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MAGNO'S BULGING SACK: TSZYU-FUNDORA, THURMAN, ROLLY-PITBULL, MORE...

By Paul Magno | March 21, 2024
MAGNO'S BULGING SACK: TSZYU-FUNDORA, THURMAN, ROLLY-PITBULL, MORE...

Thursdays, in this corner of the Universo Pugilistico, are all about my sack-- my bulging, bulbous, aching sack-- and the gooey, salty truth contained within. So...sit back, close your eyes, pull back your hair, and get ready for this week's money shot of wisdom. This week we have comments/questions regarding Tszyu-Fundora, Keith Thurman, Rolly vs. Pitbull, and more...

Tszyu vs. Thurman, minus Thurman

Hi Paul.

I was surprised that Keith Thurman pulled out of his fight with Tim Tszyu, but not really THAT surprised to be honest. Keith may be happy in life and well-off to not have to fight, good for him, but that doesn’t exactly make him an asset to the sport. IMO, he was matched with Tszyu to be the mouth of the promotion and help sell the fight, but he was there to lose, to be honest. He was being offered up to help build the star power of Tszyu. Sebastian Fundora is stepping in to take Thurman’s place and I think he’s going to be stopped hard. What’s confusing at the moment is whether any belts will be up for  grabs in Tszyu-Fundora now that Tszyu is fighting an actual 154 lb. contender who was up to fight for the vacant WBC title on the undercard.

What say you about all this Tszyu-Thurman-Fundora rigmarole?

– John F.

Hey John.

Honestly, I wasn’t even paying attention to all the title talk. The belts DO matter, but not necessarily to me, at least not right now. Apparently, Tszyu-Fundora will be for the WBO and WBC junior middleweight titles. The only interesting thing in this belt stuff is that Terence Crawford has reportedly petitioned the WBO to challenge the winner of the fight and he was granted that opportunity. So, whoever wins on March 30 must enter into negotiations with Crawford within five days of the bout. I’m not gonna lie, Tszyu-Crawford (which I said would happen in my 2024 boxing predictions) has me tinkling myself in anticipation. 

As for Thurman, well, he’s playing the game on his own terms. His bank account is about the only thing benefiting from his career strategy and I have no problem with that. It’s his life, his career, and I don’t think he’s hurting the sport in any way. It would’ve been interesting to see Tszyu against someone who could box and move like Thurman, but, realistically, things might’ve ended badly for him against a young, sharp, active, and naturally bigger guy like Tszyu. 

Fundora is a fine replacement and he’ll make for an all-action fight for as long as it lasts. For Tszyu, going from prepping for an orthodox mover and getting a 6-foot-6 southpaw pressure fighter on short notice is a tough changeup, but he should be able to make the adjustment. 

PBC PPV...WTF?

Hey Magno. 

Tszyu-Fundora is still PPV? LOL. Tszyu-Thurman wasn’t even PPV-worthy. What the hell are those PBC fools smoking? This show is going to tank, big time. Is it too late for Amazon Prime to back out of this mess?

– JD the Boxing Fan

Hey JD.

It’s really as simple as this-- buy it or don’t buy it. Personally, I’d prefer for there to be much less pay-per-view, but I’m not privy to the business realities involved in making these fights. I’ve gone on record numerous times about my feeling that paywalls, in general, are detrimental to the long-term well-being of the sport. However, until I’m made KING of boxing, I have no say-so in any of the business stuff. In the meantime, a card’s PPV-worthiness will have to be up to the consumer. 

Rolly vs. Pitbull

Hi Paul.

I think people are sleeping on the Rolly vs. Pitbull fight on the Tszyu-Fundora undercard. I think this could have Fight of the Year potential. I got Isaac wearing down Rolly and stopping him late. How do you see this fight playing out?

– Luis

Hey Luis. 

I hear you. I’m also very intrigued by this matchup. Cruz is the technically better fighter, but will he be thrown off by Romero’s awkwardness and unorthodoxy? He’s not a one-punch killer and he IS moving up in weight, too. The question for me is how well he can handle Rolly’s punch. He’s shown himself to have a tremendous chin, so maybe he CAN take the shots and grind Rolly down. Another question is how well Rolly can box and keep Cruz from applying that pressure. Aside from all that, I just like the way the contrasting personalities clash. It’ll be fun, for sure.

Hurray for Paul, Boo for Boxing Bossmen!

Hi Paul! 

Your last column (“Notes from the Boxing Underground: When The Sideshow Outsells The Circus”) was clever as hell man. You were inspired! Were you high when writing it? The fart in the hurricane line was as funny as it was smart! Seriously, what a good piece. 

I agree with you about the “purists”. Those same guys that trash those freak fights look the other way when established boxing stars mount histrionic numbers just to sell the fights. I completely agree with you: no one should feel offended about fights like Tyson-Paul. I, instead, would rather to bitch about our current boxer’s inactivity and the fact that you can’t expect the best facing the best. In every major sport, the best clashing against the best is an absolute certainty. You name it. MLB, NBA, NFL, Soccer World Cup. 

But I mainly wanted just to congratulate you on a very articulated article, Paul. Thanks for keeping us entertained!

-- Carlos, from Hermosillo, Mexico

Thanks Carlos. I appreciate the kind words. Actually, I appreciate any email that doesn’t begin with, “You call yourself a boxing writer?”

The boxing intelligentsia is (in)famous for being outraged about “safe” issues while conveniently ignoring the actual issues that matter. In the case of these celebrity boxing matches, the question isn’t “why do people watch them” or “how can we make them go away.” Rather, the question SHOULD be: “how are the boxing bossmen screwing up so badly that a public who WANTS to buy into boxing chooses to watch nothing fights over real high-end fights?” You can be damn sure that NBA execs would be up in arms and holding emergency meetings if celebrity half-court basketball games were drawing higher ratings than the NBA finals. Boxing execs don’t seem all that worried. 

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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