Mayweather vs Pacquiao: What hardcore fans and insiders must realize
History was made as fight legends Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, boxing's best, finally faced each other in the ring last week.
And in the end, Floyd Mayweather's hand would be raised in a fight many consider a disaster.
To say it wasn't Ali vs Frazier would be understatement.
For Floyd Mayweather, it was business as usual. He's not exactly 'Rocky Balboa' and most fight fans were, or at least should have been, aware of that going in.
Many hardcore fans of the sport watched in awe as Manny was unable to hit his highly-skilled opponent. We wanted to know what would happen should the two goliaths of the sport step in the ring with each other and we saw it.
Floyd was savvy and showcased great skills and speed. What we witnessed was undoubtedly very special. However the viewing public, predominantly non-fans and casual followers of boxing whose knowledge of the Sweet Science is limited, was not impressed with Mayweather's highly-defensive, safety- first style and, as a result, found the fight utterly disappointing.
Had Floyd or Manny pulverized the other in a non-competitive contest, the sport would be much better off. One-sided or not, at least there would have been action.
No one complained or asked for their money back when Mike Tyson was dispatching opponents in one round.
And even when many surmised Tyson would end a fight early, people still paid to watch.
Iron Mike often did in one round what Floyd and Manny couldn't do in twelve last week.
And when Tyson didn't win by knockout, he usually lost via knockout in a high-drama, action-packed affair.
Either way, no one complained.
The masses watch baseball to see home runs, stolen bases and double-plays... They watch football to see long bombs, sacks and break-out runs.... They watch basketball to see no-look passes, reverse layups and in-your-face slam dunks.
... And they watch boxing to see violence.
Only hardcore fans of the aforementioned respective sports find enjoyment in pitcher's duels, textbook, fundamental basketball and defensive football games ending with scores like 6-3.
Boxing is no different.
Let's face it; Would the Rocky movies have performed so well at the box office if Balboa fought like Floyd?
In truth, boxing is such an easy sport to like so casual fans really aren't hard to please. And it doesn't take Hagler vs Hearns or Gatti vs Ward to appease them.
All they want is action, whether one-sided or not; some semblance of violence.
Floyd's style may have made the masses 'oohhh and aahhh' in the 1940s or 50s, but times change and it doesn't transcend to casual fans today.
Like football, basketball and baseball have already done, boxing, in order to prosper, must make rules adjustments to make the sport more appealing to the casual and non-fan.
A sport's success is measured in numbers and casual and non-fans of boxing far exceed the sport's hardcore junkies.
So why has Floyd been so successful?
Despite the fact Floyd is an all-time great, it's his high level of controversy, outside-the-ring antics, charisma and hip-hoppish persona that have made him must-see TV and an international star... Not his ring dominance. He is clearly the exception, not the rule.
Message to fighters and promoters: If you want to get paid, appeal to boxing fans. If you want to be successful, appeal to the masses.
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