Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Four ways to debunk the detractorsWritten by Joseph Herron
Now that the most socially significant fight in decades has officially been announced for May 2nd, many boxing critics and “half glass empty” fight fans have already begun regurgitating their distinctive brand of negative rhetoric which always seems to plague the sport before each and every notable prizefight.
Comments like, “this fight is six years too late”, “both fighters are way past their prime”, “the action isn’t going to live up to the hype” and “this event isn’t going to save boxing”, have flooded most boxing forums since Floyd made the big declaration on Friday, February 20th.
Since the advent of the internet, many who supposedly love and support the sweet science have religiously gone out of their way to publicly smear their “favorite” sport, to the point where one has to logically question their genuine devotion for the historic pastime.
Perhaps these pundits and scribes alike have tricked themselves into thinking that a negative outlook is a much more insightful and healthy frame of mind? Maybe it’s the self-deprecating fan’s way of tempering their own frustrations when the unscripted drama of fight night doesn’t play out the way they want it to?
Whatever the case may be, real fight fans shouldn’t let the rampant negativity, which often seems to riddle the sport, rain on their parade…because the union of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is a reason for every genuine supporter to rejoice and feel good about their beloved boxing.
Here are just a few ways to debunk detractor negativity:
1) “Both fighters are way past their prime”
In what has been dubbed the “Super Bowl” of boxing, both competing May 2nd fighters are still considered by most to be the two best pound for pound fighters on the planet. If Mayweather and Pacquaio’s respective skill sets have diminished since fight fans initially began collectively clamoring for the mega-fight in 2009, their abilities apparently haven’t eroded too much. Both are still sitting atop boxing’s perceived elite at age 36 and 38 respectively. Because the two pound for pound fighters are still competing in the same division, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is still the most intriguing match-up that can be made in boxing.
2) “This fight is six years too late”
Fight fans can also arguably make the case that this fight was made at the apex of its popularity. Although the demand was sky high back in 2010, the negotiated purse and expected return is much higher in 2015 than were the projected numbers five years ago. Was this event worth $300-400 million back in 2010? It is now. The dollars always reflect the demand. Mainstream and casual fan interest for this super fight has never been higher than it is today. Gross proceeds will support this argument.
3) “The action isn’t going to live up to the hype”
While many experts and pundits will argue that both Mayweather and Pacquiao aren’t quite as dominant as they once were, circa 2010, this intangible may prove to be a good thing for the overall health of the sport, and the drama that could play out on May 2nd. Does Floyd Mayweather still have the same reflexes and athleticism he once boasted, and is Manny Pacquiao still the irresistible force he was back in 2009? The perceived slippage from both combatants could result in a more competitive fight for twelve hard rounds.
A less elusive Floyd Mayweather pitted against a more tactical version of Manny Pacquiao could equate to a much more evenly matched and entertaining prizefight.
4) “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao won’t be the fight that saves boxing”
No single match-up will “save” the recognized fringe American pastime. But “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao” will undoubtedly bring more mainstream attention to the great match-ups already scheduled for 2015. With terrific pairings on free television every month this year, thanks to Haymon’s “Premier Boxing Champions”, the formation of the most socially significant boxing event since “Ali vs. Frazier I” could prove to be the shot in the arm that boxing needs to regain mainstream sports interest in America.
If the promoters and networks continue to push for a consistent flow of healthy match-ups throughout the 2015 boxing calendar year, expect to see a steady increase in popularity among mainstream and casual sports fans across the board.
Fight fans have every reason to be optimistic with the formation of “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao”. Stay positive and enjoy the natural drama that unfolds within the theater of the unexpected.
Who knows…2015 could prove to be a renaissance year for the Sweet Science.
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