This week’s mailbag email doesn’t ask me to pick any winners, but it does ask me to peer into the future and make a prediction, so here goes:
People talk about how even if the Pac-Money fight gets made, it will never be as big as it could have been.
Imagine how huge this fight will be next year during the NBA/NFL lockout, and MLB offseason.
Let me know what you think,
I think you have your time frames a little messed up, since the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight can’t realistically happen until at least March (Pacquiao is fighting Juan Manuel Marquez in November), and the NFL lockout will be irrelevant at that time of year. Plus, more likely, if a Pac-Money fight can be negotiated, they’ll aim for the PPV-friendly first weekend in May, by which time there will be baseball. (But early-season baseball is hardly a conflict worth worrying about.)
Still, if there is an NFL lockout that extends well into the season, it could mean extra attention and interest in Mayweather-Ortiz and Pacquiao-Marquez, which builds their eventual (theoretical) meeting bigger. Same goes with an NBA work stoppage.
Bill Dettloff and I discussed this briefly during last week’s Ring Theory (http://ringtheory.podbean.com), but I agree with your general thesis here, that the window for Pacquiao-Mayweather to be its very biggest hasn’t necessarily closed. If they both win later this year and do meet next spring, it’s still a 3-million buy fight in my opinion. I don’t know that either is at the peak of his powers as would have been the case in early 2010. The fight has lost a little something in that regard. But from a marketability/promotion standpoint, if they actually agree to fight, I think the entire sports world will be fully enthusiastic and will basically forget about the previous two years of teasing.
So, yes, I do think it could be as huge in 2012 as it would have been in 2010. Maybe the NBA and NFL strikes will play some tiny role in that. But mostly, it’ll come down to this question: If Pacquiao-Mayweather is happening next year, do you know a single sports fan who won’t go out of his way to find a place to watch it? I don’t expect to hear anyone saying, “It’s two years too late. Sorry, not interested.”
And speaking of things about which nobody would ever dare say, “Sorry, not interested,” it’s time for the Rants:
• So Floyd Mayweather didn’t show for his deposition last Friday, huh? He does know that he keeps the zero at the end of his boxing record even if he suffers a defeat in court, right?
• The Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye episode of HBO’s Face Off With Max Kellerman was the most intense yet, but it didn’t surpass the Bernard Hopkins-Jean Pascal ep for overall entertainment value. Still, I have to give Klitschko credit: Nobody has ever trash-talked in their fourth language better.
• If and when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez gets knocked out, I’m calling dibs now on the headline “‘Cinnamon’ Toast.”
• Speaking of nicknames, Ryan Rhodes’ moniker “Spice Boy” feels just a tad outdated. Would anyone even remember who the Spice Girls are anymore if not for David Beckham and Eddie Murphy? I think Rhodes should switch to something more current and hip, like “Color Me Badd Boy.”
• So Rhodes entered the ring to “Eye Of The Tiger” and Alvarez entered to “Burning Heart.” How far off is Survivor’s induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame?
• Important note for sophomoric-minded boxing fans: Please replace your jokes about Adrien Broner being a stiff with jokes about Broner knocking people stiff. Stay tuned for further updates.
• By the way, as bad as I felt for Jason Litzau, I felt just as bad for Harold Lederman, who finally got his shot in the color commentator’s chair and saw it end after just three minutes. (Feel free to fill in your own clever joke about Broner and premature finishes.)
• A tip of the cap to Lederman’s tongue-tied broadcast mates Bob Papa and Roy Jones, who combined to give us the most widely anticiplated spectactacle we’ve witnessed in some time.
• You know you’ve been in this business too long when you can distinctly remember Damon Reed’s second pro defeat. Deontay Wilder, congrats on collecting sloppy sixteenths over the weekend.
• Fans of boxing and satire, here’s a site that shows some promise: http://boxing-examinator.blogspot.com/.
• I know it’s easy to say this after the fact, but Grady Brewer vs. Fernando Guerrero fell into the category of “predictable upsets” that I simply wasn’t bold enough to predict. Guerrero has never impressed me much, Brewer has long been a quality fighter, and the only reason I didn’t pick the veteran was that I assumed—incorrectly—that he was faded at age 40. Say what you want about The Contender, but its four winners, Sergio Mora, Brewer, Sakio Bika, and Troy Ross have all lived up to the name of the reality show that made them famous.
• I found the ESPN2 locker room interview with Guerrero after the loss to be fascinating. On the one hand, good for him for admitting defeat so openly and not making any excuses. On the other hand, was he accepting defeat a little too easily? It’s hard to know whether his attitude about losing bodes well for his maturity or bodes ill for his desire to win. (Either way, Brewer had better get paid to be someone’s opponent on HBO before Guerrero does.)
• With all due respect to Stevie Forbes and his commitment to boxing, he should never be outweighing his nickname by 146½ pounds.
• I got my copy of the new issue of The Ring in the mail Friday, and my 21-month-old son saw the cover and immediately blurted out “Manny Pacquiao.” I’m starting to think I just might be doing something right as a dad.
Eric Raskin can be contacted at RaskinBoxing@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @EricRaskin and listen to new episodes of his podcast, Ring Theory, at http://ringtheory.podbean.com.