By Dennis Dodge – So Warrington vs Selby has been and gone and the boxing world starts to revert back to type, the plaudits rained on Warrington and his fans and a lot of us were forced to admit we were wrong as in all honesty, Warrington dismantled Selby quite handily and shown us all that he wasn’t just a ticket seller waiting to fail. Alas, it also saw an upturn in insults across social media that saw many branded as ‘casuals’ a fad that follows any PPV or bout for that matter that isn’t held in high regard by those ‘obvious’ true fans.
It’s a term that can be used in any sport (casual football fans, ‘what do you mean you don’t go to every game just cause you live 800 miles away and have family etc.) but in my eyes it’s filled with more venom in boxing and is even more perplexing as without the so-called ‘casuals’ what would the sport be?
Well I very much doubt it would be spread across so many channels as it is now, I mean who wants to pay for a programme that only a fraction of people watch?, for as many ‘true’ fans that watched Eubank Jnr on ITV PPV, there would have been a hell of a lot more ‘casuals’ that tuned in, thus allowing the undercard to gain more exposure. What about Haye/Bellew? How many of us really wanted to see that fight the first time, never mind again? ‘Casuals’ again gave the fighters and their undercard the opportunity to showcase their skills and earn more money on a bigger scale?
And then there’s the Warrington fight? Every fan of his has to be a casual as why else would he get the numbers he does? Probably because he’s a local lad that entertains when he fights and brings a brilliant atmosphere. I’d much rather watch a fight (especially live) with that atmosphere than watching it with someone that dissects everything that’s done (that can be left till afterwards).
As much as you may not like to believe it the ‘casuals’ make this sport and give us the viewing figures and ticket sales it needs to survive. Without them, you so-called ‘proper’ fans would be left in an echo chamber moaning why no one will show it anymore.
If you really (and I do mean really) want to pass on your knowledge then do it in a good way, write an article, put an opinion forward, listen to who you’re talking about and don’t assume just because Stevenson is their favourite boxer that they don’t know anything, you might find you help the sport a bit more and encourage more people to take up and watch this fine sport of ours. And more than anything casuals need to stand up and be proud, you don’t need to know about every boxer ever to have an opinion and just cause some idiot can pull up a YouTube video of an obscure giant boxer doesn’t mean their opinion is worth more and please don’t fall for the ‘I’ve boxed before so I know more than you’ line, it’s the internet, people lie (I’m an ex-world champion kickboxing, ballet champion) and if they’ve got to pull that line then you’re probably right.
This was a whingeathon brought to you by everyone’s favourite Casual