Scar Tissue Remains...
By Jason Petock (Sept 11, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Fanfare and publicity has always been an integral part of boxing since its earliest roots, with boxers often exchanging harsh words long before a single punch is ever thrown. Some fighters tend to get personal, while others simply stick to the basics. They pick apart everything about one another, from each others fighting styles, to their personal lives, and everything inbetween. Muhammad Ali was a master of trash talk, hence earning him the dubious nickname, “The Louisville Lip”. He had an uncanny way of getting under his opponents skin and staying there. Just ask “Smokin” Joe Frazier sometime, as it can more than likely be assured that he remembers all of Ali's cutting words far better than their heated exchanges if you were to ask him.

Granted this generation has had some masters of our own when it comes to running off at the mouth. In his heyday, “Iron” Mike Tyson used to provide a bloodthirsty media with all the sound bytes that they needed to fill a full years worth of material. During each instance or interview when they would pry and prod, Tyson would dish out exactly what they wanted to hear and then some. And our list wouldn't be complete without a grandiose tip of the hat to James “Lights Out” Toney, who was and still is quite possibly the epitome of this era's “Smack Talking Senator”.

Yet even among all the hub-bub and hype of a good rant or snap against an opponent, there is another more sinister side of the spectrum. This side lurks in the shadows and drains the life and vitality that was once boxing. This is the side that hurts boxing, and causes many a fan to quit watching or following the sport altogether. It rears its ugly head at a moments notice, and tends to do more harm than good. It is this side of the equation that involves boxers who use racism and ignorance as their weapons of choice. Sadly, when a fighter has an extreme lack of judgment and starts spouting off racist comments at will, it is the sport of boxing as a collective that suffers the most, as those of every ethnicity are adversely effected in the process.

Recently, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. did such a thing. He only further helped to put the name and reputation of boxing back on the chopping block once again. Now whether his intentions were to stir the pot for a possible future bout with Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao or not, this is clearly the type of coverage and bad publicity that boxing does not need to be a part of, but unfortunately always finds itself a part of.

And we wonder why those not affiliated with boxing think we're stupid. Take a good look around. It's becoming increasingly harder and harder to argue against their point. We continue to dig the hole deeper and deeper as we refuse to hold anyone, be it Mayweather, Jr. or anyone else for that matter, accountable for their actions anymore. Compound that with Margarito being allowed to fight again, which is a travesty in of itself, and there is enough negative press around to continue to feed the masses until their waistlines explode. So sit back and watch as the fine art of hype and smack talk has turned into a beacon of hatred and a platform for the ignorant.

Boxing has just acquired another black eye, and the old one hasn't even healed yet.


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