Was Mayweather-Pacquiao Good or Bad for Boxing?

There’s a running debate continuing in boxing right now as to whether Mayweather-Pacquiao was good for the sport overall or just good for those involved. While the event was a huge success in terms of most all objective measures, some folks just can’t wrap their heads around how the superfight being seen by so many casual boxing fans could be a good thing for the general promotion of the sport. After all, Mayweather-Pacquiao was no Hagler-Hearns. Heck, it wasn’t even De La Hoya-Mosley. It was more like Rigondeaux-Donaire or Canelo-Lara.

Count HBO Sports president Ken Hershman, though, among those who believe the fight was a good thing for boxing. Hershman and company partnered with longtime rival Showtime to telecast the fight, the most watched pay-per-view boxing event in the history of the sport.

“I think it was great for the sport,” said Hershman. “Obviously, it transcended the sport. It transcended sports overall and became a cultural event. It exposed a giant audience—a new audience—to boxing, and to the spectacle of it.”

Hershman admits the fight itself wasn’t exactly what everyone hoped for once the bell actually rang. Where some boxing writers, such as The Sweet Science’s Frank Lotierzo, connected the dots before the two fighters ever touched gloves in the center of the ring, others such as—well, me—believed Pacquiao would give Mayweather the fight of his life.

He didn’t. While Pacquiao was competitive with Mayweather in the early rounds, by the end of things it was pretty clear Mayweather deserved the nod on the scorecards, though some folks were probably correct to tally scores a little closer than the three judges at did.

Hershman said he was glad the fight happened, and even gladder he wouldn’t have to answer all those questions from the media about whether the two fighters would ever face each other like he had to do for six long years before the fight was finally made.

“The fight wasn’t the most scintillating fight that we had hoped for, but it certainly performed on all the levels we expected and blew through every record.”

Mayweather-Pacquiao obliterated just about every benchmark possible for all things that matter in a boxing promotion. In fact, Mayweather and Pacquiao were recently named the top two earners among all athletes in sports this year by Forbes. Ponder that for just a second or two. Two boxers will make more money this year than LeBron James, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer.

Moreover, the fight received unprecedented media coverage from mainstream news outlets. It was unlike anything any fight fan under the age of 40 had ever experienced. Boxing finally got it’s due, even if it was just for a short period of time.

“All of that is great for the sport, and it was great to see boxing on the front pages for the right reason: because the Super Bowl of fights took place.”

Hershman said the fight was better in person than maybe it looked on television, something corroborated to this writer after the fact by many people in attendance that evening. In fact, some smart boxing people sitting ringside that night, including legendary fighters Shane Mosley and Evander Holyfield, actually thought they had witnessed a Pacquiao upset at the time.

“It felt, for the first six rounds at least, a little more competitive than people maybe thought watching on television. But that’s not unique to his event. That’s just part of the sport.”

Hershman enjoyed the bout for what it was, both for the elite level of boxing on display that night inside the ring, but also for the chance to finally move past the never-ending hoopla of it all, something the boxing community at large had endured for six long (and frankly sometimes insufferable) years.

“Not every fight is going to be Canelo-Kirkland or Golovkin-Monroe. There are just different art forms about it.”

Perhaps most interesting to those who wonder how the bigwigs in boxing think and operate, Hershman confirmed HBO’s strategy of using the event to highlight their current roster. He said the May 2 fight was intentionally surrounded on the boxing calendar—both leading up to and after the fact—with HBO’s most elite boxing stars in order to expose those fans who were tuning into the sport for maybe the first time, or at least the first time in a long while, to the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez.

“We made every effort to capture as many casual fans as possible around that time period,” Hershman told me for a recent Bleacher Report article. “That’s why you saw that run of boxing we put on leading into Mayweather-Pacquiao and then coming out of it, because we knew there would be a halo effect from that fight.”

So while some people might believe the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight wasn’t all that great for the sport (folks such as Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya believe the fight did more damage than good), it’s clear HBO sees things a little bit differently. For Hershman and company, Mayweather-Pacquiao wasn’t just a boon for those involved in that promotion, but one for the overall health of the sport as well.

HBO’s uptick in viewership numbers seems to support Hershman’s view. It will be interesting to see if the network can keep the torrid pace it’s set through the first half of the year, one which already saw three of their live fights grab more viewers than any live cable TV fight from the previous year.

Can HBO keep the causal fight fans it lured into the boat after Mayweather-Pacquiao is ever further in the rearview mirror? Will the rise of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series help or hinder the cable giant’s efforts? Are HBO fighters Alvarez and Golovkin really the superstars HBO hopes they are?

It will be fun to find out.

Kelsey McCarson also contributes to Bleacher Report, The Sweet Science and Boxing Channel.

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COMMENTS

-Radam G :

The MayPac scrap was neutral for boksing. And will be forgotten soon. Boxing fans have short memories. Boxing fans for the moment for a certain scrap have even shorter memories. For the next BIG hyped-up scrap, all the complainers will be up front spending their loot again. Holla!


-Radam G :

The MayPac scrap was neutral for boksing. And will be forgotten soon. Boxing fans have short memories. Boxing fans for the moment for a certain scrap have even shorter memories. For the next BIG hyped-up scrap, all the complainers will be up front spending their loot again. Holla!


-Buzz Murdock :

It depressed me for daze. I was embarrassed for boxing.I had just gone off at a work social thang, that only boxing could produce a man capable of doing a one man broadway show...I was rolling with self-importance, and prophetic indignation---talk about taking the wind out of your avatar's sail....that spectacle was bad for me, that's all i know.....


-oubobcat :

The fight had to happen and it did. It also brought a lot of attention to the sport. So I see it as good for boxing despite not bringing the action we all wanted.


-Kid Blast :

It should be used in management classes as a classic case of setting expectations too high. Once those expectations were not met-- and in this case badly-- the come down was very deep. Long answer short-it was not good for boxing but very good for the two camp$$$$$.


-brownsugar :

Some people said the fight could be boring on a similar thread, several months ago. I said at the time that I didn't care if it didn't turn out to be as good as Hearn vs Hagler, or as suspenceful as Spinks vs Holmes.....personally, only the result mattered. I only needed to know who the better man was and how was he going to be able to contain, neutralize and defeat the fighter who would eventually become designated as the default number #2 best fighter in the world. To me the fight was as epic as the directors cut version of the cult classic anime' flick " Afro Samurai ". In the movie the only man who can challenge number #1 is the fighter with the #2 headband. That would be Pac, who reinvented himself after his FOTY loss to Marquez. In the movie Number 1 sits on his throne atop a castle on a mountain peak,.....whiling away the hours by conducting a tedious vigil in the hopes that a worthy challenger would one day arise. And the fight?.... Well it was Glorious, who knew Mayweather could play the mongoose against the deadliest spitting cobra in boxing??? And the results??? Along with HBO, Showtime, MGM, Top Rank and Al Haymon, who are like a giant anaconda who hasn't fed in year, still living off the full grown deer it swallowed a year ago. The industry has finally received its elusive payoff for making Mayweather the highest paid boxer in history, ... Vegas has momentarily recovered from its ongoing economic drought. The fans.... 5 million strong, who became lovingly and passionately embroiled in the soap opera-like May Pac saga, ....there was no letting go of the gripping tale until the final credits had rolled....... a tale filled with more convoluted twists and turns than a team of Steven King clones could invent, culminated in the greatest fight between good and evil since Holyfield vs Tyson and until Armageddon arrives. Closure has been obtained, financial viability has been restored within the boxing industry,...and the Pacmen and the lil Mayweathers of the future are gathering on-deck behind the scenes and will gradually emerge from the shadows and into the limelight. The fans have shaken off the disappointment of Manny's defeat and have entered an amnesiatic state of "Jason Bourne-like" proportions. When their fugue state passes they will be ready to do it all over again. The universe will collapse upon itself and recreate more stars in the boxing world than ever before. Postol will take over the junior welterweights... Sadam Ali and Thurman will sieze control of the welterweights. And boxing will continue to thrive. Don't say I didn't tell you so.


-Chris L :

@Brownsugar mostly agree, I was a bit disappointed Pac didn't press the fight more (& seemed to have a bad gameplan) because I wanted to see a more offensive Floyd, but in reality all that really matters is the result so that we can all move on.


-Chris L :

@Brownsugar mostly agree, I was a bit disappointed Pac didn't press the fight more (& seemed to have a bad gameplan) because I wanted to see a more offensive Floyd, but in reality all that really matters is the result so that we can all move on.


-brownsugar :

I expected more too Chris, we've never seen anyone intercept Manny at the point of execution. Or counter the left hand with daring uppercuts while throwing his rythym off with just the bare minimum lateral movement, Bradley by comparison was dancing and moving so much he rolled his ankle and tire himself out.


-Radam G :

I expected more too Chris, we've never seen anyone intercept Manny at the point of execution. Or counter the left hand with daring uppercuts while throwing his rythym off with just the bare minimum lateral movement, Bradley by comparison was dancing and moving so much he rolled his ankle and tire himself out.
Money May was not throwing off Da Manny's rhythm neither "with the bare minimum lateral movement." The NSAC and a torn rotator in his right shoulder did. And the NSAC refusal to let him take meds and vitamin water, while they let Money may go way with syet. It is all right to tell the truth. A win is a win. And that is what Money May got. He didn't do anything special in his scrapping to get it neither. He is very lucy to have the NSAC in his hands. Because it got him the victory, as it often does. Let him leave Sin City and Nevada and get a victory. It will never happen because he will be nailed for being passed the 4-to-1 ratio for roids/PEDs, xylocaine, TUE and all that other syet that he is on. Holla!


-Radam G :

I expected more too Chris, we've never seen anyone intercept Manny at the point of execution. Or counter the left hand with daring uppercuts while throwing his rythym off with just the bare minimum lateral movement, Bradley by comparison was dancing and moving so much he rolled his ankle and tire himself out.
Money May was not throwing off Da Manny's rhythm neither "with the bare minimum lateral movement." The NSAC and a torn rotator in his right shoulder did. And the NSAC refusal to let him take meds and vitamin water, while they let Money may go way with syet. It is all right to tell the truth. A win is a win. And that is what Money May got. He didn't do anything special in his scrapping to get it neither. He is very lucy to have the NSAC in his hands. Because it got him the victory, as it often does. Let him leave Sin City and Nevada and get a victory. It will never happen because he will be nailed for being passed the 4-to-1 ratio for roids/PEDs, xylocaine, TUE and all that other syet that he is on. Holla!


-brownsugar :

If that's the case RG,....what happened in the first 3 rounds, the 3 rounds Manny dropped like an 800 lb guerilla when according to his own description he was feeling no pain??? And why was the supposed "smoking gun" xylocaine all over Pac's medication sheet? Is it more righteous if Manny uses it??? Also the overwhelming consensus that Money May delivered a Clear Cut Clinic against Pac didn't come from just Las Vegas, ...praise for Floyd's work was provided by the wide majority of journalists worldwide. The picture of thousands of Filipinos starring up at the jumbotron, ( featured on ESPN during the fight).....their faces a mask of unbridled disappointment told it all. Pac accepts it, so should you.


-Radam G :

If that's the case RG,....what happened in the first 3 rounds, the 3 rounds Manny dropped like an 800 lb guerilla when according to his own description he was feeling no pain??? And why was the supposed "smoking gun" xylocaine all over Pac's medication sheet? Is it more righteous if Manny uses it??? Also the overwhelming consensus that Money May delivered a Clear Cut Clinic against Pac didn't come from just Las Vegas, ...praise for Floyd's work was provided by the wide majority of journalists worldwide. The picture of thousands of Filipinos starring up at the jumbotron, ( featured on ESPN during the fight).....their faces a mask of unbridled disappointment told it all. Pac accepts it, so should you.
Wow! OMFG! You are more and more amazing with your slandering and make believe. In your own words: "You will get no credit from me like craps riding on my balls." That was a classic that you scribbled and posted. And I'm stealing it. First, there is no "smoking gun" of xylocaine all over Pac's medication sheet." He doesn't have brittle hands, and/or need dat syet like poor, brittle-handed "Lil Floyd." I have copies of both pugs' medication sheets. So please don't fib about Da Manny ever been on that syet. It is strictly a Lil Floyd thing. What happened in the first three rounds is called adrenaline. You know as a former athlete and military man -- or you should know -- that a badly injured or dead athlete, soldier, airman or sailor pumped full of adrenaline and determination can go like an energized bunny until farther wear and tear slow him down or put him down. So stop acting like a gay he bytch licking sweat off Money May's balls and continuing to put out uncalled-for and unnecessary propaganda for him. You are better than that. You used to be, anyway. You are slipping. man. Something has gone to your head. Go back to being legit, honest and honorable, because making up syet and sticking with it like white on rice is not you. There is no consensus by professionals or journalists that Money May delivered a clear-cut clinic against Da Manny. Even Money May's pops and uncles were not satisfied with his performance. And said that he kept the farce affair too close. So try that "clear-cut clinic" syet on somebody that is a fanboy or doesn't know syet "'bout boksin,'" biting off Uncle Roger. Even TSS scored the scrap 115-112 if I recall correctly. Holla!


-Pazuzu :

I enjoyed the fight. It decisively answered the question that's been dogging everyone for the past several years: which guy is better? Turns out it's Floyd. In a master class. Wasn't even close. He made Pacquiao look average. And it wasn't because of any shoulder tear, it was Floyd's whole package, technical ability, (size), and mastermind-brilliant ring IQ. He's just that good. (And, yes, this is coming from a guy who was rooting for Pacquaio). So from an aficionado’s perspective, it was a good fight, and I feel like my PPV buy was worth the money. But was it good for boxing? "No, it was not. "The public reaction to the fight afterwards was overwhelmingly negative. It got panned. The promoters and networks and media (any many boxing fans) hyped it up like it was the fight of the century, the greatest fight since Hagler-Hearns or the Thrilla in Manilla. And of course it wasn't that fight. It was a typical Floyd Mayweather fight. So everyone thought it was boring, and a bunch of clowns filed lawsuits. (Can you imagine if people filed suit against NFL teams because players went onto the field with undisclosed injuries?) Ask yourselves this: Let's say a genuinely great match-up got made. Guaranteed blockbuster. Cotto-Alvarez; Golovkin-Froch; Kovalev-Stevenson. Do you think the results of May-Pac will entice more of the general public to get excited for that fight, or will they think of May-Pac, remember that it was a bust, and decide to pass? I'd argue the latter. The promoters and media hyped May-Pac up into something it was never meant to be so they could cash in on one big payday, to the general detriment of the sport as a whole. So the next time this comes up... Here's what I want you all to do for me: [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vQaVIoEjOM[/URL]


-Pazuzu :

I enjoyed the fight. It decisively answered the question that's been dogging everyone for the past several years: which guy is better? Turns out it's Floyd. In a master class. Wasn't even close. He made Pacquiao look average. And it wasn't because of any shoulder tear, it was Floyd's whole package, technical ability, (size), and mastermind-brilliant ring IQ. He's just that good. (And, yes, this is coming from a guy who was rooting for Pacquaio). So from an aficionado’s perspective, it was a good fight, and I feel like my PPV buy was worth the money. But was it good for boxing? "No, it was not. "The public reaction to the fight afterwards was overwhelmingly negative. It got panned. The promoters and networks and media (any many boxing fans) hyped it up like it was the fight of the century, the greatest fight since Hagler-Hearns or the Thrilla in Manilla. And of course it wasn't that fight. It was a typical Floyd Mayweather fight. So everyone thought it was boring, and a bunch of clowns filed lawsuits. (Can you imagine if people filed suit against NFL teams because players went onto the field with undisclosed injuries?) Ask yourselves this: Let's say a genuinely great match-up got made. Guaranteed blockbuster. Cotto-Alvarez; Golovkin-Froch; Kovalev-Stevenson. Do you think the results of May-Pac will entice more of the general public to get excited for that fight, or will they think of May-Pac, remember that it was a bust, and decide to pass? I'd argue the latter. The promoters and media hyped May-Pac up into something it was never meant to be so they could cash in on one big payday, to the general detriment of the sport as a whole. Now, here's what I want you all to do for me: [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vQaVIoEjOM[/URL]


-amayseng :

People think because Pac did not throw 100 punches per round he did not fight well. In fact he landed more counters and power punches than Floyd probably did while Floyd controlled with a good jab and spacing, holding and anti fighting. It was a very close fight if you watch it being analytical, I had it 7-5 for Floyd initially but Floyd is so quick and slick he made a lot of Pacs landed shots look like they glanced. Pac boxed and did not fight therefore most people think Floyd controlled him from doing what he wanted. Untrue. In fact Pac had Floyd hurt 3 different times in different rounds, hence landing the more damaging or effective punches those rounds winning them. Floyd's biggest high light is a right hand that barely clipped Pacs chin and landed on his chest. In Floyds biggest and most legendary fight he has no highlights and his strategy was anti fighting, holding, spacing, slowing down the activity. It was a much closer fight than most think. A masterclass performance sounds delusional. What Floyd did to Canelo was a boxing lesson and what he did to JMM was a masterclass. He barely beat Pac in an underwhelming and unimpressive performance. The fight was BAD for the sport because the outrageous price and boring fight killed the nonhardcore fans interest in our beloved sport.


-Radam G :

I enjoyed the fight. It decisively answered the question that's been dogging everyone for the past several years: which guy is better? Turns out it's Floyd. In a master class. Wasn't even close. He made Pacquiao look average. And it wasn't because of any shoulder tear, it was Floyd's whole package, technical ability, (size), and mastermind-brilliant ring IQ. He's just that good. (And, yes, this is coming from a guy who was rooting for Pacquaio). So from an aficionado?s perspective, it was a good fight, and I feel like my PPV buy was worth the money. But was it good for boxing? "No, it was not. "The public reaction to the fight afterwards was overwhelmingly negative. It got panned. The promoters and networks and media (any many boxing fans) hyped it up like it was the fight of the century, the greatest fight since Hagler-Hearns or the Thrilla in Manilla. And of course it wasn't that fight. It was a typical Floyd Mayweather fight. So everyone thought it was boring, and a bunch of clowns filed lawsuits. (Can you imagine if people filed suit against NFL teams because players went onto the field with undisclosed injuries?) Ask yourselves this: Let's say a genuinely great match-up got made. Guaranteed blockbuster. Cotto-Alvarez; Golovkin-Froch; Kovalev-Stevenson. Do you think the results of May-Pac will entice more of the general public to get excited for that fight, or will they think of May-Pac, remember that it was a bust, and decide to pass? I'd argue the latter. The promoters and media hyped May-Pac up into something it was never meant to be so they could cash in on one big payday, to the general detriment of the sport as a whole. Now, here's what I want you all to do for me: [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vQaVIoEjOM[/URL]
Sorry, but the scraps was a farce. The crooks that were should have let Da Manny take the meds, as they let Money May take TUE and a whole bunch of other syet for allergies" and xylocaine for his brittle hands and "vitamin water" to help him rehydrate. Holla!


-Radam G :

I enjoyed the fight. It decisively answered the question that's been dogging everyone for the past several years: which guy is better? Turns out it's Floyd. In a master class. Wasn't even close. He made Pacquiao look average. And it wasn't because of any shoulder tear, it was Floyd's whole package, technical ability, (size), and mastermind-brilliant ring IQ. He's just that good. (And, yes, this is coming from a guy who was rooting for Pacquaio). So from an aficionado’s perspective, it was a good fight, and I feel like my PPV buy was worth the money. But was it good for boxing? "No, it was not. "The public reaction to the fight afterwards was overwhelmingly negative. It got panned. The promoters and networks and media (any many boxing fans) hyped it up like it was the fight of the century, the greatest fight since Hagler-Hearns or the Thrilla in Manilla. And of course it wasn't that fight. It was a typical Floyd Mayweather fight. So everyone thought it was boring, and a bunch of clowns filed lawsuits. (Can you imagine if people filed suit against NFL teams because players went onto the field with undisclosed injuries?) Ask yourselves this: Let's say a genuinely great match-up got made. Guaranteed blockbuster. Cotto-Alvarez; Golovkin-Froch; Kovalev-Stevenson. Do you think the results of May-Pac will entice more of the general public to get excited for that fight, or will they think of May-Pac, remember that it was a bust, and decide to pass? I'd argue the latter. The promoters and media hyped May-Pac up into something it was never meant to be so they could cash in on one big payday, to the general detriment of the sport as a whole. Now, here's what I want you all to do for me: [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vQaVIoEjOM[/URL]
Sorry, but the scraps was a farce. The crooks that were should have let Da Manny take the meds, as they let Money May take TUE and a whole bunch of other syet for allergies" and xylocaine for his brittle hands and "vitamin water" to help him rehydrate. Holla!