Perhaps it is unprofessional of me as a wannabe boxing writer to step out of the comfortable confines of predictions and breaking news, but as any boxing fan will tell you, this sport pisses you off.
I have been in and/or around boxing my entire life—as a fan, a fighter, a trainer and a writer. Stated more directly, I get pissed off a lot. All sports do this to their followers, fill them with pain and shame and anger. But boxing has a peculiar knack for it.
For instance, bad officiating can cost a basketball, baseball or football team a game. Rarely is it as clear as it often is in a boxing match—just ask Erislandy Lara. [Note: Isn't it strange that we give an "award" for Worst Robbery of the Year? That seems like a misnomer. Maybe instead, "Worst Robbery of the Year Designate"?]
As frustrating as the labor disputes in the NFL and NBA were, the day-in-day-out business of boxing is as opaque as tar and even more filthy. The countless articles, all of which really say nothing at all, about the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao saga can attest.
So, in the spirit of the boxing fan’s love/hate relationship with their sport of choice, I would like to ask for your goodwill and forbearance as I rant about what is pissing me off in boxing this week.
Excuse me while I lower my guard …
Death and taxes and Mayweather-Pacquiao ‘negotiations’
Is there anybody who is not sick of this back-and-forth banter yet? We all are, but of course, we cannot stop talking about it.
Nor should we. It’s something of civic duty at this point. But like cleaning up after your dog when it does its business, being a good citizen often sucks.
I won’t belabor the details of the proceedings here, primarily because I assume you’ve all read about it 361 million times by now.
Suffice to say that I hate (in the softest possible interpretation of the word) Mayweather, Pacquiao and especially Bob Arum. Why are we even having to put up with this anymore? It just makes sense: the two best fighters in boxing are in the same weight class, and they should fight.
If I have to read another word about a tweet or a Pacquiao quote to some newspaper in the Philippines, I’ll throw myself off my balcony.
That said, I will instantly read the next story/quote/tweet pertaining to the potential fight.
Additionally, if the fight is made, I will scream like a little girl in the shadow of David Cassidy (I know it would be more acceptable to write “Justin Bieber” here, but I was feeling nostalgic. I also can’t bring myself to acknowledge that child’s superstardom. It makes me feel awful for humanity and myself.).
What the hell is Snooki doing promoting boxing matches?
On a side note, as a Jersey resident (Note: South Jersey, really more part of Philadelphia [if, as most of the well-to-do suburbanites like to do, you just skip over Camden]), I can report that most Jersey folks make every effort imaginable to distance themselves from “Jersey Shore.”
They will often tell you that Jersey is nothing like that, people don’t behave that way, it’s a stupid stereotype and so on. That is right.
But the truth of the matter is that there really are a ton of Snookis and Situations out here. These people didn’t just emerge from the swamp. They were born and nurtured to sport the blowouts and nasty-ass tans.
That’s a big reason why all of us in Jersey attempt to barricade ourselves from that program. We know it’s kind of true.
Now, I’ve never seen an episode of “Jersey Shore,” but from what I gather, Snooki is the devil. Which leads to my next topic …
On second thought, maybe Snooki would make a fine promoter.
I don’t want to be called a “Freak.”
Let me state for the record that I really like Dan Rafael, ESPN.com’s boxing writer. He gets good scoops, keeps his subjects honest, calls b.s. when he sees it and generally is pretty spot-on with his actual fight analysis and scorecards.
However, I am not a fan of the term “Fight Freaks,” which he has called his followers for some time now. To be fair, it does not apply only to his followers.
Theoretically, it applies to all hardcore boxing fans—the types who eat it, drink it, breathe it and write about it without pay at 2:00 a.m. (I apologize for the self-indulgent humblebrag. I’m not proud of it.)
The phrase has a nerdy, Trekkie edge to it that does not sit well with me. This is not surprising—Rafael has a major nerd streak.
I’m not against this sort of thing in principle. I peruse the Internet for documentaries and study political science in grad school. I don’t count myself among the cool.
But the whole “Freak” thing is just unsettling and almost fanatic. During his chats and on Twitter, people will just [virtually] scream, “FFFFRRRRRREEEEEEAAAAAK!!!!”
Pardon me while I excuse myself from the party.
I don’t think boxing fans are the types who want to be drug into that sort merrymaking. Fight crowds have always struck me as a bit more libertarian (not like Ron Paul, but independent and bullish).
I just want Pacquiao and Mayweather to agree to terms.
Like right now.