QUOTE (Jack 1000 @ Jul 4 2011, 01:07 AM)
I don't know, but with the exception of Lewis-Vitali or Wlad-Peter I, I still find the Klitschos boring. Even if they were American, I find them boring. I think that international countries may show more nationalistic pride toward their fighters because in America, the promoters and cable networks, along with casinos control all the big-time boxing. A lot of countries don't have that kind of backing so they will get a whole nation involved, who may not even be boxing fans, but they are there to support their fighter as long as he dominates, he doesn't have to be exciting.
I think HBO supported the Klitschkos years ago because they had some exciting fights and HBO liked that. A networks job is to showcase fights that are exciting to the public. People flocked to get HBO subscriptions when Tyson was fighting, NOT because he was fighting great competition. They wanted to see an ass-kicking. In the American landscape, you dominate with KO's, (prime-Tyson), a charismatic and controversial personality, (Ali) a pressure fighter (Frazier) a skilled slick boxer with strong Olympic backing and fighting your nemesis and in exciting fights, getting revenge. (Leonard, Duran-Leonard I Leonard-Duran II,) Or you dominate everyone with longevity and a big KO punch. (Louis 25 title defenses, KO percentage.) The Klits may have a big KO percentage, but it takes them forever to get a "Bum of The Month" out of there, and that is only IF they want to do that.
Internationalists watch a dominate fighter for love of country. Americans watch a fighter because there is something in what I said above that draws them in to a fighter's performance. Since the Klitscho's can't do love of country for American audiences because USA fans aren't in Germany, there is not much pride in most American's in watching the Klitschkos fight. I also blame Manny Steward for taking away the excitement that the brothers had as sluggers and turning them into safety-first boxers. I guarantee that if the Klitschkos were fighting like they used to, HBO would still be behind them.
It than raises a great question that may be answered differently by people from different parts of the world? What is most important? Winning in a methodical way with a great record backing up those wins? Or winning in an exciting way, and sometimes losing in an exciting way, but always guaranteed great fights almost every time out? (Gatti?)
The Klitschko brothers in my view certainly dominate, but fail to entertain in recent years. I see this as an American boxing writer and analyst. Saturday night, both Klitschko and Haye should have had a commitment, an obligation to perform, to transform and excite fans both casual and elite about this world heavyweight championship unification by doing something memorable, something special and none of that happened. We got an ending just like any other recent Klitschko fight, and the other title holder who was all bark and no bite.
The Klitschkos are dominate champions, but at least in America, are not stars.
Wlad and Vitali are nothing new, fighters have been in their position before. when Joe Louis was coming around boxing was damn near over with because it became a sport of nothing but fixed fights and no real entertainment. the HW division wasn't strong and a black guy sure as hell wasn't the first choice as a savior of boxing. but Louis gave people what they were missing from the days of Dempsey and that's was a hard punching and knock outs. the HW division was so weak Conn moving up to fight him was genuinely one of the most exciting fights of his career, it's kind of like Haye moving up to face Wlad. countless other champions did what they had to do to bring excitement to the division and that's at times when boxing was much more popular.
Wlad and Vitali have never gone out of their way to get back to the American public. personally, i think Wlad vs Ibragimov really just summarizes why he's not on HBO anymore.