There are so many contradictions in boxing.
I often find boxing’s contradictions amusing. There are many.:
Boxing writers, media, fans, etc.: Because he is a cheater using PEDs, Fighter A shouldn’t get credit for his victories, should be suspended longer, and the sport has no integrity unless and until such cheaters are forced to suffer lengthy suspensions. Unless cheaters suffer lengthy suspensions, and there is rigorous drug testing, cheating never will end.
Also boxing writers, media, fans. Fighter A, who tested positive for illegal drugs, is the best pound for pound fighter in the world because he went up several weight classes and is dominating. Can’t wait to see him fight so and so. When is he fighting again? (We don’t really care if he isn’t being tested, or if he cheated in the past. No problem if the testing standards are altered to be more lenient. They all are cheating anyhow, aren’t they?)
Addendum: Fighter A needs to be drug tested. If he won’t be drug tested, he’s a cheater with no integrity, and deserves no credit.
Last time there was drug testing: He didn’t look so good. What’s wrong with him? Must have had an off night. His opponent was better than we thought. Maybe he isn’t as good as we thought. Can’t wait for the rematch (with no drug testing).
No drug testing on this fight: Crickets. Can’t wait to see this fight. What a great performance. Pound for pound fighter.
Boxing writers, media, fans: These title belts mean almost nothing because they all are corrupt, mandatories are unearned, belts are stripped unjustly if a fighter takes a more important fight instead of some ridiculously undeserving mandatory, if the fighter doesn’t want to fight the deserving mandatory he just goes and gets a different belt or a belt in a different weight division, the best aren’t ranked #1, they don’t rank other belt holders, and really sanctioning bodies are manipulated as marketing tools by promoters/fighters, who truly own them with financial backing/payment of sanctioning fees, and there are too many titles, so many that they mean very little.
Also boxing writers/media/fans: Oh, Fighter A is a somebody, a real champion, a great threat, special, legendary, because he won this and that belt, won so many belts, in so many weight divisions, you have to have a belt for us to televise you, this fight means something because it’s for a title belt.
Addendum: Why does fighter A always avoid the best guy or guys in his division? He doesn’t deserve credit as champion if he never fights the next best guy. Yeah, he got a belt, but so what?
Also: He is pound for pound best because he won all these title belts in all these weight divisions. A real champion.
Boxing writers/media/fans: This is a dangerous fight for Fighter A. Fighter B is going to put up great fight. Super excited.
But then Fighter A blows out Fighter B: Who has fighter A fought lately? Fighter B was a bum/shot/overrated/protected/media hype job. When is A going to fight someone tough who can take it and fight back and give him a real fight?
Others: Fighter A dominated Fighter B, a really good fighter, proving just how great he really is.
Fighter A struggles with Fighter B: Fighter A is overrated and not as good as we thought. He barely beat B.
Others: Fighter A is a great fighter. He fought a really tough guy and won, proving he can win a competitive fight and overcome adversity.
Fighter A doesn’t fight the next best guy: Fighter A is great, and even if he doesn’t fight B, he’s still a great fighter. But a fight with B would be the best fight in boxing.
Others: If fighter A doesn’t fight B, then he is a coward and his legacy should be tarnished.
Fighter A fights the next best guy in the division, and loses: Fighter A got exposed. He wasn’t much; always thought he was overrated.
If Fighter A doesn’t fight the next best guy, boycott his fights until he fights the next best guy, B.
Fighter A fights D instead on Pay Per View: Media promotes it, fans pay for it, Fighter A makes really good money, further ensuring A will continue to avoid B.
Historians: Fighter A is an all-time great and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He beat so-and-so, looked so good. Such a great era.
Also: Fighter A is totally overrated. He avoided so-and-so. He fought old guys. Guys from his era were ordinary.
Record: Great record. Fighter A fought everyone. So many great wins.
Also: A’s record wasn’t that great. So many losses. Beat a lot of bums.
Comparing eras: Fighters of yesteryear couldn’t compete with fighters of today. Knowledge improves, training methods improve, physical talent improves, nutrition improves, just look at world records, fighters are faster, stronger, and more skilled today. Nowadays, boxing is international and offers more opportunities to more fighters, without discrimination, and with the population explosion, there is more talent out there. The pace of yesteryear was too slow and there was too much clinching.
Also: Fighters of today couldn’t compete with fighters of yesteryear. Back then they were so much tougher, hungrier, in better shape, more experienced, fought longer fights, fought more often, weren’t as protected, there were so many more fighters and fights, with a deeper talent pool, only one belt, not so many weight divisions, greater competition, had to beat the best to be the best, didn’t need to cheat with PEDs like today, and fought with tougher rules - had to weigh in on the day of the fight, fought with smaller gloves, and the judges penalized cautiousness, clinching, lack of aggression or leading, and failure to land effective blows.
Adam J. Pollack is an author and owner of Win By KO Publications. See winbykopublications.com.