|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.