Ceremonial Ten Count: A Requiem for HBO Boxing

HBOBOX

The other day, while discussing boxing in detail with a knowledgeable co-worker – and there’s a opening I never would’ve thought I’d possibly write five years ago – I casually reminded him that Saturday night’s Boxing After Dark card would technically be the final telecast of HBO Boxing after 45 years of standard-bearing quality and omnipresent, sport-influencing significance. He professed mild disappointment when hearing that the best card the network could apparently assemble as its swan song was a triple-header featuring two matches from the nascent and still relatively obscure realm of women’s boxing. I found myself neither particularly surprised by his knee jerk response nor my general agreement with it. Boxing fans are always hungry, after all, rarely satisfied, and can be exceedingly hard to impress. Continue reading “Ceremonial Ten Count: A Requiem for HBO Boxing”

Surgical Steel: Andre Ward UD12 Sullivan Barrera

ward

At the highest level, as well at various other points along the curve, there is an obvious line of demarcation separating the sports observer from the sports participant. Most everyone enjoys athletic endeavors in one way or other, but if big time sports – any or all of them – were particularly easy, most everyone would give them their very best effort, and such effort would often be sufficient to win through. Instead of watching the NCAA Elite Eight or World Championship Boxing on an action-packed Saturday night in late March, broadcast bandwidth would be choked with an endless procession of club teams and pug fighters in rote or at least never especially scintillating matchups, far removed from the presence of legitimate excellence, not to mention any effort to define it. A motivated and/or especially ignorant cynic could easily assert that that is what boxing has become anyway, or, perhaps, has always been. Continue reading “Surgical Steel: Andre Ward UD12 Sullivan Barrera”

Drop the hammer, Hammer the nail: Gennady Golovkin TKO8 David Lemieux

GennadyGolovkinWorkout68

For a taste of the degree to which boxing was both predominant within and invaluable to the twentieth century sporting landscape, one needs look no further than its numerous, enduring idiomatic contributions to the greater sports lexicon. Most are so subtle and ingrained that we don’t even realize the origin as we say them. “On the ropes,” “down for the count,” “below the belt,” “roll with the punches,” “cornered,” “laying the leather,” “going the distance,” “delivering the knockout blow,” “sucker punch,” “ringside seat,” “throw in the towel,” and so on, to infinity and beyond. It will take generations yet of studied, institutional indifference to effectively work boxing metaphor and terminology completely out of the play-by-play calls of all your other favorite sporting events, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, and even then only if boxing cooperates by finally succumbing to the all-encompassing “death” that so many observers, whether casual or, more often, anything but, have prescribed and pronounced for it over the past 25 years or so. Continue reading “Drop the hammer, Hammer the nail: Gennady Golovkin TKO8 David Lemieux”

Turtle Meets Shredder: Gennady Golovkin KO2 Marco Antonio Rubio

Golovkin

The warriors’ rugged features tell what is already a fairly intriguing story, however incomplete. Neither is any sort of pretty boy, a De La Hoya, say, or a Leonard, or a Mayweather. Both have the air of having cleared countless hurdles over the course of their hardscrabble existences, and an entrenched look of hunger that money and fame might mitigate but possibly never cure. Ring institution Michael Buffer handles the preliminary introductions before his trademarked “thousands in attendance” (in this case, an overflow sellout crowd of 9,300), who in turn thrum with anticipation as HBO’s cameras inspect the two combatants. One bounces with nervous energy while the other radiates quiet confidence, but their eyes are both lively. Continue reading “Turtle Meets Shredder: Gennady Golovkin KO2 Marco Antonio Rubio”