There’s definitely a theme going on with titles ending in a question mark, I think I’ve become quite attached to them. Secondly, sorry for no blog posts over the last couple days, people need their wine and some of those people are in Swindon! It’s been a busy period but I was desperate to get back to writing.
Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about the offer made to Gary Russell Jr for two-title unification with Leed’s Josh Warrington. The latter who I mentioned in a post not that long ago when he decided to relinquish his IBF World title. It’s become well known to the boxing public that Warrington is on the hunt for a meaningful fight to put it nicely. His tick over against Mauricio Lara this weekend is considered to keep the gears going and nothing much more. Although I do keep hearing ‘Lara can punch’ and that he shouldn’t written off, I fail to see the threat unless the inactivity of Warrington has really played a part.
Anyway, whilst Warrington was still champion when there was an offer made by promoter Eddie Hearn to WBC World champion Gary Russell Jr for $1 million. The guy who fights once a year (even without a pandemic) stated that he felt he was being undervalued. UK boxing twitter didn’t take to this news too nicely when it came out, and it was glorious. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, whilst I have some understanding of how it wouldn’t actually be the stated amount after fees, taxes and whatever, it’s painful to think there’s fighters out there not willing to prove they’re the best. It would’ve without a doubt been one of the best fights to happen in a pandemic and whilst I do rate Josh Warrington, I feel that Russell Jr certainly has some say in that ‘who’s number one’ conversation.
Was it simply lowballing the WBC ruler or was he over-expecting? $1 million in the grand scheme of things is not a lot of money, and a fight of that magnitude should generate a lot more. However, there’s a goddamn pandemic going on, Russell knows this right? It’s maddening to think that he should feel undervalued for a decent amount to earn whilst so many have lost their jobs and had to find replacements in an uncertain time. It’s important to mention that a lot of money usually generated with Warrington is the gate, and with no live crowds for almost a full year now, there needs to be sacrifices made.
I’d be interested to know how much Warrington would’ve earned for that, as I believe he has a contract with Matchroom to earn a certain amount per fight. I always like the notion of unifications to be 50/50, so that’s what I like to think the deal would’ve been. Now we have to see Warrington chase that fight without a belt, likely demanding similar money. It’s one hellhole of a situation, and if it hasn’t happened by now… Don’t hold your breath.