Boxing is dead. Manny Pacquiao got straight up robbed by the judges in Australia after beating Jeff Horn to a pulp and the Canelo – Chavez “megafight” was a callously lopsided affair that failed to deliver a knockout. But the most damning evidence is the hype that Mayweather – McGregor charade is getting relative to the GGG – Canelo fight.
Mayweather – McGregor is a money grab the likes of which we’ve never seen. It’s the stuff Don King’s wet dreams are made of. GGG – Canelo is as legit as fights come; two world-class boxers at the top of their game fighting it out for the belt. It’s the fight boxing needs, but Mayweather – McGregor will be seen by 10x more people. I’m putting the over/under at 6x more PPV buys for Mayweather – McGregor than GGG – Canelo.
How boxing died
The sport has lacked a truly transcendent heavyweight champion since the days of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Lennox Lewis did his thing, but he sure as hell wasn’t an Iron Mike or Real Deal Holyfield. There’s been a slew of heavyweight champs since then, but the division has been in a long-armed Ukrainian Klitschko chokehold for the past decade. Dominant as the Klitschkos were, they weren’t that exciting. No disrespect to Wladmir or Vitali, but it’s good they’ve been dethroned as the heavyweight kings, and Wladmir can go out with his head held high; he showed the heart of a true champion against Anthony Joshua back in April.
With the heavyweight division reduced to a scrimmage, people had to look elsewhere for their boxing fix. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather were two of the biggest names in the sport; boxing was begging for them to fight. That was in 2009. In 2010, The Ring named the failure to arrange the Mayweather – Pacquiao fight their Event of the Year.
Floyd ducked the fight for five more years, citing a variety of bogus reasons, but never the real one: a Manny Pacquiao at the height of his powers might beat Floyd Mayweather at the height of his.
By the time the two fought, Manny was a shell of his former self and Floyd won by unanimous decision. But the damage had been done. Mayweather – Pacquiao, the most hyped sporting event of all time, failed to deliver on that hype and the sport hasn’t recovered. People watch boxing to see knockouts, not to see Floyd dance around the ring for 12 rounds and not get hit.
Mayweather’s been the biggest name in boxing for nearly a decade, even post retirement, and in that span, he’s knocked out exactly one person: Ricky Hatton back in 2007. He technically knocked out Victor Ortiz in 2011, but that comes with a big asterisk given that Ortiz was still mid-apology when Floyd hit him. Protect yourself at all times. You be the judge:
They say don’t hate the player, hate the game. Floyd is 49-0; no one can dispute that. The Best Ever? Disputable. The fact that his record will be 50-0 by the end of summer; also indisputable. And the fact people are more excited to see a 40-year-old Floyd Mayweather come out of retirement to fight a talented amateur in Conor McGregor than a battle-hardened GGG take on Canelo in the prime of his career speaks to just how low boxing fallen.