How did this happen? Who dreamed up this silly stunt? How did two legitimate, honest-to-God, can-I-open-the-door-for-you-ma'am, good guys get booked to actually go out and fight each other? Usually, there is at least one bad guy in a big fight, an ex-con or a future felon or just some hard-assed opponent who threatens your life and the lives of all those around you.
It's part of the culture of the fight game. You want to sell tickets? Accuse your opponent of wearing a nightgown to bed.
But this is different because you've got to be careful when you're working with two nice guys. They're getting to be rare in this business. You have to treat them special, pamper them, offer to buy them lunch. Wash their car. They'll even say thank you.
Just don't put them in the same ring together because one of them is going to lose, and then you've got one less nice guy holding a title.
Face it. Good guys this far up boxing's food chain are at a premium, an all-time low.
So how did nice guys Winky Wright and Shane Mosley get put together? How do you pick one good guy to cheer for when either one would be welcomed to grandma's for turkey and stuffing? How do you pick a favorite when you have two of them?
Don't get it wrong. Just because they're nice guys, don't think they can't fight. Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward are both nice guys, but you wouldn't want to be hitting on their dates or asking them to step outside because they spilled beer on your shoes.
Maybe that's why they came up with the catchy slogan, 'The War ar 154,' for their March 13 junior-middleweight unification championship fight at the Mandalay Bay Casino. They don't want anyone to get the wrong idea.
And besides, all great fights should have a little jingle attached to them, something snappy that you won't forget 20 years from now. You know, something like, 'The Thrilla in Manilla,' or 'The Rumble in the Jungle.' It's better if it rhymes.
But for this fight? Well, there isn't going to be a lot of name calling or back-stabbing or wrestling around on the floor at a press conference a week before the fight. No one is questioning the other's heritage or suggesting they wear a tutu into the ring.
But that's OK because this fight can carry itself. It doesn't need any outside help, any drama played out before the bell.
The only bad thing about this fight is that on March 14, we'll have one less class act holding a world title.
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