The Gustavian Weekly

The Fight That Didn’t Save Boxing | The Gustavian Weekly

By Mark Siatta Opinion Columnist | May 8, 2015 | Opinion

Many fans were upset with the way the big fight went. Most people expected a slugfest that would bring out the barbarian in us all. What most viewers don’t understand is, that is simply not how Floyd “Money” Mayweather fights. If you were expecting to see a Mike Tyson type of “I’m going to punch you into next week” then you were deeply disappointed. But if you were looking to see a technical magician, then you most certainly rejoiced in your seat.
There is a reason “Money” is undefeated, because no one can hit him. He simply is the greatest defensive boxer of all time. By no means does that make him the greatest ever. It simply states that of all the boxers to ever step foot inside the ring, he was the best at NOT getting hit.
This is where the misunderstanding of the fight this past Saturday occurred. People correlate not being aggressive in a boxing match as losing the fight. Simply put, this is the farthest thing from the truth. Scoring is calculated from amount of punches thrown and punches connected or hit percentage, among other things. So by not allowing Manny Pacquiao to hit him clearly gives Floyd Mayweather the advantage in the fight.
Mayweather was using his best strength to its fullest potential: his speed. He was just too quick for a boxer in Pacquiao that wanted to trade punches. It is not in Floyd’s best interest to do that. He hasn’t knocked someone out since the turn of the century and he wasn’t looking to do that on Saturday night either. He picked his spots to sock Pacquiao while simultaneously dipping and dodging Pacquiao’s attempts.
Besides the actual fight, most people should be more upset with the actual promotion and sale of the fight. Tickets were going for well over $5,000, not to mention the exorbitant pay per view price of $100. For a sport that has been considered dying by many people this was supposed to be the fight that saved it. But it fell well outside of the price range for many fans and even though the revenue was through the roof, it didn’t bring in the right type of viewer.

Mayweather was using his best strength to its fullest potential: his speed. He was just too quick for a boxer in Pacquiao that wanted to trade punches.

This fight didn’t revive the boxing enthusiast; it brought the sporadic viewer in for one night. If the main focus was to recreate an interest in boxing this fight certainly did not do that. Although for the few weeks leading up to the fight there was unparalleled fan fare, as mentioned above it was anything but sustainable. People will forget about boxing again and even if there is a rematch it wont receive the same allure as the initial fight.
Who the promoters and advertisers really missed were low-income communities who were unable to watch the fight due to the steep prices. This further alienated their fan base because many low-income kids sought boxing as an avenue out of their circumstances. Look at fighters like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, who used Boxing as an avenue to change their lives.
These once a decade type of fights used to be broadcasted for public viewing, think Muhammad Ali VS Joe Frazier. That was when boxing was in its golden age, and when many young individuals were actively engaged and interested in boxing. Due to the increased cost of viewing the fights, many of the fans left for more affordable sports like football and baseball.
This is what the fans should really be most upset about. True, the fight may not have had that knock you out of your seat vibe, but for a boxing purist, it was everything you could have asked for. The real shame is that more people couldn’t have viewed it. If they would have charged a quarter of the cost, many more fans including the ones promoters and advertisers really need, those low-income viewers would have been able to enjoy this match.

This fight didn’t revive the boxing enthusiast; it brought the sporadic viewer in for one night.

If there is a rematch in the future, promoters and advertisers alike should focus their energy in invigorating the low-income communities around the country by offering discounts to view the fight. Another thing that could go a long way to increasing interest and understanding, would be to articulate how scoring is calculated and also some of the strategy behind boxing itself.
Overall, the boxers, promoters and advertisers made their money but the real losers were the fans here. This fight was supposed to revive the sport of boxing but all it did was show us precisely why it is dying. Perhaps the next fight will be more entertaining for the casual fan, you’ll just have to tune in to find out…or don’t.