Sunday, October 6, 2013

What a difference a week makes in boxing


It was a just a week ago on Saturday night that the sport of boxing had itself another Britney Spears moment when they "Oops, did it again." What they did was rob a deserving Bryan Vera after he had fought his heart out and clearly defeated former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. on points. A fight, originally scheduled to be 12 rounds, was fought for only 10 and I, along with most outside experts, had Vera winning eight of those 10 rounds; maybe only seven if I wanted to be generous to Chavez.

However, why would I want to be generous towards Chavez? What has he done to deserve anything; especially a gift decision from three so called ringside experts? All he's done is get suspended for nearly a year due to his lack of discipline when it comes to smoking the wacky weed of marijuana. Yet, this is not a slight towards marijuana smokers; it's a slight towards a spoiled brat who has not displayed any reason to think he is deserving of any glory that is attained from being a true boxing champion.

However, let's forget the lack of discipline when it comes to recreational marijuana smoking and focus on the lack of discipline towards his craft. A fight that was originally scheduled to be contested at 160 lbs., had to be adjusted numerous times because the lazy Chavez, Jr. would not put in the necessary work to make the weight. Thus, while Vera was primed to weigh-in at the agreed upon middleweight limit, he had to concede to fight the privileged namesake of his legendary father at nearly the light-heavyweight limit of 175 lbs.

Yet, besides all of that, he doesn't even have the courtesy to acknowledge that Vera took it to him and that he wasn't truly deserving of the victory. Instead, he made like his parental predecessor and came with nothing but excuses, claiming that Vera was continually using dirty tactics in the ring such as hitting low and head butting. Chavez, Jr. and that decision are what continue to hurt the great sport of boxing.

Ah, but wait; just when you think the glory days of boxing are dead, then comes along Miguel Cotto. A three-division champion who has had a storied career and at (38-4, 31 KO's) has lost only to the elite of the sport; Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Austin Trout. I, nor should anyone else, include Antonio Margarito in that class; let alone acknowledge that loss to Margarito considering what he has been found guilty of and Cotto clearly exposed in their second bout.

On Saturday night, Cotto (pictured above) was coming off two consecutive losses in his career, the first time he had experienced such a thing, and at 32 years old many, including myself, thought his best days were behind him. However, considering the true champion that he is and always has been he proved us all wrong. Never once making any excuses for his consecutive short comings against Mayweather and Trout, Cotto realized "defeat only meant there was something wrong in his doing," as the late Bruce Lee once said.

Thus, he turned to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach who basically took the former champion back to the basics and what made Cotto such a scary fighter to begin with; a stalking, punishing body attack that is climaxed with a vicious left hook to the body and head. The result was a less than three round pummeling of former two-time world title challenger Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-3, 16 KO's).

Miguel Cotto is a shining example of what the sport of boxing needs and should strive to be; a championship caliber athlete who is dedicated to his trade and does so while constantly displaying dignity and class. I know that's a lot to ask in the shady world of boxing, but in just one week we went from the worst the sport had to offer to just about the best. What a difference a week makes in boxing.

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