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Boxing is alive - don't believe the haters of the sport!

There are critics out there who claim boxing is dying. I always tell those haters and critics, particularly the ones who happen to be friends and acquaintances of mine, that if I can die so graciously when my time comes, I will be a very fortunate person.

The Shane Mosley vs Antonio Margarito fight, which took place last Saturday night, produced the largest attendance (20,820 to be exact) ever in sports history at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Yes, I said largest attendance in sports history - so the attendance at this event surpassed any L.A. Lakers basketball games that have taken place there in the history of basketball.

When you take into account the dire straights of our country's ecomony in this day and age, I would say that is a rather substantial turn out for an event in a 'so-called dying sport'. It took a boxing event, a world championship fight, to draw a record attendance to a well-renowned metropolitan area in the worst economy this country has seen since The Great Depression. Even athletes who make a living as professional boxers, such as undefeated light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe of Wales, have claimed that boxing is a dying sport. Such a statement made on Calzaghe's part takes a lot of nerve, considering he's made millions of dollars practicing his trade in the prize ring.

Assuming the sport of boxing was dying, athletes who retire prematurely without facing the best opposition available to them would do absolutely nothing prompt its revival. Calzaghe may exercise his Freedom of Speech and suggest that boxing is dying, but he is doing nothing to repair such deterioration by defeating a past-prime Roy Jones, Jr in the final fight of his career.

Because of such frivolous claims, I am truly inundated that we have warriors like Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, and Juan Manuel Marqez competing at such elite levels on a consistent basis. These are fighters who continue to challenge the best competition their respective weight classes have to offer. Granted they do not win all of those fights, but that is only natural when the best fighters in the world are continuously squaring off against the best available opposition. Elite against elite, somebody must lose. That is what has kept our sport alive. That is the spirit for which our sport will continue to thrive on.

In December of 2008, Pacquiao retained his pound for pound title as he moved up two weight classes, after he had only been at the previous weight class for one fight against David Diaz, to beat Oscar De la hoya when virtually nobody gave him a chance to do so.

Hopkins, 43, back in October of 2008, gave young undefeated Kelly Pavlik, 26, his first loss.

Mosley, 37, dominated and destroyed welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, and in doing so, totally upset the established order - which was for Margarito to fight Cotto in a rematch this summer.

Young undefeated welterweight Andre Berto tested for the first time in his career, against former WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo, made for a more exciting and crowd pleasing fight than anybody could have ever anticipated. The list could go on and on. That's what makes boxing exciting!

Ladies and gentlemen, all that I have just described happened within the last four months - hardly accounts for a so-called dying sport that is need of life support. We as boxing fans and enthusiasts have all we need right here and now.

If Calzaghe can retire and claim that the sport of boxing is dying, without fighting IBF/IBO light heavyweight titlist Chad Dawson, Glen Johnson, or maybe even giving Hopkins a rematch, I can only hope that he will be able to sleep at night with that on his conscience.

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2 comments:

I Love Boxing said...

Give it to them Bryan...Tell that tough boy wannabee Dana White to shut up as he looks for ways to discredit the sport we love. I think his balls shivered when Pac vs De La Hoya sold 1.25 million PPV! Besides I hate those douchebags at TUF -- I love MMA too but Dana White is giving MMA bad name. He shows his insecurity at Boxing.

Bryan "B-Money" Bradley said...

I have got plenty of love for MMA and UFC, as they are sports that produce much anticipated crowd-pleasing events in their own right. But to anybody who has the audacity to claim that boxing is dying, I want to see MMA and UFC stand strong for over 100 years, as boxing has. Boxing has been around since the late 1800s! With the disgruntled athletes leaving UFC because they are not getting paid enough, will the UFC ever produce it's own Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto or Mike Tyson? The athletes must stick around long enough to reach that plateau and Dana White doesn't appear to be keeping them happy enough to do so. UFC and MMA are good, but they got a long way to go to fill the boxing's shoes