A Few Words on Boxing

Josh Nason posted this gem the other day, and I couldn't let it go without a response:

If there was ever a day that illustrated the vast chasm between MMA and boxing, it was Saturday, July 2nd. If this was a war, boxing would have waved the white flag. Over. Done. Kaput...

Among a myriad of issues, that is ultimately the problem with boxing. Their stars simply don't give a shit. Haye had been pining for a shot at either Klitschko brother for years, even making up shirts of him holding both Klitschko brothers' severed heads. He then gets his shot and lays a giant stinky egg in Germany. What the h? Does boxing want fans? Where's the passion? I don't get it.

You don't need to me to sit here and tell you that MMA surpassed boxing years ago, but here's what you need to remember any time these charlatans attempt to sell you a boxing fight that "matters": July 2, 2011 -- a day when two sets of fighters with blood feuds went to war with one set actually remembering what they were supposed to do.

It's a piece that echoes the sort of superficial, barely cognizant fandom normally reserved for the likes of PTI. This ever-growing sentiment that boxing "ain't what it used to be" is preposterous really. These sorts of folks come across like the people who think there hasn't been any good, innovative rock music for years, despite bands like My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire, and Radiohead regularly releasing albums. It's not that there isn't a good product anymore. It's that you aren't paying attention.

Within just the past half decade, there been absolute battles, from Rafa Marquez's classic series with Israel Vasquez and his last stab at glory against JuanMa Lopez, to Juan Manuel Marquez's epic contests against Manny Pacquiao and Juan Diaz (at least in their first fight). People want to say it's just the lower weights entertaining, how about Sergio Martinez's ascent to stardom or Bernard Hopkins proving his greatness once again against Jean Pascal? The Super Six had its bumps in the road, but it was worth it just to see the rise of Andre Ward and the war that was Kessler vs Froch. I'm only 21 years old, but I'm willing to say boxing has been better in the past few years than at any other point in my lifetime. And that's coming from a guy whose favorite boxers are Evander Holyfield and Tito Trinidad.

Since the "age of heavyweights" waned, Mr. Nason and so many others seem to demarcate that as the last time boxing was good. Have they not seen Barerra and Morales and Castillo? MMA fans, you may laugh now at James Toney but go back and see the brilliance that is Toney/Jirov.  

We are fortunate to see Floyd Mayweather Jr., one of the greatest defensive tacticians of all time, and Manny Pacquiao, who has an offensive arsenal that rivals Sugar Ray Robinson. If they fight, wonderful; if they don't, life goes on. MMA fans so often point to this as a reason why boxing is slipping, but remember Georges St. Pierre apparently "isn't big enough" to fight Anderson Silva.

Right now there are young studs like Yuriorkis Gamboa and Nonito Donaire set to dazzle us for years. If anything, boxing is, top-to-bottom, as healthy now as I've ever known it to be.

Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto will pack the house in a fierce rematch later this year at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of North American athletic competition. Guess what isn't allowed at the Garden, and won't be for the forseeable future? Mixed martial arts.

I'm not telling you need to be a boxing fan. I'm just telling you that if you think boxing hasn't been good since Tyson or De La Hoya, you just don't what you're talking about. This "war" is a fiction I don't really understand. I love MMA for the diversity of skills on display, the "anything can happen" aspect. But I also love boxing for the drama inherent to the sport, drama that will never go away. One doesn't need to crowd the other out, and if you think so, you deserve to be rabbit punched by the Executioner.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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