Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where Not To Look For Young Fighters

Has anyone noticed that what were once two reliable barometers for predicting a fighter’s success in the pros—an Olympic medal and being a top NY prospect—have turned into the exact opposite over the course of the last ten or fifteen years? These days, whenever a ring announcer begins his introduction with “and from the mean streets of…” and you know you’re about to see a glaring but inept softie with a sob story. Last night on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark,” we were introduced to a sad string bean named Alex Perez, who was pounded at every turn by Antonin Decarie, a competent and unruffled professional from Canada. It was evident about thirty seconds into the fight that Perez wasn’t very good, and about thirty seconds later that he was going to lose. It’s a cliché to talk about how only the hungry make good fighters, but’s also the truth. Olympians and would-be Olympians are now always pampered (at least here in the US). And almost nothing of quality emerges from New York anymore, least of all good fighters.