Did Boxing Lose It’s Creative Soul?


Why didn’t or won’t HBO entertain the idea to promote and market the world heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers by having them appear in some of their TV shows like Entourage, The Sopranos, etc.? Why weren’t Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver, two of the most eloquent and intelligent speakers in the history of the sport, maximized in the mass media?

Why did HBO reject the very sound idea to promote and market Lennox Lewis during his heyday, by having him appear in HBO TV shows?

Why don’t the powers that be in boxing think of bringing back George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard or Marvin Hagler as a special guest referee for an upcoming major title fight, in the spirit of how Jersey Joe Walcott, Benny Leonard, and Jack Dempsey, among others, refereed world title fights?

Why don’t HBO or Showtime consider hiring special guest star ringside commentators like Redd Foxx, Jim Brown, Pearl Bailey (among others) were brought in to commentate during Ali fights in the 70’s? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to listen to huge boxing fans like John McEnroe, Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, P Diddy, Dustin Hoffman, Charles Barkley talk boxing during a Mayweather, Hopkins or Pacquiao fight?

Wouldn’t ideas like these result in positive mainstream media buzz?

Why do the powers that be ignore the former great champions like Alexis Arguello, Roberto Duran, Ray Mancini, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Thomas Hearns? Why not find a way to get them involved, at least part-time in the sport, such as having them serve as boxing judges or undercard referees at championship events?

Why don’t HBO, Showtime, Top Rank and Don King consider selling or even giving away to ESPN Classic some recent great fights – like Hopkins-Trinidad, Vitali Klitschko-Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko-Peter, Margarito-Cotto, Pacquiao-Marquez – so ESPN Classic can show some of these modern fights instead of constantly airing Ali-Foreman, Leonard-Hearns, Hagler-Hearns, etc., which gives off the impression to today’s sports fans that there is nothing special in boxing at the present time? It would serve the sport as like free advertising of the modern stars of boxing, whose fame and popularity is dwarfed today by Leonard, Hagler, Ali, Hearns, Duran, who get more TV time today, via ESPN Classic and ESPN2, than any current top champion.

It is an absolutely astonishing failure of epic proportions that most sports fans don’t even know who Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao, Tomasz Adamek and the Klitschko brothers are.

Why do American boxing magazines ignore covering or publicizing amateur boxing, when Boxing News based in London includes six to eight pages in each weekly issue devoted to covering amateur boxing?

Do people like Al Haymon and the other powers that be, care about the future and integrity of the sport, or are they only concerned about manufacturing as much money as they can, as fast as they can, by whatever means possible, whether it be by staging business set up fights like Mayweather vs. the 36-year-old featherweight Marquez?

Why can’t the positive imaged Oscar De La Hoya generate network TV interest, like how even Don King managed to in the 70’s and 80’s? Or is the Golden Boy actually just a figurehead promoter for the real shot callers?

Will the powers that be make (or force) Mayweather to face the Cotto-Pacquiao winner? Or will Mayweather and his protectors and manufacturers be permitted to screw the sport by ducking Pacquiao or Cotto and denying the fans the one fight everyone wants to see? When Mayweather ducks Pacquiao or Cotto in 2010, will it be the official affirmation that professional boxing is no longer about the best fighting the best, but about handpicked business set up fight exhibitions?

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