Chiefs Opine: Boxing, a Dying Sport?

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Famous Boxer Manny Pacquiao

Famous Boxer Manny Pacquiao

Famous Boxer Manny Pacquiao

Isaiah Swain, Staff Writer

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Is American boxing in a state of decline? Purists think so. Throughout history, boxing has been a crucial part of American culture and sports history. However, in recent years many people have claimed that the sport  hit its peak with the Pacquiao versus Mayweather fight and has been on decline ever since.

Chris Mannix, an avid sports writer for Yahoo sports, claims that the beginning of boxing’s woes arose from the controversial Floyd vs Pacquiao bout. History will record Mayweather-Pacquiao as a box-office success. With 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and well over $600 million in total revenue. The fight stands as the richest in boxing history. It was also arguably its most disappointing. Mayweather fought a cautious, tactical fight, outpointing Pacquiao en route to a unanimous decision. This disappointed many fans due to the lack of a gritty fight, which was expected from the two best boxers of their weight division.

Christian Ramirez, a counselor at CHS and a boxing fan states, “Boxing currently is more of a glamor show. Fights are hyped up, but ultimately end up being more of an event rather than something interesting to watch.”  He has seen more of the bigger bouts of this decade, such as Mayweather vs Pacquiao and Mayweather vs McGregor, which were some of the most popular boxing matches in recent history.

However, he also believes that boxing used to have more prominent and interesting boxers such as “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali, but as time has progressed, boxing has had fewer household names. “All of this (the downward trend)changed when Mike Tyson entered the ring,” Ramirez exclaimed.

In his opinion, the pure aggression and thundering delivery of Mike Tyson’s knockouts brought the fire and passion back into the sport. “The pure aggression and the animosity that man brought into the ring wowed everyone.”

(It was only late in his career that he bit off an opponent’s ear and became a figure of derision and ridicule.)

Also, in Ramirez’s opinion, the highly controlled point system that is used in boxing is creating  less interest. He and other fans believe it’s biased. “I’m in favor of a text service for the fans to provide insight on the winner of the fight; If American Idol could do it, then I don’t see how boxing couldn’t.” He believes that this service would allow for fewer fights that disappoint the viewers, as well as to add another dimension to the experience of watching boxing.

Pat Hornbrook  has a strong opinion on the point system implemented in boxing. “I think that rewarding defensive boxing is certainly a part of the sport, but is a detriment to the spectator.” He believes that what is most entertaining about boxing is the heaviest fighters clashing, and that the lighter weight fights cannot compare to fights like Mike Tyson versus Holyfield.

In conclusion, while boxing won’t be leaving us any time soon, the original passion and interesting characteristics of the sport seem to be missing for many of its hardcore, purist fans.

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Chiefs Opine: Boxing, a Dying Sport?