Counting Down Boxing’s Top 7 Absolute Best WTF Moments Of 2023 That Left Social Media Buzzing!

Counting Down Boxing’s Top 7 Absolute Best WTF Moments Of 2023 That Left Social Media Buzzing!

By Paul R. Jones! By now, you’ve probably seen dozens of boxing awards lists popping up all over the web and on social media like dandelions. But no awards list would be complete without recognizing the year’s most humorous, offbeat, and absurd moments.

Here, I count down 2023’s Top 7 most memorable WTF moments in boxing:

#7: 🕷️ Spiderman CRASHES the Joshua vs. Helenius PRESSER.

August 9, 2023 — If your Spidey-senses are tingling, it’s because of who kicked off our countdown by making a special appearance at the Joshua vs. Helenius press conference: Spider-Man, of course!

Well. . . not exactly.

Instead of Peter Parker or Miles Morales crashing the presser, it was featherweight prospect, Brandon Scott, who showed up intending to siphon off some attention from headliners, Anthony Joshua and Robert Helenius, by donning a Spider-Man costume.

Although Scott’s outfit was a splash, the 20-year-old bellyflopped when his mic was on.

During a light-hearted rant that was equal parts comedy and cringe, Scott riffed on everything from “S*** hit[ting] the fan,” his nerdiness, and being a clean fighter, to comparing his private parts to Joshua’s junk (Yikes!).

Weird man-crush vibes aside, while Scott’s stream of conscious rant fell flat, the “Baddest Nerd on the Planet” gets high marks for his creativity and comic-book inspired effort, which earned him thousands of eyeballs and clicks, and a spot on the list.

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#6: “Sugar Neekz” paints the perfect picture (Photo by Mark Robsinson).

JUNE 9, 2023 — To help promote her OnlyFans page, former defending Super Bantamweight World Champ, Cherneka “Sugar Neekz” Johnson, stepped onto the scales at the weigh-in for her bout against challenger, Ellie Scotney, wearing only a few thin layers of paint to cover her body. While Johnson’s performance in a wide decision loss to Scotney was far from memorable, her weigh-in stunt was anything but forgettable, receiving over 310,000 views (and counting) on YouTube.

Johnson’s stunt, which is bound to inspire a copycat or two, qualified her for the countdown.

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Image: Counting Down Boxing’s Top 7 Absolute Best WTF Moments of 2023 that Left Social Media Buzzing!

#5: No good deed goes unpunished for Gervonta Davis.

December 22, 2023 — Many boxing fans were disappointed to learn that, (a) after Gervonta Davis (aka ABDUL WAHID) reportedly purchased a block of row homes in his old Baltimore City neighborhood, which he earmarked for affordable housing, and (b) after Davis’s purchase was publicly announced on December 21st (along with Davis receiving a Presidential Citation from the Baltimore City Council for his community service and mentorship), video footage posted on Instagram (IG) the next day by Davis’s trainer, Calvin Ford, showed fire trucks parked in front of Davis’s properties putting out the remnants of a fire.

This was undoubtedly a bittersweet 24-hours for Davis, who, shortly after making a philanthropic power move, saw his investment (literally 🤯) go up in flames!

The response to Ford’s IG video, which has over 46,000 views, speaks the viral nature of this story, and its inclusion on the countdown.

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Image: Counting Down Boxing’s Top 7 Absolute Best WTF Moments of 2023 that Left Social Media Buzzing!

#4: ADRIEN BRONER REPORTEDLY SHOWS UP HAMMERED FOR ‘The Danza Project’ podcast interview.

ADRIEN BRONER made headlines in 2023 after appearing live for an interview on ‘The Danza Project’ podcast (Episode 121). The only ‘PROBLEM’: Broner appeared to be wasted during the interview.

While there was plenty of blame to go around, and the podcast both pulled the interview and apologized for the mishap on social media, the visual of AB speaking incoherently, seemingly down bad and in desperate need of an intervention, was a hot mess. And, given the number of podcast subscribers and casual viewers who watched this trainwreck episode, including Broner on the countdown was a no brainer.

Fortunately, the Cincinnati product is back in the gym with trainer KEVIN CUNNINGHAM looking sharp and aiming to get his career back on track.

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Image: Counting Down Boxing’s Top 7 Absolute Best WTF Moments of 2023 that Left Social Media Buzzing!

#3: it’s about the Ta-tas, stupid: ONLYFANS MODEL, Daniella Hemsley, flashes the crowd on live TV after winning her first boxing match. 😳

July 15, 2023 — If you thought “Sugar Neekz” Johnson’s body paint bit pushed the envelope, well . . . you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Our third-place finisher, OnlyFans model turned influencer boxer, Daniella Hemsley, took Johnson’s stunt to the next level by lifting up her top and flashing the crowd in Dublin, Ireland — and perhaps millions more watching the live telecast and/or binging on snippets of the online footage — after outpointing Ms. Danielka to earn her first win as a boxer on a Kingpyn Boxing celebrity boxing card.

Despite the 22-year-old apologizing for the incident, which Hemsley attributed to excitement, and Kingpyn Boxing both issuing an apology statement and scrubbing the racy clip from their fight archives, Hemsley’s spectacle remains buzzworthy. And with over 111,000 YouTube views and 1.1 million views of the promotions’ apology letter on X (formerly Twitter), Hemsley’s stunt was a lock for the countdown.

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Image: Counting Down Boxing’s Top 7 Absolute Best WTF Moments of 2023 that Left Social Media Buzzing!

RUNNER-UP: CALEB plant CLAPS BACK AT jermall Charlo WITH THE SMACK HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD.

July 28, 2023 — Few boxing stories in 2023 went viral faster than the video footage of CALEB PLANT slapping JERMALL CHARLO during a backstage altercation at the SPENCE vs. CRAWFORD weigh-in.

The jaw-dropping video shows Plant landing a ruthless left-handed slap on Charlo’s chin with a level of force that caused the impact to be heard throughout the immediate area. The visual is virtually impossible to forget.

Plant later explained on IG Live that his actions were rooted in self-defense, and that he smacked Charlo in response to being insulted, taunted, and repeatedly having his beard pulled “real hard” by Charlo despite Plant warning him not to.

By publicly slapping a reigning World Champ with tsunami-like force and having the video footage garner over 6 million views (and counting) on social media, Plant earned the number 2 spot on the countdown. The Nashville native also proved they don’t call him “Sweet Hands” for nothing!

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Image: Counting Down Boxing’s Top 7 Absolute Best WTF Moments of 2023 that Left Social Media Buzzing!

🏆WINNER: Showtime hangs up the gloves After 37 years.

October 17, 2023 — Perhaps no headline gained more attention than Paramount Global’s announcement that SHOWTIME was shuddering its SHOWTIME SPORTS Division, effectively dissolving the network’s boxing coverage at the end of 2023. 

SHOWTIME’s final sign off in December with MORRELL vs. AGBEKO marked the end of an era, and brought a close to its two iconic boxing series: SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, which first aired in 1986; and ShoBox: The New Generation, a de facto proving ground for boxing prospects.

Although long rumored, the fall of boxing on SHOWTIME ended an incredible 37-year run that few predicted. In fact, during a 2018 BOXING UPFRONT event, SHOWTIME Sports President, Stephen Espinoza, maintained that boxing interest and fan viewership were on the rise. Yet, after nearly four decades and 2,000 bouts (including iconic matchups like Corrales vs. Castillo, Márquez vs. Vázquez, Tyson vs. Holyfield, and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao), SHOWTIME endured a similar fate to its network rival HBO, who nixed its boxing coverage in 2018.

The bottom line. As the year’s biggest buzzkill, with far-reaching implications for boxing fans and SHOWTIME Sports employees (i.e., layoffs), Paramount Global and SHOWTIME are the runaway winners of the top WTF Moment of 2023! 

*Honorable Mention: Impressive Lightweight prospect, Keyshawn Davis, is reportedly tests positive for marijuana use; Blair Cobbs walks back his unsubstantiated claims about Vergil Ortiz and alleged steroid use.

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About the Author: 

Paul R. Jones! is a longtime boxing writer and ringside photographer for Boxing News 24. His articles, photographs, and commentaries have appeared on many online outlets (such as East Side Boxing, Round by Round Boxing, Boxing Insider, and Medium.com), as well as in print and scholarly journals.

Follow him on X (Twitter) and Instagram @boxingepicenter. Email or send him a tip at [email protected].

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