Monday, January 18, 2010
look at what boxing hasbecome or what is to come.. There’s No Other Way
The one thing that keeps me coming back is the hype of upcoming fights, and boy was the year of 2009 in the sport of boxing hyped. In my most recent absence though, I have noticed a distinct change both in myself, and in the sport of boxing. It may stem partly from the past year in the sport of boxing. In a nutshell, I would say that the year of 2009 was filled with a list of fights in which young hyped fighters did not live up to their billing, and older champions who proved themselves washed up as feared that they would be. Fighters like Juan Urango, Alfredo Angulo, and Victor Ortiz, all billed as young bright spots in the sport, were each taken apart at different times. Even Andre Berto, though still unbeaten, looked like a lot of flash and no substance.
Our Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik appeared a constant maker of excuses in his year long ring absence, and for whatever reason, did not partake in the Showtime Tournament which could have crowned a Middleweight King. Fighters such as Arthur Abraham and Andre Ward seem to be the bright spots surrounding the Middleweight and Super Middleweight weight limits, but with no intelligent marketer in their corner, it seems they’ll never reach super stardom. I have made the case in the past that there is more of a fight crowd in Germany anyhow, but if those in charge of say, Golden Boy Promotions were smart, they would go after fighters like these. They would sign them, and they would keep them active. I failed to put Paul Williams in this list because of his lack of decision making as to which division he wished to rule. And yes, any division he chose to stay with, rule he would indeed. I am though, bored with his excuse that he cannot land a decent fight. No one can convince me that this man cannot find anyone to fight. I say, get your ego in check, and stop chasing the huge payday. Just shut up, and fight your mandatories. Rule one division and become great. Eventually, big fights will come your way. Take a glimpse at the career of Joe Calzaghe. One can only gaze in envy at not only how well Calzaghe’s record looked at the end of his career, but almost more importantly, at how well his career was managed throughout.
The only fights worth hyping in the light-heavyweight division were that of over-the-hill fighters in Antonio Tarver and Roy Jones Jr. Two fighters who should not be a topic of discussion at this point in their careers. Tarver, who could not seem to buy a victory against what appeared to be no better than a “good” fighter in Chad Dawson. The Tarver that took apart Roy Jones Jr. in May of 2004 would have had no trouble knocking out a game Dawson at this time. Roy Jones made news by taking apart C class fighters, before stepping up and getting annihilated by a B class fighter in Danny Green. He then made an even bigger mockery for his legacy in claiming that Danny Green cheated in mis-wrapping his hands.
Manny Pacquiao seemed to be the lone bright spot in the sport with his annihilation of a washed up champion in Ricky Hatton, as well as a TKO victory over an A class Miguel Cotto. Then there was the return of the Pound-for-Pound King Floyd Mayweather Jr. who hand picked a smaller Juan Manuel Marquez for his fight debut. A Marquez who sadly believed that drinking his own urine would prove to even the playing field between himself and Floyd inside the squared circle. Floyd came into the fight over the catch-weight limit, paid the penalty financially, and seemed invincible against the over matched Marquez. Floyd did provide we the fans with plenty of entertainment in his post-fight shenanigans where he clammed up when confronted face to face by Sugar Shane Mosley, who by the way destroyed Antonio Margarito in the first big fight of the year.
And lastly, there was another boring year in the heavyweight division. Another year of Wladimir Klitschko ruling whoever stepped into the right with him with only the use of his ever-present jab. It was a year that introduced a fat, slobby, but slightly better than average slugger in Chris Arreola. A man who was filmed drinking and eating tacos in his build up to challenging for the WBC Heavyweight Championship against Vitali Klitschko.
As if things weren’t bad enough in what is left of the world of boxing, 2010 began on a sour note. What started as huge build up of a super fight between undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr., and champion Manny Pacquiao, ended in childish squabbling between two sissies, which was started by Floyd’s demand that Pacquiao submit to Olympic style blood tests if their fight were to take place. It was yet another attempt by Mayweather to control the stakes in his fights. Pacquiao made himself look guilty when he claimed Mayweather accused him of using performance enhancing drugs, when in fact no official accusation had ever been made by Mayweather himself. In the end, it all came down to the fact that both fighters are extremely worried about what a defeat at the hands of the other fighter will do to their legacy. Still though, Pacquiao comes out of this mess smelling better than Mayweather, simply because of his willingness to slug it out in the ring more often these days than Mayweather (who by the way is rumored to have only returned to the sport because of issues with the IRS). A Mega-Fight, between two mega-names, what could have been broadcast from Dallas Cowboys Stadium on the world’s largest big screens has now crumbled to near uncertainty.
I understand Floyd is not required to be the savior to boxing, and neither is Pacquiao for that matter. But what Floyd and Manny do not understand is that their attitude of self righteousness in negotiating fights, and hand picking opponents is doing no good for the sport. To make matters worse, their attitude is rampant in fighters’ minds throughout the sport. Now more than ever, the sport needs a do all, say all, ruling body that fighters need to answer to. Fighters are overly empowered to fight when they want, to fight who they want, and to fight under their terms. Nowadays, belts don’t even matter. Fighters jump weight classes now, and meet at catch weights. Sometimes belts are involved, but for what purpose? If a fighter claims the Welterweight Championship, who is he the champion over? There is no real sanctioning body to say who that fighter is champion over. How does a fighter like John Ruiz still appear in any of the sanctioning bodies’ Top 10 list if their was any legitimacy behind any of this? Has boxing gotten so corrupt that even smart promoters like Oscar de la Hoya will not, or cannot save the sport? Are the last great champions only out there for one last big pay day before they hang their hats and let this once great, exciting, captivating sport crumble before our eyes?
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