I have to tell you, I am less than thrilled with the boxing results for 2012 thus far. After a few years of action fights, and interesting occurrences, 2012 has been one of the worst years in recent memory. Lousy decisions, deaths, injuries, canceled fights, and positive steroid tests. Most of these trends started in 2011 or before, but they are reaching their peaks now. It seems we cannot get excited about anhy upcoming fight. Two very interesting rematches are a no-go after positive steroid tests.
Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto each had seemingly more to gain than their opponents in going through with their respective fights with Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz, and it was even they who asked for stringent testing. We are so quick to yell foul at any positive test, that we don't bother to educate ourselves as to what kinds of banned substances there are. The rules change frequently, and without much sense. We need more education for fighters and fans as to what denotes a banned substance, and why. The list also needs to be drastically whittled down to the substances that truly make an unfair difference, or that damage the body.
Certainly human growth hormone is headlong into cheating, but diuretics, and healing drugs should definitely not be. Marijuana is technically a banned substance, yet that is, and always has been, a ludicrous aspect of drug testing. It is not the responsibility of athletic commisssions to catch someone breaking a law. It is their responsibility to catch cheaters. As new substances become available, we need to determine what that is. We are dangerously close to making people scared to take vitamins... we need more diagnostics, less judgments.
The tragedies of Johnny Tapia and Paul Williams are just the latest. Julio Gonzalez also met his untimely death via motorcycle accident. None of these deaths affected the boxing landscape, yet, much like the more timely passings of Angelo Dundee and Goody Petronelli, they put an exclamation point on the end of an era. Boxing's uncertain future hsa always been a blow made softer by our glorious past. With the deaths of past action brawlers, legendary trainers, etc. we are bitterly reminded they don't make em like that anymore. As for Paul Williams, he was still vital, if not prime. And for a man to work that long for that long, and be struck down right before the biggest payday of his career, just seems so cruel.
Usually, we can turn to an otherwise negative year, and point to a few inspriational upsets, yet judges and crooked promoters these days don't seem to be letting us have them. Just ask Marco Huck, Richard Abril, Erislandy Lara, Carlos Molina, and Gabriel Campillo. These men should be negotiating their next big fights... instead they are left out in the cold by a different corrupt promoter in each case... unjustly screwed by puppet judges.
We are not even halfway done with 2012, and already it is a year that only the major Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown can save. Vitali Klitschko is probably headed for retirement soon, and brother Wladimir is likely not far behind. Regardless, there is no one interesting on the horizon for either of them. Can we skip to January yet? I call one giant "do-over"