Opinion: Boxing is dead

Michael Moses

Michael Moses

Michael Moses is the sports columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

They say chivalry is dead? Try boxing. The sport is about as alive as Osama bin Laden.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. further cemented the thought in my head that the sport of boxing has no pulse except for the egotistical airheads within the ring. The skills of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Joe Louis can only be mimicked in movies. Hell, Mike Tyson is now in movies.

What about legends Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard? The sugar isn’t so sweet anymore.

The glory days of boxing are long gone.

Thanks to the world of HBO, most of society wasn’t able to witness what exactly went down on Saturday night. A welterweight title bout between undefeated Mayweather (42-0) and a 24-year-old Victor Ortiz (29-3-2) ended in bizarre fashion. As a matter of fact some bar fights that happened that night were probably conducted in a fairer manner.

Ortiz, who owned the 147-pound title, purposely head butted the self-acclaimed “Money” Mayweather out of frustration when the two were tied up in the corner. Not only was this a cheap shot, he kept apologizing like a 6-year-old getting scolded by his babysitter. This apologetic approach eventually lost the fight for Ortiz.

Later in the round Ortiz leaned in to once again apologize to Mayweather. The two obviously exchanged words once tied up. Meanwhile, referee Joe Cortez wasn’t paying attention and clearly looking toward ringside at the boxing commission. Cortez didn’t acknowledge the fighters.

As soon as Ortiz backed up he glanced toward Cortez for a split second. This was his second mistake. Everyone in the boxing world knows that Mayweather has the quickest hands in the sport. With that small window of opportunity, though it may have been cheap, Mayweather connected with a cobra-quick left hook and finished with a right knockout punch. Just like that the fight was over.

If you ask me, Mayweather won the cheap way. Sure, it was legal by the rules (fighters must always be ready). But what it comes down to is sportsmanship: The cocky fighter snuck out the back door.

Mayweather, who has been labeled a hothead since day one, clearly was the better fighter, but Ortiz was on his way back. Ortiz was just starting to get into the flow of things when the fight went downhill.

In the glory days of the sport this would never happen. In this day in age, boxers care about self-promotion and their paychecks, not respectful wins and their reputation. Don’t believe me? Then you didn’t catch what happened after Saturday’s bout.

During an interview after Mayweather’s controversial win the hothead got into a verbal altercation with HBO announcer Larry Mercant, arguably the greatest boxing commentator of all-time. When pressed with some hard questions about the way he won “Money” Mayweather fired back at Merchant saying, “HBO needs to fire you, you don’t know s*** about boxing!”

Merchant didn’t hold back. He fired back with, “I wish I was 50 years younger and I’d kick your ass.”

Sadly this is what the sport has come to. The biggest confrontation of the night involved an 80-year-old man. Boxing needs something to take off to save the sport. There’s no excitement. No heavyweights, let alone superstars. The only person who takes up the spotlight is a welterweight hothead who keeps winning yet running from the one thing that can save boxing.

Boxing is dead. But a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. welterweight championship would surely bring it back to life. At least for one night.

Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelmoses13