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What would yesterday think about today?

Jan 23, 2004  By Vito Trabucco
They probably wouldn’t is my first guess. We’ve come to the point in boxing where we need to ask ourselves; where is the sport heading? Many articles and sports analysts have put in their two cents when it comes to comparing the prizefighters of today to yesteryear. And I really can’t say that I disagree with them, but not all the time.

We’re always stuck on looking at the obvious. Ali Vs Tyson. Louis Vs Holyfield. Marciano Vs Lewis? Well you get my point.

There is a huge difference when it comes to the great warriors of the Golden Age to these million dollarPay-Per-View flops. But the one thing we overlook is all of the lighter divisions (and even some of the heavies I guess). We always look at the negative side of the sport. It’s becoming too much of a habit today.

I’m proud to say that I can watch Arturo Gatti or Oscar De La Hoya or
Roy Jones, JR amongst many others. I’m proud that I got a chance to see Evander Holyfield show what a man is made of in the 10th round of his first meeting with Riddick Bowe. I also got to see Mike Tyson become the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history. It may not be the Thrilla in Manilla, but hey it’s something.

The nostalgia might be gone from the old days, but I enjoy listening to Larry Merchant and Jim Lampley call a boxing match. It may not be Don Dunphy or Howard Cosell, but I’m not complaining.

I guess the point is, is that the fighters of yesterday were tougher. They fought more often. They didn’t always fight for the money. They went 15 rounds. And I could definitely keep going. But I think we need to appreciate the fact that we do have some exciting fighters out there today, and that we’ll be mentioning them 50 years from now. I’m sure we’ll be comparing the Gatti/Ward Trilogy with the best of them. Lets not forget that we got to see a former middleweight in
Roy Jones, JR. win the Heavyweight Crown.

We need to keep our faith in this sport that we love so much. All sports have changed in time. The same people who complain about the fighters today, are the same people that are getting all geared up for the Superbowl right now. Talk about a sport changing for the worse.

So what would the fighters of yesterday say about today? Well I’m sure they would say, “Sugar” Ray Robinson could’ve licked them all! And I’m sure they’re right. But hey, we don’t go and compare movies like “Freddy Vs Jason” to “Citizen Kane” do we?

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