Erislandy Lara: Is there a difference between Amateur and Prize fighting?
By Gerardo Granados: The current WBA light middleweight belt holder Erislandy Lara has expressed his bitterness for not have been awarded the victory in his fight against Canelo Alvarez. He has made many statements and he also has twitted “This sport is called BOXING! Not street fight! When @FloydMayweather moves its called BOXING when I do it its called Running? 117-111?”
It seems like the “American Dream” can’t find any difference between his boxing style and Floyd´s. After seen his tweet I felt obliged to reply, so I asked him “@Laraboxing @FloydMayweather Is there a difference between AMATEUR & PRIZE FIGHTING?” but received no answer.
Have the reader ever seen an All Access or a 24/7 related to the Amateur Boxing Championship or Olympic Boxing? Before I continue, I want to apology if any amateur fighter feels offended, that is not my intention and I am just trying to explain my point. Amateur Boxing is though and they hit for real but I doubt you can buy a Bugatti Veyron by becoming a gold medalist. At the amateurs you can find many talented boxers polishing their skills, developing their weapons and acquiring invaluable experience; it will be a step previous to become professional fighters. But can the reader recall the name of the current light – welter – middle and heavyweight Amateur Championship or Olympic gold medalist?
You can say that at the amateurs you could watch pure boxing matches. The scoring system was quite bogus and confusing to properly score it. You scored points by clean punches basically, so if you knockdown you opponent it wasn’t scored 10-8 as the pros. You didn’t need to look for a KO and you didn’t have to impress the crowd meaning that you didn’t have to please them. You must look good in the eyes of the fight judges so if you connected a thunderous punch it was scored the same way as if you simply touch or cleanly slap the face or body. Fortunately this year there was a big change in the rules to score amateur boxing and now it was adopted a very similar professional boxing 10 must system. Unfortunately Lara fought at the amateurs before the rule change.
Now, prize fighters need to impress the audience if they want to be able to win big purses and live the life of the rich and famous. The reader must be able to list at least twenty skilled fighters who lost more than just one fight even by knockout, but who were followed by worldwide fight fans and also have earn millions because the way they fought; meaning that they pleased the crowd by showing not only boxing skills but also hunger, courage and determination, to be relentless, to have a heart bigger than his chest to overcome anything to win, and to look for to destroy his opponent every single time that they jumped into the ring.
For example: Roy Jones Jr. made the transition from the amateurs to the pros perfectly, he was God gifted with outstanding physical skills but he was not pleased with outpointing his opponents, he also looked for the kill and took risk during the fight, no need to say that he possess an appealing personality to go along with his outstanding boxing skills. Can you imagine a Muay Thai fighter looking just to outpoint his adversary? For the ones that underestimate Mixed Martial Arts let me tell you that there are many complicated martial arts techniques involved in a MMA match and the Sweet Science isn’t the only one that requires a bright brain to succeed and also isn’t the only martial art which main goal is to hit and don’t get hit.
If you are a fight fan you must have heard of the Gatti vs Ward trilogy. Do you think Gatti or Ward were as skilled as Lara is? Maybe they weren’t as skilled but they had HEART and they showed it. If you could guarantee to me that Lara will show the heart that Gatti and Ward had while displaying his great boxing skills I would pay a hundred bucks to see that fight, but the way Lara “chooses” to fight I will not pay.
Ricardo Mayorga was at least a thousand times more entertaining to watch than Lara is, and yes he lost more than once but you will never hear a fight fan complaining that “El Matador” was a boring fighter to watch. Do the readers remember the late Hector “Macho” Camacho antics before, during and after the fight? Camacho didn’t fight like Gatti and was an elusive boxer but still was fun to watch.
If Erislandy Lara could understand that the Boxing Industry has based his success on the performance of the bravest and meanest sons of boxing and not on pure boxers, then he could be able to take advantage of his great boxing skills and please the crowd that is the one that at the end pays his check. There are sports and there are “Professional sports”, the difference might be that at the pros you must pay all the involved and still make a profit out of it and the only way to do it is by entertaining the audience.
I believe there is no need to ask but, is there a difference between Amateur and Prize fighting?
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