Regarding Ali / Lesnar comparison: I certainly don't think it's the same thing - not perfectly comparable, but Ali is a high profile example of a good type of hype. He talked **** in a way that made it acceptable as opposed to the venomous bile Lesnar spat.
I was playing devil's advocate, not supporting Lesnar's actions. What I am getting at - is it just the way in which the hype is delivered? Is it the context and timing? Is it the person? I think it's all that stuff.
Frankly Lesnar's frustration at the fans was probably justified - he had defended his title against a game opponent, and did a good job of it. He got boo'd. I'd be pissed too. But that was some low class **** he pulled with giving the crowd the finger, sponsor bashing, and so on. Lesnar's post fight interview just sucked - he was angry, sarcastic, disrespectful, and dumb. I don't care what anyone says, the champion SHOULD be a spokesman for the sport. He was a lame representative. Mir was humbled and said "back to the drawing board."
On the other hand Torres fights with a sort of cold hatred and measured fury, but during the post fight interview I think "wow that guy has class". And I've seen a number of fights where the winner was boo'd and the winner and loser both spoke respectfully and turned the crowd around afterward (Jens Pulver's last couple fights).
That is why I will put my money on fights and fighters I think deserve it. **** Lesnar. I know I can't kick his ass, but I refuse to support him or his sponsors. Torres on the other hand - I'll reach into my wallet for that dude.
Sidebar - Does history allow "douchebaggery" to fade over time? Tyson is still considered an icon in the sport - based solely on his skill. Did his shitty antics with ears, girlfriends, managers etc. diminish the sport of boxing in the long run?