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In My Opinion

BY Frank Lotierzo ON November 21, 2003
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O-pin-ion: 1.unproven belief or assessment. 2.view held as probable. 3.what one thinks about something. 4a. professional advice b. Law formal statement of reasons for a judgement given. That is the definition given for the word "opinion" in the Oxford Dictionary. As most know, the common phrase regarding opinions goes something like this. Opinions: they are like rear-ends, everybody has one.

In my opinion, Sugar Ray Robinson at welterweight is the greatest fighter who has yet lived. What does that mean? To me, it means I can make a better case supporting that he is the greatest fighter ever, than you can make one against it. In my opinion of course. The way I interpret or formulate an opinion is probably the way most do. That is gathering all facts and data, and then weighing them against common themes and probabilities in order to come up with a most likely and reasonable scenario.

Some people such as myself take their opinions seriously, maybe even too seriously. That's just who I am, and I know that having a strong opinion will always cause some to resist what you say if they disagree. Again, I'll accept that. All I can say is that when I form an opinion on boxing or a fighter, it comes after much thought and evaluation. I can tell you that I try to rid myself of all bias. However, it would be foolish on my part to believe that I am 100% pure and objective on every opinion I form on the sport of boxing. And believe it or not, as much as you try, you're not perfect either. No one is, we are all somewhat swayed by our favorites and preferences. We're all human, it's something that none of us can overcome totally. Even though we try.

Hard core boxing fans are more passionate about the sweet-science than any other sports fans in my opinion. I love College and NFL Football. I'm ashamed to admit that during the fall, I spend Saturday watching College Football games from 12:00 noon to the end of the last game which is usually after midnight. Sundays are the same. I watch the games from 1:00 PM through 11:30 Sunday Night. And that passion pales in comparison to the passion I have for boxing. And I know that there are many other fight fans who know exactly what I'm talking about.

Most boxing addicts have given much thought to the things that they have formulated an opinion on. That is why when someone expresses a different one with conviction, it evokes such strong emotion from those who see it differently. I will be the first to admit, when I hear or read that someone has stated an opinion that is in total contrast to mine, it gets me going. First, I try and look at why they came to the opinion that they did, hoping to see it from their angle. Second, if I can't find what I think supports their view, I usually attack it. And though that may be wrong, it's just me and my personality. When I attack an opposing opinion, I never mean to do it in a fashion where it becomes personal. But I know that my passion can get the better of me, sometimes.

I just love a good fight and debate. I don't care if someone disagrees with me or my opinion. Just give me a good argument on why I should see it your way. Make me think or look at something that I've missed or overlooked. Believe me, if you highlight something I missed, I'll pay homage to you. I figure that if someone points out an angle that I've overlooked, it can only make me better and wiser.

I have many opinions on boxing that I believe are well thought out and reasoned. If everyone agreed and saw and interpreted everything the same, what fun would any discussion be? Below are some opinions that I feel very strongly about, and I say them with conviction. Remember, they're mine. So I think they are well thought out and reasoned. I'm sure that as well as I think they're reasoned and make sense, some will see them as being foolish and ridiculous.

*In my opinion, championship fights should be 15 rounds, not 12. The modern history of boxing was defined by title fights being scheduled for 20 and 15 rounds. I'll settle for 15, lets separate the champions and contenders.

*In my opinion, there should be one recognized sanctioning body to regulate boxing. There is only one world, so there should only be one world champion.

*In my opinion, Sugar Ray Robinson at welterweight is the greatest fighter who has yet lived. He was the best package of fighter ever. He had blinding speed, dynamite in both fist, he could throw every punch and was a great boxer. He also had a cast iron chin and had the heart of a lion, along with an undeniable will. I could go on, but I think the point is clear.

*In my opinion, HBO and ESPN have too much control and influence over boxing. ESPN has their favorite promoters, and puts their fighters on most of the time. HBO has an agenda to push their house fighters who they have contracts with. And they have final say on refusing or accepting the opponents their fighters face. They ridicule the sanctioning bodies, but they are just as bad.

*In my opinion, Joe Louis is the most faultless fighter in history. He was ahead of his time and is a boxing text book. If I had a son who wanted to learn how to box, I'd encourage him to study Louis. That's not saying he should fight like Louis, because he may not have the same skills. I just believe he would see things done the way they should be done, with the least amount of mistakes being made.

*In my opinion, Howard Cosell brought an added excitement to boxing. He wasn't the most knowledgeable fight broadcaster, but him being there gave the event the feel that something important was about to happen, and that it was the place to be at the time.

These are just a few of the opinions that I hold regarding boxing. I feel absolute about everyone of them. I can't see me ever being convinced that 12 round title fights are better than 15 round title fights. I'll go to my grave believing that boxing would be a better and more respected sport if it was governed by one major body, like the NFL or NBA. If their is a fighter who was better than Sugar Ray Robinson, I haven't seen him. Although ESPN and HBO televise boxing, and that's good, I think their influence is more than it should be. If someone has seen a more perfect fundamental fighter than Joe Louis, let me know who it was.

And yes, I thought Howard Cosell brought and air of excitement to the sport of boxing. However, I hate how he turned his back on it after the Larry Holmes-Tex Cobb heavyweight title fight. And lastly, in my opinion, Cobb deserved the decision over Holmes. No way Holmes won that fight! No, I really don't believe that, I just thought I'd give an opinion that was wrong. Yes, some opinions can be wrong, and that is one of them.

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