Boxing keep’s finding new ways to make itself irrelevant while alienating it’s fans.
Last year I covered a preseason San Diego Chargers football game for the now closed football.com. The game was a bore and it mostly consisted of scrubs fighting to make the 53rd spot on a 54 man roster. But the game was interesting for other reasons that had nothing to do with football or the Chargers. It was interesting because of the man I seen and the man I didn’t see.
In the locker room after the game “Smoking” Joe Frazier was there to root for the Chargers. It was amazing to see all the NFL players clamoring over him as if he was a god. Then again, he is? A boxing god that everyone knows. The man who knocked out Muhammad Ali. The man who had a devastating left hook. The man in a wheelchair.
It was sad to see this once mammoth of a man in a wheel chair and could barely speak. But to him it didn’t matter as he was there to show his face and motivate his football team. At the same time there was another boxer down the hallway. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather was there with his body guard acting like he can’t defend himself. He went onto the field, looked around, then proceeded to avoid reporters as he made his way to his luxury suite in hiding. Funny how this was in the height of the Manny Pacquioa talk huh?
The two men couldn’t have been different. Frazier front and center in front of everyone as Mayweather was in hiding avoiding “contact” with anyone. And it is funny how these two men are representive of their boxing times. Frazier the time of men and Mayweather the time of business men boxer want-a-be’s.
In Frazier’s time avoiding a fight would be borderline criminal. But in Mayweather’s time it is “smart” and “clever”. In Frazier’s time he wouldn’t have hit a man when he wasn’t looking because it would have lowered his manhood. In Mayweather’s time it’s “keep your hands up at all times” and “protect yourself”
But its not only Mayweather who represent boxing as corruption and poor decisions rein over manhood and “the good of boxing”. Why wasn’t Mayweather’s sucker punch outcome overturned? Why was Bernard Hopkins allowed a way out of a fight against Chad Dawson? Why aren’t people forced to fight when there is clearly no other option? Why do I still follow boxing although it fails me every chance it gets? Why?
Looking back at the time I seen the immortal Frazier then meaning is a little clearer now. And unfortunately I don’t like what I see. Frazier does represent his time as he is old, wheelchair bound and I hate to say closer to the end than his prime. That represents where boxing is now and if it doesn’t change its ways I will be tuning to UFC312.