The Cold War is thawing, and we could be seeing the pace of the thaw speeding up.
No, friends, not a time for one of my “sly” Liberal Tweets, not a time for a climate change jest and a poke at the moronic denialists. That would only remind us of the gaping divide in DC, and among segments of the citizenry who hole up in their ideological bunkers and lob insults at the other team on the rare occasions we pop outside our holes and interact with each other.
No, not the time to bemoan the existence of wearying divides. No, now is the time to celebrate the possibilities for the future, for the last months of 2014, and beyond.
Who knows, maybe we are seeing a harbinger of the forthcoming healing of fractures which are fed kindling by diabolical power brokers in Washington and among the media ticks who feast on the blood spilled during the wars over cultural and social issues, people whose primary if not sole purpose is to retain and exploit their power and grow their personal fortune. Maybe boxing is fixing to reach a better place, one where we don't have the divide, don't have a select few choosing to do business with another select few, which benefits themselves, and far too often leaves the lowly fan, the people who, by the way, open up their wallets consistently and generously, and keep the sport afloat, feeling like they got canned at the carnival again, and spent premium bucks for a crappy stuffed animal filled with flammable rags stuffed by child labor in Bangladesh.
I saw today the potential of what can happen when people exit bunkers, and shake hands, and find common ground, in order to hammer out an agreement which can benefit the masses, which makes the Libra side of me so pleased. I saw the guys from HBO talking to the guys from the revamped Golden Boy, and those guys talking with the folks from MainEvents, and all were on the same side, basically, working on a fight which will unfold on Nov. 8 in Atlantic City. That fight, pitting Bernard Hopkins, the freak of nature who will turn 50 in Janaury, taking on the hammer-fisted Russian Sergey Kovalev, wouldn't and couldn't have been made since March of 2013, when HBO threw up its hands and said no mas. No more doing business with Golden Boy, was the cry, because the HBO gang was tired of doing the slightly laborious work of building fighters into names, and then having those fighters escorted over to do their thing on Showtime, many times having help crossing the street from tour guide Al Haymon.
Here's hoping this Nov. 8 re-set promotion is the start of a trend which will grow until it is the new again norm. Oscar De La Hoya, who TKO'd some demons in rehab, and emerged, after humbling group meetings in which he verbalized that he was no golden boy when it came to conducting himself as a human being, a lot of the time, grabbed the reins to the company in early June. “MY company,” he's said time and again the last few months, with a tone suggesting that he was none to proud of what it had become while he caroused and let Richard Schaefer, his ex banker bud who he installed as day to day boss, and whose power grew immensely over a 12 year span, craft it into his vision.
The vision is articulated clearly now, even if the execution has to be delivered in a consistent fashion, and gimme showcase affairs like we saw on Aug. 19 at Barclays Center have to be an ultra-rarity, instead of business as usual.
“I've talked to Bob Arum several times (recently),” said De La Hoya, trim, patient, engaged, clear-eyed, in better command at the podium overseeing the presser than he'd been just last month, today. “And I'm meeting with Arum next week.”
Pray tell, do you have a set agenda, a list of co-promotions you'd like to do? “We're on the same page on a Manny Pacquiao versus Danny Garcia fight,” Oscar said. “That would be a good first start, wouldn't it?” he said to me, locking in eye contact with the certainty of someone who knew he didn't have hijinks to keep under wraps, or was engaging in behavior that could and did conjure self loathing spells.
It would be a fine first start, a true co-promotion between Top Rank and Oscar, which would bring two top dogs into the ring, and would do bang-up business, and would go a ways to lower the frustration level of the long-suffering fight fan, who has seen too much star building, and reputation building fights, and too few pick 'em bouts, for too damn long.
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