It’s a late Saturday night and unseasonably warm for a mid-September evening in the Bay Area. I am sitting back on my couch and mindlessly flipping through the channels in
hopes of finding something interesting to watch. Despite my day-long interest in college football, peeping all the NCAA battles is now turning my head to mush and withdrawing the remaining life force from my body.
As the various programs flash across my high-definition television, deep down in my mind I’m feeling as if there is an event that is of major importance in sports that I am missing.
I quickly select the guide button on my remote and see that the time is now 10pm. As I begin scrolling through what Comcast has to offer me, I casually glance at one of the advertisement banners at the bottom of the screen and it finally hits me.
Floyd Mayweather vs Victor Ortiz
Knowing that the match already concluded, I rushed onto the internet to read what went down. Headlines flooded my browser after I typed the names of the fighters into the search engine, explaining that Mayweather had scored a controversial knockout in the fourth round.
Although the explanations by other sports journalists covering the fight offer great details and insight into the fight, it was my next destination on the World Wide Web that became the most intriguing of what I would read.
Facebook is the top social network in the world, which also means it is the area where public tirades run rampant about any fascinating event. I knew that this was the best destination to hear the true feelings of fans everywhere on the fight.
Immediately after signing on, I notice on the news feed that all of those I am “friends” with are trashing the fight and Mayweather. Derogatory quotes about the undefeated fighter and comments such as “worst fight ever” flow comment after comment, as if the superstar is a virus that fans are desperately trying to quarantine away from.
Then comes the avalanche of cries that have been a constant thorn in the palms of boxing patrons everywhere: the need for the dream match up between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Despite the calls, the demands, and the necessity for a fight of this magnitude to occur for boxing to remain afloat as a premier sport; it will never extend any farther than talk. Interest to make this bout happen will build up momentum, which will lead to intense discussions, but end up crashing and burning with no date set.
Just as it always does.
First off, Mayweather is not a presidential candidate, so he could care less what his public approval rating is.
Regardless of how everyone berates “Money” Mayweather, the negative statements they all hurdle at the star won’t cut into the armor of narcissism he protects himself with. He will do what he wants, when he wants; just as all other athletes with millions of dollars do. The boxer isn’t one of those rats that follows the pied piper; he is the musician that sways to his own beat.
As much as he boasts that he wants to give the people what they want, he ultimately will do what is best for himself and never pay the hopeful audience any attention.
Along with his own vanity, he will continue to treat the questions of his future bouts similar to how he boxes; with patience, defense, and peppering the occasional jabs to keep the discussion going.
The only question, aside from the legality of his hits on Ortiz, that Mayweather had to deal with is the same one he will never answer: when will he fight Pacquiao?
His post-fight rants illustrated just how little he cares about the Filipino boxer and his disinterest in working to make it happen. He’ll put up his gloves and deflect shots in the ring, and appears ready to do the same with the requests to fight Pacquiao, even though he himself knows how bad this needs to happen.
Everyone understands that no matter who they fight and how many times they win,
Mayweather and Pacquiao need to duke it out with each other to allow both of their careers to come full circle. A boxer’s legacy will ultimately be credited based upon his record and ability, but the catalyst to boost their name into the conversation of “pound-for-pound greatest of all time” comes from the opponents they face.
While Pacquiao still has his third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in November, the assumption is that he will ultimately come out on top. He’s decimated every foe he stands toe-to-toe with and November appears to be just another bump in the road of unnecessary fights he has to take on simply to stay relevant in boxing.
The fantasy of the two squaring off will never happen, even with Pacquiao willing to give in to Mayweather’s previous demands. Mayweather is willing to leave these questions unanswered and dash the hopes of all boxing spectators for the rest of his life rather than possibly blemishing his undefeated record by facing Pacquiao.
He’s too arrogant and proud to allow that to happen.
So blow up social networks such as Facebook and Twitter with all your whimpers, exclamations, and hollering about how both fighters need to face off one another. It will only be a waste of energy on your fingers tapping the keyboard.
As bad as we all want it to happen, the truth is Mayweather vs Pacquiao bout is a false hope that will only let us down once May 2012 passes.