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Time to start appreciating boxers

Paul WilliamsBy Mark Havey: It has been a tough week for boxing. The sport has been beleaguered with tragic news. Johnny Tapia (59-5-2, KO’s 30) the 5 time world champion, sadly passed away. He was just 45 years of age.

Paul Williams (41-2, KO’s 27) was involved in a major accident on his motor cycle. He swerved to evade a oncoming car and was thrown 60 feet through the air, landing on his back and severing his spinal cord. He was preparing for a headline belt against Saul Alvarez. Doctors have said it’s doubtful that he will ever walk again. He certainly won’t be fighting again.

Lewis Pinto committed suicide in the early hours of Sunday morning. He had made his debut in April with an impressive victory and was expected to go far in the super-middleweight division. He was just 24 years old.

After such a sad week, I have been thinking. Fan’s, including myself, give boxers such a hard time. We find fault when they don’t perform, or lose, or don’t act the way we think they should. But at the heart of it, boxers are just young men attempting to make better lives for themselves and their families. They train hard, sacrifice time with family and risk their lives. They do it to entertain us and we rarely show them much gratitude. Debating is good and I think it creates a buzz around the sport and its stars. But sometimes I read disgusting things from fans. Often referring to derogatory comments about the families of boxers. It’s hard to bite your tongue as boxing is a sport that draws you in on an emotional level. But next time you get frustrated about certain boxers, take time to remember that they just want to provide for their families, and entertain us.

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