For nearly six years, the fans have waited for two of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of this generation to meet in the ring. The fight pits offensive machine vs. defensive technician, two opposites, but it sure makes for good entertainment.
Manny Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is a strategic genius, but even he came up short in his only attempt to give Floyd Mayweather Jr. his first career loss. Roach trained six-division world champion Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 but lost a split decision.
While Roach remains certain that he can formulate a strategy to defeat the 47-0 Mayweather. Many question whether or not Pacquiao will be able to effectuate any differently than he has. Especially at this point in his legendary career.
Roach knows that Mayweather’s style will present Pacquiao with a stern test, but it’s a battle that Roach thinks the eight-division world champion is capable of winning. On May 2nd, we will find out if Pacquiao has what it takes to give Mayweather the toughest fight of his professional career.
The talk no longer matters. The mega-fight is signed, and now we anticipate the buildup to the fight, which will be full of hype, trash talking, and voluptuous dollar bills, likely to be flashed by ‘Money’ himself.
The bout is assured to shatter every possible record, including total gate, pay-per-view revenue and the largest purse one can earn in a fight. No matter what happens on May 2nd, both parties will be accumulating well over $100 million each.
Sorry to ruin the feverishness for anyone out there, but the sport cannot be saved from this fight alone. Sure, the fight is happening and by all means that is terrific for the fans, especially those who have been waiting like so many of us for this event to take place.
But in many ways, the sport does not need to be saved. Boxing is the most heterogeneous sport in the world, and I am confident in calling that as fact. As of the moment this article was written, boxing has world champions from over 23 countries. Not even the UFC can controvert that fact, as they have world champions from a mere two countries as we stand, Brazil and the United States.
There remains a large amount of effervescent fans today, albeit a majority of them are centered on African-Americans and Hispanics. I have personally seen this at Iron Boy events that I have attended since late 2014.
According to the Bible on Mark 14:7 it states, “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me.”
What I am trying to get at with the reference to the Bible is that there will always be poor people in the world. This is verisimilitudinous and the reality of boxing. Boxing has always been a sport for the poor. Manny Pacquiao himself had to fight for his life to preserve his family and look at how successful he has been in the sport.
Fighters that fight professionally for the fun of the game don’t tend to be as hungry or as willing to go that extra mile as an individual who has to fight. A perfect example would be Steve Vukosa at the Boxcino Heavyweight Quarterfinals on 21 February this past Saturday. He admitted that the fight was all fun and games for him, but Donovan Dennis did not see eye-to-eye with Vukosa. Vukosa was stopped in the fourth round.
The last time we had one of these “save boxing” events, it was Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. At the time, the matchup set the most record for PPV buys with 2.4 million households, wiping out the previous record of 1.99 million for Holyfield-Tyson II. In addition, $136 million was generated by PPV revenue, with De La Hoya earning $52 million for the fight. If that fight did not save the sport, neither will Mayweather-Pacquiao.
The creation of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC run by Mayweather’s manager Al Haymon is the most recent attempt to “save the sport”, albeit it has received a mixed response from the boxing community. Haymon is notorious for helping his fighters deviate from the more dangerous path. There is only so much that free prime time network television can do though. The only way to “save” the sport is to have the best fight the best at every fight.