|A rematch would no doubt draw big bucks, but is it really necessary, and do fight fans really want to see it?|
Did Oscar and Floyd "save boxing"? No, but I'm of the opinion that boxing does not need to be saved. This is not a sport that is any danger of dying. Boxing will not become extinct, no matter how big mixed martial arts becomes, and no matter how hard promoters try to ruin the sport with in-fighting, short-sightedness and a narrow-minded view of the business that can be done.
What Floyd and Oscar may have done is shown everyone how boxing business can be handled. Some sportswriters have the absurd opinion that there is not a wealth of quality boxers still around. They're out there, but they're hardly ever promoted properly, and we almost never get the fight we want to see. Take Jermain Taylor for example. Did anyone care about Taylor/Ouma? Will anyone care about Taylor/Spinks? We never got -- and apparently never will get -- a Taylor rematch with Winky Wright, and that issue will just never really get resolved.
Calzaghe doesn't fight Kessler. Taylor and Wright don't square off again. Barrera wanted to fight Pacquiao, but thanks to the war between Golden Boy and Top Rank, we didn't get to see that. Klitschko keeps mowing down overmatched fighters, and it'll be years before we see Klitschko/Peter II, if that remains the most wanted heavyweight bout.
Mandatory title defenses are too often a joke. Titles themselves are too often a joke. The problems are evident, yes. But the sport is not the failing disaster too many make it out to be.
There are several possible fights that could make money. Taylor is the type of fighter that could very easily become a marketable, mainstream star if he had the right opportunities. But, as usual, I fear that boxing won't learn anything from past mistakes.
And with that said, I'm almost certain that we'll see Mayweather and de la Hoya throw down once more. The honest to God truth about this matchup is that one time is probably enough, and this is coming from someone that scored the fight a draw. Split decisions generally lend themselves to rematches, but not this one. Oscar de la Hoya's performance was valiant and gutsy on Saturday, and perhaps with a jab could have actually won the fight. But Mayweather knows that now, and next time out, would be waiting for Oscar to try to establish the jab and open up on him with power shots. And we all know how hard it is to hit Mayweather, let alone how hard it is to hit him when he seems to know what's coming at him.
A rematch too likely ends up being total domination by Floyd to please anyone. If we leave the Floyd/Oscar issue at this, it's a great boxing memory: The night that two of the top fighters and names of a generation came together and the world watched. Do it again, and you run the risk of the Mayweather/de la Hoya story ending on a sour, disappointing note.
Is it worth it? They can't top the gate or the buyrate of their fight from Saturday, because now people have seen it once. The originality factor is out. Plus, neither Mayweather nor Oscar have a single thing to prove anymore, at least not anything that they can prove. Oscar can't beat Floyd in another go-around. And Floyd's already beaten Oscar, and everyone else that's ever been put in front of him.
Almost nobody thinks that Mayweather will really retire, though I do think that there's a greater chance that he'll hang 'em up than with most fighters. Boxing is obviously in Floyd's blood, but he's never seemed that in love with the sport. Mayweather has always treated boxing as a business to an extreme degree, more than any other fighter of his generation, and it's a generation of boxers that see the sport as business. Oscar is a businessman first and a boxer second nowadays, and that's been the case for a while now. And yet, no one thinks Oscar is done, either.
There are fights out there. de la Hoya is still sore about the Tito Trinidad fight, and there's the possibility that Trinidad could return for a huge payday. There's three divisions worth of fighters at 140, 147 and 154 that would like to take a crack at Mayweather. Count the major fighters, would you? Mosley, Margarito, Cotto, Hatton, Judah, and several others would love to step into the ring with Floyd.
But he has nothing to gain by fighting them. Judah had his shot and a riot broke out. Margarito and Cotto aren't enough money. Hatton would get smoked. Sugar Shane Mosley is the only possible competition for Mayweather, who has already stated that he has no intention of fighting Mosley, claiming that Shane ducked him for years.
Oscar's potential matchups are Trinidad (a fight that is more nostalgia and reckoning than anything else) and Winky Wright, a guy who would just make the Golden Boy look bad, as he has done to everyone else. Wright's greatness is not questioned, really, but he's still hard to sell. Look at the lack of buzz for Hopkins/Wright in July. We're talking about two of the best fighters of their era, and it seems like nobody could care less about the two of them in the ring with one another.
So while I don't believe that Floyd/Oscar II is necessary or terribly smart as far as legacies go, it's really the only fight for either guy that promises the money that both need to fight. At the end of the day, if Floyd and/or Oscar are to fight again, their only real choice may be to fight each other.