The Sun Will Come Out
By Richard E. Baker on January 21, 2021
Just think of the various title fights coming before the end of January. (Photo: Robert Ecksel)
Suddenly the world seems a brighter place. Americans can once again hold up their heads with pride and look toward the future as moral leaders, ready to face the future with honesty and acceptance of all peoples. Boxing fans should understand the tolerance of all minorities more than most people. Our heroes, our entertainment, our inspiration, often come from suffering nations from around the world, people willing to fight for a better life, for one small chance to get a chance. That has never changed. Boxers flooded here from Ireland, Africa, Britain, Italy; Jews, Germans, Russians, Mexicans, Frenchmen, Spaniards, and people from all over the world, followed by immigrants from those countries, all came to this nation and made America, not a perfect America, but better than we were without them. Who could criticize people for wanting a better life for their families, for their children and grandchildren? To exclude people willing to work is cruel and criminal.
I have spent a lot of time working beside Mexican families, as a kid in the San Joaquin Valley irrigating fields, and later with boxers. I have never known a family that did not work and support one another. And, they have made a success of their lives without even speaking the language. How many Americans could go to another country and do the same?
Think of all the great fighters and champions we have known and the struggles they have suffered just to earn a living, all the prejudices they have endured, all the humiliation, boxers who have put their lives on the line yet could not eat in certain restaurants or stay in certain hotels. All Americans are immigrants, even the Indians. We all came from someplace else, either Europe or Asia, and most of our families came for a better life. Together we can make a better life. Because of this, life suddenly seems renewed and a better just over the horizon. And, if we do not get there, so what? The joy and satisfaction is in the attempt. We have been recently down, but we are not out. We can still rise, clear our heads, and battle on.
Even the latest boxing news from around the world seems uplifting. More and more fights are starting to appear. Perhaps this year we might get back into the arenas and club shows. Yes, Canelo Alvarez will probably not fight a worthy opponent for fear he will get beaten and exposed as getting old, but that is not unusual. Fighters continue to dodge Terence Crawford, one of the best in the business, as they wait for him to grow old. And most other champions refuse to fight worthy opponents, instead attempting to earn as much money as they can before being exposed. We must always deal with the politics of boxing.
Just think of the various title fights coming before the end of January: Kosuke Saka vs. Takuya Watanabe, Bruno Surace vs. Diego Natchoo, Angelo Leo vs. Stephen Fulton, Steven Butler vs. Jose Macias, Ibrahim Mgender vs. Dennis Mwale, Manuel Charr vs. Trevor Bryan, Beibut Shumenov vs. Raphael Murphy, Micalea Lujan vs. Debora Gomez, and Melvin Lopez vs. Carlos Sardinez. Those are just some of the fights coming up in the next two weeks. Don’t forget Caleb Plant vs. Caleb Truax. Plant, sure of his skills, will always fight the toughest opponents he can find. This should be a great fight.
Fighters who train in the Northwest have also taken an upswing. Offers are coming in and they are refusing no one.
David Benavidez will soon be signing for a fight. He wants to fight Canelo but understands he must win another championship after losing the WBC title on the scales. Once Benavidez wins a title Alvarez will jump to another weight division to avoid the chance of losing his title. Abraham Martinez will be fighting soon as will Jose Valenzula. Kadin LeCoure will soon relaunch his career in Montana. Angelica Rascon fights in Tijuana February 20 and two-time champion Moises Flores attempts to redeem his three loses in Mexico on February 26 and return to his winning ways. New-comer Chris Ruiz has his first PBC televised fight on in March.
Manager Ray Frye continues to sponsor fights in Mexico and new promoter Rob Wienholz is starting a series of fights in Montana. Promoter Brian Halquist and the Emerald Queen Casino are presently stalled but hope to reopen soon.
It’s a new day; it’s a new life; it’s a new world, and I’m feeling great.