I remember being a little girl sitting on my dad’s lap and waiting for boxing matches to start. I knew who Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Leon Spinks and Larry Holmes were. I was set on the anticipation that would surround these fights, everyone in the family would pick their winner and hope the fighter had the biggest heart.
I also knew Don King. A fight promoter who had his own agenda, and it seemed most people saw him as shady. Around the time in my life I realized Mr. King’s position, I also realized that there is a dark side to boxing. I couldn’t believe that this sport that millions of people eye in major events, matches could in fact be corrected.
It has further come to my attention that boxing matches have probably been tampered with since the days of Jake LaMotta who admitted to being part of a fixed fight, possibly even dating back to Jack Johnson.
Although even with all of this unethical behavior, you still felt like boxing matches were going to be good, competitive, and most of all, fair. Over the past 10 to 15 years, the boxing world seems to be falling apart. After Mike Tyson’s dominant era, we looked for the next boxing legend to take over from the next generation, but it never happened.
To make matters worse for the boxing world, other combat sports started to come in and take it seriously. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), for example, has regained its popularity in part because the winners are more obvious. There is less room to judge mistakes. There is less room for fixed combat.
We are at the point in boxing history where most people don’t know who the heavyweight champion is. Most people don’t care. You still hear about a few names like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao; although Floyd is currently in jail for being a gentleman to his girlfriend (sarcasm), and Manny just got caught up in ANOTHER shady fight against Timothy Bradley where most onlookers saw it as an easy win for Pacquiao , but the judges gave the fight to Bradley.
I now feel like boxing is a dying sport that is not going anywhere fast. If I want to watch a fixed fight, I look to professional entertainment wrestling, and if I want to see a war, I can watch the UFC. It’s a shame that the excitement and anticipation of those boxing matches no longer shines in the world like they once did. It will take a lot to bring boxing to a place where credibility matters and champions are hungry.