Can Boxing Survive Without Prize Fighting?

By Johnathan Lee Iverson on June 16, 2017
Can Boxing Survive Without Prize Fighting?
Few matchups if any can legitimately be considered a toss-up like Andre Ward vs. Kovalev.

Mediocrity is the bright and shining star of the charade between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor…

In case you were wondering, the most important matchup in boxing is occurring this Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay, when Andre Ward steps in the ring for the second time against Sergey Kovalev. It’s a great reminder, as we come down from the morbid ecstasy of yesterday’s announcement of a fight of another kind, Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. Mind you, there is absolutely nothing significant or worthwhile about the latter bout, save the size of the event. It is solely about the prize.

In just under twenty-four hours, two of the most remarkable fighters in the sport will battle it out for pound-for-pound supremacy. The stakes for Ward-Kovalev could not be higher. The winner will be boxing’s undisputed kingpin. He’ll be that dude! The standard bearer of the sport, no matter what his numbers may look like at the gate. The reality is Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev are everything fight fans claim they desire to see in the world of boxing. Highly regarded, uber talented fighters, daring enough to fight the crème de la crème of their profession in their peak years. Mind you, the welterweight division maintains its stronghold as the sport’s best because their talent pool is so deep and its fighters are willing to face off against one another. However, few matchups if any can legitimately be considered a toss-up like Ward vs. Kovalev. No matter how you fall on the aftermath of their first encounter, I know of few who are daring to say they see a clear-cut winner in this matchup. That is what makes it great.

By right the curiosity and excitement pouring out for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor should be directed toward bouts such as Ward-Kovalev or even the September showdown between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. But, alas, there’s no business like show business, and “business is a bigger word than show.” It’s always business it seems. The prize almost always takes precedent over the fight. For the sake of the prize or perhaps, our addiction to spectacle substance most often becomes the sacrificial lamb, to the exaltation and legitimization of mediocrity; and make no mistake, mediocrity is the bright and shining star of this charade between Mayweather-McGregor for which the outcome is so vividly clear. The encounter between the two might actually be far more evenly matched and legitimized, if Mayweather dared to enter the octagon.

I take no issue with the fighters. Combat sport is a brutal and exacting profession that many more times than not, has left its gallant participants as mere shells of themselves sans two cents to rub together. To that end, my wish for every fighter is a healthy and prosperous conclusion to their careers. Yet, I wonder if the prize, as it always does, creates a standard for which significance is secondary, even unnecessary so as long as that pot of gold shimmers in its opulence? Something tells me that in the long run such a standard cannot be good for boxing. But, what do I know, “money answers all things,” so says the Good Book.

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  1. The Barker 02:48pm, 06/17/2017

    @Lucas,

    I like how you think!

  2. Lucas McCain 04:49am, 06/17/2017

    Legitimacy is a relative term when it comes to boxing, though that may make it all the more valuable.  For me, if a fight gets tongues wagging, it gets young fans interested.  They’ll read and talk about Mayweather, then maybe hear about Leonard, Benitez, Robinson, from buddies, parents, etc. I started as a boxing fan in late 50s after watching pro wrestling!  As for Floyd vs. Conor, I can only quote my wife’s comment—“I hope they both lose.”

  3. Anonymous 06:18pm, 06/16/2017

    The more that is written about the May-Connor scam, the more legitimacy is gets. Stop—in the name of all that is sacred. Please stop. No more on this scam. Boycott it.

  4. Koolz 05:46pm, 06/16/2017

    I am going to be late watching this fight I won’t see it till Sunday.
    But I’ll post the vid.
    The only problem with this Kovalev vs Ward is this:
    The Judges can stink it up again.  Sure you can say it’s toss up it’s not, because the Judges can mess it up.

    I am not sure how anyone can honestly say War won Seven Rounds after the Fifth Round.

    I have watched that fight four times.  Perhaps people forget how to do math when a 10/8 round is against a fighter. 

    Even a draw wouldn’t work Kovalev would still win by a round.  Ward would have had to have won all seven rounds after the fifth round.  Did he?
    No.  That’s why it’s hard to say it’s a toss up anybody can win the fight.
    Yea it could be a close fight and go to Ward again just to piss people off.
    Trust me they would do that.

    Looking forward to seeing it.  Just hoping it’s legit fight.

    It used to be simple with the Mafia involved in boxing now there is something way worse.

  5. Alt Knight 04:58pm, 06/16/2017

    Floyd wouldn’t last long in the octagon if he didn’t get his opponent out of there right away with his superior hands. There probably isn’t a single MMA fighter that could match hands with a top 20- 30 boxer, much less someone like Floyd. That is why this boxing only match with Conor is ridiculous. Kind of like when Michael Jordan thought he could play professional baseball. Floyd is physically too weak to fight the much larger McGregor in the cage, not to mention, his only weapons are his fists. Grappling takes far more conditioning than throwing punches, so Floyd would be gassed in no time as well. Without a doubt , the two biggest fights in boxing are GGG vs. Canelo and Kovalev vs Ward, but the average person on the street in America, probably has no idea who any of these top P4P fighters are. Go up to Joe Blow and ask him what he thinks about Sergey Kovalev and watch for the blank stares you receive. Boxing hasn’t been mainstream since the late 90’s, if even then.

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