|Gold Medal Pugilists Loma and Rigo|
The decision of the AIBA to allow professional fighters to compete against amateur boxers in the Olympics raised many eyebrows yesterday. The most common response I observed online was one of disapproval. Why the revulsion with increased competition?
A reactionary imagination immediately envisions undisputed world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin pummeling some skinny Golden Glover into submission to win a Gold Medal in Rio. The reality of "pros versus ammys" should prove to be very different. Firstly, most top notch prizefighters don't wish to go backward, compete for free, or risk any number of the undesirable outcomes which might arise from such an unusual undertaking. They have everything to lose, and little to gain. Secondly, the line is already very blurred.
As recently unpaid pugilists, Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux could've easily handled themselves against an invasion of semi-skilled pros introduced into their ranks to compete under their rules. My educated guess is that there are other Lomas and Rigos out there waiting to turn this debate on its ear with surprising, medal-winning victories over unsuspecting, under-skilled pros.
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|2008 Olympic Bronze Bomber|
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Middleweight Champions — The real reason Canelo Alvarez versus Gennady Golovkin is (was) such a high demand title bout is because the undefeated "challenger" GGG has been made to wait a VERY LONG time for a shot at the linear title. Triple G is the most deserving fighter of this kind in all of boxing, with the possible exception of Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight where Adonis Stevenson still holds an iron clad claim to the linear championship.
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|Lara claims he wants to fight GGG|
Boxing writer Jeffrey Freeman grew up in the City of Champions, Brockton, Massachusetts during the marvelous career of middleweight champion Marvin Hagler. Freeman then lived in Lowell, Massachusetts during the best years of Micky Ward's illustrious career. A member of the RingTV expert writer prediction panel for 4 years, Freeman is also editor-in-chief of KO Digest, a social media outlet for the sweet science. Known affectionately as "KO" by friends and readers, Freeman covers boxing for The Sweet Science in New England.