Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson tells us Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. should be Easy!
By Kyle Lucas (Nov 26, 2009) Doghouse Boxing  
The phrase "Too Big to Fail" is really a reference to the idea that in economic regulation, the largest and most interconnected businesses are so large that the government cannot allow them to fail because such a failure would have a disastrous effect for the economy.

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. both brought in over 1 million PPV buys each in their most recent fights. With numbers like that, one could argue that a fight between these two must happen because it is "Too Big to
Fail".

Its not too big to fail in the sense that all of the Boxing world crumble to its knees should these two find reasons not to face one another, but it would hurt.

In the last decade, I can think of another fight in Boxing that was deemed "Too big to Fail". It was the fight that pit Lennox Lewis against Mike Tyson. This fight that took place on June 8, 2002, at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tennessee, was perhaps even harder to put together than Pacquiao vs Mayweather Jr will or could ever be.

The biggest stumbling block was the Networks. Tyson had a contract with SHOWTIME while Lewis was licensed to HBO. Two rival networks had to put their differences aside to make this event come off. Another factor was what looked like Tyson's attempts to get out of the fight by biting Lewis in the thigh at a press conference. It really seemed like Tyson wanted no part of the fight with Lewis and was looking for a way to disqualify himself.

Lewis vs Tyson was promoted by Main Events and was a pay-per-view shown as a joint collaboration between HBO and Showtime. At the time, it would go on to be the highest grossing event in pay-per-view revenue history, generating a whopping $106.9 million from 1.95 million PPV buys in the USA alone. It would eventually be surpassed by Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 when 2.4 million households purchased the PPV to bring in around $120 million.

There are a lot of memorable things about that night in Memphis, and for many of us in North America, it was the first time we were formally introduced to Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao fought on the televised undercard of the Lewis vs Tyson PPV, defeating Jorge Eliecer Julio by KO in the second for the IBF junior featherweight title. (Lewis defeated Tyson with a KO in the 8th round.)

That night in Memphis was a big night for Boxing. It was one of those fights that just seemed too big to fail and was next to impossible to put together. By all accounts Pacquiao vs Mayweather Jr. is one of those big fights, and like Lewis vs Tyson, this one also seems too big to fail... however, it really should be a lot easier to put together than that night in Memphis ever was. First, two rival networks aren't fighting over the details of Pacquiao vs Mayweather Jr... this fight is destined only for HBO. And unlike Tyson who seemed reluctant to face off against Lewis, both Pacquiao and Mayweather seem eager to face one another. This fight should be a lot easier to put together than that walk in Memphis ever was.

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