Search Updates:

Pacquiao vs Mosley Online Live Streaming

Pacquiao vs Mosley News and Updates, Online Live Streaming and Coverage, Pacquiao Mosley 24/7 by HBO

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Boxing's gaudy belts no prize for Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao

Ricky Hatton owns the International Boxing Organisation's light-welterweight title and officers of the IBO will be there at ringside in Las Vegas on Saturday night, along with a representative of the Ring magazine, happy to share in the glow of the fighter's accomplishments.

Of course, if the belts change hands, the sponsors who put their names to them will be just as pleased to acclaim Manny Pacquiao as their champion. Not that the fighters will care much one way or another, as long as their cheques don't bounce.

Certainly, they are nice accoutrements to go with the other cups, pennants and prizes they have accumulated since they were boys but, as recognition of their standing, these baubles are useful only to get them a top-of-the-bill gig on TV. They have been for a long time.

The history of the fragmentation of professional boxing's ruling bodies is long and, frankly, irrelevant now because the damage has been done. It is highly unlikely any of the four major organisations will vote themselves out of existence while there are gaudy belts to hand out, sanction fees to collect, ratings to fiddle with, favours to accept and conventions to attend in nice parts of the world.

Yet it is this carving up and abuse of power that has eaten away steadily at the credibility of an undertaking that struggles for dignity at the best of times. They are killing the sport they profess to love, and the TV executives who go along with the folly of these vainglorious men are just as guilty.

Do the fans care any more? So devalued are the belts that most of the 17,000-plus customers who will pack the MGM Grand won't give the IBO a thought and will be only slightly less indifferent towards the Ring, still historically significant in the fight game.

While they would appreciate a return to the relative stability of, say, the 60s, the hardcore among them know who the real champions are. They know, for a start, that, as of now, Pacquiao is the best boxer in the sport, unofficially crowned by common consent as the pound-for-pound champion.

This is a nebulous concept, but it at least has the merit of near-universal acclaim. It costs the holder no fee, and it is his until writers, fans, broadcasters and the other various people who make up the fight trade decide otherwise.

It is fodder for pub arguments, a throwback to the origins of prizefighting when a champion was a champion for as long as he saw off a challenger who fancied his chances and the people who paid to watch him – or bet on him – said so.

The Ring has come up with its own top 10 and it reads convincingly enough: Pacquiao (welterweight), Juan Manuel Márquez (lightweight), Bernard Hopkins (light-heavy), Israel Vázquez (super-bantam), Shane Mosley (welter), Rafael Márquez (super-bantam), Iván Calderón (light-fly), Hatton (light-welter), Celestino Caballero (super-bantam) and Vic Darchinyan (super-fly).

I wouldn't argue with most of that, although I would put Mosley at three and find a place for the light-middleweight Paul Williams and Tim Bradley at nine and 10 instead of the Ring's picks.

Carl Froch will know his last-round stoppage of Jermain Taylor did not wholly outweigh some of his sloppy boxing earlier in Saturday's fight, but he is only a fight or two away from breaking into the top 10. You could say the same for David Haye and Amir Khan.

Smokin' Joe, champion

There is a terrific documentary out on the Thrilla In Manila, from Joe Frazier's perspective, and you have to feel for him in the close-up shots of his worn and weary features as he watches a tape of that near-death experience with Muhammad Ali 34 years ago.

Eddie Futch famously would not let Joe go out for the 15th and final round, unaware that in the other corner Ali was urging Angelo Dundee to cut his gloves off so utterly spent was he.

So, Ali won. But Joe won, too. In his own mind, he did not quit; Futch quit for him. Joe, his one good eye nearly closed and his body running on empty, said he would have fought on until either he or Ali dropped and could not get up.

Someone smart said at the time they were not really fighting for a belt awarded by the ruling bodies. It was their third meeting, and they were one-all. This was the decider. And, in the course of nearly killing each other, they were, said the wise man, "fighting for the championship of each other".

That is what any great fight is. On Saturday, I think Hatton and Pacquiao will be fighting for just that, too.

Social Bookmarking

No comments:

In your opinion, how will the Pacquiao-Hatton fight will end?

Blog Disclaimer

Ricky Hatton vs Manny Pacquiao is a personal blog that aims to share online information about the upcoming fight. This blog is a collaborative effort of individuals who are currently registered members of other online community sites. Ricky Hatton vs Manny Pacquiao does not claim any form of ownership or copyright in the materials found in this blog. Most of the contents featured in this blog come from other sites. The said materials are owned by those sites where these resources are posted.