Over the next few hours, I’ll be getting the same question from boxing fans: “Then how was it?”
a gala behind closed doors? “
I had some apprehensions at the start. Since June, I have watched several Top Rank, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and also the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) galas. I carefully analyzed everything I saw on television.
The finding was quick. One important ingredient was missing in all of the events: the ambiance. The absence of spectators hurts the quality of the spectacle offered in the ring. Don’t talk to me about the applause as a background noise, it’s the promoters’ worst idea.
So I couldn’t wait to go to Shawinigan to cover the Eye of the Management gala, the first in Canada since the start of the pandemic. However, my apprehensions were confirmed. All the fights did not have the same flavor despite the presence of Camille Estephan’s three tenors.
I am not talking about the spectacle offered in the ring. On the other hand, to see boxers making their march towards the ring with a song as only background noise, it is terrible. It doesn’t have to be very motivating.
Center Gervais Auto has always been an intimidating place for away boxers. We remember the last fights of Simon Kean. There was a crazy atmosphere in the Cataractes’ home.
We did not get this yesterday despite some applause from members of the Eye of the Tiger Management team.
Yes, we were treated to boxing for the first time in seven months. However, I got bored of world championship fight nights where every hit makes the spectators react. I keep my fingers crossed to get us back to the good old days as quickly as possible.
A shielded protocol
This gala was also a crucial test for the protocol implemented by EOTTM, Public Health and the Régie.
The Mauricie public health authorities were to send inspectors to the Gervais Auto Center. We haven’t seen them. They would have looked for a long time to find fault with the organizers of the evening. EOTTM, with the help of the Cataractes de Shawinigan, applied the protocol to the letter. Nothing rolled up from start to finish. We may wonder how Public Health will do to refuse to hold another gala somewhere in November.
We expected Arslanbek Makhmudov and Lexson Mathieu to win, but we would have liked more competitive duels. It didn’t happen.
Dillon Carman and Tim Cronin did not show up for their fight. They were ready to give up as soon as they had the chance. Strongly better opponents!
On the other hand, with the closure of the American borders possibly for the last months of 2020, we will have to be satisfied with duels with a local flavor. This is the reality of COVID-19.
At least we’ll have some boxing to eat.