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It seems like boxing is prospering during the post Mayweather era. Every major network has got themselves a few major stars and those networks and apps have the money to pay them what they're worth. Back in 2013 when Floyd Mayweather signed his nine-figure deal with Showtime, the offer was looked at as something foolish to refuse. Mayweather would not only be set for life, but his family generations after would be set as well. In a sport where so many of it's legends were robbed or went broke, this mega deal would be the blue print for how boxers should handle their business. Fast forward to 2019, Canelo Alvarez (former Mayweather foe and now the face of boxing) has signed what's being called the richest contract in sports history. Another nine-figure contract in the books for a boxer. A lot can be said about Alvarez when it comes to many things in this sport. One thing's for sure is he's a big draw. Probably the biggest in the sport. With this contract signing Tyson is obviously in the big draw category. For guys like them saying a fighter is scared just isn't enough chips to play at the table cashing them in and earning a fight with them. Which brings me to why you clicked on this article in the first place ... Tyson Fury and the brilliance of his contract signing.
With a deal estimated at $80 million, and access to ESPN and ESPN over three million subscribers. Fury would have the ability to not only increase his pay for fights, but to build his fan base in America as well. Boxing is in an era where "ppv stars" are happening less and less compared to previous eras. I look at this deal as Fury thinking ahead to the future. It's similar to Canelo and Anthony Joshua's DAZN signing. Sure, it's a rival network. However, some fighters aren't network bound with their contracts like how Wilder recently claimed. So fights still can get made. Also let's not forget times where networks agreed to co-host past bouts in boxing as well.
Top Rank ESPN, DAZN and Showtime Boxing
Which leads me to the next debunking. Wilder fans are claiming "fear." I think fear in a fighter, especially one of Tyson Fury's mindset, is the last thing he's having. One reason is the man was ready to die by his own cause of living. So losing a boxing match is easy to him. As he said once before. He's already conquered the biggest opponent in his life, his depression. He could fight for a Wilder payday five times and it wouldn't equal to the $80 million dollar Top Rank and ESPN were offering. Going back to the Floyd Showtime deal ... Floyd once said no fan is going to help pay for his kids college education, doctor bills or help with his family. So it was in his best interest to take the best offer that was on the table. That's what Tyson Fury did.
To continue on the topic of fear. What I don't understand coming from the Wilder side of the field is their admiration of his power when just a few years ago, with Floyd Mayweather, technique and the art of boxing was everything. I am a fan of all three of the main heavyweights and I do acknowledge there is a method to the madness of Deontay Wilder's boxing style. I just can't help but point out the contradiction that a majority of his fan base are showing. GGG was technique and power, yet he was overrated? Things just don't add up. I just believe when it's said and done the fan base just doesn't want to give props to the opponent for handling his own destiny. To add to my point, if Tyson Fury was scared like how some people say, he would've never bothered to get up from that second knock down in their first fight.
Did this deal hurt the sport? I think not. To everyone claiming Fury taking the Top Rank ESPN deal is bad for the sport. I'd like to ask them this. When was the last time you paid for a pay per view? Went out to a theater to watch the fight? Or even go to a bar? A fighter has to fatten their pockets while they're in the game somehow, and with all the illegal streaming so called boxing fans have been doing the sport has shifted. Its more of a business now ( saying the then Floyd fans now Wilder fans used to chirp about). A fan who mostly watches fights on illegal streams should never talk about a fighter hurting the sport when they've never truly invested in it in the first place.
Wilder himself sees the business side of boxing. His team has been sent an offer from Top Rank to help get the rematch going. If the offer ends up being bigger figures than what showtime has ever given him. The offer will get accepted. We'll get the rematch. Fans will forget these ducking, hurting the sport and scared comments. The narrative will then be, "There's no where to hide now." When scared or hiding was never the case. Both boxers just negotiated a better deal for their future. Bottom line this fight isn't dead people. It will happen.