Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's Tommy Farr All Over Again

Every Welshman (and woman) over 80 knows that Tommy Farr beat Joe Louis in the Yankee Stadium in 1937. Hadn't they heard the fight on the radio, and the American crowd booing the fixed result ?

I'm no great fan of the boy racer, cyclist clipper and swiper of pedestrians on pelican crossings, but it does sound as if Amir Khan got handed a similar verdict.


Anonymous said...

Boxing isn't real fighting, the ref sets the pace and does so according to what the money men want.

Real combat is here:
Last year 25 events were held, and usually between the top guys in the division.
Not the farce that goes on in boxing with a guy with 20-0 record going against a no hoper.

Boxeo said...

>Boxing isn't real fighting, the ref sets the pace and does so according to what the money men want.

Neither is UFC. No gouging, biting, or weapons. 5 minute rounds. Smooth, soft floors. No fighting to the death. Gloves, genital protection etc.

Besides, why should approximation to "real fighting" be a worthwhile criterion for a sport, anyway? Boxing tests physical strength and athleticism married to extreme skill, dedication, durability and heart. At its best (I'll admit that the sport is badly organised at the present time and has seen better days) it provides moments of timeless drama, excitement and pathos. Remember Gatti-Ward, Ali-Frazier, Corrales-Castillo?

I've yet to see UFC, or any variety of MMA, provide these things. Notwithstanding the fact that it may in general resemble a "real fight" slightly more than boxing does, as a spectacle it rarely rises above the level of two men appearing to make violent love to one another.

Anonymous said...

Admit some early MMA fights were boring, usually if two 1 dimensional fighters cancel out each others main skill.
But recently its improved.

The Gloves are knuckle guards and very small compared to a boxing glove.
(Which again is a problem with boxing, the gloves are so big, they are used as a defence aid.)

Gouging, biting, weapons, to the death.

Boxeo said...

>>Gouging, biting, weapons, to the death.

Indeed. Since real fights might easily involve all of these things, the attempt to compare two sports on the basis of whether one of them is more like "real fighting" is totally absurd.

I might add that in practice, a "real fight" might easily resemble boxing more than MMA depending on the circumstances. If there are multiple fighters involved, dropping onto your back like an upended cockroach to invite "ground game" may not be a good idea.

Taste can't be disputed - I wish MMA fans all the best. But MMA for me just fails to exhibit the characteristics that I love in boxing. For example, in boxing there's nowhere to hide - if a guy is hurt, he has to stay on his feet and tough it out, use his skills or fight back harder than his opponent. In MMA, if a guy is hurt by a punch he can wuss out and lie on his back - I don't care if this is supposed to be "real fighting", I don't find it entertaining and I don't think it provides a test of the character traits and level of skill that I want to see tested in the fighters.

Furthermore ground game, whilst it may involve a great deal of skill, is just dull and as far as I see it's still dull in 2011 (boxing can be dull, but not regularly and predictably so). Likewise chess is skilful, but that doesn't make it entertaining to watch.

Ground game is also undignified; I don't feel that the human spirit is being exalted when I see a couple of sweaty guys spending minutes on end pressed against each other twitching and writhing. Hitting someone in the face while he is pinned to the floor is also considered dishonourable in real life.

Anonymous said...

Absurd because even Roman gladiators didn't always fight to the death, yet no one could claim they weren't really fighting.

Fighters can't drop onto their back to avoid the fight..
Its upto the attacker to force the fight to the ground if thats what they want.
If a guy simply drops on the ground and refuses to get up the ref could disqualify them.

try watching:
Frankie Edgar vs Grey Maynard
Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida
MaurĂ­cio Rua vs Dan Henderson
Wanderlei Silva vs Cung Le
BJ Penn vs Nick Diaz

And those are just recent fights from last 3-4 months.
Whereas for good boxing matches you had to mention one that was 40 years ago.

Yes boxing in days gone by was good, I was refering to the boxing of today in my original comment.

Boxeo said...

I had trouble find any of those fight videos on youtube. However I did find highlights of Frankie Edgar vs Grey Maynard. What I saw was plenty of action. But as usual, UFC strikes me as both aesthetically displeasing or chaotic, and primitive or dishonourable.

I don't think that UFC is tougher than boxing (see Antonio Margarito's last two fights for example). But I do think that boxing is a sport for a more civilised age. I see a guy sitting on the other guy's back, hitting him in the face from behind. To me that's behaving like an animal, and not something I value in a combat sport.

This goes hand in hand with the ugliness of this kind of fighting. A guy gets hurt, does a back somersault, starts running around the cage with the other guy chasing him, they are falling all over the place, slamming into walls and grabbing each other. For those who prefer order and subtlety, and are willing to forgo instant gratification, again boxing is superior.

Regarding fighters dropping onto their backs: I appreciate that in UFC the fighters can't stall the action indefinitely. But if a guy takes a punch, even a few seconds breather gained by taking the action to the ground allows him to recover. And for this reason, UFC will never see a fight as great as the boxing fights that I mentioned.

The great fights in boxing involve fighters having to stay on their feet despite despite being put under huge pressure from their opponent - by design, this can't happen in UFC. That's why I mentioned a 40-year-old fight (although there are many great fights from all eras of boxing); this is a kind of greatness that MMA combat will never reach.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention Frankie Edgar vs Grey Maynard happened 3 times. First was not so good, second was good but ended in a draw that disappointed both sets of fighters and supporters.
The third was the best one.

Yeah it would be difficult to find them on youtube because they are fairly recent and get taken down, sometimes people put them up and they remain on for a short time.