Boxing Rants: Rivalries in The Sport

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Boxing is back on its feet after experiencing a hiccup with the Pacquiao/Mayweather fallout.  The PacMan will be fighting in less than two weeks’ time, although against a less-popular opponent in Joshua Clottey.

And Floyd just had a press conference to launch his own fight, against the welterweight champ Sugar Shane Mosley.  This fight will undoubtedly be a bigger fight than the Pacquiao-Clottey match.  The question is, how much will it outsell the Pacquiao fight, who only has the PacMan as its “name” fighter.

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If I had a dollar for every press conference brawl that happens these days I’d be a millionaire two times over.  Sure there are the genuine hate-filled altercations like the Barrera-Morales fracas before their rematch, but the majority of these shenanigans are just that, shenanigans.

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You can tell a lot about the two biggest stars in boxing today in their respective press conferences for their separate fights.  While PacMan engaged in jovial banter with tough Ghanaian Joshua Clottey, Floyd Mayweather Jr obliged Shane Mosley with a mock shoving match replete with the usual trash talk.

Well, it has worked for Floyd before, so I guess he shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke.

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Filipino and Filipino-American fighters have been in a slump like real estate prices in the latest recession.  Z Gorres, Brian Viloria, Ciso Morales, Marvin Sonsona.  Gorres won his match against Colombian Luis Melendez, but paid a heavy price after he collapsed in the ring and had to undergo brain surgery.  Morales and Sonsona both went down from body shots and were counted out.  Viloria was knocked out defending his title in Manila.

Nonito Donaire and Bernabe Concepcion maintained their countrymen’s spirits with good wins, though.

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Although most expect the PacMan to win against Clottey, boxing remains one of the most unpredictable of sports.  And with Pacquiao’s warrior blood mixing with Clottey’s defensive shell and granite chin, the fight is still a compelling one.

And if the PacMan does what nobody else has done and knocks out “Blood” Clottey, expect a barrage of doping accusations yet again from Mayweather’s camp.

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There always seems to be rivalries in boxing these days:  Pacquiao and Mayweather; Golden Boy and Top Rank; HBO and Showtime, each one as intense as the other.  Rivalries among these non-boxing entities are at least as interesting as those that involve the actual fighters.

I guess bad blood is as good as it gets these days.

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There’s a ton of really interesting fights on the horizon not involving the two most popular figures in the sport.  Pavlik-Martinez, Lopez-Concepcion, Ortiz-Campbell, Berto-Quintana.  All these have the potential to add a casual fan into the sport.  But there’s really nothing that can approximate a possible Pacquiao/Mayweather showdown.  Let’s all hope it gets made later this year.

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