|The Great Pretenders: Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Big Show
By Jason Petock (April 3, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
Far be it for me to try and pass skewered judgment upon pugilists and their actions, but is it just me when I feel that all too familiar feeling of my internal organs shifting and my stomach turning upon witnessing the latest collaboration of two completely opposite and contrasting factions uniting once again to purposefully destroy the sport and it’s image with the recent debacle of the bogus brawl between Floyd “Money” (as if we need to be reminded) Mayweather and a colossal mountain of fast food and all night keggers in “The Big Show” through pay-per-pound no less. Entertainment and putting
food on one’s plate is one thing, but to link in the minds of the viewing public boxing and wrestling in the same sentence is not only highly disrespectful to every boxer who has ever stepped into the ring, but is also an extreme travesty to those who call themselves “fighter”. To perverse and pimp out so to speak the sport of boxing in a weak effort to crossover into another discipline’s fan base is only going to bring unwanted guests to the dinner table. Granted, boxing has had its ups and downs over the years, and while there very well may be several wrestling fans that do enjoy boxing (I could probably count them on one hand), we are a somewhat proud (or used to be), and close knit community who do not really need kids with ICP t-shirts and kissing cousins routing for the next Welterweight Champion of the World.
Now some of you out there may see this as an attack or too scathing in nature. Yet in reality it is more of a wake up call, or a call to alarm. There’s a serious problem going on and this is only the beginning of the maelstrom that’s about to invade our sport. That’s right. I said OUR sport. Yours and mine. NOT theirs. So we can either sit back on our fleeting laurels and take our victories in small doses, or we can stand and fight like our heroes of yesteryear and bite down
on our mouthpieces and do something about it. We need to wake up people and grow some balls in the process.
Whatever happened to boxing being respected as an art form? Nowadays you’re lucky to find anyone to talk boxing with that isn’t a fighter, trainer, manager or media hound. Most people in the general public don’t really care too much about who’s fighting who or where. This changes of course when you factor in free alcohol, fairly decent looking ladies (who improve with consumption of chosen beverages over time), and big names (i.e. Mayweather, De La Hoya, fill in the blank). Die hard pundits are few and far between, and this isn’t to say that they don’t exist, but just that our numbers are not what they used to be.
So what do we do about it you ask? Well I’ve already offered up the suggestion of fighting all of the waste that exists out there, the kind of filth that is gradually and steadily infesting the very core of boxing. Fine, you say. But what if there is so much garbage that it’s overflowing its confines and engrossing boxing, you ask? Then we start small and puncture a little hole in the bag that represents the waste that is invading boxing and we wait. We wait until that hole becomes bigger and bigger and then all of the refuse pours out of the center of the heap, falling further and further down until boxing is wiped clean. Then and only then will boxing have a true fighting chance with the general public who often tend to not only misunderstand boxing but automatically link it to wrestling.
Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against greed, hype, over promotion and hyperbole (I’m being facetious). Everyone deserves the right to rake in as much money as humanly possible in this lifetime to buy all of the extravagant and useless junk that they can fill their overpriced homes with to the ceilings to keep up with the next man. I clearly understand that mission. But when do we get to the point as fans, fighters, and everybody else concerned where we decide that enough is enough? Why is it that boxing is the least respected of all sports (even curlers get more credit than fighters…go figure), and yet every example, analogy, commentary and reference out there no matter what the subject is in regard to boxing passes off as okay with the rest of the world? Could it be that in the year 2008 boxing has become the redheaded stepchild, or the bad pun around the water cooler? I sincerely hope not.
And by the way this is in no way a personal assault on Floyd Mayweather Jr in any way, shape or form. He has had an impeccable career and is obviously a highly skilled and naturally gifted athlete and Champion who deserves all the credit that a man of his accomplishments garners. It’s just sad that we have to see one of our own dressed up (figuratively) with the long shoes, red nose and multi-colored wig doing a tap dance for those out there who could care less about his achievements, boxing, or what it means to the rest of us. His “opponent” (yeah right) could care less, because he’s been wearing those very same shoes, nose and wig for far too long now. And while both men’s money may be long, only one will be able to truly look back on his career and say that he fought the good fights. The other one can only pretend….
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