Wherefore art thou boxing redux

I remember boxing.

I remember 1986, when I rooted for Marvin Hagler, only to see him lose a 12-round classic to Sugar Ray Leonard.

I remember being at a house party ten years later, when Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield came to blows after Tyson had taken a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear… twice.  It was the best pay-per-view money any of us had ever spent.

I remember the disappointment on my father’s face in 1978 when Muhammad Ali lost to Leon Spinks.

I remember the programs he had in his apartment from Ali vs. Frazier in the Garden.  Boy, what they must fetch on eBay right now.


Memories of a sport, the sweet science, which so many of us grew up with, that so few of us do now.

Further exemplifying what has gone wrong with professional boxing, one fight which once stood to revive the sport, may never take place, and even if it does, has now lost its luster.

In the meantime, another sport, equal in its brutality, is giving boxing a standing eight count; it won’t be long before the referee calls the fight.  Take gross mismanagement in one sport and multiply that by the near perfect marketing and growth rate of another and you have boxing’s extinction.  This weekend’s controversial Bradley-Pacquiao decision was the bitter icing on the cake.

Like so many other sports fans of my generation, I long for the days of boxing, but fear they may no longer exist.

The recent loss of boxing legends such as Bert Sugar and Angelo Dundee, and the declining health of Muhammad Ali, perhaps the sport’s greatest hero, remind us, little by little, that we are losing not only a sport we once revered, but a proud part of our nation’s heritage.

In the end, I guess there’s nothing wrong with change.  Fifteen to twenty years from now, there probably won’t even be a boxing, yet in households across America, fifty year old men will be sitting on their recliners, sifting through the channels one evening, to find Mike Tyson’s Greatest Fights on ESPN Classic.  They’ll watch intently, reminiscing of a fonder time.

Shows like that will continue to bring ratings that many years later.  That’s what boxing and those who run it have failed to understand.

And that’s a crying shame.

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39 Replies to “Wherefore art thou boxing redux”

  1. Pingback: I remember boxing. I rememb … - BallHyped, MMA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. There were some great bouts back in the day. I remember watching some great fights with my friends on Saturday afternoon. Contenders battling it out on Wild World of Sports for a shot at the Title. Good times man, damn good times!

  3. Manny got robbed.
    I don’t know what the judges were smoking. Pac was the aggressor all night, had the punch count in his favor as well as the power punch count. Even Bob Arum was shocked in a post-fight interview.

    I don’t know about the conspiracy theories flying about today because it seems everyone loses with this. Vegas, the sport, Manny…Even Bradley. Sure, he’s got a belt and another big payday if Manny decides to do it, but it’s all tainted with this loopy decision. His only means of validation is that Manny DOES comeback and he beats him again. Otherwise it plays like a WWE plot. A contrived controversy that comes across as a manufactured ploy for attention for boxing. The saying goes; All publicity is good publicity, right?

    …Except for the fans and the integrity of the sport itself.

  4. You got it RIGHT! What a shame to see boxing loose it luster over the years..However we do have the UFC!!!

  5. Aer….

    Without sounding like Al and bashing guys like Arum and Don King, it just seems to me that the sport captivated American sports fans for so long and yet, here we are, essentially waving it goodbye.

    Look, I’m not naive enough to think that corruption in boxing is a recent phenomenon. That’s just ridiculous.

    But even more ridiculous is that a sport we all held so dear is literally being run into the ground.

  6. Integrity and boxing, Bleed.

    Two words that haven’t been used in the same sentence in a long time, unless you include the phrase “lack thereof” in front of one of ’em.

    I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes but is that Pacquiao-Bradley rematch a fight anyone really wants to see at this point? It’s a no-win situation.

    Either Bradley wins the rematch and we’ll never see Pacquiao-Mayweather, or Pacquaio wins the rematch and he’ll have one more loss under his belt… and we’ll likely still never see Pacquiao-Mayweather.

    And somewhere, Mayweather sits in a cushy jail cell. If he had any sense at all, he’d be considering how much money he just lost himself with that whole thing going down this weekend.

  7. Rocky Top is a guy from my generation who has openly accepted UFC.

    He knows the fighters, buys the pay-per-view packages and even gambles on the sport.

    I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Not sure I ever will. But it’s obvious we both miss the sport that preceded it.

  8. Let’s call that sham for what it was … bull$hit ! For one of the judges this was only his second title fight as a judge . That’s all you need to know. Arum who just happens to be Pacquiao’s promoter and co manager called it a farce. That’s rich coming from a guy who’s had his fighters have plaster of paris applied to their hands prior to a title fight (Antonio Margarito) .

    The Nevada State Athletic Comm state they will conduct their own inquiry . Wow ……… they’d be better off sniffing each other’s sphincters .

    And you wonder why I now gravitate towards MMA . Well at least there you have real fights under the UFC umbrella rather than the bs served up via PPV for these so called title fights that will engage the fans . Hell gimme p#rn over boxing at any weight division , as my interest will be piqued in more ways than one !

    Pacquiao must’ve known that the fight was too close to call so why the hell didn’t he go for the knockout in the latter rounds (9 thru’12) ? He may well been the agressor but whe it mattered most Bradley was throwing the ” more telling blows” .

    tophatal …….

  9. Al…

    That fight is just another example of why so many have gravitated towards MMA.

    When are you submitting your resume as boxing commissioner?

  10. Be over to check out your latest soon, Al, and are you suggesting that boxing wanted Ali, a more polished fighter, as it’s champion?

    Some things never change, huh?

  11. The town is roaring over the verdict. Sportsbooks crying over the hit they took. Ireland’s top sportsbook Paddy Power refunded all PacMans losing wagers and paid Bradley’s. Good PR but overrated.

    The main inquiring I’m here for tonight is your opinion on a Game#7 event that took place with the Heat leading the game 2-0. I’m taking heat over a post I made elsewhere. Here it is and please give me yours and others feedback. The ?was how good Rondo is, etc.

    Clearly ONE of the best I’ve seen. The only thing that didn’t sit right with me was that playground move on Wade. He bounced the inbounds pass off of Wade’s back and retrieved it for a layup. I knew that would create problems later in the game. Unwritten rule in sports whether you like it or not…………You don’t show-up fellow superstars with high school trickery

  12. Adding some additonal info. The question was about Rondo’s value as a point guard.

  13. Also, the uproar is about my stance on Rondo’s bush league stunt and not so much his PG worth. Thanks

  14. Chris

    It’s been almost a decade since we’ve had an undisputed heavyweight champion in boxing . Like McGwire I don’t want to relive the past it’s the future that’s important . Bear in mind what’s being forced down our throats from the (Pacquiao-Bradley $49-95 to $54-95 PPV) promoters . Arum is the promoter for both fighters (co manages Pacquiao & proprietary promoter for Timothy Bradley) and several of his were on the undercard . No amount of changes will change the fact the sport is “dead in the water ” . Nevada’s AG and the state legislature now want to get involved by not only holding a grand jury investigation but there’s also talk of their state legislature wanting to hold an inquiry . Hasn’t that state got enough $$cking problems on its hands at present ? High unemployment and a home foreclosure rate that makes Florida’s seem moot . The state’s deficit has ballooned where they’re talking about cutting state employees and asking the federal government for assistance .

    The Rays are doing nicely but don’t look now the Yankees are on the prowl with their recent wins . So much so , that they share the lead in the AL East and their offense and pitching seems to be paying dividends.

    Do you think that the Jags will pay Maurice Jones-Drew in light of the recent contracts offered to Chris Johnson and Arian Foster ? Kid was the rushing yds leader in the NFL last season , albeit that his total was on the low side ….. overall .

    Your thoughts ?

    NB : I’ll be doing my own piece on the bout giving you my perceptions and insight on it all .

  15. If I understand the backstory correctly Arum already had picked out Manny’s next opponent (knowing Manny and Floyd won’t agree on anything anytime soon) but that boxer lost…making the potential match-up DOA. At that point, all Arum had in his back pocket for the next big payday for Pacquiao would be a rematch after a loss to Bradley. Arum is hoping his faux outrage will help sell people on the idea the rematch is relevant. The problem is…boxing hasn’t been relevant for ages. The last time I bought a boxing match was in the 80’s… but that was just to view it. Folks have been buying the outcomes of boxing matches for years now.

  16. To me, the great irony is that the very same Pay-Per-View model that is making UFC successful absolutely killed boxing.

    Not to mention, I don’t know if there is a connection, but I am suspicious there’s a reason why boxing and horse racing both died about the same time.

  17. RB…

    Re: the Rondo-Wade play, I’m not so sure that’s necessarily showing someone up. You see that happen quite a bit when a defender has his back turned towards the guy inbounding the ball.

    Either way, I don’t think that’s the reason the Heat won or Celtics lost but yes, Rondo is damn good. Once the Celtics decide to disband this team, I wanna see whether they keep Rondo or move him, and then I wanna see how he fares on another team without all that talent.

    I used to think he couldn’t make it on his own, but the kid is pretty good and should be just fine.

    He definitely knows how to fill a stat sheet.

  18. RB…

    And I actually thought about taking Bradley at +450. I think that was the number, wasn’t it? Or was it +350.

    I think it was +350 because if it was any higher, I would have bet it.

  19. Al….

    Arum is allegedly opening up himself to investigation. Like that’ll do anything, right?

    The Yanks and Rays should be neck and neck all season long. Like I said, fortunately they have that pitching staff to fall back on.

    And if Jax doesn’t want to pay Drew, I’m pretty sure he’ll find a team that will. Who knew bowling balls could be that expensive.

  20. SA….

    Very true. I think we’re all on the same page here.

    Let me ask you this. Who the hell is going to lead the investigation? Aren’t they corrupt as well?

    The whole thing stinks to high heaven, and is yet again, another reason people don’t watch the sport anymore.

  21. Dub…

    Both interesting points, but UFC has also made itself available to prime time TV, landing that Fox deal a while back, no?

    There’s a few names out there that the fringe fan can associate, through Hollywood and stuff, whether it’s Rampage or Liddell or Couture. No one know any boxers these days other than Pacquiao and Mayweather and those two won’t even fight!

    Either way, we’ll all soon be attending boxing’s funeral. I wonder how many people will actually show up.

  22. Arum and Don King have courted and skirted the law for four decades. So don’t be surprised if the State AG in Nevada finds nothing dubious . That’s like asking the SEC Securities & Exchange Comm) to investigate the banks for any recent wrongdoing . Who are you going to believe ?

    Boxing incites interest for me as seeing my ex-wife . Brings back some fond memories ’til I realize why we had to divorce …… way too much angst and idiocy to deal with. “FWFB” (Friend-With-Fringe-Benefits) is now best suits my needs ! And I’m not about to complain anytime soon !

    Ochocinco is now a ‘phin ? I swear I didn’t pass that ‘hookah’ to Joe Philbin or team GM Jeff Ireland . That’s too good a hash to waste . So they must’ve been using some real cheap weed to come to that decision .

  23. Chris,

    I was ready to press the submit button on Bradley +435. Actually, I did press the button only to be rejected and told the line changed to +3 something. Cancelled and had no bet.

    It’s too easy to blame Arum on this decision.

    Oh, “Money Mayweather” today attempted to petition the court to have his 3 months jail time converted to “home confinement”. He’s citing the fact that 23 hour lockdown is detrimental to his fight career. Cantor Gaming hopes he gets out. Best sportsbetting customer in LV. What’s that tell you about his gambling bottomline??

  24. Re: Rondo ‘cuteness’

    I contend it was bush league to pull a playground stunt on a fellow superstar in front of millions of viewers . Kinda reminds me of basball’s hidden ball trick or bunting in the 9th inning to break up a no-hitter when trailing big. These actions are etched into sensitive egos. Rondo will have trouble driving the lane next season in South Beach.

  25. Ainge has stated that Rondo will be a Celtic for ‘life’. Yeah I know Chris, I heard that stuff before too.

  26. If that’s the case, Al, lock ’em up. Have someone press charges, it’s only fair. Not against your ex-wife, of course. Against Arum and King, although I’m sure you wouldn’t mind.

    Ochocinco’s a Dolphin, further proving that team will probably reside near the bottom of their division last year.

    I’m rethinking my confidence that Miami will handle OKC after watching them get outscored 24-4 in transition last night and seeing Westbrook almost finish with a triple-double.

  27. RB…

    Wow, line moved that much, huh? Maybe the fix WAS in. And we didn’t know anything about it.

    That’s quite a stout move, unless you had your screen open for some time.

    And isn’t jail time detrimental to anyone’s career? Perhaps Money May should have thought of that before he broke the law.

  28. And Ron…

    If Rondo is going to be a Celtic for life, where were there even trade rumors to begin with?

    It’s professional sports and these days, I’m not sure I’m convinced that anyone can stay anywhere for life.

  29. Chris…when I heard that at least one of the sports betting sites was refunding people’s money who bet on Manny, I swore I also heard – once and for all – the final nail in the coffin of the sport of boxing. This has to be rock-bottom. Does it get any worse than THAT?

  30. The betting world in the sport of boxing was always present, but it was within the confines of the sport and was never leaked. The Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight showed the true decline of the sport and how gambling has finally ruined what once was a great pastime. Boxing as we know it is near flatline.

  31. Let me ask you this, BS.

    How much money is gambled on the NFL each season? You don’t see that sport suffering the same demise, do you?

    I don’t think you can blame boxing’s demise solely on gambling. I think it’s been grossly mismanaged more than anything else.

  32. I think boxing needs to get out of the PPV market. Just based on how much events like the Super Bowl can command for advertisements during the event, wouldn’t the “big fights” draw plenty of money to cast aside the PPV title. Also, if they did that they’d set themselves up to be seen by a casual fan on prime time TV instead of having to rely on the hardcore boxing fans that purchase the event.

    I watched the Pacman fight at a friends and it seriously might have left the last bad taste in my mouth to not try the dish of boxing again for awhile…

  33. Problem is, Chap, what big fights are out there that people would want to watch?

    When boxing originally went pay-per-view, I’m sure there were advisers out there warning about the long-term repercussions of going that route. Then they got paid off and were never heard from again.

    I don’t remember the last time I watched a boxing match in its entirety.

  34. Pingback: Sports Chump » a) Did you just talk to me about boxing and b) if so, why?

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