Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Down For The Count

I like boxing. Watching it that is. Though I really can't recall the last time I watched a live boxing match. That's because as far back as I can remember, all the fights you'd want to see were shown exclusively on pay-per-view, or maybe HBO, which I haven't had until recently. But though I actually saw very few of them, I vividly recall caring about many big fights, mostly in the 1980s. Leonard-Hearns, Leonard-Duran, Hagler-Hearns, Holmes-Cooney, Leonard-Hagler, Tyson-Spinks. But probably dating back to when Tyson went away to prison -- voiding an anticipated Tyson-Holyfield fight while both were clearly in their primes -- I can't recall a truly "huge" fight, one that truly captured America's interest, including the non-boxing public. So combined with the fact that even a "good fight" to boxing fans never elicited me to pay $40-60 to watch it, my interest in boxing has unavoidably waned. Tyson became not only a madman, but a criminal madman, Holyfield just wouldn't stop, Lennox Lewis was fine but not terribly interesting. Over the past 10 years or so, the only boxers who really stimulated any interest -- I followed their fights on the internet, or cared about the result enough to stay up watching ESPN -- were Oscar de la Hoya and Roy Jones, Jr. Admittedly, I was drawn to them largely by hype, including self-hype, but combined with unarguable talent, they were at least notable enough to sustain a passing interest in boxing a few times a year. Well considering that both of them keep getting their asses kicked -- formerly unbeaten Jones has now been knocked senseless by a single punch two times in a row, including last Saturday when he was out cold for 4 minutes following a 9th round KO by huge underdog Glen Johnson; de la Hoya has lost 3 or 4 big fights over the last 3 or 4 years, including most recently being KO'd and left writhing in pain from a body shot by Bernard Hopkins -- it's time for them to stop. Just stop, it's over. And if my ever-diminishing interest in boxing goes out with Oscar & Roy, so be it. The whole WBO-WBC, Arum/King, Tyson, etc. mess made me believe the whole sport's corrupt anyhow, and now with the two remaining bright spots being darkened, I can now care even less about boxing. And I think I can live with it.

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