Boxing drifts farther away from audience

Ian Taylor, Sports Editor

And boxing is back on the map … well, at least for next so many months following the announcement of a fight five years overdue, one that the hundreds and hundreds of people that care have been clamoring for, and one that pits 38-year-old Floyd “Money” Mayweather against 36-year-old Manny Pacquiao.

At this point can we be real for a second? This is asinine for so many reasons. The idea that boxing is still the enigmatic platform that it once was is ridiculous, and to push onto the public a match-up between two aging fighters who remain the only relevant names in the sport is laughable.

The entire situation is bittersweet. Look at it like this: If Mayweather wins, this 200-year buildup has been the biggest sham in sports history, and if Pacquiao wins, the untouchable legacy of Mayweather goes down the drain, leaving boxing with below zero appeal.

Sure, argue that the previous paragraph establishes why the fight deserves attention, that the fight is a make-or-break for the sport, for two careers and, ultimately, for two legacies.

But my counterpoint is that if your sport hinges on one fight between two names, your so-called sport is about as entertaining as the 45th season of Survivor.

Boxing has been around since 1865, standing firm behind the fists of men forged from stone. Men like Ali cast a shadow that encompassed our country during a time of utter turmoil, and now men like Mayweather make it a mockery.

Toe-to-toe, rope-a-dope, DOWN GOES FRAZIER — these terms became headlines that became lore in a time of majestic battle, but now the headline simply reads “Maywether and Paquiao fight for $200 million dollar purse.”

It is reported that the pay-per-view could be in the neighborhood of $100 for the fight scheduled for May 2. That same Saturday has the Kentucky Derby, NHL and NBA playoff action, the Red Sox matching up with the Yankees and the final day of the NFL Draft scheduled as well.

Good luck, gentlemen. I think I will wait for May 23 when the octagon door opens to let the likes of Jon Jones, Anthony Johnson, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort in.