Elorde Boxing Gym
March 13, 2015
Fight of the Century
Boxing is not dead.
And if it was dead, our very own Manny Pacquiao and undefeated American champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. just resuscitated it.
After a long five-year wait, Pacquiao and Mayweather, two of the world’s best fighters and the sport’s biggest stars, are finally facing off on May 2 (May 3 in the Philippines) in Las Vegas.
You could sense it the moment the two stood face-to-face before 700 credential media members in a red-carpet press conference at the Nokia Theathre in downtown Los Angeles just a few days back and millions of others watching it live on “SportsCenter.” It was gigantic. No, it was stellar.
Imagine the ticket prizes. The cheapest is pegged at $1,500, or about P72,000, and the most expensive is $7,500, or a whopping P337,000. And expect it to go higher come fight night. It is said that this fight will generate about $40 to $50 million, shattering the record $20,003,150 earned from ticket sales in the 2013 duel at the MGM between Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez. And we’re not talking of the pay-per-view income yet, which is expectedd to be reach astronomical heights.
Mayweather wants this. Pacquiao craved it. We, the world, salivated for this one moment.
Nevermind that both boxers are a little bit older. Pacquiao has lost some of the glitter from his old fearsome self with some painful losses including that painful, traumatic knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez. Mayweather is still Mayweather but age is starting to diminish him. It would have been nice if they fought five years ago at their peaks.
But put the “ifs” aside and you here we all are staring and bracing for the biggest fight in boxing. Ever. It is the biggest fight of this era between the two greatest boxers of this generation. It transcends not just boxing, but sports in general as well. Please bear with me if I ranked it higher than the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler epic clashes.
Because I’m a Filipino, dying for this fight to happen.
And it will.
So boxing is not dead.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum puts it succintly in his interview with ESPN’s Dan Rafael: “But it was really good because people realize that any talk that boxing is in decline or boxing is dead is bulls—. That is white sport editors that have lost track of boxing. The rest of the public loves boxing. Look at this turnout. Look at the demand for this fight. This a boxing match. It’s not a volleyball contest, not a basketball game, it’s a f—ing boxing match. It’s a really big boxing match.”
If it was dead, this bout that Mayweather himself called “Fight of the Century” just breathe it life.
Photos courtesy of The Philippine Star and ESPN