Sports Opinion & Analysis

Don’t Eulogize Boxing Quite Yet

In Boxing on June 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

Contrary to recent reports, boxing is not dead, despite the best attempts to kill it by the Pacquiao-Bradley decision.

“So many more people would care if I could just roundhouse-kick you in the face.”

Boxing isn’t dead. Not yet, at least. Not as long as people still hold a tiny glimmer of hope for the long overdue Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

Because that’s where all this anger and resentment over Bradley ‘winning’ stems from. Yeah, people are rightfully steamed because the decision made the whole fight feel rigged (I mean, the WBO is finally investigating it, and even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling for a probe), but that’s just a minor detail to the larger picture.

Going into the Bradley fight, Pacquiao was undefeated for almost a decade. Not including whatever prison brawls he might face, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is undefeated during his professional career. It was supposed to be the battle of titans. The two giants of boxing in the waning days of the sport finally facing each other for ultimate supremacy.

But now there’s a tarnish on all that. It’s no longer as perfect as it could have been. Pacquiao lost to someone besides Mayweather, if he was even to lose to him at all. We feel robbed, not by the Bradley decision itself, but for its consequences. For its effect on a fight that almost happened in 2010, but, as long as Mayweather stays in jail, may never happen at all.

Because what incentive does Mayweather now have, after Pacquiao’s loss? As far as Mayweather’s concerned, he doesn’t need to prove anything anymore. Pacquiao lost, and Mayweather hasn’t, and there’s nothing more to talk about. Mayweather’s the champ. He can go on pretending to put himself above the hype, and not give in to it anymore. In fact, because of a domestic dispute, he’s now in jail and can’t train and his career might be over. Close curtain. End scene.

(Bit convenient isn’t it?)

But boxing still isn’t dead despite all of this. Not yet, at least.

Boxing fans have been told time-after-time that fights would never happen. That fighters are retired and will never return. That careers are over. That selling grills is all they want in life anymore.

“It sure beats getting punched in the teeth!!”

But there’s something funny about fighters. They keep fighting. And they keep coming back.

So, no matter who says what, or what decision tries to ruin the spectacle we all long to see, we still have hope that the one fight that needs to happen before MMA and the UFC finally puts the nail in boxing’s coffin, will still happen. We all might be a little older when it does, and the fighters not as good as they used to be, but we still hope to see it go down.

And hope is also a funny thing. Look at the fan-bases of the Chicago Cubs, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia Eagles and Vancouver Canucks. Every year, they show up to their teams’ stadium or arena, and hope that this year is finally it. That they can finally see the one thing they’ve waited so long to see. It hasn’t yet, but that still hasn’t killed the hope, has it?

Boxing isn’t dead. No yet. There’s still one more fight before it finally is.

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