Franchise Thoughts: Things I'm Thankful for in Boxing This Year

I should probably be out helping to stimulate the ailing economy right now, but until BoxingWatchers.com turns into a profitable side gig, I have to stay at the keyboard. At this time of year, it's a bit of a cliche (okay, more than a bit) to cook up a list of things to be thankful for, but here in the U.S., it got that way for a reason. It's just the right time of the year to do it.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the boxing-related people, places and things making me give thanks as 2008 comes to a close:

  • Manny Pacquiao - Aside from his status as my favorite boxer (Disclaimer: the staff members of BoxingWatchers.com are all part Filipino!), the new episodes of 24/7 are showing once again that he's just a compelling personality. The wide range of opinions about whether he can and will beat Oscar De La Hoya are adding to my anticipation for Dec. 6.
  • Freddie Roach - He seems to be taking the high road more often than not after his perceived snub at De La Hoya's hands, and he sure is doing his all to show his confidence in Manny. You sometimes forget he is battling through ongoing health concerns to continue on in the sport he loves.
  • Affliction - Yes, their stuff is a bit pricey, and I have to pick shirts carefully to avoid scaring my small children. As long as they keep sponsoring fighters and fight cards, I'll keep supporting them.
  • Bernard Hopkins - His domination of Kelly Pavlik was something to see. If his other performances over the past three or four years were carried out in the same way, I'd probably be a huge B-Hop fan.
  • Volume punchers - I like to think I'm sophisticated enough as a boxing fan to appreciate some of the subtler aspects of the sport. That being said, it's sometimes fun to see guys throw 100-plus punches a round and just try to overwhelm the other boxer.
  • Boardwalk Hall - My ultimate goal is still to be in Vegas for a fight weekend in 2009. Still, it's nice to have a venue within driving distance that puts on championship fights, and it's possible to get a decent seat there without draining your entire bank account.
  • David Haye - Quite possibly positioned to give the heavyweight division a jolt of electricity - win or lose, actually. I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but said jolt is long overdue.
  • Versus - With ESPN cutting back on its boxing content in 2009 (so long Wednesday Night Fights), Versus is at least trying to give fans in the U.S. more fights on cable. It will also soon be home to The Contender, which I'm likely to watch despite the presence of Tony Danza.
  • Tavoris Cloud - My favorite discovery of 2008, in the sense that I did not know who he was before this year. He's still raw but immensely entertaining, and he sure doesn't get cheated any time he throws a punch.
  • Emanuel Steward - Almost singlehandedly keeps the HBO crew from cheerleading too much for one particular boxer at times. I don't always agree with him, but I do appreciate his insight.
  • Ricky Hatton - As my brother Uatu has mentioned on numerous occasions, he's great for boxing because of the atmosphere he brings to his fights. And as an added bonus, he looked great in his most recent fight.

1 comment:

uatu said...

I agree that Tony Danza is a lame and confusing addition to the Contender.