I grew up a huge sports fan. I used to watch any and everything. If it came on tv, I watched it. Two sports, however, were above all the others. One was football, and the other was boxing. I remember staying up on Saturday nights with my dad, and watching the fights on HBO. And tuning in to the Wide World of Sports on ABC, and catching some fights. That was bonding time for me and my old man. He would school me on the greats he grew up watching, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier. I remember when Mike Tyson debuted, and my dad and I would go back and forth about who was better, Ali or Tyson(we all know my dad was right now, but it was fun back then).
Flash forward to now. Football is the biggest sport in the United States, and no one talks about boxing. Boxing is going the way of the dodo. Boxing has gone from being one of the biggest, and most talked about sports in this country, to an afterthought. The only boxers people know, and talk about are Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. And those two won’t fight. Smh. Outside of them, who are people getting excited about? I can’t even name five more boxers from today, much less get excited about them.
What could cause such a great drop in boxing a popularity? I think it just boils down to individual greed. Yeah, there are a ton of other issues, but I think greed is the biggest one. No body wants to fight anyone who might give them a loss. Yeah, Pacquiao fought Bradley and loss(not really), and Márquez and loss. But outside those two fights, when was the last time anyone thought Pacquiao would be challenged, much less lose. The same goes for Mayweather. Who was his last opponent that people actually gave a shot to? Yet, Mayweather and Pacquiao won’t fight because there isn’t enough money to go around. Wtf is that all about? Don’t even get me started on the other divisions. It’s just a mess. Everything is divided between the promoters, who really won’t do cross promotional fights. If the guys aren’t signed by the same promoter, they won’t fight, simple as that. And the sanctioning bodies aren’t any better. They don’t make guys fight who the obvious top contenders are. They turn a blind eye to all the shenanigans. Hell, they are probably a part of them.
I really hope boxing can get its act together, and return to something close to its glory days. I would love to share boxing with my sons, and my grandkids one day. If not, I guess there is always MMA.