How many have thrown in the towel on boxing this year? Those casual boxing fans that show their faces every time a big fight would come around may have abandoned us for good and maybe have gone over to the world of mixed martial arts, or worse, Nascar. I can’t say that I blame anyone for being upset with the current state of the game and the continual teases from the promoters and fighters, promising the “super fight” that we all wanted: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, JR.
I had thought about leaving the sport. After witnessing the continually negative things that have occurred and the vast amount of articles from groupie journalists, giving boxing and the coverage of the sport a bad name, I am on the verge of disgruntled. Do we need articles about how great Pacquiao is? Do we need articles expressing secret crushes on him? It’s sort of cute when it comes from a female writer, but…not so much when it comes from a dude. It’s not my cup of tea. If it does it for you, fantastic, but I prefer to read things that are not so bias.
It is 2010, getting close to the end of the world…if you believe that stuff. The most likely scenario will be just another year in boxing in 2012 and one bad movie to remember the year by. Hopefully we will correct some of the problems with the sport and get it back to what it used to be. Boxing used to be great! It was on network TV, the best would fight the best (usually), and not every fight that mattered was on PPV. We had it good people.
It’s not been a good year thus far in boxing headlines, so I am going to cover the top 5 disgraceful incidents that I consider notable. Boxing is a sport with bruises and scars and always has a hard time fighting its way into the mainstream, and these incidents are part of the reason why it’s so shunned.
# 5- Ricky “Hitman” Hatton’s drug use on video & infidelity
The British hero, Ricky Hatton, always packed the stadiums and was impossible not to like. His big heart brought him through wars, and he was able to out-will a very tough customer in Kostya Tszyu. He had two high profile defeats to Floyd Mayweather, JR., and Manny Pacquiao, but always drew a crowd and was seen as one of the good guys in the sport. Then, he was caught on tape snorting cocaine. Shortly after, a woman came forward to announce an affair she had with Hatton over the course of a year. Hatton’s star has dimmed and it was a terrible blow to his reputation. Hatton, to his credit, has sought help and hopefully he can get his life together and return to the sport in some capacity.
# 4 – James Toney to the MMA
The UFC welcomed James Toney to the world of cage fighting with open arms, and quickly matched him with the seasoned warrior, Randy Couture, on a pay per view event. Boxing vs. MMA was the sale and some actually looked at it as such. An over the hill former champion in boxing stepping into a sport he had no idea about against a former multiple time champion in the UFC…it wasn’t difficult to predict the ending of this bout. James Toney tapped quickly into the first round and some rejoiced with the victory of the MMA over boxing, but you cannot compare the two. Toney is a boxer, an old man in the ring, and he got paid 4 million dollars to get choked out for twenty seconds. Not a bad deal for him, but not a good deal for boxing.
# 3 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito PPV
Prize fighting is about the prize and the money was waved in front of Pacquiao’s face to take this fight with the “hands of plaster” Antonio Margarito, a proven cheater that could have literally killed his opposition in the ring with the bricks he had inside of his gloves. Lining his pockets was far more important to him then his opponent’s safety and how do we punish him? He gets the biggest payday of his life against Manny Pacquiao. It is disgusting and the fight should not be allowed to take place. Panama Lewis and Luis Resto were banned for life and imprisoned for a similar offense. Where was Bob Arum when Resto needed him? He would be a millionaire by now.
# 2 – Floyd Mayweather JR & the Super Non-fight
The boxing fans were salivating as the negotiations took place for the second time to bring to the fans a Mayweather – Pacquiao showdown. Then, Floyd announced that there were no negotiations and that he was taking time off again. The consensus is that he wants no part of Pacquiao. Mad ramblings on youtube from Mayweather JR., followed by a domestic abuse case by his ex-girlfriend have made him that much more unlikable by his detractors and show his current mindset. He is having a breakdown and its all due to the Pacquiao super fight or lack thereof.
The sad point is that if Floyd really wanted this fight, he would have it. Everyone else wants it but Floyd has elected not to take it, as he has in the past with other fighters. I was very high on Floyd beating Manny, but I’m not as sold now as I once was. This fight not happening is an absolute disgrace.
#1 – Edwin Valero Murder/Suicide
I would classify Valero as an absolute scumbag vice a disgrace. A wife beater turned murderer was either killed in his prison cell or killed himself…doesn’t really matter, but he had an extremely promising boxing career and national following and couldn’t stop himself from beating women. Valero was on the verge of a showdown with Manny Pacquiao in a super fight, and was actually featured on Showtime in the main event, showing his skills. He was making headlines but then his dark side was exposed to the world.
What were equally as sickening as the crime itself were the mourners at his funeral. It was disgusting and showed that some fans live so vicariously through others that they don’t care what they do as long as they continue to win.
There you have it…a small sampling of what happened thus far in 2010, but things are bright…we are almost in 2011 and we start with a clean slate, right? I hope for a better year.