Boxing is my first sporting love
but I fear it is in terminal decline because the best champs are too slow to
fight each other.
Prime example, of course, is Floyd
‘Money’ Mayweather Jnr goading Manny Pacquiao over drug testing forcing the
Pacman to pull out of their proposed fight in March.
It will happen eventually but only
when Mayweather is totally satisfied that he has the edge. He’s not physically
scared of Pacquiao, just afraid of losing his precious unbeaten pro record and
the multi-million dollar income that accumulates with successive victories.
It makes sense business-wise but
continues to frustrate fight fans who for years now have been starved of
regular great matches.
Mayweather has always ensured that
he entered every fight the firm favourite and has no desire to be an underdog
who upsets the odds. Living in Las Vegas he knows all about that but he is
hurting the sport by being so calculating.
There are few other marquee fighters
around, especially amongst the heavyweights, traditionally the most appealing
No charismatic new Tyson, Ali,
Lennox, Holmes, Norton or Frazier to transcend sport and keep boxing high
profile. The dull, robotic Klitschko brothers are the best on offer.
No wonder boxing is now a marginal
sport and only a handful of writers worldwide make a full-time living from it.
Mixed martial arts has come from nowhere and surpassed boxing in the past few
years for entertainment value and quality competition.
Yes, Mayweather can happily continue
to count his millions for a while yet but boxing is poorer as a result of this
new trend to protect top fighters at all costs.