While I haven’t written you in many, many years, it has recently come to my attention that your magical abilities might be useful in helping fix the sport of boxing. While I am unsure how things like flying reindeer around the world and moving up and down chimneys with a giant bag full of toys translates to the procurement of the items listed below, I figure I can just leave that to you.
Please see below for the list of things I would like for Christmas this year. Also, please note that this list of items would be in lieu of any other gifts you intended to provide this year, including the iPad I’ve wanted every year for about 5 years now but never seem to receive. (If you prefer, you can still send me the iPad in addition to the items listed below.)
1. A National Boxing Commission: Look, Santa, you know I’m a small government guy, especially when it comes to a national government that keeps adding and adding trillions of dollars in debt while simultaneously pretending nothing is happening. But, Santa, we both know boxing can’t regulate itself. Moreover, we know the state boxing commissions just aren’t cutting it in regards to PED drug testing and other important fighter safety topics. I haven’t talked to anyone out there who really doesn’t believe there should be some kind of national commission for combat sports. Former PED peddler Angel Heredia told me there should be one. So did VADA founder and president Dr. Margaret Goodman. Let’s keep it simple, though. I never advocate for federal dollars without strict form and function. The federal boxing commission should have the sole and limited role of mandating safety measures and minimum standards for anti-doping testing protocols that include both blood and urine testing for banned substances.
2. End the Top Rank vs. Golden Boy Feud: This cold war nonsense is bunk, Santa, so please catch old pals Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya under the mistletoe this year so they can kiss and make up. While the competition between the two companies, Top Rank and Golden Boy, has been a positive thing over the short term, the absence of fights between the two camps will damage the sport over the long haul. The end of the feud wouldn’t stop the two companies from competing against each other, but we’d also get to see the best fighters in the world face off, too. There’s simply no reason we should miss out on fights like Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Leo Santa Cruz or Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
3. An American Heavyweight Who Can Fight: Santa, as a fellow heavyweight, I know you realize how important the big guys are to the sport of boxing. As a world traveler, you probably know quite well how the United States basically ignores boxing overall unless there is a big, scary and menacing heavyweight to follow. Now, you know I’m hoping either Deontay Wilder or Andy Ruiz is going to be the one, but at this point, I’d settle for someone out of the blue, too. Someone, anyone--just get us an American heavyweight to follow!
4. Alphabet Belt Sanity: Now Santa, we both know the alphabet gang isn’t going away anytime soon. That’s okay, I suppose. I might be a bit of an idealist, but I trend toward realism as I grow older and older. But at least, maybe, we could have these guys limit the number of champions they crown in each division to one. Isn’t that the only sane way of operating a rankings organization? And speaking of rankings, is there a reason none of the alphabet soup organizations’ top ten rankings make any sense? And the one that does, the IBO, has perhaps the most bunk list of champions in the sport? For Christmas, please have all the ranking bodies do a better job at what they do. One champion only in each weight class is the least they could do.
5. Less PPVs: Gosh, Santa, being a boxing fan is hard enough these days without having to pay to watch top fighters every month. I don’t remember the last time I read about the sweet science in my local paper, and every time I tell someone I’m a boxing writer they look like I just told them I have cancer. But can we at least have one year where there are big fights on regular HBO and Showtime more often than PPV? And while we’re at it, can we get PPV costs to start going down instead of up? I mean really, PPV cards as a whole get less and less interesting while the price of seeing them grows more and more costly. Nobody is saying the biggest and best fights shouldn’t be on PPV, but can we at least reserve that for when the fighters are fairly evenly matched? I mean, did anyone in their right mind believe Floyd Mayweather wouldn’t defeat Robert Guerrero last year? And did anyone pick Manny Pacquiao to lose to Brandon Rios? No? Then why were we paying a premium to see it happen?
Thanks for reading, Santa. Please let me know ahead of time if any of this will be a problem. As stated previously, I still do not have an iPad and I’d prefer to know if this Christmas morning will be lacking any of the above items ahead of time.
An iPad-less Boxing Writer
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV