In today’s world of eCommerce, the prevailing currency is tweets and hits. With that in mind, writers for boxing websites are instructed to get Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather into as many headlines as possible. But why stop there?
According to Twitaholic.com, as of this writing, Katy Perry has 59,788,693 “followers.” That’s more than anyone else on the planet. Justin Bieber is in second place with 56,697,388. Barack Obama is third. President Obama, by the way, is credited with more than 12,000 “updates” since signing up for Twitter in 2007. One hopes than an aide rather than the president himself is doing all that tweeting.
Other tweeters with followings above the 25-million-mark include Taylor Swift (46,237,654), Lady Gaga (42,698,216), Britney Spears (39,515,790), Rihanna (37,879,423), Justin Timberlake (37,350,758), Ellen DeGeneres (34,029,235), Christiano Ronaldo (31,072,460), Jennifer Lopez (29,445,681), Shakira (27,604,808), and Oprah Winfrey (25,482,890).
LeBron James is the highest-ranked American sports figure with 16,101,870 followers. If LeBron could send out a tweet asking all of his followers to buy a copy of “The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens” (my new book), that would be really cool.
Among religious figures, the Dalai Lama checks in at 9,682,338.
Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Mike Tyson are the three boxing personalities with the largest Twitter followings.
With that in mind, I’d suggest that an enterprising boxing website consider the following headlines for articles:
Behind Closed Doors with Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather
Did Lou DiBella Break Lady Gaga’s Heart?
What Rihanna and Chris Brown Could Learn from Mike Tyson
Does Jennifer Lopez Have the Hots for Harold Lederman?
Al Haymon to Co-Host Academy Awards with Ellen DeGeneres
Separated at birth: Justin Timberlake and Bernard Hopkins
Did Shannon Briggs Threaten to Punch Out Oprah?
WBC to Honor Ronaldo with Interim World Cup Trophy
Bob Arum Disses Britney Spears
Taylor Swift and Joe Santoliquito to Wed
Richard Schaefer to Sing Shakira’s Biggest Hits
Manny Pacquiao Voices Respect for the Dalai Lama
“Who the F is Dolly Lama?” Floyd Mayweather Sr Asks.
And one more for old times sake:
Is Don King Deader than Elvis?
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Mad Libs was introduced to the public in 1958 as a new party game created by Leonard Stern and Roger Price. The concept is simple. A short written piece is printed on a master sheet, but some of the key words are missing. In their place are blanks. Beneath each blank is an instruction regarding the word to be filled in (for example, an adjective, noun, verb, the name of famous person, etc). The player with the master sheet asks the other players to fill in the blanks (for example, “give me a noun”) without their knowing the context in which their words will be used. The completed story is often nonsensical and sometimes very funny.
It occurred to me recently that the concept of Mad Libs could be applied with great success to boxing. One might argue that the sweet science is absurd enough as is. But I decided to give it a try.
Click this link for several paragraphs that voice sentiments frequently expressed at pre-fight press conferences. Ask another person to blindly fill in the blanks. Then read back the finished product.
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And some real quotes from members of the boxing community:
Kevin Rooney: “Who the hell knows what goes on in a fighter’s mind in the ring? He may think he’s getting laid when he punches a guy out.”
Fight manager Bill Cayton (when told that Tommy Morrison, one of his fighters, was genuinely tough): “Unfortunately, he’s also genuinely stupid.”
Bernard Hopkins (at a pre-fight press conference for his second bout against Jean Pascal): “I’m going to beat him up in French too.”
George Foreman (responding to the allegation that his victory over Michael Moorer was fixed): “Sure the fight was fixed. I fixed it with a right hand.”
Bob Arum: “You’ve got Adrien Broner on the undercard of Mayweather-Maidana. Big f—–g deal. What’s he going to do? Tweet something with his genitals?”
Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at email@example.com. His most recent book (Thomas Hauser on Boxing: Another Year Inside the Sweet Science) has just been published by the University of Arkansas Press.