Fringe Friday – The Circus of Boxing edition

on July 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

As a child, nothing gets the imagination flowing more than a circus. The anticipation, even weeks in advance, gets kids all giddy. Once the day has arrived and they are under that rooftop, so many different forms of awe inspiring entertainment to keep them wide eyed and entertained. An adult can have that same enthusiasm, but the bewilderment is unfortunately long gone. Sports should be competitive, inspiring and yes, fun as well even with a little dish of silliness, but it should never really be a full out circus. Well, except for boxing of course where (pun intended) the gloves are off and it is nothing but a circus.

Nothing proves the point as much as the overhyped Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor match that is scheduled for August the 26th in Las Vegas. If people believe that the sport of boxing has declined over the years, and it has, this latest match is the official flush of the toilet and boxing swirling down the drain. Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson and even the Greatest, Muhammad Ali will be turning over in their graves at what the sport and its athletes have come too. This isn’t a boxing match or a sport, it is a ridiculous form of entertainment that you most likely would find in the movie Idiocracy. Yes, unfortunately, I did watch it…

Boxing was once a sport that meant something. The heavyweight champion was considered the toughest man on the planet just as the winner of 100m dash was considered the fastest man. I guarantee you that at this moment 9 out of 10 of you have no clue who the heavyweight boxing champion is while the same 9 out of 10 of you know exactly who the fastest man in the world is today. Too tough a question for you? Fine, name 5 current athletes in tennis or golf, fairly easy right? Now name 5 current boxers not named Mayweather or McGregor (I guess you have to call him a boxer now too). I can’t do it, can you?

Don’t get me wrong, the money that these two athletes and their camps are getting is ungodly. If you want to measure its success that way, then so be it. But take away Mayweather and how big has the prize money in boxing really been? Take away Mayweather and how many other fights do you even recall in the last 5 years? I mean, seriously, they couldn’t even find a second boxer to have this “big” of a match, they had to get an MMA athlete. That in itself should tell you how bad this sport has fallen.

How did it all happen? I am no expert and can’t say for certain when it started to decline. I have read some opinions that it was during the Don King era and I may agree, but I don’t think it was all King’s fault. The problem, in my eyes, occurred when the hype of a match became more important than the match itself. Why did this happen? Simple. Hype equals ticket sales and ticket sales equals money. This is nothing new, I am not sure how far back it goes, but we clearly know how well Ali could hype matches. Ali was a far, far smarter and well spoken man than any of the ones entering the ring on August 26th.

McGregor would lose one third of his vocabulary if he stopped using the “eff” word. Mayweather, rumour has it, may not even be able to read. These two wouldn’t stand a chance against the Greatest in or out of the ring. Nothing personal against either of the M&Ms as they have worked quite hard at becoming kings of their respective sports. But when your sport is a circus, well… that makes you nothing more than a clown. For you fans who are thinking of buying the pay per view, as far as entertainment goes, have fun and enjoy it. If you are buying this bout to witness the sport of boxing at its finest, well then, PT Barnum said it best, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

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