We’ve all gone back and forth over this ever-lasting debate over what fighter would emerge from what would undoubtedly be an incredible fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquaio. I’m not interested in debating who is ducking whom, or any of the ‘often entertaining’ (sometimes tireless) war of words between Bob Arum (Top Rank Promotions) and Money May (Mayweather’s ‘all-world’ self-promotion alter-ego). Ken Herschman, HBO President, addressed a bit of reality (hopefully) Mayweather/Pacquiao have come to understand, when he told the AP this fight: “has a sell-by date ” of later this year and becomes “less and less relevant” the longer the public has to wait.
You may remember, Mayweather recently publicly challenged Manny via Twitter (a bit telling of where we are as a society, but I digress…): ”Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see,” ”My Jail Sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up Punk.”
Pacquaio has since responded, as has Arum (shocking, I know)…and the two fighters even had an extended phone conversation when Floyd placed a call to the Philippines. Following the call, Manny even made a point to announce he would let Arum know “the Mayweather fight should be next.” Just when it looked as though there may be a glimmer of hope for the ‘proposed’ May 5, 2012 match-up, Arum announces 3 potential opponents for the Pac Man, and none of them have a surname or ‘Mayweather’. As a longtime boxing fan, I’m sick an tired of the charade that has become the sport of professional Boxing. I don’t care what side of the argument (“Mayweather Team” or “Team Pacquiao”) you’re on, as boxing fans we have to start demanding the fights everyone wants to see.
The only way to force these Boxing entities to start providing the fights everyone wants to see is by boycotting the other fights. If boxing promoters like Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, and Gary Shaw Promotions want to continue to force secondary fights or the third/fourth installments (Pacquiao/Marquez) down our throats, just stop paying the $69 for the ‘Pay-Per-View’. One of the things I can at least appreciate about UFC/MMA (and I’m not about to start a boxing vs. UFC debate), is the fact that you NEVER have to worry about whether you’ll get to see the top fighters face one another. Dana White (UFC President) may have adopted/mastered the pre-fight hype strategy, but unlike with boxing, where several governing bodies and large promotion groups rule, White maintains enough influence to ensure UFC fans see the best match-ups.
So, boxing fans, if you truly want to see Mayweather (34) and Pacquiao (33) before they reach their forties, then simply stop supporting the nonsense they continue selling. Not to mention, can you think of anything more riveting than the HBO 24/7 that would accompany what would undoubtedly be an epic fight? Talk about “must-see tv”…but if Mayweather/Pacquiao/Arum et al aren’t careful, that “sell-by date” Herschman referenced will have passed.
Jabari A. Davis