This weekend we will finally see the undefeated Floyd Mayweather take on Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas. While this fight should have taken place at least five years ago, and both of the boxers are past their prime, it should still be an amazing spectacle. I’ve been lucky enough to see Mike Tyson fight in person, and also Vladamir Klitschko fight in the most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden. There is nothing like a big fight in terms of emotion and anticipation. The problem is that this may be the last big fight in the history of boxing.
I have always loved to watch boxing, and even though he is before my time Muhmmad Ali could be the most transcendent athlete in all of American history. Watching Iron Mike Tyson come up with his ferocity, as well as his downfall was something to see. Unfortunately now, the sport is dying. 75 years ago, the three biggest sports in this country were boxing, baseball and horse racing. Today, all three of those sports seem to be trending downward. While I completely respect our advances in medical technology and diagnosing concussions, it seems that people detest the violence of boxing, while professional football now dwarfs all of the other sports in our country.
Watching two brave men come into a ring and test their mental and physical strength is amazing to watch, there are no teammates to rely on, no instant replays, just man vs. man. Not to mention there aren’t too many sports that can end at any moment with just one punch.
The money that the fight is set to generate this weekend is nothing short of breathtaking. Floyd Mayweather, as of today, is projected to make over $180M for one night of work. Its difficult to wrap your brain around the sheer insanity of that. That said, what is even more insane is that there isn’t a single other fight out there that could make 10% of that amount. Maybe people say the best American heavyweight boxers are now playing linebacker in the NFL. You have to wonder if young athletes out there will be watching this week and seeing the mind blowing money and spectacle of this event, and potentially think about getting into the sport.
I know I will be glued to the television Saturday night. While paying $99.99 for a Pay-Per-View boxing match may seem a bit extreme, its difficult to say how many more of these mega fights will take place in my lifetime. While without question, this is the biggest fight of the 21st century, I don’t have much confidence that there will be any big boxing matches taking place not just in the 22nd century, but even just 15 years from now. That is why I want to bask in the glow of this last big fight.