Manipulation In The Ring

How many of you are boxing fans? I absolutely love the sport. I have so much respect for these men, beating unbelievable odds growing up and honing themselves into weapons through thousands of back breaking hours in the gym.

A good quote I saw was that you don’t “play” boxing like you do other sports. These athletes do very serious damage to each other and some don’t even leave the ring alive.

These men (and women), who mostly come from the humblest of backgrounds, arise to super stardom through sheer grit, determination and an indomitable willpower to keep going. It really is admirable.


Anyway, I’m sure some of you would have seen the mega fight of GGG vs Canelo 2 advertised at some point. This fight aired yesterday in the early hours of the morning in the U.K. Luckily, I managed to rush home from work and catch most of it.

It was a great fight, two of the toughest warriors on the planet going toe to toe.

What stood out for me was the quality of GGG’s jab. He was working it all night and landing it with supreme accuracy.

Both fighters are matching each other for power punches (any punch not a jab). Both are landing big shots right on the chin. Neither fighting willing to give an inch.

Canelo was trying to swing big haymakers and GGG was making him miss in wild fashion.

The fight ended in spectacular fanfare with both fighters trading blows in classic Mexican style.


Needless to say, hats off to both of these men for going the full 12 rounds in a brutal war. However, there was a very sour taste left in my mouth after this fight.

GGG was the champion. He was unbeaten. To win a fight in boxing against a champion, in a fight that goes the distance, must be a domination. Canelo somehow won the fight. Canelo did not overwhelm GGG in the fight and was eating a jab all night long.

The absolute worst thing for me, which I started to notice after the first couple of rounds, was that the commentators were trying to sell a narrative that simply didn’t correlate with what I was seeing. Alarm bells were going off in my head as I knew I was being manipulated.

You know the feeling. Something clicks, your brow furrows and you say “Wait a minute? What?”.

They were trying to trick me.

I didn’t buy it, the evidence was literally right in front of my face.

Max Kellerman in the post fight interview was just spouting buzz words and meaningless phrases such as Canelo winning “the story of the fight” whatever that was. They were still trying to hard sell their narrative right to the bitter end.

GGG was having none of it and stormed out the ring, knowing he’d been robbed on national television. I don’t blame him, it became a bizarre circus after the decision was announced.

I guess this is the classic persuasion vs manipulation argument. If the commentators were not so clearly biased and offered arguments as to why they had Canelo winning, maybe I could have seen the fight from a different view.

They were hiding the truth, had the intention of selling the robbery before it happened and attempted to take away my free thought by going along with their “expert” status.

All the hall marks of manipulation.

This is the same in any shady marketing or sales scenario. If someone has bad intentions, is withholding truth or attempting to take away free will, then they are manipulating you. They only care about advancing their own interests. Things like Juice+ and other pyramid schemes that litter social media feeds spring to mind.

Persuasion however advances the interests of all parties and everyone arrives at the truth in the end. Doctors persuade to you use the best treatment. Personal Trainers persuade you to do the exercise program. Salesmen persuade you to use a burglar alarm system to protect your house. Lawyers persuade the judge that you were only speeding to rush your child to hospital.


This was a loss for the sport of boxing. It didn’t sit well with me and neither do shady sales manipulations. Ethics should be at the heart of everything you do, respect your prospects and they will do anything for you. Manipulate them and they’ll never trust you again.

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