Tyler J. Scott
THE SANTA CLARA
May 7, 2015
No, I don’t think boxing is dead. Yet. But it took quite a hit after Saturday’s snoozefest of a “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Good thing we have more time left in the century.
The sport of boxing has always been associated with money, drugs and corruption. It’s a sport where one attempts to bash his opponent’s head in, after all, and the primal nature of humanity loves it.
What we saw on Saturday showed that though the sport isn’t quite dead, it does need to adapt and expand.
Nothing beats the atmosphere of a fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Jimmy Kimmel and trainer Freddie Roach posed for a selfie with Pacquiao during his walkout, while the Burger King and Justin Bieber accompanied Mayweather on the other side. A collection of pop culture and sports millionaires and billionaires littered the crowd. To get the fight in high definition at home, the bill was $99.95.
Then everyone was disappointed by Mayweather’s defensive fighting style. Yet we still bought it, and always will, despite the fighters looking like they could have fought at least another 12 rounds.
We all knew this was Mayweather’s style of fighting. He’s a boxer, not a fighter. He’s never been in a real fight in his life; he just avoids getting hit. We wanted a vicious knockout.
The expectations were just too high. These guys aren’t the heavyweight prize fighters of old. We wanted blood in this bloodsport, but instead we had two guys past their prime, 38 and 36-years-old, fight for a big payout.
Mayweather admitted after the fight that, “The ultimate goal was to make nine figures in one night, and that’s what we did.”
Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya tweeted out, “Sorry boxing fans,” and Mike Tyson sent out, “We waited 5 years for that… #underwhelmed.”
There’s no denying Mayweather’s greatness, and he might be one of the best ever at avoiding punches, but the sport needs to adapt. There have to be more fighters out there that can entertain us with hard knockouts and make the gladiatorial arena of social media America scream and punch out “#HOLYS%^*” hashtags and Vine loops.
Boxing manager Al Haymon is putting forward a three-year initiative with NBC to put boxing on public television on NBC and NBCSN. More exciting young boxers need airtime to save this sport from completely going extinct, and I think this plan would accomplish that. Nobody is going to want to pay $100 for 12 rounds of running away again.
Unless Mayweather and Pacquiao have that rematch — here’s my credit card number.
Tyler J. Scott is a junior marketing major.