Mayweather-Pacquiao better late than never
By JOSHUA BROWN
College Contributor Network
We're waiting on you Floyd.
Manny Pacquiao told the Huffington Post that all that separates the world from the fight of the century is a signature from the right hand of the "The Money Team" CEO himself, Floyd Mayweather. With that comes the groans and inevitable eye rolling of boxing fans from the United States to the Philippines who have admittedly seen this song and dance one too many times.
But even if the contract is signed and the fight is on the books, there will be harsh criticism from the boxing community about why now, and not five years ago.
"They're too old now." "They're out of their primes." "Who cares anymore?"
Although a Mayweather (47-0-0, 26 KO), Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KO) fight is at this point severely overdue, it is much better off late than never.
Boxing has not had a true "Super Bowl" since Mayweather-Mosley 2010. Sure, Mayweather-Maidana attracted eyeballs. Sure, Pacquiao-Bradley was a fight to be seen. But for a sport that has tried and failed to attract the younger audience, this is exactly what it needs.
This would be a fight that is bigger than boxing itself. It would be the biggest sporting and cultural event of the year. Bigger than the Super Bowl. Bigger than Game Seven of the NBA Finals. Bigger than all of it.
There are not too many sporting events that pass the true test of time. Ali-Frazier, the Red Sox-Yankees 2004 playoff series and Jordan's "flu game" are a couple. This would be one of them.
Despite the sentiment that this happened years too late, the true boxing fans will be tuned in. Adults, with memories of classic Ali, Tyson and Sugar Ray Robinson bouts will be tuned in. Kids, who either adore the cocky persona of Mayweather or despise it will be tuned in. Everyone will be tuned in.
Boxing may never have this opportunity again. A true good-versus-evil story. And it's right at our fingertips.
Mayweather would be entering the bout after two close wins against the Argentinian Marcos Maidana. The latter fight was his first unanimous decision in three matches after having a split card against Maidana in the first rodeo, and Saul Alvarez before that.
Pacquiao has won his last three fights, all unanimous decisions, against Chris Algieri, Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios respectively. Those of course came after a shocking two-match losing streak for the Fillipino against Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley.
Yes, you won't be getting the boxers in their prime. Mayweather has repeatedly said he has two fights left in his career (when his Showtime contract is completed), while Pacquiao is no spring chicken himself.
Regardless, an old Mayweather and Pacquiao is better than anything else that could be offered on the boxing circuit today. The boxing history books can not be complete without it.
So go ahead and sign Floyd, we're all waiting.
Joshua Brown is a Sports Correspondent for the Boston Globe. He is a color commentator for Northeastern University basketball and hockey and also writes for USCHO and College Hoops Daily. Follow him on twitter @josh_brown31