The world of sports is forever changing especially with social media directly impacting the news and bringing fans a bit closer to the personalities they adore and root for. One thing is on the steady decline, and that is the sport of boxing. I can’t recall in the past 10 years any other champion other than Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. I don’t exactly live under a rock either. The fact of the matter is boxing is losing it’s mystique it once had before the turn of the millennium. I remember when all my friends and family use to pay 60 bucks for a main event. It was a must see! If come Monday you didn’t see how Iron Mike KO’d Frank Bruno for the belt then just know come lunchtime you might as well sit with the “dweebs” and discuss the flaws of the periodic table.
I can’t really pinpoint where boxing went wrong or if they became to comfortable riding the coat tails of Tyson, Holyfield, Hopkins, Roy Jones, and De La Hoya to name a few. They were definitely usurped by mixed martial arts (MMA). Today I couldn’t begin to tell you who the world heavyweight champion is. I use to know every time a title changed hands, but now I can’t even picture how the title looks. The two superior fighters I have seen are aging but still skilled enough to put on a show for the ages that will be highlighted in the annals of boxing history. MMA now has firmly put itself on top of the mountain as far as fighting spectacles is concerned. Most notably Dana White’s Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones is a name that holds more weight than the boxing world itself aside from Money Mayweather and Pacquiao. It’s funny cause I know who the woman’s UFC champion is, Ronda Rousey, but have no idea who is the boxing heavyweight champion. Well needless to say I’ve done my research and Urkrainian Wladimir Klitschko has that claim to fame. I started to delve a little bit deeper and found that there are two other champions in the heavyweight ranks. Bermane Stiverne holds the WBC title and Ruslan Chagaev holds the WBA title. Klitschko is the IBF, IBO, and WBO world champ so naturally he would have to be considered the true champ given the accolades he currently holds.
The lack of marketing and promotion to me has handicapped boxing. When a boxing referee is recognized throughout the nation for working a prime time fight you know the sport is thriving. Referee Mills Lane garnered great attention and publicity after working the Tyson vs. Holyfield fight that ended with Tyson biting Holyfield’s ear in 1997. Soon after Mills Lane became a regular on MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch every week. Now if Celebrity Deathmatch was re-made UFC’s Herb Dean would steal the headlines and deservedly so. Dana White smartly teamed up with Fox and Spike tv to broadcast UFC on cable television. After about 6 months or so you can watch pay-per-view matches on cable television just to get a look at the products and the horses creating the buzz. Boxing could definitely use 100 Don King clones. That man could promote an ant fighting a caterpillar better than the current “promoters” can promote the numerous fights occurring that the general public is oblivious about. Now the sports two biggest stars have created a muck. We should be looking forward to seeing Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 3. Instead the fantasy fight is sailing into the sunset as both fighters are at the tail end of their careers. To make matters worst Pacquiao lost two fights back to back in 2012 to make Mayweather question Pacquiao’s true boxing acumen and make the potential superfight a tad bit less appealing. Luckily the Pacman has rebounded favorably for the dream fight by winning his last two with one avenging Timothy Bradley in the return bout for one of those aforementioned losses. Money Mayweather continues to ride the hot hand and is still undefeated.
They both have dominated the welterweight division and its rare in years past that welterweights get more coverage than middleweights or even heavyweights. Pacquiao has a title defense set for November the 22nd of this year against Chris Algieri and Mayweather has a rematch with Marcos Maidana on September 13 of this year. So after these two bouts and hopefully victories by the two prolific fighters can help push a match that can easily generate a billion dollars in profit that boxing can ideally invest into better ad and marketing ploys. Floyd Mayweather age 37 and Pacquiao age 35 need to see the bigger picture and give the public what it wants before it is too late. The hour glass is about out of sand and these fighters don’t have too much more time left in the limelight. Back in 2009 it looked as through this lamborghini of a fight would take place. Both sides ironed out their respective demands for the fight but terms of the contract did not appease to each party. Money Mayweather didnt want a 50/50 split of the purse. Pacquiao’s camp had an issue at first with the olympic style drug testing and then when the Money camp wanted testing to be done before the weigh-in Pacquiao refused stating “that would make him weaker for the fight.” The Pacquiao camp was okay with as many random tests as possible but any blood testing should be done 30 days before the match and then after the match. Mayweather’s Golden Boy Promotions wouldn’t budge on the matter. The Pacquiao camp, Top Rank, did offer to get blood tested 14 days before the fight and no sooner. Mayweather declined that clause as well.
Many people feel Mayweather is scared of fighting Pacquiao because Manny has the best chance to tarnish Mayweather’s career and hand him his first ever defeat. It seems logical but why would Floyd sabotage the bout when he could make 70 million off this fight alone. Is fear really that expensive that Mayweather would leave millions on the table. I personally feel like these guys have gotten to big for their britches and need to reaquaint themselves with the true definition of a fighter. After Pacquiao’s match in November a realistic time for this fight to go down would be the summer of 2015. This fight may not fend off the strong chokehold MMA has on boxing, but it will certainly be the jolt of publicity and fireworks boxing needs to combat UFC’s success. Lets just hope that somehow these two spartans can give the world what it has been chomping at the bit for. -BoSo