Boxing Resolutions for 2011

By Joseph Herron - After the presents have been opened, after the turkey has been devoured, and after the corks have been popped, it’s time to reflect on the good and the bad of the previous year and look forward to the improvements we can make for a better future. Boxing unfortunately has a lot of room for improvement in 2011.

In 2010, there were periods where very little boxing action took place for weeks at a time. This is a travesty and an inexcusable cardinal sin, according to most boxing die-hards. We live for the big match-ups and there just weren’t enough of them this past year. Every other major sport has a schedule that the fans can revolve their lives around. This, in my not so humble opinion, is boxing’s primary malfunction. If boxing wants to be considered everyone’s favorite pastime once again, the powers that be must place this issue at the top of the agenda..

With the many alphabet title holders that exist in the current state of boxing, the great fans of the “sweet science” should be treated to a different title fight every weekend of the entire year. This unfortunately will not happen unless someone talks some sense into the almighty promoters of boxing. Promoters, like the owners of every other sport in existence, need to elect a commissioner who presides over a league of fighters and regulates scheduling for the entire year. The Philadelphia Eagles cannot elect to sidestep the Dallas Cowboys just because the match-up doesn’t suit them in a given year. Fighters like Floyd Mayweather and David Haye shouldn’t be allowed to avoid the best fighters of their respected eras. This is a selfish and irresponsible act and is ultimately proving to be a devastating blow to boxing.

Many casual fans have abandoned the ship because they don’t want to hear about the politics of the sport; they have a pretty sound argument. The casual fan is justified in feeling this way. When one is going to eat at a favorite restaurant, no one wants to hear about the economics of the business and get an earful from the manager as to why there has been a price increase, or why a favorite item is no longer on the menu. The consumer just wants to eat their favorite item and have a good time. Any other scenario will more than likely cause the consumer to find another favorite place to eat. This is what is happening on a yearly basis to the sport of boxing. I can guarantee that a man like Floyd Mayweather doesn’t think about the ripple effect of his selfish actions and how they negatively affect a sport which has made him a superstar. The promoters are guilty of this same act of obstinacy.

Note to promoters: Figure it out guys!! Don’t hijack the sport because you can’t get your way. Don’t act as childishly as the current state of Congress in America. Get it done!! No excuses. With the insanely large amount of money that is made every year by showcasing men who are trying to decapitate their opponents, the fans don’t want to hear why a certain match-up isn’t going to happen. Again, get it done!! The fans, which you depend on, deserve it!!

Other Happenings

This Friday marks the return of one of the best shows on television, according to most boxing die-hards, Friday Night Fights. The long awaited season debut will feature a very entertaining fighter to watch in Ruslan Provodnikov. He’ll be squaring off against Mauricio Herrera in a 12 round Junior Welterweight bout for the vacant WBC Continental Americas light welterweight title and the vacant USBA light welterweight title. The Russian born fighter is currently 17-0 with 11 knockouts. With wins over Javier Jauregui and Emanuel Agustus, Provodnikov deserves your attention…the kid has skills.

So David Haye is washing his hands of both Klitschko brothers, huh? Don’t make me puke, Dave. You’re taking a page out of the Floyd Mayweather guidebook on “How to avoid a fighter and attempt to keep the perception of willingness intact.” Dude, fight Vitali Klitschko if Wlad K has a contractual obligation and vice-versa. Honestly, like a lot of boxing fans, I couldn’t care less any longer whether or not Haye fights a Klitschko, at this point. We just want to see him fight someone who will actually fight back. Haye is a title holder. He shouldn’t be allowed to select opponents like Barrett, Ruiz, or Harrison any longer. It’s time to man up. Please, David, fight anyone in the top ten. Chagaev, Arreola, Chambers, Povetkin, Peter, or Thompson would jump at a chance of becoming the WBA champion…please, pick one.

I wish Bernard Hopkins well and hope that his promotional aspirations come to fruition, but I really don’t care to see his brand of dirty fighting to compensate for his declining athleticism any longer. Head butts, low blows, illegal blows after the bell, and faking injuries to avoid punishment is not my idea of good boxing. This version of B-Hop is a far cry from the middleweight champion who had 20 title defenses. Hops, you were an all-time great middleweight champion…please don’t tarnish your legacy any longer.

Kudos should go out to Kelly Pavlik for being a man in admitting publicly that he has a problem and seeking professional help. Learn from this Kelly and move on. All champions stumble. It’s how they react from failure that makes them champions. Your fans and friends in the media are rooting for you.

More next week…

Article posted on 08.01.2011

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