This weekend Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto will square off against each other for the World Welterweight Championship. For Filipinos and Puerto Ricans this fight is about country pride and bragging rights. For general boxing fans it could be an absolute war. But for the general sports world does it mean anything?
Growing up, every weekend I would go down and spend the weekend with my Grandparents. My Grandfather is a huge boxing fan and as a result I would stay up and watch Friday Night Fights, HBO’s Boxing After Dark, and any other fight that was on during the weekend. I’m a boxing fan thanks to my Grandfather, but also because I can appreciate the training, skill, and intestinal fortitude it takes to box the hell out of another person.
At the same time I took Karate until Basketball and Soccer became my sporting passion. My favorite thing to do in Karate was spar. I remember the internal Dojo competition we had when I had to go up against one of the girls. I gave her a roundhouse kick to the head, knocking her down, and thus disqualifying me with a flurry of tears. My one and only big competition I did was the Rose City Nationals in Portland Oregon. All three-foot 50 pounds of me dripping wet entered my favorite event, sparring. My mother had to go buy me head gear and I had to borrow gloves and boots because I didn’t own any of the equipment. A few hours later I kicked and punched my way to winning the Peewee sparring championship.
It’s still the main piece on my athletic award box shelf in my room, yet I’ve never had the desire to get back into it.
I’ve watched the UFC and MMA before and it flat out doesn’t interest me. Honestly, I find the majority of MMA fights boring to pieces while the lucky few are over in less than a minute. Yet for whatever reason, maybe it’s simply marketing, Dana White has made UFC relevant and boxing less relevant with each passing year.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., in my opinion, is one of the greatest athletes in the world. He is pound for pound the best boxer in the world, yet MMA fans probably have no idea who he is. Last time I checked, Boxing is an Olympic sport and MMA is not. Boxers can make ten times the amount of money an MMA fighter can make. Boxing is the essence of survival.
Without any studies, or scientific evidence to back up my conclusions, I’m left simply to believe that it’s a generational thing. Earlier generations like simplicity, challenges, and delayed gratification. Later generations like multitasking, anything that makes life easier, and they want everything instantly. Now I can’t say I’m not a fan of innovation and I do appreciate the resources technological advancements have given us, but I have an old school mentality for the fact I appreciate the journey as much as the result. While I may want everything now I understand that time matures wine and people. Which is also why I believe that boxing is dying and MMA is florishing.
Boxing can go for 12 rounds, in Championship fights, while MMA is only five rounds. Boxing has a southpaw or righty, while MMA has potentially 12 different styles. Boxing is about tactfully knocking out your opponent, while MMA is about knocking your opponent into oblivion as fast as possible.
It saddens me to see Boxing slowly dying, but just like the Gameboy all good things eventually come to an end.