Instead of getting fights we want, like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, we get feuds and talk about PPV shares; Sums none of really understand; Instead of great rematches like Khan – Peterson and Victor Ortiz - Andre Berto, we get news of positive drug tests and rescheduled fights.
Boxing is on the ropes. It has been for quite some time. Not just because of UFC and MMA. Some people are simply fed up with the sport and anything resembling violence, but not because of blows to the head and knocked out fighters, too rough to watch scenes and similar occurrences.
It’s on the ropes because there hasn’t been a great American Heavyweight for a long long time. Mike Tyson’s return turned out to be a money scam and a disgrace in the end, remembered for bitten ears and Tyson knocked out by Lennox Lewis.
It’s on the ropes because Floyd Mayweather can’t share PPV numbers, and the nuts are running the nut house. There’s no one to tell fighters who they need to fight next. There’s no one looking out for the fans’ and public interest, in putting together the best fights. It’s all about the fighters and the promoters avoiding defeats while carving out as much as they can from the money pie.
Because when Amir Khan lost to Lamont Peterson in Washington, there were too many suspicious clouds over the fight and the decision; clouds no one could make disappear. A few months later, and Lamont Peterson is tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, admits he took it before the Khan fight as well but denies it had any effect on the fight. Are we supposed to be this dumb? Is that what fighters think of their fans, media and everyone else?
Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto put on quite a show when they first traded blows back in April 2011 in what was for many the best fight of the year. The rematch was already postponed once because Berto injured his biceps during training. June 23 was supposed to be the date, but then Berto tested positive. The same Berto and co. that accused Victor Ortiz for using an illegal substance last time they fought.
It makes you sick. It makes you want to give up. Every time there seems to be an opportunity for rising stars to show their worth and branch out, just a little bit, from the boxing circles into more mainstream spotlights, something like this happens. And we go back a few steps. Victor Ortiz will fight a less attractive opponent. So will Amir Khan. Instead of bolstering their record and legacy with big wins, on their way to possible greatness, everyone’s pushed back.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao won’t last forever. The interest in their fight won’t last forever as well. The Klitschkos won’t fight each other, but they aren’t really hopping on a plane to the United States and trying to set up a big fight outside of Germany. Fights in Germany and Poland are nice for a very select few, but it doesn’t generate the same interest.
Even Andre Ward has just rested and trained since winning the Super Six and beating Carl Froch. Instead of fighting Lucian Bute, he gets to watch to inferior fighters share the spotlight. Sergio Martinez can’t get a big fight like he wants to, because no one wants to face him and no one can make anyone do anything in this sport. Title belts aren’t worth anything.
Reasons for optimism? A ray of light, piercing the cloudy skies? Not many. And we need too many people to suddenly go out of their skins and turn into un-selfish creatures, making good decision instead of survival-like ones. It’s hard to be optimistic about the sport.