In boxing We hear the term “levels” chucked around by fans on a weekly basis, but what does it actually mean?
Well, it is quite simple really. It’s a way of looking at talent in context, a bit like how football separates the best teams by divisions. Where boxing is different from football is that when we see a top prospects it’s not always practicle to promote them up through the aforementioned levels (or leagues if you prefer) gradually.
Although this is something we as fans like to see it does leave so much room for presumption that certain skills are already possessed by a prospect, and as an intelligent woman once said
“Evolution has long been the target of illogical arguments that use presumption”
On Saturday night we seen Hughie Fury learn the hard way that sometimes a presumption of talent can damage and ultimately derail a prospects career.
Praise was heaped on Hughie Fury when he took the fight that Dillion Whyte didn’t want when he signed to fight Kubrat Pulev in the veteran fighters homecoming in Bulgaria. Hughie, the younger cousin of former Unified Heavyweight World Champion Tyson Fury, seemed ready to be fast tracked through the sport. On Saturday night we learned that it is individuals that are special, not their DNA .
It was clear from early on that Hughie Fury just didn’t have the experience, the skill set or even the heart to beat an awkward but ordinary opponent in Pulev. From early on it was clear that although Hughie Fury was the far bigger man in the ring he was being bullied by the vastly more experienced Pulev. Fury picked up a cut in the second round, something every boxer will go through in their career but this seemed to throw Fury’s concentration and a couple rounds later you could see the confidence and heart start seep out of a ever more defeated Fury. The longer the fight went on the more ordinary Pulev looked with his storm in style, but the more Fury looked like a fish out of water. Kubrat Pulev would have been coming into the ring on Saturday expecting a tough fight, what he got was an easy road to Anthony Joshua.
Now i am not trying to be nasty about Hughie Fury after all he is still a relatively young man but this was his second time being fast tracked up to world level ,the first being a close fight with Joseph Parker in which Fury also failed. In both fights i have seen nothing that would suggest that Hughie Fury should be fast tracked through the levels for a third time. On Saturday, I seen a young fighter try to implement his usual style and it didn’t work he couldn’t change as he had nothing else in his armoury to call on. For me Fury has used the Surname for all it is worth to get a world title fight, and more recently a shot at a final eliminator, now he must step back down the levels. He has to go and learn his trade and see where his talent will get him, not his name . If he does that and gets back to world level he will find himself a lot more equipped to deal with what’s in front of him .