By Rick Farris
I suppose in absence of a strong talent pool, comtemporary boxing promoters have to rely on creating an image of invincibility to assist marketing today's moderate quality prizefighters. Don't get me wrong, we do have one throwback type champ which can be credited for reminding boxing fans of what true talent really is, however, Manny Pac is a lone wolf, unique in an era that pales in comaparison to days gone by. But the Filippino super champ is pretty close to the end of the line. Nothing more to prove aside from a questionable title match with a reluctant Floyd Mayweather Jr. I'd love to see if the charismatic Pac Man can put together one last super fight against Mayweather, which would likely lead to two more because nobody will lose this one big, or even get hurt. They could cruise thru three great fights and make nine figures each.
Today we need to pull out all the tricks to hype a promotion, even if it means dropping to cheap wrestling type tactics.
The sneering and scowling I see on some boxer's faces today at press conferences, etc. really makes watching the fight difficult for me.
They are already pumping the drama outside the ring, which tends to eliminate the drama that is supposed to take place later, inside the ring.
Danny Lopez and Bobby Chacon didn't have act like they hated each other, the fact is, although cross-town rivals, they were friends.
Same was true a more than a quarter-century earlier, when Gil Cadilli and Keeny Teran were matched in six-rounder at the Legion.
Teran and Cadilli were both ELA guys, who grew up together in the Forbes stable. They were neighborhood rivals, friends but foes as pros.
Friendship is respectfully set aside in the ring. Fight a respectful fight and try to knock the guy out.
When friends fight friends, or brothers fight brothers, sometimes the closeness fuels a fire, leading to a deadly match.
Today we gotta watch tip-tap punching, point-oriented escape artisits, and listen to guys like team HBO tell us these guys are great.
An Armenian champ recently told the press he hoped he kills his challenger. Of course, the tough little Mexican he stepped into the ring with didn't understand English or Armenian, only that he would have things easier in life if he could win. So that's what he did, he thrashed the guy who hoped to kill him. I guess that's one thing I love so much about the great Mexican fighters, they don't need rap music, trash talk or forced drug testing to make their point. The Mexicans make their statement in the ring, and they come to take your title.
The key today is not to let your fighter lose. Losing they don't understand today, the kids who run the networks. If they didn't grow up in front of Play Stations and computor screens, they might have lived a little life and realize that somedays people lose. Even the truly best wake up on the wrong side of the bed at times. The champs of my era stayed sharp by staying busy in ten round non-title fights. Sometimes they'd use these as tune-ups, and they lost occasionally. But that didn't challenge their true greatness, it just gave us a clearer view of what happens when boxers are matched competitivly. You see better boxing, and the fighters become better boxers, they continue to grow and mature in the ring. A loss can be good. It will only challenge a guy who's heart may not be in it as once believed. An ass-whipping gets a fighter's attention. A real fighter wants to turn things around.
Parnassus knew this, and of course, so did Aileen Eaton, Don Fraser and Don Chargin.
As time marches on, people are becoming stupider by the day. As Mel Epstein would say, "dumb bastids!"