Boxing is dead in a decade without Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Manny “Pac-man” Pacquiao. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has more momentum than boxing has potential.
The buzz about a fight between the two best welterweight boxers in the world started again after a Las Vegas judge sympathized with Mayweather and pushed his start of prison back. Mayweather celebrated the news of his delayed captivity by “calling out” Pac-man on Twitter, saying he wants a fight set for May 5. The talks between the two camps were rekindled shortly after.
At a point in history, boxing was one of the most popular sports in America; of course those were the days when Brooklyn had a baseball team and newspapers were profitable. From the 1960s-1990s, boxing remained prominent but after Lennox Lewis retired it never got back to its old form.
In 2010, boxing had the two highest grossing pay-per-view (PPV) events, but one involved Money and the other involved Pac. There are two underlining problems with this: first, those are the only two boxers to have over a million PPV buys. The other problem is they weren’t fighting each other.
The flickering candle that is their career is on its last drops of wax. Mayweather turns 35 in February and Pacquiao is 33, which saddens me deeply as neither boxer has faced worthy competition.
The feeling of their fights is similar to a Globetrotters basketball game: the outcome is already known. On the other hand, UFC has a plethora of young talent that will keep them going strong for years to come.
The youth of the country have a distorted view of boxing, they feel it is ancient and boring while UFC is action-packed and feeds our natural instinct to watch authentic bloodbaths.
The last great era of boxing that intrigued most of America died with Mike Tyson’s sense of reality. Tyson was boxing’s last heavyweight rockstar.
Freddie Roach, former Tyson trainer and current Pacquiao trainer said in an interview that the future of boxing hinders on, “…a good heavyweight … a good American heavyweight.”
As people reminisced about Muhammad Ali during his 70th birthday, I enjoyed seeing what boxing was but also sad to know the sport Ali triumphantly carried the torch for is currently revising its will (Don King will be left out).
To go along with what Roach said, America needs an American heavyweight. Money and Pacquiao have been undoubtedly great for the sport, but nothing catches the attention of the world like a pounding heavyweight bout. The names of Louis, Marciano, Ali and Tyson are revered as titans; Ray Leonard, Jones Jr. and Hopkins are forever overlooked.
Boxing has been great material for Hollywood but it would be nice if it could also be entertaining in the ring.
As Richard Pryor said, “I ain’t dead yet,” the same is true for boxing. Unless somebody can fill the void left by Mayweather and Pacquiao or a seventh Rocky is released, boxing may be down for the count at the hands of a UFC spine rip.