Boxing died a while ago. The funeral has just been delayed for years. The body of the once great sport has been motionless for a while, not bothering anyone and no one bothering to bury the corpse. Finally on May 2nd boxing will be laid to rest as Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao face each other in a fight that should have happened four years ago. It’s 2015 and these two should be in their third battle by now. But this is how boxing works or doesn’t, thus the funeral.
Make no mistake, this fight is going to produce an aircraft carrier full of money. It will be the highest grossing boxing match in history. The numbers will show it to be a success and many may predict a revival for the sport of boxing. That is a nice dream, however delusional.
No matter how much I would love to see boxing resurrected, I have to live in the real world. Nothing in the past ten years makes me believe the sport can get off the mat. The worms have half eaten the body of the sport by now. The corpse of the sport has a chalk outline drawn by the likes of Don King and other slimy folk. Lower level leeches have sucked whatever blood was left in the body after the real damage was done.
Anything can happen in sports. That’s why there is a glimmer of hope with this super fight. It could be a great battle that is followed by a rematch within a few months. That is the best case scenario. But even if that happens, it just prolongs the inevitable, kinda like putting the shock paddles on a guy that’s been in a frozen river for six hours and mangled by a grizzly bear.
Here’s what I think happens in the Mayweather and Pacquiao matchup. Gobs of people scrape together money they don’t have and pool it with friends they barely hang out with in order to afford the $99 PPV. Floyd Mayweather fights his usual brilliant, yet boring defensive style fight and wins a decision over Pacquiao. Those gobs of people are pissed at their own stupidity for spending $99 on the fight to begin with. Floyd gets richer and even more arrogant.
People have all kinds of reasons why boxing has declined so much. Many point to not having a heavyweight champion from the USA. That is part of the issue, but the main problem is the lack of big fights and too many championship belts. If everyone is a champion then no one is a champion. If the big names only talk shit about each other but never fight each other, then we can get that with politics.
People are pointing to this super fight as something boxing can build on for the future. I want that to be true. Alas it’s too little too late. These fighters, while still great, are not in their prime anymore. This will be the last super fight ever since most sports fans can’t name two other boxers besides the ones in this match up. The UFC is fighting now. Boxing is a side note in the fight game. I wish it were not so. I grew up with boxing in the forefront and I hate to see the casket close on one of the purest forms of competition.
Few tears will be shed as the funeral begins. Most of us have come to grips with boxing being dead long ago. The truly sad thing about boxing’s funeral is that it didn’t just die off naturally with some dignity. The very people who benefited the most from it slowly killed it over the course of decades.