It’s pretty easy to be a glass half-empty kind of guy in boxing. Actually, it’s way too easy.

The wound was still open from the fight that didn’t happen between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn, and this week we found out, without question, that the hugely-anticipated clash between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence will not take place in 2022.

Added to that, Tyson Fury meets Derek Chisora in a third contest on December 3 having beaten him right-handed the first time and left-handed the second time in a trilogy fight that nobody needs to see.

Graver than any of the professional news – which many still interpret as par for the course, by the way – is the threat that Olympic boxing will cease to exist after 2024.

The picture is grim for me, but not for all.

Maybe the cheery disposition of some fans does not allow them to fester in the negativity, or maybe they just have not been burned enough yet.

Maybe they will call people like me the ‘fun police.’ We should all be on board with Fury-Chisora. Great fun... Imagine the pre-fight banter... Tens of thousands jammed into a December Wembley… Bliss… And fair play to David Avanesyan and his team for landing the Crawford fight… Good for them… Should we even look at the bigger picture? Is there any sense looking at the greater good when the greater good doesn’t even exist in boxing?

Maybe we shouldn’t ask the tough questions any longer, too. Just let everyone have their fun, unchecked. Why worry about drugs, drug money, a fighter’s future going down in flames courtesy of one of ‘those’ scorecards or fighter safety. Why care when sanctioning bodies make up rules as they go along and when we have governing bodies that are prohibited from governing properly. And let’s not get started on the aftercare of fighters which is, for intents and purposes but for a few donations of kindness rather than necessity, non-existent. 

The sport is broken, but too many people are having too much fun to try to fix it, or they’re chasing a pot of gold that doesn’t trickle down far into the rest of the sport. Maybe I should stop moaning, take another swig of Kool Aid and carry on. We’ve got Zach Parker-John Ryder (which incidentally has rival promoters working together), Estrada-Gonzalez III…

Perhaps some are content eating meal deal sandwiches passed off as fine dining.

Perhaps we are destined to inhabit the same vicious cycles of PEDs, dirty cash, big fights not happening, poor matchmaking and horrendous scorecards and decisions. 

Perhaps this is what we have signed up for, for it has always been this way. We’ve heard about the use of steroids in the 1980s but have no idea what kind of testing was being done. We’ve seen the involvement of nefarious types for more than 100 years but it became wholly acceptable. Let’s not even get started on the decisions, whether they were negligence or corrupt – and we know there have been both.

But accepting our fate won’t spur or encourage change. 

At present, the promotional giants circle their own solar systems, working their own agendas without bothering to get the stars to align for the good of the sport.

Too rarely to promoters work together. Nothing new, sure. But other sports are giving the fans what they want and, more importantly, when they want it.

The problem is, we’ve learned that from a financial perspective, it pays to wait in boxing. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s five-year tease resulted in the most extraordinary pay-off in the history of the sport. However, while that heist was record-breaking, the sporting contest was considerably ‘less-than’ it would have been in 2010.

Of course, the blame game is always prevalent. Someone’s always done something on one side of the street or another blah blah blah.

The long and short of it is, there is serious player power in other sports and fighters don’t realise the influence they have to create their own legacies. At the top, it’s in their hands. But, as Jack Newfield once wrote, “boxing is the only jungle where the lions are afraid of the rats.”

That rings true decades later.

Fighters could and should demand the marquee fights, because when they do everybody wins. Websites spike, magazines are sold, viewing figures rise, audiences expand, sponsors take note and sporting history is made. 

If things had gone to plan, we should still be talking about Eubank-Benn for the right reasons and looking ahead to Crawford-Spence.

One always thought the ridiculous schedule laid down for Fury-Joshua was wholly unrealistic, but now we get Fury against Chisora III? In the old days, fighters took keep-busy fights and ticked over, but this is senseless and dangerous. Firstly, Fury has handsomely beaten Chisora twice. Secondly, Fury has improved dramatically since. Thirdly, though most importantly, Chisora has been in so many hard fights there’s no telling what another one-sided beating will do for his short or, specifically, long-term health. It’s grim. And that’s even before you come to the BoxRec rankings that no one uses or takes seriously owing to their computer generation. If Chisora hadn’t been battered twice by Fury maybe, maybe, you could make a case for it. But we’ve seen it before. Twice. And neither were close. 

The best sporting spectacles, across the board, are the ones in which you don’t know who will win.

That’s why Spence-Crawford was so damn appealing. And annoyingly that appeal will likely carry over another year or so, but people like me will be sick of the talk while many others will get on the bandwagon with each passing victory against Fighter A or Fighter B making business sense, just not sporting sense…. Or any sense at all to us boxing fans. 

It’s too frustrating to say when boxing gets it right there’s nothing else like it, because too often it gets it wrong. 

Go through the divisional rankings now and see how often the best have fought the best this year and it makes ugly reading.

Factor in the all-too frequently deplorable yet predictably erroneous scorecards, the worst fears and suspicions you might have about PED use and it’s hard to continuously pick yourself up and dust yourself off. It really is. 

And the sport doesn’t need the hardcore fans. The sport is at its richest when appealing to casual fans who dip in and out, create some kind of gold rush or feeding frenzy, and then leave until the next PPV bonanza or the next manufactured grudge they’ve swallowed whole.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered stalwarts stand wearily, rocking with their backs to the ropes, waiting for the hurt, the punishment and the pain. We brace ourselves and wait but we never have to wait too long because the next sickening blow is right around the corner.  

Bring on 2023.