Please, Can We Get Back to Real Boxing?

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In its purest form, the sport of boxing is a contest of varying rounds to determine which gloved gladiator is better through a test of stamina and will. Throughout the sport’s life, we’ve no doubt seen some great examples of what makes the sweet science amazing to watch.

Right off the bat, many fans of pugilism can name the Ali/Frazier rivalry and the 1991 rematch between Mike Tyson and Razor Ruddock as among the best fights they’ve seen. Even the original confrontation matching Tyson with Evander Holyfield from November of 1996 was a decent affair. The same, however, obviously can never be said about their ugly rematch from June of 1997.

In retrospect, Mike Tyson was lucky that his career as a boxer wasn’t killed off completely by his actions that night. Even if that particular bout is remembered solely due to the controversial ear bite, it was still a legitimate fight with true combatants inside the squared circle.

Recent times, however, have seen legitimate boxing matches unfortunately get lumped in with what amounts to celebrity boxing. This particular aspect of the sport has come a long way since the concept of celebrity boxing was first introduced to the masses thanks to a primetime special on FOX in 2002.

Paul vs. Danis Brought Out the Worst in Celebrity Boxing

With the passage of time, celebrity boxing has changed for the worse. Last Saturday evening’s bout matching YouTuber-turned WWE Superstar Logan Paul with Bellator MMA welterweight Dillon Danis is a textbook example of what’s gone bad in boxing.

Goodness, what an absolute embarrassment this turned out to be. One cannot help but feel pity for any viewer who decided to fork over the requisite money to watch this sideshow on pay-per-view.

Here’s how the fight should have been advertised in the run-up to the card: We fade in on a carnival as the camera advances toward a booth. A barker is calling out to the attendees.

“Come one! Come all!”, he says. “See a mismatch in boxing! Come one, come all!”

They did, and hopefully they were happy with what they got. A number of people have voiced their opinions on this event in the few days since the fight’s happened.

An Embarrassment of Riches

In short, the parties involved should have never agreed to last Saturday’s contest. This was a black eye for the sport. Where does one begin to dissect what went wrong in this fight?

Although the official decision was a sixth-round disqualification victory for Logan Paul, there wasn’t any sort of real winner here. Throughout the sixth round of the fight, several rules infractions took place, including, but not limited to:

  • Danis attempting to complete a takedown on Paul.
  • Danis efforting a guillotine choke submission against Paul.
  • Paul connecting on a punch to the head of a downed Danis as the final round neared its end.

This final bit of action led to Logan Paul’s security team rushing the ring in an effort to attack Danis in a scene that looked straight out of a recent Monday Night Raw or AEW Dynamite telecast. Upon order being restored, veteran ring announcer Michael Buffer mentioned that Dillon Danis had been disqualified from the fight.

Danis Didn’t Even Try

Even if Dillon Danis had not gotten himself disqualified on Saturday night, he would have ended up the loser against Logan Paul in any circumstance. Simply put, Logan Paul was too good of a fighter and Dillon Danis never showed any real sort of threat.

It’s almost as if Danis knew the fight against Paul was put on specifically as a sideshow. Whether Danis took a dive against Paul remains to be seen and likely will not ever be definitively known by anyone.

Be that as it may, he was largely a no-show throughout the 18 minutes of boxing seen in Manchester on Saturday night. Statistically speaking, Dillon Danis only threw 70 punches all told during the fight.

Of those 70 punches thrown, Danis successfully converted on a paltry 16 of them, accounting for just a 23 percent success rate. Comparatively, Logan Paul fired off 330 punches over the course of the match, converting on 108 of them, resulting in a 33 percent clip.

Why Was This Fight Not Stopped Sooner?

Even if Dillon Danis did not throw the fight, in any boxing match, a fighter has to make a concerted effort to counterpunch against his or her opposition. If the combatant does not fight back, it could lead to unneeded damage.

At what point did Dillon Danis’ team even begin to consider “Dillon is getting beaten to a pulp in that ring. Why don’t we throw in the towel and save him?” If the thought even crossed their mind, the disqualification never even happens, although it still would have amounted to being all Logan Paul, all the time.

This Was Not Real Boxing

At the core, the Logan Paul vs. Dillon Danis fight last Saturday evening should not be considered real boxing.

This bout amounted to a squash match where Logan Paul seemingly walked all over Dillon Danis, who was not even interested in putting up any sort of legitimate fight against him. In a real fight, you would expect both guys to muster up the strength to where they are actively trying to punch one another.

Viewers who paid $60 (USD) to watch this fight on either DAZN or ESPN+ essentially wasted their hard-earned disposable income over the weekend. Every so often, you get a boxing match where people say “This is the night where boxing dies.”

The same thing was said when Floyd Mayweather battled Conor McGregor six years ago. That was actually a good fight, with McGregor holding his own throughout.

Final Thoughts

However, the Paul/Danis contest was a sideshow of the highest order. The unfortunate part about fights like this is that they’re likely to keep happening.

It is kind of sad that guys like Logan Paul have to coexist in the world of boxing with fighters like Canelo Alvarez and Tyson Fury. Thankfully, the latter is currently due to fight Francis Ngannou next weekend in “The Predator’s” first fight since leaving the UFC.

If more fights like Fury/Ngannou happen, boxing will never die, no matter how many celebrity bouts take place.

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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