Boxing’s grandest night might be its last. Mayweather Vs Pacquiao

In just over two month, May 2, 2015 two of the greatest boxers in the world will enter the boxing ring for what has been dubbed fight of the century. It has taken over six years to get undefeated champion pugilist, Floyd Mayweather Jr. to face off against another champion prize fighter, Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a bout that will be broadcast to over 100 countries and billions of viewers across the world.

The announcement last Friday by Mayweather ended a long drawn-out process of negotiations that have collapsed and initiated countless times. All the while the hopes of fight-fans were raised and dashed too. But, the fight is finally happening, what does it mean for boxing?

Let’s first get the purse issue out of the way. Money Mayweather is expected to make at least $120 million to fight his rival, while the fighting pride of the Philippines is set to receive at least $80 million. The figures make this fight the richest if boxing history. It has been said, Mayweather’s purse will be more than many Major League Baseball teams’ entire 2015 season payroll.

Going into this much anticipated fight, most fans and experts still consider Pacquiao to be the world’s No. 2 pound-for-pound to Mayweather. This is even though he lost two times since 2010, including a brutal one-punch knockout in 2012 at the hands of his other long time rival, Juan Manuel Marquez.

The undefeated Mayweather is almost universally regarded as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.  However, since 2010, the once universal popular opinion has been waning. Other argues that world’s best defensive fighter has been hit more than he ever has been in his last two fights. Many site that Marcos Maidana had him under pressure which got to him somewhat. The other bout popularly sited by his distracters is his 2012 match with Miguel Cotto who managed to give him some facial bruises, something never before seen on “pretty boy” Mayweather’s face. Still, on paper Mayweather walks into the ring with a record of 47 wins 0 loses and 26 Knockout wins. Pacquiao’s card has 57 wins, 5 loses 2draws with 38 knockout. These two men represent the best athletes of their generation in the sport.

They have both faced off against all of the world’s top ten pugilists in their weight class, perhaps with the exception of Britain’s Ashley Khan. This means following the May 2 historic bout there’s be no fight to look forward to in all of boxing, at least not on this scale. Hence apart for a rematch, which is also unlikely to create the same amount of interest, this might be the end of boxing place in the popular imagination. So, the two men responsible for Boxing’s grandest night in history might also be credited with the sport’s last major showing in history.

 

Percy Mabunda