Boxing

It’s Getting Tougher And Tougher To Defend The Sport We Love: Boxing; The Noble Art

By James Slater: Boxing has always had its share of controversy and it always will have. We’ve seen the sport Mob-controlled in years gone by, we’ve seen greedy promoters shamelessly steal from their fighters and put their fighters’ health in jeopardy due to their throwing their talent into blatant mismatches, and we’ve seen many other unsavoury things.

However, the last five months or so really have hit the Sweet Science hard. Very hard. Back in December, we had the controversial Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson fight, with the dodgy scoring, the debatable actions of the referee and the infamous “man in the hat” at ringside.. This fight and it’s controversy refused to go away, and just a week or so ago it was revealed that Peterson had taken illegal stimulants going into the biggest win of his career. If that was not enough, Andre Berto, another star of the sport, also failed a drugs test this week.

People are now asking themselves the question, are all boxers cheats in one way or another? Two high-profile fighters testing positive for illegal stimulants in a matter of days really is a bad thing. Adding to boxing’s current dirty image is the fact that David Haye and Dereck Chisora - two men who brawled like thugs in Munich, Germany on Feb. 18th - have been rewarded, not punished, with a high-paying, WBA, WBO-approved bout set for the summer. Neither British heavyweight has shown the slightest amount of remorse over what happened in Germany a mere three months ago.

The great sport was given more bad press when superstar Manny Pacquiao no less, single-handedly insulted the entire gay world - whether his “all gays should be put to death” quote was genuine or not. Pac-Man, one of the good guys of the sport, had to do some serious back-pedalling, yet the damage had been done - both to the sport’s image and to Manny’s reputation as a humanitarian.

What we could really do with now is some good P.R for boxing. We cannot stand another cheat being revealed and we cannot stand more shenanigans taking place between Haye and Chisora (Haye has expressed his concerns about “Del Boy” doing something crazy in the run-up to the July 14th bout, an upcoming fight seen as disgusting by many).

To millions, boxing is already a dying sport. Any more disgrace and it really could be on its way out. 2012 has also seen a large amount of its top fights falling through for one reason or another. We need a great second half to the year, that’s for sure. Should a fight fan have to defend his love for the sport or the very existence of the sport itself? Just lately that’s been the case and then some.

With all the cheating, the bad behaviour, the disgraceful decisions (think Rios-Abril for one) and the continued non-appearance of the biggest fight there is that can be made (Pac-Man-Mayweather, obviously), the noble art is struggling to live up to its name like never before.

Article posted on 20.05.2012



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