Boxing: The Rite Of Passage

03.05.07 - By Jim Amato: "Out with the old, in with the new ". How many times have we heard that phrase in our lifetimes ? Or " the young eat the old " ? The aging champion, however great he may have been must step aside for Father Time. There will always be a young lion poised and ready to take his place. As great as Muhammad Ali was the ravages of time saw him lose to a novice named Leon Spinks and then get savaged by his heir apparent Larry Holmes. It was sad to see but no less demoralizing then watching the Brown Bomber , Joe Louis getting belted by a champion in waiting named Rocky Marciano..

Some boxers just seem to age over night. The once great skills that they spent a lifetime honing just erode at the sound of a new opening bell. Instead of being a champion they instead emerge as a shell of a once great athlete. We as fans hate to see it but we all know that it is going to happen sooner or later. To see the once devastating and domineering Bob Foster struggle to a draw with Jorge Ahumada was a reality check. To watch our heroes struggling and losing to fighters they would have surely defeated in their glory years in very disheartening indeed. It is an endless list but as the grief for our fallen heroes subsides we embrace and cheer the new conquering hero. It is the nature of the game and that is why it thrives.

Oscar De La Hoya has had his day in the sun. It may now be time for him to step aside and make way for a new sheriff in town. Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. ready to take over the pedestal of greatness ? Is it time for Floyd's rite of passage ? We will see on May 5th.

Article posted on 03.05.2007

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