Last weekend, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. started the promotional push for his May 1st date with Shane Mosley down in Miami at the Super Bowl media nexus. Though, you couldn’t tell if you didn’t know already.
On the NFL Network, Mayweather’s five-minute segment hardly ever touched on the upcoming fight. Rather, Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders and the rest of the crew only wanted to dissect why the Manny Pacquiao fight fell apart.
“How much of a risk are you taking,” ESPNews first asked Mayweather, “by taking this fight ahead of a possible fight with Pacquiao?” To follow-up, the newscaster probed, “What are the chances we will see you and Pacquiao in the ring down the road?” Two opening questions. No mention of Mosley.
“I just want to see the [Pacquiao] fight, man,” implored comic legend Chris Rock, speaking with Mayweather on the 2livestews Radio Show. “Who you fightin’ now? Shane Mosley? Everybody beat Shane Mosley!” said Rock in jest. “I’m supposed to be impressed?”
Of course, boxing fans know Sugar Shane Mosley is a worthwhile opponent. Boxing fans know Mosley offers problems that Mayweather rarely deals with. Boxing fans know Mosley means a fight. And yet, the casual sports fan could care less.
Mayweather Pacquiao differs from any other fight that can be made today. A bout between the two is a match-up the public wants. In the De La Hoya Mayweather bonanza a few years ago, the promotion told the public they should watch. That fight might “save boxing,” read Sports Illustrated. That fight was an entree to a sporting public hungry for the big fight. With Pacquiao Mayweather, the public isn’t just hungry for a big fight they’re starving for THIS fight. The public views Pacquiao Joshua Clottey and Mayweather Mosley as mere appetizers before the main course. The casual sporting public doesn’t need the promotion to tell them to watch Manny versus Floyd. They can tell themselves.
So while boxing writers and fans rejoice that the boxing realm gets to see two great match-ups instead of one, the wider world still waits to see the one it really wants. And while some boxing fans may not care whether or not the sport receives extra exposure and reaches a bigger audience, the niche boxing inhabits in the United States cannot grow without the casual sports fan. The casual sports fan feeds the talent pool with more youthful hopefuls, and more talent can lead to a better, more dynamic, and more interesting sport.
So as you enjoy columns on Mayweather Mosley, reflect on why you just read a piece on Mayweather Pacquiao instead.
-Edwin Valero impressed last Saturday night. The Venezuelan star looked Pacquiao-like in spots. He lacks the Filipino spitfire’s extreme speed and seasoned coach, though. Considering those are two of Pacquiao’s most important attributes, it may be quite awhile before he resembles Pacquiao all-over…
-Speaking of Valero, Top Rank boss Bob Arum is talking up potential fights between his featherweight stars and Chris John, as well as between Valero and junior welterweight standout Timothy Bradley. John and Bradley are among the most dangerous available opponents for Arum’s boys. Plus, the two offer very little in the way of monetary gain relative to other name fighters. I’ll believe it when I see it….
-Even 20 years later, Buster Douglas’ knockout of the invincible Mike Tyson still defies belief. It’s the biggest upset in the history of the sport, bar-none. Because of widespread television and modern marketing, Mike Tyson’s media persona was bigger than any of his predecessors. And to have his aura shattered so strikingly, with a finish only available in combat sports? That made the upset indelible….
-Sorry if I’m a little late with this, but I just caught heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin’s debut with new trainer Teddy Atlas from December. And by Dempsey, the Olympian looked good! Granted, the guy he was in against didn’t really fight back, but Povetkin looked fast, powerful, crisp, clean, and in control in there. Also interesting to see that because of the language barrier, Atlas’ corner instructions had to be clear and concise. I’m not sure their hired interpreter could handle metaphors about old cars and contracts…