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Oscar/Floyd Was Good, The Sport's Still Great

BY Phil Woolever ON May 07, 2007
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LAS VEGAS –  Beware of gloved up ghosts.

Certain apparitions have treated me better than OK. Some spirits have watched over my sometimes stupid, undeserving behind and provided protection from my own folly and fumbles.

There must have been something like that going on last weekend around here, because a sport many referred to as dead provided all kinds of welcome distraction to a real world that was getting me down.

And, since by many esteemed pronouncements the continued life of boxing depended on the Floyd Mayweather – Oscar De la Hoya bout being spectacular enough for a magnificent resurrection of fistianna’s fatally faded glory, I guess it's some vision from the undead beyond that beckons me toward an intriguing summer of slugging.

Mayweather/De la Hoya wasn’t the fight of the century. It wasn’t the Fight of the Year. It wasn’t the Fight of the Month, and it probably wasn’t even the fight of the night (That distinction goes to undercard boys Rey Bautista and Sergio Medina).

So what.

Sometimes a contest that looks good on paper fizzles into a boring waltz. Sometimes you pay extra for a better seat than usual, and the wild knockout comes while you’re looking away. Sometimes the whole scene is just an uncomfortable bore.

Welcome to another precious part of the real world, amigos.

Sometimes the fights just suck. Saturday night around here was way, way better than that. The last minute frenzy of boxing related action and anticipation was almost entertainment enough. It would have been nice for a toe to toe classic, but at least what we got was an honest effort by both extreme talents.

Life might not be fair, but it’s all we got, brother.

Some heavily hyped battles might not end up being so great, but the sport is, and it will be for a while.

The asteroid will probably hit us by then anyway.

Before that, there will be plenty of awesome contests and a pile of crappy ones.

At the big events like Mayweather – De la Hoya, there will always be prime time goobers with no real knowledge or interest in boxing,  just there to make the scene. Year after year, they will use the easy, often stupid opening theme about boxing’s demise.

Year after year fanatics and fools will continue to whistle past the sport’s loudly declared graveyard.

Many of the headstones are still blank. Many will remain that way.

Some nights, like the upcoming Hopkins/Wright or Hatton/Castillo affairs, long lost legend has it that anyone creeping by boxing’s dusty graveyard, past the lines of limos and VIP busses, will be able to hear the screaming of happy ghosts.

Obviously, Mayweather – De la Hoya wasn’t the final, do-or –die night for boxing. Anyone looking for that should get in line, and hold their breath.

That world still awaits.

POSTSCRIPT: As I was spell checking this story, word came across the net about the motorcycle crash death of Diego “Chico” Corrales. Corrales began his career in Arizona and over the years I spoke with him many times. It was always a pleasure. Like most of us, Chico wasn’t perfect, but he seemed to genuinely try to improve himself. I believe he would like to be remembered as a warrior, and he definitely earned that. Rest in peace, Warrior.

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