Shots from the Peanut Gallery…

You can’t go anywhere right now and not hear people talking about the big fight Saturday night.  Everyone is finalizing their fight party plans and making sure they can tell you where they were the night Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fought.  There is one question that will probably be hammered to death this week that I definitely want to make sure I address.  Will this fight Saturday night between two future Hall of Famers and two of the best fighters of this era be the fight that saves boxing?  Inquiring minds want to know if this in fact will be the fight that will take boxing back to the mainstream like it was in its heyday 30 years ago?   Or will we look back on this fight as just as one amazing night that will just be a big blip in sports history?

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The obvious answer to the question can this fight be boxing’s savior in the short term is yes.  Look at all the money being spent for this fight not just in Vegas, but across the country.  This fight will smash every major record for revenue generated for a single sporting event.  And it won’t even be close.   Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are two of the biggest names not just in boxing, but in sports.  According to Forbes, Mayweather was the highest paid athlete in the world in 2014 and that was with zero endorsements.  He’s making up to 180 million dollars for this fight for potentially 36 minutes of work Saturday night.   Pacquiao will likely see about 120 million for the same 36 minutes.   And if their fight is close and competitive guess what we will see this fall?  Of course a rematch.    Imagine how much money that could be for both fighters?  Boxing would once again be at the forefront of the sports world for the second fight. So yes a short term savior for boxing for sure.

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Now let’s dig a little beneath the surface and talk long term.   The reality is Mayweather and Pacquiao are the faces of boxing right now.  Unfortunately for both the reality is also both fighters are closer to 40 than 30 (Mayweather 38, Pacquiao 36) and can see the finish line to their careers approaching.  And though neither will admit it they are both on the decline in terms of skills.  Though their decline isn’t so big to not keep them as two of the best fighters in the world right now.  But the reality is also the two biggest names in boxing at best have two more years left of fighting at an elite level.  In fact Floyd has said many times that he wants to fight one more time after this Saturday night and then plans on retiring.  And Manny sees a continued and more active run in politics and not boxing in his very near future.  So who is left for Manny and Floyd to pass the torch to and keep this momentum they and the sport of boxing will gain Saturday night?  Sad to say there really isn’t anyone.   It’s not Miguel Cotto (An old 34), Gennady Golovkin (Unknown) or Canelo Alvarez (Jury Still Out).  Another reality is boxing always has been about the heavyweight division where giants like Ali, Foreman, Holyfield, and Tyson all once roamed.  You know the 200 pound crushers.  Not the little 147 pound guys fighting Saturday.  And the heavyweights were American and easy to identify with.  And with all due respect to current American heavyweights like Deontay Wilder and Bryant Jennings, but currently the heavyweight division is dominated and flooded with Non- American names most people can’t pronounce let alone want to root for.  I’m a diehard boxing fan, but facts are the facts the future of the sport is no more better than it was a year before the Mayweather and Pacquiao was made.

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So as great as this week leading up to the fight and the actual fight night will be let’s not get crazy and see it for what it truly will be.  It’s not a resurrection of the sport of boxing.  It’s definitely not boxing’s savior.   However it will be  one great night for the sport of boxing and sports overall.    So appreciate this special time and moment in sports history before it has come and gone.