Vivek Wallace Presents: 'OPEN MIC FAN MAIL' - (MAYWEATHER/HATTON/HAYE/PACQUIAO) - Sport Looks Bad, That's Not Good!
This is a published letter from a hardcore fight fan out there just like you! Every Wednesday ESB will feature a new letter containing various topics around the sport, and end with a response from Vivek Wallace himself! For those fight fans who don't like what the average boxing scribe has to say, here's your chance to SOUND OFF! Send all 'Open Mic Fan Mail' letters to email@example.com. (Keep content short and concise, profanity free, and don't hold back, the mic is yours)! Today's letter comes to us from Armando R. (Reseda, CA):
Article posted on 14.09.2010
Is it me, or is this a horrible time to be a boxing fan? There's a lot of websites for us hardcore fanatics to indulge in the sport, but when you look at the ESPN's, the CNNSI's, the FOXNEWS', and other larger media outlets, the only thing you see is articles about what's going wrong with the sport, and honestly, I can't totally disagree with them.. Look at all of the biggest fighters in the sport, and the news they make worldwide. The biggest American boxing star (Mayweather) is in trouble again, and although all of the details haven't come out, between his Uncles pending case, his racist rant, and now his pending case, there's no positive way to spin his story.
The biggest names on the scene from the UK shows David Haye as a guy who has all the tools in the world, yet is flat out scared to face the best in a division that's been crying for something major for over a decade now. The other big name from the UK in the papers is Ricky Hatton, an undisciplined fighter-turned-promoter who has more powder around his body than the maternity ward at a local hospital. You get beyond that crap and take a look at the mega-fights pending, and we see a former steroid user (Shane Mosley) in a PPV event, and a bigger fight being promoted between a banned cheater (Margarito) and a fighter who refuses to take a drug test (Pacquiao).
This is pathetic, and the sport doesn't seem to do anything to clean this stuff up. As long as the money comes in, everyone seems to be fine. What are your thoughts about the state of the sport, and the shame these men bring upon it?
I have to say, for a man who literally measures himself with words, there are none that could parallel my thoughts on the situation any better than those you chose. One thing I would say up front is that although I can totally understand your plight, I have to take exception to one comment that you made. Although I haven't agreed with Pacquiao on his position for the blood-based testing, I don't think for one second that he belongs in the group that you mentioned. The difference with Pacquiao and the others is that they have been found guilty to some extent. Mayweather hasn't been actually found guilty in the court of law, but the actions taken were his own, and there's nothing left to speculate about.
In the case of Pacquiao, we have reason to 'think' foul play could be an issue, but he has never failed a test, and anything that says or thinks "foul-play" at this time is purely speculative. Now, that being said, I think you do have a valid point, (whether substantiated or not), in the sense that each of the men you've stated does actually have some cloud of suspicion hanging over their heads in the mind of those who aren't quite a hardcore fans, but will simply read a newspaper and move on. That's a problem. And to be honest, not only is it a problem, but it's one that NO ONE seems to have an answer for currently. I think you coined it beautifully in saying that "as long as the money is coming in everyone seems to be fine". That's what it truly comes down to. That one point is where we are all forced to realize that for us as fans, it's a sport, but for those who run the sport, it's a business. Every business operates on the premises of earning capital. EVERY BUSINESS!
The fact that we see it as a sport doesn't change the core of what it is we're enjoying. The sad thing is that you have guys like Haye and Mayweather that could be generating some of that 'capital', yet rather than maximizing their chances by facing the best, they've decided to take a scenic route that only gives them more time to potentially screw up and lose those opportunities (in the ring or elsewhere) before they come. With Hatton and Mayweather, these two men simply have too much money and too much time on their hands! At their ages, they should be totally focused on closing out their careers strong. I think they truly need to look within themselves for answers, and employ good mental health help for direction. As for David Haye, I think he needs to ask himself what does he want his legacy to read when he's done? Right now, he's NOT a HOF'er. Not by a mile!
He earned a few bucks in his day, but categorically, he hasn't done enough to truly place himself there. So, he needs to ask himself how he wants to be viewed when the voting begins? Does he want to be 'at the podium', or 'sitting in the stands'? Relative to the sport itself, there is no answer to stop the madness, my man. This is what it is. We can simply remain hardcore, or shift to MMA, let that sport evolve, and learn that like boxing, it's a business too! May not be what you wanted to hear, but it is reality, free and clear!
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook, and Myspace).
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