Mayweather And Pacquiao: What's a Fan To Do?

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIJanuary 27, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 19:  Manny Pacquiao signs autographs before a press conference at Cowboys Stadium on January 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This spring, fight fans will have to make a couple of big decisions come March and May. Or should say Manny and May. 

After boxing once again stiffed the fans and the sport, we as fans of the sport will be faced with a big time decision. 

Do we support the upcoming Pacquaio and Mayweather fights? 

Are we as boxing fans gonna stand together and make a statement? Or are we going act like doormats and fork over our hard-earned cash to see our favorite fighters?

I want to say for the record that if Mayweather-Mosley comes together it is probably the second most anticipated fight out there. I also think Pacquiao-Clottey will be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts. 

Both of these fights are a big improvement over some of the matches that were originally floated during and after negotiations broke down. Paulie Malignaggi was mentioned as an opponent at one point for both fighters.

You know Malignaggi. The guy who got knocked out by Ricky Hatton in between Hatton's knockout loses to Money and Manny. The same Malignaggi who fought close battles with light hitting Juan Diaz last year after Diaz got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. 

Malignaggi was mentioned and rejected by Bob Arum for Pacquiao, then mentioned again by Leonard Ellerbe for Mayweather. The whole Malignaggi concept was like the stink of day old fish.

It wouldn't go away. But no one was buying it.

Either both camps finally understood the full extent of fan anger, or more likely it was explained to them by HBO. I can't imagine Hank Greenburg was very thrilled to hear the name Malignaggi as an opponent for either fighter. Or Yuri Foreman or Nate Campbell. 

Under normal conditions a Pacquiao-Clottey slug-fest in front of 50,000 fans in Dallas or a PBF-Sugar Shane showdown would be like manna from heaven for most fight fans. But these are not normal conditions. 

Mayweather-Pacquiao is one of those once in a lifetime matches that makes boxing more than just a niche sport. At least for that one night. 

It is the kind of fight that comes along once a decade, once every two decades. And once again boxing put that fight at risk. 

It's not the first time either. These camps have been playing chicken for well over a year. 

Which side has been more negligent has been written and commented on by hardcore fans of both fighters. But does it really matter? 

Casual boxing fans and casual sporting fans couldn't care less about who got what split, who the real pound for pound champ is, 14 or 24 days, xylocaine or no xylocaine.

They just wanted to see the big fight. And it didn't happen.

That's why I plan on boycotting both of these upcoming fights and I call on all other hardcore boxing fans to do the same. 

I'm not saying I won't watch them. But I'll wait a week and watch them for free rather than shelling out any PPV dough to the people who caused this mess. 

Last years' best fight was the Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez fight. I had to go to a Christmas party that night. I watched it later that week at a friends house and I enjoyed it almost as much as if I had seen it live.

That doesn't mean I don't like watching the big fight live. I do.

There's nothing like having a bunch of friends over at the house wondering exactly what's going to happen when the bell rings—it's something I really dig. Ordering a pizza in and cheering on one of my favorite fighters is one of the true joys of life.

But I won't be watching either of these fights. And I certainly won't be paying for them.

I won't blame any of you that disagree with me. Pac-man might be the most exciting fighter in the last fifty years and I've been dying to see what Money will do in a fight with a natural welterweight as skilled as Shane Mosley. 

I won't even argue with those of you who think Mayweather-Mosely might be a better fight. It might be. 

But I can't support these fights when the sport of boxing needed something better for the sport of boxing. Something that puts the sport on the map the same way the Super Bowl or the Daytona 500 does for their respective sports. 

That's why I am boycotting and I think you should, too.

If we don't stand up to the Bob Arums and Leonard Ellerbes of the world (and the Richard Schaefers, Michael Konczes, Don Kings, etc.), they will continue to screw over the fans and the sport. 

In my humble opinion.