Boxing as Metaphor

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In the end, the fight was boring.  Despite the efforts of second rate announcers to inject excitement (sorry Jim Lampley but you are not Don Dunphy, and Max Kellerman, you are not A.J. Liebling) the fight was a sorry mess.  Floyd and Manny lunged at each other and tangled arms and necks for 12 rounds, and in the end, it appeared to me that the two “warriors” just wanted to hop into their private planes and go home to their mansions.

That was the problem all night.  The gap between the .01% of America and the rest of us could not have been clearer.  For almost two hours we were treated to the spectacle of a parade of the wealthiest Americans strutting proudly down a red carpet (no, I’m not kidding) and enjoying 200k seats right up front.  The announcers seemed to work not for HBO and Showtime but for People Magazine and Tiger Beat as they breathlessly squealed with joy at the sight of Donald Trump and Tom Brady (who also was at the Kentucky Derby yesterday).  The culmination came when they delayed the fight so more people could shell out the 100 bucks to buy it on cable.  The only nice moment was when they interviewed Denzel Washington who seemed embarrassed and uncomfortable and clearly just wanted to get back to his seat and enjoy a beer.

The late A.J. Liebling (the real one) used to write of boxing as a metaphor for the complex class system in society, as the wealthy “swells” descended into the smoky halls and clubs to mingle with the ordinary folks, if only for one night.  Now, we make no pretense that the astronomically wealthy elite and the ordinary, struggling people even share the same planet.

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