How boxing stuff works: Half a decade later after the fight has lost all primacy from when it was first scheduled back in March 13th, 2010. The Hayman/Golden Boy News of the Ring World orifices immediately gushed forth in gratuitous greed over the stupendous money the freshly minted Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather event will generate for boxing’s trickledown economy. The event is ominously scheduled at the MGM Floyd for the Cinco de Mayo Mexican holiday, May 2nd.
Or at least that’s the new schedule, of what, version 4.0 of the fight that never was that insiders in the know have previously provided us. As the great humorist Will Rogers was often want to remind his audience, “I only know what I read in the papers.” As that applies here, there are an endless barrage of projected fights and cancellations that boxing undergoes every year as we, the unwashed, non-insider rubes are left to muse over the reasons for these scattershot mispronouncements. There is almost nothing in the queue to replace the current approaching age 40 fighters, Ring and Boxrec P4P rated:
1. Floyd Mayweather
2. Wlad Klitschko
3. Manny Pacquiao
All are the biggest purse generators of their generation. There is nobody in the waiting to replace them save possibly the 24 year old Canelo Alvarez who barely has any more opponents to fight, even if he ups to the middleweight division.
Assuming the face value in this instance of what the boxing media is telling us, the sheer unmitigated greed of boxing stands out like a grotesquely ugly edifice, a monumental gravestone to a sport dying on the vine thanks a lack of promotional foresight these past 20 years. When the fight was first proposed both fighters were in their primes, but now Floyd will be a shopworn 38 and Manny 36, and Manny can’t even be said to be a full time fighter since being elected to the Filipino congress some 5 years ago.
The fight would have sold itself back then it was so hot and provided a tremendous boost to the ever dwindling competitive profile of boxing, but now the fight has regressed to another dreary, climate controlled, small hall, canned Floyd fight, his 11th straight such fight in 8 years now at inflated PPV prices, $90-100 for this dumbed down version of what could have been a Fight of the Millennium. Make no mistake, the original outdoor, multicasino supported spectacle with specially built grandstands holding 40,000 rabid fans as envisioned by Bob Arum would have made the fabled, frenzied Ali/Frazier Fight of the Century in 1971 look like a church social.
Arum’s vision for Floyd was always too much, hence their long played out acrimonious divorce, but now Floyd has the last word, or does he? Even a dumbed down fight of this magnitude will have a huge undercard that takes place before official ring hostilities begin. The undercard in no particular order:
Promoters- Interlopers Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather allied with stealth bunkered promoter Al Hayman and Richard Schaefer vs HOF legend Bob Arum who made Oscar and Floyd the huge names they became by savvy development. On paper Arum looks to be the B side promoter for the first time in many decades, but make no mistake, the wily Arum knows where the dead bodies are buried and where the hidden buttons are and when to push them. There was speculation that he influenced the initial losing split decision to Timothy Bradley so as to make Pacquiao seem more vulnerable, thus making Floyd brave enough to cross that terrible risk threshold for the big reward. It didn’t work and then Manny suffered a legit setback with the KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez which pushed the fight further back. My speculation is that all those Macao shows Arum has been putting on has given him cozy contacts with various big Macao players who greased the skids with “the means” to make this fight even more financially lucrative than the Floyd side, but we’ll likely never know anymore than the officially released purse numbers, gate, and PPV numbers.
Venue-MGM Floyd vs Macao- As international gamblers flock to these gambling meccas to indulge their most depraved perversions and braggadocio, it’s foretelling to the future of boxing how the gambling action is likely to be bigger in Macao than in Vegas where the fight actually takes place, a preview of future Asian/USA political developments.
Trainers vs Trainer- Floyd Mayweather Sr and Roger Mayweather, after previously running scared from the specter of Freddie Roach, a future HOFer and one of the best in history, are now forced to man up in the pressers against a little guy who still battles for his life everyday because of his Parkinsons. Freddie goes in as favorite having already beaten Floyd Sr when Manny knocked out Ricky Hatton in a spectacular fight.
Showtime vs HBO- The true neverending cable story, so call this a baited breath draw as competing hot gaseous announcers blow out enough noxious vapors out their shorts to greatly accelerate global warming to a critical state, perhaps asphyxiating a few tiny nations.
Anti-social misanthrope vs anti-social misanthrope- Turning the internet forums a dribbling stinking brown with some of the nastiest stuff ever seen emanating from where the sun don’t shine.
Floyd opens as a slight favorite with the bookies, but Manny is currently running away with the Hayman/Golden Boy News of the Ring World poll where Manny is favored by either 40.52% to win by KO or 23.98% to win by decision in 8631 votes, so obviously things ain’t all what they seem in this mega money bout.