For those of us left jaded by the endless recycling of pensionable punchers Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jnr., Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, the new season throws up three fights which may finally expunge 75% of the ageing chorus line from the Light-Heavyweight rankings. It cannot come too soon.
Of the three; Jones Jnr., Hopkins and Tarver, Tarver is arguably the most current thanks to a victory over fellow veteran, and then IBF belt holder, Clinton Woods. Both Hopkins and Jones Jnr. are far removed from their pomp and in Jones’ case the most obviously aged. Jones shrewdly picked a retired, inactive former Welter killer, Felix Trinidad, to splash some new paint across his leaking hull. It got the once peerless fighter a stay of execution as an elite attraction and landed him the Joe Calzaghe fight he’d previously spurned for years.
Hopkins is a boxer of such craft and pedigree he could contend with younger foes into his fifties, and if he carries on much longer he may yet prove that theory correct. In truth, his promotional patter about prison, and the places he’s been are wearing thin. 25 years on from his days as a hoodlum make those references seem less important by the year.
However, with ageing demographics among its attendant audiences boxing’s power-brokers continue to rely upon the tired Executioner parody, the loquacious Roy Jones and the renown Tarver established in the Rocky franchise to sell PPV. America’s failure to make an impression, beyond a solitary gold, at Beijing suggest precious little outstanding talent is set to emerge for younger audiences to gravitate to. And while that is the case, the senior tour will continue.
It is therefore imperative that the three opponents; Calzaghe, Pavlik and Dawson reinforce the importance of youth, speed, reflex and ambition as key components to success in boxing. After all, how can boxing be sold to the young when its finest exponents are 40 years old. Hardly a vindication of the presumed theory that boxing required supreme physical performance is it?
So on October 11th when Tarver meets young gun Chad Dawson, a week later when Kelly Pavlik jumps two divisions to face Bernard Hopkins and finally on November 8th when Joe Calzaghe, no youngster himself, tackles Roy Jones, be sure to put to one side the emotional connection to the wily veterans, and cheer the new generation on.
The passing of the torch is close to a decade overdue.
For a host of unique, unofficial, unendorsed tribute wear, made to order and shipped within 48 hours visit www.boxingwriter.spreadshirt.net or click on the image below.