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The Hate Business

BY Adam Berlin ON May 07, 2006
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I don’t really like to watch boxing any more, if I ever did. Jabs and body shots are boring. They take too long to have an effect. Knockouts look too painful for me.

Left hooks from orthodox fighters, or right hooks from southpaws – boy, all that stuff is too technical. Footwork, bobbing and weaving, rolling the shoulder – what is this, a disco?

And who cares about these match-ups? What the heck is a crossroads fight, anyway? I don’t care if one guy is unbeaten and who he fought to get that way. Most of those fights had to be fixed, for sure.

I lose interest with all this talk of “styles make fights.” Styles make clothes, or hairdos, or sportscars, or bling. I don’t see any style in a pair of boxing gloves and some baggy shorts and weird looking sneakers.

No, all that puts me to sleep. But you know what I like, even love?

I love hate. Good old-fashioned hate. Now, that gets me going.

So while I don’t really like to watch it, I do love the way boxing is promoted these days. Look at De La Hoya-Mayorga. I didn’t care that Oscar was coming back from a 20-month layoff after being KO’d by a body shot from Bernard Hopkins. I’ve been dropped plenty of times from body shots, usually after eating a double cheese onion pepperoni pizza. And so what if Mayorga had no defense or fought much of the fight with this hands down? What is this, chess?

Mayorga called Oscar names. Bad, nasty names we can’t even post on this website, even though you’ve heard them all before and probably used most of them the last time you went to the bar and your girl left with another guy, or maybe another girl.

Oscar knew all this going into this fight, because after the fight he said that he needed motivation to train. So he signed to fight a guy he knew was guaranteed to insult him. (I guess Ric Flair was unavailable.) And his own plan worked, to a tee. He got insulted and won the fight. What else could have possibly motivated him? Hate conquers all, even if it is all planned out ahead of time by marketing types.

That’s the problem with boxing. There’s just not enough hate in it. That’s why it is declining in popularity. It’s behind the times in the hate business, still just sticking to being the hurt business.

But they do seem to be learning from their mistakes. I got a press release announcing a press conference for the upcoming fight between Hasim Rahman, who is some kind of champion, and Oleg Maskaev. Yeah, it was filled with all this boring stuff about this being a rematch, about Maskaev knocking him out the last time and through the ropes so he landed in some announcer’s lap, and on and on. I really didn’t care about all this sport storyline stuff, unless of course the announcer was a hot chick. And who can even remember that Maskaev didn’t have a big win after that but was KO’d by Kirk Johnson, Corey Sanders, and Lance Whitaker? All that is just goofy.

What got my attention was this: “Rahman, 41-5-2 (34 KOs), from Baltimore, MD, represents America's Last Line of Defense between the heavyweight title and total domination by natives of the former Soviet Union.”

You mean those communists lost their own stupid country but then became boxers to destroy America? And they’re actually succeeding? Wow, I don’t even think Rush Limbaugh knew that, unless of course it happened when he was busted or doped up on something.

Boxing is really lucky. No one cares about it anymore, but now they’ve discovered this secret communist conspiracy and are trying to do something about that. That sure gets my patriotic attention.

I read that this guy Maskaev comes from Kazakhstan but now lives in Staten Island, NY. Holy Harry Truman! That’s only a subway and ferry ride away from me (except on weekends, when construction and repairs have the trains skip those stations). Maybe they should hire those Arabs after all to guard our ports to keep all those commies from invading New York via the Staten Island Ferry.

Now that they have my interest, here are some more suggestions for them to keep it:

When Diego Corrales, an American by the way, fights the Mexican Jose Luis Castillo, have him bring an electrified fence and snarling guard dogs to the press conference. Let him declare that he is joining the Minutemen to protect our borders. You think they had a “fight of the year” last year? The whole arena will break out in one riot after another.

Chris Byrd just lost his title to some Russian. We know Chris is very religious. Have his comeback fight against another Russian who declares his loyalty to Satan. They say no one wants to watch Chris fight. Well, they sure will against this heretic.

We also hear that no one wants to watch women’s boxing. I can dig that, unless there’s mud or jello involved. So get two real women boxers but at the press conferences have them pull their tops off. That will definitely get on SportsCenter, guaranteed. Maybe even YouTube.com, too.

But here’s the best: Many fighters are Muslims. Have one of them come out in a turban and a white robe and say he wants to destroy America. I hear the old WWF champ the Iron Sheik may be looking for work these days, so he could be brought in as a consultant. Now, this would really be a battle for America's Last Line of Defense.

Congress would pass resolutions denouncing it. The FCC would investigate if they should ban the fight. Loyal Americans would picket the press conferences. The ACLU would defend them. And the pay-per-view numbers would break all records, Mike Tyson be damned.

How much of this hate would be real and how much staged? Who cares? Hate becomes real when it is expressed, allowed to fly free. Say the words, even as part of a script, and they stir up passions so real that they can make Oscar De La Hoya fight like he was ten years younger.

Plus, you never really know when someone is putting you on with such talk, do you? Do you?

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