• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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VAR under consideration for Fury vs Usyk fight

Fury-Usyk (1)

The boxing world may be facing a monumental shakeup with suggestions that VAR could be introduced in the heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has said that “boxing must implement video replay technology,” with talkSPORT’s Spencer Oliver going on to suggest that we could see the technology ringside very soon.

“I believe that they want to implement that in the Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk fight. They’re talking about video replays etc., to help them come to the correct decision, like VAR. I think that we sometimes see illegal blows going, it causes cuts and whatnot, and then the guy will win the fight.”

There have been a string of recent controversial decisions in boxing that VAR may have been able to prevent. Allowing judges to review certain shots or a decision should allow for a fairer review of the fight, in theory at least.

Jim White, speaking with Oliver on White and Jordan, referred to the Daniel Dubois vs Oleksandr Usyk bout where the former allegedly hit the latter with a low blow. The call sparked controversy as it allowed the Ukrainian five minutes to recover. In the end, he went on to win the fight.

If VAR had been in use that night, Oliver said: “That’s a great example. He wouldn’t have got the five-minute break on the floor in between the rounds and Dubois lost his momentum then. Dubois was fired up, he was ready to go, but that may have changed the fight. The referee has allowed the five-minute break, in the five-minute break, then say, ‘Woah, that wasn’t a low-blow, get him on with it.’ They overrule it.”

VAR, which has been implemented in the Premier League since 2019, is not without its controversy. The introduction of video technology was met with some scepticism but a consensus that it would improve the fairness of the game. Fast-forward to 2024, and even Gary Lineker is admitting he was wrong to welcome VAR with open arms.

However, boxing and football are two different sports which have been emphasised by proponents of video technology, who highlight that individual shots can turn an entire fight on its head. Although promoter Eddie Hearn disagrees, arguing that the suspense of the final result is a large part of the sport.

“In boxing really, the drama is to go to the scorecards,” he said on talkSPORT’s boxing show. “VAR is great for individual instances in a football match, you have seen the game slow down considerably.”

He added that there could be potential for video technology in a limited manner, but he doesn’t want the sport to become “too computerised.” The anticipation of the final result is part of why the sport is so compelling, according to Hearn.

It’s not the first time Hearn has weighed in on the matter. In 2019, he seemed to have a different take on video technology. When asked whether boxing should implement VAR, Hearn said: “Yes absolutely. What’s the downside? There is none. It’s not as if it’s going to slow the game down.”