The Daily Gamecock

Column: Boxing isn't dying

<p>With Manny Pacquiao set to have shoulder surgery, speculation has risen about a possible rematch in the future.</p>
With Manny Pacquiao set to have shoulder surgery, speculation has risen about a possible rematch in the future.

That’s right, you heard me correctly I said boxing isn’t dying. Take a look at Twitter over the past week or so and you’ll understand why: It’s already dead.

Saturday night’s Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight amounted to no more than one boxer dancing around the other and winning because he happened to connect with a few extra glancing blows — a far cry from the Mike Tyson slugfests of years past.

Sure, MayPac shattered pay-per-view records, but we all knew that would happen. After the match though, social media was rife with disappointed patrons wondering what exactly they just watched.

Here’s the thing though: MayPac was actually a great fight; the two best boxers in the world went toe-to-toe for 36 minutes and in the end one was so fast the other couldn’t catch up. The problem is that fans hated it.

Fans like the type of boxing that occurs when two unskilled brawlers slug it out for eight of so rounds until one can’t stand up. Current boxers are too defensive, too calculated and too boring to keep fans.

A month before the fight, I explained that MayPac would be the highest-grossing pay-per-view in television history but that the key to the future of the sport would lie in the undercard.

Boxing promoters dropped the ball.

Promoters added just two undercard bouts that both ended with lopsided outcomes. Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 1 KO) finished Gamelier Rodriguez in the ninth of 10 rounds. In the other lightweight fight, Leo Santa Cruz won all 10 rounds unanimously to take a 100-90 victory on all three scorecards.

Ultimately, though Lomachenko retained his WBO featherweight title, all three fights bored fans.

Overall, the various controversies surrounding the spectacle overshadowed the fight itself. Issues with pay-per-views, a hidden Manny Pacquiao injury and Floyd Mayweather’s alleged ban of certain media members that spoke out against his issues with domestic violence dominated headlines.

Add in a payout issues, and you have a recipe for disaster.

As SB Nation reported, Mayweather and Pacquiao were paid by round, so the longer the fight lasted, the more each fighter would get paid. In a time where fans pay to see knockouts, the payout schedule upset patrons. 

There has been a shift toward MMA in the past few years. Much of this can be attributed to many of the issues above that have plagued boxing for years. Knockout and submission bonuses encourage fighters to give their all in the octagon. 

Instead of having two fighters that generate the majority of their sport’s revenue, MMA companies sell all fighters. Shorter, faster paced bouts that feature fighters working for their paycheck entertains fans more than boxing matches that go the distance so fighters can maximize income.

Floyd Mayweather bet $750,000 that he would win via decision to take home some pocket change in addition to the more than $180 million he made for spending 36 minutes in the ring.

With Mayweather at 38 and Pacquiao at 36, boxing has no one to take over once both retire. Mayweather announced he would retire after tying the record for boxing’s best undefeated record ever at 49-0. With Pacquiao’s hidden injury, MayPac part two could take place early next year, but even then, Mayweather is less than a year from retirement.

Ignore the MayPac viewership numbers. This was a “superfight” that took place five years too late and sold based on names and not entertainment value. Don’t bore yourself, flip over to UFC Fight Night and enjoy the kind of skilled and action-packed fights that 21st century fans want from their combat sport viewing experience.

Maybe if the controversies stop flowing and matches become more about the fighting and less about the money, we’ll jump on the boxing bandwagon. For now don’t bother, boxing is dead.