FightHype.com

NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: A WEIRD AF BOXING WEEK

By Paul Magno | March 11, 2024
NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: A WEIRD AF BOXING WEEK

The boxing week closed out on Friday with a hefty dose of “all is right with the universe.” Anthony Joshua easy-worked former UFC heavyweight champ/boxing novice Francis Ngannou via two-round crushing and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez finally put to rest the rumors and misinformation to announce his upcoming fight, under the PBC banner, with Jaime Munguia.

But before that? 

Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick, it was raining bat-shit craziness.

I may get some of these out of order because the nuttiness was flying fast, but here we go.

I walked the line between wanting to laugh at Ryan Garcia’s dive into the deep end of the goofy pool and legitimate concern for the kid. To say that the 25-year-off went off the rails is an understatement to the extent that “Dan Rafael is a bit portly” is an understatement.

Garcia, who should’ve been focusing on his fight with Devin Haney on April 20 and who seemed to be in a something-induced state of mind, rifled through just about every conspiracy theory over the course of a multi-day social media meltdown. After starting the week with a clearly staged kidnapping of himself, “King Ry” frenzied about aliens, satanic ritual sex abuse of minors, conjuring demons, Elon Musk as the antichrist, predictions of a June 6 earthquake that will destroy Los Angeles, and talked up a vision of his own, literal, crucifixion at the hands of the “elites.” He even, at one point, started speaking in tongues. If he had talked about lizard people, he would’ve won the QAnon Golden Plaque of Goofiness, awarded for thoroughness in the ways of the nut. It got so bad that notable nutjob Alex Jones even recorded a video urging Garcia to reel it back.

By the end of the week, a disheveled and seemingly worn-out Garcia vowed to pull back on the exposing of evil while he’s in camp for Haney, although he did leave the door open with a not-so-cryptic “Just bc I’m training don’t mean I’m done exposing.” A Saturday night TikTok live video, where he doubles down on his claims and even ups the ante by promising to provide proof of time travel, pretty much confirms that the craziness will continue.

With all this going on inside Ryan, his seemingly oblivious promoter Oscar De La Hoya tweeted insults at “Hamon” (Al Haymon) and asked fans’ ideas for funny videos he could post, all the while, apparently, unaware that there were huge negotiations underway involving Munguia, the guy his company co-promotes in the US, and the biggest star in the sport, Canelo Alvarez. This apparent out-of-the-loopness, of course, didn’t stop Oscar from taking a social media video victory lap on Saturday for getting the fight made.

As Ryan Garcia quieted down from exposing evil, two big stories-- of fights nobody, anywhere asked for-- broke on the same day.

It was announced that Jake Paul would be facing Mike Tyson, live on Netflix, July 20. Later that same day, the story got out that Manny Pacquiao and Conor Benn were in “advanced talks” for a possible bout.

The latter is only slightly more welcomed than the former, but both are the kinds of money grabs that happen in a boxing world where there are more stars than star matchups. It was only fitting that both cynical pairings were brought into the light during the lead-up to the cynical Joshua-Ngannou money grab.

Not quite as high on the pound-for-pound rankings of cynicism was the rumored Terence Crawford vs. Chris Eubank Jr. middleweight bout which spread on social media the day after Paul-Tyson and Pacquiao-”It was the eggs” burned through the Universo Pugilistico.

Crawford-Eubank is alright...if we can’t/won’t get Crawford-Jaron Ennis or Crawford-Charlo or Crawford vs. the winner of Tszyu-Thurman. Just don’t mistake it for anything other than a strategic ploy for Crawford to get one step closer to a Canelo fight by saying, “hey, look at me, I’m a middleweight now, not a welterweight.” By the way, this is all IF the story is true. I think we’ve all seen enough to doubt the veracity of anything and everything we see online.

While all the weirdo shit and weirdo matchmaking was going down, the weirdest week in boxing found a way to get weirder.

Beef over the Ryan Garcia-leaked (and long-debated) Gervonta Davis-Devin Haney sparring video morphed into an Adrien Broner-Bill Haney beef that eventually resulted in Broner making a video where he ran through a laundry list of fighters who’ve allegedly banged Alycia Baumgardner. Don’t ask me how one thing led to the others.

By Friday, I was mentally gassed, but fully expecting some continued craziness in the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou circus fight in Saudi Arabia. I mean, for fuck’s sake, it’s Anthony Joshua-- a guy who’s been a living, breathing letdown for much of the last five years or so.

But, amazingly, AJ didn’t let anyone down-- other than the MMA/UFC-loving lunkheads who still have a hard-on for proving that boxing is for “pussies.”

And after Joshua did to Ngannou what an elite pro is supposed to do to a novice, we got news of Canelo-Munguia getting made-- a fight that may not be THE fight at 168, but should be good nonetheless.

So...is everything back to normal or, should I say, as normal as boxing ever gets? I don’t know. Ryan Garcia’s still got his time travel dissertation on deck.

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

APRIL 21, 2024
APRIL 18, 2024
APRIL 17, 2024
APRIL 16, 2024
APRIL 12, 2024
APRIL 08, 2024
APRIL 04, 2024
APRIL 01, 2024
MARCH 30, 2024
MARCH 28, 2024
MARCH 25, 2024
MARCH 21, 2024
MARCH 18, 2024
MARCH 17, 2024
MARCH 14, 2024
MARCH 12, 2024
MARCH 07, 2024
MARCH 04, 2024
FEBRUARY 29, 2024
FEBRUARY 27, 2024
FEBRUARY 22, 2024
FEBRUARY 19, 2024
FEBRUARY 15, 2024
FEBRUARY 12, 2024
FEBRUARY 08, 2024
FEBRUARY 05, 2024
FEBRUARY 01, 2024