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Home Boxing NOT GETTING THE POINT
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NOT GETTING THE POINT

chris_straitIn light of the recent Friday Night Fight performances of Vivian Harris and Randall Bailey, a disturbing trend is forming in boxing.  Not that it is new by any means.  However, it is going unchecked, and I feel I have to address it.  When a fighter is shot, or missing a valuable part of his game, it is often the nature of said fighter to blame it on anything but father time or limited skills.  True, Harris was knocked out by a head butt, which gave him the necessary excuse to carry on with his clearly finished boxing career.  He can still defeat journeyman for the most part, but his chin is gone, his legs aren't what they once were, and he is suffering knockout losses to fighters, and circumstances, that should not have rendered such a result.  This head butt TKO should have been strike three for him, yet as with most fighters, he didn't get the point.
 
Randall Bailey lost a very winnable fight to Juan Urango because of flaws in his game, not battles with weight.  Yet, his answer to his eleventh round TKO loss last Friday, was to move up to welterweight.  A career junior welter, this is not the first time he has blamed a lack of durability on his conditioning (body shot loss to Diosbelys Hurtado, when he seemed a round or two away from a knockout win).  Bailey does not take punches well, and he has no follow-up hook for his devastating right hand.  He also doesn't have an effective jab to set up the punch.  At age 34, the two-time belt holder is probably not going to learn any new tricks at this point, and is only still in the game gambling on his ability to land one big shot.  This is a recipe for disaster.
 
Ultimately trainers have to walk away from these fighters, and say to them... "that's as far as you are going".  It is the nature of a fighter to be full of ego, to the point where it obscures a true vision of oneself.  Even the more humble sounding fighters like Joe Mesi had difficulty accepting the fact that he was not the fighter he once was.  Can Harris and Bailey still win fights?  Of course, but at their ages, they has topped out as fractional belt-holders, not world champions.  That is a great place to be for the stories, and some financial success, but their failure at the higher level, even in their prime, should serve notice to this ceiling.  Therefore, once that is established, you'd better have an all-action style and corresponding following (a la Micky Ward), or you are not going to make any money worthy of the beatings you are taking.  Even the mighty Emanuel Augustus eventually slipped in his game. 

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