By Christopher Jason Young
Majority of the boxing articles you read about is normally about the current champions, top 10 fighters, and bright up and coming prospect.
This term BUM has been thrown around in boxing for decades. You have heard other boxers use it towards each other in trash talk. This day in age fans and some boxers would use that term about boxers that have several losses on their ledger who are not considered elite. Fans and fighters alike talk about their opponents saying that he only beats up on cab drivers or mailmen.
When using the word bum to describe something the word means inferior or worthless. When the word is used to describe someone, it means lazy or shiftless person, especially one who seeks to live solely by the support of others; incompetent or insignificant.
This article is about the rest of the boxers that don’t get the limelight or easily gets discarded by fans because they have several losses. When the fan or a non-combatant use that term about another pugilist to me they are not knowledgeable or they are being disrespectful.
What people don’t understand that 99% of pro-boxers that are licensed have full/part-time jobs and they are not promoted by a big-time promoter like Oscar De La Hoya, Eddie Hearn or Bob Arum. I know it’s hard to believe, but as of right now according, to Boxrec.com there are 22,662 boxers (male & female). If you take the top ten in each weight class male and female that would get you around 340 boxers. It’s probably safe to say that the top 10 in each weight class is supported by their promoter, their sponsors, or themselves. In other words, they don’t need a 9 to 5 to make ends meet.
Boxers have to start somewhere. When I see boxers today with a record similar like 12W-5L that come in for a fight purse between $600-$1000, you know they are not just doing this for the money. They are doing it for the love of the sport. They all have dreams and aspirations to make it, but they may not have the means, the support, or the skill set to achieve such goals.
Majority of your boxers come from an impoverished background and they chose this lifestyle as a way to bring them out of their situation, meanwhile, they are holding a job to provide for their family.
So you take that boxer who has a few losses and you put him up against a showcase fighter, who has the sponsorship, the backing of a promoter, access to better equipment and training, and all the boxer has to do is just focus on boxing, the outcome of the boxer that is without is dismal.
Then when he loses we cast him aside and say that he was a bum and in reality, he is a guy that is trying to work to provide for himself and his family through boxing to ultimately to achieve his dream to become world champ.
The first one that comes to my mind, I have to go back to 2006 is an Argentinean fighter name Carlos Baldomir. Baldomir came up the hard way like many boxers do. He literally came from nothing and made something out of his career. He was selling feather dusters on the streets of Argentina to make ends meet. He had several losses and draws on his record before he was given the opportunity to fight the undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah. This fight was a showcase fight for Zab Judah on Showtime and this fight was “supposed” to set up the winner to face Floyd Mayweather the number one contender that following summer. Baldomir wanted to challenge for all of the belts but he couldn’t afford all the sanctioning fees for all the belts. The sanctioning fees were more than Baldomir’s fight purse, which is sad.
So due to Zab overlooking Baldomir and his 42-9-6 record, he also overlooked Baldomir’s heart and determination, which in turn he lost his championship by a unanimous decision. This fight gave Baldomir opportunity to successfully defend his title against Arturo Gatti on HBO and headline a pay per view with Floyd Mayweather. Baldomir grossed 1.6 million dollars in his fight with Pretty Boy. He didn’t have to sell feather dusters no more and fought a few more times on premium cable and co-featured on pay per view event. His hard work, determination, and willing to face anybody anywhere he achieved his goals and dreams. Becoming a world champion and finally make enough money to take care of his family.
Baldomir finished his career 49-16-6-15KO. Now, will Carlos Baldomir ever be inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame? I highly doubt it, but that does not make him a bum.
Nowadays fans look at fighters like this and they blow them off. There are a couple of boxers that comes to mind that has walked the same path to become champions like Edgar Sosa (who had 5 losses before winning the title) and Cristobal Cruz (who had 11 losses and 1 draw before winning his first title). They both had a full-time job and a record that would be considered subpar by today’s standards
What I’m getting at that these warriors who put their lives on the line for less than modest pay to become great and at the same time to entertain us deserve more respect and credit. I know its far-fetched but the word bum should be eradicated from the minds and thoughts of people that truly have no idea what these combatants truly put themselves through. The word journeyman would be appropriate. The term journeyman is a fighter who has adequate skill but is not of the calibre of a contender or a gatekeeper. I am not a politically correct type of guy but that term bum and how its use is a little harsh. Just a thought.
You can send comments or question on twitter @GFofBoxing