Saturday, January 23, 2016

Can A Boxer Be Considered Great By Virtue Of Being Avoided?

Some are just going to walk away from a challenge

Here's a question for you on this snowy January weekend - at least it's pretty snowy here in Connecticut - what happens if Gennady Golovkin never gets to fight a top opponent while he's in his prime? What if the same thing happens to Bud Crawford? Sergey Kovalev has defeated Bernard Hopkins, but what if he never gets his chance to meet either Adonis Stevenson or Andre Ward in the ring? What then?

It's a sad commentary on the state of modern boxing, but it may be time to start asking ourselves if a fighter can truly be considered great just because his skill level was so high that all his peers - even the great ones - stayed clear of him. While I think GGG will probably get a superfight while he's still in his prime, I really can't be sure with the way team Canelo has been acting. And seriously, is anyone at junior welterweight to welterweight going to be that excited to face Bud Crawford?

These are modern fighters were discussing here, after all, not the Ray Leonards, and Roberto Durans of yore. Laugh all you want but Kim Karashian has arguably had an enormous impact on our society by virtue of proving that you can reach and remain at the pinnacle of success by doing nothing of merit (hell, even Madonna cut some good tracks). Fighters may have arguably followed suit - in other words, the more talented among the ranks just may not find value in seeing what they're made of.

Where, then, does that leave the real pros? Back in the day there was a fighter who went by the name of Peter Jackson (not to be confused with the director). John L Sullivan, the biggest athlete/celebrity/pro fighter at the time, refused to fight Jackson because Jackson was black (it was  easy to hide behind the color barrier back then). James J Corbett fought Jackson to a brutal draw at one time (the fight went on for several hours if I'm not mistaken). After Corbett won the heavyweight title from Sullivan, however, he didn't give Jackson a rematch.

No one really knows who Jackson is today, save for a few of us (yourself included as of this moment). Do  the likes of GGG, Crawford and Guillermo Rigondeaux really deserve a similarly obscure fate as the unfortunate and unjustly treated Jackson? It's a question we should start asking ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment