Boxing Gets Another Shot in the Arm on Saturday

Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin (26-0 with 23 KOs) defends his middleweight belts against Irishman Mathew Macklin (29-4 with 20 KOs) on June 29th at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Golovkin is a top level fighter whose punches have mean intentions, while Macklin is a bruiser who almost upset Sergio Martinez and has punching power himself. It’s contest that has boxing analysts excited, and it may be another shot in the arm for what seems a forgotten sport.

No current sport in America is more dressed in blood, sweat, and tears than professional boxing. In that world, you rise only though hard work, toughness, and perseverance. Setbacks are common. Pain is common. It tests your will. It is a violent universe where the skilled and strong survive. There are no accidental champions.

Boxers are amazing specimens. Strength, intelligence, and will all etched into a body that can only take so much punishment. Each move in a fight is carefully calculated. The slightest casual execution puts a fighter in danger of examining the ring lights from the canvas. Glovkin and Macklin are prime examples of this.

Some think boxing is a dead sport, and those people are generally right — especially when considering the popular favorite heavyweight division. The Klitschko brothers (Vitali and Wladimir) have such a stranglehold on that division that the amount of excitement generated for the heavyweights is equivalent to watching paint dry.

Quietly, however, HBO has kept the sweet science alive with coverage of all the levels. With national interest in the sport on a downward trend since the legendary Tyson - Douglas upset, HBO has been one of the lone champion of the game.

Today, Boxing is on the comeback trail, similar to a fighter who has been KO’d and looking for redemption. Though some of the weight classes are littered with innumerable no-names, there are are also equal amounts of incredibly exciting fighters. Consider the Middleweights, with Sergio Martinez, Golovkin, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, or the Junior Middleweight division with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Austin Trout, and Miguel Cotto. Super Middleweight has Andre Ward, Light Heavyweight has Adonis Stevenson, and of course the Welterweight has Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Like the fictional Rocky Balboa, boxing has returned from the oblivion and this era may be one of the best yet. With outstanding fighters in many weight classes, the fight game is producing exciting contests consistently. Golovkin and Macklin will be another chapter that will fuel the revival and with Showtime joining HBO in producing fights for audiences, Boxing will continue its ascent.

Now, if only there were an exciting heavyweight…

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