By Jackie Kallen
What is happening to our sport? Pacquaio/Mosley was a one-sided let-down and fans left there unsatisfied. PPV customers were left swearing at the TV screen, wishing they had spent their $54.99 on a nice dinner instead.
A week later, boxing fans are once again griping in disappointment. Although the Super Six Tournament has generally not lived up to the hype, fans were looking forward to the slick Andre Ward facing off against the hard-hitting Arthur Abraham.
The Home Depot Center in Carson was a wild mix of Andre Ward’s fans and the duel coalition of Abraham fans–half Germans and half Armenians. The Abraham followers waved their Armenian flags as the rest of the crowd chanted “USA! USA!” The air was thick with excitement as the two warriors entered the ring.
I was seated next to a large of group of visiting Germans, who were convinced their man would prevail. They chanted and cheered in German as the fight began. The mood was upbeat and confident.
By the 4th round, they got quieter and more subdued. The flags started disappearing and the “Arthur! Arthur!” yelling was being replaced by “SOG!” SOG!”
Round after round, the fight was a boring sparring match. Ward jabbed and moved, Abraham covered up and retreated. I have seen more heated exchanges in the gym between two amateurs. I kept thinking that maybe the next round would explode in action. It never happened.
I understand that Abraham was most likely waiting for an opening to drop a bomb on Ward and steal the fight. But it was a painfully dull 12 rounds. The results were obvious halfway through the fight. Unless Abraham pulled out a miracle–he was toast.
The happiest man in the arena was Ward’s promoter Dan Goossen. He knows he has one of boxing few bright lights. One more win and his man stands at the top of the Super Six heap.
But unless boxing comes up with some matches like the old Hearns/Hagler. Leonard/Duran, Gatti/Ward wars–who is going to spend their hard-earned money on boxing? People may as well watching bowling or golf.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com