I flipped on the Men's Wimbledon final last weekend and had never heard of the guy who ultimately won and took the No. 1 ranking in the process. Federer. Nadal. That's about the limit of my tennis knowledge at this point and is probably the limit of most fans.
Boxing is falling into the same hole, unfortunately. Floyd and Manny. Money and Pacman. Take a look at fan-driven boxing sites, like Bleacher Report, and you will find that most of the articles are about one or the other.
There are writers who almost exclusively limit themselves to Manny and Floyd. We are 10 weeks away from the Mayweather-Ortiz fight and yet we are inundated with fight previews. Obviously, it is the prerogative of every writer to choose their subject, but while Manny and Floyd are the superstars, boxing has so much more to offer.
If you are into action, the Rios-Antillon fight this weekend will probably have as much action as any fight this year. Like amazing hand speed? Check out Khan-Judah in a couple of weeks and you will see two fighters with blazing hand speed.
In any sport, seeing a competitor pick himself up from a devastating defeat is always worth watching. Paul Williams is attempting to come back from his brutal KO loss to Sergio Martinez last year.
Boxing has a man, Bernard Hopkins, battling the unstoppable force of time as a champion at 46. On the flip side, boxing showcases a 20-year-old kid, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, struggling with the trappings of superstardom at an age where most contemporaries are just trying to figure out what to do with their lives.
Boxing has a fighter, Yuriorkis Gamboa, who escaped the poverty of Cuba and began his professional career much later than most. Can he make up for lost time?
While most fighters come from tougher circumstances—boxing is traditionally viewed as a "way out" of poverty—Mike Lee attended an exclusive prep school in suburban Chicago before graduating from Notre Dame University. Can the man born with the silver spoon make it in the rough world of boxing?
Boxing has multitudes who first stepped into the ring as youngsters, but it also has a heavyweight contender in Seth Mitchell who turned to boxing after his NFL dreams didn't pan out.
Kelly Pavlik is trying to resume a career after a battle with alcohol. Antonio Tarver is trying to turn back the pages of the calendar. Kermit Cintron is trying to prove he isn't a quitter.
Boxing is a sport rich with action and characters. Drama inside the ring and outside. Heros and villians.
Mayweather and Pacquiao are the superstars and their time in the real limelight is coming soon. Until then, check out some of the other great action that is occurring in the sport. If you haven't already, you might find there is compelling action and interesting people beyond the sport's two biggest stars.
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