The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight furor has just about died down, so I don’t expect there to be quite the reaction to this news, as there was the Inquisitr‘s previous post, “Boxing Is Dead, And All You Posers Killed It: A Reflection On Mayweather-Pacquiao.”
That piece had a lot of support, but also a lot of angry fans sounding off on the conclusion that buying the pay-per-view and expecting a fight instead of a drab boxing lesson was ignorant.
Ultimately, the op-ed stated, Mayweather-Pacquiao was a death blow to the sport.
While HBO boxing analyst Max Kellerman didn’t go that far in his recent appearance on The Fight Game with Jim Lampley, he did concede that the so-called “superfight” was a blow to the sport. A big one.
The acknowledgement came after Lampley asked whether it was “a plus,” “minus,” or “mixed bag.” This was Kellerman’s response.
“A minus, obviously, because just when all of the attention of the world is focused on boxing — ‘look, this is the best we have to offer!’ When that works out well, like Ali-Frazier or Hearns and Hagler, or some fight like that, it’s amazing. Because casual fans and even non-sports fans, if it transcends sports, are drawn then to boxing.”
“But when it works out this way, just when all the focus is on the fight, and you get the most predictable and boring outcome — like, heading into this fight, what were we thinking? ‘Just don’t let Floyd win 9-3, 8-4, minimize exchanges, and afterwards have Pacquiao say I thought I won the fight, all he did was run. As long as that doesn’t happen, we’ll be OK!’ And that’s what happened.”
In an unusual show of support for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, many of Bad Left Hook‘s commenters felt it wasn’t the fight that was the problem, but people’s expectations of it.
“I don’t really think that the fight ‘hurt’ boxing,” wrote one commenter. “I really don’t even know how it looked to non-pathological, non-rabid fans… Without background knowledge, and thus expectations, if someone thinks of a boxing match as two guys punching each other until one of them falls down, then I imagine that it was a disappointment, and that’s all.”
“Many people forget how bad last week’s episode of their favorite show [was]. And there they are with Smiles on their faces and hummus dripping from their chips watching it week after week,” wrote a second.
Points taken, but the difference here is that boxing has a rich pedigree of guys, who can “box” as well as Floyd and “fight” as well as Manny, and those fights didn’t devolve into boring, public-repelling spectacles.
The “Sugar” Ray Leonard-“Golden Boy” Donny Lalonde fight is a good example of how these two styles can make for an entertaining fight.
Also, anything with Leonard and Thomas Hearns.
Couple that with the fact people have been lamenting the fall of boxing since the rise of MMA, and it becomes easier to see why Kellerman might call Mayweather-Pacquiao a minus for boxing. It was the last “great fight” for a sport that many were already making funeral plans for, and it came across like one guy was too scared to fight and the other was just there to pick up a paycheck.
But that’s just me and Kellerman. Do you agree or disagree with the Mayweather-Pacquiao prognosis?
[Image via The Fight Game telecast via HBO]