One way to stop rot don't buy it

By ANENDRA SINGH sports editor

AS TEENAGERS our entertainment choices were limited when we were not playing sport in the tropical heat and humidity of Suva, Fiji.

When not throwing back bowls of kava with my fellow jungle bunnies I frequented movie theatres, which cost only 50c - or $1.20 if you wanted to look posh sitting on the balcony.

Always up for a challenge, we often masqueraded as adults, trying to bluff our way past the ticket booths to watch films rated R18 or R21.

It wasn't unusual for us to suffer in padded jackets in sweltering temperatures in a bid to look bigger and older, wishing our whiskers were rampant and pronounced.

Needless to say, if we got past the overwhelmed ticket seller then there were the cinema ushers to contend with. Armed with torches, they had the uncanny ability of singling out the impostors.

One successful night we snuck in to watch the R21-rated Exorcist, much to our delight.

My mates and I returned home after that and for about three nights we slept in our bedrooms with lights on but, boy o boy, did we get some undiluted thrills for our money.

Not surprisingly, the same cannot be said of the SBW circus as it continues to roll from one shanty town to another.

What is surprising, though, is the number of clowns who continue to subscribe to the never-ending circus.

I mean who in their right minds - and I bet you they aren't predominantly teenagers - will shell out $40 to watch a fight that had all the hallmarks of deception, even if someone invites eight mates over for a few beers to split the cost.

Quite a few, it seems, when common sense suggests that $40 could easily be spent on ordering some finger food or paying for the boys' taxi fare home.

If blood and guts is your fix then it might be damn sight cheaper to rent a Quentin Tarantino flick from Fatso.

Besides, there's fat chance you're going to see some over-the-hill bloke in the form of Francois Botha pretending to be the real deal.

Neither will you see some beefcake talking it up but failing to deliver - the acting will be a hell of a lot more convincing in the movies.

In some ways, you're better off watching the WWF wrestling where you know the moves are orchestrated to purely entertain and isn't masquerading under the banner of delivering the unexpected.

In a world of supply and demand, there's only one way to stop the rot.

Don't buy into one-trick pony show of Sonny Bill Williams and you can bet your bottom dollar he'll ride into the sunset never to return.

Besides, what makes a man such as Botha, who has a respectable record, want to spring off his lounge sofa to fight SBW?

A 12-round bout abbreviated to a 10-round one, Botha reportedly failing a drugs test, the referee confirming he knew there were offers of bribe to the South African's camp to lose, and Botha's camp calling for a rematch.

Boxing is no stranger to dodgy deals.

If the code is attempting to clean its act then it should deliver a wicked uppercut to sanctioning such fights, if you can call them that.

It's commendable that sports people jump into a ring to fight for charity but when the SBWs and Quade Coopers start cropping up against bums then the ruling body of the code should distance itself.

The shady world of boxing is so fragmented anyone can promote a fight night in the blink of an eye.

Throw in a belt, hire a mike-savvy bloke and away you go.

The betting agencies should be lauded for refunding money to punters for bets pertaining to the duration of the SBW fight.

Why Sky TV isn't following suit is deplorable but, again, not surprising.

If viewers were expecting a 12-round bout but got 10 then they were short changed, akin to people who have bought a foot-long sandwich for years only to find it is well shy of the length the fast-food chain has been advertising for yonks.

The SBW craze is no different to the battle of the bulge.

You know certain food items will make you obese so don't sink your teeth in them.

Yes, the All Blacks won the World Cup but was it because of the SBW factor?

Ditto the Chiefs.

It'll be interesting to find out if the defending Super Rugby champions believe they will be a step short of a canter this year because SBW isn't in the backline.

While some rugby fans probably still feel SBW is a loss to the code here, many will be relieved he's gone back to rugby league in Australia.

If people bought into the hype before the last Rugby World Cup then the code is better off.

But please spare us any dribble about how he is doing it for the love of his country.

No, there's nothing wrong with feathering one's own nest but when the product fails to live up to the hype then the brand is doomed. But, then again is it, if you're forking out $40 knowing the bout is a sham ... again in Durban?

- Hawkes Bay Today

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