In the world of boxing, there’s no such thing as having too many sponsors. Or is there?
That’s the question legendary announcer Michael Buffer has raised after the boxing icon took issue with the ring used for Tim Tszyu’s win over Tony Harrison on Sunday.
Tszyu knocked Harrison out in the ninth round to claim the interim WBO super welterweight title and lock in a date with undisputed champion Jermell Charlo.
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But Buffer, a famed boxing, WWE and NFL announcer, was unimpressed by the ropes around the ring for the Tszyu vs Harrison fight.
Buffer shared an image from the fight where the thick white ropes, emblazoned with countless sponsor logos, mean you can barely make out the faces of the spectators watching on ringside.
He compared it to an photo from a 1982 fight between Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney, where the ropes are much thinner, almost-WWE style, and there isn’t a sponsor logo to be seen.
Buffer tweeted: “Remember when fans could sit at ringside or lower level seats and actually see the action in the ring? This is now a disgrace! Take a look at 40 yrs ago and now!”
Boxing is in a different era to the glory days of the 20th century and boxers of course need sponsors to get paid and pay their team so pay-per-views can be broadcast and fans can tune in to watch their fights.
Fighters and promoters need still need to make money somehow, but has boxing advertising has gone too far?
After all, if you’re paying good money to watch a fight ringside, you shouldn’t have to crane your neck to see the action.
Every minute of the TV broadcast and inch of the boxing ring is now prime real estate for advertising, including the canvas floor.
Tszyu arrived at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena wearing a blue jersey with the logos of at least 10 different sponsors front and centre.
His team wore the same outfit, and changed to a similar red shirt for when young brother Nikita was heading to the ring and all eyes were on him.
News.com.au has contacted promoters No Limit Boxing for comment.
After his victory, Tszyu is now enjoying a well earned overseas holiday but has already turned his attention to Charlo.
He had been set to square off against the American in Las Vegas in January, but a hand injury to Charlo meant the fight was postponed.
Charlo expects to be fit by the end of the US summer, while Tszyu is keen to get back in the ring sooner rather than later, with a potential date in July already floated for the world title fight.
The brash champion wasn’t overly impressed by Tszyu’s performance against Harrison, declaring he didn’t see anything from the Aussie he hadn’t seen before.
“He was impressive. He did what he had to do at home,” Charlo said on the Showtime broadcast.
“He was a little flat to me. My movement, my style, my power will make him do completely different things.
“That’s exactly what we’ve seen — come forward, not as fast or a big pace. Strong, of course. Throws hard punches. Don’t we all? But I’m a different animal in there. I’m a different fighter than Tony.
“He doesn’t really show a lot of athleticism to me. When you’ve got skills, and you’ve got styles and you’ve got power all together, you get four belts. He’s going to be a tough fight because he’s coming forward, but I think he’s perfect for my style.
“I know he can’t take my punch, because I just know my punch is different. It just made me want to fight, just get this over with, shut him up, I’ve shut a lot of them up, it’s just another one.”
Tszyu was congratulated by his dad Kostya and is determined to beat Charlo and become one of the best father and son duos in boxing history.
“The goal now is the best boxing family ever lived,” Tszyu said.