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Thread: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

  1. #1

    Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    [img]http://www.thesweetscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/hopkins.jpg[/img] *

    by Ted Sares

    BOXING COGITATIONS: It seems that periodically—maybe every five years or so-- I reach a point where my guilty pleasure intersects with my revulsion of this thing called boxing. Like a moral pendulum, I go back and forth and, ever so slightly, I begin to look at boxing with just a tad more cynicism, but just a tad.

    Usually something specific happens that triggers the pendulum to tilt. In the recent past, the precipitator was a split decision that allowed Timothy Bradley to steal in plain sight a victory from Manny Pacquiao in 2012. In this connection, I have been repelled by state boxing commissions composed of political hacks that provide a platform for the subjectivity of unqualified judges. "Can you believe that? Unbelievable," Bob Arum said. "I went over to Bradley before the decision and he said, `I tried hard but I couldn’t beat the guy.’ "

    I also have been taken aback by a sport that enables too many fatalities and horrific injuries to occur; that provides the structure for someone to spar with an already grievously damaged Nick Blackwell. And there will be more Mike Towell’s and the familiar scenario of brain bleeds that create blood clots that often lead to death. It seems the more things change in boxing, the more they are alike—and that’s just plain wrong.

    The Trigger

    This time the trigger was watching a fifty-two-year-old, one-time legend fight a young and hungry monster after a 25-month layoff. Witnessing Bernard Hopkins get knocked clear out of the ring and fall on the back of his head was stunning, but listening to a starry eyed announcer interview him despite his being badly dazed was sickening.

    “I might have got hit with a right hook?“Next thing I know he [Joe Smith Jr.] shoved me out of the ring. I hit my head first and my ankle got hurt when I hit the ground?. .”- --Bernard Hopkins (to Max Kellerman)

    Notwithstanding this, I clearly am nowhere near ready to embrace the damning indictment from Pete Hamill’s classic 1996 article “Blood on Their Hands: The Corrupt and Brutal World of Professional Boxing,” in which he states, “Old loves are a long time dying. They can survive deceptions and separations, petty cruelties and fleeting passions. But, eventually, they give way to the grinding erosions of time. And suddenly, one cold morning, they are dead. For too long a time, I loved the brutal sport of prize fighting. But I’ve arrived at last at that cold morning. You cannot love anything that lives in a sewer. And the world of boxing is more fetid and repugnant now than any other time in its squalid history.”

    Nor am I prepared to agree with the words of the late Jack Newfield from his compelling 2001 article, “The Shame of Boxing”: “My conscience won’t let me remain a passive spectator to scandal any longer. I think too much about Bee Scottland being strapped onto a stretcher. I dream about Ali’s tremor. I am haunted by the Alzheimer’s stare in Ray Robinson’s eyes?”

    I’d rather embrace the following words of the late sports journalist Ralph Wiley from his book “Serenity, A Boxing Memoir”: “Boxing was on the one hand barbaric, unconscionable, out of place in modern society. But then, so are war, racism, poverty, and pro football. Men died boxing, yet there was nobility in defending oneself.”

    Maybe I’m in denial, but my love for boxing remains strong if somewhat strained (especially by the seeming epidemic of PEDs issues). The thrills garnered by the sport simply outweigh the negatives. Watching a Freddie Roach-trained Manny Pacquiao take apart Timothy Bradley “three” times, or a Vasily Lomachenko twirl like a figure skater and do things in the ring that make me stand up and say “did you see that?” or a Chisora and Whyte wail away at each other in a UK blood and guts affair, or a Gennady Golovkin knock out Mathew Macklin with a body shot that could be heard throughout Foxwoods are surely akin to watching George Foreman fight an aroused Ron Lyle in a 1976 classic, or Juan “Kid” Meza knock out Jaime Garza in a furious exchange, or watching a gassed Earnie Shavers come back from certain defeat to take out a scary Roy “Tiger” Williams with seconds remaining. These thrills cannot be dismissed.

    In the Chicago of the late 40’s and the 50’s, boxing was a part of my heritage. It was glamour and noir. Marigold Gardens, Rainbow Arena, and the Coliseum (they are all gone now) became places where I bonded with my father; they became our stomping grounds. Guys like Tony Zale, Anton Raadik, Chuck Davey, Bob Satterfield, Beau Jack, and Johnny Bratton thrilled us. With the advent of television, I was enthralled by Kid Gavilan, Bobby Chacon, Danny Lopez, Wilfred Benitez, and the great Salvador Sanchez. Later, I saw Hagler, Duran, Hearns and Leonard and their UK counterparts, Watson, Eubanks and Benn. There have been others too numerous to mention.

    I witnessed the shootouts between Hearns-Hagler, Martin-Gogarty, Brooks-Curry, Ruelas-Gatti, Letterlough-Gonzales, Moorer-Cooper, Kirkland-Angulo, Vazquez-Marquez and the big boppers, Cobb-Shavers-Norton at the end of their careers. I also witnessed Corrales-Castillo, Rios-Alvarado, Crawford-Gamboa, Thurman-Porter, Salido-Vargas, Holm-Mathis, Luna-Luna, and Salido-Kokietgym.

    These days, bearing witness to the skills of Errol Spence Jr. and Terrence Crawford and their propensity to fight “mean” is equaled by watching a disciplined Irishman named Frampton stick to a game plan and win a world championship. Waiting for Anthony Joshua to become the next Lennox Lewis is equaled by wondering how Tyson Fury will look in his comeback. Moreover, the prospect of watching a humble construction worker—heretofore considered fodder-- step up on boxing’s world stage and offer a Long Island brand of shock and awe is just too good to miss. And will Cinnamon finally square off with GGG? “I fear no one,” Canelo*said. “I was born for this, and even though many people may not like it, I am the best fighter right now.* I’m ready.” How can I possibly relinquish what’s to come?

    While the paradigm continues to change and the unheard of might become the “new norm” along with a changing business model of more bangs for the buck with fewer fights, the essence of the thing won’t change anytime soon.

    In the ring boxing is genuine, but outside it can be harsh, for it has never been all that stringent in its application of scruples or morality. Still, it will continue to be my safe place--a place where I don’t have to worry about what I say. Boxing is hardcore and not for the politically correct—and that’s especially important going into 2017 and beyond.

    My love for boxing, while sorely strained at times, will endure. Hell, finding Jake’s wife Vickie, with her sexy New York accent, is still on my bucket list.

    Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing and is a member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.
    Last edited by AcidArne; 01-11-2017 at 12:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    I'm with you Ted.

    The five year span of 2011 to 2015 was EXCELLENT for boxing.

    But where we are now is sickening and I do not like it one bit.

    I hope things can come back. They have in the past. But now?

  3. #3
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    Quote Originally Posted by KO Digest View Post
    I'm with you Ted.

    The five year span of 2011 to 2015 was EXCELLENT for boxing.

    But where we are now is sickening and I do not like it one bit.

    I hope things can come back. They have in the past. But now?
    Thanks, Jeffrey. I hope so as well.

  4. #4

    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    I despise many of the characters in boxing today. From the political hacks you mention, to the brown nosers that enable the fighters, to the long time scumbags like Bob Arum. Boxing is more dead than alive. The old guard is sucking all they can from the sport. The quality of in ring skill continues to decline along with the way the sport is promoted. Such a shame.

  5. #5
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    Happy New Year Bull. This is some very deep stuff. You sure know how to hit a nerve.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnnyTango's Avatar
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    For various reasons (some of which you mentioned), I too have lost interest in boxing over the past 10 years. I hated watching total mismatches where some poor soul suffered a major beatdown.

    As usual, this was a nicely written and informative piece, Ted.

  7. #7
    Senior Member deepwater2's Avatar
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTango View Post
    For various reasons (some of which you mentioned), I too have lost interest in boxing over the past 10 years. I hated watching total mismatches where some poor soul suffered a major beatdown.

    As usual, this was a nicely written and informative piece, Ted.
    Boxing pissed me off more than usual in 2016. The Pbc mismatches are gross. Nothing has changed with that rotten outfit as of yet. More mismatches are scheduled this year.

    The Ward Kovalev fight underwhelmed and pissed me off even more by awarding Ward a win he did not deserve.

    Hopefully the heavyweights get sorted out this year, Fury either makes a great comeback or stays out of the sport.

    I want to see more of Crawford, Usyk, Loma, Smith Jr, Sullivan Barrera, and I am looking forward to the Frampton rematch and the Jacobs GGG fight.

    Other than that , the HOF looks like a good trip this year.

    Dear Boxing, especially the Pbc outfit, stop making mismatches ( and if you do , keep that junk off of TV).

  8. #8
    Senior Member deepwater2's Avatar
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sweet Science View Post
    [img]http://www.thesweetscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/hopkins.jpg[/img] *

    BOXING COGITATIONS: It seems that periodically—maybe every five years or so-- I reach a point where my guilty pleasure intersects with my revulsion of this thing called boxing. Like a moral pendulum, I go back and forth and, ever so slightly, I begin to look at boxing with just a tad more cynicism, but just a tad.

    Usually something specific happens that triggers the pendulum to tilt. In the recent past, the precipitator was a split decision that allowed Timothy Bradley to steal in plain sight a victory from Manny Pacquiao in 2012. In this connection, I have been repelled by state boxing commissions composed of political hacks that provide a platform for the subjectivity of unqualified judges. "Can you believe that? Unbelievable," Bob Arum said. "I went over to Bradley before the decision and he said, `I tried hard but I couldn’t beat the guy.’ "

    I also have been taken aback by a sport that enables too many fatalities and horrific injuries to occur; that provides the structure for someone to spar with an already grievously damaged Nick Blackwell. And there will be more Mike Towell’s and the familiar scenario of brain bleeds that create blood clots that often lead to death. It seems the more things change in boxing, the more they are alike—and that’s just plain wrong.

    The Trigger

    This time the trigger was watching a fifty-two-year-old, one-time legend fight a young and hungry monster after a 25-month layoff. Witnessing Bernard Hopkins get knocked clear out of the ring and fall on the back of his head was stunning, but listening to a starry eyed announcer interview him despite his being badly dazed was sickening.

    “I might have got hit with a right hook?“Next thing I know he [Joe Smith Jr.] shoved me out of the ring. I hit my head first and my ankle got hurt when I hit the ground?. .”- --Bernard Hopkins (to Max Kellerman)

    Notwithstanding this, I clearly am nowhere near ready to embrace the damning indictment from Pete Hamill’s classic 1996 article “Blood on Their Hands: The Corrupt and Brutal World of Professional Boxing,” in which he states, “Old loves are a long time dying. They can survive deceptions and separations, petty cruelties and fleeting passions. But, eventually, they give way to the grinding erosions of time. And suddenly, one cold morning, they are dead. For too long a time, I loved the brutal sport of prize fighting. But I’ve arrived at last at that cold morning. You cannot love anything that lives in a sewer. And the world of boxing is more fetid and repugnant now than any other time in its squalid history.”

    Nor am I prepared to agree with the words of the late Jack Newfield from his compelling 2001 article, “The Shame of Boxing”: “My conscience won’t let me remain a passive spectator to scandal any longer. I think too much about Bee Scottland being strapped onto a stretcher. I dream about Ali’s tremor. I am haunted by the Alzheimer’s stare in Ray Robinson’s eyes?”

    I’d rather embrace the following words of the late sports journalist Ralph Wiley from his book “Serenity, A Boxing Memoir”: “Boxing was on the one hand barbaric, unconscionable, out of place in modern society. But then, so are war, racism, poverty, and pro football. Men died boxing, yet there was nobility in defending oneself.”

    Maybe I’m in denial, but my love for boxing remains strong if somewhat strained (especially by the seeming epidemic of PEDs issues). The thrills garnered by the sport simply outweigh the negatives. Watching a Freddie Roach-trained Manny Pacquiao take apart Timothy Bradley “three” times, or a Vasily Lomachenko twirl like a figure skater and do things in the ring that make me stand up and say “did you see that?” or a Chisora and Whyte wail away at each other in a UK blood and guts affair, or a Gennady Golovkin knock out Mathew Macklin with a body shot that could be heard throughout Foxwoods are surely akin to watching George Foreman fight an aroused Ron Lyle in a 1976 classic, or Juan “Kid” Meza knock out Jaime Garza in a furious exchange, or watching a gassed Earnie Shavers come back from certain defeat to take out a scary Roy “Tiger” Williams with seconds remaining. These thrills cannot be dismissed.

    In the Chicago of the late 40’s and the 50’s, boxing was a part of my heritage. It was glamour and noir. Marigold Gardens, Rainbow Arena, and the Coliseum (they are all gone now) became places where I bonded with my father; they became our stomping grounds. Guys like Tony Zale, Anton Raadik, Chuck Davey, Bob Satterfield, Beau Jack, and Johnny Bratton thrilled us. With the advent of television, I was enthralled by Kid Gavilan, Bobby Chacon, Danny Lopez, Wilfred Benitez, and the great Salvador Sanchez. Later, I saw Hagler, Duran, Hearns and Leonard and their UK counterparts, Watson, Eubanks and Benn. There have been others too numerous to mention.

    I witnessed the shootouts between Hearns-Hagler, Martin-Gogarty, Brooks-Curry, Ruelas-Gatti, Letterlough-Gonzales, Moorer-Cooper, Kirkland-Angulo, Vazquez-Marquez and the big boppers, Cobb-Shavers-Norton at the end of their careers. I also witnessed Corrales-Castillo, Rios-Alvarado, Crawford-Gamboa, Thurman-Porter, Salido-Vargas, Holm-Mathis, Luna-Luna, and Salido-Kokietgym.

    These days, bearing witness to the skills of Errol Spence Jr. and Terrence Crawford and their propensity to fight “mean” is equaled by watching a disciplined Irishman named Frampton stick to a game plan and win a world championship. Waiting for Anthony Joshua to become the next Lennox Lewis is equaled by wondering how Tyson Fury will look in his comeback. Moreover, the prospect of watching a humble construction worker—heretofore considered fodder-- step up on boxing’s world stage and offer a Long Island brand of shock and awe is just too good to miss. And will Cinnamon finally square off with GGG? “I fear no one,” Canelo*said. “I was born for this, and even though many people may not like it, I am the best fighter right now.* I’m ready.” How can I possibly relinquish what’s to come?

    While the paradigm continues to change and the unheard of might become the “new norm” along with a changing business model of more bangs for the buck with fewer fights, the essence of the thing won’t change anytime soon.

    In the ring boxing is genuine, but outside it can be harsh, for it has never been all that stringent in its application of scruples or morality. Still, it will continue to be my safe place--a place where I don’t have to worry about what I say. Boxing is hardcore and not for the politically correct—and that’s especially important going into 2017 and beyond.

    My love for boxing, while sorely strained at times, will endure. Hell, finding Jake’s wife Vickie, with her sexy New York accent, is still on my bucket list.

    Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing and is a member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.
    Come on down to the 40 and over fight club at Westbury PAL every Saturday at 1pm. Boxing is alive and well in that gym despite the nonsense surrounding the sport.

  9. #9
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    Where is Westbury? NYC area?

  10. #10
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    Re: Boxing: Love, Hate, 2017 and Beyond

    Thank you Bill and Johnny. Digging deep is fun but not easy to do and I'm not sure I did it here, but it does get the juices flowing. In the final analysis, writing is a great catharsis.

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