The End of Boxing Might Be One Punch Away

One of Thomas Hauser’s recent books is titled There Will Always Be Boxing. On the weekend of April 20-22, 2018, the sport was alive and well, so much so that boxing does seem immortal.

The third weekend of April resonated of boxing weekends of yore when a dart throw would yield a solid match-up. Khan crushed Lo Greco in 39 seconds; Frampton outclassed Donaire in a match between two ex-champions; Broner and Vargas fought to a thrilling draw; Davis rolled over Cuellar like a “Tank”; Charlo dropped Centeno like he hit him with a sap; Heather “The Heat” Hardy stayed undefeated (but barely); Zolani Tete beat Omar Narvaez in the first defense of his WBO bantamweight title; The UK’S Ryan Aston lost in a monster upset to limited Anthony Fox; and comebacking Tommy Coyle stopped Sean Dodd in Liverpool.

There were solid fights in Russia highlighted by Indonesia’s Daud Yordan waxing undefeated Pavel Malikov in a shocker; while heavyweight Tom Schwarz remained unbeaten at 21-0 in Germany. Over in Poland, an aging Tomasz Adamek stopped Joey Abell in brutal fashion plus Mateusz Masternak improved to 41-4 and Damian “The Beast” Jonak (40-0-1) remained unbreaten.

Japan and Mexico also weighed in with some excellent fights. However, the focus here is on the United States.

Looking ahead, fighters like Errol Spence Jr.,Terence Crawford, Jarret Hurd,  the Eastern Euros Bivol, Beterbiev, Gassiev, Gvozdyk, Usyk, and Briedis (who will find their fame and fortune in America) Inoue, Murata, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Marcus Browne, the Charlo twins, Big Baby Miller and a slew of others look to fight and even replace the current crop of established stars.

Boxing fans can look forward to great matchups and thrills and chills as more great weekends are orchestrated for us. Let’s get it on!

But hold on! There always will be boxing insofar as global pugilism is concerned, but maybe not so when it comes to the USA

It could all end in a New York Minute –just like that. If one punch sends another boxer down and that punch cripples the downed fighter for life (think Mago) or even does the unthinkable, boxing has and will survive, BUT if that punch has been chemically enhanced by a banned substance, it’s an entirely new scenario.

British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn recently got close to it with this blunt quote: “This is a sport where they’re in there to render the other fighter unconscious, and to do it under the influence of steroids, the cheater should be a criminal offense.”

Jim Lampley got closer, ““The worst thing possible hasn’t happened yet.”

Former TSS editor-in-chief Michael Woods nailed it in an article titled, ‘They’re going to get a young kid killed in a boxing ring’: Trainer Stephen Edwards goes off on PED use in boxing.”

“It is curious,” writes Woods, “if you think about it, how there isn’t more noise, more of a sustained, demand for stringent PED testing in boxing, being that the repercussions of cheating, of using a banned substance to improve your performance, which includes punching harder and more often than without that aid, could be so severe.

“Like, death.

“Dying… that could be the by-product if and when one athlete who has used PEDs to make his muscles more weaponistic inflicts severe trauma on a clean athlete, who then succumbs, because of head trauma, and passes away.”

Trainer Edwards adds, “These kids’ lives are on the line…but the stakes are so immense, the purses are so much higher in the upper tier bouts, that it makes it oh so tempting for athletes to cut corners.”

Edwards then minces no words as he further asserts, “They’re not going to stop…until someone gets killed. Somebody’s going to get killed in a boxing ring, you … mark it down! They’re going to get a young kid killed in a boxing ring. And then somebody’s going to want to do something about it, and it’s going to be too late …They’re going to get somebody killed! These dudes is getting too big, they’re punching too hard with these little a– gloves, the skull is not meant to take certain sh–t. They’re going to get somebody f——- killed, and nobody’s going to laugh anymore, it’s not going to be sour grapes anymore….

Says Woods, “…in boxing, a disadvantage enjoyed by a PED user over a non-user could tilt the playing field to a fatal level.”

God forbid, but if that happens, the beginning of the end of boxing in the USA also happens. Boxing has a bad problem called PEDs. Unless it is fixed, it could end up being the final problem.

Ted Sares is one of the oldest full power (raw modern) lifters in the world and is a four-time winner of the EPF’s Grand Master championship. He also is a member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

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