Stateside Ramblings

By: Gordie Tamayo
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Much talk in the boxing world has circulated around the US men’s boxing team coming up short in securing a medal at the 2012 London games.
Through a combination of fingers pointed towards the culprit of bad officiating and a mediocre training program, the 2012 US Men’s boxing team has been dubbed as one of the worst teams to have graced the olympic stage in some eyes.  But is it?

A factor overlooked is that a successful amateur background and olympic medal doesnt always secure immediate success into the professional ranks where many boxing hopefuls plan to move on to.  It may help on the promotional front for bargaining chips to power brokers in the boxing world and marketing points, but beyond that, the professional level is a different business.

We have all seen countless examples where good public relations and marketing transcend solid boxing skills and stars are born before stripes are earned.  In a business where the people you know can be as important as good matchmaking, sometimes the picture is not so black and white; more like shades of green.

In the amateur ranks we have already seen overflow of the same obsession with controversial decisions linked to speculation over bribes and a scoring system that rewards computerized algohrithms over true boxing technique and hard work. 

All this aside, the US men’s boxing team does hold promising fighters that are more than likely professional bound.  Many fighters representing their countries in London can only hope to make a name for themselves on the same American soil where boxers from Team USA will start their professional career. 

The belief still exists that if you can make it in America, you can make it anywhere and recent headlines help support this addage.  Only in America does a rapper/business mogul turn into a boxing promoter with the world’s wealthiest boxer as his partner.  And only in America does a Jewish lawyer help take a poor Filipino boxer to heights to be revered by his country men and captivate the audiences world wide.

Yes, anything is possible in America; even 50 year old former heavyweight champions taking center stage in exhibition bouts and managing to draw attention.  So while the men’s olympic team has turned some heads down we still have much to look forward to from the good ‘ol USA. 

Claressa Shields advances to a gold medal match and could become the 1st U.S. woman ever to win, boxing’s biggest stars are in the process of disclosing their next bouts and an ever growing Latino population continues supporting the industry.  Not to mention the new fish in the pond targeting the urban population and Europe right on it’s heals, boxing is in a very good position contrary to the critics.  So don’t let the most recent failures from Team USA get you down; being stateside couldn’t be any better as much of the excitement is stemming right from home.

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