Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Boxing isn't dead..it's back!

With Marquez's defeat of Pacquiao, Manny's fight may never happen

We’ve all courted her; the girl that is always just out of our grasp.  Whatever you do or say, it seems to be the wrong thing at the wrong time.  It’s always something keeping it from happening.  After time passes, you realize that it wasn’t that big of a deal, and that there are more fish in the sea.

We’ve reached that point with the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight.  When this fight was first proposed YEARS ago, it was extremely enticing. Mayweather looked untouchable as he danced through his opponents, and Pacquiao had begun to flash a power that had never before been witnessed in his fighting career.  The match looked obvious and sublime, the tactician with the perfect record (Mayweather) against the Tasmanian Filipino Devil. 

Now, Pacquiao looks to have stayed too long and the window of opportunity has closed…and that’s ok.

I’ve watched boxing two straight weekends in a row, and it has been great.  I saw Nonito Donaire round out his candidacy for Fighter of the Year as he systematically dispatched a game, but over-matched Jorge Arce (aired on HBO). I witnessed Amir Khan return from the verges of being an inconsequential fighter, to showcase his new trainer (Virgil Hunter) and accompanying defense to remain relevant with his 10th round TKO of Carlos Molina. I was even privileged to see a potential Fight of The Year candidate between Alfredo Angulo and Jorge Silva that was full of blood, guts and heart (Showtime Boxing had a FANTASTIC card top to bottom last Saturday).

In short, we don’t need no stinkin’ Mayweather and Pacquiao fight.

We were excited at the possibility.  We were eager to seize the opportunity of a classic fight.  Now, we’re just thirsty.  First it was reportedly the drug testing that held up the fight, then the money split was not to the boxers liking.  Throw in an adversarial relationship with Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, and Floyd looked disinterested in pursuing the fight further.

But here is the secret that most boxing-heads know; there is a glutton of talented fighters. Canelo Alverez, Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, and Robert Guerrero are some of several talented and extremely entertaining boxers.

{Sidenote: If you get an opportunity, watch the Berto vs Guerrero fight (part two is available on the side of the screen);  An action-packed slugfest where two inside fighters stand in the middle of the ring and bang on each other. It’s another Fight of the Year candidate and an absolutely fantastic piece of pugilism}

Despite what mainstream media will have you believe, boxing isn’t dead. Sure, the Heavyweight division isn’t what it used to be.  The behemoths that dominated the division have sought more lucrative waters in the areas of baseball, basketball, and football.  Add to that the fact that the division has been dominated by the Klitschko brothers, and the Heavyweight division as a whole hasn’t been entertaining (although Deontay Wilder obliterated Kelvin Price with a walk-off KO in the 3rd round Saturday, and has tantalized American Heavyweight fans with a new favorite). The middleweights (here defined as 135-168 pound fighters) division is overflowing with talent, and the crown jewel may just be Adrien Broner.

Don't miss your blessings choosing style over substance, fellas

Honestly, Pacquiao vs Mayweather isn’t even the best matchup on the horizon.  Canelo Alvarez is the new hard-hitting boxing import that everyone wants to see, Khan’s a throwback fighter that responds with aggression when he’s hurt, and Guerrero is the scrappy fighter who is finally getting the due that his talent demands.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Mayweather and Pacquiao fight (sooner rather than later due to both their advanced ages).  There is no sporting event like a big-time prize fight. But let’s not get hung up on Robin Givens when Halle Berry is staring at us in the face.    

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