Convicted Artist Magazine

Dec 01st
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manny_pacquiaoEthnic Pride brings many people into the sport of boxing.  It brings attention to all sports and activities, in fact. What more are the Olympics, than a worldwide my-kind-is-better-than-your-kind a-thon? This seems to be accepted since it is a natural instinct for every culture. It is, in fact, at the root of virtually all big-draws in boxing. Only Oscar de la Hoya and Mike Tyson grew to immense populairty without one definable nitch market, but Tyson was aided by the television coverage that was available back then, and Oscar still benefitted from the Latino spotlight, even if they were not always supportive of him.

There are many examples: Inane songs from British fans, and soccer hooliganism brought to life every time Ricky Hatton steps between the ropes.  Muslim Arab children who didn't even know what the word jab means, cheering like crazy every time Naseem Hamed fought. Pakistanis who suddenly care, now that Amir Khan is making a name for himself. The throngs of Mexican fans who worship Julio Cesar Chavez so much they will even pay money to watch his protected, overrated son be fed journeyman after journeyman. The wave of Filipinos who will stop what they are doing every time Manny Pacquiao fights. This trend cannot possibly be seen as a bad thing, right?  Well, for the most part, since it rarely translates into violence outside the ring.  However, while renewed interest in the sport is a positive, no matter the catalyst... like any good prescription, it should come with it's warning of side effects.

Ethnic pride also teaches some people to hate those they have never met, and not look at people as individuals.  It also causes people to take pride in accomplishments they had no part in whatsoever, instead of forging there own way as an individual, and accomplishing something themselves. The worst sin of ethnic pride, however, is it often blurs people's accounts of what actually occurred. When you go that far, you are even reducing your own intelligence in favor of wishful thinking. There is a saying:  A person is smart. People are stupid.  It is true to some extent, and we often see it with the mob mentality in boxing.

Experts are not immune. Do you think it is a coincidence that every boxing writer who felt Holyfield deserved the decision in the second Lennox Lewis match (he clearly didn't) were the few that picked him to win?  We watch fights through a fan's eyes, and often cannot remove this lens, even though as writers it is our job. How can we expect fans, with no such necessity, to do so?  I for one, shame them with phrases like brown goggles, white goggles, yellow goggles, etc.  Now, for the politically correct crowd (weaklings who cannot handle honest langauge), that may seem a bit racially insensitive, but I ask you: what is more racist than judging a boxing match based on the color of a boxer's skin?

The answer to these issues is enthusiasm, tempered by intelligence. Cheer for your kind, of course, but when he is the beneficary of corrpution, do not deny it. Fans are, and have been, capable of this honesty, and I hope we encourage it through praise.

American fans booing the decision Foreman received over Axel Schulz was an honest moment. Big George was a beloved figure, and Schulz was an unknown German fringe contender, but justice had not been done, and the fans let their voices be heard. Fans booing Chavez Jr, when Matt Vanda was unjustly denied the decision in their first match was another honest moment. It happens all the time, and humulity is a dish best sevred hot enough to burn.

Sure, some will never be able to see truth, because the consequences are too dire. People desperate for someone to believe in, will continue to believe in it, regardless of evidence. However, we are not looking to save the extremists. The Arab crowd for the most part went away after Hamed left boxing. Maybe if we had encouraged them to get into the sport, instead of cheering for their kind, we could have kept some general fans. That has to be the correct use of ethnic pride. Otherwise interest in boxing will not increase as a result.  It will only come and go as often as, well, the Olympics.
Chris Strait

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Anonymous |
good read
bhenderson |
Fully agree
David  - Ethnic Pride |
Ethnic pride does play a huge role in boxing. Boxing represents to many, the brutal gladiator days of ancient tribes. People do have ethnic pride; whether our politically correct media chooses to admit it or not. It’s a natural instinct when we see a boxer of our own race or nation dominate the race of another.
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