An early contender for that title has got to be that the 2012 London Olympics will witness the debut of Women's Boxing as an Olympic sport.
Boxing (men's) used to be a big sport at the Olympics, and the short bouts were more exciting than long professional title fights. But it was always rife with ridiculous decisions, corruption, brawls between cornermen, and other bad craziness.
Plus, guys pounding each other in the head is just too brutal. I went to some preliminary rounds at the 1984 L.A. Olympics. First, they had flyweight bouts (something like 107 pound max). Those were a lot of fun because these guys couldn't seem to do much serious damage to each other. Then they had heavyweight bouts. One heavyweight caught another one under the chin with an upper cut that lifted the poor bastard clear off the floor. He laid on the canvas for 20 minutes until they strapped him to a cart and wheeled him away. That was the last time I went to a boxing match.
For a host of reasons, you haven't heard much about boxing in recent Olympics. It's a fading sport. But at least it has tradition.But adding women's boxing to the Olympics at this point in the history of boxing is a little like adding Women's Plunge for Distance to the 2012 Games.
As I wrote in my review of Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning 2004 women's boxing movie Million Dollar Baby:
In reality, women's boxing is a pseudo-feminist trashsport that briefly flourished in the 1990s when impresario Don King noticed that Mike Tyson fans got some kind of weird kick out of preliminary catfights between battling babes.
Traditionally, society objected to women brawling because (to paraphrase the answer the shady doctor in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" gives to the question of whether his memory erasure technique can cause brain damage), "Technically speaking, boxing is brain damage."
If a man gets his head caved in during some pointless scrap, well, some other man will just have to step in and do double duty carrying on the species. But, women are the limiting scarce resource in making babies, so each woman lost lowers the overall reproductive capacity.
That kind of proto-sociobiological reasoning is unthinkable today, yet that hasn't brought about a feminist utopia. Instead, men employ gender equality slogans to badger women into doing things guys enjoy.
Still, female fisticuffs have faded recently due to the supply side problem of finding enough low-cost opponents for the handful of women stars. While the number of male palookas who will fight for next to nothing in the hope of becoming Rocky Balboa is ample, managers needing fresh meat for their female champs to bash frequently have to hire hookers and strippers to take dives — and working girls don't work for free.
"Million Dollar Baby" simply ignores all this and asks you to believe that women's boxing today is a thriving duplicate of the men's fight game of a half century ago, Which allows Eastwood to make a 1955-style boxing movie.