Here's a link showing several pictures of male child prostitutes on 7th avenue in the 1970's -- not female whores, but hardly the business boulevard that some of you goobers think it's always been. I always wondered whether or not the beginning of the instrumental section quotes the Fanfare melody before the Olympic Theme (The Bugler's Dream, later leading into the Olympic Theme by John Williams.) May sound far-fetched, but ABC first used the Fanfare for the 1968 Games and The Boxer was also recorded in 1968.
think that 7th Avenue never had whores obviously doesn't know anything about New York City in the 1960's. Perhaps the melody was in Simon's head and he thought to quote it as a triumphant boxer (in his own mind at least) has risen through the ranks.
But I was saying what I said based on his (Simon's) words that HE was the boxer.
You might THINK the the song being called "the boxer" means that the whole song is therefore about him. Now while Simon was a, mostly, clean cut dude, Garfunkel had a head of hair on him that was almost an afro.
As in, if you want sole-less automaton type work, work that doesn't fulfill what you are in life but just enough to get by, THAT is a perfect place to go, the same as you would do when you go to a whore.
The song gave me hope, in a time when I had none, that I would remain, I would survive.
So, I think artist's intentions and listeners lives make what they will of lyrics.... I was a teenager in the 60's and had a rather mixed bag of experiences.
My knowledge of S&G and comes primarily from research on the internet, the Bridge Over Troubled Water 40th Anniversary DVD, and a few people I knew in the recording industry who had a broader background and supposedly actually worked with some of the legends.
So I am not without a few certificates of knowledge and background.However, I will give a nod that MAYBE Simon was appealing to what he thought that hippies WANTED to hear and that he was speaking FOR them.