Well. Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao is back on the boxing conversation list yet again. You’re probably wondering why what would be the biggest fight ever held is so hard to arrange. It’s a valid question.
If only I had a dollar for every time I the subject has come up, I might even be able to pay for the match myself. It’s a contest that is set to break all financial records, if it ever goes ahead.
Mayweather versus Pacquiao is the easiest sell known to man – or at least to everyone but the two men who will do battle in the ring.
After five years we are still locked in political and egotistical struggle between the two. Somewhere along the line, the sport that made both men millionaires was lost.
Both camps look at the potential millions on offer to them, but with only the winner taking the spoils, that isn’t quite enough.
Never mind the fact that each man is set to take away $100 million dollars minimum for just lacing up his gloves. What concerns both parties is what will happen to the loser.
There is an old adage used in the world of sports marketing, ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’. It’s the reason why New York Giants jerseys are the hardest to find right now.
The winner of the biggest fight ever will take home millions through endorsements and media coverage generated from their victory, and the loser will see a sizeable chunk come out of their future box office revenue.
For so long, the narrative of Mayweather-Pacquiao has had us all tuned in to witness the next twist in the tale, with millions of us paying for the privilege and thus lining the pockets of both men from our pay per view buys.
When the final chapter is written, and we finally have a winner, one man will see those earnings skyrocket, while the loser becomes second best.
Despite the chance for both men to be validated as No.1 pound for pound, and to hold multiple world titles, and to finally officially be able to call themselves the best fighter in the world, it isn’t enough. That fact sadly epitomises what boxing has become.
Since the dawn of time, two men have been able to settle their differences with their fists, devoid of colour, creed, science or society’s labels, where a man’s heart mattered more than training, income, education or opportunity.
It’s a sport in which a black man who couldn’t get service at a local restaurant became the most loved fighter of all time.
It’s a sport where a street kid who had been lost to society fought his way to a heavyweight title and the millions that came along the way.
The boxing ring is the ultimate proving ground, and one that gives no mercy. Some leave with less than when they arrived, while others leave with much more than their wildest dreams had allowed. But it all started with two men lacing up their gloves with a desire to see who the better man was.
It’s ironic for a sport that has lived and breathed out of the gambling capital of the world, under the bright lights of Las Vegas, that neither man is willing to take the gamble.
What is even more ironic and harder to comprehend is that it would be a gamble from which everybody wins. Everyone except for one of the two fighters.