I had a moment yesterday… a surprising realization. shocking actually.
i was adjusting the volume, and my attention, back and forth between the ufc card (jon jones vs lyoto machida) and the hbo card (khan vs. peterson).
then it began to look like both main events would overlap and i'd have to choose which one to pay more attention to.
now the fact that i had to even consider this is ridiculous to me. i don't even like mixed martial arts. have only seen a handful of fights. (the last one i saw was the ufc on fox match between valesquez-dos santos and that was because it was playing on one of the screens in the bar that was showing pacquiao-marquez III). i'd estimate that i've seen maybe 30 mma fights total. ever. hell, last saturday alone i watched 7 boxing matches!
and i am addicted to boxing right now. it's no exaggeration to say that when i'm not working, i spend the majority of my day consuming boxing. making the rounds on the boxing sites, watching past fights on youtube, listening to boxing podcasts while hiking, searching #boxing on twitter, and lately plumbing the sports illustrated archives (currently making my way thru articles written in the 80's).
yet i chose to watch ufc.
now it turns out that the main events didn't overlap. but i was thrown for a loop that i had picked mma over boxing. but the reason is simple. in the ufc, the best are matched against the best. in boxing, not so much. it's like a treat when, on paper, there is a fifty-fifty fight.
yesterdays events were a great example. over at bloodyelbow.com, four of the sites writers picked jones, the other four picked machida. a true 'pick-em' fight.
the odds for khan-peterson were 10/1. and it's not just the main event. i don't follow mma at all, but from what i read on various sites, it is the norm that the main event is a pick-em fight and that the undercard is stacked with pick-em fights as well. not many showcase fights, if any.
we were all raving last week about the great undercard for cotto-margarito. on paper, it was a great undercard and main event. sadly, this happens so infrequently that it's a big deal. often it's chavez-manfredo jr, or a night of alvarez-cintron and showcase fights for broner and gary russell jr.
another example that exemplifies this is the article scott posted today on tim bradley being the big pr winner of last nights khan-peterson fight. bradley fought alexander 11 months ago. a pick-em fight. a good fight on paper between two top guys and bradley won. now if this were ufc, bradley would fight khan next. it's a no-brainer. but this isn't ufc, it's boxing. so instead bradley had promotional issues and sat on the shelf most of the year until he fought, drumroll please…….joel casamayor. a fight that no one wanted to see.
it's frustrating. at it's best boxing is the best sport. the politics of boxing are doing their best to further marginalize this sport and alienate the fans that love it. it's great fights like last night's khan-peterson that keep me coming back for more.
but sometimes i wish i could enjoy watching mma more cause the politics outside of the ring/cage are easier to take.