Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 is definitely up there as one of the best days in North American sports this year, right up there with the NBA and NHL finals, Super Bowl Sunday, and the Final Four. It features NBA and NHL playoff games, including a Clippers-Spurs game seven that promises to be a thriller; the Kentucky Derby, or as it is also known, the best two minutes in sports; and the third day of the NFL Draft. But capping it off is by far the biggest event in boxing, MMA, and UFC this century: Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
It is a tale of two completely different personalities. You have “Money” Mayweather, who loves to take pictures of him and his stacks of money, and you have Pacquiao, who is a Filipino national hero and is more of a laid back type. It is an extremely intriguing fight that guarantees millions in revenue. But it comes at a time when boxing isn’t close to how popular it was when Mike Tyson or Muhammed Ali were in their heyday. So can this superfight save the sport?
It may not. The two superstar fighters are both past their prime, as Mayweather is 38 and Pacquiao is 36. This fight would have a chance of putting boxing back in the spotlight for more than a month if they were 10 of 15 years younger.
What boxing needs is two fighters that are young, talented, and dominant to fight, and continue to fight throughout their careers. It would create a rivalry and bring plenty of new fans to the sport as they follow their favorite fighter.
How many casual sports fans can name a boxer other than Mayweather or Pacquiao? Probably not a whole lot. I can’t. Boxing needs to not only get two young fighters to battle for supremacy for years, but to have other big-name boxers that can challenge the two stars.
Until they have those two things, the fight of the century is not going to save boxing.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Harrison Hamm