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Original Issue


The Steep Science
The De La Hoya--Mayweather fight (Golden Boy vs. Pretty Boy, May 7) was touted as the Super Bowl of boxing. Guess what? I can watch the real Super Bowl for free. I can watch the World Series for free. I can watch the Stanley Cup for free, too. Pay-per-view is what killed boxing for the average Joe.
Julia Liu, Tivoli, N.Y.

Thank you for putting Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather on your cover. There are more of us boxing fans out there than people realize. Mayweather is to his generation of boxers what Roger Federer is to his generation of tennis players—on a completely different level, and immensely underappreciated.
Jake Emen, Rockville, Md.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is an arrogant, disrespectful, insecure man in need of a major humbling. His dysfunctional family is no excuse for the way he treats others, especially his father. I'd rather see boxing fade out with pride than to be "saved" by arrogance.
Dave Longnecker, Binghamton, N.Y.

You can still walk into a boxing gym and work right next to a world champ. Where can you bump into Barry Bonds for a catch? Most boxers are craftsmen who toil for pocket change in a sport they love. Give boxing its due, and the public will come.
Ernest Rodriguez, Nashville

Why would anyone want to save this "sport"? It's legalized brutality—assault and battery that, if done outside the boxing ring, would result in jail time. It's time to let boxing die.
Sheila M. Cooley, Los Angeles

You billed Floyd Mayweather Jr. as "the best pound-for-pound fighter." Mayweather has stated elsewhere that most who compete in mixed martial arts are street fighters who couldn't make it in boxing. Mayweather may be the best pound-for-pound boxer, but how much of a fight would he put up if he were put on his back? How is his submission defense? It would be nice to see Mayweather take on a mixed-martial-arts fighter and try to back up his words.
Matthew Stemerick, Snohomish, Wash.

The way to save boxing isn't to hype a single fight. Boxing needs to abandon its traditional titles and replace them with annual tournaments. The eight top fighters in each division could progress from first-round bouts in the spring to championships in the fall. The fights would all mean something, and the boxers would gain their reputations in the ring.
Steven Chappell, North Syracuse, N.Y.

Laurels for Hardy
There are more than three National League shortstops redefining the position. Your article on Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins (Fast Company, May 7) reminds me of the time when Nomar, Jeter and A-Rod were talked about as redefining the position in the AL—and Miguel Tejada was an afterthought. The Brewers' J.J. Hardy and his fast start to the season merit recognition.
Zach Schmidtknecht, Cochrane, Wis.

For more on J.J. Hardy, see page 37.

Waive the Flag?
It's interesting to read that high school girls in Florida are switching from track and softball to flag football (HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS, May 7). The game does sound exciting and fun for them. However, I hope those girls realize that the chances of parlaying football success into a college sports scholarship are nil, since flag football isn't a regular college sport.
Jack Dill, Blanchard, Okla.

Melting in Motown
Pierre McGuire asserts that the empty seats at Red Wings playoff games are attributable to the downturn in the Detroit economy (INSIDE THE NHL, May 7). While that may be a convenient explanation, the truth is, the empty seats reflect the declining popularity of the NHL even in Hockeytown. The Pistons had no trouble selling out 41 regular-season and their playoff games this year in an arena that seats 2,000 more than the Red Wings' does, and the Tigers, on the heels of winning the 2006 pennant, saw their attendance increase more than 10,000 per game through the first 17 games this season compared with the first 17 games of 2006.
David Schmidt, Harleysville, Pa.

Remembering Bluffton
I was deeply moved by L. Jon Wertheim's article on the tragedy of the Bluffton University baseball team (The Heroes of Bluffton, May 7). I was particularly touched by the response of John Betts when he was asked if he was angry over the death of his son, David. Betts faithfully responded, "Angry? David was a gift from God I had for more than 20 years. How can I be angry about a gift?" If only we could all approach adversity with such perspective.
Jamie Lane, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Mocking the Draft
Thank you, Rick Reilly, for catching ESPN analyst Steve Young using "resurgence" as a verb during the NFL draft broadcast (LIFE OF REILLY, May 7). You are doing a great job grammaring us.
William H. Berger, Franklin, Tenn.

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