I hear you when you scream at your television. Trust me, I do. I see when you throw random objects at your computer screen, or curse under your breath while reading your IPAD on the train. No, I’m not stalking you, I’m just going through the same exact thing all of you are. I am angry, pissed off, and have just about had enough. The sport that used to only draw out my love and admiration, now has me up tossing and turning at night. We simply have had enough of the bullsh*t. And unlike most people, I have the time and platform to voice our concerns. This blog is me letting the world know how all of us boxing fans feel right now.
From the die hard fans of the “sweet science” who live to see a crisp 1,2 combo connect, to the random channel changer who catches Friday Night Fights by accident, but can’t turn it off, this blog is for you. We at “Man and a Dog Watch Boxing” (MADWB)(MAD) are here to speak for you…….without censorship!
Soooo… what is it that has our collective panties in a bunch?
One thing boxing fans agree on, whether you’re a purist who appreciates the finer aspects of the sport, or just a bro that wants to see motherf*ckers get knocked out, is that nothing beats fight night. The intense build up to display the best vs the best. There isn’t a regular season to work out kinks before the playoffs start . EVERY FIGHT COUNTS!
When it comes to say our “Superbowl”, there is little doubt that the two best teams will be on the field. Each and every year we get a long taxing season, followed by an intense playoff mini season, which slowly whittles down the wannabees and leaves us, year in an out, with the two best teams. Surely there have been exceptions, but no matter what the case may be, there is no argument against the fact that those two teams EARNED their spot in the game. This is truly the case for almost all the major sports. A system is in place to ensure the best battle it out for the right to be called a champion.
Then, of course, you have boxing. Our beloved boxing is mired in a pit of greed, money, and all around unfair practices. From scorecards that seemingly make no sense (Lewis-Holyfield 1), to scorecards that are equally absurd (Hopkins-Taylor 1 & 2), but have a clear motive and explanation for their absurdity, it is safe to say that we, the boxing public and fans, have seen it all. (Don’t get me started on how they robbed B-Hop because they thought he was done and wanted to “pass the torch” to a young gun who now literally runs around firing actual guns at relatives and enemies alike.) Yet we continue to tune in, no matter the outcome or conspiracy at hand. Our loyalty has been tested and continues to remain strong, but I gotta tell you, even resolute boxing fans have their limits. It is our dedication and devotion to this great sport that keep us coming back, regardless of how many “you gotta be f*cking kidding me’s” we blurt out year after year, fight after fight. But if something doesn’t change, and change soon, Boxing will be will be eaten alive by it’s competitors nipping at it’s heals. Dana White and the UFC are hiding in plain site, just biding their time and waiting to pounce.
THE NEW OLD FACE OF EVIL
When people think of scumbag boxing promoters one mans face always comes to their head. The tall spikey hair, the bombastic rhetoric. The one and only Don King. Don King has been the face of all that is wrong with boxing. But lurking behind the scenes, consistently creating as much, and in this bloggers opinion, considerably MORE trouble for the sport, is Bob Arum. A very wealthy man, now in his early 80’s, Arum has helped to rule the promotion game for almost half a century. On the surface it appears as Arum has brought us fight fans some of our favorite and most memorable battles in the squared circle. Or has he???
A thorough look back on Arum’s impact on the sport reveals that he has acted as a grade A obstructionist, a road block, constantly trying to block the big name fights the fans want to see.
When one starts to list some of the fighters Arum has promoted, it sounds like a who’s who of the boxing elite: Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and even some of the hottest up and coming stars like Mikey Garcia. But a deeper dig reveals something else that all these fighters have in common; a deep desire to end their working relationship with Arum, and having to resort to filing lawsuits to get away from the cancer known as Bob Arum. What once appeared to be a promoter who had the best interest of his stable of fighters in mind, has been revealed to be a bitter old man, who will use the legal system and years of contested contract disputes to keep fighters under his control, or even worse, prevent them from fighting all together. (The list of fighters who have taken legal action against Arum is stunningly long, and requires it’s own blog entry to dissect) Arum doesn’t care about these kids, he only cares about the bottom line….cash!!! Arum doesn’t make great fights, he actually does the opposite and repeatedly tries his hardest to prevent them from occurring. Sometimes he does this to keep his fighters stats padded, after all an undefeated fighter is worth more money to the man.
Forget about these athletes desire to be the best, All Arum desires is to get paid. He promises them the sky, and then puts them in the ring against safe fighter after safe safe fighter, potentially ruining their legacy, but fattening his bankroll. And this is where he differs from Don King, because whatever you may think about him, Don King made great fights. Don King put together some of the greatest boxing cards of all time. The hard fact is BOB ARUM KILLS GREAT FIGHTS, AND GETS RICH DOING IT.
The behavior hurts not just his fighters, but us the fight fans. How long are we supposed to sit and wait for these fights to materialize, all while Arum’s bank account grows fatter. As I type this, once of the brightest stars in boxing, Mikey Garcia sits on the sidelines, protesting his Arum contract. That’s right, another lawsuit from another Arum fighter. All the kid wants to do is fight, and all Arum wants to do is put hurdles along the way, It’s a year and counting since Garcia has fought, and there is a bleak end in sight to this latest battle. The same can be said about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Another of boxing’s big names who hasn’t laced up his gloves in over a year simply because Arum doesn’t want to approve of who he wants to fight. Not to say Chavez Jr doesn’t bring his own huge ego and tons of baggage to the table, but no matter who the fighter is, the results remain the same: Arum gets richer, and the fighter suffers.
THE BIG KAHUNA!!!
And this is what brings us to the most talked about topic in boxing over the last 5+ years…Floyd and Manny. Manny is firmly in Arum’s grip. Arum puppets this poor guy, and Manny has paid the price. Pathetic PPV numbers, and half assed opponents, some say Manny has fallen from boxing’s elite, and fallen rather fast. Not to mention a whirlwind of tax issues. We are NOT attacking Pacman. We actually and genuinely feel terrible for the position he is in. Somewhere, deep inside, Manny has to think Arum is killing his career, and his livelihood. But Manny is a simple guy, a loyal guy, loyal to a fault. It’s scary because we hear Manny speaking of this “alleged” contract being drawn up and being signed by his team for a fight with Floyd, when we know there was never any contract. The scary part is Manny has not only been duped into believing Arums nonsense, but paraded around like show puppet preaching Arum’s false agenda. He trusts him because he put money in Mannys pocket, but what he doesn’t realize is how much money he has prevented from finding it’s way to Manny’s bank account. Arum is milking Manny for every penny, keeping him safe in fights against mid-level talent like kickboxer Chris Algeri, and C level fighter in the form of a rambunctious Brandon Rios, all while tarnishing his legacy. We don’t blame Manny for being in this predicament, we just wish he would wake up and end this nightmare.
Does Floyd do the same?
Sure Floyd has fought some of the same type of competition, and the haters like to bring up this point to bash Mayweather,, but there are differences. Floyd has truly fought the “best” in his divisions, granted his divisions have sometimes been void of elite talent. But Floyd has fought any and everyone he can with the exception of Manny. Manny has fought many of the same fighters as Floyd, the difference being that most of those fights occurred after Mayweather easily outclassed them, leaving them on the downswing of their careers (plenty were already on the downswing to begin with). This isn’t Manny’s fault, it is just straight from the Bob Arum playbook. Stay safe, and stay paid. At the same time it is important to note that Mayweather is calling his own shots. Ultimately he has to answer to the man in the mirror at the end of his career. Manny doesn’t have that same luxury. He is dependent on Arum to carve out a legacy, and that is truly scary stuff. If we take a second to think what could have become of Manny if he was free of Arum, we realize how truly devastating Arum’s impact has been.
SO, WHY AM I WRITING THIS PIECE?
I, and the boxing fans across the globe have simply had enough. We have hit our limit on the bullsh*t and it needs to end now. This is our desperate plea as we stand together with boxing fans, united on our mission. For to long we have sat back and allowed the likes of Arum to dictate the future of our sports rising stars. As a result we have let him dictate the fights we get to watch. In the words of the great Roberto Duran we say NO MAS! We demand Bob Arum take a frigin walk and allow us to see the fight that we have waited 6 years for. We demand he allow Manny to make his own decisions, and that he be respected as one of the greatest fighters of his generation. We simply demand that you, Mr. Arum, GO AWAY. Your greed has ruined countless fighters careers. You’ve stripped many men of their god given right to pursue greatness; to try to become the best at what they do. Yo have allowed yourself to be blinded by greed and excess, so that every move you make is motivated solely by money. You are a sick man, and you make me, my staff at MADWB, and almost every boxing fan physically ill. The devil has no place in our beloved sport anymore. We demand you call it quits and retire to some far away island where no one has to hear your bullsh*t anymore. You have raped and pillaged this sport and it’s champions for decades on end; unchallenged. You are the dictionary definition of pure evil and you must GO AWAY!
The future is bright as long as we rid ourselves of this trash. May 2nd isn’t that far away, and in a universe without Bob Arum, we will all be sitting in front of our televisions, nervous with anticipation, as two of the sports greatest prepare to do battle. We can make this dream a reality. Manny, stand up for yourself, and kick this prick to the curb. May 2nd can be a day boxing fans will remember for eternity, not only as the day a huge fight finally occurred, but as the day the sport took itself back from the grasp of a sociopathic egomaniac, and gave it back to the fans. Lets stand united and put an end to this. We understand that many feel Floyd Mayweather has acted like a diva in the past, some would even say he acted like an ass. We are ok with that. WHAT WE AREN’T OK WITH IS AN 80 YEAR OLD MAN MAKING A DIVA AND AN ASS OF ALL OF US FOR 50 YEARS. ARE YOU?????????
Your humble Lyricist,
— BEKAY assisted by Havoc (dog) from the pearly gates
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