Friday, May 24, 2024  |

By The Ring | 

Come Out Writing

BRING BACK THE BOB & DON DAYS

Is it just me, or does it seem like there are hardly any big fights anymore? I’m not talking about good fights between unknown fighters. I know there are plenty of those all the time. I mean like no PPV-worthy fights or cards where you have your friends and family over to watch. No Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia, no Lomachenko-Haney or Shakur Stevenson vs. anyone. No Teofimo-Prograis or Taylor, no Canelo-Benavidez or GGG vs. Charlo or Andrade (OK, Andrade vs. anyone might not be PPV-worthy, LOL). 

I have to be honest. Most weeks now I forget about boxing because it seems like guys care more about their social media posts and their reputations than actually getting in the ring and fighting. Can you imagine a round-robin series of fights with Bud, Spence Jr., Ennis, Ortiz Jr., Taylor and Thurman? They are either scared of losing or their management is protecting them or I don’t know. Who wouldn’t salivate at watching Beterbiev vs. Bivol or Canelo, or Usyk vs. Fury?  

There are a lot of great fights possible, but I don’t get excited anymore. I waited years for Spence and Crawford and I believed they would fight one day, but now …??? I’ve lost interest because it doesn’t seem like they care to make it happen. 



I miss the days of Don King and Bob Arum putting on big fights at least a few times a year. I am a huge fan of the Filipino Flash and the Matrix, but their best days are behind them. GGG too. I hope that history gives them the credit they deserve. I remember in the ’90s, I believe Don King put on a few cards that included guys like Tyson or Chavez in the main event AND Trinidad and others like Gerald McClellan and Ricardo Lopez on the same card!!! Those were the days! Oh well. Keep up the good work on the Ring Magazine and website!

Pedro Rodriguez
Pewaukee, Wis. 

 

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S RESPONSE: Thanks for the kind words, Pedro. I miss the ‘90s too. We didn’t know it at the time, but fans were spoiled with the amount of high-profile events and elite-level matchups that occurred every year.

I’m not going to pretend that the sport can ever be that active and relevant again – the cover to this issue pretty much says it all – but I still want to carry a glass-half-full attitude as the 2020s unfold. Right now, that glass is looking barely a quarter full, but it’s worth drinking.

The Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia showdown we all want was close to being officially announced at press time. The fighters have reportedly signed the contracts. We’re just waiting on the networks. Why? Read our cover story, “Boxing Is Broken,” for Steve Kim’s take on the “network divide.” 

Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko (note that I put the reigning champion’s name first) is also close to being officially announced with May 20 (in either Las Vegas or New York City) as the target date. 

Stevenson returns on April 8 vs. unheralded Shuichiro Yoshino. His Newark, New Jersey, homecoming matchup is far from a PPV-worthy event, but it’s an opportunity to watch one of the brightest talents of this generation do his thing. (Don’t worry, it will be on ESPN/ESPN+, and you won’t have to pay extra for this one.)

You can forget about Teofimo Lopez vs. Regis Prograis; nobody wants to share the ring with “Rougarou.” But we might see the former unified/Ring lightweight champ take on The Ring’s reigning junior welterweight champ; Josh Taylor vs. Lopez is reportedly in the works. Taylor looked like dog shit the last time we saw him – struggling to a controversial split decision over Jack Catterall one year ago – but, hey, beggars can’t be choosers. Drink up! 

 

via crazyKOcounters on YouTube:

THE BOKSBURG BOMBER

Rest in peace, Gerrie Coetzee, one of the great South African fighters. During the ’80s and at a time when the heavyweight division was dominated by black Americans, Coetzee was no token white hope but a serious threat to any of the top heavyweights of the era, including Larry Holmes. He proved this in 1983, when, as a 5-to-1 underdog, he stopped previously unbeaten Michael Dokes in 10 rounds to take the WBA title in The Ring’s Upset Of The Year. For Coetzee, the classic underachiever, it was his third attempt. The proposed unification fight with Larry Holmes in Vegas unfortunately fell through after that. Billed as “The Dust-up in the Desert,” I think he would have given Holmes a formidable challenge.

Bradley Morris
Astoria, N.Y.

 

BOXING MATTERS

I am a lifelong fan. My earliest memories are of Leonard, Hagler and Hearns. The memories are blurry, but I am confident my father plopped me down in front of the television when these men fought. 

April last, I was diagnosed with cancer. Most of my strength came from my wife. My sisters helped a great deal. Next, it was my daughter to whom I reluctantly disclosed my illness, but only after the illness became obvious. Then it was my young sons, whom I refused to inform until I hopefully had good news to share. 

It may sound crazy, but through it all I heard Jim Lampley’s voice in my head, over and over again, saying, “For most of us, life is in some way a fight.” I fought. My thoughts of Boxing helped me through this. Reading RING, lying in a hospital bed at 3 in the morning as noisy ambulances came and went in downtown Chicago, helped me through this. Your readers need to know that. 

I had 12 rounds of chemotherapy. After the final bell, I walked my two boys, ages 10 and 9, out to center field of Edgebrook Park where they play baseball, and told them everything.

Anthony
Des Plaines, Ill.

WRITE TO THE RING!
Like to share any thoughts, rants or boxing knowledge with our readers? Email us with your comments at [email protected].