July 24th, 2012 By Pedro FernandezFORD DEDICATES HIMSELF TO KIDS!
San Francisco, CA- The “business of boxing” is already hurting extensively. Some blame it on Manny Pacquiao’s erosion of skills, Floyd Mayweather alienating fans, Saul Alvarez’s refusal to fight somebody on a competitive level, you can say all of the above is of partial blame. But the real reason the business is hurting, especially at the club level, is that there is a lack of investment in the product. Meaning, there are no boxers being nurtured in the amateurs. The Golden Glove tournaments that once had so many participants that we used to fight twice in the same day, is now giving away titles to fighters who never laced up a glove or fought anyone in the tournament.
LACK OF GOOD COMPETENT TEACHERS
Couple that with the fact that there are so few men or women that really know how to teach a budding boxer, what you have is a dying sport, which means a dying business. Boxing is no different from the US economy. The people at the top of the food chain will always prosper, while those at the bottom will at the same time suffer greatly. The lack of boxing gyms, free when I was growing up, now can cost as much as $100 a month! Retired boxer Jimmy Ford has recently opened a gym in Brisbane, CA, a city located between the municipalities of San Francisco and South San Francisco. While the monthly membership fee for adults is $50, Jimmy allows poor kids to train for a lot less or totally free.
BOXING IS ALIVE & WELL INTERNATIONALLY!
In the United Kingdom, most of Europe and Asia, the sport is thriving at both the amateur and club level. Boxing is the opposite of “trickle down” economics, meaning the fight game needs to thrive at the bottom (the amateur and club level) to thrive here in the United States. People tell me that American youth are too spoiled, playing video games or other sports and don’t have boxing on their radar. How could you when gym dues are $100 a month in many cities across the country.
WILL CBS TV SHOW BRING KIDS BACK TO BOXING?
In September, the aforementioned Saul Alvarez will face a dwarfed regular 140 lb. fighter in Josesito Lopez, this in defense of his WBC 154 lb. title. On paper, this appears to be such a mismatch that Lopez might be hurt. I am torn between the plus of boxing returning to Network TV and the fact that the main event is a horrible mismatch. While Alvarez might be a bit “green” still, his advantage in natural size over Lopez could result in nightmare. What I mean is what happens if Lopez is seriously hurt here?
BACK TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
People in boxing love taking shots at the UFC and their “face” Dana White. People from HBO, promoters big and small, they talk negatively about the UFC method of operation. Why then is there are almost 10,000 Mixed martial Arts gyms in the United States, while at the same time boxing gyms are shutting their doors? Because people are disgusted with boxing, the sport and the business. They are tired of watching the mismatches that HBO forces upon you. At one time HBO was the solution, now it is the problem.
GUYS LIKE JIMMY FORD GIVE YOUTH HOPE!
Although Jimmy Ford doesn’t have an “S” on his chest, the Excelsior District figure probably should. Unfortunately, Ford is a Band Aid on a sport and business that is bleeding profusely. Unless we can install a Federal Boxing Commission to regulate pugilism, and get about 10,000 Jimmy Ford types across the country, the prediction of the late Hall of Fame writer Jack Fiske that the sport of boxing will be dead here in the United States by 2016 is coming to fruition.