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Blame It On The 80s

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Blame It On The 80s Empty Blame It On The 80s

Post by hazharrison Mon 04 Jul 2016, 8:51 pm

One for Truss here:

For the most part, as film critic David Denby once noted, nostalgia is history filtered through sentiment – but not if there are facts to back it up. After all, boxing in the ’80s was more than just multi-colored tube socks, Jheri curls and Sasson/Pony sponsorships. Yes, believe it or not, the Sweet Science was far superior in the 1980s. There were half as many sanctioning bodies during the early years of the decade and fewer weight classes. In addition, at some point or another in the 1980s, there were five undisputed champions in boxing. Heavyweight, cruiserweight, light heavyweight, middleweight and welterweight were all unified divisions. But what really set the ’80s apart from the moribund/marginalized sport of today is – plain and simple – competition.

Back then, with only a few exceptions, to earn a significant paycheck, one had to take a significant risk. Just think of the number of popular pros who won their first titles against future Hall-of-Famers. Leonard stopped boxing whiz kid Wilfred Benitez for his first title; Hearns atomized Pipino Cuevas, the most feared welterweight of his day and a man who genuinely tore heavybags and speedbags off their hooks (no need for special effects or stage props). Aaron Pryor waylaid Antonio Cervantes for his junior welterweight title. (At the time, Cervantes was on an eight-year run that saw him lose only once: a split-decision to Wilfred Benitez.) Barry McGuigan, much-maligned as a symbol of haywire Hall of Fame standards, defeated Eusebio Pedroza, who was making his 20th title defense against the windmilling Irishman. As a 20-year-old neophyte lightweight, Ray Mancini got his first title shot. He faced one of the true post-World War II greats: Alexis Arguello and this despite a lack of world-class experience. But “Boom Boom” losing in a dramatic fight made him more popular than ever and rocketed Arguello from a respected champion to a bona fide superstar.


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