I remember growing up and watching fights with my dad. The family would gather around and eat pizza and watch artistic pugilists enact a time honored sport. However, the amount of fights that garnered my father’s will to purchase pay-per-view grew less and less. Sadly, my will to sit around and watch TV while eating has only grown.
Boxing is a dying sport. It would be easy to defer blame to MMA and it’s growth in the past decade. This would ignore the fact that Boxing has been in decline for a number of years. Most attribute this to two glaring inadequacies in the boxing arena.
1) Less quality fighters are born and raised in America. There are currently no American heavyweight title holders. This is the class that once sold tickets and pay-per-views with ease. Marketing a title belt between a Russian and Nigerian presents a marketing nightmare, unless you are going for the eastern european/ fly swatting demographic.
2) There are too many belts and too little talent. Currently there are four roundly recognized boxing organizations that present titles. The WBO, IBF, WBC, and WBA create such a problem to unified acceptance of relevance that fighters would rather chase a big pay day than a title shot. In this regard modern boxing has become a giant game of Pokemon.
What to look for…
Pacquiao has never fought above 135. Going up a notch takes some sting away from your punches and tends to make solid chins a little less so.
De la Hoya tends to get lulled to sleep when he has to chase a fighter, so it goes without saying that Pacquiao’s up close fight style could run detriment to the Filipino. He will be inside with speed but very susceptible to a jab that has been absent from De la Hoya’s more recent fights.
Many think this will be something of a a show as both fighters will initiate contact. You never can tell though.
The fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. was supposed to be this century’s first great one. It turned out to be a strategic snooze fest. Not many realize this but that fight actually ended after I passed out from a mysterious Coor’s Light sickness. Friendly advice, do not play a drinking game which entails drinking whenever Larry Merchant says something either stoopid or borderline retarded.