Barnes calls for better behaviour in boxing

Pound For Pound owner Steve Barnes says boxers need to behave more suitably instead of focusing on trash talking their opponents.

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s pre-fight press conference was cut short a month ago due to tensions boiling over between the two fighters.

It revitalised the debate over whether respect has gone out of the sport in an effort to promote it.

Barnes thinks that they need to set a good example as professionals.

“Sportsmen and people that have a lot of people following them have a responsibility to behave well in front of the public eye,” he said.

“They are gifted people that can get so far in a sport, they need to step up to that mark and behave like it.

“Anthony Joshua respects his opponents and has still been extremely successful”.

Barnes also believes that the increased media pressure on fighters hasn’t helped the issue, with televised press conferences making it easy for the abuse to occur.

“The media has a huge pressure, not just on boxers but a lot of different sports.

“So I do think people have to really live up to the media pressure and what people might say about them.

“But the best thing you can do is to not care at all what anyone thinks about you. You have to be dead sure on who you are.”

Other recent examples of this behaviour include David Haye, who claimed he would “cave in” Tony Bellew’s skull ahead of their bout last year.

Haye went on to lose the fight in the 11th round.

And amateur boxer Veruk Vidaty thinks boxers shouldn’t make promises they won’t be able to keep.

He said: “If you talk all that trash and you step in there and you don’t back it up, then you’ve put yourself in a really bad position.

“Unless they’ve got a personal reason against each other prior to the fight, I think trash talk is silly.”