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The sports of Boxing: A sad and sorry State of Affairs

Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny Pacquiao Miguel CottoBy Joss Goosman:

The Prime Division-
The heavyweight division is the arena where past kings of the ring were ordained. Where the strongest and the biggest of men were pitted against each other, much like the gladiators of the past. Nothing can elicit the primal instinct in all of us more than the sight of two big men slugging it out inside that squared circle. A sacred ground amongst followers, the venue for the coronation of kings.

The Klitschko Towers-
Ever since Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko dominated the division, it has been on a gradual but steady decline. The glamor, the spectacle, the excitement and the intrigue is all but gone. Sure, the brothers can fill up huge soccer stadiums in Germany, but that is all about it. Most casual fans have turned their backs on the once most exciting division in the sports. Ask a guy on the street and chances are, they haven’t heard of the brothers, but ask them about Marciano, Joe Louis, Tyson,
Frazier, Foreman or Ali, and people may even offer their own opinions on the fighters themselves. With all due respect to the brothers, it is not so much for their talent as for the lack of it in this era in the heavyweight division.

The Saviour Division-
The beauty of this sport is that when the prime division fails, there are still other divisions which may compensate, with fighters offering the missing components of the heavyweight matches, like in the case of Hagler, Duran, Leonard and others. But in this case, even the failsafe switch, well, failed. The fight that is supposed to save the sports came nowhere into being made. A rancid drama of accusations, excuses, and contradictory statements from both camps. The fight was not fought in
the ring, it was fought in the media.

Fear Factor-
Saying a fighter fears getting up on the ring and facing another fighter is just plain ignorant. You cannot be a mountain climber if you are afraid of heights. It is their job. It is what they chose to do, and earn their bread. Pacquiao doesn’t fear Mayweather. If he loses, so what? It’s not that he didn’t lose before in his career. Losing to Floyd will not rewrite the history books and his record of being an eight
division champion. And for Floyd, it is not exactly fear per se, but sure, every fighter is wary of the pain and risk to his health inside that ring, it is a combat sports after all, for Pete’s sake. But for Floyd, it is the fear of losing his precious “0”.

That without his zero, what does he leave behind? Nothing.

Pacquiao the Sheep-
I admire loyalty, because nowadays it is one of the rarest commodities. But Manny Pacquiao took it to the extreme. Yes, he will not be where he is now if not for Bob Arum. Arum and Roach took him to heights he himself thought would never be possible, not even in his wildest dreams. But if he wants to add a beautiful finish to his legacy, then he should have done all he could to land that fight. Just be his own man for once. Make his own decisions. Take a firm grip on his career and as a consequence, his legacy. If he loses, no big deal, his world-breaking record will still be intact, unblemished and untarnished. He will always be remembered as the first and only eight division champion in history. But if he wins, then his cemented legacy will be adorned with fine marble and gilded gold. His t-shirt says “Manny knows best”…but does he really?

Mayweather the Moneyman-
Kodak just declared bankruptcy, while Facebook shares are being offered to the public. Which company would you invest your hard-earned money in? Of course, the answer is all too obvoius. Floyd said it himself, he is first, and foremost a businessman. And like any businessman, Floyd will never invest in a losing company. It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to figure that one out. His fame, his endorsements, his money, his bragadoccio all came from that “zero”.

It is what he goes back to every time. The magic word, the precious passkey, if you will, his treasure- “undefeated”. It is to him what is to us, our “life savings”.

So like us, he will never invest his “life savings” on a losing venture. When Pacquiao was destroying every fighter they put in front of him, where was Floyd? Well, he was around, saying things like “I never said that I’ll fight Paquiao, please don’t put words into my mouth”. But when he saw that Pacquiao went life and death with Marquez, suddenly Floyd is all over the place. Just to even have the bragging rights, he even called Pacquiao up on the phone. Childish really, since Floyd has been in the sports for a long time, he knows that, that is not the way fights are made. He is doing it all for his one-man Floyd show. For his die-hard fans. For the media. He even uses twitter…tweets from a twit.

The Pacquiao-Mayweather Circus-
The richest fight in history to be ever made is now in tatters,…again.
For two long years, boxing fans were made fools of themselves. A far cry from the fights made not so long ago. It just makes one crave for the lost days when fighters just, well, fought. Simple demands and basic requirements where fighters just want to be known as the best, by simply fighting the best. In this drama, there is enough blame to pass around. Bob Arum with all his excuses, Manny Pacquiao not being his own man, not holding the reins and just going by anything Arum decides. And Floyd, well, Floyd is Floyd and always will be. He is still being himself. He may be the slickest defensive fighter of this era, but when his fans
defend the obnoxious, foul-mouthed, racist, woman-beating bad guy persona, then it is really sad.

But we still have all these colorful characters – from the main characters of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., to players like Bob Arum, Leonard Ellerbe, Richard Schaffer, Oscar dela Hoya and all the bit and minor players like the media and the major boxing writers and bloggers.

Yay! Yesss! There is circus in town, but where are all the animals???
All I see are the clowns.

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