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AND STILL…

May 3, 2015, Queens, NY  Predictable.  At least according to the article entitled, “The Mayweather Paradox” in PureSportsNY.com:

I think Mayweather will win a close decision (115-113) on the cards, even though in actuality, he’ll win at least eight rounds handily, and may win as many as ten.  Pacquiao and he will split the first four rounds, and then Mayweather will dominate the last two-thirds of the fight.  The fight will not be full of action, and Mayweather will tie Pacquiao up when he (Pacquiao) gets inside.

“We were off I guess because the judges scored the fight 116-112 (Burt Clements), 116-112 (Glenn Feldman), and 118-110 (Dave Moretti) that’s 8 to 4 and 10 to 2 in rounds.  Here is what Mayweather said in the post-fight conference to his critics.  “I mean, you guys were the ones who said this guy can beat Floyd.  Throughout the years Floyd is scared, Floyd is a coward, Floyd is a chicken, You guys wrote all those stories.  Tomorrow, and all I want you guys to do…  I made you guys eat your words, and you know I made you guys eat your words.  So tomorrow, when y’all write them stories, I want you to say, the nonbelievers, Floyd turned us into believers.”

Truth serum.  How do people handle it when it (truth) rests on their doorsteps.  Do they run  and hide or face it?  Mayweather won.  He dominated Pacquiao.  Mayweather turned it into a boxing match, not a slugfest.  This isn’t the first time.  Since he turned welterweight nearly ten years ago, all Mayweather has done was ensure that each fight turned into a boxing match.  When he fought Miguel Cotto under the tutelage of his uncle, Roger Mayweather, Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr., protested the fight strategy of his son.  Floyd Sr. felt his son was getting hit too much, fighting in a more crowd-friendly fashion.  In the next fight, Floyd Sr. replaced Uncle Roger as the head trainer, and Mayweather got back to boxing science.  The Mayweather who fought at junior lightweight, lightweight, and junior welterweight carried a heavy punch.  The majority of his knockouts occurred when he was fighting at a lower weight.  The younger Mayweather, the lighter Mayweather, was better than the Mayweather who moved up to welterweight and junior middleweight.  Better because not only could he box, but he could hit, really hit.

Denial.  Pacquiao claimed that he won the fight when interviewed by HBO’s Max Kellerman who appeared to be in total disbelief. Later, Pacquiao said that his shoulder was bothering him so he couldn’t really throw punches the way he is accustomed.  Pacquiao isn’t a class act, in fact, his excuses made him appear as if he were an “a$$” act.  He got beat.  He got beat soundly.  And he knew it.  Just look at the twelfth and final round.  Was he fighting like a man who was ahead or behind?  His inner circle (which defies the definition and logic of “inner circle” because there seem to be so many people in it) will tell him that he won.  Freddie Roach, his trainer, will half-heartedly tell him he won.  When he returns to the Philippines, his countrymen/women will tell him that he won.  But he knows that he got totally outclassed.  Social media served to reveal the lack of class of “the many.”  The post-fight analysts and other experts who weighed in also suffered from “denial-itis.”  They said, “Floyd ran.  He didn’t engage.  He’s not an all-time great.  He held.  He’s not exciting.  People didn’t get their money’s worth.  This was bad for boxing.  Floyd didn’t really win.”  Those comments/sentiments are revelatory.  How does the bigger man run from the faster smaller man–in a 19- or 18-square foot ring?  He didn’t engage????  All you need is one fighter to engage.  Who engaged early Mike Tyson?  He “engaged” you.  And then “disengaged” you from your senses.  He’s not an all-time great????  He beat every top fighter in his era.  And, if you know sports, it is hard to compare across eras.  Very hard.  Here’s the proof.  Try comparing 1937 Joe Louis to 1939 Joe Louis.  Try comparing 1971 Muhammad Ali to 1972 Muhammad Ali.  Try comparing 1986 Mike Tyson to 1987 Mike Tyson.  Try comparing 2008 Manny Pacquiao to 2009 Manny Pacquiao. Try comparing 2014 Floyd Mayweather to 2015 Floyd Mayweather.  If you don’t get the logic, let’s make it plain.  If it is difficult to compare (in terms of qualifying who is better) a person to himself/herself, wouldn’t it be more difficult to compare two different people who competed in two different eras?  It’s called “context.”  He’s not exciting????  So what?  He held????  Pacquiao wasn’t in a straight-jacket.  You have two hands, punch out.  People didn’t get their money’s worth????  Reconfigure your expectations.  What did you expect?  Read the excerpt from a prior article that is posted near the top of this article.  This was bad for boxing????  No, boxing is bad for boxing.  This is your biggest fight and you are hoping for 3 million buys?  Could you imagine if the Super Bowl got only 3 million buys with each buy representing 10 viewers?  30 million viewers.  That’s American Idol (in its heyday) numbers.  You can’t grow boxing through a pay-per-view model unless you change the price point.  They would make considerably more money at $19.99 than at $99.99.  Considerably more.  They get 30 to 40 million buys at the cost of an “Andrew Jackson” ($20).  Plus, you grow the sport.  Boxing is bad for Boxing.  It’s a poorly run sport.  Floyd didn’t really win???? Check the punch stats.  Plus, Pacquiao’s overall output qualitatively and quantitatively was down significantly from previous fights.

20150503_105116-1

Still Standing

Credentials not granted.  Michelle Beadle and Rachel Nichols were apparently denied access even though Kathy Swanson (Mayweather’s longstanding publicist) begged to differ.  Who knows?  Certainly, this was a “flap” that became a dominant story on the day of the fight.  Unnecessary.  If the Mayweather camp denied their credentials, unforgivable.  If Beadle and Nichols were credentialed but feigned their being denied access, unforgivable.  If there was simply a communication breakdown, understandable, but not good, not good at all.  An apology is in order from somebody.

Next.  Floyd has one fight left on his contract with Showtime.  This is a hard one.  He seems to be “tired” of the fight game, but the money is “gi-normous.”  If the “narrative” (corny and tired cliche) becomes Pacquiao was damaged goods due to his shoulder being injured and this would indeed be Mayweather’s last fight, there is enough intrigue contained in that storyline to do it again.  Especially in the Philippines.  Vegas wouldn’t be happy, but Mayweather could be looking at $250 million in that scenario.  A quarter of a billion is hard to walk away from.  Mayweather claims he is relinquishing the belts.  That allows him to avoid the sanctioning fees and keep a few more mill in his pocket.  If he wins his 49th fight, 50 is a better number to go out on.  He becomes a free agent (in terms of the broadcast rights contract).  Let the bidding begin.  And if ESPN is smart, they’d throw their hat in the ring.  They have more avenues to exploit/maximize the value of the fight through their various outlets and properties.  My ten cents (not two cents) is that Mayweather should fight one more time against a puffcake opponent.  Clean up his image.  And make his money from endorsements.  Moreover, stop betting on sports.  That’s a losing proposition.  Do you know how fast you can blow $100 million?  The way Mayweather can spend money?  A few more fast cars, and more jewelry, and that’s $25 million gone in an instant.  Save your money, Floyd, in fact, be somewhat prudent.  Don’t pay attention to the “experts” who want to determine your legacy in the sport.  And, keep your hands off of women.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at cliffb@puresportsny.com.

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