Friday, April 29, 2016

Why Boxing Is In Desperate Need Of Fighters With Confidence

Be on the lookout

There once was a time not so long ago at all where I felt both Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz had a chance to beat Guillermo Rigondeaux. Sadly, it appears I had more faith in both men's ability than they themselves did. Why? Because they've both gone out of their way to avoid poor Rigo in order to face each other. To make matters worse, both men are being applauded for facing one another. More on that later.

Right now let's focus on Frampton and Santa Cruz. You can say both men are ignoring Rigo for financial reasons. You can say both men are avoiding Rigo in order to move on to greener pastures. You can't say, however, that both men are exuding confidence. I don't believe that for a second and neither do you. Nope, there's more afoot here than smart career maneuvers. There is obviously a distinct lack of confidence at play when it comes to these men keeping away from Guillermo Rigondeaux.

In this, however, they are not alone. Canelo Alvarez seems to lack confidence when it comes to the prospect of facing Gennady Golovkin. Or at least his handlers do. Angel Garcia essentially asked aloud why a fighter should challenge himself when he didn't have to. Perhaps if Angel had more confidence in his son Danny's ability he wouldn't be asking questions like that. And let's not even get started on Adonis Stevenson.

Here's the truth - boxers aren't cowards. Modern boxers, however - at least those of note - tend to lack confidence. If they didn't, well, we'd see the best fight the best. And we're just not seeing that. At least not on a regular basis. Men who are willing to risk life and limb in the ring are shying away at the prospect of being underdogs. They also apparently believe they can't save their respective careers from damaging losses, even though men like Tim Bradley and Alvarez himself clearly indicate otherwise.

There's something else concerning in all this, however - and that's the role we modern fight fans play in this sad state of affairs. As I mentioned earlier, lots of people are thrilled at the prospect of Frampton fighting Santa Cruz. Great fight, they say. Besides, they argue, Rigo is boring. Who needs him?

Ask yourself this - could you imagine your average football, soccer, baseball, basketball or tennis fan employing the same mentality? Of course not. And that's why boxing's fan base is so much smaller than it could be. There's no real drama at play anymore, no way to find out who's the best, At this rate, boxing may someday be reduced to a pro bowling sized fan base.

And we fans will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Don't Be Surprised That GGG-Wade Brought In Decent Ratings

The fact of the matter is that people tuned in

Let's face it, 2016 has been a pretty rough year for boxing. The winter was a pure dead zone, with Spanish Language television essentially acting as the only steady outlet for fight fans. As for the rest of the year, well, let's just hope for the best knowing that Canelo isn't really interested in Golovkin and mid-level fights like Crawford-Postol look like they're actually going to cost fans money to see.

In short, there's been good reason why people have been down on boxing lately. There can't be a down if there isn't an up, however, and HBOs ratings for last weekend's GGG-Wade middleweight title fight were very good indeed - the highest of the year so far, in fact. Even though the million plus sets of eyeballs that were glued to Saturday's brief fight are nice to read about, they shouldn't be surprising.


Because HBO gave the fans what they wanted last weekend. Canelo or no Canelo, fans clearly wanted to see Golovkin ply his trade, much like they did Mike Tyson back in the day...and HBO was rewarded for putting the man on the air last weekend. Again, no one should be surprised. People want to see GGG, so his fights do well.

Likewise, Thurman-Porter might do very good ratings early this coming summer because it's giving fans what they want. Indeed, the ratings for Fury-Klitschko II will do solid ratings, even though that fight will most likely air smack in the middle of an American Saturday. Why? Because it's actually an interesting matchup, believe it or not.

The point here is obvious. All you have to do in order to have a healthy sport is to air healthy programming. That's if you actually want a healthy sport and not just a healthy bank account for the short term.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gennady Golovkin Is Scary

The opposite of scary

Okay, so we all knew GGG was a pretty sharp razor walking into Saturday's fight with poor, way over his head Dominic Wade. After all, Gennady Golovkin has been tearing through the competition for years now. The problem, of course, is that few, if any, major names have been truly willing to face the man.

This led to there being question marks about the guy's skill. After all, good fighters - especially those who hit hard - have a knack of looking good against less than stellar opposition. What would actually happen, we all wondered, if and when Golovkin met some legit competition? Sadly, we may never know the answer - at least not while the man's in his prime.

What we can assume from Saturday night, however, is that GGG is no hype job. It isn't that Wade was a step up in class - it's that Golovkin was nearly disturbing in his destruction of the man. When you've been watching the sport as long as I have (don't ask), you truly do get a sense of things. Take Tyson, for instance. I remember watching him before he was a household name and, believe me, those of us who watched the guy from around the start knew. We just knew.

And now, after watching GGGs utter destruction of Wade, I can tell you that GGG is the real thing. Why? Because, just like thirty years ago, I just know. Golovkin isn't just dominant. He's scary. And scary doesn't come around too frequently in boxing. Dempsey. Liston. Foreman. Tyson. Am I missing anyone? The truth is that Golovkin has that once in generation fear factor element. And no, it isn't processed by the HBO ringside team. It's legit.

I don't like the fact that the guy's avoided, but I understand. This is the type of man, in the ring at least, who nightmares are made of.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

How Long Can A Boxer Ride The Hype Train For?

After a point, one has to look reality dead in the eye

First things first, I'm a boxing writer, not an MMA writer. I've been asked to write about MMA before, but have politely refused as it's just not in my wheelhouse. Having said that, I think it's a legit and interesting sport. In other words, I'm not one of those boxing hipsters who bashes the damned thing. I think MMA is great - I simply think boxing is better.

With that in mind, this whole Conor McGregor brouhaha has piqued my interest, Why? Because it reminds me a lot of boxing, that's why. Here we have a young guy hyped beyond all rational thought, a man who we were told could essentially beat anyone, anytime, anywhere. Except of course, he couldn't. And now he's publicly making waves.

You MMA experts out there are free to call me out on this, but McGregor looks like he may be a decent enough fighter who was hyped to be a great fighter...and is now lashing out because he suddenly realizes his own limitations. In a sense, he reminds me of boxers over the years who endured such humiliation.

For example, Primo Canera is largely said to have been a mob hype job. Sure, he attained the heavyweight championship of the world, but when he finally had to face a serious threat in Max Baer, the results were as brutal as they were humbling.

Adrien Broner is a more modern example of the hype job. The sad thing about Broner, of course, is he probably could have been so much more. But frankly, that's on him. As it stands, the fight world was left with a very talented fighter who was sold as the heir to Floyd Mayweather - even thought the evidence clearly suggested otherwise.

It took a run-in with Marcos Maidana for the world to see the truth - that when you let your skill level plateau, you become more show than go. And that makes you a hype job. Perhaps like McGregor, people mistook real talent and brashness for greatness. Both guys have emulated Mayweather. Unlike Mayweather, however, neither has been able to back up his self-promotion.

All of this, oddly enough, points to one Canelo Alvarez. Although Canelo is a far more likable individual than Broner or McGregor, fans are starting to wonder if the man is now riding on a bit of hype. Make no mistake about it, Canelo is  VERY good boxer. Why isn't he facing Gennady Golovkin, however? Why the avoidance?

Popularity and earning potential is great, but it doesn't equal greatness. The history of boxing has been littered with the names of amazing athletes who were conveniently pushed aside. Fighters used to be able to avoid menacing competition by saying they wouldn't fight someone of another skin color. Now fighters due the same thing by pointing out a threatening opponent's lack of popularity or potential earnings.

It's all very white collar these days - and all very much complete bullshit.

So, how far can can a boxer ride the hype train for? If the above examples are any indication, not very far. Team Canelo, however, may be trying to push the envelope. Let's see how long the ride lasts. Who knows? Canelo may ultimately end up living up to the hype. What a treat that would be...a guy who could back up all the talk without resorting to being a big mouth like McGregor or Broner.

Here's hoping.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What If Canelo Loses While The GGG Fight "Marinates?"

Things worth pondering

What little interaction I've had with Canelo Alvarez has been impressive. Here, my friends, is a real gentlemen in a world of blowhards and hype jobs. In case you haven't guessed it - I like the guy. I also think he's a lot of fun to watch in the ring. Canelo fights are rarely boring, after all. There's a problem afoot, however, and that problem is called Gennady Golovkin.

Most people, after all, feel Golovkin would essentially beat the hell out of Canelo in the ring. It appears promoter Oscar De La Hoya himself is aware of that distinct possibility, because he keeps trying to push back a fight between the two men, claiming the bout needs to "marinate." For those who aren't up to date on catch phrases, "marinate" is cute-speak for a potential fight becoming more lucrative. Needless to say, marinating is good for Oscar, himself a good guy and solid promoter, but not so good for the fans - or for GGG himself.

Boxing's new breed of fans are entirely in Oscar and Canelo's corner on this, mind you. You can read their comments on boxing websites where they declare that Canelo is the "A-side," and that people who don't like the way things are need to "deal with it, bitch." Thing is, the new breed is, thank heavens, in the minority here. Most fight fans are sports fans, not reality TV fans who live vicariously through the earned wealth of famous figures.

There's something else for Oscar and Canelo to be concerned about, though - what happens if Canelo loses while his fight with GGG marinates? What if Khan somehow shocks the world next month? What if Manny Pacquiao were to somehow miraculously do to Canelo what he did to Oscar years ago? What if David Lemieux were to land a haymaker? What if Miguel Cotto were to have the fight of his life?

What then?

You, I, and everyone else clearly know what the answer is.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Who Is The Top Fighter In Each Division? Here's Your Answers.

Who sits atop the hill? 

Ruling organizations, hyper marketing and confusion have made title belts lose an enormous amount of luster. Sure, championships should generally count for something big, but right now they're nothing more than marketing tools, it seems. So, who is REALLY the top fighter in each division? Check out the list below...and let me know if you disagree.

Heavyweight - Tyson Fury. Wladimir Klitschko was the man, then Fury beat the man. It's as simple as that.

Cruiserweight - Krzyszto Glowacki The man took Steve Cunningham to school last weekend...a very determined Steve Cunningham. Enough said, really. 

Light Heavyweight - Sergey Kovalev Until someone comes along and proves otherwise...

Super Middleweight - James DeGale Perhaps the most under-rated practitioner in the sport

Middleweight - Gennady Golovkin No one wants to fight this guy. Say no more.

Junior Middleweight - Erislandy Lara Talk about a guy who never gets the props he deserves.

Welterweight - Tim Bradley Frequently ignored, it seems, by everyone but Pacquiao and perhaps Brook. Conveniently so. 

Junior Welterweight - Terence a hair. Viktor Postol awaits, Bud. 

Lightweight - Anthony Crolla The way he beat Darleys Perez in their rematch puts him atop this heap.

Junior Lightweight - Nicholas Walters I know, I know, he should have faced Loma. He's still the man here at Junior Lightweight, though. 

Featherweight - Gary Russell Jr With Loma moving up in weight, there can be only one honcho...and no, it ain't Santa Cruz

Super Bantamweight - Guillermo Rigondeaux See Gennady Golovkin

Bantamweight - Shinsuke Yamanaka Undefeated in 27 fights with a classical, effective style. This division is his. 

Junior Bantamweight - Naoya Inoue  Carlos Cuadras is good. I just think Inoue is a little better. 

Flyweight - Roman Gonzalez Perhaps the best fighter in all of boxing

Strawweight - Akira Yaegashi Sure, Gonzalez beat him once, but Yaegashi is still the boss 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wonder Why The TV Ratings For Boxing Are So Bad? Ask Radivoje Kalajdzic

You don't need a great education to notice the problem

So, ESPN's Dan Rafael has just reported, via Twitter, that the ratings for last night's PBC card on NBC were most certainly not good. This, of course, is too bad. For Errol Spence made his mark on the world this past weekend by besting a game name opponent like Chris Algieri in fantastic fashion. If you haven't seen the fight - and it appears that billions haven't - then by all means, check it out. It's good stuff.

Having said that, the numbers were still disappointing, as viewership for primetime PBC cards seems to be declining these days. People will undoubtedly scratch their heads and wonder aloud why this could be, but the answer - or at least one of the answers - is pretty clear. No one trusts the powers that be in boxing. It really is that simple.

Boxing is now at the point where there's so much bad judging, so much unsportsmanlike maneuvering and so many BS titles that casual fans literally don't have a clue what's happening. Seriously. We watched the card with a friend last night who wasn't a fan and he had no idea how things worked outside of two people throwing punches. Why doesn't the better fighter always advance on to bigger and better things? How could judges give incompetent rulings? How in the world can anyone tell who the best fighter in a division is if the best can't or won't face off?

My friend is not a stupid man and these were not stupid questions. What other sports fans in the world would be as sure of an impending  bad decision as boxing fans were after the final bell rang for the Marcus Browne -  Radivoje Kalajdzic bout on last night's undercard? Browne got the decision after holding and being dropped and absolutely no one I know was surprised that the judges gave him the nod.

Wonder why the TV ratings for boxing are so bad? Ask Radivoje Kalajdzic.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Is Klitschko Being Written Off Too Soon?

Someone want to offer an opinion?

Let's face it - Wladimir Klitschko lost and lost soundly to Tyson Fury late last year. In my humble opinion, the mouthy Englishman got into Klitschko's head and won the fight through bullying tactics long before the two entered the ring. Since then, well, things have been exciting in the heavyweight division. Indeed, everyone seems to be acting as if the former heavyweight kingpin is long retired. Is this a mistake, though?

The truth is that Wlad and Tyson will be getting it on again this summer. That's a big fight if ever there was one. And if Wlad somehow finds away to adjust his frame of mind and style, he may once again find himself on top of the heavyweight heap. I can hear you moaning already and I understand. For Klitschko, nice as he is, is nothing if not a stoic, less than thrilling fighter of the continental European variety.

In other words, the man isn't suited stylistically for Anglo-American, Central American, or South American tastes. Still, Wlad is good. Quite good. And yeah, there's a chance he can best his antagonist soundly when he meets the obnoxious Fury once again this summer. That's something people should keep in mind.

Having said that, Klitschko's heyday is most likely at an end despite what happens in his next bout. For even if he wins, there's clear evidence that the tide is changing and that a new breed of heavyweight is emerging. With that in mind, however, it's worth wondering whether Fury is the face of a new era, or is simply  the person who rang it in.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Will Mayweather-Pacquiao II Really Happen?

You just can't force people to get excited

Like you, I find the idea of Mayweather-Pacquiao II ultimately exasperating. While it's true these are still probably the best fighters on earth - even at their advancing ages, it's hard to see the positives in all this. Chances are, after all, that the fight would be like the first one - not bad, but not great. Oh, it might be a bit more competitive than the original go round, but it still wouldn't be worth the attention it would inevitably receive.

More importantly, though, I - probably like you - want to see the sport move on. Senior tours are fine and all, but they shouldn't be what the sport is all about. When Leonard fought Hearns the second time around back in '89, it was a big deal, sure, but the sport was well into the Tyson era by that point. In other words, there was a new generation at the forefront. The older guys were just the cherry on a very big sundae.

How much things have changed. Now we have to have Duran potentially fighting in an exhibition in order to bring in pay per view buys. Sad, really. Still, a Floyd-Manny retread isn't the answer everyone's looking for. A new era led by new stars is. There's guys like GGG, Bud Crawford, Keith Thurman and Anthony Joshua out there. There's good fights to be made and possibilities to get excited over.

Yeah, things may be quiet for a bit on the pay per view front, but that's because fighter's haven't been allowed to organically develop in the way that they used to. We live in an era of Adonis Stevenson and Danny Garcia, not Leonard and Hearns. And so, yeah, it's going to be a bit before new stars make the leap from boxer to household name. It can happen, though, if the powers that be would actually step back and let it happen. Mayweather-Pacquiao II might arguably only hold things back.

With that in mind, however, I'd be sure to check it out.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Why I'm No Longer Impressed With Carl Frampton

Has Frampton turned his back on purists?

Believe me when I tell you, I used to be impressed with Carl Frampton. Truth be told, I had him pinned way back in 2013 as a man who might, just might, be able to beat Guillermo Rigondeaux. Looks like we'll never find out. And unless I'm sorely mistaken it's at least partially because Frampton and manager Barry McGuigan want nothing to do with the Cuban slickster.


Because there's more money to fight Leo Santa Cruz. For the record, Leo is a lot less of a challenge than Rigo is, too. Make of that what you will. Call me old fashioned. Call me stupid. Call me naive or even cruel, but I want to see the best fight the best. To me, boxing is a sport first and a business second.

And Carl Frampton's avoidance of Guillermo Rigondeuax tells me he and/or his camp put business first. It also strongly suggests that team Frampton is afraid to face Rigo. What's more, it suggests that team Frampton feels modern boxing fans are okay with fighters looking like, wait for it, ducks. Sadly, there are indeed many new breed boxing fans who applaud Frampton for playing it smart, avoiding the best challenge out there, and cashing in with easier work, but there are other types of fans, as well.

The new breed of fan may still be the controlling force of modern boxing, but it's power may be eroding. People really, truly do like to see the best fight the best...and they look down on fighters they feel avoid facing the best. Just ask Canelo Alvarez, who was extremely popular not all that long ago. Now he's just starting to look like a fighter with a strong fan base.

In short, Frampton won't get away from Rigo scott free. His name will always follow Frampton around, straight through to the Northern Irishman's eventual retirement. He may be avoiding an inconvenient foe, but Frampton is also weakening his own legacy. Perhaps he doesn't care. Fans such as myself do, however.

And there's more of us than some may think.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Is Manny Really Retired?

Stuff to ponder...

First things first - Manny Pacquiao looked terrific last night. Criticize all you want, if it were anyone but Manny, his showing would be universally lauded - as it pretty much is already. Before we go any further, though, let's give some props here to Tim Bradley, as well. The man is an amazing fighter in his own right. The bottom line is there's simply no shame or detriment in losing to certain timelessly elite individuals, and yeah, Manny is one of those. the man truly retired as he claims? Or almost claims? It's hard to tell, really. Truth be told, it seems like PacMan's family wants him out of the ring for good. What's more, he's running for a pretty high office back home in the Philippians. If he wins - and I suspect he will, though I haven't read any recent polls - it will take a whole lot of his time.

Still, as I've written elsewhere, boxing is like a siren song for aging fighters. It just keeps luring them in towards the rocks with promises of future accolades and copious amounts of cash. Let's face it, there has to be a certain rush to winning at a Manny Pacquiao level, as well. Then, of course, there's a certain Las Vegas native who himself has claimed to be retired. The two men have met before. Could it be possible that -

The truth is that one never knows. Manny-Floyd was widely considered a dud last year, true, but when aging fighters like Mayweather and Pacquiao continue to be better than their younger peers, it's only natural that people call for a second act. I suspect that Manny-Floyd II won't happen, though. The whole thing would just prove too knotty and headachey to pull off a second time.

That doesn't mean Manny is necessarily finished, however. There's a lot of talented young blood he could show up right now, after all. Should he though? Sometimes it's best to do what's right for oneself and one's family rather than one's fans.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Will Pac-Bradley III Be A Pay Per View Dud?

Let's not all get too excited here

Will the third Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight be a pay per view dud? I frankly have no idea since I'm a boxing writer, not a marketing analyst. Still, I think there's a lot wrong here, which is too bad, since I'm actually eager to see this fight go down. The undercard is good, too, which makes me even more eager to watch the festivities. Again, however, there's a lot wrong here.

First and foremost, this third fight between these most excellent fighters is most certainly NOT a pay per view affair, at least not at the price being charged, it isn't. As I've written before, this has the makings of one of the best HBO fights around, a ratings bonanza, not a PPV epic.The high cost of doing business with top level stars, however, has led to something no one I know of really thinks is a good idea. It's a good matchup, sure, but fans shouldn't have to pay just because of fighter's salaries and production costs.

There's also the matter that fans are tired of the whole Manny-Mayweather era. People want to move on. It's only natural. To insist that last year's big tickets are still this year's big tickets borders on insulting, especially when more interesting matchups could have been made with the talent involved.

Lastly, there's the matter of Bob Arum. Sure, he used to work for RFK, but boxing is not the place for liberal politics. Indeed, it's not the place for ANY politics. Fans tune in to get away from that sort of thing and now Arum's brought the already bombastic 2016 presidential election into the boxing ring with him.

Exasperating stuff.

Like all fans of the sport, I'd like to see boxing succeed. If Manny-Tim III tanks out on pay per view, however, the people behind it have only themselves to blame.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Win Lose Or Draw, Tim Bradley Deserves Credit. Here's Why.

Bradley's path has never been one of least resistance

Look at Tim Bradley's resume and try saying the man hasn't had an impressive career. Here's a guy who has fought absolutely everyone he's been able to. How many other name fighters can the same be said of in this day and age? In a sense, Bradley is the antithesis of the popular modern boxer. He works hard, he's not flashy, and he takes on all comers.

Which brings us to his third go round with Manny Pacquiao this Saturday. I personally think Desert Storm may pull it off this time, but even if he doesn't it's time to give the man the credit he deserves. He's Hall of Fame material by virtue of his list of victories alone. Never mind that first controversial Pacquiao fight. Let names like Provodnikov, Marquez and Peterson seep in. These are serious opponents the man has bested.

At the moment, Bradley suffers from the fact that he's essentially all go and no show. He's what we think we want in a fighter, but really don't. People don't expect the pay per view numbers for Pacquiao-Bradley III to do well. Just imagine how through the roof they'd be if the bout were between Pacquiao and the less capable but more colorful Adrien Broner instead. That's something worth thinking  about.

Still, there's little doubt that Bradley has managed to be exceedingly successful at the fight game. He's quietly earned a fortune while also earning the belated respect of fans. Now it's time for the guy to earn the love. Lesser fighters have gotten a lot more accolades than the California native has. There's something essentially wrong with that picture.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Can Gilberto Ramirez Beat Arthur Abraham?

Ramirez wants to be more than a face in the crowd

Some people may find Arthur Abraham to be old and over the hill. That may be so, but make no mistake about it, the old hand knows how to fight. Say what you will about the Armenian-German fighter, but Abraham brings it each and every time. It's also more than likely that the guy can still take out a wall.

Indeed, I'm almost looking more forward to Abraham's fight this weekend against undefeated contender Gilberto Ramirez than I am for more ballyhooed bouts featuring Bradley, Pacquiao, Martin and Joshua. For Ramirez is a man on the rise, a man who can give Abraham a real run - and also hand him a defeat - if he fights intelligently.

For Ramirez is far taller than Abraham. He's also shown that he has some heavy hands. Lastly, he can be patient. Last year, for instance, Ramirez remained disciplined rather that charging full speed ahead after he started scoring effectively against Gevorg Khatchikian. Yet Ramirez had claimed before that fight that he had to work on his defense. Sure enough, even though Ramirez won the bout by way of unanimous decision Khatchikian was still able to land.

If Abraham is able to land during the fight with Ramirez this Saturday, the up and comer from Mexico may find himself in real trouble. Naturally Ramirez wants to make his mark since he'll be fighting on the Pacquiao-Bradley undercard. He doesn't want to make his mark as the guy who Abraham turned the lights off on, however.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Why Do Some Boxers Get Preferential Treatment?

Why aren't some deserving fighters allowed to get a piece of the pie? 

I see it all the time and so do you - a particular boxer getting preferential treatment. Why, we ask ourselves, do certain fighters get catered to while others are left wanting?

Because, sadly, preferential treatment is part of the culture of professional boxing. Believe it. Since at least the time of John L. Sullivan, some boxers have been getting the okay to climb the ladder of success, while others have been held back from reaching their full potential. Don't believe it? Then ask yourself why Sullivan was allowed to refuse to defend his title against a black opponent back in the day.

This whole thing goes beyond ugly racial history, however. It has a lot to do with money, with the fact that, unlike other sports, boxing doesn't always require its participants to work for a goal in an objective manner. Sure, a champion will have to face a top contender, but sometimes it's worth wondering how that contender actually BECAME a top contender in the first place.

Indeed, boxing is entirely arbitrary in a lot of ways. Unlike The World Series, The World Cup, Wimbledon, The Super Bowl, The Kentucky Derby or any number of  major sporting events, boxing's big winners often aren't winners because they were the proverbial last man standing after the proverbial dust  settled. They're oftentimes winners because they've been managed well.

Look, boxing is the greatest sport in history - but the truth is the truth. And the fact is that it should be more competition-based rather than marketability based. Would we fans want that, though? How many fans would prefer it if so called "boring" fighters like Rigondeaux and Ward simply vanished into the ether?

My guess would be a whole lot. It's okay for us to criticize the sport we love, but sadly we sometimes have to accept the fact that we the fans are also part of the problem.