By Sean Crose
Some people enjoy seeing boxers fall from on high. Yet some of us don’t. While there is pleasure to be derived from seeing an arrogant brawler be taken down a peg or two, I find it hard to watch a talented individual fade into oblivion. While it’s true some of the fighters mentioned below may indeed be washed up, they owe it to themselves to give it their best before finding out.
So, without any further adieu, here’s some name boxers who could do to turn over a new leaf in 2014. Some need to do it inside the ring. Some need to do it outside the ring. All should use the new year as an opportunity to put their best feet forward.
Let’s start with the most obvious candidate for a much needed change – Mr. Adrien Broner. Seriously bro, you’re a talented guy. You’re just not as talented as you think. Still, you may have a real opportunity to leave your mark on the fight game if you just start taking the sport more seriously.
Train harder. Don’t brag about eating lots of ice cream before a bout. Learn how to throw more punches. Learn how to act when hurt. Learn how to be gracious. Learn from your mistakes. This last point is very important, by the way.
Maidana beat the hell out of you, after all. And don’t forget that Malignaggi came damned close to getting a decision win last year in Brooklyn, too. You need to watch the tapes of those fights, Adrien (and perhaps the tape of you and Ponce De Leon). You need to find out the little things that went wrong, the things that aren’t so obvious, the things that only you and perhaps your trainer can notice.
Most of all, though, you need to stop thinking you’re Floyd. Oh, and you need to comb your own hair. You’re a boxer, after all, not a Jackie Gleason character. Let’s get with the program. You’re a kid who has his whole life ahead of him. On top of that, you have mouths to feed. Time to be responsible.
Broner’s not the only fighter who needs to do some growing up, though. Another boxer who needs to start taking things more seriously is Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. Drinking. Smoking pot. Not getting in the proper shape. None of those things are good, Julio.
Worst of all, you’re being pampered. Admit it – you are. You can pretty much show up at any weight you want and still get a decision win. That’s not good. Not for your fans, not for your opponents and most certainly not for you. Not all fights end in decisions, you know, and at the rate you’re going, it may only be a matter of time before you don’t make it to the final bell.
And no one wants to see you get to that point. You’re an exciting fighter, Julio. You’re tough, you’re brave and you’re fun to watch. You may have grown up wealthy, but you brawl with all the heart of a street kid. That’s a high compliment for a boxer to receive. Now cut the crap, step away from your dad’s shadow and give it one hundred percent. Trust me, your fans will love you all the more for it.
Speaking of fans, Floyd Mayweather himself hasn’t been making any new ones lately. That’s part of his business strategy, I know, but his business acumen is starting to interfere with his reputation. You might be surprised if you saw your name here, Floyd, but you shouldn’t be. For it’s clear you think Manny Pacquiao is too risky a proposition for you to take. That’s really, really sad, my man. You’re a legend. Act like one.
And while we’re on the subject of Mayweather, let’s focus on yet another boxer who wants to fight like Floyd, but can’t. I’m talking here about Andre Berto, a powerful swatter who, for some strange reason, keeps his hands low and tries to employ a shoulder roll. How’s that working for you, by the way, Andre? Soto Karass landed so many clean head shots on you last summer, you’d have thought he was practicing with a heavy bag instead of battling with a once-esteemed fighter.
Look, I know people are saying you’re finished, Andre, but I’m not quite convinced. Try properly protecting yourself in the ring. It’s boxing 101 and it might vastly improve your game. Who knows, people might start saying you’re the real thing once again in 2014.
That goes for everyone else discussed here, too.