In this day and age of polarizing political standoffs, economic debates, and occupying protests, no subject is immune to the divisive, opinionated views that exist on even the most seemingly cut and dried topic. People love conflict and for every issue out there you can guarantee that there are individuals lining up on both sides of the aisle to offer up their unintelligible two cents worth. Unfortunately, the sport of boxing is once again immersed in such a two-sided controversy, following the contentious ending to the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight this past Saturday night.
In case you missed it, Bernard Hopkins lost his WBC title by way of a 2nd round TKO after suffering a fall that injured his shoulder and rendered him incapable of continuing (plug in old-man, broken hip joke here). In most cases, that is the end of the story. You fall down, get hurt, and the other guy wins. However, due to the fact that Dawson played a large part in Hopkins’ fall, by picking him up and giving him a little shove, the fight concluded in a more indignant way than usual.
Now, you are either one of the millions that feel Dawson was out of line in lifting Hopkins off the canvas (causing him to fall awkwardly on his arthritic shoulder), or you may be of the opinion that Hopkins simply found an easy way out and took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him. Regardless, the fact remains that boxing, as an institution, is once again forced to reconcile the exasperation of a fan base that has been cheated by another pay per view charade. For those of you that spent money on the fight, you have my condolences. For those that were wise to enough to find an alternative use for your $55, I would like to personally congratulate you on having the foresight to recognize the waddling/and or quacking of a duck and the wherewithal to stay far away.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter whether Dawson was to blame, or Hopkins, or the referee for ultimately rendering a questionable TKO decision in Dawson’s favor. What does matter is that another major boxing event has ended under incongruous circumstances, leaving the buying public with another bad taste in their mouth. To put it another way, imagine going to a strip club, plunking down $55 for a table dance and watching the “performer” do an awkward backward pike right into the DJ booth just seconds into the routine. Would you feel cheated? What if the same thing happened on three separate occasions’ within a several month period? You might start to question the sensibility of your expenditure and eventually end up pursuing a more fulfilling outlet for your hard earned entertainment dollars.
Well, right now, the sport of boxing is nursing a pretty banged up coccyx due to some unintentional ring acrobatics, and it is just a matter of time before fans start to renounce their patronage for a sport that appears incapable of getting back to full strength anytime soon.