Ortiz beats Berto: The Unpredictability Of Boxing

Victor Ortizby Andrew Hall: Boxing is a sport that seems to have a lot of upsets, especially this last month. With WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (27-1, 21 KO's) losing to Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO's) one can't help but notice the futility of predicting the outcome of the big fights. I think back to when Mike Tyson lost to Buster James Douglas. Who would have predicted such a thing?

I remember that one boxing writer predicted the upset. That was a very bold prediction and that scribe got it right. For the most part, however, boxing writers bat at about a 50% rate, and that's if they are lucky. Boxing, in many ways, reminds me of religion. If you have ever studied Bible prophecy, and listened to some so called "expert" you know what I mean. Sometimes they get it right, but usually they are wrong.

I think boxing experts predict fights not so much to be right but as a way of making sense of the up coming fight. In other words, we discuss what "might" happen. The thing to keep in mind though, is that there are many intangibles that we scribes cannot see. You cannot measure desire. Andre Berto appeared to be a sure thing on paper but once in the ring the eye of the tiger possessed by Victor Ortiz gave him an intangible advantage. When Ali fought Foreman, everybody thought Ali was as good as dead. Why did he win? He wanted it more. He had the heart of a lion that night. Those are things that we can never be sure of because nobody can read the human mind.

If boxing was predictable it would be boring. I doubt I would even watch it. The unpredictability of this majestic sport is what gives it its glamor and mystique. It is a sport of beautifully orchestrated blows, designed to send the opponent into lala land, and well timed parries and slips to avoid blows meant to do the exact same thing.

For those of you who now say that Andre Berto is done I advise you to not be so foolish. Boxing is a sport where your skills are revealed over time. You can't judge a man by one bout. You have to wait and see what he accomplishes over the next several years. That is why I like fighters of yesteryear better, they fought more often and they often had trilogies with their greatest nemesis. Today, we have guys like Floyd Mayweather who insist on being rated in the top tier of pugilistic greatness and yet refuse to fight regularly and against the top rated opponents.

What does this all lead us to? We the scribes and we the people can talk and jabber all we want but in the end it all comes down to the fighters. We all have our favorites, we all have our picks, but in the end it means nothing. I shall make but one prediction. What follows in boxing for the next year will create more questions than it will answer!

Article posted on 18.04.2011

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