I wish boxing was more relevant. I miss the days of the dominant heavyweights like Liston, Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Norton.
I long for the days of arguing about who would beat who amongst Hagler, Hearns, Leonard or Duran.
Now, I wasn’t alive for any of this, but that doesn’t make me long for it any less. I was around for the highs and lows of Mike Tyson’s career, so I have a grasp of how monumental a big fight can be. How everything stops when on a Saturday night, the entire sports world turns out to see the best of the best fight for the championship of the world.
That hasn’t been the case for most of the 2000’s, since the Klitschko brothers essentially locked boxing in a basement and retired it to the dark ages like it is the fox hunt or something equally obscure.
Saturday night we saw how relevant boxing can still be, when Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury clashed for the second time. Much the same with a big UFC card, boxing can still dominate the sports landscape if only for a night. Look at Twitter on Saturday and Wilder vs Fury was everywhere. Every pundit, independent the sport they cover, was commenting on the fight and most were in attendance.
Alas, we won’t see anything like Saturday’s excitement from boxing for a while. Perhaps Canelo Alvarez and GGG will do battle again. Likely we will see Wilder-Fury III, there’s too much money on the table and not enough other quality opponents for either of them to walk away before they finish the trilogy.
In the mean time we will collectively forget about boxing for the next 16-months and go on with our sporting lives. But having these monumental fight nights, where we don’t have discuss the trouble with the NBA, baseball’s cheating scandal or the new NFL CBA, is a refreshing throwback to a time where Frank Sinatra was a credentialed photographer for Frazier-Ali at MSG and the heavyweight champion of the world was the king of all sports.