“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?”



While the answer to this is subjective, I always considered it to be quite simple. If there wasn’t ever any means to validate the sound, then in the end it was non-existent . In boxing, sometimes there’s a lot of ruckus that may surround a fighter at a certain place in their career, maybe even a little shake, rattle and roll too. However, what the world often seems to remember more of the said fighter, is how loud the sound of their demise echoed throughout the atmosphere.

It seems a bit coincidental that one can go out the way they often come in. In light of Nonito Donaire’s loss to Nicholas Walters this past weekend by KO, we all cannot forget how Nonito made his formal entry in the boxing world with that beautiful left hook that made Fernando Montiel’s world come crashing down ( I didn’t forget Darchinyan either). Donaire was one of the hottest things in boxing only a mere two years ago. He was being listed on the pound-for-pound rankings and regarded as the second coming Filipino phenom.

This looks to be a rather normal pattern for many-a-boxer these days. The same shooting star effect and fast fall trail is oddly common and could be said for how many of Donaire’s counterparts now? We could start with Juan Manuel Lopez, once considered the next big Puerto Rican star within a very short period only to have the title revoked in 18 rounds by the fists of Orlando Salido. Or maybe Kelly Pavlik, who was undoubtedly “the man” when he defeated Jermain Taylor twice, lost to Bernard Hopkins two fights later, is kept quiet for a bit and turns into a bloody mess to Sergio Martinez. Victor Ortiz? Was heavily and rapidly groomed by Golden Boy, even the ‘Golden Boy’ himself, to be the next Mexican-American star, only to mentally crumble at the mercy of a then relatively unknown hard-hitting Argentinean. Naseem Hamed, reigned as the best featherweight in the game for a good six years. He mainly fought domestically against basic talent, until he was placed outside of his comfort zone physically and tactically versus Barrera. He was then beaten in rather embarrassing fashion and retired at the ripe age of 27.

Lucian Bute, Fernando Vargas, I think you catch my drift

So what’s the problem? Who is to blame for this common occurrence? The promoter? The public? Or the boxer themselves? It’s kind of hard to really pin-point the exact reason, as it could be chalked up to an accumulation of things. The best reason could possibly be the over-zealousness of promoters to push, label, and force-feed a boxer they believe to be marketable, onto the public. This seems to happen usually way before a fighter may be skillfully ‘ready’, or better yet has even had the opportunity to prove themselves in general. One can understand it is a business before anything else, but I’m not so sure capitalizing or ‘pimping’ out a fighter is smart nor long-lasting. The methods of only setting them up with opposition they will look unbeatable against or just throwing them into the flames head first just about guarantee a ‘surprise’ down the line. These choices, whether they be by the power of the promoter, the demand of the fans or the ego of the boxer, nonetheless, continually result in similar consequences.

How can a big tree remain stable if the roots aren’t strong? Match a boxer parallel to this question. The difference here is that when this tree falls, everyone will hear it, because of it’s size. The more praised a boxer is in a short timeframe, the more attention he will receive, thus making his downfall that much louder.

But the fall isn’t always as easy as the rise to the top is. Only because big trees, will always fall hard.



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