On Sept. 14, the best boxer in the world will step into the ring in Las Vegas, Nevada, looking to keep both his championship belts and his perfect record alive against a highly touted up-and-comer. You couldn’t ask for a better boxing narrative; veteran against prospect, two bankable stars, one a national hero in Mexico and the other—the champion—eagerly embracing the role of the villain. It’s great drama, for sure.
I just don’t know if I’ll be watching.
I’ve been a lifelong boxing fan. It was hard not to be growing up. I don’t know how old I was when my father sat me down in front of the TV to watch a VHS version of the classic 1985 battle between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns—a fight universally regarded as one of the best bouts in history—but, from then on, I was hooked. I grew up hooked on USA’s Tuesday Night Fights, Al Albert and Julio Cesar Chavez. As a teenager, I’d routinely sneak away during parties if there was a fight on to find an empty room and watch the fights on a Saturday night. I remain an avid fight fan to this day, with one exception.
I don’t know if I can pony up the big bucks for another Floyd Mayweather pay-per-view.
As a boxing aficionado, I certainly admire Floyd’s skills. He’s in a class by himself, nearly impossible to hit. When he wants to be, he can be a solid offensive fighter, as evidenced by his 26 knockouts. But more often than not, he’s content to make his opponents look silly, peppering them with shots as they march forward and avoiding any real action so to speak.
In other words, he’s boring.
His opponent, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, seems tailor-made for another effortless Mayweather win. An exciting, crowd-pleasing bruiser, Alvarez is bigger than Mayweather, stronger than Mayweather, but does not—I fear—have the boxing ability to make this a true fight. Definitely not a fight worth $60 of my hard-earned money.
Regardless, people will still tune in. Some to support Canelo, who is being heralded as the new face of boxing. Most, however, will be tuning in to see if Mayweather finally loses and gets what many fans will see as his comeuppance—a punishment for his arrogant, pampered celebrity persona that rubs so much of the boxing world the wrong way.
Those fans who fork over their money won’t see that, however. They’ll see Floyd outclass yet another opponent to win a unanimous decision, another pay-per-view snore-a-thon.
So I’m not paying up. I’m not watching. I’ll find out who won in the morning.
With my luck, it will wind up being fight of the century.
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