October 10, 2014

Why Fame Matters — It's not the International Boxing Hall of Feints

Micky Ward & Marlon Starling know it's boxing not baseball 
By Jeffrey Freeman — In these constantly changing eras of boxing where an already unquantifiable measurement of greatness must be taken (by IBHOF voters) based off subjective judging and myriad other hard to gauge criteria, one thing I'd place consistent value on is FAME, you know, like what they named that peaceful place in Canastota, NY the Hall of...

Getting famous through the profession of pugilism (becoming a household name or very well known outside boxing's close-knit nerd circles) is a VERY HARD thing to do. It's an accomplishment in and of itself (making fans, including the general public, connect with you, care about you, engage in your career, and remember you —  these are elements of this and can be achieved in many different ways but not by magic or through osmosis) and it's one thing I'll not ignore if someday I'm privileged enough to be an IBHOF voter as a BWAA member, but that's for another day.

"Boom Boom" & Carmen Basilio in boxing heaven 
Today, I'm writing out my own political litmus test for all to see, and making my own recommendations to those who can vote. It's the least I can do while simultaneously being the best I can do. In March of 2012 I wrote a piece that was published on the pages of Beyond the Badge newspaper entitled "Does Arturo Gatti Belong in the International Boxing Hall of Fame?" Distributing it during the 2012 IBHOF Induction Weekend to fans and media alike, it no doubt influenced a few votes in favor of Gatti's ultimate first ballot induction. It's the least I could do for Thunder's legacy, his beautiful daughter Sofia, and his fine young son Arturo Junior.

Yes of course fellow fight fans, "greatness" matters in the sense of having a talented skillset, world title defenses, and "quality" wins over other great fighters but this is all still highly subjective material. These young kids today call it a good "resume." Call me old fashioned, I prefer a good hit "record" — but why dabble in differences? Fame is transcendent (it's valuable) and achieving a lasting form of it is worth more than all the ABC title belts you could list in bullet points on a promotionally padded resume. Boxing is not baseball.

Free Advice by Jeffrey Freeman

To the International Boxing Hall of Fame and its Voters: For your consideration and with all due respect, KO Digest recommends casting your votes for Julian Jackson, Ray Mancini, Vinny Pazienza, Riddick Bowe, and Naseem Hamed in the MODERN category and in the OLD-TIMERS category: Joey Archer, Tony DeMarco, and Eddie Booker.