REFORM IN BOXING: IRONIC TRUTH, JUST FOR NOW
By Reni M. Valenzuela
Lest we lose track of the main purpose why there is need for change and reform in boxing at this juncture, we have to maintain the proper perspective. Or boxing will end up the same while the key players stray for now and forever, and as the sport returns to its vomit and wander aimlessly again in the wilderness, sidetracked.
There are always side issues and sub-issues to every main issue. Therefore we should not blow things up from their size and nature lest we get pictures out of proportions to distort the truth and mislead all of us.
It comes as a sigh of relief, just for now, knowing that two US senators are on track to do their part to alleviate the people’s frustration in the sport of boxing. The revival of the proposed legislation aims to “create a special boxing commission to oversee all matches and restore integrity to the sport… Under the legislation, all referees and judges participating in the championship or a professional fight lasting 10 rounds or more would have to be fully registered and licensed by the commission. A sanctioning organization could provide the names of the judges and referees it considers qualified for that caliber bout, but only the commission could appoint judges and referees to participate in the matches.”
The bill is actually far from polished and perfect in details. Hence valid arguments inside the chamber would have to do the job of making everything right as it is presented for formal deliberations in the US Senate. Neither the two senators who are sponsoring the bill nor the content of the bill itself are not without flaws, just as columnist Keith Terceira laid out so well in his informative article, if indeed such are the facts.
But it is enough, just for now, that the need to heal the sport is felt so strongly like never before. It is so good, just for now, to know certain prominent legislators are motivated and driven to act with urgency in resolution of the problems that have plagued the sport for so long.
And it is heartwarming, just for now, to hear a senator said two days ago on the Senate floor, “Clearly, the conspiracy surrounding the integrity of the sport and how it is managed in multiple jurisdictions.” Senator John McCain further stressed that among all the other sports, boxing is the only one in America without a strong and centralized association regulating it. He reasoned out that the ongoing controversy arising from the Pacquiao-Bradley fight “is the latest example of the legitimate distrust that boxing fans have for the integrity of the sport.”
No great and lofty idea is perfect at first. Yet we don’t let flaws overshadow the idea itself. Systemic “flaws” are usually and simply oversight which are mostly treatable by paracetamol. Corruption, however, along with injustice and conspiracies are deeply imbedded cancer cells in any human or sports organization. They are not curable by mere anti-biotics. Even the most advanced pro-biotic radical substance would be too insignificant to heal a disease that requires major surgery and the world’s ardent prayers.
If the proposed bill has headache due to stress or suffers from a stomach upset caused by acidity, we treat it with over-the-counter medicines. But if boxing or a loved one is terminally ill, we go to the emergency room and allow surgeons to do the delicate work as we are constrained to enter alone our private closets sobbing and storming heaven for mercy.
Boxing is so sick and is currently undergoing some radical procedure as it is supposed to be treated. Hard and painful, but it’s the “healing balm” needed to restore health and rejuvenate life, not “life” in the sport.
One ironic truth in boxing these days is Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao being the top two highest paid athletes today. The fans are rather confused whether it’s something to rejoice about or a news to grieve over because the fans have always been at the receiving end of countless shenanigans in countless ways and in countless major and minor boxing events for the past many years, with the Pacquiao-Bradley, being the most celebrated among the most recent ones.
The “highest paid athletes” revelation speaks of boxing being afflicted with a rare disease that “baffles” medical science and “experts.” Some promoters and pundits just don’t seem to be earth-dwellers.
Hopefully, just for now.
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