Monday, March 14, 2016

Are Today's Top Young Boxers Entitled Millennials?

Some just want to get rich while taking it easy

Back when I was in my twenties, my friends and I didn't see ourselves as being  members of Generation X. Oh, we fit the demographic by birth, but there was something about the image of a typical slacker - some mope who had no interest in taking part in the general workings of society -  that rubbed us the wrong way. Looking back on it now I see that, in a lot of ways,  my friends and I were - you guessed it - typical  Generation X slackers.

Enough of me and my generation, though, let's talk about today's youth, the much maligned Millennials. As an associate professor at a local university, I see these kids all the time. And guess what? I like 'em. A lot. Sure the most whiny, and tisky ones of the bunch get on the news, but by and far these kids are all right. Indeed, they're far more empathetic and  moral than Gen X was in it's day. Believe it.

Still, there are some generalizations that ring true with this group as a whole. And just like my friends and I were typical Gen Xers without even realizing it, a many young people in today's Western World are acting like entitled millennials in a lot of ways. And that includes top young boxers.

Current middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, for instance, won't defend his title at the middleweight limit. Like a student in a differentiated classroom, Canelo wants exceptions to be made for him. The same goes for middleweight Billy Joe Saunders who, legend has it, came right out and said he wasn't ready for Gennady Golovkin, even though both men are champions in the same weight division.

Indeed, it's accepted as fact that some highly paid young fighters don't feel like they have to go out and actually earn the big bucks when they can be well compensated for easy bouts. You know, entitlement. Things like opponent avoidance, catchweights and difficult negotiations have probably been around as long as the fight game, of course. Never before, though, have they been as prominent. And that suggests a generational attitude change.

Let's hope some of these kids grow up quick.

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