It is good and bad . . . sweet and sour . . . fun
The obvious is that sometimes people get hurt in the ring and in some cases there are lingering health problems once a career has ended.
On the other hand the sport is the essence of life. In most cases pugilist come from lower socioeconomics environments and as a result come to the sport hungry.
That hunger has led to individuals from all over the world uplifting their lives and gaining entry into the movers and shakers’ world.
All have heard of the tragic demise of former Tennessee Titan quarterback Steve “Air” McNair; however, at the same time there has be an unusual rash of strange deaths to three of the Sweet Science’s boxing greats.
Vernon Forrest, Alexis Arguello and Arturo Gatti have all been sent home via tragic occurrences.
“What can you say?” said promoter Gary Shaw, who promoted some of Forrest’s fights. “Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest all leaving us within 30 days? I think it’s a little much for our sport to handle. The violence, the guns have to go. Violence belongs inside the ropes. Not outside them. It’s just senseless. Maybe boxing ought to dedicate itself to keeping the violence inside the ropes and try to send that message out to the
I concur with Shaw, boxing has an excellent opportunity to promote the sport and at the same time interject itself into the conversation concerning the insane gun violence that has engulfed America.
The violence in the ring is controlled and is measured, but outside the ring there is a war going on in the street of the United States.
I have to qualify my interaction with boxing before I start this discourse. I have covered over 100 championship boxing contests and my father was also a Golden Gloves participant.
I understand the good that is boxing, and Forrest was the good that is boxing. I’ve scribed from a couple of his championship fights and in the interview sessions he excited me as a person that understood that he could use his celebrity to help others.
Unfortunately, Forrest was a recent victim of America’s unrelenting gun violence.
“He was one of the most gracious and charitable fighters in boxing and he will be missed by the entire boxing community and all of his friends at HBO,” said HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg, who produced eight of Forrest’s fights. "Maybe Vernon’s lasting legacy will be for Americans everywhere to rise up and end this kind of senseless violence,”
Forrest (41-3, 29 KOs), a 1992 U.S. Olympian, was a former two-time welterweight and two-time junior middleweight champion best known for his two decision victories against “Sugar” Shane Mosley in 2002.
Forrest outlasted Mosley in their head-to-head battles, when Mosley was widely regarded as the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in boxing. Ironically
Forrest had beaten Mosley to keep him off the 1992 Olympic team.
Forrest, 38, was involved in many charities and foundations. He was a person that did not drink or smoke.
He was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Atlanta. Forrest died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Forrest, who had monetary means, made a huge mistake chasing at least two men who had tried to steal his Jaguar as he put air in its tires at an Atlanta gas station.
I say the heck with the car, insurance will replace the vehicle. But this new generation of not being punked or hated on is where many are right
Two other fighters that I have covered as a journalist also found fate unkind.
In Brazil, Gatti, who was 37, recently had his death ruled a suicide. His Brazilian wife, Amanda Rodrigues, was originally accused of strangling
him with her purse strap as he drunkenly slept. She was imprisoned as a result of the charges. She was released from prison a couple days ago. His death is still a question mark.
In Managua, Nicaragua, former boxing champion and Managua mayor Arguello, 57, died and his passing was also ruled a suicide. Unreliable police reports claim he shot himself in his mayor’s office.
“Alexis was my idol when I was young,” boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya told reporters. “In my opinion he was one of the biggest and most influential fighters boxing has ever produced.”
Arguello, Gatti and Forrest were three of the best boxing had to offer.
They rose from nothing to something, and made viable lives for themselves. Unfortunately they all did not leave this earth with the grace and pride they deserved.
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