On the Ropes

Alex Huibsch, Staff Writer

Ever since the beginning of the 21st Century, boxing has declined in popularity in America—but could one fight revolutionize the sport? Boxing fans have waited six years for a super-fight Championship showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. With both men past their prime years, the fight is expected to yield interesting results. Mayweather, 38, is currently undefeated holding a 47-0 record and six Championship belts. Pacquiao, 36, holds a 57-5-2 record with two setbacks in 2012 and one controversial decision that blemished his overall record. In many opinions, it is the fact that both fighters have slowed down that adds to the fight, however, some also see more in the fight than just a long-awaited super-match.

According to Askmen.com, “boxing has moved away from it’s original formula of the 1960’s and 1970’s, where it would broadcast most of its fights on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports.” Michael Katz, a legendary boxing writer for The New York Times and New York Daily News, also weighed in on the decline of the sport saying, “It’s hard to have a star when the sport is almost completely neglected by newspapers, radio and television.” In all angles, the showdown will draw in large crowds, profit big bucks, and will stir publicity and drama for the two fighters.

Unfortunately, the hooking spectacle that is sure to come will not ultimately save the sport in the long run. The evidence of this can be traced back to 2007, when the fight between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya was certain to “save” the publicity of the sport. Conclusively, the fight itself in 2007 generated a whopping sum of 2.5 million pay-per view buys, but soon after, boxing viewings declined again. That being said, the sport’s best option in 2015 is to carry out the fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao, which could generate possible $100-a-pop pay-per view orders around the world.

Overall, with the sport being on the decline in America, options in favor of boxing still weigh popularly across the globe in Latin America, Asia, and many other poverty stricken nations. Moreover, the upcoming prizefight is long overdue and will be a testament of appreciation among all boxing fans and those who appreciate the sport. Set to face-off on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, both fighters will hope to pay-off their hard work with one leaving as the greatest boxer in history. Whether the fight will do wonders for the sport itself—only time will tell.