The Misappropriation of Avoiding
Inside the boxing ring avoiding is an art form, avoiding your enemies' offense is half of the sweet science “hit and not get hit” is the name of the game. Watching boxers who have mastered the defensive skill with slipping, blocking, rolling, and fast reflexes is something to behold. However, outside of the boxing ring this is not and should not be accepted, but is becoming an all too well known practice with excuses more and more common, made on behalf of fighters by managers, promoters, and sometimes even the fighters themselves. Every high profile boxer is accused of this at one time or another in their careers by others with personal and/or business agendas. Being able to recognize who is guilty of this offense is the tricky part when looking from the outside in. Before we get more into it let’s look at the definition:
–verb (used with object)
1. To keep away from; keep clear of; shun: to avoid a person; to avoid taxes; to avoid danger.
2. To prevent from happening: to avoid falling.
3. Law. To make void or of no effect; invalidate.
4. Obsolete. To empty; eject or expel.
—Synonyms 1. Elude. Avoid, escape mean to come through a potentially harmful or unpleasant experience, without suffering serious consequences. To avoid is to succeed in keeping away from something dangerous or undesirable: to avoid meeting an enemy. Escape suggests encountering peril but coming through it safely: to escape drowning.
—Antonyms 1. Confront, face, encounter.
Hearing detractors of the Tijauna Tornado saying Margarito is avoiding Paul Williams to face Oscar De La Hoya, Joshua Clottey, or Miguel Cotto, is like saying he is avoiding Jason to face Freddy Krueger, Mike Myers, or Leatherface. Antonio, who is now trying to cash in on his new found fame, is volleying hard for a fight against boxing’s all time biggest money makers The Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya, is being unfairly criticized for wanting to secure what would surely be his biggest pay day and his biggest audience. Others were criticized in a seemingly similar situation, but, if one looks closer and compares situations, they were not nearly the same. The criticism was not as much as for whom he fought, more than it was for whom he was (and was not) planning on fighting, for his unwillingness to face top contenders in his division, and for his schedule of one fight every 8 months.
Antonio took tremendous shots in his last fight from the former consensus #1 fighter in his division and top 5 pound for pound fighter, and he is still coming back to fight a top welterweight less than 4 months later, that should be commended. Accusers of Margarito avoiding Williams are exaggerating and holding Antonio to a higher standard when compared to other fighters of recent times. The Tijuana Tornado has faced the most top 10 welterweight contenders in recent years in Sergio Martinez, David Santos, Antonio Diaz, Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis, Hercules Kyvelos, Sebastian Lujan, Kermit Cintron (twice), Joshua Clottey, Paul Williams, and Miguel Cotto. This, while calling out every other titleholder in his division from De La Hoya, Mosley, Forrest, Mayorga, to Spinks, Judah, Baldomir, and Mayweather, never getting the opportunity to prove himself against the best at in the division at those times. How soon some seem to forget that Margarito could have easily vacated the WBO title and fought Cotto last year rather than face the then undefeated 6’ 2 southpaw Paul Williams, but he didn't, he chose to face him instead of taking the bigger pay day and more exposure.
I, for one, am not the least bit concerned about the right fights getting made with Antonio at the helm of the welterweight division, as long as he has the title there will be no challenger left behind, which is more than I could have said when there was someone else at the top of the division. Detractors know this, so they choose to attack now, while the opportunity is available because they know, as I do, that if the Tijuana Tornado has the title Margarito-Williams will be made. No tournaments to face him or certain level of popularity needed here, all you need is a belt or your last name to be De La Hoya. I assume that those that hate on the Tijuana Tornado would rather have someone that does not fight the most deserving competitors and just waits around for the most popular fighters to pad his bank account. Too bad for them because I know, I don’t.