sole control.
Maybe boxing can pick up from that now. The men who went into these other American sports, or who went into MMA, they could’ve been contenders right now, pushing the top guys to fight and defend and challenge more regularly, and then you have a better sport.
I fought Michael Watson twice in 1991, then
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