clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Floyd Mayweather Jr Gives Boxing an Opening to Capitalize on His Buzz

Love him or hate him, boxing is bigger and brighter with Floyd Mayweather Jr in the picture. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Love him or hate him, boxing is bigger and brighter with Floyd Mayweather Jr in the picture. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Say what you will about Floyd Mayweather Jr or his fight with Victor Ortiz on Friday night, but everyone is talking right now.

Some are saying, "Oh, I'll never watch boxing again," or, "Oh, I'll never order another pay-per-view," or, "Oh, I'll never order another Mayweather fight." These are, for the most part, boxing fans who will, indeed, watching boxing, on pay-per-view, the next time Floyd Mayweather Jr steps into a Las Vegas ring.

Others are saying, "Well, it was bullshit." This is the ethical question we've discussed earlier. No one debates whether or not it was legal. It was. But was it ethically bad enough for you to tune out forever, at least with Mayweather?

If you said yes, I'd bet that you'll be back. But that's not even what I want to talk about right now.

What I want to talk about is the simple fact that, again, everyone is talking about this fight. Everyone is talking about boxing. The theatrics of the night, the controversy, the fight itself, the headbutt, the knockout. Mayweather, Ortiz, Joe Cortez, Larry Merchant, Manny Pacquiao.

Now is the time for boxing promoters to capitalize on the fact that Floyd Mayweather Jr, back for the first time in 16 months, has blown up the world and put the spotlight back on the boxing game. Whether it's good or bad, the attention is there.

Unfortunately, no fighters will get the immediate benefit from this, as there isn't a single major fight on U.S. TV this week. HBO, which generally follows a pay-per-view with a live fight paired with a replay of the pay-per-view main event, has nothing this week. Showtime has nothing. The biggest card readily available on U.S. TV is on late night Friday with Solo Boxeo Tecate, which is broadcast in Spanish on Telefutura and features Vicente Escobedo and Rocky Juarez in the main event. Not the guys who are going to get "the rub" from any of this.

There's not another really big fight on U.S. TV until October 15, when Bernard Hopkins faces Chad Dawson on pay-per-view. Most are expecting the fight to be a pay-per-view flop, and it truthfully only went there because HBO didn't have the budget to make it work otherwise.

So now boxing promoters, with all this attention to take advantage of, need to look for other ways to get their upcoming fights some attention. Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito just started their press tour in Puerto Rico, leading to their December 3 rematch. Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will have a big fight on November 12, and they're getting moving with that promotion.

Even though it seems to some like this is a "black eye for boxing," I just don't think it is. If worked right, there is nothing but good that can come from the attention this fight is receiving. Mayweather may have become a bigger villain than ever, and surely only cemented his status as the favorite fighter of the people who previously considered him their favorite fighter.

Boxing is bigger and brighter with Floyd Mayweather Jr in the picture. If you don't like him, then you probably don't agree, but I don't actually think this is debatable. The sport is better off when he's fighting, and by a lot.

Mayweather is an ego machined fueled by attention. He doesn't discriminate. Love him or hate him, or just find him interesting/fascinating/repulsive/whatever, he feeds off of it. The villain character may be just a character. It may not be. Either way, he's good at it, professionally.

He is a ridiculous person in so many ways, and in others, he is genuinely unlikable. He's cruel, he's childish, he's immature. He's also a boxing genius, sometimes seems like a decent person, and is no doubt one of the biggest stars and greatest talents in recent memory.

Floyd Mayweather Jr may not be admirable. You may not want your children to grow up to be like him. But you're talking about him, and the iron is hot. Those in boxing must strike now, however they can. Don't mistake me for thinking that Mayweather does any of this for anyone but Floyd Mayweather, but just like Ortiz was there to be taken advantage of on Saturday, so is Mayweather's commercial appeal and the explosion of media attention that has followed his latest trip to the ring.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook