One Step Forward & Two Steps Back


One Step Forward
 As I was driving home from the Klitschko vs. Arreola press conference on Thursday I was beaming! Finally, after all the trash talk from haters and all their MMA is taking over rhetoric I was certain that boxing had finally got it right. I mean, what could possibly be wrong with the Heavyweight Champ of the World returning to the home of his 2 most historic battles taking on the young undefeated slugger who just happened to have been brought up only minutes down the freeway. Throw in the fact that the home town challenger just happens to be of Mexican heritage and no one with south of the border roots has ever claimed the heavyweight title, and what you have here is very possibly boxing history in the making.
 There is nothing wrong with that.
 Oh sure, Dan Goossen got up on the podium and proceeded with some “Dog and Pony Show” list of guys Klitschko has defeated and then told you about other guys who beat that foe quicker in some ill conceived strategy to belittle Vitali, but most snickered at that because this fight doesn’t need any lame comparisons. Had the other side followed suit they could have pointed to one Travis Walker who was steam rolled by Manuel Quezada in one round while it took Arreola 3 rounds to stop Walker, and oh yeah, Walker dropped Arreola and had him in a serious world of hurt . With a packed house of media at Staples on Thursday, it’s a lock that this fight is going to garner some major league interest. Most experts see Klitschko breezing by in this one but not one of them will tell you that Chris doesn’t have the proverbial punchers chance.
 Again…There is nothing wrong with that.

 Two Steps Back

 The Staple Center Security guards and Goossen had barely dropped their Red Blazers off at the Dry Cleaners the next day before boxing somehow managed to take two giant steps backwards.
 That’s right sports fans, no more than 24 hours later in Las Vegas, WBA Super Flyweight Nonito Donaire hit the scales on the mark at 115 pound and was set to defend against Rafael Concepcion. The problem was Concepcion hit the scales at darn near 120 and the fight for the title was turned into a almost meaningless charade that would proceed regardless of the weight discrepancy.
 Do you think Bob Arum has seen enough overweight fighters ruin his cards yet?
 That same night we had a hodgepodge of Vivian Harris getting head butted and writhing around until a No Contest was declared and then another head butt fight that helped Brian Minto win a useless Technical Decision.
 As if that wasn’t bad enough we had Saturday to go and it didn’t get any better.
 First you have the other Concepcion, Bernabe that is, who was in a close battle with WBO Featherweight Champ Steve Luevano and the fight could have gone either way. The one way nobody saw it going was win via DQ but that’s what went down, and so did Luevano who was cold cocked by Bernabe after the bell to end round seven rang. Give Luevano the win by DQ.
 And then there was “Crook” City.
 Can anyone on the planet tell me why Roy Jones Jr. is getting any attention at all? He is picking on has beens and then parades around in the ring paying less attention to the bum in the ring, this time it was Jeff Lacy, and more time talking to his future opponent and the fans.
 Roy, no one with one ounce of boxing knowledge is buying into this act and you are tarnishing your legend way beyond the point of no return.
 Saturday night also played host to Strikeforce on Showtime and in all honesty, this was the card that I has penciled in as can’t miss TV.
 No, I am not an MMA fan by any stretch, but with Gina Carano taking on that Cyborg broad and all the hype surrounding the battle, I made sure to tune in.
 Truthfully, I have to say the battle of those two woman wasn’t that bad. I thought Gina was going to get destroyed right away but she made a pretty good go of it before Cyborg ultimately did destroy her by the end of round one.
 Even more truthfully, after trying to watch the entire card I can say I am not an MMA fan and probably will never will be. Yeah, Yeah, I know there is an art to it and no doubt those guys and gals would toss me to the ground and snap my vertebrae before I knew what hit me, but to me, no matter how hard I tried, it looked like the fights after school in 7th grade to me. Two ”hard guys” rolling around on the ground for a few minutes until one got pummeled beyond repair.
 Been there done that!
 The moral of the story is simple. Boxing proved that it can have its shining moments. Klitschko vs. Arreola is exactly the shot in the arm the sport most assuredly needed. There is no reason why the manly art of self defense should be kicked to the curb. Not for some Johnny come lately wrestling hybrid. And if we can somehow stop promoting and supporting washed up fighters whose best days have long gone by, I believe the sport can live on for decades and decades to come.

One Response to “One Step Forward & Two Steps Back”

  1. Frank Boff says:

    Some writer you are, complaining about how whacky, screwed up and sometimes wonderful boxing can be. The fights are only part of the lure of boxing. The gym culture, the out of ring antics — even the bad ones which you described above — make for colorful subjects to write about. Try covering the Knicks for 9 years as I did and struggle every day to find an angle because the games all look the same and there is no NBA culture. You should feel fortunate you have so much to write about. In the words of the immortal philosopher Larry Merchant: “If you can’t find a story to write about in boxing, you don’t have a pulse.