Ortiz-Scott Redefines What A Bad Fight Is
By: Sean Crose
As I sit here at five PM on a Saturday afternoon in Connecticut – the blue hour – I honestly can’t believe the sheer terror that is the fight before me on the television. Indeed, the Luis Ortiz-Malik Scott heavyweight bout transpiring before me is so amateurish, so sluggish, so entirely unprofessional that it represents for me all that’s wrong with boxing at the moment. Make no mistake about it, Scott – who is throwing nary a punch – is engaged in the low risk-high reward philosophy. He’s getting a decent payday for fighting on HBO, no doubt, AND he’s avoiding risk by literally not engaging with his opponent. Sad…of=r comical. Or both.
Ortiz has struck me as a surly dude, but I actually feel bad for the guy right now. Here he is, the supposed menace of the heavyweight division, and he’s engaged in a bout with a guy who will – not – fight. Max Kellerman is essentially offering apologies on behalf of HBO while Twitter is groaning in dismay. There’s a big UFC fight on pay per view this evening. It promises excitement. Those who will compare boxing to MMA this weekend will be looking at a one sided contest indeed (and yes, I’m still keeping Danny Garcia’s upcoming tuneup this evening in mind). I say this, by the way, as someone who clearly prefers boxing out of the two sports.
I care about boxing, too, which is why I feel the pain of my fellow fans of the sweet science at the moment. Still, there’s a silver lining her. Next week promises to the single most definitive matchup since Mayweather-Pacquiao. That’s right, I’m talking about the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward pay per view event next weekend. It may not guarantee thrills, but it guarantees the best fighting the best…and two skilled pros giving it their all. There’s also a great boxing lineup set up for the rest of this year and well into next.
To be sure, this travesty – we’re in the eighht right now – is emblematic to me of a very bad stage the sport has gone through. Yet, in a sense, this is the most perfect of ways to wrap up what has been a truly dark time for the sport. Ducks, mismatches, pay cable blackouts…things have been bad, friends. But now they’re coming to an end, and I’m seeing this circus as the perfect closing summation of a bad era which – hopefully – is soon to become history.
By the way…as of this very second, the fight is still going. Will this never end?