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Byrd Man
I had this thought tonight while reading an article about the Heavyweight division. I've long heard people talk about how Boxing is dead, and it becomes clear that they're mainly referring to the Heavyweight division. As if that's the only division in the sport. I realize that that's the premiere viewed division, but still....

And on Talk Radio I often hear these jackasses that trash boxing repeatedly and say things like "well nobody knows who these guys are" or "they're all foreign fighters who no one can pronounce their names" and shit like that.

And I wonder....how big a role does bigotry play? Perhaps racism as well. Everyone that feels that way is obviously not racist, I understand. But I wonder how big a role that plays, in the idea of the reasons that are given as to why boxing is dying.

I mean a lot of the excuses people give for the heavyweight's decline smacks of bigotry, or at the very least anti-anything but the USA.

If they were four moderately known AMERICAN fighters, would the same people be trashing Boxing talking about it's dying? Or is it because no Americans hold belts, and all the belts are held by Eastern European white guys? And these people keep saying things like "Their names are hard to pronounce" and shit like that.

How hard is it to pronounce "Klitschko" and "Valuev"? Even before names like "Liakhovich" (that might be a bit of a tongue twister for some admittedly), or "Chagaev"?

I wonder about that. I can't be the only one who's thought this.....
Spyder
I would equate the thought that boxing is dead to stupidity more than bigotry.

Very few talking heads could even name the weight divisions, so their opinion on the sport as a whole should really be dismissed anyway. When people that are in the sport make those comments, that's when I take notice.
STEVENSKI
I do think Americans can be very zenophobic & insular especially with sport. As for heavyweight boxing well what can be said about it now other than it sux & the two brothers at the helm are not the stuff heavyweight champions are made of IMO.
BGv2.0
QUOTE (Spyder @ Aug 19 2009, 02:28 AM) *
When people that are in the sport make those comments, that's when I take notice.


Well make sure you read what Paulie had to say on the home page then! lol


QUOTE (Byrd Man @ Aug 18 2009, 11:51 PM) *
I had this thought tonight while reading an article about the Heavyweight division. I've long heard people talk about how Boxing is dead, and it becomes clear that they're mainly referring to the Heavyweight division. As if that's the only division in the sport. I realize that that's the premiere viewed division, but still....

And on Talk Radio I often hear these jackasses that trash boxing repeatedly and say things like "well nobody knows who these guys are" or "they're all foreign fighters who no one can pronounce their names" and shit like that.

And I wonder....how big a role does bigotry play? Perhaps racism as well. Everyone that feels that way is obviously not racist, I understand. But I wonder how big a role that plays, in the idea of the reasons that are given as to why boxing is dying.

I mean a lot of the excuses people give for the heavyweight's decline smacks of bigotry, or at the very least anti-anything but the USA.

If they were four moderately known AMERICAN fighters, would the same people be trashing Boxing talking about it's dying? Or is it because no Americans hold belts, and all the belts are held by Eastern European white guys? And these people keep saying things like "Their names are hard to pronounce" and shit like that.

How hard is it to pronounce "Klitschko" and "Valuev"? Even before names like "Liakhovich" (that might be a bit of a tongue twister for some admittedly), or "Chagaev"?

I wonder about that. I can't be the only one who's thought this.....


Well....you hit a very large portion of it right on the head. Like it or not the sports HW division has ALWAYS been the division that captivates the entire world....for whatever reason. When you have lackluster fighters at that level....very few "casual" fans tend to look at anything related to the sport.

The HW division has been absolute shit for the last 6-7 years (which only adds to the problem....I mean we are nearing a whole decade of a crap division!!!) so that comes into play as well. You have always had instances of less than steller HW's at times....but for it to go this long really adds to the problem.

Also....I don't think it is so much "bigotry" as it is reality. The reality is those names you listed are NOT American and therefore....no....for the average american they are not easy to say....they are nowhere near the ease and familuarity of Lewis, Tyson, Foreman, Holyfield....all of those names are very easy and rooted in American English.

I also have never been a big believer in the theory of bigotry related to the nationality of HW boxers. I honestly think this is a easy out for Klit fans and fans of this current HW state. It allows them to put the blame of the lack of interest in the division and sport onto the fans instead of placing it where it should be....on the fighters.

I don't care if your last name is "Klitchkobeabuchi-mohammed Rahman Ramadan III".........IF you are cleaning people's clocks and knocking them square the fuck out in impressive fashion on a consisitant regular basis.....American fans WILL welcome you with open arms! I have zero doubt about that!

Look at Ike Ibeabuchi....here was a guy that to this day.....still has followers due to his actions in the ring....and he was about as foreign as you could get.

Even Sam Peter had developed a decent fan base based on his ring actions....and as a result of his recent actions (or should I say inactions) here of late....he has lost that support.

So....no I really, honestly do not think bigotry plays a role in the typical, casual fan's mind......to capture them and the general public and the media....your actions in the ring have to speak louder than your last name! lol
jlupi
The heavyweights are booring with no compitition for the klits regardless of how good or not they are. Names has zip to do with it.
TheWhiteBuffalo
"boxing" is dead because of the inability to put the best fights together. The almighty dollar rules the sport. There is far too much emphasis on money, as opposed to the sport of it. The promoters, managers, trainers, athletic commission, etc, all have their greedy hands in the pot.

Champions fight once a year at best, so you only see them a handful of times while they are in their prime. MMA is the future, only because they put on the best fights and make the champions defend. There is a lot less of the politics. I don't know that MMA will always be that way, but for now it is.

So to answer your question, I would say no to the bigotry. People are just tired of not seeing the fights that the community wants. They are tired of the greed, and tired of all the posturing and talk. Why bother when they can tune in MMA and see some competitive combat without all the BS?
JLUVBABY
i could be wrong but the day a dominating american heavyweight champion takes the stage that is when you will see boxing become a mainstream sport again.. not to say it s not mainstream now cuzz i think its more mainstream than it gets credit for but when there is an american fighter that stand up and is knocking everybody out and becomes champion you will see the sport become mainstream again in the eyes that us fans maybe would like to see it... it probably would be half bad right now with the klits in my opinion but they maul their opponents into a ko most of the time.. champs that transend the sport either have the charisma of ali or the 1 punch ko power of of the tysons or listons and guys of that ilk... i could be wrong but i know the sport has been in this same type of condition many times before.. its just a matter of time before a heavyweight fighter steps up and gives the public what they want, when that happens its all over the news again... just my opinion..
streetlion1
The heavyweight division is the weakest in boxing and is just waiting for the next big star. Boxing IS NOT dead and never will be. I think the boxing fans are still out there but they are just sick of the b.s. that happens so alot just dont order fights anymore. MMA is on top right now cause I believe they have more casual fans...its just the "in thing" right now. The best MMA fight could still not touch a great boxing fight IMO. Boxing does need to do something about the politics and also get the best to fight the best but boxing is a real sport...MMA is not IMO. Although it does require skill its really nothing more than a glorified street fight with a few rules in a controlled environment. I think another star is bound to come up eventually and there are still big fights on the horizon....guys like Gayweather who say they are the best need to get in there and prove it against the best....boxing isnt going anywhere.
The Ollie Reed Fan Club
Well lets try 4 American names and see how that goes.

Does Jason Estrada, Eddie Chambers, Chazz Witherspoon or Lamon Brewster float your boat?

Fact is there is no bigotry involved, the HW division is stacked with bums regardless of name or ethnicity and we all await the 2nd coming of someone such as a Michael Gerard Tyson.
Maxy
As far as American heavyweights are concerned there simply isn't anybody coming through. You can even go to the amateur ranks and see that basically we'll all be waiting another decade before things turn around.

Joey Dawejko was ranked no.1 in the juniors last time I looked, at super heavyweight. Even if he was going to make any major waves in the division you'd be looking at 5 years from now.

The senior side of the game is even worse as far as American heavyweights are concerned....as of April 2009 this is how the ranking read:-

91 kgs/201 lbs - Heavyweight
1 Rakhim Chakhiyev RUS
2 Clemente Russo ITA
3 Olexandr Ustk UKR
4 Egor Mechontsev RUS
5 Osmay Acosta CUB
6 Alexandr Karakusan RUS
7 Vasiliy Levit KAZ
8 Mildrad Gajovic CGR
9 Colak Ananikyan ARM
10 Denis Poyatsika UKR
11 Evgeni Romanov RUS
12 Joszef Darmos HUN
13 Elchin Alizade AZE
14 Victor Zuyev BLR
15 Julio Castillo ECU


+91 kgs/+201 lbs - Super-Heavyweight
1 Roberto Cammarelle ITA
2 Vyacheslav Glazhov UKR
3 Oscar Rivas COL
4 Kubrat Puley BUL
5 Sandor Abdullayev UZB
6 Dennis Sergeyev RUS
7 Shamil Gadzhiev RUS
8 Robert Alfonso CUB
9 Zhang Zhilei CHN
10 Sergey Kuzmin RUS
11 Maxim Babanin RUS
12 Niyaz Faizulin RUS
13 Newel Ouatah ALG
14 Jose Payares VEN
15 Michael Hunter USA

Judging by those lists there is no hope of seeing an American heavyweight coming through in the next generation and there is no-one currently active who is going to do jack shit at world level. So Chris Arreola might spring an upset and beat the big Klit but he's in no way a solution to the dire state of the heavyweight division.

If fight fans are looking for a charismatic American heavyweight to rekindle the glamour of the division I'm afraid they are in for a very long wait.

The most charismatic active heavyweight IMO is David Haye but it's highly feasible to see him get stretched by any number of the top 20 heavyweights because he's definitely a vulnerable fighter...

Is it bigotry? Nah, it's true though that I cannot stand to see heavyweight champions with no charisma, and it just so happens that all these Eastern Europeans have zilch in terms of pizzazz.
Jack 1000
As I have written many times,

Boxing is not dead, it's the way that it is marketed that is killing it. There are issues with mainstream fighters DEMANDING such extraordinary amounts of money from promoters and TV networks that they can't even put together a decent PPV undercard anymore. There are exceptions, but you will often see 2-3 undercard fights on a $55-$60 PPV that don't even pass for ESPN material most of the time, while guys like Mayweather, Delahoya, or Jones in past years could command and demand 20, 30, 40, 50 million dollars for one fight. Tyson got a reported $25 MILLION for fucking Peter McNeeley and that was in August 1995! That was the beginning of the trend. The trend that big stars could demand outrageous purses for PPV subpar opponents. It hasn't really been the same since.

Any money left over from the fighter promoter and networks greedy hands has to go to advertising revenue. The guys left on the undercard are often fighting for peanuts because there's nothing left. The greatest boxing in the world from Pryor-Arguello I, Chacon-Limon IV, Corrales-Castillo I, the Barrera-Morales trilliogy, the Ward-Gatti fights will always be 1000 times more exciting than any MMA contests. Show me any MMA contest that matched up to these 10-15 rounds of action depending on the fight, compared to only 3-5 rounds of MMA. I submit you can't do it. There is a greater likelihood of an MMA fight to be over in seconds, more so than a traditional boxing match. But because these younger kids have never seen these classic fights, they don't know anything about these matches. Boxing at $50-$60 for PPV is now marketed to the rich and powerful.

In contrast MMA, with their "less is more" philosophy works better among younger crowds because the fighters often want to fight each other and the promoters don't put everything into a main event and have a well-balanced card. You also have commercial networks and standard cable doing for MMA what they were doing for boxing 20-50 years ago. That is creating a commercial interest in quality promoted cards and going to smaller towns and venues so that the younger generation can get excited about MMA. Boxing can absolutely be like it was as recent as 15 years ago. But it is going to involve the powers that be risking less money on a PPV, by going to commercial and standard cable with popular fighters who are inclined to brawl. Race and ethnicity are not relevant if you have a mainstream fighter on mainstream TV with great public access who engages in entertaining brawls.

There is still great boxing out there for all to enjoy, but it's seem by only a handful of people because they are forced to have Showtime, HBO AND pay $50-$60 to watch a PPV card where all the money on the PPV goes into one fight. As long as the competitive fights are made accessible to as many people as possible, everything's cool. Boxing's not dead. it's just being marketed by people who got too greedy for their own good. I believe that soon, the MMA will see the same fate as well. How much longer are MMA guys gonna fight for say fifty to one-hundred thousand dollar purses, when they see the multi-millions that conventional boxers are getting?

Jack
BGv2.0
I thought of this thread with the recent news of Wlad's boo-boo/no station being interested.

Bigotry has nothing to due with the fact that Wlad/Chambers could not sell out a local Knights of Columbus Hall much less any real venue.

This fight REEKED of boredom from the outset.
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