I've never paid (much) attention to boxing, but having a bout on in my city which attracted a stadium audience of fifty odd thousand, a large international viewership, and a week long build up in the media, I did notice it today. A few observations:
a. It was, I take it, a close win; but the sport does seem to have a credibility problem if some well known figures within it are going to carry on as much about a close decision not going the way they thought it should as they did today.
b. I won't go into the matter of concussion and blood and whether it's a sport that really should be endorsed as entertainment. (As it happens, I don't really have a strong view.) But I was annoyed to see on TV in the post match wrap up that our Lord Mayor (who was thrilled with the national and international publicity his city received for hosting it) had a couple of young, bare female torsos standing prominently behind him at his press conference table. Really, isn't the quasi-gladiatorial nature of the enterprise appealing enough to the average male viewer without throwing in titillating female (un)dress too? I thought the promoters could do a fair bit towards making it seem a sport more connected to modern mores if they avoided adding superfluous heterosexual messaging into the mix.
c. One thing I don't get about boxing at this level is how those who want to be close to the action will get all dressed up for it, as if it's as sophisticated as going to a ritzy European opera house. (Bear in mind, I have never been to an opera - I'm just trying to think of a form of entertainment most associated with dressing up for a night out.) Sure, it may well just be a factor of the wealth required to get an expensive seat, but if you're going to a show that appeals at a visceral level, why sit at it in a suit and look on impassively, as most seem to do. I have always wondered about this, as it strikes me as very incongruous - I have this feeling that, by rights, it should be more like how viewing Shakespeare in his day at the Globe was depicted in Shakespeare in Love - pretty rough and ready regardless of how much money you have.