By John J. Raspanti
Things are somewhat slow in the world of boxing right now.
Not dead, but slow, since boxing will never die. The sport is akin to Frankenstein’s monster.
No matter how many times the villagers tried to kill the big guy, he always came back. Bullets were an annoyance. Hanging didn’t work. Fire only made him angry.
Many have tried to kill boxing.
Its history goes back almost as far as Frankenstein’s creation.
Near the turn-of-the century, banning the sport was a constant topic of debate. Opinioned professionals argued that the sport should be outlawed.
But like the monster that wouldn’t die, boxing would rise up to fight again.
It wasn’t just the naysayers, though. Boxing can be its own worst enemy. Mismatches have hurt the sport. Nowadays, most of the big fights don’t get made. Or at least, the fights that fans want to see.
They (the promoters) likely fall back on the Mayweather-Pacquiao match, a fight that should have happened seven years ago, and when it did, ended up being nothing more than a glorified sparring session for Mayweather.
The fight was a dud, but money fell out of the sky in droves.
Remember the old adage, “Greed is good”?
Boxing promoters give new meaning to this term. It’s a lark to them. They laugh all the way to the bank (hopefully they get lock jaw)
But who suffers from this extreme money-grubbing?
The fans, who by the way, are some of the most loyal followers in sports.
Thankfully, November looks very good for supporters of the Sweet Science.
November 5 will find young and hungry Jessie Vargas, squaring off against legislator, and future Hall of Famer, Manny Pacquiao.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao looked good last April defeating Timothy Bradley. Better than most expected actually. Can Pacquiao get fired up against the lesser-known Vargas?
Vargas will have no such problem. This is his big shot. If he can knock off Pacquiao, even bigger money is on the horizon.
Two weeks later, the most anticipated fight of the year goes down.
Undefeated Sergei Kovalev and Andre Ward square off in Las Vegas. This is one compelling matchup. Both guys are undefeated. Ward moved up to light heavyweight to challenge the heavy-handed Kovalev.
Ward is the superior athlete, while Kovalev takes no prisoners. Ward is intense and gritty.
Kovalev is fearless and scary. Who wins? I’ll leave that for an upcoming article.
Lastly, we have two-time gold medalist and world champion, Vasyl Lomenchenko, squaring off against former titleholder, Nicholas Walters, on November 26.
Lomachenko, like Ward, is moving up in weight to fight the power-punching Walters, nicknamed “Axe Man.” Lomachenko is like a Picasso in the ring, using angles to brush off his opponents and paint them with hard shots when necessary.
Walters has scary punching power. Just ask former champion, Nonito Donaire, who fell to his knees after sampling a vicious blow.
And there you have it. Boxing returns for the umpteenth time from the abyss, to entertain, frustrate, and astound us.
Just like Frankenstein’s monster.