I used to be a big time fight fan back in the day. Now, not so much. I couldn’t even tell you who all the heavyweight champions are without looking it up on Wikipedia, let alone the other 17 weight classes or so and their menagerie of governing bodies that look like someone played around with their Campbell’s Soup on one bored day.
NBC aired the first prime-time network fights last night since 1985, outside of “The Contender” reality show. It gave a lot of new faces a lot of exposure in one night they wouldn’t get in years of cable and pay-per-view donnybrooks, and I was pleased to see a local pugilist among those on the card.
Keith “One Time” Thurman, a welterweight fighter, was billed being from Largo, Florida, my hometown, although it looks like he also has ties to nearby Clearwater. He decisioned Robert Guerrero in the second of the two NBC fights (there was also a third fight on NBCSN that was a 10 rounder in the featherweight class) on the card.
Will boxing ever be restored to national prominence? The talk of the water coolers at work on Monday morning? Don’t know, but I wouldn’t doubt it. We are cyclical beings: whatever is old becomes new again, and then becomes old once more. Just the way our pop culture life works.