De Jesus: Title bout leads May sports slate
Manuel De Jesus | Monday, April 20, 2015
April is one of the greatest months for sports. We all saw Duke beat Wisconsin on April 6 in the NCAA championship. The UEFA Champions League is in the thick of postseason play. Baseball is back with high hopes running for every team in the league. Both the NHL and NBA playoffs kicked off this past weekend.
It’s only going to get better in May, because while it isn’t talked about as much as it should be, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will fight in one of the most anticipated matchups in boxing history May 2.
A week from Saturday, boxing’s two best pound-for-pound competitors will face off to hopefully end the discussion of who the better fighter is. Along with major bragging rights, the unified WBA, WBC and WBO titles will be on the line. Not only are Mayweather’s titles on the line, but if he loses, he’ll forever be remembered for going 47-1.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, knows what it’s like to lose a fight. After Pacquio was knocked out by Manuel Marquez in 2012, many doubted whether the big fight would happen. However, he went on to defeat Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley Jr. and Chris Algieri to put himself back into the conversation of today’s best boxers.
After years of negotiation, the two fighters have agreed to a deal to make this fight, which is expected to give both fighters more than $100 million each, the richest match in boxing history. The two fighters agreed Mayweather would receive 60 percent of the fight’s revenue, while Pacquiao is going to get the other 40 percent. According to Sporting News, the fight is expected to surpass $400 million in revenue, so they’re both going to be ending the night on a good note financially regardless of the result.
Even with the fight in place, some fans are upset about the timing. Pacquiao is 36, and Mayweather is 38. If the fight had taken place in the prime of their careers, it may have been a better contest for the fans. They would have been at their best in terms of speed, strength and intensity. However, Mayweather thinks this was the best time for the two to finally meet in the ring, so we get it now.
In a one-on-one interview with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN, Mayweather unleashed his feelings about the upcoming fight against Pacquiao without any filter. He said he wants to defeat Pacquiao flawlessly. He also said he already knows when the night is over, he’ll be holding his arms up high as the undisputed best boxer in the world.
Last Tuesday in his gym in Las Vegas, Mayweather said he and Pacquiao are bigger names now than they ever were and that they are at the top of their respective careers.
Even after the fight, not every fan is going to be satisfied with the results. Some will complain about the financial incentives of the fight being the primary motive for the boxers. Others will argue this fight was way overdue. Regardless of the complaints and questions regarding the motives behind Mayweather and Pacquiao in this fight, millions across the world are going to tune into what’s being hyped as the best boxing match of all time.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.