If you find yourself less than excited about boxing these days — don’t worry, you’re in good company. No one really gives a shit anymore after having our collective heart broken by the seemingly missed opportunity to see Manny fight Floyd. The lack of interest in the sport among younger audiences is a problem, as boxing has seen precipitous decline in popularity over the last 30 years. Why? Well, the fundamental fact that you can’t see the best fighters go at it pisses of the instant gratification Twitter generation. Sorry, we suck.
Sure, on one hand, getting two top boxers to agree to fight is part of the drama that makes the build up to a Championship bout interesting. But, on the other hand, it’s proven unreliable at actually making fights happen. Young people are impatient, and have moved on to UFC where fights happen because they’re supposed to.
Does boxing have a fighter’s chance, so to speak?
The elephant in the room is the epic Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. The fight of the century. The fight that was supposed to save the sport. The fight that never was. The fight that never would be.
[LA Times] According to AFP, promoter Bob Arum said that Pacquiao will fight on April 12 in Las Vegas against one of the two fighters who beat him — Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez — before a possible matchup with Mayweather later in the year.
For the first time really ever, the pieces seem to be in place for the two most popular boxers on Earth to go toe-to-toe. Floyd has basically beaten everyone except Manny. Manny has had to borrow money because his bank account is frozen due to unpaid taxes. And last weekend he showed he’s still got something in the tank (but not so much left as to scare Mayweather away).
The conditions are ripe for it to happen this time around. Pacquiao’s financial distress. Mayweather’s opportunity to solidify his legacy as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter ever. The near constant public interest in making the fight happen. The obscene amount of revenue it would generate. By the sound of it, Manny’s already in.
“My job is to fight and I will fight anybody who will fight me. I am willing to fight Floyd. So it is up to him,” Manny said after beating Brandon Rios in Macao on Saturday. It’s that simple.
Freddy Roach even threw in some harsh criticism of Money to stoke the flames and potentially entice the Light Middleweight Champ into a signing on. “Mayweather in his last two fights has been slow, he doesn’t move as much as he used to. I think Manny’s speed will overwhelm him. Mayweather is not good against southpaws. And he has trouble with speed.” Ya, them’s fightin’ words.
Ego. Legacy. Money. It’s all there. What do you think will happen? We want to know.