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Boxing Stereotype Comes Crashing Down

The latest victory by an Eastern European fighter over an American for a heavyweight title nearly completes a sweep for Eastern Europeans. Wladimir Klitschko's dominant performance over Chris Byrd gave him "part" of the heavyweight title in a sport where there are often four recognized champions in one division. Only in boxing could something so dumb and corrupt occur.

That aside, the shift in boxing, particularly with the heavyweights, is very interesting.Klitschko now joins fellow Eastern Europeans Nikolay Vaulev and Sergei Liakhovich as the champs. American Hasim Rahman is the only non-Euro to hold a title.

But he is due to fight Oleg Maskaev-you guessed it-another Eastern European for Rahman's portion of the belt. The two already fought in 1999 in which Rahman was blasted out of the ring and crashed onto a table where HBO broadcasters were doing the fight. The event led to a mini-riot and Maskaev walked away with a brutal and stunning victory. This massive change in boxing where Americans now hold just a handful of titles is very similar to America's declining status as a nation as well.

The world is catching up. Boxing is just another example of that.Also, the stereotype of white guys "not being able to box" has become laughable. The Europeans have proven they can "throw down" with the best of them.

Amazingly, the crop of Eastern European fighters is only growing like a bullpen filled with good pitching.The reality is boxing often represents those who are poor in a society. Eastern Europe has gone through a lot of growing pains and poverty is prevalent. Plus, boxing is a major sport from such a place. The mix equals success in the ring.

Of course, American whites had a large impact on boxing up until the 1960's. Jews, Irish and Italians had a huge impact on boxing along with African-American fighters. But now the American impact on boxing from all races is slowly drying up like an oil field; this is certainly true when it comes to the champions.It is always a good thing when a stereotype is dropped on its head. Black quarterbacks have proven that blacks can drop back and gunsling with the best of them.

Now, white fighters have made a big comeback in a sport where jokes used to be told about them. The jokes are gone. Then again, so are the American title-holders.

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Robert Carberry is a freelance writer from New York.

By: Robert Carberry



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