Ringside With Raymundo 10.21.10: Why We Need/Don’t Need Pacquiao/Mayweather
Posted by Raymundo Dioses on 10.21.2010
Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather has been called 'the greatest fight that never got made.' But do we need it? 411's Raymundo Dioses takes an in-depth look in this week's Ringside with Raymundo!
We Need It
WHY WE NEED IT
The ‘greatest fight that never got made' has to happen.
It's as simple as that.
While the sport as a whole will trudge on and continue without a Pacquiao/Mayweather mega bout, the sports grandest star in Manny Pacquiao will have to have an asterisk by his name when we look back at this generation of fighting due to Mayweather willingly/unwillingly wishing to fight Pacquiao yet never doing so.
It's undeniable that there is no dearth of young talent in the sport. California native Timothy Bradley is no doubt going to continue climbing the pound for pound list and will reach the top five or better, young Amir Khan is being showcased and will begin to touch a little mainstream light as long as he keeps winning, and Paul Williams, who is not getting any younger, will still be climbing the ranks as well.
Yet there is not currently that fighter who is a sure shot to take the prominent position in boxing that carries over to mainstream success and more interest for the sport as a whole because of him. Its like the torch that was passed from Tyson to Oscar De La Hoya was supposed to be passed onto Manny Pacquiao, yet unfortunately, Floyd Mayweather was able to leach onto the torch and prevent it from being fully into the hands of the Pac Man. By Pacquiao not being able to receive the torch, it's an incomplete pass.
Unfortunately, Mayweather has twice had the ability to stop the throne from being passed and we've seen Pacquiao have to fight two fighters under the same promotional banner as himself, (Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, I didn't name Miguel Cotto because honestly no one was clamoring for a Pac/May fight until after he proved he could get through a full sized welterweight in Cotto) and if the fight simply does not happen, it halts the torch passing altogether, and buries what little headway boxing was making with the rise of Pacquiao.
Sadly, if Pacquiao keeps soldering on against other opponents not named Mayweather, and loses, as well as if Mayweather fights on against other opponents not named Pacquiao it pretty much negates the prospects of staging a super fight between the two. Granted, if both of them lose against other people, they could still realistically face each other. Yet the luster of the match will lose its, well, luster. For the sport to continue its journey from obscurity, the match needs to be made.
It is very noble of Pacquiao to continue fighting against other opponents, as he should. He has successfully rebuilt and is currently redefining an already Hall of Fame worthy career, as his right and just due. Yet to not be able to face and foil Mayweather, he too will have to answer the same question that Mayweather has to answer in his own fashion: why didn't you fight Mayweather? While some currently have the belief that the question will be easier answered by Pacquiao, both will fall victim to the same question, as well as us, being fans, by future generations.
Why didn't they fight?
Hopefully, sanity prevails in this all too often insane sport. To the victor go the spoils, and the many spoils they will be for the squared circle and its adoring fans.
What the super fight would bring to the sport is the attention that it is on the cusp of attaining. The build up and promotion would be unlike and bigger than any in the sports history, and the numbers would be astronomical all across the board from the revenue, the gate, the pay per view buys and the fighter's purses.
Moreover, once the fight is finished, the sport will be able to soak in the spotlight for months on end afterwards as a rematch is possibly negotiated and a second fight may come to fruition.
That is something that Shane Mosley was banking on in his fight against Mayweather earlier this year. Due to a rematch clause, Mosley, if successful, would have had the opportunity to face Mayweather one additional time, which would have lead to back to back career paydays for "Sugar".
If Pacquiao/Mayweather happens, it could invariably lead to Pacquiao/Mayweather II; that would make it back-to-back super fights.
Imagine that, and what that would do for the sport of boxing.
We Don't Need It
WHY WE DON'T NEED IT
Boxing is the only sport which, at some point or another, when an athlete reaches such a great and grand apex, he ultimately begins to think he is bigger than the sport, and can dictate when, where, and against whom he fights, if he even chooses too at all.
In the major three sports, (baseball, basketball, football) the athletes have a little say so on the negotiation side of things. These athletes hold out as to attain larger contracts, and fish themselves around to other teams before ultimately, they end up cashing in and playing on as their season begins, and both player and game are on time for the first pitch, dunk, or touchdown.
A team like say, the Yankees, didn't just pack it up and go home after they were unable to sign Cliff Lee as Lee opted for the Texas Rangers, the team which he now plays for and is torching the Yanks with his pitching prowess.
And why didn't the Yankees just fold after not getting Lee? Well, there were still 80 plus games scheduled to be played in the 2010 season.
With boxing, if a fight doesn't happen, it just doesn't happen. If a fighter simply elects not to fight, he doesn't fight, and nowadays, fist throwers will take five, six and seven, even sometimes a year off from the sport until they get the fight they want. Boxers will retire, sometimes for whole Presidential terms, before they and they only decide to fight.
Now I'm not proposing a fix to this problem, I am just addressing it.
Yet that's when a fighter has too much power, and a commissioning body would actually benefit from a fighter staying stagnant at his own hand, and would provide the best possibly fights from being made.
But I digress, because this was in issue from a previous article of mine, after De La Hoya made his comments that there should be one commissioning body and one promotional company.
So here we boxing fans lay, our hands tied between seeing our Boston Celtics/L.A. Lakers Game 7 type fights, yet ultimately, we know better. Of all of the supposed scandal in the major sports, don't even get us started with what we have to deal with in our sport.
Boxing may currently be one small, hardly visible piece of the sporting sky, yet it is ravished in more corruption than an NBA referee changing games for profit, a high-profile quarterback sending scandalous pictures via text, or Barry Bonds shooting up and bashing home run records, combined.
Those of us who follow it, no matter how few or how many, love boxing, and we lie in our boxing bed and deal with it.
And that is when the shoe is on the other foot.
A genuine, hardcore fan already has preconceived notions when it comes to Pacquiao/Mayweather.
An outside look provides no answers as to why the fight is yet to have happened, only questions and frustration as to why it has not.
Yet boxing followers understand and have the know-how as to how boxing politics, as well as some fighter willingness/unwillingness led to the negotiations twice failing.
We were forced to buck up and ‘stiffen up that upper lip soldier' and get past the illusions of a Pac/May square-off in this, the abysmal year of boxing in 2010, and will all gather together for four straight weeks of primetime boxing come November and gasp!, none are pay per view events.
And that's what we as boxing fans will be forced to keep doing. We have to look forward and not at the mirage of Pac/May; instead we have to think of the sport as a whole and not just as two boxers, and if they don't duke it out, all is doomed. It's not.
Boxing is one of the oldest sports in our country's history, sports history, and is a worldwide activity that finds its home everywhere the sun shines on our planet.
The sport has survived through the decline of Joe Louis, the retirements of Jack Dempsey and Muhammad Ali, the tragedies of young fighters lost like Salvador Sanchez, and the rise and fall of Mike Tyson and retiring of Oscar De La Hoya.
Boxing is a sport that has survived its participants, and no matter how small or how big the sport is on a popularity level when compared to other sports, even other full contact sports that are held in a ring or octagon, the sport remains standing for future generations on end.
Boxers retire. Boxing does not.
If Pacquiao/Mayweather never happens, it doesn't mean that the other sports stars and the uprising stars of boxing are going to stop throwing punches in the ring.
The sport has proved that it will press on.
And a pin point clarification that boxing will live on will be the fact that if indeed Pacquiao/Mayweather end up fighting, say May 1, 2011, as long as the sun is shining down on our Earth on May 2, 2011, there will be three men in the ring, one watching and two throwing punches.