| Has "The Moment" Passed?
By Matthew Aguilar, Doghouse Boxing (March 14, 2014)
Mayweather - Maidana / "The Moment"
Image made by © Chee, Doghouse Boxing Inc.
(Image created for this article by Matthew Aguilar -
Image/ Article Debut: March 14, 2014)
The wickedly talented Idina Menzel would probably advise to just “Let It Go.” Afterall, who cares what pretentious, bombastic, overblown tag line some promoter slaps on a fight, right? It’s all about marketing and television ratings and pay-per-view receipts and target audiences anyway, right? Things that have nothing to do with right hands and power jabs and lefts to the liver. Right?
Sorry Idina. It won’t be possible to “Let It Go.” Not when boxing’s latest fight of the century isn’t being billed as the “Fight of the Century” (Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali I, 1971).
It’ll be known as, simply (shall we all bow?)…“The Moment.”
Yes, promoter Golden Boy Promotions has dubbed the scheduled - emphasis on scheduled, after recent allegations - May 3 showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas not as “The Showdown” (Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns I, 1981). Or “The Fight” (Hearns-Marvin Hagler, 1985).
But as “The Moment.”
Now, the intent of such a title is understood. It’s supposed to convey the dramatic theater of highly anticipated pugilistic event, featuring two super-skilled combatants going “Mano a Mano” (Vinny Pazienza-Roberto Duran, 1995). That “Moment of Truth” (Evander Holyfield-Buster Douglas, 1990) when two gladiators who have trained months and endured each other’s ugly faces during an extra-long publicity tour “Never Surrender” (Erik Morales-Paulie Ayala, 2002), declare themselves “Sworn Enemies” (Mayweather-Zab Judah, 2006) and finally go “Toe-To-Toe” (Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo, last week).
And, granted, there have been some overly dramatic fight titles in boxing’s history. Oscar De La Hoya-Julio Cesar Chavez I (1996) was “Ultimate Glory” (turned out to be “Ultimate Gory” after Chavez’s eyebrow spurted blood like a geyser in the first round). De La Hoya-Javier Castillejo (2001) was “The Quest” (promoter Top Rank seemingly ran out of ideas here). And Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey (2010) was “The Event,” since it was the first boxing match staged in Cowboys Stadium.
But, really. “The Moment?” Is it a fight? Or a Cate Blanchett movie?
Now, this is a bit of a disturbing trend, as Golden Boy hasn’t had a good run lately when it comes to fight names. It all started in 2007, when Mayweather met Golden Boy’s founder, De La Hoya, in a fight that set the record for most pay-per-view buys in boxing history. Can’t argue with success, you say?
Fine. But “The World Awaits” made it sound like Joe Louis and Max Schmeling meeting in 1938 Yankee Stadium on the precipice of World War II. Or, at least, Orson Welles describing the arrival of an extraterrestrial spaceship (presumably, not carrying “The Alien,” Bernard Hopkins).
The poster included Mayweather and De La Hoya in menacing fight poses in front of what appeared to be a “Journey” crowd (Steve Perry era).
A little “Over The Top.” (Not used yet, but go for it).
To their credit, Golden Boy got away from the dramatic in 2010, when they trotted out “Who R U Picking?” for Mayweather-Shane Mosley. Somehow, it was supposed to convey text messaging. Or social media. Or something. What it actually conveyed was confusion. And bewilderment.
On second thought, maybe over-the-top wasn’t so bad. So back to over-the-top Golden Boy went.
Last year’s Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight was billed as “The One” and, again, turned out pretty nice for all involved as it was the biggest pay-per-view moneymaker ever. But the tagline was similar to Golden Boy’s 2009 “Number One/Numero Uno” card featuring Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez.
At the very least, Golden Boy appears infatuated with the number one.
The other problem with “The One” is that it was so broad it could have applied to Mayweather-Alvarez or a 2001 movie featuring Jet Li or a song by Tamar Braxton (thanks, Google) or an ABC jingle or a 1970s tune by Orleans that was used as an ABC jingle or…
Yeah. You get it.
Compared to that, “The Moment” is the “Thrilla in Manila” (Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier III, 1975) of fight names.
Mayweather fights draw big money, and, obviously, Golden Boy knows how to make a buck. But, after this, maybe – just maybe - it’s time to get back to fight names that aren’t so smug and pretentious. It’s “Now or Never” (Lou Savarese-Buster Douglas, 1998).
Back in the good old days, fight titles were often fun and playful – and actually had something to do with boxing. They weren’t all serious and stuff.
A sampling from a variety of categories:
*“The Rematch,” Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran II, 1980
*“The Super Fight,” Marvin Hagler-Sugar Ray Leonard, 1987;
*“The War,” Sugar Ray Leonard Thomas Hearns II, 1989.
*“Battle of the Ages,” Evander Holyfield-George Foreman 1991
*“The Devil & Mr. Jones,” Roy Jones Jr.-Vinny Pazienza, 1995.
*“Opposites Attack” Oscar De La Hoya-Hector Camacho, 1997
*“Title Wave,” Oscar De La Hoya-Wilfredo Rivera, 1997
*“Oscar Night at the Sun Bowl,” Oscar De La Hoya-Patrick Charpentier, 1998
*“The Pride & The Glory,” Larry Holmes-Gerry Cooney, 1982;
*“The Fight of the Millennium,” Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad, 1999 (of course).
*“Once & For All,” Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks, 1988;
*“Put Up or Shut Up!” Hector Camacho-Vinny Pazienza, 1990
*“The Sound & The Fury,” Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield II, 1997
*“Bad Blood,” Oscar De La Hoya-Fernando Vargas, 2002
*“The War on the Shore,” Michael Spinks-Gerry Cooney, 1987;
*“The War on Oct. 4,” James Toney-Evander Holyfield, 2003;
*“Ring Kings,” Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto, 2012.
*“Rumble in the Jungle,” Muhammad Ali-George Foreman, 1974
*“The Reno Rematch,” Livingstone Bramble-Ray Mancini II, 1985
*“Duel in the Desert,” Julio Cesar Chavez-Edwin Rosario, 1987
*“Rumble on the Riverbank,” James Toney-Michael Nunn, 1991
*“Thunder & Lightning,” Julio Cesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor I, 1990
*“Playing With Fire,” Marco Antonio Barrera-Prince Naseem Hamed, 2001
*“Thunder & Lightning,” (again) Floyd Mayweather-Arturo Gatti, 2005
*“Finally!” Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield I, 1996
*“Destiny,” Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosley I, 2000
*“Redemption,” Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosley II, 2003.
*“Undefeated,” Floyd Mayweather-Ricky Hatton, 2007
*“La Batalla de los Pequenos Gigantes,” Salvador Sanchez-Wilfredo Gomez, 1981
*“Uno Mas,” Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran III, 1989
*“La Explosion,” Michael Carbajal-Chiquita Gonzalez I, 1993
And the alliteration:
*“The Preacher and the Puncher,” George Foreman-Gerry Cooney, 1990 (informally, “Two Geezers at Caesars”).
*“Collision Course,” Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Sturm, 2005.
Of course, there were a slew of suggestions in the Twitter world once “The Moment” was announced. “The Money & The Mayhem” (in light of the aforementioned recent allegations, maybe not so good); “Tres de Mayweather.” And, one that borders on brilliant: “The Blueprint” (nice, @SmelOdiesOG).
At no charge, however, we’re offering an option that will get Golden Boy out of this “Moment.” Since, obviously, they don’t know what they’re doing (we did mention they promoted the two biggest pay-per-view events in the annals of boxing…right?)
Drum roll, please.
“Chino & The Man.”
Matthew Aguilar may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @MatthewAguilar5
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