Everybody who recognizes quality storytelling knows that a hero is only as good as the villains he must combat. In boxing, the bad guys provide the depth and character needed to make the sport a true, must-see athletic drama.
Here's a look at those fighters fans just love to hate:
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Boxing's favorite villain continues to make headlines and generate copious amounts of hate. Most vexing for many is the fact that behind Mayweather's arrogant "Money" persona is the most talented and skilled fighter in the game. For all the professed hatred of Mayweather, fans and critics alike swarm to all things Mayweather-related.
Rios is a loud-mouth, rude, and crude boxing personality, but the crass brawler from the Robert Garcia team of fighters is as compelling a pugilist as you'll find in the sport today. "Bam Bam" makes up for every insensitive and sometimes moronic statement made outside the ring by providing true in-ring drama.
Most critics have stopped actively hating on the three-belt, undisputed king of the heavyweight division. Now, they've taken to just ignoring the hulking champ from the Ukraine. After all, it's hard to have your hopes for a brutal upset dashed fight after fight, year after year. It's still easy to root against the 6 ft. 6 champ, but, with an already-conquered heavyweight division at his feet, the hate is rather pointless.
The fast-talking Brit may have his loyal band of fans, but many boxing loyalists take delight in any career setback that befalls the former Olympian. Seen by many as over-hyped, Khan remains a target for critics who balk at a perceived "too quick" rise to the top. While Khan may have demonstrated his world class chops against a handful of legitimate opponents, the devout Khan critics still take digs at the junior welterweight star and eagerly anticipate his next misstep.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Chavez Jr.'s status as the son of a legendary boxing figure pushed him through the door and gave him a shortcut to the top. It also made him a target for widespread criticism. Winning a WBC middleweight belt that was stripped from Sergio Martinez and practically handed to him on a velvet pillow didn't help Jr.'s case. To his credit, the second generation star has withstood the barrage of criticism and is developing into a solid fighter. Still, it's hard to avoid the hate when you're perceived as a product of boxing nepotism.
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Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. He is also a contributor to Fox Sports. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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