The much anticipated, long overdue match-up between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao has featured multiple narratives during the course of its build-up, and has been explored from virtually every conceivable angle. But one recurring theme that stands out more than most is the idea that this is the fight that truly cements the legacy of two fighters. In the eyes of many observers, the victor will have established himself as not only the best fighter of his generation, but will have ascended to the pantheon of greatness occupied by only a few select individuals. On the other hand a defeat, depending on its nature, could harm the other fighter’s legacy beyond any hope of repair. Continue reading
This past weekend, as boxing fans focused their attention yet again upon the question of whether Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao would finally meet inside the ring, former super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler took to Facebook to address a question of a different sort. This question concerned Kessler’s future as a competitor, and within the space of a few short paragraphs, “The Viking Warrior” provided his answer:
“I have thought long and hard over the options, which have been made available, but none of these options are enough to get me motivated” stated Kessler. The Danish boxer then added “I am always in training, it is part of my life, but I consider myself in a state of retirement.” Continue reading
As the final seconds of 2013 ticked away, our attention turned from whatever kind of celebratory beverage we held in our hand toward the topic of what might occur in the year to come. For fans of boxing, the future seemed uncertain; and those of a more pessimistic inclination probably felt they had good reason for viewing it as being rather bleak.
After all, at the start of 2014, the rift between promotional organizations and networks seemed as vast and impassible as it ever had at any point since it was first created. The number of appealing match-ups to look forward was rather limited, and the match-ups that had been bandied about (e.g. Floyd Mayweather-Amir Khan) did little to whet the boxing fan’s appetite. Given that context, it becomes easy to understand why some observers felt that the year would prove to be a disappointment.
Still, six months later, these fears have proved to be unfounded. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/HBO) If you’re looking to witness a boxing match that’s defined by the differences that exist between the two combatants, then you’d be well served to watch the upcoming WBO Jr. Welterweight bout that’s scheduled to take place this evening between Ruslan Provodnikov and Chris Algieri. For, in terms of their background, as well as in terms of their fighting style, these two present about as stark a contrast as a boxing fan could ever hope to find.
The champion, Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO’s) is a stocky, barrel-chested Siberian with facial features that appear to have been hewn from pure granite. He looks to be the very epitome of the term “battle-hardened warrior”, and in this case appearances aren’t the least bit deceiving. Continue reading
Time and again, boxing fans have watched champions dispense with challengers in a manner that makes them wonder why these fighters were presented with the opportunity to challenge in the first place. Our natural impulse in that situation is to question the contender’s ability and accomplishments; and to declare that he wasn’t deserving of the chance he was given.
To be fair, that opinion is often justified. Let’s face it- we’ve all watched fighters receive a title shot simply because they were connected to the right people, or because they happened to be in the right place at the right time. We’ve all watched these types of fighters fail miserably in their attempt to dethrone a reigning title holder; and have their challenge quashed quickly and seemingly without much effort provided by the champion in question. We’ve watched this happen more than once, so it’s completely understandable for to be a bit cynical when it comes to rating the challenger’s worth as a fighter. Continue reading
“C’est magnifique mais c’est pas la guerre.” (It’s magnificent, but it isn’t war).
~Marshal Pierre Bosquet in 1854, as he watched English cavalry charge toward their doom in a brave but ill-advised attack upon a deeply entrenched Russian artillery battery during the Battle of Balaclava.~
Although Tennyson’s poem remains the most famous piece of writing about the Charge of the Light Brigade, Bosquet’s quote may well be the most succinct, and appropriate description of what took place that day. You really can’t hope to do much better in terms of trying to express the mixture of admiration and incredulity that one would feel when watching an event like this take place before your eyes. And, that’s the reason why this author has decided to begin the article with these words; because he has a feeling that they’ll be uttered by more than one boxing fan as they watch an entirely different sort of battle take place at the Inglewood Forum this Saturday. Continue reading