Pacquiao, Mayweather fight brings attention back to boxing



The fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will begin on May 2nd

Michael Thompson, Contributing Writer

As a lifelong fan of boxing, disappointment is all too common. Let’s face it ― boxing is a corrupt sport. There are too many promoters and too many champions of the world. Fight decisions are disputed on a regular basis and the best matchups usually do not come to fruition. That is why, after years of failed negotiations, fights over Olympics-style blood testing and who knows what else, I gave up on the “fight of the century.”

But by some sort of divine intervention, the boxing gods have sent us a miracle. On May 2, we will witness a sight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena that goes against everything we have come to expect in boxing. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, the two best fighters of this era, will finally square off.

It is not known for sure why this fight is happening now. Perhaps it is the age of the two men. Perhaps it is the recent downward trend of their pay-per-view buys. Perhaps $400 million is just too much money to leave on the table.

Not since Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier has there been such a compelling matchup in and out of the ring. In one corner is Floyd “Money” Mayweather. He is as brash and arrogant as he is immensely talented. He lives his life with reckless abandon until he steps between the ropes. When the bell rings, Mayweather is a methodical craftsmen. He is the best defensive fighter of this generation, and one of the best boxers of all time.

Standing across from Mayweather will be Filipino congressman Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. While Mayweather flaunts his millions of dollars and routinely adds to his luxury car collection, Pacquiao meets with his constituents, trying to solve the many issues that affect his homeland. In recent years, he has found God, stayed faithful to his wife and has given up nightlife altogether. But once the fight is on, Pacquiao becomes an entirely different man. Even at 36, his pace is unrelenting and his power devastating. His punches come from deceiving angles and many times and put his opponents on the canvas.

Floyd has never had a setback as a professional prizefighter. He has a perfect 47-0 record and is the consensus number-one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, by almost all professional accounts. On the other hand, Pacquiao last lost in disappointing knockout fashion in 2012 to a suspiciously powerful Juan Manuel Marquez. His career appeared to be in jeopardy, but he has since strung together three victories in a row.

In a sport on the fringe of public consciousness, Pacquiao and Mayweather are transcendent stars. Their reach and notability is greater than any other fighters in the world. They both bring with them millions of loyal, adoring fans who have prayed to see this happen. Boxing fans like CAS freshman Andres Brauer are split on the fight.

“I have Mayweather winning because he’s a stylistic nightmare for Manny,” Brauer said. “Pacquiao doesn’t have the power he once had, so I think Mayweather will be able to dictate the pace.”

But not everyone is sold on Mayweather, as evidenced by CAS freshman Hugo Sanchez .

“Pacquaio is better than anyone Mayweather has ever fought,” Sanchez said. “He hasn’t knocked anyone out in years, but I think having Mayweather as his opponent will be more than enough motivation.”

If aging has affected them, it has done so evenly. A lost step or two makes for a more compelling fight. In recent fights, Mayweather has been hit just a little more than in the past, and Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out a fighter since 2009. Their new flaws will open the door for opportunities and tremendous action in the fight.

No matter how much disagreement they have about who will win, boxing fans agree that this is an event worth dishing out $100 for on pay-per-view. SPS freshman Ben Goodkin said he is very excited for the fight.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event,” Goodkin said. “I’m not the biggest boxing fan, but this is a really exciting event. It’s going to be huge.”

In May, just as the summer season begins, fans will be treated to the biggest blockbuster of the year. It is a fight guaranteed to be record-breaking, the richest fight in boxing history. It is so big, two networks, HBO and Showtime, and two announcers, Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon Jr, will share broadcasting and announcing duties. Come May 2, Mayweather and Pacquiao will do something that has not been done in quite some time ― put boxing on center stage.

Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].