They have even found a way to marginalize the one-time richest, most prestigious title in all of sports – the world heavyweight championship. By “they” I mean the sanctioning bodies, promoters and TV networks and other various powers that be.
Interim champs, Diamond belts, the IBO, the UBO, a magazine belt, the “super” champion status, the champion emeritus…it’s seemingly endless, how far the confusion has gone.
You begin to wonder if they might actually destroy boxing. And turn it into a completely irrelevant sideshow sport like roller derby or lumberjack log rolling. Who would have ever thought that something like X-Games or competitive poker could get more prime time exposure?
When poor decisions based on greed accumulate, one after the other after the other, even once-mighty nations can be transformed into failure.
Boxing is vulnerable now. There are too many poor decisions being made, based on greed which are destroying the sport as we know it.
When my reporter friends from other sports, ask me about boxing, the first thing they often ask is, “Is it fixed?”
“Sometimes”, I tell them without much defense. I’m going to be very sincere here. I can sense a hint of almost embarrassment from them for me for even being associated with boxing. They think the sport is a joke, a shame. And lately, they’re right, boxing has been a joke. And a shame.
Look at trash-talking cowards like Mayweather and Haye, and the inability and ineptitude of the powers that be to produce the biggest event in boxing history – Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. Look at the dubious characters operating behind the scenes to prop up the biggest fraud in the history of boxing – Floyd Mayweather. Look at all these silly titles, curious decisions, and boring, mismatched TV fights. It’s so rare to see the best vs. the best these days. Too many sports fans no longer care about boxing and they have moved on. Will they come back?
The great Howard Cosell, the former number one voice of the sport, even got disgusted enough to the point that he abandoned the sport – never to return.
Now we have Oscar De La Hoya calling for one single promoter to control the sport. Boy, is he really serious? There’s enough suspicions of corruption in boxing today as it is. “Power corrupts – and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Does Oscar really believe this will help the sport in the long run? Or will it benefit the one single entity that controls the sport? Is this what the puppetmasters want – to take total control of the sport and turn it into something akin to Vince McMahon’s professional wrestling organization? Or the UFC?
These are strange times for boxing. Ducking and avoiding $40,000,000 paydays. The ignorance by the HBO network towards one of the most miraculous stories in sports history – two brother doctors taking over and dominating heavyweight boxing. Bernard Hopkins still a force and one of the best performers in the sport still today, at the age of 45. Formerly successful long-time established boxing magazines are suddenly going out of business.
Boxing is still a great sport and always could be – but the certain powers that be (you know who they are) have to respect the sport and operate in a manner in the best interest in the sport and not always their own egos and self-greed.
Like Monte Barrett said…”The boxers are pure…but the people who run it aren’t.”
The people who run boxing have to change their ways. Or they could destroy the once-great sport of professional boxing.