The Loop

Dance Like a Butterfly, Sting like a tweet

Two of the world’s best lightweight fighters jawing about who has more social media followers shows just how far boxing has fallen

October 18, 2021

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: Boxing is a dying sport. In fact, it’s been said so often for so long that you have to wonder if the narrative is fabricated just to get people watching boxing again. Whether the sport is headed towards its dodo bird moment, eclipsed by MMA and the resurgence of wrestling entertainment, remains to be seen, of course, but after this exchange on Saturday, one thing is painfully, obviously clear:

Boxing isn’t what it once was and never will be again.

Those aren’t nobodies, folks. The guy in the middle is Teofimo Lopez, the current unified lightweight champion of the world and fifth-ranked pound-for-pound fighter on planet earth according to ESPN. The guy on the left is Devin Haney, who has held the WBC lightweight title since 2019. Boxing fans have been itching to see these guys—part of a quartet of budding lightweight superstars including Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis—throw fists, but when they bumped into each other at Sandor Martin’s upset of Mikey Garcia on Saturday, the only thing they could talk about was who has more social media followers.

Maybe boxing isn’t dead. Maybe it’s just the trash talk that needs some work. But in a sport that always has been one part talk, two parts walk, jawing about whose Tik Tok videos get more views gets very old very fast. Thankfully, Eddie Hearn believes this Instagram comment section bickering is just bricklaying for a fight this spring. Here’s hoping that’s the case, because you can’t post selfies if you’re eyes are swollen shut.