If A Tree Falls In A Forest Does It Make A Sound ….. ?
This I believe is a very apt phrase and it probably best describes this weekend’s debacle or we’re led to believe is what the boxing fans yearn for in terms of a bout. We’ll have two aging fossils in Bernard Hopkins (50-5-1, 1NC, 32KO’s) and Roy Jones Jr (54-6-0,40 KO’s) enter the ring in a rematch of their now classic tussle from 1993. The bout was won by Jones with a unanimous and was a middleweight fight. Jones and Hopkins were two of the premiere fighters not only of that era but also within the division. Though the rivalry cannot match that of a Hagler Hearns or Hagler Leonard ! The two did bring the fans to the bouts when ‘they fought the elite’ within the division.
On Saturday April 3rd the two will meet in a live PPV bout at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Complex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight is being promoted by Oscar de La Hoya’s – Golden Boy Promotions Inc., of which Hopkins is a co-partner and owner in the boxing promotion’s company. Jones, himself, has a stake in this as well, as he’s also a co-promoter of the event through his own company. Though if anything his financial gain or reward will be nowhere near that Hopkins. The ‘two’ will share the $ 7 million dollar purse that is being split 50/50 but the ancillary earnings such as the gate receipts and the anticipated revenues via the PPV ($44-95/$49-95) hits will be split in Hopkins’ favor (60/40). That’s not something Jones was amenable to at first but given that “his career” has been on the decline over the last five years at least , he had to make do with the offer.
The action between an aging Hopkins and and a ram shackle Jones may not be as exciting as watching two elephants mate.
Given the timing of this bout and the lackluster performance given by Joshua Clottey in his unanimous 12 round verdict loss to Manny Pacquaio . This is hardly the bout that I for one feel, will be a huge draw much less a real crowd pleaser for the fans in attendance or those watching via the tv broadcast ! There’s more excitement to be elicited from watching two pachyderms (elephants) mate than watching these two fossils at this stage of their careers. As to whether or not it’s in the best interests of the sport or the long suffering fans to witness this bout. Let’s just say , the aforementioned statement that I premised concerning mating elephants, in an earlier paragraph , still stands. And why shouldn’t it ? Will you be willing to spend that much money on the main event and a somewhat lackluster under-card to witness two aging fighters whose best years are behind them ?
The publicity shpeel begins concerning Hopkins vs Jones II . The animosity between the two hasn’t yet dissipated between the two. Whether or not the animosity and hatred between the two is mere hype or simply being done to garner the publicity needed.
As the title of this piece would suggest “…………If A Tree Falls In A Forest Does It Make A Sound ….. ” ? I’ll let you be the judge of that ! But for myself it is becoming abundantly clear that boxing as a sport no longer resonates with the fans en masse’ . If anything fight fans are more inclined to gravitate towards mixed martial arts (MMA) and the energy and excitement that can be derived from watching the events now being staged by UFC .
Though both camps have been doing all that they can to hype up the bout and the undercard program . A nationwide tour and overseas marketing hasn’t exactly set the world alight with anticipation for the bout. If anything it has been lackluster in terms of the perceived importance being attached to the event. Hopkins may well be seeking vengeance for the the middleweight loss when the two met for what was then, the vacant middleweight title. But since then, any dominance attained in the true sense of the word, has been acquired by Hopkins with his reign and supremacy within the middleweight division. Even now within the category he’s sorely missed , as the champions there, are marginally average at best !
One can now only ponder the future of the sport . Because once the likes of Pacquiao , Hopkins , Jones and Floyd Mayweather have retired, the sport will become ominously silent . And as I suggested you won’t be able to hear if a tree falls in the forest and discern the sound that it might make. That’s how ominous the signs have really become for the sport.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………….
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