I used to enjoy greatly boxing. I lost $5 on the Hearns/Leonard fight (big Tommy fan), which was a lot of money back in the early 1980s for a high school kid. I boxed at the University of Michigan for a short spell (club sport; no ability required). I read a lot about boxing and, as a kid, could recite the heavyweight champions from Sullivan to Joe Louis. But I lost interest in it once the corruption became too much to overlook and especially when the sanctioning bodies split into four different groups, thereby making it ridiculously-confusing to know who, indeed, is the champ of a particular weight class.
But once in awhile, my interest is piqued, and the upcoming Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight is one of those times. Paul Beston at City Journal has packed a ton of facts into a concise article about the May 2nd rumble. Worth a read. A few excerpts:
“[T]he fight should shatter records for total revenue, live gate, and pay-per-view receipts, to say nothing of the more than $100 million both boxers will haul in (in Mayweather’s case, it’s perhaps closer to $200 million). Boxing remains the only sport whose participants can top the career earnings of other athletes in one night. In fact, Mayweather and Pacquiao will make more than the total payrolls of some Major League Baseball teams.”
“Pacquiao is so easy to like that more Americans may wind up rooting for him than Mayweather, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.”
“[Pacquiao] is also a professional basketball player back home, where criticism of him is not welcome. One former NBA player was bounced out of Filipino basketball (and fined) when he questioned Pacquiao’s hardcourt talents; a team official likened it to insulting Martin Luther King Jr.”
“[Mayweather’s] evident intelligence is no brake on his consistently boorish behavior, as when he branded Pacquiao a ‘little yellow chump’ in a 2010 video rant.”
I doubt I’ll cough up for the pay-per-view, but I look forward to catching the highlights.