The Worthlessness And Irrelevance Of Boxing P4P Lists
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The Worthlessness And Irrelevance Of Boxing P4P Lists
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (May 17, 2013)

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With the blinding speed-like advent of social media and networking in recent years everyone and their mother has a pound-for-pound list out there. These “expert” lists are chock full of who individuals think are the best fighters out there and why those fighters are deemed the best according to them and them alone. Subjectivity is the name of the game and much like the all-telling and biased alphabet soup ratings, these informal but persuasive rankings are just as ridiculous and non-important when it comes to boxing and what its participants actually accomplish in the ring. P4P lists are no more relevant or essential to boxing than fantasy leagues or trading cards; they just don’t matter in all honesty when it comes to the discipline. If a fan is looking for some honesty then a pound-for-pound list seriously isn’t the place to find it.

These lists are designed by egocentric writers and onlookers who inadvertently suffer from ego-blindness and couldn’t decipher their assholes from their elbows if they tried. How arrogant does a person have to be to write about who they think is the greatest and then alter and change that same list repeatedly according to who they want to sway the public about and how often? It is one thing to acknowledge or praise boxers for their valiant efforts accordingly but it’s another thing altogether to try and classify and put into a compartment someone’s worth and talents to appease your own pathetic sense of self importance and promotion. Boxers work hard at what they do and when a fighter gets added or dropped to one of these valueless lists the effects can be more damaging than mere words.

Ring Magazine has been highly successful in utilizing this system and as the self-proclaimed “bible of boxing”; it’s no wonder why they have had so many paper triumphs over the years. [Editor's Note: Ring Magazine is owned by Boxing Promoter, Oscar De La Hoya.] Boxing fans are always looking to someone for their view or slant on the sport and its boxers. The next man always seems to have a better opinion and far be it from anyone else to formulate their own in the process. The thing is that the boxing hierarchy doesn’t want you to have your own take on things really, at least not any further than what many of the “yes men” and typical writers and reporters tell you to believe in. Bandwagons are a hell of a thing to get on and once you jump on them they’re almost impossible to get off. At least for some anyway. That’s why when there are huge, major fights coming up there is the usual media uproar as the reporting and writing during the walk up comes to a fevered pitch as everyone clamors to out write one another for the sole sake of being heard.

Of course there will be those who question as to why someone would devalue P4P lists as they could very well be essential to boxing as a virtual gauge on who is the best of the best out there today. But who in their right mind would look to a list to tell them who the top fighters are? Instead of formulating your own ideas about boxers you allow your every thought and estimation to be led through a fog of disillusion and smoke and mirrors. What’s the harm in P4P lists you ask? They don’t hurt anyone you say. How about when a list has a fighter that is a little greener than another and he’s rated higher on such a frivolous inventory? People read something like that and they sadly internalize it. Then they end up thinking someone is actually a better fighter because so-and-so said so. All that a P4P list is is an inventory. A nice, neat little ledger like a grocery list where armchair pugilists state so affirmatively and confidently as to who in their esteemed and “expert” viewpoints deserve to win a slot on their sheets.

A great cliché that has been coined throughout the years simply states that, “Assholes are like opinions, everyone has one.” And it’s all too true when it comes to boxing. The only problem I keep having is getting the order right, is it instead “the opinions of assholes are everywhere?” I can’t decide. Anyway, the next time you see a P4P list pop up again do yourself a huge favor and ignore it. Imagine if they had P4P lists for boxing judges? Or how about promoters? Referees? Commentators and announcers? Here’s one for thought, boxing writers? If only…
Jason Petock responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to Jason at: boxingwarrior@hotmail.com

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