Boxing is full of mind games. Many times they are positive and necessary. Think of a trainer subtley tweaking a fighter’s insecurities to motivate them. Many times they are just necessary, as when fighters fuck with each other before a bout. Most of the time, though, they are tedious and obvious, and we as the consumers are the ones who become the intended targets.
As I’m sitting here writing, Golden Boy Promotion’s Oscar De La Hoya has just had another “deadline” for the Canelo-Golovkin rematch come and go. He gleefully tweeted the countdown as most of us rolled our eyes and mentally prepared jokes about fishnets and tainted beef. Of course, within minutes major media outlet members were tweeting that a conversation was ongoing, so don’t count it out just yet. There’s too much money to be made after all (Update: They signed for Sept 15). And on and on we go ad nauseum. Just trying to stay informed requires you to deal with a hurricane of bullshit. And none of it matters. Not one goddamn bit of it.
It doesn’t matter any more than the IBF stripping Golovkin of their trinket. But people will argue about it. Endless threads and articles will spew forth about whether Golovkin should’ve kept his strap and fought Billie Joe Saunders for “all the belts.” No doubt we will see articles detailing how unlikely the fight being made really was until, *gasp*, it actually got signed. People will bitch at each other about the purse split, whether the fight is a pay-per-view or not, buy rates. All kinds of meaningless chatter will go on, and some of us will engage for fun, a great many will mean it, and the smartest among us will just roll their eyes.
Because that’s what’s happened to most of the viewership, we have become so starved for the best fights being made that subrate spectacles are treated as colossal fights, wins that are gimmes are debated for historical content and interpersonal squabbles have become news. As Alan Conceição recently said, fans suffer from a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Look around any social media, or just in the actual fucking media, and you’ll see defenses of the most ridiculous bullshit that is at its core a shouting down of what most of us know: Fans are getting anemic offerings that don’t justify our support.
I’m not saying we don’t still see good fights. We do. I’m not saying access is not adequate. It is. I’m not saying that I mind paying for all the new apps and other streaming platforms. I’m happy to drop a few shekels to be able to see the whole fight live at a decent hour.
I’m saying almost none of it matters except the fights, and we don’t get the right ones with enough frequency to justify the language we hear on a regular basis. It’s a never ending commercial designed to make other people money without providing a service that deserves the investment. Boxing has become one never ending promotion and everyone is doing their part. Every stupid quote turned into a news item that generates a page view, or argument about how absurd an announce crew’s hyperbolic language is a distraction from being pissed off that the best fights don’t get made enough.
Somewhere along the way, fans have to wise up to the fact that we are constantly being fed copious servings of bullshit so we don’t bitch about being hungry.
- Leo Santa Cruz’s win over Abner Mhares was impressive and fun. And that’s great, but it wasn’t necessary. There are a bunch of compelling fights to make at featherweight and hopefully one will determine who faces Gary Russell Jr. when he next fights in 2020.
- I don’t know anyone who thought Jeff Horn could beat Terence Crawford. It’s nice Bud has another title belt, but who cares? He’s so good that fighting anyone but Errol Spence is a complete waste of his time and having a belt at 147 doesn’t make it the slightest bit more interesting.
- I thought Badou Jack beat Adoins Stevenson.
- Now that David Haye is retired, I’ll have to find a new pretty boy to hope gets wrecked by a fat soccer hooligan. Tragic.