Boxing

Thanks to Loud Mouth Dana White

By Coach Tim Walker - I would like to give props to boxing's biggest unsung hero.the UFC! I know that is a hard pill to swallow and it strokes most of us the wrong way but if we take a step back and evaluate it we owe a big thanks to loud mouth Dana White and the entire UFC organization. I say loud mouth in jest because he is such an outspoken individual.

Last weekend we had sensational matchups; Marquez vs. Diaz and John vs. Juarez. We witnessed Adamek walk thru Crunk Gym prodigy Johnathan Banks, an undefeated Norberto Gonzalez get spanked by Antwone Smith, and Glen Johnson present us with his blue collar style against Daniel Judah.. In March alone we can expect to see Kirkland vs. Julio, Khan vs. Berrara, Abraham vs. Simon, Klitschko vs. Gomez, Chambers vs. Peter (on ESPN2, Wow!), Holt vs. Bradley and we even have a clash of a couple of the more seasoned veterans with a bout between Jones Junior and Sheika. That is only the month of March. Two years ago we were getting maybe one or two key matchups every one or two months. Can anyone honestly deny that loud mouth Dana White and UFC had nothing to do with this?

For years boxing fans have voiced discontent with the direction the sport was heading. There was article after article on eastsideboxing and other websites describing our dissatisfaction. Commentators vocalized how lackluster matchups had become sometimes even criticizing the very networks that employed them for putting on dismal boxing shows. To a degree boxing fans were ignored and it was business as usual. The UFC's was heard more clearly because it directly affected the bottom line. The hybrid sport forced boxing's hand by continuously calling us out, telling us that the best in boxing weren't facing each other and beating boxing at the box office. I liken the UFC calling out boxing to challenging the biggest kid on the playground to a fight. If you walk up to him and just swing you can probably catch him unprepared and stun him. Essentially the UFC caught boxing off guard and used the momentum as a catapult. The side effect of fighting the biggest kid on the playground is eventually he recovers. Boxing has recovered or at least is shaking off the blow.

When asked questions concerning the safety of UFC Dana White's answers would promote that MMA was safer than boxing by pointing out that MMA fighters experience less blows over the course of a fight than boxers. His criticisms didn't stop there. He also verbalized that boxing had been reduced to two rich guys strolling around the ring being more concerned with neither losing nor getting hurt than they were with winning and pleasing the crowd. They were right. But I have a message Mr. Dana White and the UFC, the tide has changed.

Boxing, real competitive boxing, is rejuvenated and back on the scene. It is evident in the quality matchups. Fighters and managers aren't pricing themselves out of fights nearly as much as they were two years ago. In addition to that we have notable fighters facing each other sooner in their careers. This is excellent for boxing but in light of this new approach I caution fans to put less emphasis on wins and losses and more emphasis on fighters who are willing to put it on the line (i.e. Gatti, Ward, Augustus, etc.). Let's hope this new found enthusiasm is the norm and not a trend.

Article posted on 04.03.2009



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