A true story from the book From the Barber’s Chair by Vernon Swanson:
One time…I had a fella come in to me and he says, “I got somethin’ when I was here last time.”
I says, “What was that?”
“No,” I says. “You didn’t get cirrhosis. You got psoriasis, and you didn’t get that here. That comes from your own body.”
When boxing people try to identify the underlying problems that have enfeebled their beloved sport, they have a similar tendency to misdiagnose.
Recently I got a call from a promoter who was angry because someone suggested to him that I was going to write something negative about him. Not because of anything I had written about him, but because an untrue rumor had been repeated to him that I might write something.
Unfortunately, the incident wasn’t all that unusual. It seems that everyone in boxing has their own idea about what’s ailing the sport, and all too often, it seems that everybody is wrong. Promoters feud with one another, believing (or pretending to believe) that they’ve been disrespected or somehow slighted in past promotions or negotiations. Insignificant geographical delineations become fuel for regional feuds. Fighters resent criticism, however gentle and fair.
Here’s a clue, everybody. The problems with boxing are that it isn’t all that popular, it doesn’t get enough media coverage, the promoters are undercapitalized, and the quality of competition is uneven at best.
These are problems that are mitigated by cooperation, aggravated by feuding. Cooperating in your efforts will increase the potential fan base, could make shows bigger and more frequent, will allow you to share expenses, and hold the potential for better matches of fighters of similar talent.
It’s time for the Minnesota boxing scene to take a step up to the next level.