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The “fight” is finally over

For those of you who wasted your money and your time watching the Mayweather-Pacquiao match last night, too bad. 

The lovely and taletned Elizabeth Banks said it best: “I was bored out of $100”. 

I had no faith whatsoever that Pacquiao could win, especially by decision. I figured that the only way the Filipino could win is if he knocked out the woman beater. The judges, all of whom live in Las Vegas and were receiving $20,000 plus expenses (at least three nights in a MGM Grand luxury suite, five-course dinners) were clearly for Mayweather. 

The fighters combined to land 229 punches. That sounds like a lot, but most championship boxers can land more than twice that in a 12-round championship bout. Pacquiao connected on just 19 percent of his punches and landed a miniscule 81. 

Pacquiao was depressingly underagressive. He probably knew going in he would have to KO Mayweather, but he kept clutching and grabbing. That’s a great strategy in hockey, not so much in boxing. 

Mayweather is now 48-0, one win short of Rocky Marciano’s record for an unbeaten career. However, to call Mayweather the greatest fighter of all time is a joke. He has cherry picked each and every opponent he has faced in recent years. He does not fight on a regular basis like Marciano and the other great fighters of the past. Mayweather is the greatest of all time in his own mind.  

Also, I would like to see Mayweather or any of the other fighters who have been in their prime since the mid-1980s to fight 15 rounds. The first Ali-Frazier fight in 1971? The full 15. The Thrilla in Manila, Ali-Frazier III in 1975? 14 rounds. Heck, even Chuck Wepner, the inspiration for Rocky, took Ali to 14. 

I would watch boxing before tennis, the Summer Olympics and the X-games, but that’s it. 

Tonight, it’s just as bad. ESPN is treating us to yet another Yankees-Red Sox game. Ho hum. 

Fight of the Century? Not quite.

ESPN is promoting today as the greatest day of sports this year.

Kentucky Derby? Horse racing has lost its prestige, but the Run for the Roses is still the world’s most prestigious race. NBA playoffs? Game 7 between the Spurs and Clippers should be entertaining. NHL playoffs? The Rangers face a must win at home today vs. the Capitals, and the Ducks will probably go up 2-0 on the Flames. Third day of the NFL draft? Take it or leave it.

Oh yeah, there’s a fight in Las Vegas. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you’ve been smart enough to avoid all forms of media, or at least turned off the TV when mention of the bout begins. I bristle at the idea that the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao duel is the “Fight of the Century”.

First, Pacquio’s best days are well behind him. Less than three years ago, he was knocked out in the sixth round by an undistinguished fighter, Juan Manuel Marquez.

Second, Mayweather may be a great fighter, as evidenced by his 47-0 record, but he’s a turd outside the ring. I have zero respect, and in fact, great enmity, for anyone who would commit domestic violence. Even worse, Mayweather has been convicted on multiple occasions, serving 90 days in jail during the summer of 2012 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and thus avoiding felony chargers.

Mayweather may be 47-0, two wins shy of Rocky Marciano’s career record, but Mayweather has been able to cherry pick his bouts, taking more than 18 years to build that mark. Marciano won 49 fights in less than nine years.

I wasn’t alive to witness it, but from all I’ve read and what I’ve watched on ESPN Classic, there is only one Fight of the Century, Joe Frazier’s 15 round unanimous decision over Muhammad Ali to retain the world’s heavyweight championship on March 8, 1971 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The hype for that fight was remarkable, one of the most hyped sporting events in the era before cable television, but unlike numerous boxing matches, this fight lived up to the hype and then some.

I would put THREE Ali bouts ahead of anything Mayweather-Pacquiao could offer. I would also have to rank the third Ali-Frazier fight in 1975 in Manila and Ali’s 8th round knockout of George Foreman in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1974 higher. Another one I would rank higher is No Mas, the 1980 fight in the Superdome between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.

To me, boxing hasn’t mattered since the evening of April 6, 1987, when Leonard surprised Marvelous Marvin Hagler in a 12 round split decision to win the middleweight championship. The fight was on pay-per-view, but I remember the reports before and after, and the wrapup the next morning on SportsCenter before I went to school.

I read an article online on the Kansas City Star website where the top tickets for the bout were going for $115,000. That’s not a typo. ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Bob Arum, the president of Top Rank Promotions, said he would not offer ringside seats to anyone who did not have a minimum credit line of $250,000 with MGM, which is hosting the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

For the price of a ringside seat at the fight, you could buy 82 tickets to Super Bowl 50. And not nosebleed end zone seats. GOOD seats.

By comparison, the top price for a seat at the Ali-Frazier fight in 1971 went for a mere $150, a lot of money back then. By comparison, tickets for Super Bowl V, held two months earlier in Miami, carried a $20 face value. The most expensive Ali-Frazier ticket of 1971 would translate to $870 today. You couldn’t sniff the parking lot for $870 for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Prices for the worst seat start at $4,500.

I also did some reverse calculation. One hundred fifteen thousand in 2015 was a little less than $20,000 in 1971. For that price, you could have purchased 992 tickets to Super Bowl V.

Even if you want to watch the fight at home, it will cost $90 to $100. Way too much for me. Way, way too much for a fight which I doubt will come anywhere close to the hype.