Boxing is the ultimate solo sport. Once the bell rings, your trainer, corner man, even the bloodthirsty crowd slowly fade away until you are left completely alone, under the searing spotlight, facing a singular opponent. The required naked ambition, simplicity, and, of course, brutality once made it the most popular sport in the world. But lately, boxing has been losing its appeal, and not so slowly. Lack of personalities, continuous controversy, and the emergence of mixed martial arts have all conspired to take pot-shots at boxing, until it teeters on the verge of a technical knockout. Enter the World Series of Boxing. With 16 teams of boxers scattered across three continents, the WSB is trying to take the popularity of team sports and fuse it with the allure of the invincible gladiator. The WSB was designed to give boxing a shot in the arm, says Mike Sophia, general manager of the local Miami Gallos. Boxing is one of the oldest sports, but it has never changed or evolved. This is a chance for it to reinvent itself. For a front row view of whether this experiment will work, check out the action when the Gallos (Fighting Roosters) face off against the Mexico City Guerreros in the best of five bouts at the American Airlines Arena. The Gallos come into the showdown with a 1-1 record.
Thu., Dec. 9, 8 p.m., 2010