Boxing doesn’t get covered on this site because there are plenty of good boxing sites out there and I don’t see a real need to try and mix the two sports here on this blog.
However, I used to be a big boxing fan back in the day and still occasionally watch big fights that are on HBO. This past weekend there was an excellent fight between Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik.
Taylor, the defending middleweight champion, dropped Pavlik to his knees in round two. The two fought at a brisk pace at the start of the fight before settling down a bit. But the back and forth action between the two fighters was pretty entertaining. According to most of the scorecards, Taylor was winning a close fight until Pavlik knocked him down in the corner and the ref called a stop to the fight.
It was a dramatic win by Pavlik, who has quickly become a fan favorite because of his crowd pleasing style that is somewhat comparable to guys like Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward.
While boxing has someone in Pavlik that could bring new fans to the sport, promoter Bob Arum may have went overboard with this one quote that appears at BoxingScene.com:
“I just think that he’s going to revive boxing in the Midwest and it’s going to spread to the rest of the country. I’ll tell you, this was the biggest blow to the UFC since the sort of competition began because all the young kids are going to come back to boxing. There is nothing in UFC or any of this martial arts bullsh*t that compares to this.”
This is just another in a long line of statements about MMA from Arum that are completely delusional. Pavlik’s win was great for the boxing business but it will in no way have an adverse effect on the UFC and MMA.
I also find it kind of ironic how Arum is trying to pin boxing’s hopes on Pavlik. I’ve only seen three of his fights so I’m not going to proclaim to be an expert. However, from what I’ve seen, he appears to be the same brawling type that appeals to many MMA fans. He’s certainly a skilled fighter, but he’s more of a puncher than boxer.
I just think it’s hypocritical for Arum to tout Pavlik as a savior with his “rock ’em, sock ’em fighting style” when he rips on mixed martial artists for employing a similar style. Boxing purists like Jim Lampley love to say boxers are more skilled than mixed martial artists and always trot out the “sweet science” tag line.
Well, where’s the science in the fighting styles of both Pavlik and Ricky Hatton, two of boxing’s fastest growing stars? Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing them fight and I’m not ripping on Pavlik or Hatton. I am ripping hypocrites like Arum that claim MMA fighters aren’t athletic, are unskilled, and don’t have defensive boxing skills yet when brawlers like Pavlik and Hatton come along, suddenly that style of fighting is okay.
Boxing fans get behind guys like Gatti, Ward, Hatton, and Pavlik yet fighters such as Taylor, Winky Wright, and Floyd Mayweather — fighters who exemplify the term “sweet science” — aren’t universally accepted in boxing because they favor technique over punching.
It’s just kind of funny that boxing really doesn’t listen to its fanbase on a consistent basis yet is still able to generate billions of dollars on an annual basis.