Floyd Mayweather’s shutout of Juan Manuel Marquez in September coupled with Manny Pacquiao’s destruction of Miguel Cotto last Saturday night sets up the only true mega-fight in boxing that fans are dying to see: Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Manny Pacquiao. Despite the negotiation difficulties that will probably occur, most fans and writers believe that this fight is simply too big to not happen. But exactly how big is this potential fight?
It is rare that you have today’s two best fighterswho happen to be the best two fighters of the last decade if not the last two decadesin their primes fighting at the same weight (welterweight) for a place in history as one of the all time greats (And many would say both of their spots in history are already sealed regardless of the outcome of this fight).
If we look at the big fights of the last decade the only ones that come to mind rivaling a Pacquiao/Mayweather encounter are Oscar De La Hoya’s fights with Mayweather and Felix Trinidad and the Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis bout of 2002. And in the case of the latter, Tyson was, for all intents and purposes, a somewhat shot fighter while Lennox was closing out his career. While it may be a stretch to say that De La Hoya was shot when he fought Mayweather, he certainly was more of a promoter/part-time fighter, a little past his best days, and Mayweather’s stock is much higher now than during the De La Hoya fight. Despite De La Hoya and Trinidad being undefeated prime welterweights at the time of their fight, the atmosphere surrounding this one simply feels bigger. Beyond the last decade, we saw some big heavyweight fights in the 90’s…so boxing historians can debate how a Pacquiao/Mayweather fight stacks up, but it would not be a stretch to say this is the biggest non-heavyweight fight in twenty years since the days of Ray Leonard and the stars of that era, and most expect it break all pay-per view records.
The most likely time for a Pacquiao/Mayweather encounter may be late Spring 2010. And as boxing fans know the buildup to big fights is half the excitement. This event is going to transcend boxing attracting people who don’t even follow the sport, and it should create a new fan base for this great pastime. For boxing fans though, we know how special and important this fight is. We know what’s at stake. We know how rare such an encounter is and how we may not see another like this for many years if not ever again.
Regardless of the venue, this is going to be an event that boxing fans recall where they were, who they were with, and what was happening on the date that Pacquiao and Mayweather fought. Thus, we must savor the months that lead up to this fight once it is announced. Fans must become promoters telling all their friends and acquaintances about the magnitude of this fight. Restaurant and hotel owners must order this pay-per view so loyal boxing fans who normally can’t see fights because they work in restaurants and hotels can view it. Cities must put this fight on big screen TV’s in parks. Given the state of the economy, networks must do their best to ensure that costs and revenue to not prohibit ordinary citizens from viewing. To the observer who doesn’t follow boxing, we must tell them this is the sport’s version of the Superbowl, even though it is sure to transcend that.
Make no mistake, boxing fans, writers, and observers have just as much work to do promoting this fight and ensuring people see it as do the actual promoter themselves. This fight can be the nostalgia that veteran aficionados have longed for since the days when families gathered around their radios to hear Joe Louis fights. Even if is just be for one time, it can be a memorable time that many young fans have never seen nor will ever forget. While we our probably five to six months away from such a fight, it will be here before we know it and there is much work to do….so let’s embrace the moments and make this a great event in boxing and sports historyone for the ages.
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With negotiations for the two to meet sometime in the New Year officially started, whoever you are rooting for, its an exciting time for boxing and fans in general.
Now on all accounts, its time to really pump up this fight and the fighters. Why? Because this fight is truly what its all about for our sport. These two fighters are the best of the best, both punching in their primes right now and both achieving high volume of Pay-Per-View buys. This is happening because bother are full of tremendous skills, excite the fans and have proven themselves to be worthy of our praise time and time again. I can not think of any combat sport right now that has two incredible fighters such as Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao. Sure there is a lot of talent out there... but not like these two.
In the coming months, I hope the goofy writing patrol, made of bloggers, and folks who think they are writers / journalists... really take proper note of this fight. I'd like to see people write with out such hatred for either fighter. You know, you've seen the headlines before, Eg: Floyd Mayweather Jr loud Mouth Jerk is running from Pacquiao, or Manny Pacquiao is too good, therefore he must be on Drugs or dancing the Lambada with Voodoo. Now I haven't read those exact headlines, but very similar. You catch my drift, and I am certain you know what I am talking about. Basically, its not fair to call them headlines, or even good journalism.
Must I be the one to remind these clowns that these men put there lives on the line each time they lace up the gloves for the fans and step inside the ring? This past Sunday Francisco Rodriguez passed away from ring injuries, and the week before that Z Gorres was hospitalized, close to death from injuries sustained in his bout. So when I read that Mayweather Jr. or Pacquiao is some kind of bum because a "writer" (usually a fan trying to pass himself off as a writer) has some kind of bone to pick, I have to wonder if they really understand the sport at all... and more so, wonder if they should have the right to even write on the matter.
There are too many writers for Boxing and not enough good ones. Often the crap is what floats to the top. Don't get me wrong, I am not claiming to be a great writer, but I understand the sport, and I understand the damage poorly chosen words can do. I also understand how stupid these headlines and articles make our sport look, especially to the outside world.
It doesn't just start and end with the trashing of Boxers. Over the last few years there has been a lot of articles and headlines that boxing is dead. Never mind the awesome fights that took place in 2008 such as Roy Jones vs. Felix Trinidad, Kelly Pavlik vs. Jermain Taylor II, Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manual Marqez Marquez II, Margarito vs Cotto just to name a few. There is no reason to read Boxing is Dead Headlines. But hey, I get it, I understand why UFC writers pull stupid headlines like that, but it pisses me off when I read Boxing writers claiming the same line of death on Boxing. They should know better.
My suggestion to all who really love the sport, ignore the trashy headlines and the premature death of the Sport. Ignore articles that trash Mayweather, Pacquiao or any fighter for that matter. Ignore the websites, publications and bloogers who go out of their way to give you the trash. Support sites, and articles that are fair, balanced and well meaning. The good writers are easy to find, just do yourself a favor and do not spend too much time waddling through the sh!t..
For those of you who will be writing about Pacquiao vs Maywather Jr... show some class and give the sport the proper attention it deserves. If you can not do that, then be honest with yourself...you shouldn't be writing on the matter. I am not saying to avoid all constructive criticism... be keep it just that, constructive.
In closing let me explain the title of this piece: "Boxing Writers Don't Let the Sh!t hit the Fan!" It's a pun on words for those of you who missed it. In this case the "Fan" represents fans of Boxing, and the "Sh!t"... well that represents the filth that some will spew at the fans with your their so called writing. The key word which is not a play on words is "Don't".... because this fight and Boxing deserves better than that, and so do the Fans.
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