About the time you're ready to ask the preacher to say a few touching last words, a guy like Felix Trinidad shows up with the miracle cure everyone has been praying for, saving the fight game from a long and agonizing death.
Trinidad reminds us that boxing doesn't need gimmicks or controversy or bad guys to stay alive. It doesn't need reality TV shows, a hard sell or a spoonful of that amazing miracle cure.
All it needs to get back on its feet is an occasional good fight.
Tito and Ricardo Mayorga gave us one Saturday night.
It might not be voted the fight of the year, but it should be on the list of the year's best. And let's be honest. There have been better years in the fight game. It's a very short list.
But now Tito is back and there's hope for a temporary cure.
Two-plus years away from all the fun and games of the prize ring and Trinidad didn't miss a step against Mayorga, ending it all in the eighth round when referee Steve Smoger stepped in and stopped it at the 2:39 mark, immediately putting Trinidad back into middleweight contention.
But what did you expect? In the third round when his glove touched the canvas and it was ruled a knockdown, Trinidad reminded us that he's familiar with getting his fanny planted. And than in the eighth, he also reminded us that once he gets up off the canvas, he's one of the better punchers in boxing. He dropped Mayorga – who is tougher than a truckload of stumps – three times.
To Trinidad, boxing is like riding a bicycle. You never forget how to ride.
It wasn't long after the fight that Mayorga announced his decision to retire from the ring. He was quoted in a Nicaraguan newspaper as saying that he “will not continue fighting. I'm retiring.”
You can take the announcement for what it's worth, but if Mayorga is serious about quitting, say so-long to a guy with a big mouth, a big ego, a big punch, a big heart and big problems. He's got a sexual assault charge hanging over his head back home.
He isn't a colorful character, he's just a little crazy. Some might miss him. I won't.
As for Trinidad, it didn't take long for Bernard Hopkins' name to start floating around. A TKO loss to Hopkins is the only flaw on Tito's almost spotless 42-1 record. And you don't have to think too hard or look too deep to understand one of the reasons he's returned to the ring.
But why he's back isn't important. What is important is that he's here, that he can still fight and that he still has that hunger and intensity we used to see in most fighters.
Welcome back, Tito.
Boy, were you missed.