It's a sign of the times. And not a positive one, where we find ourselves congratulating boxers because they are stepping up, stepping to the line, agreeing to fight those above them on the ladder of life.
So it is with David Lemieux; he was in NYC on Tuesday, talking to press about his Oct. 17 clash against certified concussion provider Gennady Golovkin.
When fans learned he took the fight, a funny thing happened: many “fans” told him he was foolish.
Wait awhile, you're not ready, was their wisdom.
Fans lobbying AGAINST a young gun accepting a challnege where he's seen as an underdog, for sure…but where he's getting paid high, high seven figures to see if he can beat a guy with a great rep, but one who hasn't yet beaten any Hall of Fame caliber boxers.
I attribute partly to this being an intelligence age; fans are smarter than ever, because more inside information is now available. Fans are savvy, see sports from all angles, the sporting side AND the business side. I asked Lemieux if there were people close to him who were telling him to wait, not take this fight, wait a year or two.
“If I would have listened to everything everybody has said, I would never be where I am today. I listen to my heart, I listen to the people closest to me. And I listen to some very logical patterns we take and this was the thing to do now to be where we want to be,” he told me.
Makes sense…And yes, I don't take it for granted the kid stepping up. This is an age where more and more boxers are businessmen first, athletes and warriors second. And I don't decry that setup…this is a blood sport, I don't blame those guys. But their legacy won't maybe be what they think it might be when they hang up the mitts. True and lasting reverence is bestowed upon men, MEN, like Arturo Gatti, Evander Holyfield, men of that ilk who gladly snapped at every opportunity to take on the stiffest tests. These are the people who seperate themselves from the pack, because they do what us mortals fear to do. Challenge ourselves to the utmost, against the real possibility that we will fail, miserably. They know the glory is in the attempt, that they live one life and they want to soak up every bit of the good and bad and ugly life can offer them…they dare to be great, they risk mightily…and they deserve our respect for this, because that mindset is more of a rarity than it used to be. And if Lemieux “fails” Oct. 17, you won't see me being in the “I told you so” camp. I won't play the smart guy who he should have listened to. He's following his heart, he's being paid immensely well to take a risk and he's doing what more of 'em used to do back in the day: trying to prove the naysayers wrong, and prove he's the baddest man on the planet 160. Props to David Lemieux.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions & Golden Boy Promotions
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