Nearly six hundred years have passed since the mechanical movable printing press was introduced to Europe by Johannes Gutenberg. It’s widely recognized as one of the most important inventions of all time. Likewise, Timothy Berners-Lee had an idea somewhere around a quarter century ago to link the world via our home and business computers in a fashion which hadn’t been fantasized by many outside of those with an Orwellian mindset. The very notion that thoughts as well as news could reach from pole to pole in a mere instant could have easily been seen as unfathomable just thirty years ago. Today, the internet and its quick-firing accoutrements have long since surpassed spoiling many a sporting fanatic. Perhaps through no foreseen fault of its own, it has created more armchair athletes than ever previously seen.
Back in the time of Gutenberg, there were actually calls in locales such as France for those who took advantage of the printed page to be put to death. That was a time when many of the powers that were strongly preferring their subjects and constituents to be kept in the pitchiest of darkness. These days, boxing fans don’t like being kept in the dark. Certainly and with no confusion this is the case of the matchup that loses its luster and appeal with each passing day. Sooner or later, the proposed bout between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao may find itself so squeezed to its proverbial limit and depleted of interest as well as oxygen, that it may not find itself a rock small enough under which to perish.
Day after day, the internet is saturated beyond belief with the biggest case of “he said, he said” the sport of boxing has had to stomach in many years. There’s been some calls for all or at least some to hush their typing shoes, sit back and simply wait. As we can all see, time is on no one’s side and the grains are all but gone from the hourglass that is May 2, 2015. As we speak or read, there are those who are so quick to post a story, regardless of its feasibility in order to garner a bunch of clicks related to this generation’s most hoped rather than hyped fight. We’ve by now read the news that Manny Pacquiao’s side has agreed to all terms and is just waiting for Floyd’s “John Hancock” (or Floyd Mayweather, Jr.) to seal the deal.
In the meantime, it’s been the face that has launched well over a thousand ships, or in our case opinions and anecdotes as to why we feel closer to another continental shift than to one single bout materializing. We continue to see the chess match that has involved Mayweather, Pacquiao, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Miguel Cotto. To his credit, Alvarez at least has a point in terms of the Cinco de Mayo weekend being more about Mexico and Mexican fighters than any American chap and his respective “0” on his record. Perhaps to make matters completely interesting, Canelo should fight a French guy in keeping with tradition of the Battle of Puebla, which is a day that is not celebrated with nearly as much fervor in Mexico as it is in the United States.
There’s rumblings that Floyd may face Miguel Cotto once again, as if his performance against the Puerto Rican great three years ago wasn’t convincing enough. Still, imagine for just a moment the sight of Cotto (with Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach in his corner) facing off with Mayweather once again in a bout that virtually no one wants to see. Roach is visually boiling over with anger and disgust at the wrong man in the ring with “Money.” Lastly, there’s the accusations by everyone just short of Jimmy Hoffa that Bob Arum of Top Rank is the main hindrance to the fight taking place in about three months’ time, if at all or ever.
Of course. The same man who helped give us classics involving such names as Ali, Leonard, Hearns and Hagler doesn’t want the potentially richest bout in the annals of boxing to happen. Some assertions these days are just too insulting to be tagged as incomprehensible. The fact that we are now able to carry internet capable devices in our pockets means that we can say whatever we want, whenever we want and within moments, the dribble is on the world wide web for all to see. For once and perhaps for all, let’s allow this horse to be led to the water before we put words in its mouth. The sport is better than this and it deserves more.
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