20
Aug
07

The night boxing died

De la Hoya-MayweatherLoyal (mostly male) readers: If you don’t read Esquire on a monthly basis, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Along with tackling current events and addressing male style concerns (how to buy a nail file!), the magazine also stumbles across (completely not by accident) some great sports journalism.

In the latest issue, there’s a great read about the De la Hoya-Mayweather fight by Chris Jones.

Jones’ conclusion is dead on.

Basically, no matter how great the De la Hoya-Mayweather fight was, it would never have had enough to save boxing, to be that SAVING fight the sport needed to recapture its audience. Why?

What was different, this time, was that it was the sport, not one of the fighters, being put on the slab. In between datelines, boxing’s aged observers took the time to say goodbye to one another — hey, it’s been a fun ride; “the last gathering of the clans,” one veteran writer called it. On the eve of the biggest fight in history, there was more melancholy in the air than excitement. No matter how good this show might turn out, no matter what elaborate spins De La Hoya applied to his future promotions, boxing was doomed, because it now lacked all of the things it had once offered in abundance: first and foremost, the chance that someone might get killed.

It’s sad, but everyone now tunes into Ultimate Fighting because they can see someone get the shit beat out of them (without paying $100). Whatever was left of boxing after huge payout prize fights (De la Hoya got $45 million for this one) and shameless promotion, it’s now gone the way of the love-fest that was De la Hoya-Maywhether.

Not much is certain in boxing’s future, except that it’s not going to have one.

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