Should Boxing Face-Offs Become A Thing Of The Past?

By James Slater - 10/08/2021 - Comments

There was, as fans know, no traditional face-off between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder when they were in each other’s company yesterday, at the final press conference ahead of tomorrow night’s ‘three-match.’ Bob Arum put a stop to the face-off, as there was no security on hand; with the Top Rank boss worrying something might happen that would jeopardize the fight. And Arum has said that there will no face-off after today’s official weigh-in for the third (and final?) fight?

Good on the Hall of Fame promoter, I say. How about you – have you had enough of the face-off tradition, where fighters get, well, in each other’s face? Is it an important tradition the sport needs, for hype purposes and to get fans excited, or are face-offs a tired and tedious element of the sport that has passed its sell-by date? Who needs the face-to-face stuff? It’s not as though anything is to be gained in terms of the two fighters getting an edge before the fight. We’ve seen too many examples of fighters dropping their gaze as they get up close with their rival, only to go on to smash the living daylights out of the man who they were ‘too afraid to look in the eye.’

Evander Holyfield, for one big example, was seemingly unable to go eye-to-eye with Mike Tyson ahead of their November 1996 collision – yet so what? Holyfield went on to give Tyson a real hammering, stopping him late in a big upset. Just because a fighter drops the eyeball-eyeball stuff, it in no way means he is afraid. As such, aside from giving emotionally drained boxers, who’ve-had-enough-and-just-want-to-get-on-with-the-fight, added strain, face-offs serve no real purpose.

And of course, when a face-off does go down, there is the chance one or both of the two fighters might snap and then all hell might break lose; and the fight would be in jeopardy. So again, is it time to give face-offs the elbow, to get rid of them for good? Let’s face it (pun) today’s weigh-in will not suffer any lack of drama just because there will be no face-off, will it?

Silly, old-hat, boring and tedious, and all in all not needed. What do YOU think about the necessity of a face-off at either a presser or at a weigh-in? Would you miss them if they were gone for good?