No matter your connection to the sport of boxing, at work Monday someone will talk about boxing. For years the art of the sweet science has been in the backseat of the sports world while other forms of competition drove further and further away from the purest form of pugilistic combat. Even with the most recent major boxing events like: Mayweather vs Alvarez, De La Hoya vs Mayweather, or Pacquiao vs Marquez. Boxing has still failed to attract and maintain the interest of America.
Enter 2015, the year of Mayweather vs Pacquiao. Without going into the history of how the fight came about, the fight is here. Today Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will enter the ring to finally settle the argument made by loyal fan-bases of who is the best fighter in the world.
The magnitude of this fight has brought attention to the sport of boxing in a way not seen since Ali vs Frazier. Suddenly celebrities have come out of the wood work to proclaim their longstanding affections of the fight game. Daytime talk show hosts, and local news anchormen are offering predictions on the winners and effects of the fight. Hell, David Hasselhoff himself was present to allow Floyd Mayweather the privilege of basking in his golden tanned glow during his media workout.
That guy at work who has made statements to the effect of “didn’t Tyson knock out Julio Cesar Chavez?” is enthralling a group of newfound casual boxing fans at work with his extensive boxing knowledge gained from following a few Instagram pages.
Undoubtedly your friends have called you asking for your prediction and analysis on the fight already; and in turn, they uttered it word for word to their co-workers and friends to demonstrate their insanely high boxing IQ. Mention to these same friends, none other than Vasyl Lomachenko is on the undercard and you might get a response to the effect of “oh yeah didn’t he beat Oscar De La Hoya?
Some jerk at work with no knowledge or history of throwing a fight night party has already called in and asked you to cover for him, proclaiming “I always have the fights off when Chuck Liddell is in the cage bro.”
TMT hats and Pac Man t-shirts now adorn the heads and chests of hip, bar going college kids desperate to belong to some kind of club. These same college students are posting selfies of themselves photo-shopped in a Chris Farina or Esther Lin shot at the Wild Card or Mayweather Mansion next to Justin Bieber or Sly Stallone to add street cred to their long love of boxing.
Suddenly, you have an ally in the boxing vs MMA argument at work. He might get an invite to watch the fight just as long as he doesn’t say anything too stupid.
Boxing is back at the forefront. Monday the armchair analysts will demand a rematch for their respective side. Conspiracy theories with no merit, and a million mentions of the name Al Haymon will add to the credibility of the loudspeaker that they are right, because they just have to be and the louder they get the more right they are.
Boxing is back, good or bad its back. This is what we wished for. This is what we wanted. Tuesday millions of Americans will again turn their back on boxing, but if the sport can hold on to just a handful of the new-found fans then it increases the demand. All boxing is good boxing, even the bad fights.
The sacrifices made by the fighter to provide 12, 18, 24, 30, or 36 minutes of pure joy in the symphony of violence, deserve to be at the forefront of sports. If it means opening the long shuttered doors to our beloved sport and guiding the uneducated to the cathedrals of boxing knowledge, then so be it.