Boxing in the headlines sure has changed over the recent years. One may say that the innovative nature of the internet permits more news to reach an audience faster and more wider than ever. True. But what good is it truly for boxing fans when the men in suits want in on a piece of the action and seem like they want to take centre stage by disclosing the going on’s of the business side of boxing? It may fire up online debates but recently it has felt like that the sport is more about the promoters and less about the people who give every fibre of their being in the ring, both in the gym and outside.
With so much political happenings behind the scenes of boxing it is of no surprise or secret that followers of boxing long for yester year, a time when things were much simpler and the best fights were signed and displayed. But it seems like those days are long gone while big time promoters dominate the headlines, giving the fans false hope of their most desired matches eventually taking place. It is not always about that, of course. Last year a highly publicised promotional grudge match took place in the news when Eddie Hearn signed up many of Frank Warren’s most prestigious fighters. This was around approximately the same time when the “promoter alliance” took place when every high profile manager and promoter banded together to take on Matchroom in the business battle for supremacy. What happened to that, anyway?
Of course, let’s not forget Oscar De La Hoya’s rift with Richard Schaefer, who admittedly carried Golden Boy while De La Hoya was in the background and in private health care for substance addiction. When De La Hoya came out of rehabilitation he announced that a few major changes were going to take place, both within the sport and his company. Schaefer announced that he was leaving Golden Boy Promotions while De La Hoya and Bob Arum work on coming together to make some of the biggest fights the sport can administer. But is it all smoke and mirrors created by one or both promoters? Again, these guys that have made their way into the headlines to appear to disclose valuable information.
Promoters thinking they know physically what is best for their boxers has been something that has been going on for a while. Eddie Hearn recommended that Ricky Burns step down his calibre of opposition. While nobody would surely disagree with that isn’t that something his trainer would be more qualified to state? Hearn was given a whole page to discuss the matter in one publication. Bob Arum did the same thing when he told the public that Manny Pacquiao should not be playing basketball before boxing. Again, a valid point but let that come from the right people. Maybe the man himself.
Let’s not forget that current rivalry between Floyd Mayweather Jr and 50 Cent. While Mayweather is still maintaining his role as an active boxer, originally he and 50 Cent were going to team up to form their own company. But things have become heated lately between the two, with 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather verbally sparring about Mayweather’s pay cheques and where they come from. 50 Cent, in a particular retaliation to an inflammatory remark, reminded the pound for pound star that his salary comes from Golden Boy Promotions. Honestly, this stuff should be kept out of the public eye. It is not business of any fan. That is beside the opinion that this type of publicity is cringe worthy stuff.
What needs to be remembered and respected are the fighters that keep boxing going because without them it is nothing. Sure, maybe the much dramatized promotional feuds were entertaining in the beginning but who really wants this to become a permanent trend? It has been noticed recently that the fans are feeling a little mentally fatigued lately because of this. Perhaps it is also because of the many debates about which fighter is receiving the most money and how much revenue a Pay Per View event pulled due to a particular promoter releasing information that is probably best kept to him and themelves. That type of information really has nothing to do with the combat aspect of boxing and all it is doing is dragging fans through unwanted mud.
How about there is less talking and more quality fighting. That is all that we want.