The Three Worst Kinds of Boxing Fans

By Eric Coronado Jr - 03/14/2024 - Comments

Boxers are intriguing people. For the most part, they lead disciplined lives, many abstaining from drugs or alcohol. They become masters of their bodies, learning about nutrition, exercise, and discipline in ways that most people may never begin to understand.

They train day in and day out until their moment arrives. We wrap their hands, lace up their gloves, and send them into battle. With only two hands to strike with, they do their best to set traps, to split guards, and to use those same weapons to guard and parry with. Many people go their entire lives without ever experiencing a liver shot or having their equilibrium disrupted. Most people become extremely anxious at the thought of conflict, yet just as a runner ties their shoes and goes for a jog, a boxer will lace up their gloves and have a spar. It is a captivating, thrilling, and beautiful sport.

Boxing fans, on the other hand, are some of the most downright rotten and scummy individuals on the planet. Fanboys in particular, who spend their days discrediting fighters because they believe that this will somehow be a boon to their idols, attempt to run any fair and even-handed conversation about a fight into the ground. Here are the three worst kinds of boxing “fans.”

The race pushers. This is probably the most prominent conversation jacker on forums today. This person will turn any conversation about boxing into a conversation about race. They refuse to support or give credit to any fighter who isn’t the same race, color, or ethnicity as them, and believe me, these haters come from every background imaginable. Boxing is a tremendously international and inclusive sport. Additionally, because of the nature of the sport, in which competitors must fight at around the same size, it is clear to see that no particular race has any advantage because that’s not how the human species works. Fighters all bleed the same, and most fighters do not care about what color the person across from them is. They just get in there and do their job. Fans ruin engaging dialogue by centering conversations on non-factors like the race of the fighters, the promoters, or the commentators. People who choose to focus on race rather than accomplishments typically have a shallow understanding of the sport in general, but they are great at dragging others into their muck and creating a situation where it is uncomfortable to voice any opinions on particular fighters.

The boys who cry wolf. Boxing scoring is subjective. It always has been. While robberies exist in boxing, we do ourselves a disservice by calling every decision that doesn’t go our way a robbery. Many times, the simple fact of the matter is that boxing fans are too sensitive to take a loss, even when the fighter they’re supporting makes no excuses. I’ve written at length about the plethora of excuses that Spence fans made after the one-sided beating that he received from Crawford, even as Spence himself refused to make any. Naoya Inoue has been accused of using steroids with absolutely no substantive support, other than the fact that he’s running through everyone in and around his weight class. One would think that in boxing of all sports, one would grow to accept that many times, in a sport with two participants, the guy you’re backing has to lose. Calling every instance of this occurring a “robbery” only muddies the water and diminishes the effect of the actual robberies and shady happenings (Romero vs. Barroso)
when they occur. In short, save it for when it matters rather than trying to make it matter to save face.

The experts. This person has never set foot in a boxing ring but is absolutely convinced that the body shot wasn’t that bad. They are positive that the shot directly on the chin wasn’t hard enough to put someone down. This person will claim that every fighter who loses was “exposed,” and that this fighter is afraid of that fighter. Listen. Most of these fighters that we see on TV have been boxing since they were in the single digits. Fear of contact isn’t something that really registers in the same way that it might with you or me. When it comes to fear of losing, most of the time, their promoters handle that responsibility. High-level fighters must be masters of their emotions, and this includes fear. Being an armchair expert often goes hand in hand with being a conspiracy theorist, who claims that “something looked off” or “someone got paid.” Most of the time, this is outright baloney meant to cover their tracks when they backed the wrong fighter. Rather than acknowledge that anything can happen in a boxing ring, they choose to promote propaganda so that their expertise isn’t undermined. Again, these are also the guys who will shout from the mountaintops that any time a fighter loses, they’ve been “exposed.”

When we look at other sports like football, basketball, baseball, etc., there is not the extreme expectation that in order to be considered worthwhile, you must be undefeated. Regardless of when this expectation began, it has become a blight on our great sport. Promoters are unwilling to risk their cash cows losing credibility with their fans because they know how ruthless and fickle boxing fans have become. In any given forum or comment section on a fight or highlight video, you’ll see several people commenting about how a fighter isn’t great because they’ve lost however many times. Great fighters lose, too. Unless we can collectively acknowledge and embrace that, we are bound to continue standing in the way of the best matchups.

As fans, we can do our part to clean this up by simply refusing to engage with the comments that are obviously seeking negative attention. We need to stop following pages that simply seek to sow discord. These people deeply long for engagement and make up for their lack of knowledge by dragging conversations into the realm of stupidity, where they thrive. We have to do better as spectators if we hope to change the perception that to lose is to lose value. We have to act smarter if we want to ensure that boxing has a thriving and engaging community backing it. We have to be supportive of our sport rather than antagonistic before we, ourselves, are responsible for destroying the thing that we love.