Ross Maak: By George, boxing has lost its way | TheUnion.com
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Ross Maak: By George, boxing has lost its way

I’ve covered youth boxing. I’ve been to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and seen their boxing programs firsthand.

Some say boxing is a brutal sport … too brutal. In some ways I’m inclined to agree. But if boxing is the difference between a child staying in school, working to get good grades and ending up on a street corner selling (or taking) drugs, then you can count me in as a big fan.

At the youth and teen level I really enjoy watching a boxing match. Not only is there raw talent and strategy that comes only with experience, but there’s also protective head gear, which certainly can’t hurt.



Here’s what I don’t understand: How can the big three sports get blasted time and time again for their poor role models while boxing’s greatest heroes pull some of the most moronic things ever heard of in the entire world of sports?

Think I’m exaggerating? Find me a headline that says, “Jason Giambi bites Barry Bonds’ ear off, finds mysterious clear cream inside.”




Find me a headline that says, “Peyton Manning accused of taking a dive, throwing game against Patriots.”

Find me a headline that says, “Steve Nash accuses Robert Horry of bumping him off court, drugging him while he was down.”

I know that last one sounds crazy, but that’s what got George Foreman’s name back in the news recently. Foreman wrote a book about his fight against Muhammad Ali in Africa in 1974. In the book, Foreman said he was pretty sure his trainer drugged him before the fight.

Needless to say, a favored Foreman lost the fight.

So, why in the heck did Foreman wait 33 years to come forward?

I have a theory.

Foreman waited 33 years to come forward because it’s not true. If he’d said something in 1974, everyone would have thought it to be so unbelievably outlandish that Foreman may have been laughed out of the sport forever.

But, 33 years later after the sport has been plagued with the likes of Mike Tyson, (you know, the guy who is going to eat your children and have a chunk of ear for dessert), it doesn’t sound quite so crazy.

So, why not come up with a story that will sell books and get your name back into the spotlight, even if it is 33 years later. Heck, he may even sell a few more of those great grills that just cook the fat right off!

Again, and I want to be very clear about this, I’m a fan of boxing at the local, youth and amateur level. Just like I’m a fan of baseball, basketball, football and many other youth sports.

And don’t get me wrong, professional baseball, basketball and football players have their issues as well.

But even with the way Bonds’ has been dragged through the mud and even with Horry mugging Nash on national television, it doesn’t reach the level of craziness and unbelievability attained by professional boxing.

ooo

To contact Sports Writer Ross Maak, e-mail rossm@theunion.com or call 477-4244.


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