Tyson Fury’s Saudi ban for talkSPORT and Simon Jordan is out of order – but will common sense prevail?
and live on Freeview channel 276
In the lead-up to Saturday’s ‘crossover’ fight in Saudi Arabia between Tyson Fury and former UFC star Francis Ngannou, the Fury camp have taken the unprecedented step of banning both Jordan and his employers from any kind of fight coverage for present and for future contests, a move that has all the hallmarks of an time-honoured move from any number of former football club chairmen, with the despotic, long-since-deceased Robert Maxwell of Oxford United and Derby County immediately springs to mind.
Boxing, like football, is a game of opinions and love him lor loathe him, Jordan and the rest of the talkSport broadcast team are all entitled to theirs.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury attracted a wave of criticism when Saturday’s fight was originally signed, described by his promoter Frank Warren as a ‘game changer’. His opponent, at 37, is making his professional boxing debut in a ten-round contest which despite being sanctioned by the major governing bodies is not classed as a world title fight.
Jordan has made no secret of the fact that he’s less than impressed with Fury’s choice of opponent, even going as far as referring to French former MMA champion as ‘Thunderlips’ in direct reference to Hulk Hogan’s fictional wrestling character in the third instalment of the Rocky Balboa franchise.
In the run-up to Saturday’s bout, Jordan has continued with his, in the main, constructive criticism, which prompted the Fury camp to inflict the banning order.
After his Palace adventure finished in failure, Jordan has set about carving a career in the media, he doesn’t suffer fools and clearly pulls no punches when required, and in the main the listening public, even Brighton fans, hang on his every word, with record listening figures a testament to this.
Tyson Fury and his entourage have been around long enough to know that the media is a vital cog in boxing’s mechanism, clearly boxing would be nothing without the fighters but a ‘free press’ and an opinionated, at times controversial media also bring so much to the party.
Come midnight on Saturday BST, when Fury makes his way to the ring, will Jordan be in the arena alongside his talkSport colleagues?
For the integrity of the sport, I sincerely hope so.