Andre Ward, Rigondeaux, Hopkins, Lara, “boring”? Really?
By Yan D: Every time I read a comment about those guys being boring I can’t help but start laughing at the ignorance of the person making the comment. Don’t get me wrong I am not using ignorance meaning those people are stupid, they have a right to like other fighter better, boxing is packed with different fighting styles which is why this sport is so beautiful. I am the first one to like a full action brawl, the Gatti-Ward trilogy sold me to boxing but as a martial artist myself ( tae kwon do for those who wonder) I have the most respect for pure artist of the game.
Boxing before anything else is a science, you have to learn the game, every little aspect of it to become the best, you have to study your opponent, find his strength and take it away from him then exploit their weakness to come out on top. The mental aspect of the game is even more important then the physical as the mind is the most effective tool in a fight. Of course a single punch can change anything but most of the time it won’t be enough.
Let’s get back to the “boring” fighters, people call them “coward” because they won’t stand toe to toe when in fact they are right in their opponent face dodging punches. They call them “runner” because they use their legs to make their opponent reset and keep them on their toe that way they can’t throw their best punch. The same people will say they never punch when in fact they actually connect more then their opponent. What is throwing 1000 worth if you can’t land those punch? I understand and have the utmost respect for the Mexican tradition of boxing, Julio Cesar Chavez is one of my all-time favorite, but just as purists like all action brawl those same blood thirsty fans should learn to appreciate all the little things those gifted boxers can do in a ring. I mean boxing is not just about putting your fist in the face of the other guy in front of you. It is about not getting hit back when you deliver, it is about dodging and weaving, it is about transition between offense and defense, also transition between defense and offense or counter punching, it is about using your feet to move around the ring to control the distance, to create angles, to move inside your opponent guard or jab and to get out of harm way, it is about being smart to know what punch to throw at the best time, it is about using feint to keep your opponent guessing, it is about timing, about pacing your energy to unleashed when it is time and to retreat when needed, even clinch if necessary, it is about balance and knowing where you are at all time in the ring, and of course having a great chin.
Now you probably see where I am going with this, all the fighters above have mastered the art of boxing. They do all the above so well which each of them having their own best attributes. They all use brain over brawn and are not afraid to switch to a brawl if its needed.
Ward is a mastermind in the ring he never waste a punch. His transition from his outside game to his inside game is almost flawless. He gets inside your guard hits you then as soon as you want to hit back it is already to late because he his either gone or locking you up. I know it may look boring but what is boring about a boxer completely dismantling another one. Some say a Picasso is an ugly piece but it doesn’t make it not less a piece of art. Rigondeaux is another master with perhaps the best balance in the game. His footwork is absolutely AMAZING, changing direction letting his opponent clueless about how to catch him, his counter punching ability arguably as good if not better then Floyd. He is like a classic jazz song, the more “boring” he looks the better he actually is. Now for Hopkins, is there anything else to say about this legend??? The best resume in boxing today even though he lost a few, the second best defense in his era behind Floyd IMO ( okay, I know he is old but I am speaking about his overall career ), Hopkins made a career of making other boxer look like novice, he destroyed career, even when he lost ( Taylor was never the same ), he didn’t need to have the best stamina because he never wasted any energy when he didn’t have too, he didn’t need to have the biggest punch because he knew how to hurt you anytime. He may clinch a lot but is it his fault if his opponent can’t time him when he rushes in. He is also one of the toughest mental fighter in the history of boxing. Hopkins would break you even before the fight started. I’ll admit he had his moment when he looked crazy and did too much but that is part of who he his. Now I know Lara isn’t at the level these three are and he seems to lack the mental aspect of the game oppose to his superior athletic and technique but he his still a gifted student of the game with one of the best overall game in boxing today. So how can you call yourself a boxing fan if you can’t appreciate these master??? They might be more “boring” then some other fighters but “boring” as a whole?? No way!!
To conclude this article I want to say to all the fans who like a bloody fight, try to pay attention to every little detail inside the ring and not only to the punching. I know fights can be boring for real, it happens, but there is nothing boring in watching a master doing his thing, it is not because it actually looks easy that it is, skills make it look easy and these boxers deserve the utmost respect and our support because we will miss them when they are gone. And for people who wonder why I didn’t use Floyd in the article, well everybody knows Floyd and what he can do in a ring so there was no need to point the obvious.
Thank you for reading.
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