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Has Boxing Stepped Over the Line, With Trash/Hype Talk?

Michael Woods

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Today is Monday, and it’s a new week.

It’s the week after boxing fans, and then sports fans as a whole, if they were paying attention, heard WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder go back to the well, and talk again about wanting to bag a body.

I’d like to fatally KO a foe, he told writers and videographers, and that was a repeat of something he’d told Charlamagne Da God.

The blowback was stiff, if not across the board. But yes, in many corners and pockets of the game, people took offense. My friend Will Classen did. He Tweeted out a plea to Wilder to please re-think that method to generate buzz, asked to have a meeting with the big man, to communicate his worries. He knows of what he speaks…Will was a boy who grew up without a Daddy, after his father Willie Classendied from trauma absorbed during a 1979 bout against Wilford Scypionat Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum.

WBC boss Mauricio Sulaiman took a public stand as well:

Much media weighed in on the kerfuffle. PBC’s Mike Coppinger gave Wilder a half pass:

Keith Idec of Boxing Scene did well to scan the archives and summoned some specifics; he spoke to George Jones, who was and never will be the same after his fists inflicted fatal damage on Beethaevean Scottland in a 2001 bout, in NY. “It never leaves your mind,” Jones told Idec.

One hopes it sinks in, and wiser souls take Wilder aside and tell him, Kid, it ain’t worth it…Don’t risk the bad karma in exchange for getting more buzz, earn a slightly bigger bag. Cut out the I wanna bag a body talk…now.

So, on Monday, then, we also saw Paul Malignaggi deliver a pretty epic rant on Artem Lobov at a Bare Knuckle Boxing Championship presser, in NYC, to hype a June 22 PPV main event and card, promoted by David Feldman.

 

HAS BOXING STEPPED OVER THE LINE?

I will be honest, the language was XXX, some of it very, very crude. But I wasn’t revolted by the chatter. It is possible I’ve become de-sensitized to this sort of heated talk. I mean, boxing, to me, it’s an adult sport–and I understand what the main desire is for most practitioners….to knock out their foe. So, I’d expect the language to at times to reflect the nature of the exercise. But I realize my standards are not universal. Many, many others think this sort of talk crosses a line.

I received this DM from a long-time fan of the sport:

I never thought I’d see the day when MMA was classier to watch than boxing. They have gone from beer bellied bar bouncers to well-trained, classy, highly skilled fighters – for the most part, Conor notwithstanding, while boxing seems to be trying to cater to the punks and idiots who used to cheer on MMA fights while drunk out of their minds. Sad to see.

So, I put it to you…Do you agree with that guy?

Has boxing sort of gone off the rails..and lost its way regarding how many some of the fighters go about hyping themselves and their scraps? Do you think Wilder will see the light. And…Is there a particular reason why, you think, the hype chatter is getting more sensational?

Talk to me!

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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