Rarely does the busblog hand over the mic to a guest blogger, but when it comes to boxing there are very few who know as much and are as eloquent as Canada’s own Patrick Pitt. These are his words:
Last night at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas Floyd Mayweather won a unanimous decision against multi -Division titlelist Manny Pacquaio. Casual fans are disappointed at forking over money for what they believe was an inflated PPV ticket, and media outlets that rarely cover the game are once again declaring the end of boxing as they take the unsolicited request to revisit writing the fight game’s eulogy.
I could’ve written that in 2009, when the fight was being contemplated.
I’ve been tracking the career of Pac-Man since I saw him on the undercard of Lewis – Tyson. Interestingly that was the first and only time prior to last night that HBO and Showtime shared a card. Casual fans won’t understand the relevance of Jimmy Lennon Jr’s trademark “It’s Showtime” and Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble” sharing the same intro formalities; but to hardcore fight fans it’s like seeing Batman team up with Wolverine!
It’s also worth noting that boxing was written off when Lewis beat Tyson, but knowledgable fans knew that that was the inevitable outcome then too. Tyson apologists (the ancestors of the Pac-Man fan base) blamed Tyson’s age (Lewis was but one year younger), but the truth has always been, but not exclusive to the following:
1. Boxers tend to beat sluggers;
2. A good big man beats a good smaller man;
3. Having a fight style that puts defence ahead of crowd pleasing tends to lend itself to longevity at the championship level.
That’s why Mayweather beating Manny was predictable. That’s why Floyd was an odds on favourite in Vegas. Thats why opponents who had fought both Manny and Floyd picked Floyd. That’s why Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, and Bob Arum are making excuses so as to secure a 9-figure rematch.
And that’s why casual fans have no right to whine. Remember when boxing was done when a black man named Jack Johnson beat Tommy Burns and Jim Jefferies to break the real colour barrier in sports? Remember when boxing was dead after the influence of the mob? Or when an outspoken kid from Kentucky declared himself better than Joe Louis and Sonny Liston? (Hilarious that some today take issue with Floyd doing that to Ali!) remember when boxing was dead when Ali, Foreman and Frazier left us with Holmes, Hagler, Duran, Hearns and Leonard? Yeah that totally sucked.
Who would fill their shoes? Just Kid Dynamite, later Iron Mike. When he went to jail though, that was to be the TRUE end. Then he came out and list to Evander Holyfield. This time we mean it! Boxings over! Don king killed it!
Enter the cross over icon in Oscar De La Hoya, who cleaned house from 130-154lbs. However when Oscar lost to Floyd and Manny, allegedly there was only one fight left.
And because on a grand stage that broke financial records twice over, we didn’t get a UFC Big Mac mash up, but we’re instead were treated to a game of chess played on a filet mignon, boxings done again.
If you wanted Ali Frazier 3 there was nothing leading up to this to suggest you would be getting that. I predicted a unanimous decision by Floyd over Pacquiao because Floyd is a once in lifetime specimen.
His undefeated record, like Pacquiao’s, is riddled with not just boxing legends, but hall of famers. While many hoped Manny would catch Floyd with a lucky shot, they didn’t understand that Floyd actually has a great chin, you’ve just never seen it because he rarely gets caught solid. They also hoped he was getting slower with age, and like Pacquiao, he has! But when you were as quick as Roy Jones Jr full of laxatives, you can afford to slow a little.
Skill? They’re both skilled, but Floyd in addition to having superior ring generalship, was an Olympian. Manny wasn’t. For the uninitiated fan here’s a secret, having 100 plus amateur bouts matters! You learn to do things by the book when the unorthodox tricks fail to fool your opponent. Ali, De LaHoya, Leonard, Lewis, Holyfield, Patterson, Jones Jr – Olympians all.
They say speed goes first and power goes last, that was Pacquiao’s other hope, that Floyd would get old over night. That his brittle hands would come back. No such luck.
Manny won some rounds and that’s to his credit. As I said his record suggests he is something special. His first championship strap was won at 112lbs. He’s been adding pounds and titles for years. But Mayweather is the naturally bigger man, meaning the power factor was closer to even than anyone in Manny’s camp would want to admit.
He might’ve employed some of the strategy that Jose Luis Castillo employed in losing a close controversial decision to Floyd many years ago. Just one problem with that strategy. Floyd learned from that win and best Castillo handily in the rematch.
That’s the thing folks. He evolves.
So the end result is inevitable and you may not like it. A wife beating megalomaniac who shows little respect for the game and it’s greats won 9 figures in a payday and further cemented his place in Canastota’s hallowed halls.
He’s damn good and might very well be better than Ray Robinson and Ali’s place on the all time list.
You don’t have to like it. Few liked Ty Cobb.
However if you want to be a true fan, don’t fight it. Don’t blame the sport or pick up the chisel for its epitaph.
You’re embarrassing yourself like so many before you.
So what if you saw a pitchers duel instead of a home run derby. A game of chess instead of checkers.
…a boxing match instead of a UFC circus…
Embrace it. You’re witness to greatness. You can tell your kids you saw a match between two of the greatest if not the greatest.
If that medicine is bitter to go down, just look up Gatti-Ward round 9 on YouTube. (You’re welcome).
That match was free and not for any belt. That’s what you were looking for, and while special in its own right, is not impossible to find on any given card.
– Patrick Pitt