Like the great urban philosopher Calvin Broadus – otherwise known as Snoop Dogg – once said, “There are two things in life that you can’t play with. This Boxing, and this pimp.”
Last fall, Nate Robinson learned that lesson. And on Sunday night, Chad Johnson did it too. While boxing may not be the preeminent sport it once was, since it has been overtaken by mixed martial arts, and hampered by horrific tricks and decisions by the judges – it’s still sweet science. It’s always a sport where the only job of the referee is to make sure you don’t die in the ring because of all the punitive shots a hunter can take in the head.
Because if you’re not careful, you can’t be left behind.
Since hanging up his heels, Johnson has been involved in MLS, podcasting and e-sports. Athletes looking for what comes after their retirement is nothing new, since they often find themselves trying to fill a gap. They need something to do competitively, whether it’s another sport or an aspect of everyday life. For Johnson – at the age of 43 – he decided to face former MMA fighter Brian Maxwell in a four-round showdown on fight card Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Logan Paul it was a chance he wanted to take.
“My life has always been about taking chances and doing crazy things – this was on my bucket list,” Johnson said. “That was a message for everyone out there: Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to take it. All right.”
Confronted with younger Maxwell, 33, who is currently a bare-knuckle fighter, Johnson threw, landed and connected with fewer fists in every category except shots. The statistics are ironic, given that Johnson has had problems with the terrifying punch against another adult man given his story that includes allegations of domestic violence by his defenseless ex-wife – who has ended his NFL career.
“As much as I try to heal from this, there are messages like this that are activating for me. It wasn’t the first time,” Johnson’s ex-wife Evelyn Lozada said last summer in the video posted on social media after Johnson posted a tweet about how the 2012 incident was a three-second mistake and the only time he lost his temper.
The blow to women has never been good, and never will be. Got it? Good. Now back to “boxing”.
When Robinson was sacked last fall he was the talk of social media as he became the re meme instead of the king of the ring. As a former starting quarterback at the University of Washington and 3-time NBA Slam Dunk champion, there was already proof that Robinson was an excellent athlete. But that doesn’t mean Robinson, Johnson, or any other ex-athlete who might think about entering the ring has any activity wearing gloves. That’s why you can’t surround yourself with “you are men”.
Boxing is one of the best workouts you can do, as it incorporates your entire body, burns calories, improves hand-eye coordination, and increases your strength and endurance. It’s no surprise that athletes find themselves immersed in the sport during, or after, their primary career to gain an advantage or stay in shape. But, they usually do it behind closed doors. So, unless Chad Johnson and Nate Robinson are going to jump in the ring for charity, it’s time to put on the gloves. We leave the sport to those who can dodge a fair cross.