Many of us younger (or even just young-ish) boxing fans seem to have a somewhat utopian view of what the sport used to be like, as compared to what it's like now.
A lot of that may come from having guys like Bert Sugar spin fanciful yarns about promoters having rickety bleachers built around a shabby boxing ring so that tens of thousands of spectators could toss a nickel at a box to get in and catch a fight for the ages, that also happened to be extremely important to the fabric of the sport.
It's kinda like your parents outlining why their old school R&B was better than your hip hop - or why their classic rock and oldies were better than your rock and roll.
But said rose-colored outlook on yesterday's boxing (and your folks' music) may also be because sometimes it was true.
The sweet science really isn't operating on the same plane of popularity that it used to, and one of the clear indicators of that fact is the dearth of free boxing here in the U.S.
Getting the sport back onto a mainstream network is something pundits and aficionados have emphasized as one of the more important factors in helping to prove to a skeptical public that boxing isn't just a shady sideshow.
As has been the case in many other instances though, mixed martial arts (or more specifically, the UFC) has beaten boxing to the punch, securing a 7-year network deal with Fox to air live fights.