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Shut Up and Fight: The Pacquiao-Mayweather Nonsense

While they should be fighting, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have looked more like this lately (photo from insidesports.ph)

One of them is a wild, gritty, scruffy-looking Filipino, who has been hailed as the best “pound-for-pound” fighter in the world.  He is the first boxer to win titles in seven different weight classes and became famous for his thunderous left-hook that knocked Ricky Hatton not only unconscious at the time, but possibly out of boxing for life. He is a congressman in his native Phillipine Islands, started his own political party in the country called the People’s Champ Movement, has released two studio albums, three singles and four music videos. He became a professional boxer as a 14-year-old to earn a living (he had been sleeping on the streets in the Philippine slums for years after running away from home when his father ate his dog amidst an argument).

The other is a flashy, cocky, showman who has given himself nicknames that include “Money,” “Pretty Boy,” and the “Pay Per View King.”  He has also been hailed as the best “pound-for-pound” fighter in the world. He is only the second fighter ever to go an entire round without being hit and won the highest-grossing boxing match of all time in a controversial bout with Oscar De La Hoya. He has starred in his own television shows on HBO to build attention for his fights, has appeared on the WWE, Dancing with the Stars, and, lately, has been seen in Forbes magazine more than in the ring.

And, at this point, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao still haven’t fought.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael broke down the recent pacification of the boxing game in his blog, which goes deeper than just Pacquiao/Mayweather.  But with two big names who seemingly refuse to fight, is the boxing game missing out on a big opportunity to be launched back into the mainstream sports scene?

Since the Great Depression, boxing has thrived off of rivalries and the anticipation over two big names ready to clash.  From the Joe Louis/Max Schmeling fights filled with racist/Nazi undertones, to the Thrilla in Manilla pitting sworn enemies Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier against each other, and even to boxing’s first cannibalism when Mike Tyson shook up the sports world by chomping on Evander Holyfield’s ear, history shows sports fans will tune in when there are two clashing personalities going at it.

But, with the spectacle that modern sports has become, Mayweather and Pacquiao have found every reason not to fight.  First there was Mayweather’s retirement, then demands for drug testing, and now, well, “no talks took place.”  Boxing fans aren’t even getting an excuse out of either side this time.  While representatives from either side continue to bicker over who is backing out this time, all we know for sure is that another supposed date for the two to meet has been cancelled.

At the same time, the younger markets continue to ignore boxing and tune into UFC.  The past decade has seen the retirements of Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, the depressing aging effects upon Oscar De La Hoya and the commercialization of Mike Tyson. Mayweather and Pacquiao have each had a couple of interesting fights (Mayweather/De La Hoya, Pacquiao/Hatton and Cotto), but mostly they’ve had to rely on their television, music and government news to get a mention on Sportscenter.

Meanwhile, Chuck Lidell, Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar are becoming household names.

So, with this week bringing the most recent in a two-year series of disappointments between Mayweather and Pacquiao, boxing seems to be missing out on an opportunity to pick itself up from its currently obscure status.  Setting aside all of the negotiations, speculation, drug-allegations and general nonsense, an actual fight between these two might have the potential to break Mayweather’s previous revenue record against De La Hoya.  Come to think of it, maybe these two are marketing masterminds, setting up ridiculous allegations and creating years of anticipation for the day they finally do fight, in which people will tune in just to see what has been put off for so many years.

Either way, it’s just embarrassing, and sports fans don’t deserve it.  If we are expected to view boxing as a legitimate sport, it can’t have two alleged best “pound-for-pound” fighters in the world.  As Cal Naughton Jr. said it: you can’t have two number one’s, that makes 11.

We need a champ.  We need a reason to watch.  In order for either one of those things to happen, they need to drop the microphones, pick up their gloves, and man up for their sport.

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Discussion

7 comments for “Shut Up and Fight: The Pacquiao-Mayweather Nonsense”

  1. Snoop Dogg is working on it. With his negotiation skills, the fight will happen in no time. (http://fighthype.com/pages/content7996.html)

    Posted by Wayne | July 24, 2010, 1:19 pm
  2. did snoop dogg just tell someone else to get drugs out of their system (talking about the video wayne just posted up there)?

    Posted by Colin Neagle | July 24, 2010, 4:23 pm
  3. I agree with your thesis that boxing needs to get its act together and get these two guys into the ring. They have been losing ground since the 80´s.
    UFC has the potential of being absolutely huge. Not only in the US, but also in Asia, South-America, Europe, almost anywhere in the world. They can, and I hope they will take boxings place as the number 1 “fighting sport” in the world.
    The problem with it is that it does not seem to be getting the best fighters. Many analysts state that there are alot of figthers who could demolish the current UFC champions.
    If UFC could get these guys, it would make it much more marketable.

    Posted by john | July 24, 2010, 5:18 pm
  4. Manny Pacquiao is not even a good fighter. I would love to see him square against Ludvig Borga.
    Just Congressman against Congressman.

    Posted by T. kickass | July 24, 2010, 7:14 pm
  5. UFC Is going the way of WWF. They’re all good fighters for sure; but it’s becoming more and more about the spectacle. Not the fighter, not the sport. Ali, Frazier, Foreman, De la Hoya, Tyson ect. are all still household names.

    UFC is only concerned about the next fights ticket sales. It has the potential to be bigger, but there are plenty of other MMA leagues all over the world.

    Boxing is a sport, UFC is people fighting. Boxing was never about who was the best “fighter”. It was about who was the best boxer. It was about their personalities and the game.

    Pacquiao and Mayweather are missing out big and disrespecting their sport. Marketing aside, they both need to remember why the put the gloves on in the first place.

    The best comment in this article was If we are expected to view boxing as a legitimate sport, it can’t have two alleged best “pound-for-pound” fighters in the world”.

    That’s the truth, nobody would give a crap about football if every year the superbowl ended in a tie. There are too many “world title” belts to win, and too much speculation.

    Posted by . | July 24, 2010, 8:27 pm
  6. First of all, I don’t think Kickass knows what the hell he’s talking about. He must be from some Scandanavian country that knows nothing about fighting. I truly believe this fight will eventually happen, and Pacquiao will show that he truly is the best pound for pound fighter.

    Posted by Flip | July 26, 2010, 6:56 pm
  7. Could well be fight of the year, so far Pacquiao has shown he has never been afraid to stand toe to toe with every fighter he has faced.

    Could he do this with a man of Margaritto stature.

    That alone will be something to behold, small 5’6 guy fighting a 5’11 guy outweighing him by over a stone but the little guy is not just out boxing him he overpowering him, standing there and trading and making Marg take the backward steps and folding under the pressure.

    Pacquiao is too goo for his own good, if Juan Diaz said he was going to take on Margaritto people would say it was a mammoth task and Diaz could well take a beating. This is the same Diaz who the same people say Pacquiao ducked.

    This is going to be Pacquiao toughest fight and the Pacquiao vs Margarito could be FOTY

    Posted by Pacquiao vs Margarito | August 19, 2010, 8:53 am

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