8 Reasons to Love Boxing more than Football

Raymond Markarian: Grab your beverage and look around the arena. The crowd is waiting for the moment. There are celebrities sitting in the front row, die hard fans in the upper deck, and good looking ladies scattered around the stadium. In this event, the crowd is divided. Half of the faithful is carrying the flag that represents the challenger while the other half of the crowd is chanting the champion’s name.

The place is surrounded by T. V. lights, cheerleaders, sports fans, and flashing cameras. This is the main event. The experience sports fans have been waiting for. No it is not the Super Bowl. This is the Super Fight. This battle is the one boxing fight that gives every sports fan the right to gather their closest friends and rejoice.

The great Bert Randolph Sugar once said “To know boxing one must first understand its roots.” Boxing has a history resonated from the ghosts of generations past. You have to love a sport that appreciates its own history. Most skilled boxers watch old fight tapes of past champions to perfect their own game. Moreover boxing fans instill an enthusiasm for the sport that the average sports fan does not understand. Boxing fans are like a close knit family. We love and defend the sport as if it is in our blood. It makes us feel like we know something “they” don’t know. Here are eight reasons why Boxing fights are more fun to watch than football games.

8. Player Entrances vs. Ring Entrances

I do not see the excitement in an NFL player entrance. The only player entrance that seems somewhat interesting is Ray Lewis. He will jump up, throw grass in the air, and do his little dance. Other than him, no one truly comes to mind. I mean, how exciting can it be to watch 300 pound linemen run across the field? Furthermore, ring entrances are much more significant than NFL player entrances. A fighter can answer many questions while he walks into the ring. Is he confident or does he look scared? Is the fighter loose or does he look cold? Is the fighter playing to the crowd or does he have a stone face? There are so many things to interpret from a ring entrance.

7. The stare-downs vs. The Coin Toss

During a coin toss in football, players joke amongst themselves and shake hands. However, intimidation is the essential factor in a good boxing stare down. Some fighters look away but those that lock eyes are trying to psych each other out. In boxing, the stare down can determine wins and loses. For instance, Sonny Liston, and Mike Tyson were both notorious for ending fights before they started by simply looking “through” their opponents. A good stare down can bring a chill down your spine. A perfect example of a classic stare down is the 2nd Roy Jones Jr. vs. Antonio Tarver fight. “Do you have any excuses tonight Roy?”

6. Low Blow vs. Late Hit

A late hit in football is no comparison to the potential malice of a low blow in boxing. Both offenses can be considered cheap shots. Some boxers throw a low blow in order to purposely inflict pain on their opponent. (i.e. Bernard Hopkins, Tito Trinidad) A good low blow causes some fighters to fall to their knees and mercifully scream in agony. Every fight fan has to appreciate the impact of a fighter wincing in pain. Moreover, late hits in football are rarely intentionally. Football players do not want to lose any field position during the game. A low blow is appreciated in boxing because a boxer will do whatever it takes to win. A late hit is despised in football because it could cost the team the freaking game. I say: “If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.” Right boxing fans?

5. Touchdown vs. Knock down

Touchdowns occur in every game therefore they lose the significance. Touchdowns are expected. Knockdowns are unexpected. Knockdowns create chaos. Knockdowns are more exciting because they can change the entire outlook of a fight. A boxer is always one punch away from being knocked out cold. The same cannot be said about a football team.

4. Post game news conferences vs. Post fight interviews

Can anyone count how many times Tom Brady argues with John Madden after a Sunday Night Football game? Let’s say Zero. Can anyone count how many times boxers argue with Larry Merchant after a fight? Let’s say about 10,000. Post fight interviews give the viewer a reason to watch. Boxing fans like to know how the fighter feels after the fight and who they want to fight next. Boxing interviews are candid. Most of the questions and answers seem like they are unrehearsed, and uncensored. Some post fight interviews turn into post fight arguments.

3. High Scoring Shoot out vs. Slugfest –

High scoring football games are very fun to watch. Most especially when the games have a “lose or go home” type playoff significance. But a boxing slugfest is epic. The fighters in a slugfest seem like they are larger than life. It is difficult to comprehend how the boxers withstand such a terrific beating. The “Gatti-Ward” type back and forth wars makes us feel the impact of each punch. In a slugfest, Boxing fans scream in agony when a jaw gets shook and jump for joy when a boxer crumbles to the canvas. Unfortunately some fighters never recover after a breath-taking back and forth clash of fisticuffs. And neither do boxing fans.

2. Football Legends vs. Boxing Legends

Lets break down the legends from the significant decades in each sport and rate them in popularity.

1920’s Jack Dempsey vs. Red Grange:

Did people even know that football existed back then? Jack Dempsey wins by a long shot.

1950’s Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Y.A. Tittle:

No contest, Sugar Ray was too sweet for that bum. Robinson wins by first round knockout.

1960’s Jim Brown vs. Cassius Clay:

This is probably the closest contest. Brown retired in 1962 and became a spokesman for the civil-rights movement. Clay was exiled in 1967 because he refused to enlist in the army. Jim Brown threw in the towel (retired) during prime of his career. Clay was held out of the sport against his will. Real champions do not quit until the bell rings. Clay wins by technical knockout.

1970’s Muhammad Ali vs. Terry Bradshaw:

Let’s see here. Terry Bradshaw was a four time super bowl winner. Muhammad Ali was a 3 time world heavyweight champion. Ali transcended an entire culture and influenced the protest of the Vietnam War. Terry Bradshaw drank beer after football games. I will take Ali in a landslide decision.

1980’s Mike Tyson vs. Joe Montana:

San Francisco’s golden boy had no chance matching the global popularity of the menacing intimidator named “Iron” Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson wins by 1st round knockout.

1. Super fight vs. Super bowl –

Fans have to wait about two weeks for the Super Bowl. However, the anticipation for a Super Fight is astounding. Boxing fans have to get through months of training camps, press conferences, countdowns, predictions and weigh-ins before the fighters actually get in the ring. On fight night, there is no more room to talk. It is only time to fight. The fighters walk into the ring like Gladiators entering the Coliseum in Rome. The announcers are ready. The fighters are ready. And the crowd is hyped up. Oh man what an event. I can feel it right now.

Article posted on 02.10.2007

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