Sunday, April 26, 2015

The beauty of boxing (with a Mayweather prediction!)

I really enjoy boxing.  Fr. George Rutler wrote a wonderful article on the sport on Crisis.  In it, Father says many golden points and I will only include some of them here,

"The amateur boxer learns three things immediately. First, few activities are as physically demanding and, at least in my case, one three minute round can be more exhausting than running five miles.  Second, boxing is highly intellectual, requiring so much quick reasoning and psychology, that of all sports, it is the one rightly validly called the “Sweet Science.”  
"Amateur boxing, of which I sing, ranks 71st in sports injuries, far below even baseball and soccer." 
"Saint Paul may very well have been a boxer. He refers to the races and boxing in 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27.  The “corruptible crown” was a reference, not to the Olympian games of Athens, but to the Isthmian games of Corinth, which had been restored by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. "
I am convinced that there is no other sport that is trying and mentally tough as boxing.  The physical aspect of the sport is quite obvious but why is it so cerebral?  Why it is called "The Sweet Science"?  First, we must make a note of what boxing is not.  Boxing is not two high schoolers getting into a fight over some random girl.  No, that is stupidity mixed in with ill-timed punches mixed in with hormones.  The actual act of boxing requires a mind that is sharp and alert.  The boxing mind is not one that can afford to be irrational.  The mind of the boxer must always be rational for there is a time for a jab and time to defend.

Boxing has a majestic rhythm to it which every great boxer knows by heart.  The great Sugar Ray Robinson once said,

"Rhythm is everything in boxing.  Every move you make starts with your heart, and that's in rhythm or you're in trouble."
It is that same rhythm that forces a man to make a split-second decision to go for the knockout cross or to tilt his head to the left to avoid an incoming punch.  It is romantic really.  To everyone watching, it may look like pure violence.  However, not for those two who are in a ring.  They are dancing to their own tune at their own speed.

On May 2nd, every boxing fan will have an opportunity to see that beauty of this most majestic sport in all its glamour and romance in Las Vegas.  It has been called "The Fight of the Century" and it has the potential to be the greatest fight ever.  On one side, we will have Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the other side we will have Manny Pacquiao.  These two fighters are a blessing for any boxing fan for they show the passion of the sport. The defensive mastermind Mayweather and the offensive blitzkrieg Manny.  The lad from Grand Rapids and the Pride of the Philippines.

The fight is going to be a lot of fun and I hope that it is clean and is not stained with any controversy.  Hopefully this fight only occurs once and both fighters will leave it all on the line on Saturday.  Now, If Manny wants to win this fight, he has to knockout Floyd.  I know that is a bold claim to make however Floyd is not going to allow himself to lose in twelve rounds.  His class is second to none as fights progress into the later stages. That is why I expect Manny will go for the KO in the first six rounds.  These first six rounds are critical for him because that is where he will win or lose the fight.  If Floyd is not knocked out in the first six rounds, the chances of Manny winning are incredibly low.  For Floyd to win this fight, he just has to do everything that he normally does however he has to execute his game plan to perfection.  Southpaws are hard to fight against and Floyd knows that.  He will not allow Manny to go for the KO early and being the the defensive master that he is, he will protect himself from a such a predicament.  If Floyd reaches the seventh round, he will win this fight.  He wears down every opponent in this way.  He lulls them to sleep in the late rounds while hitting enough shots to win the round and to add to his score.

I will not hide my bias.  I am a huge Floyd Mayweather fan and I have been one for years.  Manny can win this fight but it has to be in the first six rounds with a KO.  Nevertheless, after twelve rounds, I believe that Floyd Mayweather will end up victorious.  At the end of the night, his class will be a little too much for Manny and this will be easier to note as the fight enters the late rounds.  Go get 'em, Champ.

Prediction: Floyd Mayweather wins, UD, 116-112.
Result: Floyd Mayweather goes to 48-0 and retires.

TBE.  The. Best. Ever.

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