Pugmire – long-time boxing writer for the Los Angeles Times and now with subscription platform The Athletic – answered questions from fans earlier this week on a number of topics.
Inevitably the topic of a potential all-British world heavyweight title unification match came up, and Pugmire had some reassuring words for the boxing heads desperate to see it.
“It’ll happen in 2021 if Fury defeats Deontay Wilder again. It makes all the sense in the world, and as we hopefully move toward a vaccine, the timing will better allow the promoters to consider all of the world’s venues for this all-U.K. unification. How they’ll solve the U.K. television riddle is unknown, but as we’ve seen in bouts like Fury-Wilder 2, and Mayweather-Pacquiao, both parties working together can provide significant profits for both (and it’s best for the sport they are both heavily invested in).”
While many experts were surprised that Wilder exercised his right to a third meeting with Fury given the nature of his devastating seventh-round TKO defeat in the rematch in Las Vegas in February, Pugmire doesn’t subscribe to that view and thinks the ‘Bronze Bomber’ will remain a dangerous foe.
“I see it as the best of the three because Wilder will know he has no option but to win, and will dedicate himself to making the strides necessary to increase his chances by relying on improved fitness while working to land the power blows that dropped Fury twice in the first bout. Also in play is how Fury will respond to the feeling of accomplishment he has in regaining a heavyweight belt and achieving such an astounding recovery.
“There’s so much more before him. Can he grasp that moment again? Or will he slip just enough into contentment that Wilder will deck him? It’s fascinating stuff…”
The other big news in recent days has surrounded the future and the health of streaming subscription platform DAZN, which has made huge investments into boxing since its entry into the United States market in 2018. A recent Financial Times report claimed its billionaire owner Len Blavatnik was open to either an investment or even a sale as DAZN looks to secure its future.
Pugmire explained: “They’re in an obvious bind right now, with furloughed employees, no fights to announce and a starving need for live sports content on a subscription platform that ranks as a luxury expense in this time of pandemic and massive unemployment. That said, as the world recovers and more people return to work, DAZN is positioned to stage some major fighrs including the biggest names: Canelo, GGG, Joshua, and perhaps even Manny Pacquiao. The deep Russian pockets that back DAZN will likely want to see how their original business plan develops as the healing comes…”