We are a quite discerning breed, we fight fans. We love to watch fights, and analyze, and dissect before, during, and after the combat.
Probably some tie-in between our attraction to this sport, which features extreme savagery and valor, and our penchant for critique and debating.. but we will leave that to better psychological analysts than me…
I do think lost in our dissector mode is a mood of appreciation for the stronger elements present in the sport. Such as, I think we are pretty fortunate that by and large, for decades now, HBO has been entrusted with putting on a fair bulk of the televised sweet science action. OK, no, not from a wallet perspective, because it is a pay-cable entity. But in this case, I think there is a “you get what you pay for” element to this whole deal. HBO prides itself on being a top-rung storytelling entity, and that comes through in their boxing coverage. Simply, they don’t hire handsome faces to sling BS at you, parrot the party line, give you the Barnum sell…Instead, there is a quest to present the material through a lens which includes respect for intellectualism, and for the cerebral take. I can argue there is not enough of that present in the realm of sports, of entertainment, of television, of life.
Tonight, the HBO crew celebrates the fact that they will have shown 1,000 boxing matches on the air. Here are a couple fact, figures and tidbits to ponder as we chew on that fact:
• 1000 fights celebrated on June 27
•In 43 years HBO has been to 34 states, the island of Puerto Rico and 19 foreign countries for a total of 88 cities.
• Most visits to one city: Las Vegas 178 times for 243 fights followed by Atlantic City 81 times for 135 fights and New York City 63 times for 109 fights
• Nevada leads with 261 fights and 192 dates
• 225 heavyweight fights. 32 of those 225 heavyweights were at Madison Square Garden.
• 135 welterweight fights
• 98 middleweight fights
• Most cities in one state: California 17 on 59 trips, followed by 8 in Texas 29 timesand 6 in Florida on 22 trips.
• Connecticut was visited 26 times between three cities, Mashantucket (14), Uncasville (11) and Hartford (1)
• Twice fights were shown from Rahway State Penitentiary in New Jersey.
• Germany was visited 12 times — 7 cities for 11 fights.
• Montreal on 8 occasions for 14 fights and London for 7 times and 11 fights leads for overseas locations
• Fighters with 19 or more appearances: Roy Jones, Jr. 32, Oscar De La Hoya 32, Shane Mosley 27, Floyd Mayweather (Jr.) 27, Lennox Lewis 23, Manny Pacquiao 23, Bernard Hopkins 22, Arturo Gatti 21, Miguel Cotto 21, Pernell Whitaker 19, Marco Antonio Barrera 19,?Wladimir Klitschko 19.
Couple things stand out for me–
Heavyweight fights lead the weight class pack; indeed, there is the heavyweight division, and then there is everything else…
Las Vegas is the fight mecca, from the perspective of volume of appearances. And sort of sad to see diminished presence AC at No. 2…and falling.
Roy Jones is pack leader in appearances..in his heyday, he was something else entirely, and it behooves you to every now and again find a greatest hits compilation on YouTube, to refresh yourself of that fact.
Of those 12 fighters listed above, the “least skilled” is probably Arturo Gatti. But none of the others matched his warrior spirit.
Anyway, keep on keeping on, HBO crew. Thanks for your efforts, dilligence and presence. It is appreciated.