It was a cold January night back in 1988 when Iron Mike Tyson took on Larry Holmes in one of the first fights that I remember being able to stay up and watch.
I would have been 6 years old going on 7 at the time, and I remember my dad saying that Holmes would put Tyson on his bottom. HBO had the fight, it didn't start to well after my bedtime. I did not really know a whole lot about boxing at the time, but it seemed exciting since HBO had done such a great job of hyping the event.
Tyson would do his thing, knocking Holmes down for the first time in the fourth with an overhand right. After two more knockdowns, the fight would be stopped and Holmes would get his first knockout loss of his illustrious career.
Since that night, I have witnessed many more memorable boxing moments like the Tyson-Holyfield ear biting incident, fan man, and even the old grill master himself knocking out the champ to stun the boxing world.
But great fights these days, especially super fights, seem few and far between.
This article is being written on the heels of the news that the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight in November is a no-go.
It seems that in boxing these days it is harder to find marquee fights. The days of the dominant draws like Sugar Ray, Marciano, Tyson, Ali, and many others are over, and the days of just a few are now here.
Manny Pacquaio is a major draw, as is Mayweather. If this fight would have happened, maybe boxing would be able to claim its stake to a comeback of sorts.
I know that the sport is not in that much trouble, considering the PPV rates are sky-high and there are millions who still pay for certain fights. But most will agree that the sport needs something to bring it back to the front page of the sports headlines.
Nowadays, other sports like MMA have seemingly taken fans away from boxing. They do more. They have big fights on a monthly basis. MMA is the "in" thing more than boxing these days.
In my opinion, it is sad how far boxing has fallen in the mainstream culture of American society. There are no super fights. There are not enough top boxers for me, and a lot of fans, to care about.
I am not saying the Kelly Pavliks and Klitschkos of the world are not good. I am just saying they are not enough to bring in mainstream fans and media.
Until the sport can generate the quality fights like an Ali-Frazier or a Tyson-Holyfield, the business and the sport will suffer.
As always, that is just my opinion. I could be wrong because I know there are people who will pay to see Pacquiao-Margarita, or the next Klitschko fight that airs on HBO at 8 a.m. because it takes place halfway across the world.
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