In this day and age, everyone is an expert and they all have XL platforms.
Or, at least, the potential to be impactful with their POVs, because if they catch a wave of emotion, their Twitter post, or Facebook rant can go viral, and they can be heard, far and wide. And that is so much of what humans want, to be heard…
This is a good thing, by and large, because we are seeing a new push in social activism spurred by the peoples’ voices being heard more often, because they decide what is news, and spread that decision around to their friends. So much social change has occured in the last few years because of that ability; marriage equality, for example, and also, on the other side of the aisle, the abortion issue has gained traction and attention and the anti-abortion side has made inroads because their message is now being spread wider, with more decibels…
In our boxing sphere, this new media atmosphere, where the people have more power, and can be heard above the din of the mainstream chattering, the effects can be seen on the positive and negative side. The positive side, to be frank, is maybe harder to find, as the entrenched powers continue to make too many moves based on enriching their bottom lines, at the expense of offering superlative bang for the buck for the consumer…if this new era of “people power” on social media had stronger legs to stand on, the last Floyd Mayweather fight would not have been on pay-per-view, for instance.
But fans’ voices are being heard more often, and I think we are seeing, in some areas, where those voices and the actions of the powers that be are correlating. Like Oscar De La Hoyas’ push to see the best fighting the best, and matching his guys tough, not having them in an informercial bout, another informercial bout, followed by a stepup scrap which is then offered to fans with a price upgrade attached to it. I’m in this mode of thinking as I continue to be impressed by David Lemieux’ decision to tangle with Gennady Golovkin on Oct. 17.
I saw when he was contemplating the idea of trying to hand Triple G that first loss, and then as he decided to do it, and now as we count down to their Oct. 17 MSG in NYC on PPV clash, many fans on social media wondering why.
Why not wait, they opine…Why not get a few more wins, build up to it…
It’s fans as general managers, as promoters, as managers..and I get it, we all like to be participatory. We all like to have a richer stake in something that we hold dear and give so much time and money toward…And we all like to have out voices be heard…
But I think too often lost in the new milieu and ‘everyone is an expert’ mindset is understanding that these boxers we weigh in on, and informally advise, the best of them run toward opportunities like Lemieux is grabbing at.
The best of them don’t think of reasons to say no, and choose marination over activation…the best of them say things like, “I am absolutely ready for Golovkin. There is not a single doubt in my mind, and I would not have taken the fight if there was.” That was David Lemieux speaking.
Not talking of letting an advisor steer his course…or letting himself get more experience or this and that.
Not offering excuses or explanations, but giving off a carpe diem vibe.
Lemieux, a 26-year-old Canadian, continued: “I think that my last fight against Hassan N’Dam is the one that prepared me the best for this championship fight. It was a major fight, a championship fight as well, and I delivered a great performance. I also showed that I could perform well and achieve great things under pressure. I have an experienced team behind me, we have all the tools and the experience needed to get me in the best shape that I can be in the ring on October 17th. My preparation for N’Dam went extremely well, we had a great camp and I was ready physically and mentally the day of the fight, and I proved that with my performance. We will use the same recipe.”
This is the post Mayweather era, and you might have read portions of a chat I had with Kathy Duva, the promoter. She said she’s happy to see Floyd go, because his “boxer as businessman first” mentality has infected too many athletes. They are now thinking of themselves as profiteers first, and avoiding stern tests, for fear of losing, and having some of their shine dulled, rather than embracing challenge, and looking up the ladder for people to clib toward, and boot off their ledge. Lemieux is looking up the ladder and wants to shove Golovkin up, replace him. That’s kind of a big deal in this age, because it is more rare than it used to be. (And by the way, I am mindful of the positives of fighters’ being more mindful of plotting their course, and recognizing the down-the-line risk potential better than they used to, in this “concussion awareness” age we are in. I don’t categorically dismiss wholesale by any means the shifting of some minds on the right risk-reward ratio for these fighters to agree to.)
“This is my next step, a big one, but one that I am definitely ready for,” finished Lemieux. “I honestly think that I’m the best chosen opponent to beat Golovkin now because of the boxer that I am, physically and mentally, but mostly because of my character, my strength of character.”
Again, props, public props, for having this attitude. Whatever happens, and I’ve said this before and will hold to it, nothing but props to David Lemieux for carpe diem-ing. Win or lose, he can be proud that he stepped to the line and beat down the butterflies. Props to the man.