Friday, March 9, 2007



March 9, 2007 -- SATURDAY night's IBF flyweight championship on Showtime had the kind of ending that made bigger news when boxing made bigger news.

It was stopped in the 12th, when Vic Darchinyan had Victor Burgos out on his feet. Helped back to his corner, Burgos began to show that he was in big trouble, starting with his inability to sit up.
A minute later, Burgos was down, marginally conscious and unresponsive to prompts. He was placed on a stretcher and carried from the ring.

Showtime's Steve Albert and Al Bernstein grew deadly serious. Roving reporter Jim Gray found the ringside doctor, who in guarded words nonetheless made it clear that Burgos might be in grave danger.

As soon as word came from the hospital (where Burgos would survive emergency brain surgery), it would be relayed to us, Bernstein told us. It went on like this, until the telecast was thrown to Karen Bryant.

Incredibly, Bryant's job, at that moment, was to promote Showtime's partnership with Elite Extreme Combat, one of a bunch of mixed martial arts/ultimate fighting groups now making exclusive network deals.

"Well," said Bryant, "we have seen the intensity of punches tonight with Darchinyan vs. Burgos. Now think about adding knees, elbows and kicks to the mix!"

That's right, if you thought that what just happened to Burgos was neat, get a load of this! And then Showtime aired clips of men and women punching, kicking and kneeing the brains out of each other.

Give Showtime credit. In the re-air of Darchinyan-Burgos, Tuesday, it left this segment in. You and I might've been inclined to pull it. Then again, maybe such a sell at such a moment perfectly suited the shared goals of Showtime and Elite Extreme Combat.

One more thing: If you're a respectful fan and/or practitioner of mixed martial arts, one who regards the sport as a legitimate art, don't tell me about it, tell the networks and the promoters. They're selling it - mostly while targeting young adult males - not as an art but as a blood sport, as a carnage-promising blood sport, nothing better and nothing more.

Even with a boxer being rushed to the hospital to relieve a clot on his brain, "extreme fighting" is being sold by TV and on TV as a mindless, come-and-get-it blood sport, as human pit bull fighting. Just what we needed.


1 comment:

Piz Doff - Bullshid said...

Thanks for the writeup. I had missed hearing about this match perviously.

We are all glad that Victor Burgos has awoken from his coma and is making progress.,22049,21334188-5001023,00.html

Piz Doff