Boxing - still a classic
By Rob Scott (Aug 19, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
In the recent hip hop tune titled ‘Classic – I’m better than I’ve ever been’, legendary emcee Rakim said, “Classic – it’s when age don’t count in the booth – it’s when your flow stay submerged in the fountain of youth”. When it comes to boxing, there are many who seek out kudos for something they might do as opposed to something that they have done. They seek out kudos for victories that many would love to forget, while there are others who put on shows that will stay in boxing’s fountain of youth, because we just can’t forget. The rivalry between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez is indeed one of those that
will go down as an instant Classic; moreover, it is just one of the match-ups that prove the sport of boxing has a whole lot of life left.

I’ve often said that boxing is like old money, it carries down from generation to generation. The history of the sport has so many stories to tell. The sport has so many scenes to see. The problem is the new stories haven’t been told. In today’s climate, the stories of retreads are the ones that are spoken from the sport’s mouth, and frankly, the masses have seemingly developed a deafness of sorts. It is the retreaded talk that has hampered the new blood, and it’s the new bloods that are finding their tales falling on its share of hearing impaired ears. It’s this ignorance that has made the new age of fighters have to fight in what seems like two bouts instead of one.

The fact is, skills, wills and drama are all the ingredients of a classic fight. Take wills, skills, drama and a dash of controversy, then you have all of the ingredients of a dish that fight fans will definitely hold their plates out to request another helping. Just like Ali vs. Frazier, Gatti vs. Ward, Zale vs. Graziano, Morales vs. Barrera, etc., Vazquez vs. Marquez have added their names to that list of rivalries that, if those who have chosen to abandon the sport takes the time to witness, will surely be captured like they were in yesteryear.

Exciting bouts like Miguel Cotto vs. Zab Judah, Vic Darchinyan vs. Nonito Donaire and the aforementioned Vazquez vs. Marquez wars, proves that the fight game is live and punching. Add future bouts like Cotto vs. Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton, Jermain Taylor vs. Kelly Pavlik and the much American slept on bout between European world champions, Joe Calzaghe vs. Mikkel Kessler, and there is excitement galore.  

I’ve worked hands-on within the sports of boxing and MMA, and both definitely have their place in the sports realm. And maybe I’m in the minority, but I look at both boxing and MMA like I look at baseball, football and basketball; those sport are played with balls, but are very different sports. Boxing and MMA may have their similarities, but both are very different sports as well. I think the contrasts are just as many as the comparisons.

Bouts like Liddell vs. Jackson, Shamrock vs. Ortiz, Ortiz vs. Liddell, Shamrock vs. Gracie, etc. are all bouts that have made names for these combatants. These and others from the MMA world deserve the credit that they receive, but to not put classics like the aforementioned boxing bouts on that deserving pedestal, then it makes me wonder who are the ones getting hit, the fighters or the fans, because some of those fans seem to suffer from cases of dementia.

Staying on the hip hop tip, I must quote another legendary emcee…this time it’s from KRS-ONE. The Bronx rapper said in his 1997 hit, Step into a world, “I’m not saying I’m #1…Um, I’m sorry I lied…I’m # one, two, three, four and five”. For those who think that the boxing game has fell off, open your eyes and you’ll clearly see there is no need to lie, it is still the best sport out there.

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