Boxing will survive without Pacquiao-Mayweather
It’s been 12 days since the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight (or Pacquiao-Mayweather, if you prefer) imploded, and a remarkable thing has happened: Boxing has survived.
From all the post mortems and obituaries being written by guys you would hope would know better, you’d have thought the American Medical Association had joined forces with the WBA and finally run the game out of business.
Or at least back underground, which is where it would be, along with many other so-called sports, if we all were a little more evolved.
At any rate, the hyperbole surrounding boxing latest “embarrassment” is an embarrassment itself. The fight’s cancellation has been described alternately as “catastrophic” for the sport, “disastrous,” a “travesty,” “a monumental setback,” and “one of (boxing’s) darkest hours.”
Naturally, the laziest and most ignorant trotted out that old mainstay, “another black eye for boxing,” and there is nothing lower in any vocation than the writer who relies on such tired drivel.
Finally, there was the inevitable assertion made both by a commentator on NPR and a writer for an inexplicably popular New York daily that the fight’s cancellation is the kind of thing that has driven many former boxing fans over to MMA.
What utter hogwash.
You would think the boxing landscape looks like downtown Manhattan in I am Legend.
Alas, it does not. It is business as usual, and how is that a bad thing?
Pacquiao, as you know by now, has signed to fight Joshua Clottey in Texas and whether or not boxing’s latest “savior” will someday appear before a gaggle of pencil-necks in suits and between sobs confess to taking performance enhancing drugs, Pacquiao-Clottey is a nice little fight.
Clottey is an easy night for no one and will push Pacquiao – at least until his customary late-rounds fade – and deserves a nice payday as much as the next guy. So bully for him. Spread the wealth.
The identity of Mayweather’s next opponent is unknown at this writing and will remain so, apparently, until that opponent has agreed in writing to take a battery of pre- and post-fight tests that may include but are not limited to the Bar Exam, the Regents and a mammogram.
It’s true the published list of potential opponents is not breathtaking, as it includes Nate Campbell, who has become altogether insufferable, and Paulie Malignaggi, who needs a certain kind of style in front of him in order to be compelling. That style is not Mayweather’s. In fact, it is the opposite of Mayweather’s.
The most interesting is Kermit Cintron, as he presents the masses with that ever-popular question involving whether superior skills can overcome considerably greater size.
It seems not to matter that the question has been answered in the affirmative countless times already. Should Cintron win the lottery, Mayweather will answer it that way again, and not just because he will require Cintron to boil down to 125 pounds.
But enough about those two. Look what we have coming up:
Shane Mosely against Andre Berto is a wonderful fight. So too is Steven Luevano against Juan Manuel Lopez. Yuriorkis Gamboa against Rogers Mtagwa promises to be fun, too. Next month, Edwin Valero is back against Antonio DeMarco.
This is all good stuff, folks. And that’s only this month and next. And none of it on pay-per-view.
So keep crying about Mayweather-Pacquiao. I’ll be right here, listening to Teddy Atlas blasting the mismatches his bosses keep putting on in the most honest commentary in all of sport.
I’ll be checking out Bob Arum’s new series, wishing I’d learned Spanish, and laughing at the histrionics of Showtime’s Gus Johnson and, reportedly, Nick Charles.
I’ll be shaking my head at Bernard Hopkins’ latest head-scratching career move, and sitting in awe at the still immense ego of Roy Jones Jr.
I’ll be here, marveling at Jim Lampley’s vocabulary and Larry Merchant’s poetry, at the wonder of Miguel Cotto’s heart and deep stoicism and of Tomasz Adamek’s blue-collar genius.
I will feel for Malignaggi and Yuri Foreman and Ivan Calderon, the game’s under-appreciated punchless wonders, and watch with great glee as the Super Six tourney rolls on.
Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud, Jean Pascal, David Haye, The Brothers Klitschko, Luis Collazo, Vic Darchinyan, The Brothers Peterson, Amir Khan, Kelly Pavlik, Tim Bradley — how does one lose passion for the stories and tragedies and triumphs these men bring into the ring with them?
Over the actions of a pair of multi-gazillionaires?
Mayweather-Pacquiao or not, there is no better soap opera in this world than professional boxing, and if the price one has to pay to be a part of it is the occasional mammoth blunder, well, I’m OK with it.
Actually, better than OK.
Some random observations from last week:
Arum’s new series started out with a bang, as Vanes Martirosyan and Kassim Ouma put on a hell of a good scrap in Las Vegas. I have no problem with the decision, even if the scores seemed a little wide. I had it for 97-94 for Martirosyan. It was no robbery.
Ouma, who apparently isn’t as far gone as he’s looked in other recent losses, has the worst possible thing a fighter on the way down can have: a steel chin. ÔÇª
So Golden Boy Promotions has signed John Ruiz. Nice pick-up, guys! If you move fast, you probably can get Monte Barrett, Hasim Rahman and Lamon Brewster, too. ÔÇª
Kudos to BJ Flores for sharing the very interesting news on Friday Night Fights that Jermain Taylor was paid to drop out of the Super Six tournament and will be replaced by the winner of Sakio Bika-Allan Green. That’s a good fight right there. ÔÇª
Paid or not, boxing is no longer your sport, Jermain. But since we know you’re a competitive guy, we hear ping-pong is nice. Soap Box Derby racing, too. But wear a helmet, all right? ÔÇª
I cannot be the only one befuddled and disappointed by Hopkins’ decision to proceed with a fight against Jones, despite the highly convincing impression Jones gave of a lawn dart last time out — against Danny Green, of all people.
What is Bernard thinking? Who’s going to buy that fight? Then again, I’m pretty sure I could fit my whole house in Bernard’s kitchen, so what the hell do I know? ÔÇª
Martirosyan’s decision over Ouma served to extend my points lead over Eric Raskin, my earnest Ring Theory co-host and “Quick Picks” adversary. Don’t miss our next show, which will be posted later this week. My picks will put Eric so far in the hole he’ll think he’s one of his beloved Philadelphia Eagles. ÔÇª
Apparently I’m the new WBC mini-super junior cruiserweight intercontinental FECARBOX interim champion. Or, I will be for just four easy payments of $16.99. I got my notice in the mail the other day. Sweet!