Can Boxing Bring Forward World Peace?
Can Boxing Bring Forward World Peace?
By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing (July 27, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
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Boxing Gloves
Earlier this month, I sat down during a party to watch my fellow Puerto Rican, Danny Garcia, fight the great British-Pakistani fighter, Amir Khan, in an unification of the WBA and WBC world Junior Welterweight titles. It was one of the great fights of 2012, and round four was perhaps the main candidate for round of the year. But while most around us saw a great battle between two of the game’s best fighters, I saw beyond that. I saw a Puerto Rican-American, together in the ring, with a British-Pakistani. Ten years ago, in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and with war looming in the “Stan” countries and the Middle East, who’d imagined that all those citizenships could get together, so close, in such a comparatively benevolent activity as a boxing fight?? Boxing may be violent, sure…but during boxing fights, we do not see people being maimed physically and emotionally, by gun and rifle shots, and by bombs. We do not see children lose their parents, parents lose their children, and nations lose their identity. What we do see is two boxers who will get paid or awarded medals and trophies, fighting each other after having reached a common agreement to do so.

With the 2012 London Olympics starting today, a message of togetherness and of fair competition and of strengthening our relationships with our closest fellows will flash across our screens for two weeks. And let’s face it, nobody a fool will believe that there will be fair competition all around during the Olympics. Do I need to remind you of a few cases? Ok, here we go…..Roy Jones Jr….(robbed blindly during the 1988 Olympics)…Ben Johnson….all other athletes who have been accused of “juicing”, including Americans, Germans and Russians…..but still, the message will be there, and when you think about it, it is a very good message to try to follow.

Meanwhile, I find that boxing, as a sport, does have certain qualities that can help lead towards the world being a better place. Most boxers are, by far, people of humble beginnings and thus, humble human beings who have the slightest intention of really acting out what they predicate during their pre-fight press conferences. Most of the hate and rage they act out during those conferences is actually prefabricated, written acting in order to increase ticket and pay per view sales. You know, I have lived for 21 years in Arizona, among Mexicans. Before that, I used to meet Puerto Rican fighters such as Samuel Serrano, Ossie Ocasio (the latter with my friend, Ramon Enrique Berrios), Wilfred Benitez, Julian and Rafael Solis, Victor Callejas, etc. Over the last 20 years, I’ve met token non-Mexican fighters such as Muhammad Ali and Wilfredo Gomez, but the majority have been Mexicans or Mexican-American, like Yori Boy Campas, Jorge Paez Sr., Antonio Margarito, Gabriel Ruelas, Tony Baltazar, Laura Serrano, Delia Gonzalez, Carlos Palomino, Michael Carbajal, Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. With the notable exceptions of De La Hoya and Chavez Sr., the great majority learned that I am Puerto Rican and had no trouble about it. Far from that, in fact, they felt happy to know they have Latin fans from other countries and were all accommodating and gracious. Despite, like I said, knowing that I am Puerto Rican…akin to Derek Jeter signing autographs to and hanging out for a while with a Red Sox fan wearing a Red Sox jersey. Paez Sr. even took time to get one of his clown’s noses and place it on top of mine for a photo. Margarito, the most accommodating one of them, took time to chat it up with me and my dad during his press conference for his fight with Hercules Kyvelos, and Serrano told me she was dating a Puerto Rican man! On the other hand, I witnessed as Gomez and Hector Camacho Sr. took time to sign autographs and take photos with Mexican fans!

So much for being on one side or the other of the Mexican-Puerto Rican boxing rivalry

Boxing and other sports are among the few activities where races and-or-nationalities can really mix it up with each other, leading to a spiritual and cultural growth. I mean, yeah, people on the stands get involved and sometimes we crack each other’s heads (I never have, I prefer enjoying the fights to spending a night at the hospital and then the jail room) but you know, nothing is perfect. If I was perfect, I’d never needed diapers as a baby in the first place. But what we need to take from the upcoming Olympics, and yes, from boxing fights too, is that we can all co-exist together, and get along with each other and understand others and all that. We really can.

Those who think we can’t are part of the reason we have groups like the morons Minutemen, the idiotic Nazis, the retarded Black separatist groups and etc. When you realize this, you realize that, ironically as it may sound, violence in the ring can indeed help stop violence outside of it. Like I always said, it would be better if the two leaders of a country would put on the gloves and decide the outcome of wars inside a ring, to having all those soldiers killed and maimed outside of it, for the politicians’ military gains. It would also be better if a man and his wife decided on their differences by sitting down and arguing who will win the boxing fight than have one of them (usually the husband but not limited to the wives) beat the hell out of the other one in a senseless attack.

And, as for the boxers in Saturday’s brawl Garcia won and he has a bright future ahead if managed right. He proved he has a solid chin, decent-but not great-power, willingness and intelligence. I would like to see him against a number of opponents, such as Timothy Bradley, Marcos Maidana, Lamont Peterson, to name a few. There is a plethora of opponents in the Junior Welterweight and Welterweight division that Garcia can go against and which would all make great fights. However, I am not a manager and so I just hope his career is guided the right way, then he could be a major star in boxing and for boxing.

Amir Khan has nothing to be ashamed of. He will always be remembered as a great fighter. Even through he was probably headed for a horrible knockout defeat and referee Kenny Bayless was correct in stopping the fight, he was still in shape in which he could have gone a couple more minutes when he got stopped. Amir is a warrior and he lost with his shield on. Instead of looking down on him for his defeat, we should hold him in high esteem for his courage. I don’t want to ask him to retire, even through maybe he should given how he lost. It must be too hard for a fighter to read shouts for him to retire. Only he knows if he really should, but if he thinks it is time to do so, then it is. Amir Khan is a great fighter, a great former world champion and a credit to boxing. Amir, when you read this, be proud of yourself, you have accomplished more than billion others.

Only in boxing.

Please send all Questions and comments to Antonio at TJ69662094@aol.com.

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