Team Money, The Bronze Bomber, and Boxing's Most Watched Fighter
Posted May 18, 2013
Oh no, it's a blog about boxing. I'm sure I've lost about half of you already, and I'm willing to bet those who've stuck around are probably about as disillusioned as I am with the sport.
Quick, name the last worthwhile heavyweight championship match? Was it this?
Next month, that match is ten years old. Think about that. Sadly, Lennox Lewis rode off into the sunset and essentially took the heavyweight division with him. Not that Lewis was some grand loss, his fights weren't exactly knockdown drag out, especially by the end, when that cut opened up on Vitali's eye and the Brit seemed content to play defense until the end of his career. What'd he leave behind? A weight class "dominated" for the last decade by the Klitschkos. But let's face it, Vitali's drawing power was already suspect before taking four years off and Wladimir's mystique came crashing to a halt during an inexplicable second round smashing by Corrie Sanders.
The only heavyweight with a little bit of a "wow" factor right now? Deontay Wilder:
The "Bronze Bomber" hasn't had a fight go past the fourth round. At 6'7" and a reach of 84 inches, the Tuscaloosa, Alabama-native may be best hope at being the division's savior. "Roll Tide."
Of course, when people talk about the sport nowadays they're generally referring to welterweights. Gee, can't wait for boxing's next big money fight that'll never happen. The string of events that landed Floyd Mayweather Jr./Manny Pacquiao in boxing purgatory ranged from absurd, comical, to downright insulting, leaving us to wonder how those who attempt to put together Mayweather vee Canelo will top that. Now, I love Floyd (his personal, home life notwithstanding).
I love his Ali-esque attitude, I love his ridiculous relationship with 50 Cent, I love that he makes "Team Money" an acceptable nickname. He's clearly an incredible fighter with unparalleled speed. He nearly broke his hand midway through the Robert Guerrero match and still landed 60 percent of his punches while "Casper" would've put up a better showing than "The Ghost." All that being said, and I won't deny that Floyd lets his legacy drag him down. Mayweather is beyond obsessed with the right-side of his personal win-loss column. He wants to be the G.O.A.T. and for some reason believes the only way to get that moniker is to keep the "0" in, now, 44-0. He's notorious for making it difficult to set-up, if not downright duck certain fighters , depending on your source.
Which is a real shame, seeing as how he's boxing biggest draw right now. Heck, one day of work against Cotto earned him the moniker of "highest paid athlete of 2012" according to Forbes. "Money" made money, hand-over-fist, $85 million. Canelo Alvarez is a mega draw south of the border. A match that has the potential to be the bring the biggest pay per view buyrate since Mayweather and De La Hoya, and it will probably never happen.
By the way, Pac-man also drew big bucks, $62 million last year. Then again, time will tell if his 0-2 run against Tim Bradley and Juan Marquez damaged his drawing power. A cupcake against Brandon Rios in November doesn't exactly scream "BUY THIS PPV!"
Who is must-see-TV right now? Apparently, Zou Shiming. The Chinese flyweight, who is the most decorated boxer in the country's history apparently puts butts in the seats and noses pressed to television sets. The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist drew an audience of 300 million viewers for his first professional fight. 300 million! Roughly three times the audience of the M*A*S*H finale, choke on that Corporal Klinger! However, it's an unsubstantiated ratings number. So, it could be legit, or it could be an Austin Powers, Doctor Evil-type "100 billion dollars" ploy for attention.
Shiming's second pro contest comes on July 27th against Jesus Ortega, we'll see if that tops the last three Super Bowl audiences. All I know is, it won't be better than this:
Currently listening to, my vote-getter for Best Song of 2013, thus far: The Lumineers - "Stubborn Love"