Boxing: A Sport That Always Sends A Message

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor


Perhaps, the other major sports leagues should look at the sport of boxing. The MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and WNBA  playoffs and scheduled games were postponed this week all due to players taking a stand against racism and injustice. 

The police shooting of Jacob Blake  in Kenosha, Wisconsin led to all of this in the aftermath of incidents that led to deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. 

And through all of this, during a global pandemic, action on the field and in bubbled arenas came to a halt. Through all of this, the sport of boxing will continue this weekend. ESPN+ and a PBC event on FOX Sports networks, from isolated bubbles in Las Vegas at the MGM Conference Center and in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theater.

In between the fight cards, there will be moments of silence and in memories of those who lost their lives to police brutality. There will be a moment of silence for those who have been victims of police brutality and injustice.

But in boxing, it’s not only about Black Lives Matter. It’s about all. You see, the diversity of the sport has enabled so many to come to the boxing gym, and there are countless number of those success stories.

Thousands and thousands over the years going to the safe haven of a boxing gym, many do become those success stories that have been chronicled in boxing history.

You know the names and all with diverse backgrounds, Black, White, Latino, Asian. The kid with potential and aligns with a trainer that becomes a second father, and that has also opened the doors to more females that are involved in the sport.

Many of the boxing gyms, centered in the inner-city, where the  streets are considered the danger zone, are examples of diversity. They are a part of the community, where law enforcement and police officers also take an active role and develop relationships with young people.

The aspiring fighter comes to the gym and is away from the havoc of potential trouble, not to say  the other professional sports ignore community initiatives and involvement with youth.

However, boxing is different because the culture and discipline comes in the gym. The discipline and diversity of being with others continues in the classroom, at work, on the job, and at home. It follows in nearby communities for those with law enforcement.

Years have passed and the Police Athletic League is a boxing program and  common in New York City. PAL programs led to amateur and professional champions in the sport but the programs were terminated due to budget cuts.

Many of those fighters of the past, though, after their boxing careers came to a halt, would return and lead their knowledge to the aspiring fighters that would follow in their footsteps.

So with all the tension this week, and with the sports world taking a stand,, boxing will send a message this weekend about the injustice that has been seen. 

But this will be different. There will be no walking out of the venues that are now the secluded bubbles. Different fighters and their camps will be unified as they always are and express their opinion.

They will wear shirts, caps with messages of standing against racism and injustice. Fighters will have messages on their wardrobe or trunks when they get in the ring. They can’t afford losing a payday if they no show which is different from the sports leagues.

Pro fighters get paid per contract and purse, much different from the others who are contracted and the few opportunities they get are difficult to turn down.

So, yes, the sport is different. Every fighter, trainer, corner person, and promoter will be unified with their messages this weekend. They, too, will stand for no more.

They are from the inner city.  Many have been victims, as you and I may have been, remembering also that a majority of police officers are good people and stand with the community.

Boxing has always been the example of a community and police officials working together with the diverse backgrounds that surround their environment.

If boxing can do it, a sport that is always around controversy, there stands to be an answer as to how this injustice can conclude in all walks of life.

THROWING THE PUNCHES: Another major fight weekend as boxing continues to play catch up during the pandemic. 

Saturday, Top Rank and ESPN +  WBC/WBO junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez defends against Victor Postol from the MGM Bubble, a fight that has been cancelled twice due to concerns of COVID-19  Could be the fight of the year that has been anticipated.

“My goal is to become world champion,” said Ramirez, referring to getting all the belts and becoming that undisputed king of the division. 

Also, look forward to seeing junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza and Domincian knockout artist Elvis Rodriguez….

WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Laran headlines against Greg Vendetti on FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes  from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Once the longest-reigning title holder in the stacked 154-pound division, Lara returns to the ring after capturing the WBA title last August on FOX with a TKO victory over Ramon Alvarez.

The fight has implications for Lara. And this is another one of those main fights on the calendar that has an interest. Where does Lara stand if indeed he comes out of this one with the win? Possibly meeting the winner of the Jermell Charlo- Jeison Rosario unified 154-pound unification fight and Showtime/PBC PPV doubleheader event of September 26.

Lara said, “The goal for me is to unify the titles and become the undisputed champion of the 154-pound division. My body feels good and I feel I’m still the best fighter at super welterweight. Saturday night is another chance for me to show why.”

Oh, one other item. Adrien Broner is in jail again, seven days. Not shocked…. Really Oscar De La Hoya? Boxing, he says, needs Canelo Alvarez. Okay, then let’s see Canelo soon to validate his supposed No. 1 status and get involved more with youth and the community here…

Stay safe and Keep It In The Ring.Comment: Mancuso  Twitter@Ring786

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