Since the announcement that, once Miguel Cotto was no longer an option, Tim Bradley would be the man to get a shot to knock off Manny Pacquiao, I've been extremely vocal that I think Bradley will win the fight. Bradley is young, physically capable, mentaly strong and eternally willing to "dirty it up" in a way that Pacquiao hasn't dealt with in ages. His power, or lack thereof, is an obvious issue (and likely part of the reason behind his selection) but I still like him to pull off the major upset.
But, when I'm truly honest with myself, I have to admit that there is probably more to it than simply looking ahead and parsing out what qualities make which fighter better at what aspects of a fight. While I do honestly think Bradley will win the fight, there is a big part of me that wants Tim to win the fight just to help blow the whole damn thing up.
I'd never pretend to follow the sport as closely as Scott, but I do keep up on things and watch every major broadcast, both out of a long standing love of boxing and an obligation to be able to help around BadLeftHook when needed. But when I'm really unleashed on boxing coverage is for the truly "major" fights, when I grind away with 50-100 posts in a week about Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather's latest fight for SBNation.com. I love it, it's one of my favorite parts of being a blogger. For some odd reason, there is a part of my brain that loves throwing myself into that level of coverage on one subject.
But a similar thing happens across all forms of media for those same fight. People who don't handle the daily boxing grind are thrown into the position to write about (or talk on TV about) boxing. Except these aren't even men and women who follow boxing on a casual level. And it leads to the thing boxing fans have come to dread...the endless discussions about Pacquiao vs. Mayweather.
Every time one of the two men fight, seemingly every sports personality on Earth comes crawling out of their holes, spewing bullshit lines about how Pacquiao vs. Mayweather MUST happen, and it WILL happen because nothing else makes sense. If you were to ask them about the history between Manny, Top Rank, Floyd and Golden Boy they couldn't tell you the first thing about the years and years of backstory. They either don't understand the simple business behind the promoters and fighters not really needing (and probably not really wanting) the fight, or they choose the more convenient-for-the-narrative option of ignoring it altogether.
Because of all of this, a sort of echo chamber is created. Despite years of it being ultimately more unlikely than likely that the fight will ever happen, media talk about Pacquiao vs. Mayweather as though it will/must go down, which makes fans talk abut how it will/must, and because fans are talking about it, the media talks about it more, which makes the fans talk about it more, which makes the media think it's the only boxing related thing that fans will talk about it, so they won't stop talking about it and it builds and builds.
It's the same effect that takes place when media repeat lines like "fights people want to see never happen in boxing" and you can push the same people saying it to name fights other than Pacquiao vs. Mayweather that they wanted to see that never happened, but they never can. But it's an easy line to grasp so the public repeat it which the media takes as proof that it is fact, which makes the media repeat it, which makes fans repeat it..etc.
Similarly, we're in the twentieth round of "boxing has no stars to replace (current major star)." When it was De La Hoya, if you brought up Mayweather or Pacquiao as the replacements you'd have been laughed at for suggesting boring Floyd and the small Filipino Manny as the heirs to the superstar throne. Anyone pretending they were sure-fire superstars for the post-Oscar era is lying to you. But boxing is never truly at a loss for talent and personalities, and the next generation of draws always comes along with plenty of exciting fighters and entertaining personalities out there to ensure the sport will do just fine.
And so, I don't just think Bradley will win. I want Bradley to win. I want him to win to destroy the clamoring for Floyd vs. Manny, I want him to win to start the supposed "downfall" of the sport once "the only fight anyone wants to see" crumbles to dust.
I don't want to read all the know-nothing articles about those subjects in the wake of a Bradley win, nor do I want to hear the endless crowing from Floyd and his supporters in the likely final blow in the world's most annoying PR war, but it needs to happen.
If boxing takes a small hit where less pay-per-view buys per year are possible? So be it. That's better for everyone involved...except the promoters, but I don't really give a shit about them.
A Bradley win can kill the inescapable beast of Manny vs. Floyd, and, in its purging, kickstart a new era where we watch these men go through the motions at the end of their careers while we watch the development of the next wave of superstars.
Maybe it'll hurt a little bit while everything sorts itself out and the Canelos, Broners, Donaires and so on of the world battle for those top spots. But it's all for the best, shutting up the Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith types who talk about boxing 2-3 times a year while pretending they're the possessors of the "true fan opinion" while being the ones responsible for much of that opinion existing to begin with.
So join me on the Tim Bradley Express. Let's all hold hands and pray for the end of the boxing world as we know it.