Since I've came to the west coast, I've found myself immensely wrapped up into the art/sport of boxing. Yes, the ART of boxing, and yes, also the sport of boxing. The complexity of the form perplexes me on a deeper level. Much like two-dimensional forms of expression through design do. Either way, I'm using this as a opportunity to speak about something NOT art related for once. (Well, sorta).
Boxing : Noun, the sport or practice of fighting with the fists, especially with padded gloves in a roped square ring according to prescribed rules.
Fight : Noun, a battle or combat. a game or diversion in which the participants hit or pelt each other with something harmeless to inflict harm.
Contest : Noun, a race, conflict, or other competition between rivals, as for a prize. A struggle for victory or superiority.
The recent Mayweather fight spun up a shit storm of controversy, that tightropes the line between sport spectacle and reality tv. This is what makes the sports great, particularly boxing. Shit can be talked, insults can be made and yet the most primal, and primitive means of handling any dispute is executed with the world sitting ringside. Just that idea makes boxing great, and this fight was NO different than any others.
My dude Everett brought this up to me when discussing my feelings on the recent Pacquiou/Mayweather fight. He bought up the difference between boxing and fighting. In a nutshell, he basically said you can't judge this boxing match without taking fighting into account, and as a fight, the aggressor usually gets the victory if it comes to a decision. Pac Man was the aggressor, and was basically "bringing" the fight to his opponent. Looking at the opposition, Everett basically argued that in this fight, Mayweather did his fair share of blocking, evading, and making his opposition miss him, which isn't really "fighting". Based upon the idea of fighting, he makes a valid point which is not to be knocked. I don't see it this way.
Boxing; to me, is poetic. A boundless, artistic flow of athleticism cross-bred with chess like strategies. A game, where as exhilarating the offense appears to be, lovers of the trade equally value the defense. Boxing is the only sport, when refer to colloquially, the contestants don't "PLAY". Football players play football, and basketball players play basketball. Boxing is not a game. Getting hit the wrong way, can kill you. This underlying principle makes defense paramount, and necessary. Boxing, is also a game of numbers and percentages. One could make the argument that it only matters mathematically IF the fight goes the distance. As far as deciding a victor when no knockout is present, absolutely. But how does one make the distance, and not lose the fight. You can throw inaccurately, and tire yourself. One can choose to just block, to conserve energy and make the distance, but have no scored shots or knockdowns to show for it. The right balance of defense and offense is essential to keep you in contention, keep your opponent on their toes, and keep the viewers interested. This is EXACTLY what boxing is about.
The Expectation : Pac Man is a holy man. A man who gives back to the community, and came from nothing. His natural persona radiates humbleness, with a soft spoken demeanor and an accent which woman refer to as, cute. He reflects all that is "good" in the world. Pacquio is the best fighter in this weight class and the best chance for mayweather to suffer his first defeat. His ferocity makes him elite, and will make the fight difficult for Mayweather and push him out of his comfort zone, resulting in a slug fest. This combination is sure to crumble Mayweather. He has not seen this kinda speed, mixed with combined power in anyone except Sugar Shane (whom he had a problem with.) No matter the defense, Pacquiauo's offense would rein supreme and he will become victorious.
The Result : Mayweather is not an outwardly holy man. He too came from the bottom, in Grand Rapids, MI. He takes his hard earned money, gambles with it and flaunts it. From being sponsered by argubaly one of the most expensive swiss watch makers around (Hublot), and a legal fantasy gambling sport site (Fanduel), to naming his franchise "TMT', which stands for "The Money Team", Floyd Mayweather makes the sport a fruitful business operation. A man who also has been to jail on numerous occasions for physical altercations outside the ring and domestic abuse. He reflect all of which is "bad" in the world, while it continues to win. Mayweather is THE BEST (pound for pound) fighter on the planet currently and has never lost. There is a reason Floyd doesn't know what defeat taste like. It's because defeat can't catch him.
Pac Man was the aggressor, and bought his fight to Mayweather, and Mayweather managed to "weather" his storm of attacks. Period. This was the answer to many age old arguments. Good vs. Bad? Speed vs. Power? Offense vs. Defense? Well, I think you got your answer.