What's Wrong With This Picture?

San Francisco, CA– While I’ve certainly got a good number of people who criticize me for seeing the boxing cup half empty and not half full, when the truth is that I see the glass as 1/4 full. The reason I have this stance is that I’ve watched the game of boxing decline greatly in the past 30 or so years. There was a time when men aspired to become World heavyweight champion in the United States, but that is no longer the case. Why? Because a vast majority of Americans think that boxing is as fixed as the world of World Wrestling Entertainment.


The way the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. match (set for September 15) is being promoted on their recent press tour is a classic example of what is so wrong with boxing. Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs) is the “real” World middleweight (160 lbs) champion, Chavez the anointed WBC titleholder, this only because the World Boxing Council took away the title from Martinez, gave it to Chavez (46-0-1, 32 KOs) and declared Martinez, “Champion Emeritus.” To the casual sports fan, they don’t have any idea what in the hell this means. You might add the majority of boxing fans to that the pool of the confused as it was Martinez who beat the man Kelly Pavlik, who beat the man Jermain Taylor to become the recognized World champion.


If you look at the picture I have provided for you here of Chavez and Martinez taken recently in New York City, you’ll see that Chavez is holding the recognized globally WBC title belt, something that he was handed, not earned. As for Martinez, the man hasn’t lost in 12 years. Yeah, his record states that he lost a 2009 fight to Paul Williams. But anybody who saw that fight knows that the decision was just another scoring atrocity in professional boxing. In the rematch, Martinez nearly one-punched Williams in the after life. Williams who was recently permanently injured in a motorcycle accident, laid on the canvas so long the referee would have needed a calculator to issue a correct count.


The problem I’ve always had with most members of the so-called “boxing establishment” is that they live for moment, and could care less about the state of the game as long as they are getting paid now. With the exception of Francisco Valcarcel and his World Boxing Organization, the “establishment” does nothing about the future of boxing. Valcarcel and his group hold clinics for aspiring youth, sponsor gyms in some of Puerto Rico’s poorest neighborhoods. The WBO donates a good percentage of their monies to charity, something that is unheard in boxing outside of Don King yearly tax-write off of giving away turkeys at Thanksgiving.


True World Champion Sergio Martinez

In order to restore confidence in the American sports fan, boxing has to do a 180. You cannot televise fights like Richard Abril-Brandon Rios, Gabriel Campillo-Tavoris Cloud, which left even the staunchest boxing fans sitting there scratching their heads and thinking: “Who am I supposed to believe, my eyes or those corrupt (or inept) judges?” Last week HBO, formerly Home Box Office, aired two fights that if you called them farcical, you’d be right on the money! In both televised “exhibitions” on Saturday, the winners so far outclassed their opposition that it was sickening.


Why do they have weigh ins when the result of a fighter defending a championship at 130 lbs. weighs 147 when the first bell rings? Does this even make sense to the non-boxing fan? When you see a fight billed for the middleweight (160) championship, paper title or not, and the titleholder weighs 183 lbs. when stepping through the ropes? The only weigh ins that should take place anything earlier than eight hours before a match is a heavyweight title match, seeing there is no weight limit, which to me is another contradiction to the notion that all sports should be played on a fair and level playing field. Guys at 205 fighting foes weighing 260 lbs. is another tragedy waiting to happen.


As you can see I am not a prophet or a God, but truth be told “Boxing Is A Bridge over Troubled Water.” As much as I wish there was somebody that could wave a wand and legitimize the sport of boxing, I have to go back to the verbiage of the late ABC TV icon Howard Cosell when announcing why he was leaving boxing. “You can’t clean dirt!”

Pedro Fernandez


  • Geoffrey Sadao Prenter

    Without question, Martinez is the real champion, and he is the betting favorite.

    I have to say that Chavez has improved. He has looked good in his last few fights.

    I wonder about his use of diuretics to lose a great deal of weight between the weight-in and fight night. I’ve read that he has avoided the post-fight urine test on at least one occasion.

    Pedro, what is your honest assessment of Chavez’s abilities? Also, what is your take on his alleged use of diuretics and possibly other illegal substances?

  • Kevin
    And not to beat this topic to death but Young Blood can’t save boxing. The fighters and young blood have been the only thing about boxing that even made it palatable for the past 25 years. The fighters carried this albatross of a sport around their collective necks and have kept the damn thing alive decades longer that it would have lived otherwise but those days are over. Case in point Andre Ward – Chad Dawson.

    Both are young, in the fat of their prime fighters. They have done everything right, every step of the way. Both are the world’s best fighters in their weight classes and if you put the two of them together you are looking at a combined record of 56-1. Both are as good as it gets. This fight between them is not quite equal to but quite comparable to Roy Jones jr and James Toney in 94′.

    Jones/Toney pulled in 300,000 PPV buys. What do you think this fight is going to pull? In all likelihood, probably about 25% of Jones/Toney did and if so, this would be a dramatic improvement over the anemic numbers Dawson’s first fight with Hopkins managed.

    So freakin’ dead is this sport… The Press Conference for Dawson/Ward has held over in the area where Pedro and I live about a week or two ago and there wasn’t even any mention or coverage of it on LOCAL sports talk radio and local sports talk radio here interviews Joey Chestnut! The Hot-Dog chomper, they will cover him BIG TIME every time 4th of July rolls around… Dawson and Ward’s press conference, not even a mention.

    And it is not just Ward and Dawson, there is a lot of young blood out there. For instance Nonito Donaire whom is known by pretty much nobody in America other than Pedro Fernandez. Timothy Bradley whom is known in America by as many people who know who the defending champions of the WNBA are. Brian Viloria, I didn’t even know he was still fighting and his manager once bitched me out over something. There is PLENTY of good young blood out there. The fact that Boxing is in the tank has nothing to do with the guys in trunks (sans the HW division which is albeit is an unmitigated disaster).

  • John Signorella

    Well put and respect KP!!!

  • Kevin…

    Your saying “boxing’s always had it’s ills” today is about the equivalent of passing this off as a Playboy Centerfold who was well grounded.

    I read your post and shake my head in disbelief… Once the old blood is gone and the new blood comes in… Boxing has already lost 2-3 generations of new blood to the UFC. Mayweather and Pacquiao aside, boxing has nobody who is a draw. You claim “they said Boxing would die after De LaHoya”… I never heard that, what ‘they’ are you talking about.

    If I may be my honest, blunt self when it comes to 50-Cent… I have no reason to believe that 50-Cent can even grab his ass with both hands when it comes to boxing or the problems surrounding the sport. If it were as easy as sending in hip-hop musicians who knew boxing seven ways to Sunday. RA The Rugged Man would have solved the issues of boxing years ago.

  • You and I earn our livings doing the exact same thing Pedro… We both make money.

    If this was 1999 – 2004 and I had that fuel and had that drive and had the life where I could make the choice to do what I did back then today… HELL YES I am writing for you and covering the UFC!

    Problem here is that this isn’t a decade ago and unlike when I was covering Boxing, I’m not qualified to cover the UFC, have no reason or desire to learn it and if I may be blunt… This (yours, Doug’s and others) ISN’T the life I ever wanted…

    You have chosen that life. You chose it and made an honorable, honest and good living at it for a long time… You did everything the right way. At the end of the day… You still earn your living the same way we all do… And we all have to manage things our own way. My life path went a different direction, my writing days are over.

  • Sure, Jack….boxing’s always had it’s ills, and UFC as it stands right now isn’t worth covering from my standpoint. The sport in my opinion is just boring overall. There’s a couple good fighters but most guys are masters of nothing, and the reality is most people watch it for the striking, and the reason why many people like it is because the striking is so flawed it resembles a street fight more than anything else. Boxing need not worry about UFC. It does a good job of digging it’s own grave, with lowlife CEO’s like Shaeffer who bites the hand that feeds him but dissing fans and writers. However I think this idea that boxing is dying is a tired cliche. They Said the sport would die after De La Hoya retired and currently the top two earners in sports are boxers. Once boxing rids some of the oldtimers and gets some new blood into promoting the sport to the younger generation, it will breed new fans. To me 50 cent promoting boxing is like a breath of fresh air. He can bring new fans to the sport. However we need to get more fights that are memorable. Showcase bouts and promoters hidden agendas are killing the sport. Example, Danny Garcia wins a big fight against Khan and Goldenboy is going to put him in a pointless rematch with Eric Morales, a fighter he already beat convincingly. Too many pointless fights nowadays,

  • Pedro Fernandez

    Thanks, Jack. Why don’t you start writing weekly on the UFC & MMA for me?

  • With Respect…

    Pedro, you had the wisdom to be the FIRST Boxing News Source to start covering the UFC/MMA but since then you haven’t moved forward as much as you should have… Boxing Is Over!!!

    Just because Jack Fiske told you the thing would be over by 2016 doesn’t mean that you should ride it out to the very end and go down with it.

    You have two names that mean something (Pacquiao and Mayweather) and both of them have both their feet in the pugilistic grave… The rest of the sport is a waste of your time… You are a fantastic journalist and gifted writer… Pull the eject cord on this abortion already. Start covering the UFC as your primary business and move on… Boxing has a death wish and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

    This kind of thing upsets you? You ask “what is wrong with this picture” … Allow me to answer that question as honestly as I can… There Is NOTHING Wrong With It! – It is EXACTLY what the world of Boxing IS and where it STANDS… And IT IS what the future of Boxing Is.

    By this time next year, if I were you, my business goal would be to have the UFC consuming 67-75% of your resources with a two year goal of having Boxing being 10% of combat sport coverage by the year 2014…

  • Pedro you watch, Chavez Jr will pull out of this fight by Sept due to some made up injuries, Sergio Martinez will kill him in the ring! That’s why he going to pull out of this fight you watch!!! Are you gonna be in the HP in San Jose for the Ghost fight that Sat afternoon?

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