The ventings of a grumpy boxing fan
by Simon Clark - I should point out now that despite most of the sentiments expressed in this piece, I do love boxing with a passion but there have been several issues really irking me for years about this sport that we love.
Article posted on 15.04.2010
Super Champions WBA???
Dear WBA, I mean, really? Was it not enough to dilute the accomplishment of becoming a world champion by establishing more weight classes than ever before for each and every alphabet soup sanctioning body that you had to start crowning super champions too? Instead of encouraging fighters to unify the tiles and clearly establish who "the man" is, you choose instead to call him a super champion and have the top two contenders battle it out to become champion (so you get omore sanctioning fees). Your reasoning that this will then allow said Super Champion more time (up to 18 months) to prepare between defences is utter lunacy and is nothing more than an obvious, avaricious lust for sanctioning fees at the sport's expense. I hate to point it out but you are meant to be acting in the best interests of boxing and having only one recognised champion per weight division fits that category, even Helen bloody Keller could see that. You are denying a generation of fighters the chance to becomes as easily recognised and marketable to Joe Public as Ali, Robinson, Hagler et al.
I have no problem with boxers making more money this way but why can't you grasp the fact that by depriving fight fans of decent,competitive scraps on free to air channels, you aren't building up the next generation of superstars to headline the next generation of PPVs? You are also losing the chance to build up a future audience for the sport (the people who buy said PPVs) and that in my view is an unforgiveable dereliction of your duty to the sport that provides your income. By the way, I'm trying to wrack my brains for the last pay per view event that had a thrilling undercard with truly competitive title fights and I'm coming up blank (feel free to remind me)
The protected "0" has to go
Knocking out twenty overmatched, out of shape, semi retired opponents who are only there to pick up a paycheck doesn't make anyone a world beater and it damn well shouldn't garner a world title opportunity. Human beings learn from mistakes, winning against continually inferior opposition means little but coming through adversity speaks volumes. Hagler and Hearns both had losses on their records when they fought but both were still well known to the general public and created not just fistic history but a display of savage beauty that enhanced the reputation of the sport, drawing in a new legion of fans. The reason is because both had learnt from their defeats, worked hard to improve and thus became better at their chosen profession. Honest defeat isn't the end of the world, it can be a setback but it can also be a genuine opportunity to become even better.
Blinkered fight fans.
Yes dear reader, this could well include you. I'm fed up of reading needlessly disparaging remarks about fighters from fickle fans. Some of you guys, after one loss, jump on a fighters back with comments like "He's a bum", "He was never that good anyway", "He's got no heart" yadda yadda yadda. Is it because you are so desperate to witness the building of a legend that you feel let down personally? Not every fighter can be a global superstar but by Christ we need these so called lesser lights because they are the foundation of the sport. Guys like the recently retired Jamie Moore who gave his all in every fight and was seriously entertaining in the ring. Sure, he came up short on a few occassions but it wasn't for lack of effort or heart. Sometimes the most exciting bouts are actually held in small halls far away from the glitz and glamour of the Vegas strip and involve fighters with major technical flaws. Without those guys, genuine stars like Manny, Floyd etc would shine less bright.
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