The Politics of Boxing

28.07.05 - By Craig Parrish: It seems today that we read more articles about why fighters WON’T take a fight as opposed to why they will. Somehow, the backstage machinations of Promoters, Agents, Sanctioning bodies, and Television Networks has taken precedence over what is, in essence, the purest of sports: Boxing. Although there has always been a shady element associated with the sport, it seems like these days it is at it’s most blatant. Money and fame have obviously replaced another key element that should define a fighter. To be the best. To fight the best. To be the man who beat the man who beat the man. The fortune is there, but where’s the glory?

Obviously, this is a blanket statement that doesn’t encompass every fighter out there. But it seems that most boxers are not in control of their own destinies. There is always a chess match behind every match up, looking for the biggest payday, hanging onto the belt as long as possible, and above all don’t take risks. This is the most apparent in the Heavyweight division, with only one “Champion”, Lamon Brewster, willing to fight anyone. I suppose the same could be said of the dreadful John Ruiz. Even though they are a pale comparison to the great heavyweights I grew up watching, a modicum of respect is due to these two because they are willing to fight. After all, what good is a belt if you have no respect?

Needless to say, it is tough being a Heavyweight fan these days. The tickets to attend fights are astronomical. The pay per view costs are so high, that I find myself only watching maybe one or two a year, because that is all I can afford. And it usually ends the same way, with me asking myself “I paid 50 bucks for THAT?” Thank God for ESPN Classic and the Spanish channel. I can sit down and watch Ali-Foreman over and over again, and still be more entertained than watching something like “Golota-Ruiz II: The Quest for a Pension Fund”. I can’t even understand the language of the announcers on the Spanish channel, which may be a blessing. Because when I tune into “Boxeo” on Friday nights, I don’t need an announcer. Just by watching these hungry Mexican fighters one thing is clear: These guys want to fight.

Article posted on 28.07.2005

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