OK, so the heavyweight division is washed up. We have a collection of aging palookas carrying the flag in boxing’s premiere division. Lennox Lewis wouldn’t even have been worthy to hold Tyson’s jock 20 years ago, Evander just won’t go away, acting like he can still hack it even though he’s over the hill and a glorified cruiserweight (and lousy dancer, being even more wooden than Howdy Doody), and Riddick Bowe is back boxing. This after the ear biting incident, the crying incident (Oliver McCall, anyone?) and the joining the Marines and punking out incident (Bowe). I get the feeling that Ali could wobble out of his wheelchair and beat these clowns right now.
OK, so you say that the heavyweight division isn’t all there is? Felix Trinidad gets humiliated and retires. Oscar De La Hoya=overrated pretty boy. Roy Jones, Jr., pound for pound the best boxer in the world, loses his last two decisions and appears to be washed up. All the “name” fighters are finished. It’s a shame that an ancient George Foreman has been the standard bearer for boxing in the past ten years.
OK, so you say that the lower weight classes are fun to watch. Sure they are, if you like watching sixth graders going at it. They’re so light that if there’s a knockout it’s because one of them tripped, fell and hit their head. I’m not going to say that they hit like girls, but man, if I have to watch a bantamweight fight for some good action the halcyon days are over. It’s all I can do not to laugh when I think that the savior of boxing might be a guy like Zab Judah.
Speaking of girls, the most exciting thing going is Laila Ali, and she’s trading on her name. I’m sorry, but I’m just not convinced about women’s boxing. I haven’t seen the kind of skill that is necessary to legitimize it just yet, but there is potential. When Ali trades blows like her dad did with a worthy opponent then we’ll talk. Until then it’s like Muhammad against Cooney or Tex Cobb, nothing more than a warmup, a sparring match.
Face it, folks. Boxing is dying. They don’t even have Tyson to overhype anymore. I guess it’s all for the best, though. We don’t have to listen to Don King flapping his big fat mouth anymore. If we’re lucky.