If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound?
The answer is an indisputable maybe. However, that’s not important.
What got me thinking about an event occurring and nobody witnessing it was the boxing on Saturday night.
While the Wembley rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves was attended by 80,000 people and watched by thousands more on pay per view, it could have been very different. Just imagine boxing fans the world over had put their foot down and boycotted the fight by refusing to pay the extortionate fee for tickets or the equally ridiculous charge to watch the scrap on Sky Box Office.
Had such a concerted effort been made to protest against the inaccessibly of boxing to the common man it could have happened that when Groves was felled we’d only have Eddie Hearn’s word to say he made a sound.
Better still the re-rematch would be on terrestrial TV and tickets to the event would be a tenner.
The sad thing is, as long as people keep paying the ‘Sky’ high prices, promoters and satellite providers will keep charging them. What they’ve created is an elite fight club, the first rule of which is you don’t talk about the extortionate membership fees.
You either love boxing or you’re out in the cold. There is no place for fairweather fans of boxing, you literally can’t afford to be a casual observer.
My introduction to boxing was in the school playground. It was with great gusto that I chanted ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’ when a brawl broke out, my enthusiasm deriving from the fact I wasn’t one of the two encircled pugilists.
Fighting was frowned upon at school as was coming back to class sweaty and scuffed from a dinnertime game of football.
School was supposed to be about education they told us. Ironic then that boxers and footballers earn considerably more money than those who excel in Geography and CDT.
One of the main problems with boxing is that the professionals tend to be too good. Such is their devotion to their sport that they tend to cancel each other out.
I’d much rather witness a brawl in a pub car park between two middle aged men after a Christening, their left and right hooks missing their mark wildly, well-intentioned haymakers nearly causing the punch-thrower to keel over, not to mention regular breaks for opponents to catch their breath.
These fights occur in the heat of the moment. There aren’t months of build up and the animosity is usually genuine.
Besides from dropping the prices, I’d be more keen to watching boxing if they went back to the old days of coining names for fights. All you get now is Froch Groves or Froch Groves 2. Remember the Rumble in the Jungle or Thrilla in Manilla? Those were the days when, if you picked a good enough name for a fight, it could overshadow the competitors.
Locally, we’ve got so much potential to get involved with the fight naming resurgence.
You could have The Anger in Bangor, The Showdown in Portadown or The Affray in Castlereagh. My personal favourite would be The Dispute In Kilroot.
Forget Ticketmaster and Sky Box Office, entry to any of these bouts is two quid on the door with action being beamed worldwide via a Pay-As-You-Go Tesco mobile.