Over the course of the past year we have seen the rise of a disturbing trend amongst a sport that has seen some of the very finest warriors battle for supremacy and respect over multiple decades.
It is a discipline that commands commitment, heart, and a fierce desire if you are to reach the pinnacle of the fight game. Over many years and since my own childhood we have been fortunate to witness truly epic showdowns, and the rise and fall of many fantastic athletes that have sacrificed everything in order to become a World Champion.
Boxing itself is littered with inspirational role models that have struck a chord with so many people from all walks of life. Numerous fighters have had to break through from poverty stricken backgrounds to carve out a living, and many other people are bred into a world that can be so unforgiving. Alas, these boxers have given hope to the unfortunate, and credence to the motto impossible is nothing.
Going as far back as the 1960’s Muhammad Ali was the original maverick superstar that refused to conform to his expected status in that era’s society. He was an Olympic Gold medalist that turned professional and went on to win three World Heavyweight Championships, attained through some of the greatest showdowns in the sports lineage.
Ali dedicated his adult life to mastering the sweet science of Boxing. His outlandish and controversial attitude transcended the sport as his battles were not only waged inside the ropes, but also as he fought for social and racial equality for ethnic minority’s around the world. In doing so he left a untouchable legacy behind as the man who gave hope to so many.
Both Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno came from broken homes in the 1980’s and engaged in contests that thrilled nations as each man pushed their mind, body, and souls to the very limit for the opportunity to be crowned Champion of the world.
Iron Mike’s namesake Tyson Fury is another tale of inspiration and success that has been previously covered at this magazine. It ranks as an uplifting tale of triumph over adversity of the highest caliber.
You can also read that article here if you click on this link: Tyson Fury: The Real Life Rocky
With each of these names the common denominator is the fact that each and every victory has been bred through many years of hard work and great sacrifice.
Chris Eubank’s career in the 1990’s is one that I feel holds the most relevancy here however, as it would be intertwined with both tragedy and triumph. The most memorable feuds of his career would come with the Dark Destroyer Nigel Benn and Michael Watson.
Eubank vs Benn was a classic rivalry that encapsulated everything that we loved about the sport, barnstorming battles between men with a deep dislike for another, battle lines were drawn as two elite warriors in their athletic prime slugged it out. Eubank’s would narrowly escape with his championship after a win and a draw in the two fights.
Unfortunately the latter contest with Michael Watson is notorious for all the wrong reasons, as Watson’s loss resulted in hospitalization and a coma for the Londoner. In turn both himself and Eubank’s lives would never be the same again, as Watson’s near fatal injuries left him struggling to walk and talk for a very long time.
Thankfully he is now able to walk, talk, and communicate comfortably after many years of grueling physical and emotional therapy. However, he is confined to a wheelchair for the vast majority of his daily life.
Eubank’s himself confesses to carrying the guilt and mental scars for Watson’s suffering to this very day, despite both men touchingly becoming close friends after such a horrific incident.
This unfortunate tale must sound the alarm for any man or woman who choose to lace up a pair of boots and step into a Boxing ring. What these fearless warriors do is extremely dangerous, as their livelihood and very existence is placed on the line every time they head into battle.
People have lost their lives and many have suffered catastrophic life changing injuries. Therefore for any celebrity to think that they can waltz into a ring and glove up against any seasoned professional fighter is both foolhardy and reckless beyond belief. It is one thing for amateur’s to face one another, but when you have musicians and Instagram influencers calling out hardened combatants I fear that this current façade is going to only end in tragedy before too long.
Enter Jake and Logan Paul, two brothers barely out of nappies in the sport, sharing a total of four fights between them. Youtubers and former Disney actors by trade, they astonishingly share a belief that they belong in the same breath as the likes of the great Floyd Mayweather who retired undefeated after a glittering career. Having fought the most fearsome fighters of this generation such as Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, and Canelo Alvarez.
Both men are extremely vocal in press conferences and across social media, claiming to be knockout artists whilst calling out various UFC fighters, which I find laughable on so many different levels, as the reality itself speaks at a much higher volume.
Jake’s three victories have come against a fellow Youtuber, an ex NBA player, and a ageing retired UFC fighter. Whilst Logan’s one and only bout ended in defeat to another fellow Youtuber KSI. Thus, it is baffling as to how both men have the gumption to make such outlandish claims, as it has no basis whatsoever.
Jake and Logan Paul’s attitude itself is almost symbolic of this generation of Instagram influencers and Youtubers, as they look for instantaneous gratification through clicks and likes on social media platforms. So rather than through self dedication and commitment, both men feel they can bypass the core fundamentals of a discipline that takes many years to master and become an immediate overnight success.
Personally, I can only see the impending showdown with Mayweather ending in an embarrassing defeat for Logan Paul as the undefeated former World Champion is in another galaxy in comparison to the Youtuber. With that in mind I feel that Mayweather should not even be stepping into the ring with him, such is the disparity between the two.
It is a bout that is fraught with danger, and the criticism that could be heading his and Boxing’s way if Logan Paul suffers serious injury or worse would leave an indelible stain on such a highly regarded profession. Thus, I feel that it isn’t worth him tarnishing his own legacy with a man who simply hasn’t earned the right to be there in the first place.
Boxing itself does not need this kind of publicity, as true fans and supporters understand that this isn’t what the sports fundamentals and principles were built on. Furthermore, I feel that it is an affront and an insult to the legacy of the men and women who have devoted their precious time and energy to the sport and provided it with such a rich history.
The only way we can put a halt to this celebrity circus is to no longer pay lip service to this growing and concerning trend. It is said that money talks in life and it certainly does so in the world of Boxing and pay per view buy rates. Thus, if we the paying consumer refuse to draw our eyes and hard earned money to these glorified playground spats they will ultimately dwindle down to irrelevancy.
In turn, rather than watch celebrities cosplay for followers and likes, we can rightly focus our attention back to the real Boxing personalities that take part for passion, respect, and tradition.
Feel free to discuss any of the viewpoints down below.
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