ESPN: Boxings Patron or Part of the Problem?

Boxing GlovesRecently the Boxing Program Director of ESPN Doug Loughrey had been the focus of some much unwanted attention. In January he and TV personality Teddy Atlas got into a much publicized shouting match over how matches were agreed upon and brought to the ESPN airwaves. This altercation led to the one week suspension of Teddy Atlas. Even more recently Doug Loughrey appears to be making this perception of impropriety even more crystallized by getting between boxer and trainer and offering legal advise were it is very much not wanted. See the link below for the situation in detail.

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&id=12621

You know I was a casual fan of boxing, maybe a bit more then casual, in the 80’s through early 90’s. I then got busy and the lack of coverage and televised fights drove me away. It was only two years ago when my travels forced me to spend 4 to 5 nights a week in a hotel room that I became a true fan. Watching ESPN classic showings of matches gave me something to look forward to in the hotel room.

This crap is the type of thing that could turn me right back off again. It seems criminal to me that you can’t watch any names at the top of the game without shelling out $50.00. If you want to split the PPV you have to find a few friends that actually give a flying fart about a sport they all gave up years ago. To see a fight in person for one of these names you need to travel to one of a few cities that seem to host them. Then for local fighting give it up. Because of the lack of coverage half the cards seem to get cancelled and promoters continue to swear they will “never return” due to a 10% occupancy at the arena. Then of course we have the sanctioning bodies who couldn’t sanction a tarot reading if any real oversight was in place. We have fighters that don’t or won’t fight real competition. I think Floyd is the best fighter out there but you know what….who cares if he isn’t going to fight. If you aren’t going to do anything but do the victory dance then fine but lets stop arguing about your talent as your talent is no longer relevant.

I can deal with the frustrations above but when the last real vestige of free viewing of the sport begins to look as tainted as we are all told it really is, well it really starts to get you down.

Don’t get me wrong. I really, really love the sport. It does frustrate me that it seems a sport that I alone of anyone I talk to in real life seems to care about. But in reality am I the only one who gets a little down on these type of articles and the business decisions that seem to be driving the sport into the nosebleed seats of the sports arena?

Sorry for the rant. Just a bit ornery today I guess.

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