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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: THE DARK SIDE OF BOXING AND THE DUMB SIDE OF FIGHTING

By Paul Magno | October 18, 2019
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: THE DARK SIDE OF BOXING AND THE DUMB SIDE OF FIGHTING

Every week, fight fans from all over the online Universo Pugilistico gather around to marvel at my gloriously bulging, bulbous, bloated mail sack and watch as I shoot a load of gooey, salty truth in the eye holes and ear holes of boxing’s bad guys. This week, we have comments/questions regarding the KSI-Logan Paul rematch and tragedy in boxing.

Sideshow Freakdom

Hey Paul. Just wanted to get your take on the moronic KSI-Logan Paul rematch at Staples Center and what it means to boxing or what it says about boxing. I’m not going to lie, I’ll watch, but I sure as hell won’t be subscribing to DAZN just to see this goofiness.

-- Taylor Cudgeon

Hey Taylor.

Predictably, I’ve been seeing a lot of crying, whining, and soiled panties in bunches from the so-called boxing “purists” about this YouTuber sissy fight headlining a “real” fight card at Staples Center.

The reality is this— boxing is not in a position to turn away celebrity events that could bring new eyeballs and new, youthful, energy to the sport. 

As I wrote elsewhere:

“Of course having the six-round rematch between YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul headline a “world championship” boxing card at Staples Center…is absurd. It’s a real laugher to think that these two novice numbskulls will main event a card that could also feature Billy Joe Saunders and Devin Haney.

What’s not so funny, however, is what something like this says about the state of boxing and the utter failure of boxing’s promoters.

Chew on this—The first KSI-Logan Paul bout, which took place at Manchester Arena in the UK last August, sold over a million pay-per-views in the US (as an afternoon show, btw), making it the most purchased PPV boxing event of 2018, just ahead of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin 2.”

I have no idea what kind of numbers the rematch will do behind the paywalls of DAZN, but what, exactly, does boxing have to lose here? These guys are bringing with them an entirely new audience and if just .1% finds something in boxing worth coming back for, then it’s a win for the sport. At worst, nothing happens for boxing at all. Gambling on the possibility of introducing millions of teens to boxing—a sport they, for the most part, couldn’t care less about—should be a no-brainer. Only self-defeating boxing snobs would crap on that kind of chance to build. 

I’ve been critical of Eddie Hearn a lot lately, but he did this one right. He made them turn pro, have a “real” boxing match under commission rules, and loaded the card with legitimate professional bouts that the teeny-bopper YouTube viewers will have to sit through in order to get to the main event. 

I understand the outrage among “purists,” but only because I understand that they’re mostly about fairytales and not about dealing in the realities of a sport that has done nothing to bring young people to the sites, TVs, and arenas. 

I’m fine with KSI-Paul 2, just as I’m fine with Tyson Fury mock-fighting in the WWE. It’s about promotion and about reaching out to new audiences. Again, this should be a no-brainer if you care about boxing’s growth and long-term health. 

Death and Dying in Boxing

Hey Paul.

I’m still messed up from that Patrick Day knockout on Saturday. That was ugly and from what I hear, he’s still in a coma. It’s things like that that make me question why I support boxing so much. I guess if I was real honest with myself and what I usually stand for in life, I would stop being a fan and maybe lobby against boxing. But, I’m hooked and I do get great enjoyment from watching boxing, so I guess that makes me a hypocrite. Tell me, Mags, how you get around this guilt at watching men and women beat each other to death or, maybe, how you reason away the guilt. 

-- C. Mahomes

Hey C. 

I don’t remember who said it, but there’s a quote about boxing having saved more lives than it has ended and I’m a testament to that. As an “at risk” youth, wandering into the gym introduced me to discipline, comradery, and a sense of honor that put me on the right road in life. A lot of my friends are no longer around because they didn’t find that path. 

Here’s a bit of the article I wrote following the death of Frankie Leal back a few years ago:

“There are no holy men in boxing– at any level. There’s no reconciling the fact that we all, to some degree, deal in death. We draw profit, self-satisfaction, and amusement from men and women paid to walk close to death’s embrace.

If you think otherwise– fans, media, management– you are simply not being honest with yourself.

Boxing is a dark, dangerous alley. Of those who enter, few will survive and thrive…many, many more will never emerge. There is no safe distance from which you can be part of the sport while keeping the blood off your hands.

Those who have worked in the game and know the boxing culture have come to terms with this fact. Boxing is no place for good, clean suburban boys and girls. Boxing will never be clean, never be anything other than the chop shop of sports. Kids will keep dying, scandal is forever part of the sport. The Boxing Business is murderous by nature.

For those of us with a heart and soul, coming to terms with our own involvement in a death game is the hardest part of this whole mess.” 

I hear what you’re saying when it comes to being morally torn about your support of boxing. All I can says is this—Boxing will go on whether you and I support it or not, but those of us with a soul and a conscious, who truly respect the fighters and their risks, are the ones keeping the sport as safe as it can reasonably be. If all the good men and women abandon boxing, the sport will be left to the soulless hustlers and crooks—and then the bodies will REALLY start piling up.

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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