What would boxing be at this time without Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.? Boxing may not be a popular sports as it is today if Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, jr. are not in competition or if they are not actively fighting. Proof of this is the recent major fights by well known and once-popular boxing champions like Evander Holyfield and Fracois Botha.
Even today, these boxers are known to boxing fans since they were once world champions and very popular during their prime years. The Holyfield-Botha fight did not make it to the box office. Less than 5,000 people watched the fight at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones recently clashed at the Mandalay Bay, also in Las Vegas.
The same low turn -out was noted despite the aggressive promotional efforts by their managers and promoters. These great boxers have been champions in their own right but their popularity did not deliver the kind of crowd that Pacquiao and Mayweather would normally bring whenever they climb up the ring. Boxing fans today are more demanding and discriminating.
They want a real fight and they know that both Pacquiao and Mayweather are real and skillful fighters. The failed Pacquiao-Mayweather match which was originally scheduled last March 13, angered thousands of boxing fans around the world. They say it was the kind of fight they wanted to see. And when it did not happen, they threw 'garbage' at Mayweather for scuttling the fight with his drug testing protocol.
On May 1, Mayweather will face Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The promoters at Golden Boy are saying that all tickets have been sold out. If this is true, experts can point to the undefeated champion as the main attraction and not Mosley. This scenario is replicated in the Pacquiao-Clottey match where Joshua Clottey, a virtual unknown (except when he fought Miguel Cotto) became an overnight celebrity when Bob Arum tapped him from nowhere as replacement for Mayweather. Here is why Floyd Mayweather is an 'undisputed' crowd and pay-per-view drawer.
First of all, the 'money man' is undefeated in his entire professional boxing career. This makes him a real and credible champion. He often flaunts his virginal boxing record but few would dispute his claim after retiring undefeated except those who say that he chose and fought less superior boxers in order to be sure that he preserves his zero loss record.
Secondly he is a topnotch promotional and advertising man. He has a talent for keeping you interested in him no matter who you are rooting for or even if you are a die-hard Pacquiao fan. People or boxing fans are interested with what the undefeated champion has to say of his opponent or his his trainer, or his entourage, or his race or country, and so on. Once he opens his mouth to talk about boxing in general and his upcoming fight in particular, media people scampers for what he has to say and for millions of boxing fans to hear.
And lastly Mayweather has the ability to get the eyes and ears of the fans with his trash-talking trademark. He also has the talent for creating issues that the public are interested in. A case in point is the blood testing controversy that he started when he demanded that Pacquiao take an Olympic-style random drug test to level the playing field when he takes on the pound-for-pound king.
In the case of Manny Pacquiao, boxing fans love him for what he is today. People look at him as a good role model for the sports or even for the youth of today. His life story is worth telling a thousand times and people would continue to read or hear about his failures and successes in life. He is a picture of a clean and immaculate sportsman as media had configured him during his early days in boxing.
His life is a genuine rags to riches story worth emulating. He is a symbol of kindness, humility and charity. Boxing fans just love him for what he is and how he remains true to these noble qualities. When his opponents threw garbage on the popular Filipino boxer, boxing fans would rise up to their seats in anger and go out of their way to defend their idol.
These are the contrasting sides of the two most sought-after boxing personalities in recent history. Good or bad publicity, they have the capability to draw millions of boxing fans to their fight no matter who their opponents are and how they are handled by their promoters.
Still, the question remains: What would boxing be like without these two great boxers?
(original article appeared @ Digital Journal )