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Opinion: Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Posted on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 7:23 am
by IDMA Editor

Sooner or later as boxers enter mixed martial arts as a profession the respect that has been long overdue will come to fruition. There is certain elitism to boxing and a tendency to look at the other sport in relationship to earlier defensive lessons from childhood. When everybody wanted a black belt in karate or you walked around the neighborhood grunting and throwing kicks at the wind. The old kung fu movies with the words out of sync with the action that came on afternoons and you wanted to be a part of that scene. But Friday night was different. Friday night was fight night and every set was turned to the fights. These were the real warriors so you put away the judo magazines and watched your heroes. You watched with your father or your uncles or your friends because women had no interest in the sport. They thought it was brutal and a waste of time but a good time to sit in the kitchen with the girls or other wives and talk about other things.

Photo of The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon - by Jeremy Andrews / flickr

The closest thing to any attraction other than boxing was professional wrestling and that did just as well because there were the threats and the characters and you had heroes and villains. Just like in real life and everybody knew in my neighborhood that you might learn some valuable tactics because tomorrow you would probably be in a fight. Those were the days of Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta and Joe Louis and club fighters that never disappointed. When you talked baseball there were some debates and fan loyalty to the players but you never thought that a ball player regardless the sport was going to beat a fighter. It was laughable and for those reasons boxing was holy and sacred in America. Americans love to fight so how could it be any other way.

Things change they evolve because if they donít then they become extinct. So it is with sport and we should never resist because it is so closely related to life itself. Children will eventually become adults and their heroes will be the ones that reflect the times and the nostalgia will belong to past generations. MMA has arrived and it is far from the old movies but does not lack the attraction. It is more brutal than boxing and allows the full force of not only punches but kicks and take downs. Maneuvers that you would not want to do in the street much less an arena with little intervention. The safety of the sport often negates comebacks. When a fighter is seriously hurt the ultimate damage can end a career abruptly. Consider the professional boxers that have entered the sport in one capacity or another and have sought to remain when the game of boxing and lack of opportunity deemed their talents be used elsewhere. Let MMA prosper because they are building a hell of a foundation to make that possible.

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