They Fought Like Business Partners, Not Rivals

BY Raymond Markarian ON April 06, 2010
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Note to self: Never again pay $50 for a PPV boxing match that none of television networks dare to support.

This past Saturday night it cost fight fans fifty dollars to watch Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones dance in a ring. It was supposed to be a bout between the greatest rivals of this era. But the fight turned out to become a disgrace to anyone that calls themselves a boxing fan.  

And I know a friend of a friend of a friend that knows a guy who watched the fight on the internet for free. He told me that he used an S-video cord to hook his laptop up to his 60’ inch flat screen TV with a perfect image. Although he watched the fight for free, he still did not enjoy the fight.

Some fighters who become promoters have grown a business-like, old-school mentality in the sport. Where is the loyalty to fight fans? Where is the loyalty to the growth of the sport?  

That was not a fight between Hopkins and Jones, it was a sparring session. As a matter of fact, I have seen plenty of gym rats connect with much harder shots than what Hopkins felt dizzy from on Saturday night.    

We should not even call that fight a sparring session. It was a dancing contest between two business men --- associates who call themselves enemies.

 Golden Boy sold Hopkins vs. Jones II as a bout between sworn enemies, finally settling a score. However, we saw them feint more than punch and foul rather than genuinely compete. “This is a real fight. This is personal,” said Hopkins before the fight.  

It was personal huh?

Most people don’t dance in a circle with a rival they have wanted to get in the ring with for almost twenty years. The 300 or so people who ordered the fight and I need to realize one thing. The day Bernard Hopkins, De la Hoya, Mayweather, or any other promoter/fighter threw their hat into the promoting game they became promoters first and fighters second.  

At that point, it became less about who is the best fighter in the world and more about how they could make the most money.  

This bout was being compared to the second fight between Thomas Hearns and Ray Leonard by some boxing people. But Hearns and Leonard fought like adversaries, Hopkins and Jones circled each other like scared amateurs.  

It is no secret that Hopkins continues to fight to make as much money off of his name as possible. Why else fight Jones if he got knocked out in the first round four months earlier? Hopkins and Jones pulled it off because they sold their names more than their diminishing fighting skills.  

Many hesitate to knock a man like Bernard Hopkins, who tries to make as much money as possible. But it is wrong to take money out of the pocket of hard working folks who still consider boxing to be the greatest sport in the world.

To Hopkins, or any other fighter trying to make a buck and run, respect the game of boxing. If you expect fight fans to buy your fights, please attempt to give us a show.  

Sometimes fight fans forget the deficiency of becoming a true boxing fan. We disregard the fact that we have to pay for the best fights and the biggest events. We have become accustomed to shelling out the PPV money. Football, basketball, and baseball fans don’t pay extra money to watch the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, or the World Series.  

What makes them any different than fight fans? Boxing fans pay to watch a good show. But mainstream sports fans watch a good show for free. Boxing fans who order a PPV fight that turns out to be a dud, like the one this past Saturday get stuck with a bill regardless. At least the football fans could change the channel if the game turnout to be a blowout, without thinking twice.  

In the aftermath of this fight, it is my belief that Hopkins and Jones are much more business partners than they are enemies.  

What type of person who calls himself a fighter would hesitate to throw a punch at his adversary unless they have some sort of understanding before the fight?  

Mr. Bernard Hopkins, if Jones was your true enemy, and you call yourself a fighter, then you should have done something to competitive to defeat him. As a matter of fact, Hopkins, I challenge you to a fight. I mean, if I all I have to do to make a million dollars is get into great shape, dance around the ring, and hit you with a low blow once in a while then we could sell the fight right?

I could probably last for twelve rounds because you would cry on the floor for five minutes each time I got close enough to hit you.

This message goes out to Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones, or any other so called promoter/fighter;  next time you decide to dance around the ring, don’t try to steal our money. Unlike most of you, the average boxing fan thinks $50 is a lot of money.  

No wonder why most sports fans have turned the other cheek when it comes time to discuss boxing. We die hard boxing fans look past all of the garbage in this sport sometimes. Maybe we should take a step back to see the truth.  

The promoters who build some of these fights between so called enemies are doing nothing but laughing straight to the bank. Actors, punks, thieves, or cowards, we could call them any name in the book. But the bottom line is that the nearly 7000 people in attendance at the Mandalay Bay and the many that bought the fight on PPV were fooled by some smart business men who called themselves enemies.  

They are looking at their paychecks laughing at us, waiting for the next moment to laugh some more.    

Contact Raymond.Markarian@yahoo.com

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