A Saturday evening without televised fights seems strange after a recent spate of action. The last quarter of this year had plenty great shows for everybody, whether your tastes run to MMA or boxing. I heard rumors carried by the winds of a heavyweight championship being fought out in the hinterlands of Europe. Pacquiao v. DeLaHoya a few weeks back was circus enough for me to choose to skip ordering it, as it involved Evander Holyfield's shadow facing a shadowy Russian giant. Holyfield's shadow was apparently robbed in a terrible decision. I don't really think US boxing is dying but they are making it hard to be a paying fan. If I have to start pinching PPV pennies I'm promised a much bigger bang from stacked cards like this one. Still I'm slowly learning to stop storming around the apartment claiming 'that was it, I'll never order another one'. That tantrum is a fraud, as legit as that decision. HBO's veteran commentator Larry Merchant summed it up perfectly in a recent interview:
"For the hardcore fans you can't discourage 'em, we're all degenerates, and we'll come back no matter what."
Not sure who that reflects on worse; fight junkies like me who keep paying or the cable exec jerks serving up the overpriced boxing shows. Either way it entertains me so I have to mute my whining about it and just enjoy. In that cheerful spirit here is lovable old vodka breath Larry Merchant himself employing other 'strong-arm tactics' on the fans.