Sunday, November 9, 2008
And with that, Joe Calzaghe appears to have cemented his status as a top boxer of his time, "retiring" undefeated and beating perhaps his toughest opponent (doubtfully). Though, I have some reservations over whether Calzaghe's sound defeat of Roy Jones Jr. really proves anything, the fact of the matter is he defeated Jones, who was once thought of as, pound for pound, the best boxer in the world.
The fight started with Jones knocking Calzaghe to his knees and it appeared as though this fight could get vicious, but Calzaghe recovered in round 2, but still lost the round 10-9 (with round 1 being 10-8 Jones in my estimation). From there, Calzaghe never let up, winning, again in my esimation, each of the following round 10-9 and soundly thumping, out-classing and showing up Jones.
Its important to note that both Jones and Calzaghe are on good terms and the bad blood, typical of boxers, just wasn't there (not that it needed it). It was a nice event, worth the admission cost (in my case, a PPV split a 6 ways). Next up may be an aged Golden Boy - Oscar De La Hoya and an ever old Manny Pacquiao in the battle of ancient legends. Once again, a fight that would have been better years ago...though Pacquiao would never attempted to reach De La Hoya's weight class.
And with that, we kind of reach an odd state in boxing. I consider myself a casual fan. I follow on occasion, I like the big fights and I know the big names. Its a time when I can appreciate announcers dumbing it down (unlike baseball or football). But the sport has become so cost-prohibitive, so alienating of its viewing public, so ahead of itself that it cannot compete. Sure there's diehards, loyal fans and followers, but to develope a new fan base, it needs more public, convienent and frankly, cheap ways to present itself.
60 dollar PPVs aren't it. You cannot show off your biggest and best on a stage that only those with the most interest will watch. If the NFL has any desire to go entirely PPV (and they do). They need not look any further than boxing to understand the dangerous effect it can have on the sport, its popularity and its value. And while Boxers rarely sell, jerseys, not seeing NFLers on TV on a daily basis will severely cut revenue in many other ways boxing can only begin to exhibit. Please NFL, do not consider this (as you have already attempted with Thursday Night Games) and Boxing, please save your sport by returning to more public TV, so we can all enjoy the sweetest science once again.