• The ‘sanitization’ of boxing

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    Conrad M. Cariño

    Conrad M. Cariño

    Those who were crying for blood during the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao megabout (?) in May 3 who ended up disappointed are in the dark on how boxing has already been “sanitized.”

    There are certain fights in boxing’s history that led to the “sanitization” of the sport’s history and one of them is the brutal fight between Ray Mancini and Kim Duk-koo on November 13, 1982.

    Like many boxers from Asia, Kim of South Korea wanted a world crown and showed a lot of bravado during the fight by slugging it out with the American.

    Mancini eventually stopped Kim in the 14th round but the Korean was hospitalized and died four days later. When Mancini-Kim was staged, championship fights were up to 15 rounds. So the Korean could have survived the fight literally had the bout been limited to 12 rounds.

    The death of Kim was among the reasons why championship fights were reduced to 12 from 15 rounds.

    Also put into place to safeguard the health of boxers is the standing eight-count, where a fighter who takes a flurry of punches and fails to throw back is given a respite of eight seconds, which in turn rewards the boxer who lands the punches with a knockdown and a perfect score of 10 in the scorecards. Had this rule been in place during the Mancini-Kim fight, the Korean would have survived the fight.

    Referees have also been given more liberty to stop a fight if one of the boxers takes a flurry of shots and fails to answer back with his own punches. And we have seen many fights where a referee stops a fight even if the other fighter is not yet beaten black and blue. Case in point is the bout between Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales on May 5, 2005, where in the 10th round the referee saved a hapless Castillo from taking more punches from Corrales. And come to think of it—Castillo registered two knockdowns against Corrales before the tide turned in the 10th round.

    But should we all believe that boxing is really sanitized to a point severe injuries or deaths could be avoided in the ring? The answer is “no.”

    One good argument against that is the fateful fight between Nigel Benn and Gerald McClellan on February 25, 1995, which ended in McClellan giving up in the 8th round and sustaining brain damage. Up to this day, McClellan is bound to a wheelchair and needs special care. There are boxing critics who blame the referee for not stopping the bout earlier.

    The use of the Compubox scoring system also gives fighters who can no longer knock out their opponents a chance to win by landing more punches. And even if Compubox may have its flaws, it has been widely accepted by the boxing community.

    The creation of “junior” and “super” weight divisions to the traditional list of weight classes also prevents bigger fighters from having a big weight advantage over smaller fighters, at least during the weigh in. Among the latest weight classes to be created is super middleweight (168 pounds) that addressed the large 15-pound weight gap between middleweight (160 pounds) and lightheavyweight (175 pounds).

    When Mayweather-Pacquiao was staged, there was no way it could matched the hype it generated. And given the influence of social media, the fight was really hyped off the roof.

    Had Mayweather-Pacquiao been staged up to 15 rounds and without Compubox and the rules that sanitized boxing, the American would have taken chances to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao occasionally, while the Filipino would not have resorted to simply chasing Mayweather all night long.

    But boxing today has been sanitized to a point truly exciting fights have already become rare. And here are boxing fans clamoring for a rematch between Pacquiao and Mayweather! That’s like giving license to boxing promoters to take the public for a ride another time.

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    4 Comments

    1. The reason Pacquiao was not his usual offensive aggressive self was that the weakening 13 blood samples that were taken out of him in the 7 weeks leading to the fight was too much. The 13th one was done about 24 hours before the fight took place, the 14th being done right after the fight. He was blood-tested twice a week before the fight. That should weaken even Godzilla and King Kong. It is not documented if Mayweather went through a 13-blood sampling. Of course not,.Ask Thomas Hauser or any honest boxing authority or member of the boxing media..Exposing May would hurt the boxing business, the Las Vegas casinos, and anybody associated with May. In fact, it would hurt the American economy at this time when it is hurting. The loss to May was an establishment-aided sting, probably paving the way for a lucrative rematch should Pac recovers well from surgery..I believe, though, that Pac will be shamed into retirement.unless May loses his next bout.

    2. The manny pacquiao of 2009 would have fought a much more aggressive fight than the 2015 version. Im not sure why he was so lacking in offence. Im wondering if he was juicing in 2009 & cant put in that effort without juicng & i say that also because team manny after signing the contract to fight floyd then asked if either fightes fails a test can they just get a fine of $5,000,000. Who & or why would anyone ask that question. I think manny did have an injury but i also think its been heavily embelished. I dont think its as bad as they want us to believe & i say that because had it been a severe tear of the rotator cuff both team manny & his surgeons would have paraded his xrays & maybe video of the injury once manny was opened up.
      I said before this fight it shouldnt happen & first manny should beat a top 10 rated welterweight as he hasnt beaten one of those since shane moseley. I think if manny does fight again it should be against a top 10 rated welterweight to prove he still has it as i dont think he does now at that level in that weight.

      • ​Marquez is also on Peds. Everyone knows he is with Heredia. When he fought Mayweather , he did not have Heredia around . This time he is ready against anyone, although he keeps dodging Pacquiao. Though obviously he is angling with May for a greater payday. Below are three web links to help us understand how dirty boxing has become. Poor Pacquiao – on, how got swindled by both Marquez and Mayweather. At least he is much richer than Marquez, lol!
        Part 1: http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-one

        Part 2: http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-two
        A good video rant and very accurate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJJdEbUMbks

        The Peds use is so rampant nowadays especially with Haymon fighters. I do not think it can be stopped by the establishment even if they stage the fights outside Las Vegas. Mayweather has no right right to call himself TBE since his victories are tainted with serious cheating covered up by USADA and Las Vegas, it’s the only chance to clean up the sport. Athletic Commission. VADA has to come into the picture. Only the government can make this happen, sad to say, No wonder Brady resigned from the Commission to escape the government public scrutiny, Was he involved, too? Of course!

      • The reason Pacquiao was not his usual offensive aggressive self was that the weakening 13 blood samples that were taken out of him in the 7 weeks leading to the fight was too much. The 13th one was done about 24 hours before the fight took place, the 14th being done right after the fight. He was blood-tested twice a week before the fight. That should weaken even Godzilla and King Kong. It is not documented if Mayweather went through a 13-blood sampling. Of course not,.Ask Thomas Hauser or any honest boxing authority or member of the boxing media..Exposing May would hurt the boxing business, the Las Vegas casinos, and anybody associated with May. In fact, it would hurt the American economy at this time when it is hurting. The loss to May was an establishment-aided sting, probably paving the way for a lucrative rematch should Pac recovers well from surgery..I believe, though, that Pac will be shamed into retirement.unless May loses his next bout.