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EDITORIAL: It Will Take More Than A Fancy Shoulder Roll And Lightning Quick Reflexes To Resurrect The Boxing Industry

Over the weekend, we were asked by avid boxing fans about the hype over the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight. One eager boxing fan wanted to know what it would take
05 May 2015 13:10
EDITORIAL: It Will Take More Than A Fancy Shoulder Roll And Lightning Quick Reflexes To Resurrect The Boxing Industry

Over the weekend, we were asked by avid boxing fans about the hype over the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight.

One eager boxing fan wanted to know what it would take to restore some glory to our local boxing fraternity.

We’ll answer the first question with a bit of boxing history.

The reality is, it’s going to take more than one mega-fight to restore the fortunes of international boxing. Both Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are an advertisers dream.

The brash American now boasts an almost unrivalled record of being undefeated in 48 fights stretching back 19 years.

In what boxing commentators are calling a ‘defensive master class,’ the Las Vegas resident added Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight belt to his WBA and WBC titles.

Pacquiao, on the other hand came into the fight, with a reputation with a high work rate in the ring and impressive power to match. The statistics were hardly surprising.

According to BBC, Mayweather threw 435 punches, of which 148 landed. Pacquiao threw 429, 81 of those punches landed.

That’s how the judges scored the fight and were not swayed by the crowds booing Mayweather for being on the defensive and not taking the fight to the Filipino legend.

Its hard to see any other boxers attracting the kind of attention, both Mayweather and Pacquiao commanded.

Even the heavyweight division, the stomping grounds of Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and others of late, barely makes a headline on the sports pages.

Current heavyweight champion, Wladmir Klitchko, the second longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time, is hardly known, outside the boxing fraternity.

This is despite the fact that he holds the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO titles.

The fact is, the USA, long the biggest talent pool for prime-time boxers, has dried up. The rise of the Hispanic boxing industry led by Golden Boy Promotions with boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya at the helm, means it does not draw as much advertising dollar as before.

The other problem is the proliferation of boxing organisations, with championship belts quickly losing their appeal and prestige.

Besides, boxing has had to compete with other sports that have now come to the fore. Soccer, rugby, basketball, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling have all attracted the interest of fans, who a generation ago, might have been drawn to boxing.

Boxing will not disappear completely, but its glory days are long gone, and the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will not be able to resurrect the industry.

Local boxing fans should not give up hope. The recent local amateur boxing championship in Suva attracted one of the largest crowds seen in recent time at a boxing event.

Boxing for Fijians still remains a legitimate sporting option and career at the lower-end of the boxing hierarchy.

What we need is mentors in the mould of Harry Charman and John Marimuttu Ramos (legendary trainer and promoter).

The Government has been quick to address policy issues for the industry to ensure boxers interests are paramount.

Despite the dim outlook following the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, boxing is still here to stay. After all, its weathered a few barrages in the ring, and is still standing, tall.

 

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 




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