What we Love about Sports?
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 7, 2011 Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao fights "Sugar" Shane Mosley. This should be a very entertaining fight, but the average sports fan will never see it. Two great fighters enter the ring tomorrow night, one will impose his will on the other and emerge victorious. I put my money on Pac Man, no big surprise, he is pound for pound the best in the world, and Mosley is over the hill and with few exceptions, boxers are like milk. Once they go bad, there is no going back.
These days boxing is almost completely the silent sport. Yes, they still box on TV, but no one knows or cares (other than a few celebs and die hard fans). Sad thing is that like this fight there are some great bouts and some great sports moments that will never be viewed that way. Recently, many sports' analysts celebrated and remembered the Ali vs. Frazier fight. I wonder if any of the current fights happening this year will ever be remembered that way. Boxing is, however, a hidden jewel that can be unearthed by the true sports fan. This is true, especially with the summer producing so few sporting events to watch, I really look forward to Saturday fight night.
Boxing has such a great product that has been really untapped for at least the last two decades. Boxing must take some steps in another direction to bring itself into the mainstream again. Step one, it has to get the best fighter into the mainstream public eye. They can start having fights on the network channels, and most importantly back on ESPN. Friday night fight on ESPN only showcases C and D level fighters. If this happens then the next step will follow, ESPN will start having shows like Boxing Live, and then the experts can began to explain the sport to the common man. To the average Joe, boxing can look like dancing or sweating guys hugging.
I don't know how, but boxing needs to stop allowing fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. to hold boxing hostage, he is a cancer. As, I said in my last boxing entry, a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is the only fight that would peak the average sport fans' interest. Yet, Mayweather refuses to fight Pac Man even though there will be $40 million paydays for them both. To turn down 40 million, he must be really scared!
I spotlighted the Berto vs. Ortiz fight and wrote about all the amazing sports moments and qualities it had to offer. The ironic thing was that what's wrong with boxing was present at this fight as well. Floyd Mayweather, Jr sat ring side with rapper, 50 Cent at his side. Mayweather watched the fight and every time the camera found him he was showing his perfect, bleached white smile. People might like him better if he had a war with Manny, and if we are lucky maybe Manny knocks out one of those ultra white teeth. But, I laughed when I saw Mayweather there enjoying the battle, because no matter how rich or famous he gets, he will never put on a show like Berto and Ortiz did!