Can’t have it both ways, boxing fans
By Robert Elmore: Why is okay for boxers back in the day to get away with some much while today’s fighters catch much grief? For example, Ray Robinson one of the greatest fighters of all times was known to be a monster when it came to negotiations. He usually demanded the higher purse, a big percentage of the ticket sales, TV rights. Most of the time if these demands were not met, the fight was not made. But he usually got his way. He was trying to secure the most financially for himself possible. Sound like somebody we know today? What made it okay for Robinson to do it? Because he fought Jake Lamotta six times?
(source: Bright Lights and Dark Shadows of a champ documentary of Ray Robison)
Larry Holmes took on the very much over matched Gerry Cooney. Cooney was pushed into that match and he was dominated. But he made 10 million bucks for it. Did he really deserve that money? What had he done besides knocking out an aged Ken Norton to get that type of payday? Some time later, Michael Spinks followed suit and collected a big pay day rather than take on Tony Tucker in the HBO tournament.
Sometime in the early 80’s Aaron Pryor was denied access to Sugar Ray Leonard. He was blatantly turned down for two reasons. One, Ray’s handler’s probably noticed that Pryor couldn’t fill stadiums outside of Cincinnati. Two, his name wasn’t that big. So if Ray would have defeated him, the public’s reaction probably would have been something like this “Okay. So what? He beat Aaron Pryor. Who was he”? Leonard also refused an immediate rematch with Hearns in 81 and waited nine years before part two ensued. He even ducked Hagler for a long time before giving him a fight and did not honor the rematch clause.
(Source: Legendary Nights for Pryor/Leonard)
Mayweather did not fight Margarito in 2005 and was accused of ducking him. Instead, May took on De la Hoya and it paid huge dividends. IMO, Mayweather would have picked the slower Margs apart. But again, the same reasons Ray didn’t fight Pryor was the same reasons the May/Margarito fight didn’t come off. So why was it okay for Sugar Ray to duck Pryor (and Pryor was no bum) but Mayweather is considered a coward for not fighting Margartio?
Facetime: This article is not meant to discredit any fighter, but rather how they are treated. It’s like fighters back in the day can commit certain acts and it was okay, but when today’s fighters do it, they are thrown to the dogs. Ali broke down the door for fighters to make the type of money they make today. But now that they are taking/trying to take advantage of it people want to complain? Are going to blame the great Ali for this tactic? I won’t. But we can’t have it both ways. Either one or the other.
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