In boxing, fighters often take the role of a good guy or a bad guy character in order to gain fan base. Fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Arturo Gatti and Roy Jones Jr. were known for the good guy roles and their fans loved them, tuned to watch them fight and hoped for them to never to lose. On the other hand we have fighters such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Prince Naseem Hamed and Ricardo Mayorga gained fans because of their flamboyancy, arrogance and disrespect to other fighters. These fans tuned to their fights, some actually like them and hoping for them to win, others despise them and hoping that they will get knocked out.
Being a villain or a bad guy in boxing takes a great amount of talent. All the trash talking and disrespecting of their opponents need to be backed up with their skills. They must keep winning in order for them to be hated more and so more will tune to watch them lose. As we all know, currently the only fighter that have maintained that reputation so far is Floyd Mayweather Jr.. He have insulted his opponents, even their promoters and trainers but never gave the satisfaction to his haters (fans). Same thing goes for Prince naseem Hamed. People hated his guts, cocky entrance and wise ass comments. Many fans tuned to watch him 36 times and never got the satisfaction of him losing. Finally they got it on the 37th fight when the “good guy” Barrera schooled him a boxing lesson. This good guy bad guy roles in boxing have been a trend for a very long time and it will go on. So let’s examine these bad guys and see if they walk the talk.
Adrien Bronner started out as a wanna be, mini me version of Floyd and did a good job of gaining a fan base that mainly wanted to see him get his jaw rocked. The promoters did a good job by placing beatable fighters in front of Bronner and racked up his winning record. That definitely made him believe he is unbeatable and the second coming of Floyd mayweather but he made one big mistake. He got into a fight with Marcos Maidana. In Broner’s case, the fans got their satisfaction way too early proving that he is just a wannabe. He was exposed as limited fighter and hopefully he learned the valuable lesson: “just because you know the shoulder roll, it doesn’t make you Floyd Mayweather. He lost his credentials from the beatings he took. Sadly he didn’t lose his arrogance and still fooling himself talking trash and holding on to the bad guy role. Further beating awaits him…. if he ever step in the ring with a fighter that is not hand picked.
Bernard Hopkins is one of those borderline bad guys who have escaped the beatings from a good guy. De La Hoya tried and failed. Felix Trinidad made it a mission to knock him out for disrespecting his Puerto Rican flag but he also failed. Kelly Pavlik’s freight train got systematically broken down by Hopkins. He is definitely one of those fighters who upset the customary “good guys win” scenario. Now that he is an aged fighter, he is not looked in a bad guy’s role anymore. His fan base is a mix of haters and lovers.
The fighters I mentioned are easy to be categorized into the bad guy role because of their character or role they were put into for certain fights. some fighters can be argued as whether a good guy or a bad guy according to the fans’ view. For Instance, in the fight Ali vs Foreman. Feel free to write about who is the bad guy in your view.