Does boxing need to change it’s ways?
By Joe Ramos: The one common thing about the other major sports today is that at the end of each season we get to see the “Best vs Best”. In Football we get the Super Bowl. Baseball has the World Series. Hockey has the Stanley Cup and College Football has, well not everything is perfect, but you see where i’m going with this. Boxing is the only professional sport where you are not guaranteed to see the “best vs best” and quite frankly it’s getting a little ridiculous.
But before I get started let me say i don’t completely blame it on the fighters themselves, cause the promoters, cable networks and sanctioning parties have alot to do with it. But not since Mike Tyson in the mid 80’s has there been a fighter that takes on all comers in their division without hesitation. In the last week alone i have read about 16 articles where fighter “A” say’s he is refusing a match with fighter “B”. Im not going to mention names cause for the most part they all do it, with the exception of a small group. Now i know that there is a ton of money involved with these mega fights and that has a big play in the decision making but i think that there has to be a median in there where everyone can be happy, including us fans.
Now lets not even talk about the fight that every fan with a pulse wants to see which is Pacquiao/Mayweather. Personally i don’t see that fight ever being made, but again i’m not going to point fingers as to why. So i will move on to the “Super Middleweight Tournament”. In my opinion the best fighter in that division is Lucian Bute and he isn’t even in the tournament. Andre Ward will more than likely when the tournament without much of an argument from anyone and rightfully so. He completely out-boxed Arthur Abraham and Mikkel Kessler now that doesn’t say much but it’s not his fault. All he is doing is his job, and doing it well i might add. But his only competition left in that tournament is 40 plus year old Glen Johnson. I know that he has to get by Froch next month, but if he fights like he has in the past, he shouldn’t have any trouble with him. With that said does anyone think that we will see a Ward/Bute fight immediately following that tournament? Probably not. It’s a shame too cause both fighters are fairly young with Ward at 27 and Bute at 31 and both are in their prime. I don’t want this fight to happen 2 or 3 years from now when they have a much bigger following. Now I’m sure there would be alot more money involved down the road, which has more appeal for everyone getting paid, but can anyone say it would be a better fight once they are older and their skill set starts to decline? Absolutely not. Let’s just hope that the fight happens by the beginning of 2012, so that debate can be settled.
Now onto those fighters who have yet to really prove themselves but talk as is they are the greatest to ever step into the ring. Amir Khan,but wait before all the Brits and Khan lovers out there start rippin me apart. I like the guy, i think he does have some skills in the ring and yes he totally dominated Maidana with the exception of the last couple of rounds. But c’mon, really? Who does this kid think he is? Take away the Maidana fight from his record and the only thing he has proved is, that he cant take a punch. And now, for whatever reason he is not matched up against Bradley, Judah or any of the other better competition in the Light welterweight division. Again I’m sure that the money has a lot to do with it, but if I’m not mistaken he said in his post fight interview after the Maidana fight that he would unify the titles in the division before moving up. Then he takes on McCloskey? I am no expert when it comes to promoting or match making but i would be willing to bet that he would have made more money if he were take on better opposition. I think that after training with Pacquiao and being part of the Wild Card stable the past couple of years has really done something for his ego. Also i am not in the least a fan of Mayweather, due to his carefully cherry picking fights over the past few years when he does decide to grace us with his presence in the ring, but Khan has got nerve saying that he would like a fight with Floyd! That is totally absurd, at least at one point during his career Floyd has taken on the best guys out there, just not lately.
Furthermore here is just a short list of the fights that us boxing fans DESERVE to see for paying the $60.00 3 or 4 times a year for for the past decade:
Ward-Bute (or either fighter against Sergio Martinez)
Klitschko-Klitschko (cause David Haye is in the same boat as Khan, my apologies to the U.K)
Khan-Bradley (they both have a lot to prove)
If the powers that be can make those fights happen, I’m sure myself and millions of others will be satisfied. But if they can’t call Dana White, he certainly doesn’t seem to have any problems getting the “Best vs Best” in the UFC.