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When Promotion Becomes Camp

Before I really get started on this, let me say this as something of a disclaimer: It's a business, I know. And promotion for a fight this big is never a bad thing. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Oscar de la Hoya have been marketing forces leading up to their May 5 super fight, the most anticipated fight in the mainstream that will be seen this year.

But do we really need the forced, phony acting between the two? Doesn't this fight speak for itself? Are boxing fans so spoiled by Rocky, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and reality TV that two of the top fighters of their generation have to go into a high school play (or pro wrestling) level of playing characters?

Did we really need a "good guy" and a "bad guy"?

This is all nothing new, of course. But this is also not Barrera and Morales. Barrera and Morales didn't shout and grandstand like this. Morales to this day will calmly state that Barrera is "a motherfucker," as seen in the hype piece to Morales/Pacquiao III on HBO. There is no love lost between the two, but when it's real, you can actually feel it.

Oscar has had some personal rivalries before, the best of which was with Fernando Vargas. Last year's Ricardo Mayorga promotion was off the charts great, even though that had Mayorga probably amping up in order to sell the fight.

But amping things up -- going to 10 instead of a legitimate 7 or 8 -- isn't what gets tiring. It's when Floyd and Oscar put on these ridiculous shows, with Oscar in his tailored suits and Floyd going for a more "urban" look at every stop. Am I to believe Floyd Mayweather, Jr. doesn't own a suit? I can almost see it now, with the promotional team sitting around and declaring that Mayweather needs to position himself as more "hip-hop," and that he needs to flaunt his "bling." If I sound overly white, I'm achieving my goal.

Even the newest development -- that Mayweather will reunite with his estranged father -- feels like a sham. I have applauded the move from a business standpoint, and from what it can do for Mayweather to have Oscar's former trainer in his corner. And it's never bad to see a father and son patch things up, if even for one hour and millions of dollars. But, really? Now? Of all times? This amazing coincidence, Floyds Sr. and Jr. letting bygones be bygones, when Mayweather is about to rake in serious cash for a fight against boxing's biggest star?

Give us a break. We're sucked in. We wanted to see this fight, and now we will. They should have hit every major city in the United States promoting this fight, and they've done a great job of getting it out there. It's already a sellout. I think there's a great chance it will sell tremendously on pay-per-view.

But nobody is going to be swayed to spend sixty dollars because of the showy, preposterous high school drama class we've been treated to from these two fighters.

Tell us all how bad you're going to beat the other guy, tell us all how it's the biggest fight of your respective careers, tell us how great it will be, and insist that we can't miss it. Hell, sell Oscar as the underdog, and position Floyd as the "bad guy" in a constructive way that can induce real emotion.

But leave the cornball antics to someone that needs them. This fight should be above that.

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