Boxing’s Great Emotion: A fan’s perspective…

01.04.05 - By Andy Meacock: One Saturday afternoon earlier this year I was walking home with a friend and he asked me why it was that I liked boxing, I paused for a moment, smiled and then told him one word, ‘emotion’. I elaborated on that by telling him some of the reasons why boxing was so special to me.. I explained that no other sport on this planet could be both beautiful and brutal at the same time, I explained the how boxing can hit the highest euphoria’s and the worst despair but mainly I drew attention to the fact the boxing is the only sport were you can witness hate and animosity transform to love and respect over 36 minutes of ring time.

I watched a number of fights in 2004 but only two of these fights really stayed in my memory and pulled at my heart strings. The first of these fights took place on July 30th, Mike Tyson versus Danny Williams.

I can remember the hype surrounding ‘Iron’ Mike’s return. After his drubbing to Lennox Lewis in June 2002, Tyson responded by delivering a spectacular one round knockout of Clifford Etienne in February 2003 and die hard fans, including myself, thought he was on his way back to getting the belts. How wrong we all were!. In the fourth round of the contest there he lay against the ropes with blood pouring from his left eye, he wasn’t getting up, he didn’t get up…

Watching Mike lay there against the ropes with nothing left to give was a tough realisation for me and many fans. We eventually but abruptly had seen our hero truly and perhaps finally humbled. I remember the look on Tyson’s face said it all, it needed no explanation. His sad, bloodied eyes told us that it was over for him, the man who was once labelled as, ‘the world's baddest man’ had become the world’s saddest man and his great boxing legacy had been tarnished. This was the saddest fight I’ve ever watched.

Roll on November 27th and Las Vegas, roll on Marco Antonio Barrera versus Erik Morales fight number three, the rubber match!.

This was more than just for the right to be the WBC 130lps champion, this fight was to establish who would be the pride of Mexico and winner took all. Morales was the clear favourite in this fight mainly due to his natural size advantage but also because many felt Barrera was past his prime after he suffered a devastating loss to the heavy hitting Manny Pacquiao a year earlier. Like in July the underdog was to win. I was so happy Marco won as he had not just won the WBC belt, he had not just beaten his arch enemy Morales but he found some form of public and private redemption for the Pacquiao defeat.

We all learnt something from Marco Antonio Barrera that day. I’m not referring to boxing and technique; I’m referring to ideals of making hard work pay to get great results whilst dealing with adversity. Sorry as I felt seeing Morales bloodshed eyes and demoralised posture, I couldn’t help but feel happy for Barrera as he had overcome the obstacle of the Pacquiao and was at peace again.

So boxing was defined for me in those two fights. These fights had high points and they had low points, they featured both animosity and respect, many twists and many turns but ultimately they were full of emotion which is what life is all about…

Article posted on 01.04.2005

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