This weekend is monumental for British boxing. There are make-or-break fights for Kevin Mitchell and Tony Bellew, as well as huge opportunities to impress for Dereck Chisora and Luke Campbell – and that’s only on the undercard. We then have Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan to look forward to – which not only serves as the conclusion of a bitter feud, but the final eliminator for the WBA Middleweight world title too.
Then comes the main event. What more can you say about Joshua vs. Whyte? It really is a battle for the future of the Heavyweight division. Both men put their undefeated records on the line, with the Commonwealth and British titles also at stake. This isn’t just about boxing anymore, though. The winner of Saturday’s main event will undoubtedly be in line for a world title shot in 2016, but the bragging rights will mean so much more to both fighters in the short-term. Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua hate each other, and when you mix talent and hatred in the ring, you usually get a thrilling encounter.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? The bookies don’t agree, with the shortest odds for the favourite to win across the card being 1/3 (Kevin Mitchell). If you’re curious, Anthony Joshua is as short as 1/12 to beat Dillian Whyte. For that exact reason, Matchroom Sport have found themselves under scrutiny for making Bad Intentions a pay-per-view event, given the lack of perceived competitive fights. Can people really justify paying £16.95 for a night of mismatches, and more importantly, no world title fights? Eddie Hearn spoke to BoxingNewsTV, and he feels criticism is harsh – insisting there are no foregone conclusions.
“Kevin Mitchell is in a 50/50 fight, and anyone that knows boxing will tell you the same thing. So is Tony Bellew. Chris Eubank versus Spike O’Sullivan is a wonderful fight, as is Joshua-Whyte. Even though Joshua is the clear favourite, it’s an exciting heavyweight fight.”
He then continued to shrug off any potential doubts, and revealed the fight was already doing good numbers ahead of Saturday night.
“Even with the numbers coming in already, we know this is a huge night. I know fans are going to have their opinion, but I’m probably a little bit more qualified to make the decisions, whether they like it or not. I’ve got a track record of making the right decisions.”
Whether Bad Intentions will live up to the billing remains to be seen, but it is a huge night for the future of British boxing. No world titles on the line, yes, but there’s plenty on the bill looking to prove their credentials on a big stage. Here’s to the future, and here’s hoping for value-for-money on the weekend.