RIP Pugilism 2010?

Contrary to what this bizarre image says; Apollo Creed isn’t going any where, in fact he’s dead. He was last seen laid on his back, nestled in the tree trunk arms of Sly Stallone in Rocky 4; the result of a failed comeback after a prolonged period of inactivity. Fiction, I know, but it’s this staged narrative that has contemporary relevance in regard to the sport of Boxing in 2010.

Boxing’s probably my favourite sport. It’s unlike any other; you play football, you play basketball, you play tennis…you don’t ‘play’ boxing. The sort of competitiveness and contradistinction demonstrated in a boxing match is absolutely unrivalled in the sporting world; boxing presents the warfare of one entity against another, a true battle for superiority. When scrutinizing a boxing promotion through a Public Relations gaze, strategic marketing models can be picked up on; the development of two entities being promoted together in order to present a collective product worthy of the hard sell.

Circa 2006 pugilism became threatened some what by another combat sport: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). MMA’s flagship promotion The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) experienced a surge in popularity and waged war regularly with boxing; competing for pay-per-view buys, striving to have the ‘bigger’ celebrities at the shows etc. Boxing is the oldest sport in history; heck even Adam and Eve’s lads, Cain and Abel engaged in a bout of fisticuffs or two… Thus the UFC and MMA are often seen as a passing fad. In my opinion however, there are certain reasons why 2010 could see MMA claiming a victory over boxing via unanimous decision. Here’s what they are:

3.  Fats Are Coming Back- Legendary but shot fighters Ricky Hatton and Erik Morales will fight again in 2010.

Here’s what Hatton and Morales looked like during their fighting primes:

Here’s what they look like now:

Apologies for the poor quality, you get the picture. Fatton was annihilated  in two rounds in his last fight and Morales, who hasn’t boxed in three years, has lost 5 of his last six fights. Nuff said.

2. Grandad’s Square Off- Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins will have a re-match almost 20 years after their first fight.

I was barely out of the cot when these two fought for the first time. Jones won by decision, yet he’s utterly past it now- he’s been knocked out in 5 of his previous 10 fights. He was obliterated in the first round in his most recent fight by an absolute chump. Tragic to see; it was kind of like seeing a superhero drained of all their powers.

At the initial press conferences, sly marketing and selling tactics were used. Hopkins re-iterated over and over gain: ‘This is a grudge, it’s personal’. If it was THAT much of a grudge wouldn’t he have said: ‘You got banged out in a round last time out…what do you think I’m going to do to you?’ A disgraceful money spinner marketed off a pointless rivalry that’s been going on for years.

1.  No Super-Fight- The two best fighters in the world Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao couldn’t reach a deal to fight.

This image makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, but unfortunately it’s fake. A sterling job though.

This fight would have been the biggest in history and was expected to generate over $200 million. Didn’t happen though because Pacquiao wouldn’t agree to take a random blood test before the fight. By refusing the test he threw away a $40 million pay day. $40 million for a nights work, thrown away over a pin prick? Suspicious.

They’ll always be suspicion hanging over Pacquiao now until he clears his name, yet his actions have a greater implication on the sport. Boxing admittedly, has somewhat of a corrupt and murky reputation; a pretty bad message is emitted when its main man is a potential juicer!

Savour this…you might never, ever see it.

Is boxing dead in 2010? Here’s Nike’s latest video:

Pretty epic isn’t it; covering a cross section of flagship sports and sports men/women.

Boxing’s no where to be seen though.

Rampage Jackson’s in it however. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is an MMA fighter who fights for the UFC… significant?

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