As Boxing Turns Another Page Into the New Year.
What has been a year of ups and downs and highs and lows, boxing nonetheless, has remained unstable, inconsistent, and yet exhilarating. For fighters and fans, so much has transpired this year: from stunning one-punch knockouts to major upsets from the most unexpected prospects. The complete demise of Roy Jones, Jr., shocked everyone. Not once, but twice being knocked out in consecutive fights, reducing the once invincible superman of boxing to a mere common mortal. For years, Jones could not be stopped, at least, that's what a lot of us thought, until a man name Antonio Tarver exposed superman's deadly foe, a counter punch! Who would have thought?
For some, the battle for heavyweight supremacy seems to be enough to give even the most die hard boxing fan a severe migraine. Can any one really keep up with the heavyweight shuffle, and who will ultimately reign as champion? Vitali Klitschko proved on Saturday night that he deserves to be at the top. He impressively dismantled Danny Williams, even so much as peeking the interest of one retired ex-champion in Lennox Lewis, who is currently contemplating a return.
There has been much to talk about in this year. Trinidad's triumph return, to Evander Holyfield's pathetic exit, or not, one hopes that he calls it quits. A new prospect, in gold medalist Andre Ward, who debuted as a professional fighter this past Saturday night on the Tarver/Johnson fight card. A possible war between champion Ronald “Winky” Wright and Felix Trinidad, and the fact that “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Oscar de la Hoya both moved in weight classes. If one takes the time to think about all the possible events that could occur in the year to come, it really makes for good boxing speculation, if nothing else. The future of boxing seems brighter than ever.
As in every sport, there is some amount of controversy, and boxing is not exempt. From the alleged steroid abuse associated with the Klitschko's, to money issues between managers and promoters with their fighters such as the issue with Shelly Finkel and current IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy. Nonetheless, such issues come with the territory, all parties deal with the situation and move on, ask Mike Tyson and Don King.
As 2004 marches out, and 2005 moves in, resolute to support the sport we call boxing, with more fan input and support, boxing will once again be the sport of true champions, not these ABC paper champions walking around with titles and belts they did not truly deserve. As our past champions did when fifteen rounds was a part of the tale of the tape. If boxer's feel the support of the fans, they would excel for the fans.
Katrina Walters can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org