What can we say about the year 2020? What words would sum it up so far? Crazy? Scary? Unprecedented things happening? Devoid of basic normality? A bad and frustrating year for sport, all sport, with boxing perhaps taking the biggest hit?
All of the above?
Yes, the coronavirus, better known as COVID-19, has sure knocked us all for six. There have been signs of a return to a normal life, but we are not, as the saying goes, out of the woods yet. We’ve seen something of a boxing comeback, due (thank you so much) to fights taking place inside the “bubble” in Las Vegas, and others taking place on the lavish garden of a UK promoter. But regular crowd activity has been lacking.
Who knows how long it will carry on this way?
You know it’s a crazy, odd and downright weird year when the biggest fight to take place, or be scheduled to take place, is one between 1980s legend Mike Tyson and 1990s legend Roy Jones (no longer Jnr). But this is how 2020’s boxing calendar will perhaps be highlighted. Now rescheduled for November, Tyson v Jones has, like it or lump it, got millions of people talking.
What other fight or fights have done so this year? Canelo, the biggest star in boxing, might not fight this year; certainly, he won’t fight on September 12. Tyson Fury might box before the end of the year, but it may not be against Deontay Wilder. Anthony Joshua is looking at a December date for his old news fight with Kubrat Pulev. Mega-star wise, that’s about it.
Manny Pacquiao? Nothing doing in 2020 so far. Terence Crawford? The same (although he might fight Kell Brook in a far from scintillating match-up, maybe in November). Gennady Golovkin? Who knows.
No, the Tyson-Jones “super fight” aside, there are only two fights that have got boxing fans talking over the last few weeks, and these two matches have, reassuringly, done it in a positive way.
Thank goodness for Vasily Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez, and Errol Spence vs Danny Garcia. Two genuinely interesting fights, maybe more than that. It is though the welterweight fight that is the most fascinating.
How many questions are there attached to the November fight? How will Spence be after that nasty car crash? Can Garcia put on a great welterweight performance? How will rust affect the two men? Should Spence have taken a tune-up fight first? Will either Spence or Garcia suffer a KO for the first time in this fight?
If it was not for the Spence-Garcia and Lomachenko-Lopez fights, 2020 would be remembered for two pieces of bad news: the coronavirus and the Tyson-Jones “fight.”
Lord help us. Hopefully, Loma and Lopez, and Spence and Garcia, will do just that.