Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Way I See it: Enough of the Call Out

The point is really this – Manny Pacquiao didn't just become a pay per view attraction. He combines so many qualities that people love, that he was turned into an attraction by his fans and the general populace. Pacquiao is affable, he seems like a nice guy, he does goofy stuff on late night talk shows, he fights all comers (or at least he has developed that reputation), and more importantly when he fights – he's an action fighter who entertains the fans.



Sergio Mora and Shane Mosley did not entertain their fans. The list of fighters who wish nothing more than to be on the Pacquiao gravy train is filled with guys who would rather piggy back on someone elses success then try to build their own brand. It's much more rare to be a successful draw on your own, it's much easier to find the draw and start calling him a coward until he fights you.

The list of fighters who would be considered main stream "draws" is short over the past fifteen years – Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. You might be able to argue one or two additional names, but for the most part that's it. Mayweather can't be relied upon to do anything positive for boxing and his main draw comes from the fact that he's the ultimate heel. De La Hoya is gone and in the immortal words of Rick Pitino he ain't walking through that door fans, and if he does he'll be old and gray. 

So we're left with Pacquiao, and nobody seems interested in reaching that next level.

On a major front the blame lies with the promoters. I won't turn this into a discussion on how pathetic it is that Golden Boy matched Mosley up with Mora for what feels like no purpose other than they have both guys under contract and they both needed something to do. Promoters don't promote great fights anymore, they promote convenient fights – that is a problem.

But where are the stars? Where are the personalities? Where are the draws?

Don't tell me that it's lack of access. Between Showtime and HBO we've got two channels running reality style TV shows about boxing andboxers. Don't tell me it's lack of network support because ESPN, HBO, Showtime, Versus, Comcast Sports Net, Telefutura and a host of other Spanish language channels that I can't pronounce or even attempt to write all host regular (or semi-regular) boxing. 

There has to be some responsibility laid at the feet of the fighters themselves. Manny Pacquiao is a national hero. He isn't the only boxer from the Philippians but he's the one that everyone gravitates towards. Pacquiao is a huge draw in this country, he isn't American and he isn't terribly articulate. But he puts on entertaining fights – and you know that when you throw down your hard earned money for a Manny Pacquiao fight that you're going to see at least one guy giving 100%.

When Pacquiao signed on to fight Joshua Clottey most people were let down that the fight wasn't with a bigger "name" fighter, but we all still watched. We knew going in that Clottey wasn't active enough, he wasn't talented enough, he wasn't anything enough to legitimately threaten Pacquiao but we watched because we knew that Pacquiao was going to give us everything he had for however long it took.

Say what you want about Floyd Mayweather Jr., but for the most part (discounting his fight with Oscar) you know that when Floyd is in the ring, he's all business. 

Can you honestly tell me on Saturday night that you felt Shane Mosley or Sergio Mora was giving it their all? Mora essentially said that he wasn't after the fight – he didn't want to hurt Mosley? I guess that explains why you didn't start throwing punches until the 10th round. 

There are certain fighters with niche markets. Juan Manuel Marquez has a big Mexican following, the fighter that shall not be named does too, Miguel Cotto has a solid Puerto Rican fan base…but there is no mass appeal. 


Credits: 411mania.com

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