From "Star Power" to "Glower Power". We'll have to wait to find out just how many Pay-Per-View buys were registered for this past Saturday's fights in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, respectively. Sometimes it's interesting to see the actual figures and to then compare them against the promoter's projected totals. These guys have access to a mythical seer stone that is never available for public view.
After Floyd Mayweather smote Victor Ortiz, for lack of a better word, "Money" was so gracious in thanking those who had purchased tickets to witness the event live as well as those who plunked upwards of $70 to watch it at home. What, no love for the movie theater crowd? That was only $20, give or take. The promotional outreach made by Golden Boy and its sponsors was simply massive. Maybe somewhere along the line, some forgot there was an actual fight taking place.
We were treated to a mostly entertaining night of bouts. Jessie Vargas just squeaked by Josesito Lopez. Erik Morales showed his usual guts and grit versus late replacement Pablo Cesar Cano in a fight which many didn't expect to last long, but Morales fights for his country and may not have been going for the quick knockout.
Canelo Alvarez had his fight with Alfonso Gomez won before it ever began. Although Gomez showed some hints at being able to match and perhaps at times even exceed Alvarez, there's too big of a future on the horizon to allow an upset. The stoppage by referee Wayne Hedgpeth was a bit premature in the eyes of many.
Then and yes, only then, there was the main event.
Less than 72 hours after the conclusion of the fight, one can likely type, "protect yourself at all times" into a search engine and perhaps get a boatload of pages related specifically to this bout. It's so yesterday now.
Remember the 70's martial arts cult classic, "Enter the Dragon"? What did Bruce Lee tell his pupil at the end of their training session when they began to bow to each other and bid goodbye? As Lee popped the young kid upside his head, he reminded him, "Never take your eyes off of your opponent. Even when you bow."
This fight had such a feeling of well, "ugh" to it. Before anyone rips Floyd even more for his post-clinch clocking, let's not forget what precipitated the whole mess. As many articles have already stated, Victor Ortiz was building up some momentum towards the end of the 4th round, at least he was in his own mind. Then, he took a triple scoop of vapid spontaneity and drove his head straight into Mayweather's face.
Would you like to know why he did it?
It's possible he just got carried away and momentarily lost it, or maybe he was coming to understand why Floyd used to be called "Pretty Boy". It's difficult to stay pretty if your face walks down the aisle with lady leather one too many times. Floyd was actually punching away Victor's punches. Score one for the 30-plus crowd. Please.
Frustration. Plain and simple.
The same reason a linebacker slams a helpless quarterback to the ground and the same reason why a basketball player chooses to throw a cheap shot elbow to a defenseless point guard as he's driving towards the basket. Win at all costs and the paying consumer be damned. It's a coward's emergency exit.
Let's not resort to the blame game with this. For once, let's put both fighters into the category of the shame game instead. Don't say you fight for the fans just so you can go out in front of millions and lay a rotten egg. Victor Ortiz deserves to be thrown into the tower for taking his biggest shot at glory and well, you get the idea. Floyd has been known to quickly engage once a clinch is broken, but more than one pundit has clearly stated that the world's best fighter shouldn't have to slump to such tactics. Had he not done this, it's certainly plausible that we could have seen the same thing by maybe the 9th or 10th round judging by the way things were falling into place.
The main, but at the same time, important difference is that it would have taken place in open combat. It would have appeared more strategic and more along the lines of fair play. So for now, Floyd, please drop all the "keep the sport clean" nonsense.
Doing so also means inside the ring as well.
Again, let us not forget why it happened. Victor got a bit too vicious once he heard the click-clack at the end of the fourth round. Why, Victor? Were you imitating Pavlov's dog? Then, he tried to apologize with the utmost of fake humility. It can easily be suggested that he knew Floyd was going to be pissed off to no end because of what he did.
Why did "Money" go after Larry Merchant?
Did any of you in TV Land hear anything that would have set him off in such a foul manner? Mayweather threw a similar rant at Max Kellerman a few years ago. As far as Victor Ortiz is concerned, why in the world was he so light-hearted about what had just happened to him?
The referee didn't help matters, either. Why is Joe Cortez still allowed to officiate the big fights? When will his pyramid be complete? What does "I'm fair, but I'm firm" really mean and how is it applied? Maybe if he added favorable, then we'd begin to understand his logic. It's clear that he admires Mayweather above all other boxers and the "I can't get a fair shake" argument could be thrown at Jivin' Joe.
Thank goodness that Tecate beer ran their rebate promotion once again for this fight. Fans can mail in a form and get a $25 rebate, or better termed a refund, or even better, a settlement for the nonsense we sat through on Saturday night. We should be entitled to more. Let's send half the requests to Victor and the other half to Floyd. They can surely afford it. Where do both guys go from here? It may be a while until we see them, albeit for different reasons.
The die is now cast for what much of the world wants to see. Let's not treat Manny Pacquiao's upcoming third bout with Juan Manuel Marquez as a mere formality until his hand is raised on November 12 at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Should he vanquish the Mexican legend, then sign the papers immediately to move forward for the fight to end all fights.
The hype around it would be simply immeasurable. There would really be no need for 24/7's or other promotional tidbits. Floyd can take some of the money he made from four rounds of mastery and build some choir stands in his gym. Split them down the middle and as he trains, one side could chant, "hard work", while the other blurts out, "dedication". We've seen how easily he takes command of a room full of parrots who give him more than his desired "fair shake". It's greater than a shake. It's continents shifting, practically.
Pacquiao can summon all of the Filipino Congress members to shout the same statements. It really doesn't matter as long as the negotiations move forward. Just be prepared. The ticket prices will be astronomical, no matter where the fight is to be held.
Will this be the first PPV boxing event to eclipse $100?
Until then, we can only wonder and hope that one day in the near future, the biggest fight of our generation will take place. Let's just wait and see what Floyd and Victor do in the meantime. A lucky guess? Victor might choose to take time off to reflect. Floyd will take some more time off to look at his own reflection.