Not the sport but the art itself. Nazim Richardson said no one fights like Bernard Hopkins anymore. Andre Ward is boring, Chad Dawson has a boring style. I've heard the same thing said of Floyd Mayweather, Anselmo Moreno, James Toney, and Pernell Whitaker believe it or not. Have we as fans been spoiled every so often by the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez, Mike Tyson, Gatti/Ward, and Manny Pacquiao that we don't appreciate the art of boxing like we do the art of fighting?
I mean how hard is it to fight? Anybody can throw punches until someone gets blasted out. If you want to see a fight just go to the parking lot of a high school around 2:45 or outside the bar where two men brawl over a free round of drinks or a prison yard where two inmates fight over a pack of cigarettes and an extra dessert at lunch. Fighting in an organic sense is easy, it's primitive; but boxing is something totally different. As I said it's easy to fight but how many people know how to box?
How many people can learn the art of counter punching, develop timing and defensive intelligence? To learn how to slip and duck punches and follow up with the counter, or to neutralize the most effective aspect of your opponents style. Guys like James Toney learned from Bill Miller by watching old tapes of Ezzard Charles, you look at someone like a Pernell Whitaker who could stand in punching range and not get hit because he knew how to use his upper body to slip punches. We all love the action fighters but is that all fans want nowadays?
Have we neglected the art in favor of entertainment and a more certain violent outcome?
What will it take for the likes of Andre Ward, Chad Dawson, Anselmo Moreno and other defensive boxers who while many say have boring styles, you have to appreciate their ability, what will it take for those guys to become stars? I was on Twitter and mentioned the fact that Chad Dawson defeated five former world champions and of the five every single one of those fighters were ranked in the top ten of their weight class (Antonio Tarver, Tomasz Adamek, Bernard Hopkins, Adrian Diocanu, Glen Johnson) and yet Chad can only sell tickets in Montreal against a fighter from French Canada.
And finally will we start to see a more watered down product where fighters are brawling more and boxing less because the financial appeal and the fanfare warrants guys to go out and just throw without thinking? Well I take that back because it's not as simple as two guys throwing without thinking. I mean will we see more wars and less chess playing in the future?