By José Sulaimán
The Vital Transformation Of Boxing
In my youth, I felt a profound sadness when I saw so many poor fighters, and all the more when they were old. I couldn’t understand how being idols and making money, they ended up poor.
So many veteran fighters with cauliflower ears; many mumbling words unclear; others talking to the walls. Also those who, for no apparent reason, huddled on the floor in fear and in defense of someone that no one else saw, but they believed it was the devil!
I also remember in my early childhood and teens that in the ring, fighters punched each other with everything. The referee was just a decoration. The fans wanted more blood. The fighters were bleeding without medical attention, promoters abusing and exploiting them. In other words, boxing was an act more than sport, where a war was expected.
On one occasion, Jose Medel helped me to identify the body of an individual, when a delegation called me to help them, because he looked like a boxer. And so it sadly was: Nicolas Moran.
I also remember how, having such good and great Mexican fighters, they never had opportunities abroad. The U.S. monopoly was in full force, until … one day boxing was on television, and then it was open it to everyone. Boxing also embraced the smaller weights where previously only heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight were seen on the small screen.
Generational change, social and scientific, is such that the memories of the 20th Century seem a millennium ago. The cars of the 50s are of admiration for those who never saw them, and pure nostalgia for those who possessed.
Ads for boxing matches were made on small pamphlets that were distributed among pedestrains, or large posters placed in frames and exhibited on the street.
There were trucks that roamed the streets loudly proclaiming ads through speakers placed on the roof, just as rectangle ads appeared in newspapers with all the fights and rounds.
Now in the 13th year of the new century, fights are announced on television, via phones, internet, Twitter, Facebook, and all other social media that reach the most remote places, as is happening now with the fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather, ably supported by Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia.
We still have two weeks of ads for this amazing card that will hold the world of boxing spellbound.
Thanks for reading my thoughts.