Mayweather vs Pacquiao - Signed and sealed, but will it deliver?
Imagine if you will, for just a moment a scene in which you are at one end of a negotiating table. The bickering and nonsensical verbiage which has preceded a momentous juncture in your life has finally gone to the wayside and now there is only a few details with which to sweat.
The day has finally arrived and you are now ready to sign your intent to play ball, however the rug gets pulled out from under you and the nonexistent fine print you didn't read is now a point of snag.
In many ways, the waiting and hoping for "The Big One" (not Fred Sanford's heart attack) weighed on many a heart and conscience of even the most casual sports observers for well over half a decade.
One of the worst facets of being a hardcore boxing fan was always the irritating query as to if and when Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would ever fight Manny Pacquiao.
It was probably worse on the ears of fight fans than those of football (or soccer) aficionados who were often asked about David Beckham. Much like Floyd and Manny, Beckham was the face of the sport, at least to many Americans even though he was often terribly one dimensional and limited on the pitch.
His looks carried him for much of the way but any way we'd care to slice it, he was what many thought of first when the beautiful game entered the conversation. Now, the two men who have encompassed the proverbial body and mind of the Sweet Science have agreed to finally meet in Las Vegas on May 2nd. What will we ever talk about once the bout is over?
This is the matchup that launched more than the mythical thousand ships in the form of websites, blogs and the like. Oceans of "knowledgable" pages on the net have long played symphonies when this particular bout was mentioned, yet a newly hatched litter of crickets could be faintly heard when other fights became part of the discussion.
The upcoming showdown is one of the few chances we get within the sport of boxing to see the best fight the best, albeit perhaps a few years past the supposed expiration date.
What many thankfully understand is that a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather is much like the finest wine that has aged so very gracefully.
The first weekend in May 2015 will see a crowd within the Grand Garden Arena akin to the United Colors of Benetton in terms of the overall interest levels and its respective effect on the greater sporting world. Speaking of clothing lines, unfortunately one would need to be among the familial names of Lauren, Armani or Levi Strauss to be without any qualms or scruples when the idea of ticket prices are discussed. We all knew this was a great possibility in regard to seeing the event live and in person inside the arena.
Early indications are that current rates to grab a seat are simply shameful and even the upper rungs of most societies would need to either sell a kidney or max out a few credit cards to get their hands on a ticket.
In many ways, we're bound to reap what we've so painstakingly sown over the past six to seven years. We've known that if the astronomical entry prices didn't sicken us, then perhaps the likely pay per view tag of a Benjamin would not only do so, but much closer (literally) to home as well.
In any case, where will we be left after May 2nd? Will there be nearly as many post fight reports and opinions as there were as such when Mayweather's "retirement" in the late 2000's conveniently ended? Most of us undoubtedly recall when he announced his return to boxing alongside his selected opponent in Juan Manuel Marquez just moments before Manny obliterated Ricky Hatton in two rounds back in 2009.
The sport doesn't need this fight nearly as much as the fans. At last and alas, it is here and so out go the accusations of PED's, ducking and plucking, promoters continuously plundering, wiretapping and anything of the like.
All it took was a little bit of basketball.
The two combatants were conveniently seated courtside at a Miami Heat game last month and the crowd went amuck with anticipation when Manny and Floyd were pictured for all to see on the Jumbotron scoreboard.
Miami is not going to win an NBA title for many years to come now that the man from Akron, Ohio left the team, so what a sight it must have been.
As recently as last weekend at the NBA All Star Game in New York City, Mayweather was quick to quash any gossip suggesting that talks leading to a signature were anywhere near successful. We all got the news we'd waited oh so long to hear this past Friday afternoon.
We asked and eventually, they answered. Floyd did, more specifically. All we had to do was ask a few times.....ad nauseum.