3 reasons why immediate rematches in combat sports need to stop

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Why sports like boxing and MMA needs to stop with immediate rematch clauses.

For what feels like the first time in a long time, boxing won the combat sports weekend. The UFC event ended up being a whole lot more exciting than fans gave it credit for given the lack of superstar names on the card but it still was not enough to push boxing from the top spot.

Two undisputed titles were on the line in different parts of the world on Saturday, May 20, and combat sports fans were treated to a glorious night of boxing. Katie Taylor's shocking homecoming defeat to Chantelle Cameron was just the start of the night.

The controversial decision a few hours later when Devin Haney puts his belts on the lines against Vasiliy Lomachenko ensured that the sweet science was the talk of the town come Sunday morning.

Of course, we couldn't be just be happy with two amazing fights. Haney's win, which led to social media calling it a complete robbery (it wasn't), was the headline but a story that has gone under the radar is the fact that fans and promoters alike are calling for an immediate rematch in both fights.

Here are three reasons why they need to get scrapped completely.

3 reasons why we don't need immediate rematches

1. Rematches can destroy legacies

Let's start with the first fight that took place. Fans were happily pleased that Cameron was handed the majority decision win as she truly did outclass Taylor in her homecoming. Maybe it was the occasion, the age, or the size advantage but Cameron just looked that much better as she handed Taylor her first professional loss.

Immediately after the fight, both Taylor and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn were quick to invoke the rematch clause that had been signed prior to the fight.

"We will be doing this fight again, here in Dublin, in autumn this year," said Hearn during the post-fight interview. The question is why exactly?

The fight was close and very entertaining but it was clear from the first 30 seconds that Cameron had Taylor's number. Her speed, power, and movement were superior to the future Hall of Famer's and if it wasn't for one dubious scorecard that had it as a draw, Cameron would've walked away from Dublin with a unanimous decision win over the pound-for-pound No. 1 female boxer in the world.

A rematch, even at 135 pounds, make zero sense for Taylor. Cameron started her career at super featherweight and is a former IBO lightweight champion. She's cut the weight before and will still be bigger than Taylor come fight night.

Combat sports is very much a 'what have you done for me lately' environment and another loss would destroy the legacy she has worked so hard to build. Forget the Amanda Serrano 2 fight. Forget headlining another huge card in Ireland. Forget everything Taylor has built. The new talk of the town will be Cameron, and for all the right reasons.

It's too much of a risk for Taylor to take.

2. One of the two fighters always gets much better

Let's be clear, the rematch for Haney-Lomachenko makes a lot more sense than Taylor and Cameron. The fight was extremely close and many believe the wrong man was awarded the victory but can we be so sure that Lomachenko can produce the type of performance he did again?

He started slow before dominating the fight down the stretch. Bar the 12th round, Lomachenko was back to his best against Haney and probably deserved to win the fight. He didn't though and a rematch would not make things any better.

There just isn't a world where we can see Lomachenko improve so much that he clearly takes the belts away from Haney. If a rematch were to go down, it's likely the much younger and bigger Haney will make the necessary adjustments to defeat Lomachenko soundly.

It's not remotely the same level of competition but that's exactly what Haney did when he faced George Kambosos Jr. twice in a row. He defeated him easily in their first fight before producing a masterclass in the second, winning by an even bigger margin on the scorecards.

There's just no way that Haney doesn't see where he needs to improve and puts it into plan against the much older Lomachenko. A rematch, especially if it's a year away, would only benefit Haney as Lomachenko gets older. It's still a fight that would sell well but is it necessary?

Considering the names floating around Haney, such as Shakur Stevenson and Gervonta Davis, those fights make a lot more sense compared to a rematch with a guy Haney would likely be able to beat in a much more comfortable manner.

3. The grass is always greener on the other side

We've touched on this during the first two points but there are always bigger and better fights to make once a contest is concluded. We can even dip our toes into the MMA world for this one.

Imagine after UFC 202, with Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz tied at one apiece, the two decided to run it back for a third time. We would never get to see McGregor fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight belt and become double champ. Maybe Diaz never fights for the BMF belt with another McGregor loss under his belt.

There are simply always more fun and exciting fights on the horizon than an immediate rematch. If we go back to Sunday, May 21, when the whole world of boxing were asking for two immediate rematches to take place, it's clear no one is looking into the future hard enough.

For Haney, it is simple. Either Stevenson or Davis will be bigger fights than Haney-Lomachenko 2, especially if Davis is the man who steps up. Lomachenko could use a tune up fight before challenging Stevenson, which would be the most highly technical chess match we could currently see and certainly do well in the financial department.

Taylor still has the Serrano fight to look forward to and Cameron has now become a star herself following her victory. She could go up this time and face Jessica McCaskill for her welterweight undisputed titles, which would be a rematch but at 147 pounds instead of 140.

Either way, all four of these champions should be looking ahead into their future. The fights they could set up would be mouth watering and surely be more intriguing than an immediate rematch.

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